Bon Jovi once sang, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” Things have changed a lot over the last several years, but at the same time, things have remained the same. When Jim and I started doing this a little over 4 years ago the main addiction issues we came across were alcohol and crack cocaine. Over the course of the last year and a half our team has become increasingly familiar with heroin addiction, the nasty toll it takes on its victims, and the incredible struggle that goes along with trying to kick the habit.
What used to be a line of primarily 45+ year old men at our Sunday downtown meals has come to include an ever increasing number of those in the their 20s. It is almost guaranteed that if you can get those 20 year olds to open up about what they’re struggling with, it’s heroin. These are young people from all over our city that have found themselves walking the streets of downtown, staying in run-down motels and under bridges, all because of the crippling effects of a heroin addiction. These are kids that grew up and went to high school in the suburbs. We’re talking about Vestavia, Hoover, Spain Park, Pelham, and Homewood kids.
With all that’s changed, at the core, things really have stayed the same. We’re still working with broken, needy people that are running from the issues, pain, and struggles they face on a daily basis. However, some things are very different, things that we as friends and family need to be aware of and on the lookout for in the lives of people we care about. In the next post we’ll dive into some specific things that will help educate you on some of the factors that are leading to increased heroin addiction, especially amongst young people.