Armando is an author, I have had the pleasure of reading both of his books to date What You Are Turning Me Into and Cocaine Memoirs, both are about the use of illegal drugs, and both are for the most part very down beat. It is a subject where little humor exists. Few people realize the seriousness of the drug problem today, in fact many people prefer to turn a blind eye to it.

Drugs are everywhere, I live in a sleepy small town in Mississippi, yet even here drugs abound. A few weeks ago I was in my local gas station when a young man walked in and asked if they sold glass pipes! I was shocked.

Armando sent this heartfelt article to me, and I feel an obligation to print it. It shows the drug world for what it really is – Simon

This post was written without any fancy wording or smiles. Sorry

I received a call early morning today. It was two am and the caller was unknown. The night was gloomy and rainy. Seemed like all the clouds and stars and planets in orbit all gathered to explode over these murky Jacksonville skies. The call was alerting. I looked at the phone for the first two rings and felt very insecure. I handed the phone to my wife for her to answer. After her facial expression I knew the news was not anything great. She puts the phone down and tells me to answer. I freeze. She insists. When I answer the phone I hear a whimpering voice stricken from some lady’s breath. Her tears were heard through her entire murmurs. I quickly realized it was my good friend’s mother and I jumped up and ran to my bathroom. I got on my knees and asked her “what happened?” Her voice began to crackle worst and she started to breakdown. I prayed. I looked up to God and asked him to rest my friend in peace. She then screams from the top of her already crushed soul. “He’s dead. He’s dead Armando!!!” I didn’t have to ask her what caused it, because I already knew. Drugs.

My friend Brian called me a week ago and told me to come over. Knowing his addiction to drugs (which I will not reveal out of respect for his family) I felt hesitant in stopping by. The last time I saw him he weighed 98 pounds and didn’t recognize his problem. His mother even less. He had his drug spread out on his table and was doing it viciously. When I say viciously, I mean repeatedly with out stop. I looked at my friend of four years and I asked him if his mother knew. He answered “no”. After his drug takes over him I watch him fall back to the couch and roll his eyes back as his drool trickles from his dry lips. After witnessing his destruction for so long now I begin to feel like death will be his only recovery. My body fills with goose bumps and I ask him “do you love your mother?” He says “no”. As he answers me his eyes water up and he inhales deeply and returns to his drug. I just stare.

I believe in tough love considering it was all I received when I was facing my demons. I’m no angel and never been. I’ve lived in a world scary to most humans. Not as an addict but the one who must face their death. I’ve experimented with some drugs but never to the point where I was addicted. I have been there all day witnessing these zombies of our society kill themselves for drugs. I’ve seen my friends die. I’ve seen family members lose everything just to purchase what would seem to be nothing, but they need it that bad. Last year my wisdom tooth cracked and the pain I felt was unreal to anyone. I began to take Lower Tabs (oxicontin) to eliminate this pain. It was the only thing that could mask it enough to live. A month later I was hooked to these pills. I was taking fourteen to sixteen pills a day. I never slept due to the caffeine it carries. The level of acetemorphin it carries made my tooth hurt even more. Long story short, my daughter’s fist birthday came and I was withdrawing to the point I was feeling my spinal cord snap. Bottom line is I missed my daughter’s birthday and let me tell you the pain I felt was irreplaceable. I promised myself to never take a prescription pill again no matter what hurts and haven’t. If you’re a parent you can not afford to be addicted to anything except your kid’s life. It’s them who see you and learn from you and eventually end up like you. My friend died to an overdose last night and his five year old son is named after him.

Two days ago I spoke to him. He was in Orlando visiting an ex-girlfriend. His voice was desperate and the anguished. I tried to ask him if he was okay. If seeing her made him feel good? He answered “no”. I asked him what did? He said “drugs”.  I told him they would be the death of him. My grandfather always told me “whatever makes you happy, will be the last thing you see”. Brian last saw his drug. I told him I would not go see him dead. I didn’t mean that. He was a computer graphics major. His parents are as wealthy as Bill Gates times two. Both stock brokers. Both never cared enough to understand their son. And even if they read this I mean when I say they only cared about their job. A lot of parents get lost in their professions and forget what is really important. They are worried about making the next million dollars to give to their son to kill himself with. Brian had no job, he’s parents supported him. They paid for the drug that took his life. I’m irate! My friend did not die from drugs, he died from neglect. I’m a parent and I am always in my children’s lives. In their business, whether they like it or not.

I feel guilty that I didn’t kick his ass and forced him to get help. I just stared. This must stop! It must end now! Parents need to get involved in their kids life, and if you know your child has a problem don’t be nervous or ashamed or think you did something wrong. Understand your child and then get help. Before it’s too late and it’s you who gets the call in the middle of the night with a Doctor telling you your son is dead. Please. Please.

My friend Brian was found dead at age 28 on his couch watching Pulp Fiction, high. When I hung up the phone I jumped in my Hummer and drove nearly a hundred miles an hour to Orlando FL to support who I think are bad parents. My friend who I used to consider “the Apple man” (Because that’s all he used, was Apple products) was an outstanding person and father. He was inside a box and it did not allow him any light. Inside a dark box where the only peak of happiness he got was when he was high.  Not when his child or parents hugged him and told him “I love you.” Now it’s too late and this is my frustration. Michael Jackson said that “children are our future” but if we fail them as parents their future is gone. And you will still remain alive.
Thank you for posting this

It was written at 5:00am, July 15th 2009 at the Orlando Regional Medical Center, minutes before I was called to view his body.


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