Hello once again from St. Marys Correctional Center.
As I take a long hard look at my surroundings, I realize just how powerful the effects of substance abuse can really be. Almost everyone around me has a story to tell about their drug of choice and how it brought them to where they are today. "Looking at the world through a chain link fence."
A lot of these crimes are not just simple possession of an illegal drug, but grand larceny, breaking and entering, and escalating to armed robbery, and all the way to taking the life of another human to support their drug habit.
I have learned how simple it can be to throw your life away for a high. I see it everyday in the faces of some of the inmates I have gotten to know, some have over 20 years in prison because everything went wrong in the blink of an eye, all because they were chasing a high. So many innocent lives are lost in their mad pursuit.
These people are not cold-blooded killers. You would never know some of these polite, educated, soft-spoken men were actually here for murder, but to hear their stories, it's easy to understand what went wrong-drugs!
Not everyone here has a story that involves drugs or alcohol, but the majority do contribute their time in prison because they gave their life to a drug.
You may think, "I'm young. I'm smart. That can't happen to me!" The guy that sleeps across from me thought the same thing back in 1983 when someone died because he wanted to get high. 1983? That's a long time! As did the one who gave up his freedom in 1998. The list goes on and on.
You might think you can break in someone's home and steal to feed your addiction. There's no one home! Is there? A blink of an eye! And someone dies. Maybe the homeowner. Maybe you.
I can only tell you what some of these guys have told me. You can't see the pain in their eyes, or hear the sorrow in their voice like I can, the anguish they go through everyday for what they have done. Something that can't be undone.
Drug abuse and addiction is no joke. It can and will take everything you have, including your freedom and life.
Don't become a statistic or another number in prison. Chase your dreams, not drugs!
Warren Wade #31735
St. Marys Correctional Center