The hard reality of that I had become the sister of a heroin user hit in early 2015.  My brother was a successful salaried employee of a large restaurant chain…and then he wasn’t.  There became an endless string of needs.  The phone rang and rang.

“I need help with rent.”

“Will you meet me somewhere to fill up my gas tank?”

“Can I have $20 for groceries?”

“Will you help me buy my prescriptions?”

My parents and grandparents desperately tried to help him meet his needs, but then the communications became more scarce.  It was impossible to reach my brother.  His phone was cut off.  His apartment was abandoned. We found his car in a parking lot with body damage and four flat tires. The phone calls only came when there was a new need.

Finally, everyone came to the realization that we could no longer help my brother financially.  Cut off from family funds, the truth about my brother was fully exposed when he was arrested on felony charges for heroin possession.  In time we learned that a prescription to a pain medication for wisdom tooth removal a decade before had led my brother down a path of abuse and addiction culminating with shooting up heroin.

Hungry for answers and information, like so many other family members of heroin users, I’ve scoured the internet.  Unsatisfied and in need of an outlet, I decided to write my thoughts.  I want to share my pain, learn from others, and continue to hope that one day there will be more answers for people like me.