In my job as a probation officer, I see abuse of drugs and alcohol on a daily basis.
Many people have made a poor decision and are able to get their life back in order and not have difficulties; however, too many times, drugs and alcohol take total control.
In my years of working as a probation officer, I was sent a poem. I have no idea who wrote this poem, but it truly hits home with so many people. I just thought many of you would like to read this. If you are experiencing problems, seek help. You can break the cycle. It’s not easy, but it can be done.
I feel it necessary to share this in memory of the hundreds of people I’ve worked with who have left this world due to the hold put on them in the name of substance abuse.
Hello, my name is Drugs and Alcohol.
I destroy homes, tear families apart,
take your children, and that’s just the start.
I’m more costly than diamonds, more costly than gold,
the sorrow I bring is a sight to behold.
And if you need me, remember I’m easily found,
I live all around you, in schools and in town.
I live with the rich, I live with the poor,
I live down the street, and maybe next door.
My power is awesome; try me, you’ll see.
But if you do, you may never break free.
Just try me once, and I might let you go,
but try me twice, and I’ll own your soul.
When I possess you, you’ll steal and you’ll lie.
You do what you have to do, just to get high.
The crimes you’ll commit, for my narcotic charms,
will be worth the pleasure you’ll feel in your arms.
You’ll lie to your mother; you’ll steal from your dad.
When you see their tears, you feel sad.
But you’ll forget your morals and how you were raised,
I’ll be your conscience; I’ll teach you my ways.
I take kids from parents, and parents from kids,
I turn people from God and separate friends.
I’ll take everything from you, your looks and your pride;
I’ll be with you always, right by your side.
You’ll give up everything — your family, your home,
your friends, your money, and then you’ll be alone.
I’ll take and take, until you’ll have nothing more to give.
When I’m finished up with you, you’ll be lucky to live.
If you try me, be warned; this is no game.
If given the chance, I’ll drive you insane.
I’ll ravish your body; I’ll control your mind.
I’ll own you completely; your soul will be mine.
The nightmares I’ll give you while lying in bed,
the voices you hear from inside of your head,
the sweats, the shakes, the visions you’ll see —
I want you to know, these are all gifts from me.
But then it’s too late, and you’ll know in your heart,
that you are mine and we shall not part.
You’ll regret that you tried me, they always do,
but you came to me, not I to you.
You knew this would happen. Many times you were told,
but you challenged my power and chose to be bold.
You could have said no and just walk away,
but if you could live that day over, now what would you say?
I’ll be your master; you’ll be my slave.
I’ll even go with you when you go to your grave.
Wayne Addison is chief probation officer for the Hancock County Probation Department. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.