We noted in our last post that Ben had his prescription pain pills refilled a few times even though he wasn’t supposed to be able to get extra. He was lying and manipulating to get the pills, but knowing our brother, we figured he was really hurting and must have needed them if he said so.
But there are strict guidelines in place for pain pills for a reason. They are highly addictive, both because of the painkilling qualities, and also because if a person takes a high enough dose, they can get high. Drug abuse is any time a person takes medication, including prescriptions, in such a way that is not prescribed by the doctor. This includes taking medicine that is not prescribed to you, saving and taking medication later when the actual physical need has passed or taking more than the prescribed dosage with the intention of getting high.
Ben was sliding into addiction, and we didn’t see it until it was too late.
Ben obviously couldn’t play football, but he was hardly even going to school anymore. At first, he couldn’t, because of his injury, but once the doctor declared well enough for class, he still claimed he was in pain, and our mom let him stay home. Ben had always been an earnest, trustworthy kid who really worried about his grades, so she, like us, believed him when he said he was hurting. When he did start going back to school, his attendance was spotty, and sometimes he would leave in the middle of the day, taking the car the three of us shared and leaving Brady and Brandon to walk home after football practice. More often than not, Ben wouldn’t even get up in the mornings to go to school.
This was when we started to worry. The amount of school he was missing wasn’t reasonable for him or for his type of injury. He was melancholy and morose and just stayed at home all day playing videogames or guitar. His music got darker and sadder until he finally stopped playing altogether. Listening now to his music, and how it progressed from happy songs with us brothers playing along with him to tragic solos, is haunting to this day.
Brandon got suspicious and decided to go through Ben’s room one night when Ben was passed out on the couch in front of the television. Brady stood silently in the doorway watching as Brandon picked through Ben’s things, looking for clues as to why Ben was acting so strangely. What he found chilled us to the bone.
Keep reading to find out what was in Ben’s room.