Published On: Wed, Oct 12th, 2016

LETTER: Reader speaks candidly about friend’s drug life


The One Feather editorial “Fighting for your life” last month was a good article. I ask, is the reaction to a person’s upbringing and surroundings unchangeable? Some people do break away to a different way of life.

I have a heartbreaking story that I would like to share with others.

I was on the internet a few years ago and decided to join a dating service. It was strange that the women would communicate with me, but people were saying it was nothing but a scam.

I was just passing time and connected with a young woman from San Francisco. Over time, I got to know her mainly because she was so isolated and lonely. She had been recruited as she graduated from college. Some way, I think she was not unlike a lot of kids today. Some children have one or both parents doing drugs and a child’s life is affected early on and they feel they have something to hide at school and their little lives are affected.

Somehow (name withheld) was not brought up around drugs. The family is even today trying to trace her whereabouts. She hides from her parents and does not give information on where she is.

I gathered talking to her on the internet that her life is centered around going to work everyday at an Adult store and in the evening return home to a life of prostitution each and every day – keeping to herself and keeping her friendship to a few souls secret from her pimp. He drops by to collect his money – who also enjoys his family and the holidays.

I told her most women on heroin only live six to eight years. She found that very hard to believe. She never had a chance to get that first job. She never had a chance to walk down the aisle on her wedding day. I don’t think that the Tribe has a lot of (name withheld).

I may be wrong.  I feel that the drug addiction on the reservation has a very good chance of recovery for areas of our Tribe such as the new rehab center in Snowbird.

I’m speaking from experience.  I was raised with a perfect mother and a father who had a drinking problem his whole life. A hard childhood could have contributed to his choice of decisions he made.

Yes, I was one of those people who was laughing-never and cutting up. I tried to walk in the middle lane-never being really bad or really good.  I want to think that I just gave a lot of things up, but it was not without a great price.

I hurt my wife and children. I think my internet friend is still in this trap – her decision or someone else’s?  I eat a meal and I pray for (name withheld) hoping my prayers will benefit her, and I pray for my ex-wife and children. Thank you.


Steve Smith

Alcoa, Tenn.