Heroin Addiction and Child Endagerment
Maybe you’ve heard the story of Hershel Howard Jackson, age 44, arrested for possession of heroin in Texas along with a woman named Jennifer Joyce Warner. The police visited his hotel room in Waco, looking for Warner, who happened to be in the room next door. This information they learned from Jackson’s 14-year-old daughter. Both Jackson and Warner were arrested for the heroin and also for child endangerment.
Searching the Internet reveals mug shots of Jackson for the 2013 arrest as well as arrests in 2008, 2003, and 1997. Maybe not all his past charges involved drugs—the news notes include mention of criminal mischief and terrorist threats. His daughter was born in 1999, two years after his first arrest. How has his presence in her life affected the type of person she will become?
The Cycle of Heroin Addiction Continues
The National Center for Biotechnology Information cites statistics proving that people who are abused and neglected throughout their childhood often grow up with substance abuse disorders. They do not typically abuse their children physically but they do put their children at increased risk for continuing the cycle of abuse into the next generation.
If you’re considering the pros and cons of seeking treatment for your heroin addiction, you should recognize that your children are at higher risk of abuse by the simple fact of your use. Most families function relatively well as long as things are going okay, but as soon as the stress level increases so does the likelihood of child abuse. In many cases, children are abused by so-called friends of the heroin addict. The addict does nothing to stop the abuse because he wants his drug. The cycle continues.
Visual-ly.com, a website that publishes infographics on a variety of topics, published fascinating data about heroin addiction. An addict is quoted stating, “From the day I started using, I never stopped…Within one year, I had lost everything.” The heroin addiction cycle goes from experimentation to initiation to commitment to dysfunction to treatment, or possibly death. It says that 80 percent of people who use for the first time do so with a friend. It also says that 80 percent of people who die from an overdose are found alone.
It makes you wonder what will happen to Jackson’s daughter. Will she one day be simply another statistic, just someone else using heroin in Texas?