Today I attended the burial of yet another client who perished in the epidemic of opiate addiction. Young and intelligent, loved by family, admired by friends. A son, a brother, a student, a worker…and sadly, a statistic in a losing battle.
We’ve been fighting a war for years, and it’s no closer to ending. Despite the massive amount of resources we’ve spent to end it, it continues unabated. The enemy is cunning and relentless, and no matter what we do, the casualties continue to mount, and frighteningly, many of them are young. This isn’t a war in the Middle East, not Iraq or Afghanistan.
The war is here, it’s in our backyard…and the enemy is Heroin!
Since March of 2013, this is the fourth client buried, accomplished by the two minions of death: overdose or suicide. Unfortunately, others have preceded them, all having lived the adage, “the Road down is shorter than you think, it’s the road back that is long”. And for far too many, the road back is a dead end.
“the Road down is shorter than you think, it’s the road back that is long”
More than three decades focused on representing those charged with crimes involving the use and abuse of drugs and/or alcohol has seen many client’s victories, victories made possible by a team committed in both heart and mind to helping clients get clean and sober: lawyers, therapists, drug addiction and alcohol abuse experts, detox centers and treatment programs, all with a mission to get clients not only off a case, but out of the system. When they win, we heap the praise on them, not on us. But when they fail, we struggle with the feeling we’ve failed, too, and the sadness can be…is…overwhelming.
I send this message not only as a warning, but also as a plea: Please be on guard! This enemy is as close as the freckle-faced kid next door, the cute girl met at a party or the doctor who puts Heroin’s blood brother, Oxycodone/OxyContin, in your medicine cabinet.