My brother Joey was always the popular guy in high school and after. He was 10 years older than me and as a little girl I would tease him about how many girlfriends he had. He also loved Tom Cruise movies, I think at one point in time he thought he was Tom. Every role Tom Cruise played; Joey seemed to reenact it in some way. He went to aeronautical school (Top Gun), he worked in Daytona at the speedway (Days of Thunder), and he was a bartender (Cocktail) and so on. He always had the best clothes (some were compliments of his many girlfriends) and I would always tell him that he was worse than a woman when it came to getting ready. Eventually, I grew older and found other things to do other than go to our dad's house every weekend. And over time, I noticed the change. His clothes began to get sloppier, he began to lose weight, he didn't care about his appearance, and it got to the point where I rarely talked to him anymore. About 2 1/2 years ago I asked him to help me move, and we didn't even talk much then. Not because we were mad at each other, I just didn't know him anymore. Months later I got the call that he had died. I assumed that it was an overdose, but it was actually more of his heart; there was so much crap in the heroin that it clogged parts of his heart. I will never forget that day. I said my goodbyes to him in the hospital until we were eventually pushed out. Throughout his addiction, I always tried to give him the benefit of the doubt. I would say, “Joey's not on drugs like that; he just smokes every once in awhile". Now I hear about all of his friends on this drug. My family members and I always say to each other, "This must be a hell of a drug to witness someone you love die and go on and slowly kill yourself the same way". I heard that my brother's friends would drop each other off at the ER door when they overdose and leave them there because they didn't want to be arrested. They even go as far as shooting up in the car, dying, and doing CPR on each other. And then, they still use afterwards. I just don't get it. The rumor is that a few weeks before my brother's death he was dropped off at the ER himself for an overdose. I'm now an RN and maybe one day I will be able to understand more about addiction and hopefully help someone else help themselves. I miss you Bubby.
Partners for Hope raise critical funds on behalf Partnership to End Addiction – the nation’s leading organization dedicated to addiction prevention, treatment and recovery. Every dollar raised on behalf of the Partnership* will help ensure free, personalized family support resources, including our national helpline, peer-to-peer parent coaching, customized online tools and community education programs, can reach those who need them most. Please consider donating to this fundraiser and sharing this page.
*Donations made to Partnership to End Addiction are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. All contributions are fully tax-deductible, as no goods or services are provided in consideration in whole, or in part, of any contribution to this nonprofit organization. EIN: 52-1736502