I love hearing stories about siblings looking out for each other (it gives me hope for my own two boys!) but this kind of help is NOT what I usually have in mind. Matthew Robbins, a 32-year-old Pennsylvania man, was arrested last week and charged with endangering the welfare of a child (among other things) for “protecting” his 14-year-old sister by GIVING HER HEROIN.
Yes, you read that right. This girl’s older brother allegedly confessed to police that he had provided heroin to his sister so she could try the drug and feel firsthand just how awful it is. But he didn’t just give it to her one time, of course. Because how would that be sufficient, really? No, he provided her with heroin at least FOUR TIMES over two months. His “reasoning” (I use the word loosely here) was that he could control how much she was taking to avoid an overdose. Cops were called to the girl’s school when she showed up high to class.
It should be no surprise that Matthew is an admitted addict himself, and it’s great that he wanted to help his sister avoid the same fate. Unfortunately, his efforts to “protect” her could have done just the opposite – or even killed her.
The siblings’ mother, Eve Robbins, said she had no idea her daughter was using heroin and issued a somber warning to other parents: "I want everyone here to understand, I don't care where you are, this drug is available to everyone and these kids, you have no idea what they're doing.”
She’s right. Heroin use among teens is becoming an increasingly suburban problem. It’s no longer limited to passed-out druggies on city streets. A potent form of the drug that can be smoked or snorted (thus avoiding the stigma of needles) is available relatively cheaply. Experts say that people who start with an addiction to prescription painkillers – even those legitimately prescribed at first, say, for an athlete’s injury – often end up turning to heroin because the high is the same. It’s a slippery slope and one that more kids are finding themselves on these days. Parents need to be on alert and keep the lines of communication open with their kids.
Do you worry about your kids using drugs?
Image via CGehlen/Flickr