Welcome to Marla and Dave Relationship CPR
This week we have all new shows! Please tune in every day!
This week's shows address a very serious and passionate topic for Marla and Dave. For further information on our guests and their respective causes, please use the contact information below:
Lynda Winter's Group:
Family Heartbreak Peer Support Group
Phone #: 818-224-5677
The New Face of Addiction…is Our Kids!
Waging war on addiction for our loved ones starts with an education about drugs. As Dave and I continue to educate ourselves, we hope to share vital information with others that will bring an awareness, and possibly save a life. The following link is for a 20/20 special that shows you the new faces or today's Heroin addicts; suburban kids! Please take time out to watch this special report. Don't dismiss this problem as "Oh...that is someone else's kid." This problem is way bigger than that. See for yourself. FYI: did you know that today's Heroin is 60% pure, in comparison to 3% 20 years ago?
20/20 Special: Teens Hooked on Heroin
Our Featured Stories:
David Thomas II, a.k.a. DJ
Our son David is the second of three children that we dedicated our lives to responsibly raise and love. Like most typical boys, "DJ" was full of energy, smiles, and adventure. At the young age of 4 we left the south (Nashville, TN) and headed west to Los Angeles, CA, making the decision to settle in a suburban area outside of the city in Woodland Hills. We chose this area due to the strength of the schools and sense of community. In a short time the kids were settled into the local schools, making friends and playing sports. Of course we were going over the involved parent check list: School, friends, church, family...the list goes on.
Despite the pressures during adolescence with the liberal behaviors of his peers and their families, we were determined to hold tight to our old-school values and morals. Some of those definite lines included being completely free of drugs and alcohol. This demand was pushed to the limit as DJ entered High School. It was during his freshman year that we began seeing small changes: his personality, his usual care and concern for others, a shift in his peer group…small things that a connected parent immediately recognizes as inconsistencies in a child's nature. All of these signs triggered questions; we invaded his privacy in an effort to get the truth about what was going on with him.
The long story, short—he used drugs, lied, and hid. We questioned, dug deeper, and chased the truth.
By the time that DJ (barely) graduated from High School, his mood swings, unproductive behavior, and defiance compelled us to take the next step: kicking him out of the house. At this point we required he submit to drug tests, and made it clear to him that he could not live with us high on anything. So at the age of 18, he took to the street to survive and use. The battle to stay clean was a yo-yo effect for almost three years.
With much prayer and even more family drama, DJ finally reached rock bottom on March 25, 2011 and took the steps to get help with his addiction. He called us and confessed the severity of his use and his drug of choice. Knowing your child is using drugs and abusing alcohol is hard enough to deal with; but to find out that they are addicted to Heroin is a mind explosive reality!
Despite the depth of DJ's addiction, he did reach out, and was checked into D.A.P. (Drug Alternative Program) in Riverside, CA. With the assistance of this rehab program and God, he is one year sober. Knowing all that we know about kids and heroin addiction, we realize that his recovery is nothing short of a miracle. Please keep praying and supporting not only DJ, but all of the kids and families that are fighting so hard to pick up the pieces of their lives ravaged by addiction.
Our terms of endearment were many for Austin... Austin Gene, Awesome Austin, Awesome Auz, Oz, Austy boz, Austin from Boston, Buddy, Mean Gene, “Geno”. When I called him I would say, “Austin?” He replied, “Mother!” I replied back, “Child.” He would lovingly refer to my husband and me as “Parentals.”
Many loved Austin for his humor and his joking around. My son was young, youthful, spirited, funny. He provided much entertainment and laughs and he loved to make people smile. As Austin grew, we/he participated in mommy and me, playgroups, cooking classes, science classes, baseball, soccer, karate, basketball, football, and high school wrestling. As a family we camped, fished, rode bikes, swam, hiked, skied, snowboarded, wake boarded, went to the beach, and traveled. Austin was a big fan of the LA Lakers and spent a lot of time watching sports with his friends. Noticing his hands-on ability and sense of business, my husband and I had hoped Austin would take over our family business one day.
Austin was a tough kid, impulsive, a risk taker. He thought he was invincible. But he also had a softer side: he was a cuddler, up to the end, laying in bed or on the couch with me, his mother, and asking for his head to be scratched.
Austin had three tattoos of which I was not a fan. His first one, under his right arm, was his adoptive name “Geno,” given to him by his friends and their families. I used to tease Austin, “What did you do that for? So you can remember your name?” He would roll his eyes and just sigh, “Oh Mother.”
For the second of his tattoos, Austin turned to his love of the Harry Potter series. He had read the books over and over and over; he had been to the midnight opening for each movie; and he even resembled Harry Potter. So he had a Phoenix, the mythical creature, tattooed on his right breast. It was fitting because the Phoenix means “rebirth,” so apropos today.
Finally, Austin had another tattoo on his left back shoulder blade. It was hard to read but it said “Forget Regrets.” When he got it, I was not thrilled; but now that tattoo gives me comfort and is helping me go on.
As parents we sacrifice and invest in our children. We love them and we guide them. Unfortunately, Austin took the risk of using and trying opiates and he became an opiate addict, which led to his demise. Frankly, I watched my son self-destruct. I fought hard for him and lost that war. I was so hopeful when he had recently checked himself into rehab—only for him to relapse one last time. I am so sad for his loss, as I am sad that I will miss out on his future that will never be.
Austin was my child. I loved him deeply and I am proud to say that I was his mother. He will always be in my heart and I will miss him dearly every day.
A bright, thoughtful, loving man, Eli brought joy to his parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Aggressive and fast on the hockey rink, Eli was thrilled by the camaraderie and challenge of the game. In mixed martial arts he channeled his limitless energy and athletic abilities. In costumes ranging from a bumble bee, to a caterpillar, a munchkin, a cowboy, pirate and numerous drag iterations, Eli experienced the joy of different identities. Dirt biking with his brother, father and friends made him feel free. Gentle with animals of all kinds, particularly the reptilian kind, Eli revealed his nurturing side. Like his great grandfather, who opened his first medical practice with poker winnings, Eli was a gifted poker player.
Eli struggled valiantly with his addiction, but tragically, did not prevail. We will all miss this caring man with his wry sense of humor and his memorable smile.
Get the M.a.D. Love Game Today!
We debuted the M.a.D. Love Game on the 2011 Capital Jazz Super Cruise. Hurry and get yours while supplies last!
Provocative questions in three categories: Sex, Communication, and Finance
Sure to ignite and stimulate any adult party
Must-have for your next bash or whenever you get together with friends!
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