Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Another one goes to rehab, but it's not my son

So. Here I am. It will be two years, on April 1st, as the day I first found out my son was an opiate addict. How little I knew then! How ignorant I was.

Are you finding my blog for the first time? I hope so! Are you a regular follower, who has wondered what's up with Debby?

Well, I am here. I am angry at a parent, if you really want to know. It's more of a frustrated anger, really. It's not something that will make me toss and turn. It has to do with a parent who is in total denial that his son is a drug addict.

It's my son's roommate-- or, should I say, as of today... he's also gone into rehab.

B called me, upset last night. History is repeating itself. His roommate "A" owes my son backrent. My son can't find a new roommate. His original roommate (to you newcombers) split, on a one year joint lease with my son in December. B has scrambled to get a roommate, and he took in his friend "A".

Only B, I think, was delusional in thinking he could "save" A from his newfound addiction to Heroin. A was clean for a long time, from addiction to oxycontin. This time, he got hooked on heroin.

It's been interesting to watch my son go through what he put me through! A got fired from his job, and smoked what money he had. B kept nagging A to be more responsible, and even had him sign a paper that he would pay XX number of dollars for rent. Only A couldn't keep his promise, because he's hooked. He needs his fix.

The other day, my son said that A swears he'll come up with the backrent. In the meantime, my son has paid his share of rent, but not the rent is in arrears. He got an eviction letter. My son said he just couldn't throw A out on the street.

Really. I reminded my son that this was the agony that he put me through six months ago.

B was quiet. Then he exclaimed "but I'm your son"!
Yes, you are, B. That's why it broke my heart to make you leave our home.

So, it happened. A's father, showed up at the apartment to collect his son's things. He threatened to call the cops on my son, saying he'd have them find drugs. Only my son is clean. I know this, because he is getting his daily dose of methadone, and he looks and acts the best he's been in two years.

Back to the latest--

A's father blames my son. He called my son a loser and all kinds of accusations. My son was upset, because he was trying to help A detox.

I reassured my son that he did not hold a gun to A's head to use. A made that choice. The father is ignorant, and in denial. Both of A's parents have enabled him to no end. A's girlfriend is 17, and A has lived in her bedroom on and off for two years, with the mom sleeping in the same house! Hello?

If you are reading this, and you are at the beginning of the journey I've traveled for two years-- this goes to show. You cannot blame yourself for your kid addiction-- UNLESS you used with them, or you have known it and chosen to ignore it... even to the point of buying your kid drugs.

I say this, because I'm somewhat guilty of that as is his father. By that, rather than having my son suffer dangerous withdrawals, I helped him to buy methadone on the "street". This was a while ago, and I justified it that I was waiting for my son to get into a clinic.

It's wrong.

As for A's father-- he has his own journey to find. He can blame my son, but B says he had no drugs in the apartment. A warned B ahead of time to clean up A's room. My son (B) said he found drawers full of foils, which he clean up and threw out.

History repeating itself. I used to find lots of foils in our house. They made me sick to my stomach.

I rejoice that A is in rehab! I have been praying for this. I pray that his parents (who are bitterly divorced) will learn how to effectively be the parent of a drug addict. Its' a hard thing to learn. But, you must learn it! You need to go to support groups to talk to parents who have been there, done that.

I'n not an expert. But I've come a long, long way in two years. A's parents have a long way to go, because they need to take that first step. They need to say, and mean,
"My name is ________ and my son/daughter is a drug addict".

My son is spinning out of control, tonight with worry. His stepdad will pick him up in an hour. We'll talk.

I have no idea what will happen. My son just needs to calm down.

Like I kept trying to tell him-- he was counting on a drug addict, in full-blown "use" mode to come through with rent money.... "ain't gonna happen". A isn't home. The drug demon has kidnapped A. I pray that A will detox, get into a program and get the help he needs. God help him.

As for my son-- I still remain with an awareness that he could relapse at any time. It's only been four months. It's a long, hard journey.

I pray on my knees, with heartfelt pleas that God will grant me wisdom, courage and strenghth.

I pray that for many of you parents out there, who are just like me. Just like A's father.

It sucks.


Tom at Recovery Helpdesk said...

Really good to hear that A is in treatment!

I'm glad you shared about helping your son buy methadone to help him get by until he got into a clinic.

This is not an uncommon thing for parents to do especially in the road to rehab context you describe. But I think few like to admit it. I hear it from their kids usually, not the parents.

It's also quite common for probation officers to ignore use of Suboxone purchased on the street while someone works to get a legal prescriber.

I actually don't find either scenario particularly "wrong." And I respect the practicality and compassion of the impulse. I would personally try to avoid directly giving money to buy drugs as a parent if I could because I think it is a legal risk. But it's not a particularly relevant event in relation to whether or not someone succeeds in recovery. The use would likely continue whether or not the parent provided financial support or whether or not the PO turned a blind eye. The critical factor is whether or not the person makes it into treatment with a realistic treatment/recovery plan. The use on the way to the treatment is less important in the long run than the treatment.

Cheri said...

Our prayers are with you, Debby, today and always. I pray that God provides B with a roommate that is not using, who can be trusted. I praise God for where B is right now, and pray he stays clean. I also pray for A, that he gets the help he so desperately needs, and that his parents wake up and deal with the real problem, rather than blame-shifting, which is helping no one.

Hugs and prayers,