For over six months now, I've played today over and over in my mind. Around midnight, I give him a call and of course he is already drunk. I wish him a happy birthday but I know I'll have to call him in the morning/afternoon because he won't remember. My parents might drive out to visit him and take him to a nice dinner and buy him his first legal drink. He and his beautiful girlfriend, and all of his friends, share a great day together, probably ending in something so typically him, like watching the sun set over the beach or staring at the stars twinkling in the night sky. But we will never know.
My little brother passed away on January 28, 2010 from a heroin overdose.
This is not supposed to be my personal blog. This blog is supposed to be about sustainability, about keeping healthy. But this lifestyle is so intertwined with my life nowadays it is impossible to separate this blog from my life. So, as my life goes, so does my blog.
Illegal drugs are not sustainable. Most of our illegal drugs, such as marijuana, cocaine, meth, and heroin come from Mexico. This means quite a few things. First, like many of our "fresh" produce, these drugs have traveled thousands of miles, placing carbon footprints in the air, just so people can "escape" for a while. But more devastatingly (depending on who you ask), these drugs fund the drug war going on in Mexico. The money that you pay for your illegal drugs indirectly goes into the hands of the drug gangs fighting against each other in Mexico, killing innocent (and sometimes not-so-innocent, but no more deserving) people. Buying illegal drugs is environmentally and socially bad.
Not only that, most of the drugs I have listed literally alter your state of being. It actually changes the chemical balance in your body, so you are no longer who you once were. Trust me, I have seen it firsthand. Doing these drugs are bad for you body and your mind. For someone who cares so much about what I put into my body (and what others I care about put into theirs), I truly don't understand the reasoning behind consuming these products.
It's just not worth it. These illegal drugs can, more than likely, literally destroy who you are and take your family down with you. Your body is not what it was, your mind is not what it was, and the risk of putting your family through the pain can pull it apart. Even before my brother overdosed, my family had been through so much pain and strife trying to help him break away from this lifestyle. And we truly thought he had done it. Until one day, he left home just to buy some schoolbooks and he never came back.
Trying to make sense out of all of this, I've concluded that the only thing that can come of this is if it convinces other people to stay away from these horrid substances. My brother was a loving, caring person and I know that if he had realized the pain he was putting us all through, he would have never touched the stuff again. Please, learn from him. Don't wait until it's too late. Because he really died of an accident; it was just "one more time" of something he had done numerous times. But he either took too much, or got a bad batch, or some combination of the two, and because of this screw up, I'm sitting here with my family trying to push on, trying to fill this hole in our lives.
It's trivial and low-brow, but South Park really says it best when they say "Drugs are bad, mmkay?" There is literally nothing good that can come from it, whether environmentally, socially, or emotionally. It's just not worth it.
Rest in Peace, Mike, and happy birthday.