It could happen to any family.
Today’s story is a true, crazy story that is heartbreaking because of all the families, particularly children impacted by a scary epidemic in our country.
Once upon a time a nice young lady (we will call her Jane) who was raised in a Catholic hard working family, met another nice man (we will call him John) who was also raised in a good Catholic home. They both were divorced and met at work. She had a son and he had four children. They started dating, got married, and made the blended family look easy. They attended mass every Sunday, grilled on weekends, and enjoyed watching football. Both Jane and John revolved their lives around their children. John was particularly an extra devoted dad who was always spending time with his kids. After Jane and John got married, Jane found out she was pregnant with a little girl (we will call her
Gabby). Both families were excited because Gabby brought joy to their life.
What Jane did not know was that John had a back injury before they met and he took pain pills. One pill turned into another turned into a full fledge addiction. The thing about John was that he was good at hiding his “dependence” on these pills. So good in fact that nobody suspected anything was off. Jane’s family noticed a few things missing here and there (medicine, stolen Christmas toys) but never connected the dots.
One day Jane was watching the 6:00 news when they had a preview of a breaking headline “Serial Pharmacy Robber” caught on camera. Jane watched the news story and was shocked!!!! John was on video. She was sitting right next to him. She said to him, “that is you!!!”. He responded, “no it’s not”. She decided that she would stay up and watch the 10 pm news to get another look at the story. The robber appeared to be the same height and loved the same sporting team as John. She was deeply disturbed because the 6 pm news described a serial armed robber who was wanted all over the state for robbing 19 small mom and pop pharmacies. He had alluded video coverage until the 19th one, because the 19thpharmacy recently installed cameras because of all of the neighboring robberies.
Jane’s sisters were living a state away and were shocked to be called the next day to find out that Jane’s husband was holed in their house and there was a SWAT team standoff. Thankfully John was the only person in the home. They lived in a very nice neighborhood and the neighbors were shocked by the SWAT truck, cop cars, news vans, and helicopters. Apparently John was refusing to come out. The stand off lasted for hours and Jane’s sisters were watching this sad story unfold online through one of the news channel websites.
Finally John surrendered and was immediately arrested. He had taken many of the pills so he easily confessed to all 19 robberies. John didn’t realize how much trouble you can get into for armed robbery (even if you use a toy gun…he used an air gun) for robbing one place, much less 19. Because he robbed so many pharmacies in different places, different jurisdictions had to wait in line to prosecute. Some smaller jurisdictions gave him a few years and a slap on the wrist. This was his first time in the criminal system. Other larger jurisdictions decided to throw the book at him (first time or not) and he received over twenty years.
Who was hurt in the story? Everyone. First he hurt himself by all of the years in prison he is serving. Next in line would be his family and friends. Others he hurt included the workers who had what they thought was a real gun held to their heads. Some of these people are still experiencing stressful trauma.
Why would we dedicate today’s blog to this sad story? To share a true story of what pill addiction can do to 2 nice families. It will ruin your life. Pill addiction discriminates against nobody- it doesn’t matter how much you go to church, believe in God, love your family, income status, race, nothing. The only thing we know is that it will ruin your life.
For those of you who are wondering, how did the story end?
The story is still in progress. John has just spent his 6th year in prison. Jane has moved on and is raising their child Gabby mostly on her own. When your husband (now-ex) goes to jail, you don’t get any child support. If he were dead, she would receive social security. Because he is in jail, she has to figure out a way to make ends meet. She has done a wonderful job raising Gabby and John still has probably 20 more years in prison.
If you know or suspect someone you love has a dependency problem, I urge you to try and intervene. You don’t want your family to be another sad statistic.
Famous people you would be surprised that have been addicted to pain pills include Jamie Lee Curtis, Nicole Ritchie, Rush Limbaugh, Cindy McCain, and Chevy Chase.