by Laraine Stumpf
In my last column I ended with the question, were the children at the treatment facility being abused? As I had mentioned, I was working a full-time schedule in Akron and neither rain, shine, nor a snow storm, I would not miss the family meetings. In one particular instance, I was present when a fight broke out. It could not have happened at a worse time because that night my son was limping. Consequently, I took him to MetroHealth hospital to learn he had a bad sprain. The injury had actually occurred during a previous fight with the staff.
At a few of the family meetings, we touched on topics and questioned the staff about these disturbing incidents. Tension filled the air and the staff ended the meeting immediately. They were noticeably irritated, and I looked at my son with tears in my eyes as I was leaving and saying good night. Distressed as I was, I would not allow this type of behavior from the “professional staff” to continue for another day. In the aftermath of this debacle, I contacted every news station and received no return calls. So, on my break at work I called child protective services. Remarkably, they visited the facility at once and interviewed every child. The only child not interviewed was a boy who had “disappeared” one night and was never heard from again.
On Christmas, we were able to keep my son overnight but he had to return the next day. Each time he left with his father or me, he returned only to be strip searched and drug tested. After New Year’s my son was released and back to business as usual. Unfortunately, he arrived back at school associating with the same group of “friends,” and continued his downward spiral into a hole of darkness. His father and I tried everything to improve matters, and we had no idea his academic performance was so poor. After all, he was on merit roll. How could a child with exceptional grades be a functioning smart student if he were using? Soon, on one winter night with a temperature of five degrees, my son disappeared when he was supposed to be at his friend’s house. At the same time, I was busy that Sunday with my daughter’s baby shower while receiving messages that a truck driver found my son on the side of the road dead, so he coldheartedly took his phone to let his mother know that her son would not be coming home anymore.
My son’s girlfriend was at my daughter’s baby shower, so I handed her my phone to see what she could find out, but I still had to put on my happy face and entertain family and friends. When I arrived home that night around 10:00 p.m., I called the police and they came over to complete a missing person report. My heart was broken, my baby was missing! Again, all I could do was cry! I laid down on the floor by the door all night listening to a scanner I had on my phone. I kept getting up and looking out the window—no footprints, no son, and no one had heard from him. Is he cold? The thought of is he really dead haunted me. The police instructed me to stay at home in the event that he returns. This did not seem like enough but it was the only viable option for the time being. I stared out the window looking for my baby, wondering what threw him over the edge. Above all, the biggest question had been is he still alive? Will the police show up at my door to tell me that they found my son and he is dead?
Any questions or comments? Please feel free to contact me at email@example.com
Here is a related article on this growing problem: Medical examiner warns of ‘horrifying trick’ that’s killing more unsuspecting drug users in NE Ohio