What becomes of a child born to two drug-addicted parents? The consequences are usually tragic. For some children it’s worse than others.
One case in particular will stick with me forever, continuing to fuel my passion to fight against drugs. It’s what happened to a little girl who I will call Marie.
Marie was just six years old when she started running drugs for her dad. Her parents knew if she was caught with drugs nothing would happen to her. But if Dad was caught, he would go back to prison for a long time. As payment for this “work,” Dad gave Marie drugs. He started her with marijuana and alcohol. Eventually he turned her on to meth. But he would only allow her to use the drugs with him. He said it was to watch out for her and to protect her, but in truth it was to weaken her resistance and take advantage of her innocence.
When Marie was 8, almost 9, her Mom got sent to prison again. With his wife gone, Dad had Marie assume the role of his partner in life. Not only was Marie her father’s companion, drug runner and fellow drug user, but Dad also had her assume the role of his intimate partner.
Over time, life got even worse for Marie. When Dad didn’t have money for drugs, he took pornographic photos of him and Marie and tried to sell them. Eventually, he would just trade Marie to his drug dealers for the drugs he needed.
This nightmare finally came to an end for Marie when she was 10 years old. A school official noticed three puncture marks along the vein inside her elbow. The school nurse recognized these as needle marks and called law enforcement and Child Protective Services.
Marie was freed from her daily torment, but her innocence had been lost forever.
That’s what drugs can do. And that’s why I fight against them so aggressively.