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Contest Winner: Kelly Rahill

As I sit and try to start my story about addiction, I have to close my eyes and thank my family for showing me what drugs can do to someone you love. You see, my older brother was a drug user. He started at the age of thirteen by smoking pot, always saying he could stop anytime he wanted. Then came cocaine. Stealing from my mom or my other sibling was nothing new; money was all he wanted, for his drugs, and he would not care who he hurt. My mom tried to get help for him, but he would always say, Nothing's wrong with me.

At the age of sixteen he had his first heart attack. Thank God he made it. I remember the tears, fights, and holes in the walls. He put my mom through hell. He was thrown out at the age of eighteen. He never really came back into our lives. He got married to his high school sweetheart, but drugs almost destroyed their marriage of six years. They lost their house and cars, and almost my brother's life. He had another heart attack. The doctor said his heart couldn't take no more. He signed himself away and called my mom, asked if he could come home after he got out. My mom told him the door is always open and how proud she was of him. She also told him how much she loves him. It is now two years later, and my brother and his wife are back together, expecting their first baby in April of 1998.

I will always remember how much I loved my big brother, but never really understood why my mom would always cry, or the hurt that was in her eyes when my brother left, until now. Drugs can destroy a family. I will never have that kind of addiction, that will take over my body and soul. And I am so glad I have the mom that I do, to allow us to make mistakes, but always be there when we need her.

Allison Inga | Britta Gerdes | Iyishia Floyd | Kelly Rahill | Leeanna Chipana | Manuel Guardado


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