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Growing up in the 70’s and 80’s with a brother and sister who were 5 and 6 years older than me, I was surrounded by addiction, alcohol, temptation and experimentation.

When I was an early teen, my brother taught me and my friends how to “Huff” cooking spray from a plastic sandwich bag. It was the craziest experience I have ever endured, and my best friend enjoyed it immensely.

The two of us were sitting around outside, suntanning on some old bath towels from inside my parent’s house, and my brother and his friend came outside to “chat” with us. My brother had a can of Pam in one hand and a sandwich bag in the other. Of course, my friend asked him what he was doing with it, and the rest was some pretty scary “history.

Basically the trick was to spray the Pam in the baggie, cover your face by sticking it inside of the sprayed bag and breathe in hard and fast. I was terrified to try it, but succumbed to the pressures of wanting to be cool and brave, and because my brother’s friend was cute.

The experience was freaky as hell. I felt tingly and numb all over, wanted to giggle but cry at the same time, and felt like I could fly. After a few minutes, the feeling wore off, and we did it again, passing the ridiculously germ-ridden baggie around between the 4 of us. It was a very interesting way to spend a sunny Saturday afternoon and in the end, we did it a few more times that summer, just to “feel that buzz”. My friend and I had no idea what we were doing to our brain cells or our bodies, and I felt like if it was THAT bad, my brother wouldn’t have let me do it. My friend and I would sneak Pam outside with a stolen sandwich bag and do it ourselves, just for fun. The spray was something every household carried and it was a quick fun activity in a boring small town.

One fall afternoon, my mom’s friend came for a visit and she left a book behind. I don’t believe it was intentional, as she came back weeks later and took it back. I don’t know if she understands this, but she probably saved my life.

I came from a long line of addiction. Alcohol was more prevalent in my house than milk was, and my sister and brother dabbled in whatever they could get their hands on while partying with friends. LSD was starting to become an “easy access” drug and drinking was a priority. I would be home from school on weekday summer afternoons and my sibling’s friends would pour into my parents house, and spend the day smoking, drinking and getting high.

Some of my sister’s friends terrified me. They always picked on me for being so young, and tried to force me to get drunk with them, just so they could be entertained. I tried my best to avoid them all.

I never really understood what “getting high” meant, even though I had tried the Pam huffing with my brother. I always thought that their friends were just drunk on beer and dad’s Texas Mickey bottle of whiskey that my brother would fill back up with water after he and his friends indulged.

So, on a fall afternoon, I found “the book” and flipped through it. It was entitled “Go Ask Alice”. I read it in one day and it still resonates with me.

The book is a diary of a young girl who details her life, as drug addict. It is GRAPHICALLY written and the imagery needs no illustration. It starts out telling her life, as a typical young kid looking to make friends. As the story progresses, her friends and boyfriends get her into acid and alcohol, and as she documents her day to day life, it becomes a horror story.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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