The Fearsome Return Of Heroin

I’m addicted to my grandchildren. Not literally, of course. I can actually live without them between times when I can afford to fly to see them, and, during the time my back needs to heal from playing Power Ranger and catching them 45 times straight during the “Mimi, Mimi!” swimming pool lunge. They call me Mimi.

Real addiction is tragic and a disease in which, experts say, such things as drugs or alcohol rule. Wanting to spend time with my brilliant and perfect grandchildren is a blessing and healthy even though when I’m with them they too rule. My Power Ranger name is Lauren.

The late Glee star Cory Monteith, 31, had a tragic addiction. A lethal mixture of heroin and alcohol told him the lie all addicts hear just before they use … then lose: “Just one more hit won’t hurt anything.”

I am making this (possibly lame) analogy because Cory Monteith probably has a grieving grandmother wondering how her talented, handsome little former Power Ranger could now be a deceased heroin user.

He was a superstar in one of the biggest TV hits in the last five years and boyfriend to talented co-star, Lea Michelle. He was living one of the fairy tales his “Mimi” read to him when he was 4 …except the part where the handsome prince shoots up and dies.

Monteith admitted to using drugs from age 13, a shocker because I remember me at 13, the age my mother often warned that someone could “slip me a Mickey” and then kidnap me into sex slavery. I believed her.

Then, my only familiarity with any Mickey was the mouse so my imagination ran wild. We didn’t have Wikipedia then or I would’ve certainly Googled this definition:

“In slang, a Mickey Finn (or simply Mickey) is a drink laced with a drug (especially chloral hydrate) given to someone without their knowledge in order to incapacitate them.”

Even though the late ’60s when I was an older teen ushered in an era of extensive drug experimentation, my mother’s dire warning kept me from succumbing, except with moderate alcohol, which we now know is itself a drug.

Members of my family were getting sloshed at weekend gatherings (not Mother) so alcohol couldn’t have been the dangerous evil that a Mickey was. What a laugh!

But today nearly five decades since The Beatles first took LSD, drugs are apparently on the rise among teenagers after a short downturn. According to an April Hawaii News Now report, teen prescription drug use is up 33 percent over the last five years.

The prescription drugs they’re using now are the same ones prescribed for hyperactivity, ADD or ADHD: Ritalin and Adderall.

This discovery begs a million questions regarding access to these drugs by children who do not have such disorders, to include why doctors are prescribing Ritalin for a normal child.

If kids are forging prescriptions, pharmacists, where’s the third-degree questioning I get when I pick up my thyroid pills?

More shocking is that heroin, the drug once used only by scungy street addicts and rock singers, is easily accessible now.

Teens from cities to the suburbs are now a prime target by heroin dealers (New York Daily News, June 7, 2012). Heroin is cheaper than prescription drugs, and we all know that most teens, completely devoid of wisdom, will do anything for a bargain high.

I was first introduced to heroin in a movie starring Frank Sinatra called The Man with the Golden Arm, which my parents accidentally took me and my sister to in 1955 before ratings. I was 8. It was in black and white, and raw. It left me with as many scars on my brain as on Sinatra’s needle-pocked arms. It was an even more effective drug deterrent than Mom’s “Mickey” alert.

Seriously, though, my grandchildren range from tots to teens, and I fear for them as they navigate through a culture where access to heroin or prescription drugs is so easy.

This “Mimi” doesn’t care if today my mother’s dire forewarnings seem “Mickey Mouse.” She was so right. She would’ve also made a formidable Power Ranger.