Darrel Fox is a young adult from Sangerfield, New York. He is a supporter of the message of “An American Dilemma,” which is to head off addiction and to save lives. Darrel had 9 very close friends growing up; in 5 years, 3 died. There are only 6 left alive.
Note: Darrel Fox is relaying his experience to help us all. Not only will we understand how the death happens but potential solutions. We would like you to send the blog link to friends and social media to benefit others.
Darrel, Bobby, Rick, Mark, and 6 others were youths growing up in a city in upstate New York. Most had been friends since grade school, high school, and after. All 9 were extremely tight and shared common interests such as snow boarding, video games, internet, and selected sports. Reader, remember all the fun, memories, and a young person’s first disappointments in those years. As time went on, alcohol like beer and tequila, and drugs like pot and mild relaxants came into their lives. As Darrel said, they became part of the Subculture.
Splitting the group: A key denominator that help split the group is the path each took using drugs; heroin and other opiates were the drugs that defined the death of 3. Even “peer pressure“, from Darrel did not stop his friend from snorting heroin one night, in the car, before a party. At that defining moment, Darrel knew their choice of paths was different. An additional personality trait helped the 3 in choosing the tragic path is the sense of “infallibility.” This is the feeling that nothing could happen to me.
Note: Again, there is no common thread that makes the group of 9 individuals different in choosing their paths. Age, sex, nationality, and location were not factors of the path. See the post, Living in a Shelter or Safe House: Good and Bad
Bobby: Bobby was the type of guy who could not say “no.” In 2008, Darrel and Bobby had a falling out and were not on speaking terms. Bobby spent time with an individual he paid debts in Methadone and other pharmaceuticals. After ingesting the methadone, pills, and alcohol Bobby went to bed on a friend’s couch and stopped breathing. Darrel felt bad about not resolving the dispute with Bobby before his death. Darrel felt that Bobby went to the grave thinking Darrel hated him. Fox’s feelings are a common reaction, but Bobby could not say no. Not even peer pressure could stop Bobby from his addiction.
Rick: Rick had the same interests that Darrel had– snow boarding and music. To Darrel, it was sad to see the physical changes in Rick caused by repetitive snorting. Rick moved to Colorado to get away from the area in which he began his addiction. Darrel met Rick later in the following months. Little did he know this would be his last time seeing his friend. This location change worked well for Rick, and Rick cleaned up his act. But in 2003, Rick had to go back to New York for family issues. One evening, Rick, put his head down on a table, Blackout: Death, Jail, or Life as if to pass out from drinking, and his friends went out. Upon returning, they found Rick was blue and stiff; Rick was dead. Darrel’s friends were streetwise enough to know they could have saved Rick–if they knew what he ingested. No one was to blame, except the heroin high, a feeling of infallibility, and keeping true friends in the dark.
Mark: Mark was Darrel’s best friend. Mark had the type of personality that made it seem he could never get caught, that he could do anything, and be successful in this very dangerous game. Mark’s drug of choice was oxy, which costs $70 to $100 a pill. The buying and selling of the opiate made Mark a lot of money. His attempt to influence others in the group did not work. In 2010 to 2011, Mark started using heroin. After moving to his grandmother’s home, he quickly met up with the opioid and heroin subculture Hit Bottom? Live With It!. Mark overdosed and was pronounced brain dead at the hospital. There was no saving him–he was gone. His family was forced to pull the plug three days later, ending his short life at the age of 27.
Note: There have been decades of educating young adults about smoking, drinking, driving responsibly, using seat belts, using pot, cocaine, and other personal threats to their lives,. But young adults “resist.” After talking with youth, I’ve come to believe that they need to see and feel the effects of addiction themselves, BEFORE choosing their path. See the post, A Challenge to the Executive Branch
What could have changed Bobby’s, Rick’s and Mark’s path, from a young person’s perspective? I will take a look at some ideas in another blog post. In the meantime, take a look at this website about an approach to treating addiction; I am not encouraging using this approach, but will review its affect on addiction.