This archived article was written by: Frank Saccomanno
I grew up in Price, Utah, and went to Carbon High School. If you live on campus you do not live in Price. Living on campus is a whole other world than the city. In fact, this area is much more grim than campus living.
You haven’t experienced Price until you’ve been asked by junkies on the sidewalk if you want to buy PCP. You haven’t experienced Carbon County until you’ve seen a friends’ future get thrown away because of a felony charge. Most importantly, you haven’t experienced Price until you’ve seen your friend from high school throw away everything for nothing more than a needle and some black tar.
I’ve seen someone’s life drained by an addiction. It started slow, maybe just on weekends. Nobody saw a difference, “Maybe he’s just drunk,” we would all say. “There’s no way he would do something like that,” we thought. Then it grew, we stopped seeing him and he didn’t go to school anymore. He began to hang out with people like him; the low lives and the losers. He became skinny, his eyes started to sink in and scabs appeared on his face. He started to limp around with baggy pants and long shirts. He began to steal and lie to his friends and family. We all knew, but what could we do? No amount of support, no amount of tears and no amount of love could bring him out of it.
Then he got arrested. “Maybe this was his saving grace,” we all thought. He was clean for a while, he told stories of the places he’s been and the things he had seen. He started to come back to school and we saw more and more of him. He tried to renew old friendships and get rid of the bad ones. He gained weight and looked healthier. He would talk, laugh and have fun. Things were looking up, his family was starting to believe in him again; we all were.
That is the thing with addiction though, once you are an addict, you will always be an addict. I could see the truth in his eyes, it was all an act, maybe just to get the police off his back, but everyone fell for it.
Eventually he went back to his old ways, he lost weight and spent time with friends and family. He could see the loss, but it was overshadowed by the addiction. People tried to help, but all failed. There is no hope for him anymore. It is sad to give up on someone that you have known for so long, but the addiction took away his will to fight.
Addiction takes you to the scariest places: the trailer parks, the outskirts of town and the hills. Addiction makes you lie to your close friends who are just trying to help. Addiction ruins your morals, makes you selfish and turns you into a mindless zombie. When you choose drugs, you choose to make your mother cry and your father beg you to stop. You choose to go to the trailer parks and the trap houses in search of your next fix. You choose to lose friends, family, life and a future.