Nea, a 16-year-old mother, died of drugs about a year ago.
After the funeral, Nea took a porcelain angel to her mother's grave.
The teddy bear had glittering wings and cavities in his legs.
Nea tucked a letter from her other leg into the teddy bear to her mother and her own new school picture.
- I put a picture so Mom could see what I look like now.
My mother was in such bad shape because of drugs that I couldn’t see her for three years before she died.
We talked on the phone with each other almost once a week.
Mom was dear to me.
Mom loved me.
My mother told me that I am the light of his life, the image of a beautiful young woman says.
Nothing in him reveals that he has been touched by the drug world through loved ones.
However, the background of a smiling and bright young woman is exceptionally harsh.
Fortunately for Nean, she grew up in a loving and caring family that was also close to her mother.
Nea was taken into care as a toddler.
A small child could not be kept in a home where drug use was a daily routine.
Nea carries with her a memory of early childhood, the Ihaa plush toy.
- Without my plush toy, I'm not going anywhere.
Nea carries with her a memory of early childhood, the Ihaa plush toy.
Nea wants to tell her story.
She wants to help other children who have been or are still in the same situation.
He also wants people to stop for a moment to think about when they encounter a drug user.
- Each of them has sometimes been a small innocent baby.
No one hopes for a drug life for themselves.
My own mother had been taken into custody as a child because her own family was using drugs.
My mother lived in an orphanage and a youth home.
- He got rid of his own sibling and met older boys at the youth home.
That's where drug experiments began.
The mother probably used the drug for more than 20 years.
It was actually a miracle that he lived that long.
It would have been difficult for him to survive without drugs because he had serious illnesses, Nea says.
Christmas lights twinkling outside.
They bring light into the dark.
Nea’s stars are good memories of her mother.
- Even if there are a lot of bad things in life, you can also follow something good.
There has been a lot of sadness and worry in my life about the drug use of loved ones.
I hope this newspaper article could help children and young people in particular and open people’s eyes.
Drugs can affect anyone today and it is not visible on the faces of those people.
Even if there is a lot of bad stuff in life, there is something good that can follow.
Nea wants to speak boldly about her background, but in the interview and in the pictures, she still appears unrecognizable in order to be at peace on social media and not be stuck with her by the past when she is not ready for it.
- Nea is a good example of how a difficult experience can be turned into a resource, says Mirka Vainikka, Executive Director of Irti Huumeista ry.
- We have a lot of children who come from families where one or both parents have used drugs.
However, they have survived.
Every child we are able to save a drug-free life is humanly and socially winning the lottery.
Vainikka was present at Nea's interview.
Photo: Seppo Solmela / IS
Nea’s life with foster parents has been good.
- My mother understood that children could not grow up with her when drug use was so severe.
I got to live with my mother in a close family.
My mother was really grateful that I got a good home.
I call my surrogate parents Mom and Dad.
Of course, my biological mother missed me, because no one would want to give up their own child.
However, my mother understood that the only way to keep me healthy and secure is to give me a peaceful and loving home.
My mother wasn’t selfish, Nea says.
His biological father is dead.
The father died young, at just over 30 years of age.
- My biological father also used drugs.
I only found out about my biological father when he was already dead.
I am now writing a letter to my father's grave.
I think the mother has now gone to the father.
According to Mirka Vainika, the condition for a child's survival in a drug family is sometimes custody, sometimes it is determined with the lightest alternatives.
- In my opinion, substance abuse family work is a bit of a bad model in Finland.
The child has the right to peaceful growth.
We no longer have any villages in Finland that would not be affected by drugs in any way.
If people saw Nea’s beautiful face and bright essence, they would think that drugs couldn’t have touched her life in any way.
Drugs affect more and more Finns.
They are not just someone else's problem, Vainikka says.
According to Vainika, parents who live deep in the drug world often create hope of surviving a full life.
- Even children understand that it can be impossible for a severely drug-addicted parent to return to a normal society once the parent's health is gone.
The child takes great care of the parent and fears the death of the parent.
The role of children in drug families can be very severe and coping with such may require years of therapy, Vainikka says.
Mom went to see Nea in a foster family.
- He didn't always come.
Therefore, I was often not told of his result in advance so that I would not wait in vain.
The distance between me and my mother was close.
I have at least a million good memories of my mother.
I also still have one close person in my life since childhood that is very important to me.
Nea only heard of her biological father after he died.
The father also used drugs. Photo: Seppo Solmela / IS
Nea cherishes good memories of her mother in her heart.
Alongside those memories, there are also darker shades.
- Mom pricked herself to hurt her.
I understand that he would never have been able to return to a normal life again.
He had never been to work.
As a young man, his mother dreamed that he would have had his own florist.
My mother was sometimes homeless and lived with friends.
At times, he settled fines in prison.
- I remember how small I tried to give my mother 20 cents when I knew she was poor.
He refused to take it.
It is sad.
According to Nea, the mother tried to break her drug thread many times, but failed.
- Mom's life was really bad in the last days.
He had an apartment, but he had only made carpets there for a year.
He had mental problems and suffered from physical pain.
He had tried to get help with his physical pain before he died, but he had been thrown out of the hospital.
Numerous drug residues were found in her mother when she died.
I think that maybe he had tried drugs to treat his physical pain as well, which he had.
Nea hopes people will see the person behind the drugs.
- Every drug user is someone dear, father, mother, brother, sister or child.
Would you then want him to be rejected and almost spit on?
They are people too.
A person’s life can go in the wrong direction, even if he or she doesn’t want to.
Nea is of the opinion that loved ones should not completely break their gaps with drug users, although communication can be difficult.
- Many close ones may disagree with this, but I think that the gaps should not be completely cut off.
I understand that communication can be difficult if even a drug user has stolen something from their home.
I think it would be good to send a message to a drug loved one even now and then that he or she knows he or she hasn’t been completely forgotten.
Mirka Vainikka is touched by the selfless love of children raised in drug families for their own parents.
Mirka Vainikka, Executive Director of Irti Huumeista ry, organizes peer support if a young person or child wants to contact them after reading this story. Photo: Seppo Solmela / IS
- They love, protect and help their parents in every way.
We need to help these children get a secure future, Vainikka says.
Nealla has also had a difficult period in her own life where she has needed special support and therapy.
- I have also had a hard time in life, but I was able to raise my grades just when everything was bad and worrying in life.
Until recently, I thought I wasn’t really going to high school.
Now I study in high school with good grades.
I have plans for the future.
I would like to start a business and sometimes live in a beautiful apartment of my own.
I also dream of living in something warm.
I would also like to help drug users.
The mother warned her daughter about the drugs.
Nea is well aware of the dangers of drugs, but she is worried about how some may have the impression that there is something great and desirable in the world of drugs.
- In TikTok, you may come across videos where the girls have great bags.
Then it says that’s the kind of life it is, if you’re with a drug dealer, there’s money and great stuff.
Not everyone is a party user, but drugs can really take the life of some and parents of children.
It’s not as great a life as some think, Nea says.
Drugs can take some life really and parents from children.
He is also concerned about the news that there will be dealers on the outskirts of places that help drug users.
- I think it is really wrong for dealers to go to sell drugs where people seek help to stop using drugs.
People try to get their own lives back and then someone else tries to get them to collapse again.
Is that money really worth a human life?
Nea's mother's wish was that Nea would do well.
- I got ten tests on the same day with three pros when I got information about my mother's death.
Although I have experienced a lot of sad things, I have a lot of good things in life, good family, good people close to you and a boyfriend who know the story of my life and supports me in everything, to school.
I do not hide my background.
I'm very open.
Talking has helped me.
I am glad that no one has spoken evil of me because of my background.
In the evenings, I still have a bad mood about everything that has happened, Nea says.
He is bright about the future.
There is a whole life ahead.
- I'm going to go towards my dreams.
Nea's name has been changed.
Mirka Vainikka has promised to arrange peer support if necessary, if a young person or child wants to contact us after reading this article.
Mirka Vainikka can be contacted by e-mail: email@example.com