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Opinion & Essays - Dec, 1994 Issue #31 

My Story

(The following is by Joey Dusina, founder and owner of Helping Hands, a Transport Agency located in Orange, California, 800-288-9384, regarding rumors that ten years ago Joey had a major run-in with the law. The purpose of Woodbury Reports is to provide a forum for professionals working with children. The statement below is in the spirit of that commitment and is reprinted without editorial comment.) 

I would like to take this opportunity to address, and correct, a rumor before it spreads. My story is as follows: 

I grew up on the wrong side of the tracks. My neighborhood was where the Barrio and the Ghetto overlapped. My father was an abusive alcoholic. Life growing up consisted of beatings at home and beatings on the street. I saw friends and neighbors overdose on drugs, attempt suicide, and commit acts of violence. It is safe to say that up until this time, I too had not lived the life of a saint, nor had I found the religious convictions that would later help turn my life around. 

After having two of my closest friends overdose on drugs within a very short period of time, I vowed to never lose a friend to drugs again. 

My trouble started when I attempted to handle a drug dealer in "street fashion." I was working with local youth in drug prevention programs when the identity of a large drug supplier came to my attention. At this point I did something stupid, I took the law into my own hands. 

To make a long story short, while waiting outside of the home of this drug dealer, local police showed up after receiving complaints of a vehicle loitering in the neighborhood. The gist of my misguided effort to take the law into my own hands was an arrest and conviction on a conspiracy charge. Fortunately, because this was my first, and only, brush with the law, I was given probation. 

I learned a valuable lesson at great cost. It was a lesson that cost my wife and I our first child through a miscarriage. And, while I have no one to blame but myself, I can never forget the pain I have caused my wife. 

On the positive side, the drug dealer in question was eventually arrested and is currently serving an extended sentence due to the large quantity of drugs found in his possession. I am happy to say that my wife and I have been blessed with two healthy children, Toby and Chande. 

Thanks to the help and support of many of you in the industry, Helping Hands has been able to assist a great many families in crisis. I have learned that the best way to address the drug problem is through education and counseling of our youth. Simply put, if there are no buyers, there will be no dealers. 

Thank you for your time. With the Lord's blessing, we will continue to help children, and their families, so that they may have a future. 

Copyright 1994, Woodbury Reports, Inc. (This article may be reproduced without prior approval if the copyright notice and proper publication and author attribution accompanies the copy.)

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