Once a year it hurts

Screams, sobs and meaningless phrases are heard in the Paredes ward of the Havana Psychiatric Hospital, known as Mazorra. The noise comes from a boy who, in the green pajamas characteristic of the patients of the center, with sweaty hands and a restless, perhaps even paranoid look, suffers from strong tremors, as constant as his heart rate: typical withdrawal symptoms in those who fights addiction.

Carlos, 17 years old, high school student: an exemplary student, a loving son, a boy who can feel through others. Kindness is his most characteristic feature, and the phrase “Do well and do not look at anyone” is his life motto.

On December 15th, in the middle of a typical teenage party with lots of music, fun, alcohol and the desire to experience new sensations, a close friend suggested that, between the euphoria of the night and the consequences of drinking, she try “material” with which the atmosphere was supposed to become even more tense.

The boy did not really like the idea, who at first reacted with a categorical refusal to participate. However, the charms of his friend did not make him change his mind, because once a year would not hurt … At least he thought so.

After I tried this advertised “treasure” (marijuana), the one-time elimination became the second, and the third, and the fourth … until it became a necessary routine. As much as coffee in the morning or a glass of water after a meal. His way of abstracting from reality was so pleasing to him that Carlos couldn’t wait to get some “Marie” from his friends from time to time: it would be great to have his own arsenal to consume whenever he wanted, and he did.

Over the next four months, the young man’s grades were further from giving up than before 5G hit Cuba. His personal hygiene deteriorated, and even those friends who introduced him to “Marie” found themselves cut off from his circle. It was a meeting of three: a drug, a lighter and him.

Shortly thereafter, Carlos felt the need to try an even stronger candidate, like the one they talked about in that abandoned pre-unis classroom where teachers didn’t come often, and which some students were used to, between puffs of smoke. . . discuss more sensitive or painful topics. Like that chemical that didn’t take long, even if the price was higher.

For this, the daily money that his mother naively gave him for food or ice cream, which the young man allegedly bought, was not enough. Suddenly, as if by magic, the decorations of the house began to disappear; the boy lost his glasses and lost his mobile phone twice, only three weeks apart. According to him, it’s stress from exams. Of course, a lot of study…

The mother was suspicious, and there wasn’t much to investigate, as her son left traces everywhere: lighters, empty nylon bags in drawers, and a strong stench in his room at all hours of the day, because he had made it his center of consumption. Every time the young man said, “I’m going to close the door for a little while,” his mother’s hands shook.

One Sunday, a boy who loved chemistry—and not exactly that subject—thought he saw people jumping from his balcony into a supposed swimming pool. Without thinking twice, he stepped on the gas pedal from zero to sixty to jump into those soothing waters. It was his sister’s hand that saved him from a four-story descent to death in mud and concrete.

This event and the support of his family forced a disoriented young man to come to his senses, addicted to synthetic drugs that cost him grades, friendships, relationships. That he was destroying her future and, if he had not been stopped, would have deprived her of her very existence.

That’s how Carlos arrived in this room in Masorre, uneasy about what abstinence would bring, but driven by the desire to overcome his problem and find new beginnings. Without Marie, without Juana and away from evil chemistry. Because once a year it really hurts when he opens the doors for those who come after.

Source: Juventud Rebelde


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