Heroin Causes More Pain Than it Numbs

nick funeralMy boyfriend’s family (and I) lost a wonderful man this past week to heroin. You can read this tragic overdose story here. Nicholas Specht was always smiling. He welcomed me into the family from the first time we met. As far as we knew, he had been clean for several months since rehab. Nicholas grew up in a good town, with a wonderful christian family who cared for and loved him. He attended one of the best schools in the state. He spent the last several weeks volunteering at church with a construction project. He attended meetings every single day. We thought he was doing great.

But the truth is, he wasn’t doing great.  He was clean but still struggling. Nicholas had something tragic happen in his life a little over two years ago. His baby was still-born. This crushed Nicholas, as it would anyone. In a weak moment he turned to heroin. Heroin quickly changed his life. He found himself doing things he would have never done before to get this potent drug that eventually took his life.

I met him when he got out of rehab. We would chat a lot. I would tell him that he needed to stay away from his old friends, people and places where he could easily get the drug. I would tell him to call me if he felt the urge and focused on just saying no. But thanks to a comment on my post 72 Hours of Heroin that was made by a medical staff member who tried to save Nicholas last weekend, I realize I was focusing on the wrong things. I also realize that repeatedly telling my children to say no to drugs is not enough.

Think about it… I can’t imagine that anyone in their right mind wakes up one day and says “I think this will be the day I try heroin. I think I’ll put some crazy drug in a needle and shoot it into my body.” Only someone not in their right mind would do this. Something drives people to make this decision. Something horrible in their lives, like losing a baby. It may be chronic depression, a relationship breaking up, losing a job, feeling like a failure or something else that they just can’t cope with.

So in addition to teaching our kids to say no to drugs, we have to teach them that it’s okay to come to us with their problems. It’s okay to seek counseling. That no problem is too big or too small. We have to teach them how to cope with their problems. That has to start at a young age. We can’t just baby our children and tell them things will be okay. We have to teach them how to make it okay. There are tons of articles and books on how to cope with life’s unexpected issues. We need to encourage our schools to focus on teaching kids how to cope when they preach say no to drugs.

I stood at Nicholas’ grave yesterday with my 14-year-old daughter wrapped in my arms. I cried and begged her to always tell me about stresses in her life. I told her that I will always be open and will never judge her. I will get her the help she needs to deal with anything and everything. I told her my love for her is stronger than any problem she might have. I made her promise me that she would never to turn to drugs to cope with her problems. I hope and pray she keeps that promise. My 11-year-old son and I will have the same conversation tonight.

Nicholas died just a few weeks after his 30th birthday. He turned to heroin in his late 20s. It can happen to anyone at any time. Heroin does not discriminate. It is cheap and easy to find. I am asking all of you to have this conversation with your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, friends and loved ones. Have this conversation no matter if they are 10 or 40.

Please share your thoughts and comments here as our family truly appreciates reading them. And please share this with your family and friends. Heroin is an epidemic an education is the only way to crush it.


18 thoughts on “Heroin Causes More Pain Than it Numbs

  1. I believe the most common way people move to heroin is thru pills ~ Vicodin, OxyContin, Percocet. When their ways of getting prescription pills runs out, moving to heroin to snort or shoot up is an easier and cheaper way to go to get their high. Sometimes you don’t even have to have a trigger to put you over the edge that makes you start. Maybe it’s just given to you to try , and you like the way it makes you feel. But is the reward really greater than the risk?? The answer should always be never. Do these drugs make you feel so good that its worth losing your kids, family, friends … And ultimately your life? Get sad, get depressed, be lonely; but TALK TO SOMEONE!! I would answer my phone at 4am and dive to the deepest parts of the ocean if anyone I knew needed my help. Getting a quick high is not the answer. The bad part about all of this, is that if that person doesn’t want your help, no matter how many times you offer, sometimes you just don’t know how bad it is until its too late. But you still don’t stop being there for them. No one wins if someone you love gets sucked into drugs.

  2. I agree with Molly, that’s how it happened to me. There isn’t just alcohol at parties anymore, an occasional pill at a party turns into everyday. I didn’t know about physical addiction when i decided to try pain pills, everyone else was doing them and didn’t seem to have a problem. Pills are a very expensive habit, Heroin is cheaper and all it takes is you being a few dollars short of getting your pill… it’s all over from there. The abusive relationship I was in didn’t help things either and was too embarrassed to tell my family so I just shut myself out and away from them. Him going to jail and me getting into a long term rehab saved my life. I was there for 15 months at a live in rehab… sad thing now is they shortened it to 3 months, that was the last long term rehab around. I also agree that parents need to let it be known that no matter the circumstances their kids can come to them about anything that is very important, kids should not be afraid to approach someone that raised them. Communication is key and understanding. Great blog, Nick was a big loss to many and I will continue sharing his story.
    P.S. There is a S.T.O.P. Rally coming up i will write you the details when I hear back, and call Eric and Holly.

      • To escape reality, depression, unable to find gratitude, peer pressure, not knowing how addictive they are, lots of reasons. I have lost a couple friends a few years ago and the families would keep it secret how they died (overdoses), they were embarrassed and didn’t want to look like “bad people”, I’m just so glad people are talking about it now, spreading the word.. makes it easier to talk about it and ask for help. Keep it up it’s great what you guys are doing :))

  3. Thank you for sharing this story. Despite not seeing him since a couple years after we graduated high school, hearing that Nick passed brought me to tears. I’ve had my own struggles over the past few years and have recently sought professional help to learn productive ways of coping. Depression can happen to anyone and before judging it’s important to remember that it’s chemical. Sometimes drugs and alcohol take the place of whatever is going on up there and in the short term, we feel better. The important thing is to surround yourself with the people that can help you make that change, which based on what you wrote, Nick had done. And despite our best efforts, sometimes terrible things happen. Hopefully people that read your story learn from it and can change this epidemic going forward.

  4. Last week I received a phone call telling me that my high school sweetheart had died from Heroin. Brian Patrick of Walton, KY was a wonderful man, I only wish he did not have a weak moment and turn back to Heroin, now he leaves behind 2 beautiful boys who he will never see win that championship baseball or football game or get married and see his grandchildren. I wish I could have seen him one last time to try to help his addiction. I will always love and cherish the time that we spent together. People do not realize how much this drug is destroying lives.

  5. I have dealt with heroin for over 12 years. My husband is a recovering heroin addict and has been cleanin since March 2 2012! He started using when we were 18 and used for about two years. I tried everything I could to help him and eventually decided to leave him which oddly made him want to quit. He then supplemented his opiate addiction with pain pills and that went on for almost 3 years when he decided to start going to the methadone clinic. He.did that for about a year and then decided to go on the Suboxin program and did that for almost 3 years when he fell back into Heroin. I find a syringe in our house and in our children’s reach. I told him to pack his things and get out. We started separated and I only let him see our kids with me supervising the visit and that when on for two months. On March 2 2012, we had a tornado rip through our neighborhood. He was living with his mom next door.at the time and since there was no electric he left and went.to a friend mom’s house. His friends mom prayed with him asking God to help him with his addiction and that night he got arrested for possession of heroin and drug.paraphernalia while trying to get back into our neighborhood. Since there was so much damage in the subdivision the police had barricaded the area and was only letting people in with I.d. showing they lived here and that’s when they noticed he was under the influence of drugs. He was arrested on a Friday night released Saturday and willingly entered rehab on Monday. I eternally grateful to the woman that prayed with him, she helped save his life! I know a lot of people aren’t as fortunate as my.husband was to overcome the addiction. Heroin consumes your sole and is evil. We have lost a lot of friends and a few family members from it and its a horrible tragedy. I’m very sorry for your loss, thank you for being good voice and bringing awareness to this monstrous addiction.

  6. Thank you for sharing your story. We lost our 19 year old family member April 2012, then subsequently continue to battle the devil in my precious 20 year old daughter. We decided as a family we would share openly to lift the veil of shame that allows addiction to multiply and worsen through secrets and false impressions of who addicts are. The truth is all of us have this potential. These are our children no different than those who grow up to become doctors or lawyers except these young people made a poor choice that turns into a battle for their very life. Heroin and the abuse of prescription meds has become a health epidemic attacking our young people, hopefully the more we share we can make some noise about this issue.

  7. I really thank you for this inspiring story. i to have struggled with herion addiction for over 15years. i have lost so much. but recently my marriage was ended and this is by far the harderst thing i have ever dealt with. i love my wife with all my heart and i hope that one day i can overcome this demon and give my wife the husband back that she fell in love with originally. thank you. i love u melanie and i hope one day our marriage can be put back together.

    • Mike if you ever need some one to talk to or need to go to a meeting you know how to get in touch with me help is there all you have to do is ask and be ready to totally surrender

  8. I had a problim with pain pills for 10-11 years and I will be turning 25 next month so I started young I started because of knee surgary. The addiction took everything from me I even lost my kids. I am now clean and fighting back but as for my middle sons father my boyfriend he is on heroin and I have been trying to help him get clean he keeps telling me he is off of it and on only pills and is going to get off of the verry slow but I see it in his eyes all the tim how high he is on not pills but herion. He has stole my money and my gold and it has caused are son to see and hear things the he should not have so I see this happening in his near future so please everyone think before you put that needle in your are it will take everthing from you and then at last you LIFE!!

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