In honor of what would have been his 22nd birthday Sept. 25, I wanted to share what my son taught me about heroin: myth vs. fact.

To the Editor:

In honor of what would have been his 22nd birthday Sept. 25, I wanted to share what my son taught me about heroin: myth vs. fact.

Myth: Heroin is cheap.

Fact: Heroin is not cheap. It cost my son numerous Xboxes, PlayStations, televisions, furniture, iMacs, expensive watches, iPhones and even his beloved Charger.

It cost him his dignity, his self-esteem and his self-respect. It cost him a decent apartment and all of its furnishings, his German shepherd and the love of his life and their daughter. It cost him his life at age 21.

Myth: You can use it once in a while and be fine.

Fact: There is no such thing as a recreational heroin user. It is not to be confused with a joint or having a beer. Once Pandora's box is opened, less than 1 percent of people are able to get it closed again.

Myth: My friend gets it for me.

Fact: Your heroin dealer is not your friend, he is a heroin dealer. If he were your friend, you would be alive to talk about it. If he were your friend, you wouldn't have gotten started in the first place because friends don't want their friends dead.

Myth: Heroin dealers look like thugs.

Fact: They can also look like a choir boy, be well-spoken, well-mannered, very charming and come from a decent home just like you did.

Myth: Heroin is the ultimate high.

Fact: While the rush lasts minutes, withdrawal symptoms are always waiting for you. They include muscle and bone pain, diarrhea and vomiting, abdominal cramps, insomnia, restlessness, runny nose, cold flashes and goosebumps, sweating, involuntary kicking motions, racing pulse, high blood pressure, increased respiratory rate and severe anxiety.

Myth: I can handle it.

Fact: Tyler Andrew Addison 9/25/1993 -- 11/03/2014.

Gretchen Addison

Hilliard