That’s right, heroin.
When Brandon went through Ben’s room, with Brady watching from the doorway (not wanting to invade Ben’s privacy but also concerned about what was going on), he found a plethora of troubling evidence that Ben had spiraled out of control and was turning into a different person.
There were lots of empty pain pill bottles. Some had Ben’s name typed on them; some had other names on them. We recognized some of them as kids from school, or their parents’ names, with old dates on the bottle. When Ben did decide to show up to school, it was to buy pain pills off of other kids who had saved them after getting their wisdom teeth out or some other surgery or had taken them from their parents. There were also more in Ben’s name than we had suspected; he had gotten more refills than we even knew about. But the pain pills weren’t even the scariest things Brandon found.
Hidden in a little box in a bedside drawer, Brandon found a pipe with some black goo in it, and a small container of more of the black goo. We had seen people at parties pass around pipes like this of marijuana, but we never touched the stuff. We were athletes, and our coach drug tested us regularly. Also, our parents would kill us if they ever caught us with drugs or alcohol. So the pipe looked familiar, but when we saw them before, the marijuana was a green, leafy substance, unlike this black goo.
Brady quickly whipped out his laptop to search the Internet and figure out what the substance was. He started crying when the online photos of black tar heroin were an obvious match for what was in Ben’s drawer.
Brandon freaked out, shaking Ben awake and screaming at him. Our parents were out to dinner, so they had no idea what was going on at that moment. Brandon couldn’t believe our baby brother was a heroin addict, and he channeled all his shock and fear into anger.
He told Ben to get his act together, to get off the heroin, and to get back in school. Brandon and Brady promised not to say to their parents if Ben would agree to fix things. Ben agreed, but he was scared. He would have said anything to make us not tell our parents what was going on.
Ben sustained his injury in October, and by the time Brandon found the drugs it was December, just a few days before Christmas.
Keep reading to find out what happened on Christmas day.