I am so unsure about how to start this blog or even what I am going to write. I am still in shock, disbelief, and utterly afraid for not only my children, my friends children, my relatives, and my city that I have called home my entire life, even when I wasn't living here.
I was up north recouping from another bout of Pneumonia, just relaxing with my family away from the schedules, school, activities, friends and extended family. We had just put all the children to bed when my husband I decided to watch TV, I almost wish I never turned it on that night. I wish I was still blissfully unaware of what is happening seemingly under my nose in my city, with kids that could have been me or any one of my friends had we grown up now instead of during the 80's.
I am still shocked about the 20/20 story that ran about 3 Suburban Minneapolis kids who were hooked on heroin and my feelings about that story and my emotions are still running in a million different directions. It is almost like I can't or don't want to comprehend what is happening in the city I have loved for so long, in neighborhoods, schools and streets I know well. As a parent, I am terrified, I am shocked, scared, speechless, sad, angry, actually I am beyond angry, I am downright pissed off! I feel like I have been living a lie and I feel like I have been living in the dark. Did you all know that Minneapolis has some of the purest and cheapest heroin in the country?! Right here in our little 'Metropolis' of Minneapolis and our comfortable middle class suburban neighborhoods filled with families, there are children doing heroin. I mean come on, one of those kids was from Wayzata and went to Wayzata high school, another went to a small, private school! I know that shouldn't mean anything as drugs can be anywhere, I am just shocked, shocked, shocked.
Why has heroin tripled in use over the past 3 years in Minneapolis? I know much of it is because of how pure it is and how cheap it is. That purity means it is very, very addictive even if only used once. These drugs terrify me, it means my children, if they make a really bad decision some day in high school or college, will more than likely be screwed up for life. How does a parent stop this from happening? I have 4 children ages 9-2, I am still worrying about how to keep them healthy, do their clothes fit from season to season, teaching them to cross the street and tie their shoes. My oldest child is in 4th Grade and we are now starting to have to discuss the body, changing parts and all, and the 'S' word. (Not sure if I can type that word out for the paper) After Friday night, I realize I am so ill prepared for parenthood and all it has to bring. I can barely grasp the concept of speaking to my children about the birds and bees, let alone things like heroin and prostitution.
As a taxpayer, citizen and almost lifelong Minnesotan, I am pissed off that these drugs are so easy to get in my city. I am pissed off that there are children selling their bodies for a cheap high. I am pissed off at these other parents that don't know what their children are doing until it is too late. I don't watch the nightly news often, I do try to read the paper a few times a week though, how did I not know this was happening here?
As a citizen, I urge you to stand up and start taking back your neighborhoods, start getting involved again with the children in your neighborhood, befriend that only child, that loner child, or the one next door to you with a ton of friends. Get to know your neighbors, we need to bring back community and bring back knowing our neighbors and knowing what is happening in our neighborhood. As a parent, stop being your childs friend, they have their own friends. Speaking of friends, know their friends, their friends families and where your children are going and who they are going to be with. Get them involved in sports, church, and youth groups and volunteer at those places! You don't have to monitor their every move, but you should know their general lives. Make sure your children know that you are a safe place for them. Let them know they can honestly talk to you about anything and then be there for your children when they need to honestly talk to you. I am not sure if these will work, but I believe being involved limits the openings for bad things/people in our children's lives.
I don't know how to change what is happening to our kids in our city and our communities, I only know we should all be scared and we all need to open our eyes. I don't know how to stop your children or my children from doing drugs. The kids in this story seemed to have it all, they were in high school or college, they played sports, they had supportive families and lots of friends. On paper, they just don't seem like kids that would get into heroin. How is this stopped? I have not one answer, only more and more questions all of which upset and anger me. All my questions only make the tight feeling in my chest get tighter when I think of it and the fear I now have of the areas I have always felt safe in.
I hope this blog opens your eyes to our safe little haven we have called Minneapolis, our small town in the big city, feeling we have carried with us and lets you know we are truly now a big city, with big city problems, even in the suburbs. If you would like to watch the story behind this post, here is the link: http://abcnews.go.com/2020/ I haven't stopped thinking of these kids and their families and praying for their recovery, I can't imagine what they and their families have and are going through.