Missing Spoons

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Recently I visited a longtime dear friend of Terry’s and mine who has a son with a history of substance abuse. Our conversation included the topic of missing spoons, a telltale sign of heroin addiction.

Not knowing much about the connection between missing spoons and substance abuse, I consulted that veritable treasure of information, Google, and found a story by Mary Cucarola dated May 1, 2016. It takes a few minutes to read but I believe it will be worth your time. Here are a few excerpts:

“Where are all of my new William & Sonoma spoons?”

I texted my son, Cody, who was living with me at the time. No answer. Texted again.  No answer again.

I had recently bought a set of stainless steel flatware for my kitchen at my new house. Cody was working for his dad, and I thought maybe he had taken them to work for lunch or maybe eaten cereal for breakfast on the run, and left them in his car or at work. Still no answer.

By the time he got home, I had forgotten about the spoons. I did ask him again the next day, and he said he didn’t know. I couldn’t figure out what happened to most of my new spoons. It was such a mystery to me, but I figured they would turn up soon (I know you’re thinking how stupid can this woman be). They didn’t show up. 

My current knowledge didn’t include how to heat up heroin in a spoon to be injected intravenously. It didn’t ever occur to me my spoons were being used as cookers to liquefy heroin, and were now burnt spoons. It was most definitely wisdom outside my current knowledge.

I will forever remember the Saturday morning I found out where my spoons were. I was putting away clean clothes in Cody’s top drawer, and I found it all. My heart stopped. I was stunned, mortified, and angry by what I found, but most of all I felt betrayed.  

I wasn’t wise enough to know the signs of opiate addiction, but I put it all together, and there was no more mystery of my missing spoons.

To read the rest of the story, including a list of telltale signs of various kinds of substance abuse, go to: http://www.codysfreshstart.org/spoon-insight-tell-tale-signs-of-drug-abuse/ 

I pray that Mary’s story will be helpful to people and families whose lives have been drastically and painfully affected by this ever-growing source of distress, dysfunction, despair, depression, and death.

And I also pray that if Mary’s story reflects the circumstances of your life or the life of someone you know and love, as you seek help for your loved one you will be comforted by the words of Jesus: ““Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Matt. 11:28

Hoffman, Heroin, Hard Core Addiction

Credit: Politico.com

Credit: Politico.com

The recent death of Academy Award-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman demonstrates some of the challenges we face in this country. Hoffman, 46, played roles in Capote, Magnolia, Almost Famous, Hunger Games, Mission Impossible, and Charlie Wilson’s War.

He was found dead Sunday, Feb. 2, in his T-shirt and shorts with a needle in his left arm. Depending on what report one reads, also found were anywhere from several to seventy bags of heroin — in his $10,000-a-month Manhattan apartment. He is reported to have told his friends before Christmas: “If I don’t stop [using heroin] now, I know I’m going to die.”

In an Associated Press article on Hoffman’s death, Meghan Bass wrote: “News of the death of Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman from an apparent heroin overdose seemed like an echo from the past, a blurry memory of a dangerous drug that dwelt in some dark recess of American culture.

“But heroin never really disappeared. It surfaces in waves, with the latest one currently stretching across the nation, driving up overdose deaths and sparking widespread worry among government officials. Fueled by a crackdown on prescription painkillers and an abundant supply of cheap heroin that’s more potent than ever, the drug that has killed famous rock stars and everyday Americans alike is making headlines again.

“More than 660,000 Americans used heroin in 2012, health officials say – nearly double the number from five years earlier – and users tend to be more affluent than before, living in the suburbs and rural areas rather than the inner city.”

Others who interviewed his alleged drug dealer conjecture that Hoffman had a “hard-core” addiction and injected twice as much heroin per day as a typical addict. That could have amounted to ten bags of heroin every day.

The questions this story begs in my mind include:

  • What are the primary causes of heroin addiction?
  • Who are the “hard-core” heroin addicts in America?
  • Do I know any of them? If so, I don’t know that I know them.
  • What can we as individuals or as a church do to help those already addicted?
  • Perhaps even more importantly, what can we do to prevent such addiction and its demonic consequences from attacking young and not-so-young people in America and beyond, including people we know and love?

Pastors, church leaders, civic organizations and governmental officials at every level would do well to put these questions on their agendas, prayerfully and powerfully finding answers to an obviously complex and difficult dilemma!