Thank you for visiting our site and taking time to read this post. I’ve been asked more than once, how HPDICE – Hilton Parma Anti Drug Coalition came about. So in the spirit of helping others, I will share the beginning of our personal family story. It is a journey of being grateful for all that we have in our lives today.
It was purely unforeseen 4 years ago when my then 18 year old daughter came to me crying before she left for work as a Certified Nurse Assistant. It was the Spring of 2011. The air was still cool and the day was overcast with clouds. We were sitting on the couch as she sat weeping, looking at the floor. Softly she whispered through her tears, “Mom, I have a problem.” I thought to myself, she must be in a financial pinch and unable to make her car payment. No big deal, right? There certainly is no problem we cannot face together, after all, I am her mother and am here for her. “What kind of problem?”, I replied. She answered between the uncontrollable sobbing as tears continued to flow down her face and mumbled. “A drug problem”. Again, my mind went to topics that were familiar in the news, in speaking with the general public or local articles so I thought to myself…. it must be marijuana. That’s THE worst illegal drug I know of. This is bad, but I thought to myself that it is fixable. “What kind of drug?” I asked without hesitation, expecting the former response.
By now we were snuggled on the couch, her sitting down leaning forward and I on my knees nestled close with her head rested in my chest and my arms wrapped around her attempting to comfort, as if I could take the pain away from whatever it was that she was experiencing and wanting to share. She was dressed in her scrubs. Her hair up in a bun that always reminded me of her chearleading days for a local youth football and chearleading organization, days of when she was 10 years old. The ‘easy’ days. The days of innocence when her greatest worry was ‘should I wear my green or pink shirt to school.’ Never, ever in my wildest dreams did I imagine the next response.
“Heroin. I’m addicted to Heroin“.
Immediately after she spoke those words, she released the sound of a moan that had nothing but excruciating, deep pain, shame, helplessness and to some degree a small amount of perhaps relief for sharing her most inner secret with her mom. As I look back at that moment, I suspect she knew well enough that she was in a perilous situation of which she was unable to control. Otherwise, she would have resolved it herself as she was a kid who successfully handled responsibility taking on her own new car, cell phone and car insurance payments as she began her life, post high school.
I kissed her salty tears as they poured down her cheeks, the cheeks I’ve loved to kiss since she was a baby. And there I sat, stunned, in shock, unable to comprehend, not knowing what to do let alone even say. After what felt like minutes I said the first thing that most mothers always say, “it will be alright. I will help fix this”. The how, when, who and where questions did not even pop into my mind as it was merely trying to process the word Heroin. Heroin? Heroin?! Heroin!!
Little did I know, that ‘fixing this’ was going to be a lifelong effort. A lifelong family effort. Although I tried desperately to search deeply for any bit of information in my mind I could relate to, I could not find any experiences that could be referenced from raising her 3 older brothers nor any other knowledge I may have acquired throughout my entire life. I could not recall any book titles that could easily be pulled off a shelf titled, ‘what to do when your child tells you they are addicted to Heroin’. I could not call my friends as none of them had any similar experience they spoke of. I didn’t even think calling my sister would help as her life experiences were similar to mine. I knew nothing about Heroin. Zero. Zilch. Notta. Blank.
However,……In just 4 short years I feel like I have earned my Masters degree in something on this subect. No idea what that would be called . But the bottom line is this. There sure is a heck of a lot of information obtained throughout our journey as a family and I am compelled to share that knowledge and personal experiences, turning all of it into something positive.
I urge you to become involved with our community through HPDICE. If you have a story of addiction with alcohol or drugs, it is worth hearing and will help many others. I promise that it will even be therapeutic for you not to hold it in any longer. If you have an alcohol or drug addiction, there is help. All you need to do is ask. You are worthy of this help!
So how did the Coalition come about? It came about because it was time. HPDICE is to me, an opportunity to help make my community a better place by addressing addiction head-on. Without fear, without shame, without reservation.
~Grateful for all things,