For addicts, drugs are hell. But for their loved ones, it is a shipwreck, a descent into hell powerless in the face of the destruction of a loved one. Son, daughter, spouse, father or mother, all are collateral victims of this scourge which destroys lives. Powerless witnesses, they bear the brunt of the devastating effects of drugs on their own lives.

Brenda and her husband led a happy life with their two children until the day their son, Kevin, barely out of adolescence, started using drugs. He has been under the influence of drugs for around ten years now. “It’s a nightmare we’re living,” confides Brenda.

“Because of the moral harassment I suffered and the fact that he was often violent, I had to take out protection orders against him,” she explains. His mother's heart is bruised each time when he finds himself in prison for having violated these regulations, but also for drug offenses. He is on his fourth stay in prison, his second since the start of the year.

“It’s not easy what we’re going through,” reveals Brenda, who struggles to find words as her son has made her see so many colors. Recovering herself, she explains that for some time now, Kevin has started selling his personal belongings for ridiculous amounts of money. Among them, a flat screen television, a Home Cinema, a video game and a mobile phone worth more than Rs 25,000 purchased on credit, which his parents must repay even if they are no longer in their possession. “His room gradually emptied. All he has left is his bed and his damaged wardrobe, because he often vents on them when he can't get what he wants, or when he's nervous,” says Brenda.

If the loss of all these material things saddens her, what breaks her is the moral harassment she suffers when her son needs money. Sometimes it can start as soon as you wake up in the morning and continue into your workplace. “The police had to come to my house several times to give him warnings, but that didn't change anything. »

What is the point of living if you find yourself in such a situation and not be able to enjoy life…”

Brenda observes that even prison does not seem sufficiently deterrent for her son, who maintains the same attitude when he returns to his parents, after having served his sentence. “While we thought it would help him think, it didn’t. He seems to have the possibility of leading the same lifestyle. And instead of improving, his attitude is worse than before his stay. »

After Kevin was incarcerated for a little over two months, Brenda had to take out a restraining order about ten days after returning home. Finally, the police picked him up again after a few weeks, because his attitude had not changed one bit. “I'm starting to believe he's doing everything he can to provoke us into going back to prison. It seems like there's nothing missing there: drugs, the ability to watch films and have access to a cell phone,” she says. Which makes him say that prison is far from being a “punishment” for the inmates who seem to have everything at their disposal without the slightest effort.

She and her husband, Brenda continues, did everything to try to help her. “We started to seek support from a psychologist. Then it was the Brown-Séquard hospital where he was interned five times in 10 years, but without conclusive results. The same goes for rehabilitation centers. »

Between the fights, the verbal and physical threats as well as the lack of respect towards them and her sister, Brenda admits that she is at the end of her nerves when her son is at home. “I worry that he will attack us or that his father will end up hurting him one day. On several occasions, they came to blows and the worst could have happened because her father was so angry by his attitude and the fact that he refused to listen to reason, and by his provocations,” she said.

Even though everyone is “quieter” since Kevin isn't home, Brenda can't help but feel sad. “We are angry of course, but he is still my son, I cannot not love him. » She adds that despite discussions between father and son, her husband is not happy that he is incarcerated and has “distanced himself” from her because of it. Brenda emphasizes, however, that she is the one who suffers the most from their son's harassment and that she also has a duty to protect her daughter who is also affected by this situation.

“What choice could I have made with regard to a child who refuses to listen to reason and who spends his time undermining our lives? » she asks. No family member is at peace when they are at home. “We don't function normally when he's around. The house is unlivable. »

Tired of this situation, she has thought several times about ending her life, because she is discouraged by the hell she has to live through every time Kevin is at home. “We don’t know if he will ever be able to get out of this. What is the point of living if you find yourself in such a situation and not be able to enjoy life,” laments Brenda.

Drug-affected mothers make their voices heard

The parents of drug victims will testify openly this Sunday, June 23, at the Lorette college in Rose-Hill, during the day of reflection and sharing organized by Le Groupe A de Cassis and Solidarité Espoir et Libération (SEL), which brings them together at Lacaz A. “La drog, souffrans mama”, this is the theme chosen for this day, as part of the International Day against Drug Abuse and Trafficking, observed on June 26.

Pouba Essoo, one of the volunteers, explains that the mothers will testify to the atrocities they have endured since their child was under the influence of drugs. “It is not normal for them to remain silent and to be stigmatized by society, which sees them as guilty when they are victims,” she said. This is how, with several volunteers, this testimonial project was developed so that they could make their voices heard.

Parliamentarians from all political sides were invited to be present to hear what they have to say. “Often, politicians make decisions without knowing reality and adopt measures that do not correspond to the expectations and needs of families,” she adds.

This meeting also aims to create solidarity with them, but also to advocate in their favor. A series of requests will be presented during the meeting.

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