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A little background...

Gee this is difficult!  How to start?

My great nephew Andy, 20, has been arrested for heroin purchase, declared ward of state and tossed into some sort of solitary/detox situation in FL.  This happened fast, no court appearances or anything that I can tell, but I hear he'll be there for quite some time.  While synthetic heroin-like Oxycodone is available at any "pain clinic" in FL, if you don't have the money for that and buy heroin on the street, it's a felony.

And I'm not happy with that start but I've sat here too long...

Andy's dad died at home of cancer related complications when he was just out of high school.  That's not an excuse, he was one of those kids who partied in high school, and the bowl of pills was a common occurrence.  We think that's where he got hooked on Oxy and that type of drug.  He was working to get clean because one of his school friends that he partied with died of an overdose.  Things seemed promising until his dad died and then he went into a tailspin.

His mom finally got him into a program, and because dad left great insurance he was sent to an inresidence facility in Florida.  I imagine it's the kind of place Rush would go.  Same neighborhood.  But, when he got out he insisted that he needed to stay with his buddies  in FL and they'd look out for each other.  He had difficulty staying for even weekends when he'd visit home.  He needed to get back to FL.  

His mom lives far enough away she'll have to fly (& take time off work) if she visits.  That cuts visits to a minimum.  Nobody else in the family lives in FL.  His only communication is prestamped USPS postcards, no felt marker ink, no packages. My sister sends him a few postcards each week of the usual family fluff.  His mom says he begged for the cards to continue as reading is his only activity in the cell.  
His only reading material is whatever available at the jail where he's  being held.

Andy, teenaged behavior aside, is not a stupid kid.  He has shown talent writing and is a great drummer.  

I thought rather than send postcards every day or two...saying not much of anything...I'd send him serial post cards of poems, writings, short stories...And I've gone through what I have here.  Nothing seems appropriate.

So, I'm asking the Kos community for suggestions.  You guys have any ideas?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (13+ / 0-)

    "If you go all day without hitting or biting anyone, it was a good day." Patrick, age 4

    by Meggie on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 12:13:40 PM PDT

  •  If he's a great drummer (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SadieSue, Lujane, Meggie

    Maybe send something about musicians. Biographies of bands or musicians he likes.

    It might be hard to get stuff like that on postcards without very small writing and hand-cramps, but perhaps it could be done.

    (Don't send him excerpts of the Keith Richards autobiography, however!)

    Help Santa Clara Valley Audubon; please donate to my Birdathon! Send me a message for details!

    by Senor Unoball on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 12:29:28 PM PDT

    •  Thanks. I already subscribed to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Senor Unoball

      Rolling Stone when M.Taibbi started writing about the financial mess.  Easier than writing stories on cards, too.  Don't know why I didn't think of using that source.  Thanks for the tip.

      "If you go all day without hitting or biting anyone, it was a good day." Patrick, age 4

      by Meggie on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 05:50:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  (((((Meggie))))) (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lujane, Meggie

    It's a heartbreaking thing to have someone you love taken over by drugs. Hurts too much to tell more, and I wouldn't want to add to your fears and grief right now.

    The only advice I can offer you hun is to check with Nar Anonfor information and support for you as a family member.

    http://www.nar-anon.org/...

    “Five exclamation marks, the sure sign of an insane mind.” ― Terry Pratchett, Reaper Man Political Compass: -8.50, -6.46

    by Cinnamon on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 12:29:43 PM PDT

    •  Thanks for the link. I should at least be able (0+ / 0-)

      to find ideas that won't make anything worse.  This is something you know is out there but don't think (wish?) it'll never happen to you/yours.  Take care & thank you for your kind words.

      "If you go all day without hitting or biting anyone, it was a good day." Patrick, age 4

      by Meggie on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 05:57:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  One of my co-workers had a similar problem (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SadieSue, marina, Lujane, Meggie

    maybe 3 yrs ago or so.

    Young, bright son who ended up using and "disappeared" for about a week and was found in a group home.

    Two things he enjoyed:  Long letters about how he was loved before he started using (he usually wrote about how he wished he could turn back the clock to before he began using).  Such as relating an shared experience and how you felt about him when it happened, what you were thinking and why. And old photos of himself with you and your thoughts about what had happened that day, what you felt about him.

    He appeared to be grieving inside and enjoyed those. Until he got emotionally better as he began thinking about why he was in a place where he needed supervised help and eventually wanted to change himself, his outlook, his friends, etc.

    The main thing is he needed the time to focus and learn from his experience. When he was ready to move on to the present day, he let her know by bringing that up himself.

    Hope this helps.  And good luck to you both. It sounds like you have the right idea.

    •  Thanks. I'm hoping he'll (0+ / 0-)

      find all the things he's good at get some strength to fight this thing.  Sooner rather than later.  I just know there'll be a lot of days where I'm drawing a blank & need ideas to flood the place with postcards that will be helpful rather than not.  I know he'll have to do most of it himself, but I don't like he's there pretty much alone.  You gave me great advice.

      "If you go all day without hitting or biting anyone, it was a good day." Patrick, age 4

      by Meggie on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 05:54:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Can he get books that are sent to him? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lujane, gramofsam1, Meggie

    You mentioned that he shows some talent for writing, well jail has produced some of the world's best literature, and if nothing else, it is a distraction-free environment in which to hone those skills.

    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

    by Greyhound on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 01:18:27 PM PDT

    •  If he can't receive books directly, maybe books (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gramofsam1, Meggie

      could be donated to the facility that would be available to him as well as others there.  It would be a good idea to check what books are acceptable.

      •  Now, that is cruel and unusual punishment. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lujane, Meggie

        Denying a person the right to read is just the kind of petty cruelty that has me fed up with this country.

        I'm so sorry you're family is involved with this heinous system.

        "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

        by Greyhound on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 03:58:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I know. I find much of this unbelievable, from (0+ / 0-)

          being declared ward of state and I can't get what I think is full info on that to this whole thing about packages and even ink.  They claim it's because addicts sniff even the ink on the paper.  I don't know all of that, but am willing to comply on the ink - not a big deal.  The lack of reading materials or things to occupy a person's mind day after day is what is disturbing to me.  I don't see any justification for not allowing magazines and books.  I understand they'll open the packages to look for contraband and disallowed items, so I don't see the big deal after that.  Frustrating.

          "If you go all day without hitting or biting anyone, it was a good day." Patrick, age 4

          by Meggie on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 06:02:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Great idea. Might do that no matter how long he's (0+ / 0-)

        there.  Spring garage sales should be starting soon in this area so I should be able to snag some good stuff to send.

        "If you go all day without hitting or biting anyone, it was a good day." Patrick, age 4

        by Meggie on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 05:58:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  How about info from his hometown (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meggie

    newspaper?  How his high school's teams are doing, local events, etc.

    Maybe put some puzzles on the cards - Sudokus or other games that are easy to copy from the newspaper.  Crosswords would be too much work, but maybe a Jumble.

    Summarize news events that you find interesting and that might have some bearing on his life at some point, like oceans rising from global warming, news about the elections, etc.

    You could also find short short stories at the library (I'm thinking a couple pages in length) and send those in installments.

    Whatever you do, it sounds like a great idea, and you are kind to take the time to support him like that.  It will mean a lot to him.

    •  Great idea! (0+ / 0-)

      Im sure my sister and niece are doing the hometown stuff so I was trying to come up with different things.  And sure enough, the Kos community has done that for me.  Never thought of sudokus and simple puzzles.  Can't thank you all enough.

      "If you go all day without hitting or biting anyone, it was a good day." Patrick, age 4

      by Meggie on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 06:04:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Consider the writing of Richard Brautigan (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meggie

    Several of his books like "Trout Fishing in America" are written in relatively short chapters that would be fairly easy to serialize, and he's a quirky writer that a young man might enjoy reading.   I'm not sure what kind of copyright issues you might encounter by just copying them onto postcards.  I suppose you could present them as quotations with the author cited on each one.

    You miss 100% of the shots you don't take. - Wayne Gretsky

    by lu3 on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 04:52:15 PM PDT

    •  I will find some Brautigan today. (0+ / 0-)

      Thanks for the tip.  Copyright never occurred to me, but I suppose we're  going after everyone for anything nowadays.  Kind of you to take the time to offer suggestions.  Thank you.

      "If you go all day without hitting or biting anyone, it was a good day." Patrick, age 4

      by Meggie on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 06:10:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Graphic Novels? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meggie

    What about graphic novels?  They have a short amount of text....but pack a punch (because the text has to get lots of plot across).  Some good ones are "Mouse Guard," "The Unwriten," and "Locke and Key."

    Also...check out Google books.  If you search under "free google e-books" you can download .pdf versions of thousands of books...anything from Mark Twain to Beowulf.

    •  Thank you. (0+ / 0-)

      Never even read a graphic novel before (wrong generation I guess) but they may well fit this situation perfectly.  
      Thanks for the advice.  I'll hunt down your suggestions this week.  
      Thank you for taking the time to comment.  I appreciate that.  

      "If you go all day without hitting or biting anyone, it was a good day." Patrick, age 4

      by Meggie on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 06:14:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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