Letter from a drug dealer

Dear People,

You all think of me as the worst possible human being– a drug dealer. Most of you invest all your hate and resentment for your loved one’s addiction on me.

Every arrest is celebrated like some progress has been made in the war on drugs. What a joke. All of us “dealers” are products of demand. Once one of us is arrested, or killed, hundreds more are there to take our place.

How did I end up a dirty drug dealer? I have a mom and a dad, a sister and a brother who love me. And they are ashamed of what I have become. And you know what? So am I.

I was 19 and doing dabs and got addicted. It’s just marijuana right? But I couldn’t stop.

At first, the selling was about supporting my habit. The big shots started asking if I wanted to sell something harder and kept telling me what a great salesman I was. I liked feeling important because my self esteem was in the toilet. I was an easy target.

It went from selling some pills to peddling the hard stuff. What got me here?  In the human trafficking world, they call it grooming. Scared and frightened, untangling and figuring my way out met with threats to my life.

A lot of these dudes, mostly guys, that are selling have grown up with nothing and dealing was a way out of poverty. There is so much money although my cut was pathetic. Some of these dudes are really messed up–probably beaten as kids or something worse. Their parents were addicts or got shot and were used to smelling crack at breakfast instead of bacon. Some of them are angry all the time and damn scary.

There are many others like me. Kids who played baseball with your son, lived on your cul-de-sac, ate grilled cheese sandwiches and played nintendo at your house.

After my arrest, the prosecutor pressured me for a deal to shorten my sentence. Call me lucky because the guy who was selling with me, ended up with six bullets and bled out in the middle of the street.

They wanted bigger fish than me. But would those dealer dudes kill me later? Not like there was much choice.

There was so much hate in the court room and newspapers directed at me. I wanted to scream to my mom, “I’m the same little boy you packed lunches for!” I do love them but this is no way to show it.  Mom was crying, my dad looked like he had permanent creases in his forehead. He stared at the floor and ended up walking out. My siblings didn’t show. It crushed me. I was struggling to understand how it ended up this bad when my plan had been to go to engineering school.

Now my mom and dad get calls that say, ” Collect from central penitentiary, do you accept the charges?”

It’s not all bad guys and good guys. It’s not that simple. You still think we’re the problem? Keep telling yourself that because that way you don’t have to change your attitude and see your part in all this. Because you need someone to blame and point your finger at. And that usually lands on people like me

Yours Truly,

The evil drug dealer, once the kid down the street who loved red popsicles

Published by

Anne Moss Rogers

I am an emotionally naked mental health speaker, and author of the Book, Diary of a Broken Mind and co-author with Kim O'Brien PhD, LICSW of Emotionally Naked: A Teacher's Guide to Preventing Suicide and Recognizing Students at Risk. I raised two boys, Richard and Charles, and lost my younger son, Charles to addiction and suicide on June 5, 2015. I help people foster a culture of connection to prevent suicide, reduce substance misuse and find life after loss. My motivational mental health keynotes, training and workshop topics include suicide prevention, addiction, mental illness, anxiety, coping strategies/resilience, and grief. As talented and funny as Charles was, letting other people know they matter was his greatest gift. And now the legacy I try and carry forward in my son's memory. Mental Health Speakers Website. Trained in ASIST and trainer for the evidence-based 4-hour training for everyone called safeTALK.

8 thoughts on “Letter from a drug dealer”

  1. Dear Anne
    You sharing these, you are reaching out to so many people who can understand how you feel, how you felt. Charles is with you Always🙏People can change with the right help. My ex sister in law was a heroin addict from a very young age and found her partner collapsed in their bathroom having accidentally od’d. She ended up in hospital and the drug dealers came to the hospital and gave her heroin. She went into the bathroom and od’d but the Dr’s managed to save her life. This all happened over 30 years ago and she has been clean since. She works with people who are addicts and talks honestly to them in the hope of saving lives. She did something called the 7 steps. Hers was a happy ending but sge still says…..”one day at a time”

  2. What an incredible article written with such raw emotion. All I can say is “thank you” for sharing your side. All sides of a story is appreciated. You don’t say if any of this has changed you, and how. But I’m hoping there are good things on the horizon for you, and if nothing else, your story may help someone else.
    Thank you Anne for being the awesome person that you are.

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