By Erik Alsgaard
The epidemic of heroin is not limited to neighborhoods in big cities, nor to the suburbs that surround them. In rural areas across the Baltimore-Washington Conference, heroin is often more easy to obtain than alcohol.
The following story is true. Only the names and locations have been changed.
“Robert” drank and smoked pot like a lot of other kids when he was in high school, but he didn’t like the way the harder drugs made him feel. What he did like was being part of the “in crowd,” so he quickly learned that selling drugs secured the attention he craved.
“If I sold these things, I’d be the life of the party.”
His popularity – and market — expanded after high school….
At the peak of his “success,” Robert owned a car and shared a townhouse. “I had everything I ever wanted. I never did laundry; I bought clothes and threw them away. I spent my days playing video games.”
One day Robert watched a woman struggling to walk with a broken shoe. He pulled over and gave her his car.
That’s right: he gave her his car.
With a growing sense that he was “oppressing” his own community, he walked away from dealing and moved home with his parents. But the transition wasn’t easy. Unable to find a job, the temptation to return to his former lifestyle was (and sometimes continues to be) overwhelming. “Even though I stopped, nothing changed.”