More than 2 years ago, Edward Makielski recorded an extraordinary tape after his return home from a drug treatment center, left it for his mother and stepfather to find when they awakened one morning, then vanished. His parents, Mary and Warren Gaddy, became frantic that he had committed suicide, but in a few days he came home. Three days after Makielski's death at 18 from a drug overdose, the Gaddys played the tape for a visitor.
Some excerpts follow, in which Makielski talked of the effects of drugs.
"I first started using drugs when I was 13 years old. I don't know, it just happened. Me and my friend James were going through his dad's room, and we found marijuana under the bed.
"When I was in seventh grade, when I was halfway through, was when I first started smoking (marijuana). I was smoking before school and after school. At first it was just a weekend thing. Then it became an every-other-day thing. And then in eighth grade the same thing, except it was mixing the two together, alcohol and marijuana.
"And let's see, the summer going into ninth grade is when I first started taking LSD. Before that I had tried speed (methamphetamine) once or twice, before I tried LSD. I took some LSD along with my friends. . . . I thought it was the greatest thing around. . . .
"Probably around 10th grade . . . I started doing heroin. . . . I didn't like it at first, but after about the second time I liked it. And it really screwed me up. . . . When taking drugs and alcohol, I didn't give a (expletive) about anyone. I didn't care about nothing. Every night I'd come home high. . . . I really thought that was the thing to do. . . .
"On LSD I broke a mirror over my head, almost cut my ear off. . . . On PCP, I almost OD'd (overdosed) on that, smoked too much. . . . I got really violent when I drank. I OD'd on heroin one time, the day after my birthday, May 12. . . . I don't really know why I started taking drugs. Just to experiment, I guess.
"Drugs are everywhere. They are everywhere. I don't care what anyone says. . . . They're in the
schools. They're on the streets. Businessmen are doing it. . . .
"Drugs are ripping me apart left and right. That's what they do to you.
"I had a friend of mine die . . . because I guess he was drinking and driving. He lost control. . . . I'll never drink and drive. Never. Because he's 6 feet under now. I should say, 'He's in heaven.' But he's 6 feet under.
"I feel lots of confusion lots of times, like (my) body's walking around and I'm watching it. . . . Sometimes I wish I could do something totally out of this world to get people's attention.
"I guess my life's going OK right now. I think about suicide maybe twice a month. The only thing that stops me is my family, my girlfriend, my friends. I don't want to lose them. . . . Me and my mom and dad are getting closer. . . . Everything's going good. . . . I'm seeing a psychologist now, some shrink dude. I'm hopeful he's gonna help me.
"I like girls. I like money. I like motorcycles. I like cars. I like the beach. I like the mountains. I like skateboarding. I like baseball. I like fast food.
"Life's weird, really weird. It really trips me out."