Photo from Florida Wellness & Detox website
It's a rainy morning in California, and I'm thankful for it. I live in an area where growers depend on their crops to feed the United States. From where I am sitting, with my laptop, there is a fire crackling. Today, I plan to make some Christmas cookies and tidy up the house. This whole week has been a very busy one, and the house looks like clutter has moved in. I can't stand clutter. Clutter makes me feel out of sorts...disorganized. That's kind of how I've been feeling all week.
My son's lack of organization can be that button that pushes my ability to control my temper. Addict or not, my son displays textbook ADD traits. He can't focus on one thing for long. He loses things. He forgets things. He completely falls apart when he has to hand more than one thing at a time. Now that he's unemployed, he has to handle filling out forms and finding pay stubs (which he's lost) or ordering copies of them. He has to handle food stamps and applying for jobs.
Me, being the organized mind-- who can multi-task at her job...and actually THRIVES on being really busy-- the mom who can cook 3-4 different recipes and meals at the same time... well, it's hard for me to deal with my son's inability to focus.
Of course, I take into consideration that drugs have damaged his brain. There is no doubt in my mind. It saddens me that my son's brilliant mind has been hampered by his drug addiction. He is truly a highly intelligent young man, with so much promise.
But, that's not my point today. I have been reading a lot of comments from "ANONYMOUS" that talks about the benefits of methadone treatment. Of course, everybody has their own views. I've read all of them-- from those of you who have watched a love one fail in finding sobriety with methadone. I've read Angelo's comments, defending his use of suboxone. I've read websites and still-- I don't know what to think!
In addiction, there really isn't a clear and perfect answer. It's just like parenting-- what works for one kid, won't work for another one. Everybody has an opinion. Nobody's opinion is the one and only answer. I know people who found sobriety through the 12-steps. I've known others who found sobriety without the 12-steps. If I put 1000 addicts in one room, and took a poll-- they would belong to many different camps.
My son's treatment center stressed to use that "self control" isn't the answer. I believe that addiction is a disease. It's not a choice. I've heard people tell me I'm wrong. Fine, they can think what they want.
I am going to post ANONYMOUS's comments, today, purely as information for you to read and make your own decisions. I wish that ANONYMOUS would re-create a Google account or would even be willing to give us links to back up his/her information. Still, the information reads as though it's coming from someone who is intelligent and appears to have done studies or research.
For the record, I remain "interested but cautious" with the information.
For today, my son is hanging in there. I raided my freezer and pantry and brought him food to eat. I spoke with B's father for the first time in weeks, and I finally feel as though he's on the same page with me. I have been prayerfully considering what role I play in my son's next move. I'm keeping that to myself, because I don't want to be influenced by anyone else.
I want to thank so many of you who have sent links to me to look into MediCal and treatment centers. I'll focus on those, with my son, while I'm on Winter Break vacation-- next week.
Today, I'm feeling some hope. Guarded hope. Today, I want to immerse myself into taking care of my home and some baking therapy for Christmas. I told my son that my Saturdays remain "sacred" for me. It's MY day to do what I need to do. I don't want to be a taxi and I don't want calls with more crises behind it. I want to be Debby and I want to be a wife. ME TIME!
Here's the comment. Your thoughts are most welcome. Be kind, though, if you disagree. I don't want anyone to feel intimidated to leave comments on this blog. Thank you:
I did post some info on why many long term addicts may need long term treatment with methadone. Many folks think that the purpose of methadone is simply to provide for an easier "detox" from the opiate of abuse and that's it. This is not the case at all. Methadone TREATS the imbalance in the brain chemistry that occurs with prolonged opiate abuse, and this condition may.....or may not....be permanent. Many people want to know why their loved one is "still on that stuff" after ______ years. This is the reason why. It is NOT a cure--there IS no cure. It is a treatment. It controls the symptoms of active disease so the pt. can function. Just as diabetics must get insulin from an outside source because their pancreas no longer produces it, methadone replaces the endorphins that the brain no longer produces. Some diabetics need only diet and exercise, others need oral meds, still others require injectable insulin. In the same sense, some with opiate abuse induced endorphin deficiency need just support, time, exercise, etc---others need suboxone, and still others may need methadone--some short term, others long term. It's a spectrum. Your son's frantic desire to avoid a cold turkey detox is very understandable. There is no benefit to forcing someone to undergo these agonies. It does not "teach them a lesson"--they are ill, have a disruption of the brain chemistry, and torture cannot repair that problem.
However, I would be very very reluctant to put him through a 21 day "detox". Most states and most clinics have discontinued use of these programs as they have been shown to be VERY unsuccessful for long term abstinence. The problem, after all, is not getting the person OFF drugs--it is in KEEPING them off. Doctors now recommend a MINIMUM of 1-2 years' maintenance before even attempting a taper, to allow for stabilization. Please know that your son's not wanting to go the abstinence based route is not a lack of courage, or of being lazy, etc as many think. He knows well what will happen if he goes that route.
I myself went through 13 abstinence based rehabs without success, both in and out patient. I went to thousands of 12 steo meetings, had sponsors, worked the steps, did everything I was told. However, only with medication did I experience success--and the success was profound and long lasting.
Does it REALLY matter, truly, if a person needs a medication to function normally, as long as they DO function well? Many many people all over the world require a variety of daily medications to live, or to function normally, and they are almost never told to get off them or stop taking them. I swallow a medication each day that allows me to live a normal life and I don't give it another thought. My life is great. Had I been forced and pushed OFF this medication, for the purpose of being "drug free", I would undoubtedly be in jail or dead. It was very clear, after many such attempts, that abstinence was NOT working, despite my best efforts to make it work. My family agrees wholeheartedly--they are so amazed at the difference proper treatment has made in my life.
MMT is vilified primarily because people do not understand it or how it works and they believe rumors and false information they have heard or read. Used correctly, however, it can be a very valuable tool in the opioid addiction toolbox and is, in fact, far and away the MOST successful method of treatment for opioid addiction available today.
I've been visiting other blogs. Many are filled with hope. Some make me feel like I could substitute their addict's name with mine. I try to not feel hopeless. I am praying for you.