Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sleeping on it...

These are my son's eyelashes.  It's not fair that I haven't been able to find mascara-- at any price-- that would make my own lashes this big!  I took this photo of my son, yesterday, while he was napping on the couch.

Just a few quick comments, after reading many of yours:
  • While it might seem that I could be "controlling" when I say my son needs to pay rent...and that I'd be upset if I see him buying electronic toys while he lives with us-- this is what I asked my son-- "B, is it fair that you stepdad and I are paying 2/3 of your methadone treatment and you go out and buy an X-Box?"  My son paused...and quietly said, "you're right".  We are allowing B to move back home to give him a hand UP... to help him get financially on his feet so that he can go out and rent a room somewhere.  He will have money to spend, but it won't be a lot. He has debt to take care of, and he wants that.
  • To "Anonymous", who said that methadone was far worse than suboxone... I appreciate your candor.  However, if you read more of my blog, you would know that my son tried it and it didn't work. The level of opiates he used, and for the length of time didn't work.  Bottom line-- I have come to believe that there is no cookie cutter solution to help addicts stay in recover.  It is up to each individual.  I can only say that methadone is working for my son-- and I am fully aware that he could very well become dependent on methadone for the rest of his life. I hope not, but this is my son's own battle.
  • I can't remember who suggested this, but it's a brilliant idea-- my son will pay rent money to his step dad That way, he can't manipulate mom.  My husband thought that was terrific!
For those of you who are just jumping on to my blog, my two year anniversary was on April 7th, when I first started to journal my journey as the mother of a Drug Addict.  The last two posts discuss my son's latest drama, and that he needs to come home. I am responding back to some comments (above).
So, here we are-- my son will move in on Tuesday.  I am very proud of how well my husband handled the talk with my son.  I didn't interrupt, and let my husband say what was on his mind.  B listened. I could see the tears welling in his eyes-- and they are the kind of tears that he couldn't stop. 

I can only hope and pray, that my son has learned how hard life is on it's own.  He's had roommates rip him off, he's been robbed. He's had a roommate commit suicide (one year ago).  He's been fired from a job, gotten another, been rehired and has been there for six months. He's gone without much food, no cable TV and he sorely could use some new work clothes. He's had dirty laundry, he couldn't afford to clean. He's very lonely and has no friends-- because he's distanced himself from the circle of friends he used with.

My attitude is that my son has a new beginning with us. I told him that it's up to him to prove to his step dad that he isn't using illegal drugs.  He's been given a thorough discussion on what the house rules are.  My husband said he'd give him one month and then "we'll see what happens".

It's up to my son, as to what happens next. 

As to why I published this photo of my son-- I never tire of watching him sleep. It's what moms do. I still see that sweet little boy, and I pray he has come home to mature and to start over with us.


Mom trying to Detach with Love said...

I am in a similar place in this journey as you are right now. My son is temporarily living with us until a bed opens up in rehab through his probation/drug counselor. We set down boundaries and he started staying with us last Wednesday. It has gone well

Anonymous said...

I have followed your blog for almost 2 years now. My son is a opiate addict and our lives run parallel to yours. We were fortunate enough to get him out of his home town, where he was forced to find new friends. I know this doesn't mean he'll be free from using, but it helps.
I agree with what you are doing with your son "giving him a hand up". I have used that phrase several times since I read it on your blog.
Wouldn't it be great if there was a simple manual to follow regarding addicts?? We as mothers do the best we can with the information we obtain.
I have always said, I will do anything to help my son, even if it means not helping him.
Keep up the good work, I read your blog "religiously".

BMelonsLemonade said...

Methadone treatment is better than no treatment, and I know from experience it is a step in the right direction. I was also on methadone several times, and at the did help. At the time, I thought I would be on methadone for the rest of my life. Methadone treatment allowed me to begin taking a look at my life and start to put it back together. It is the counselling that is essential when in methadone treatment, and many clinics do not offer very good counselling. It is through counselling that we put our lives back together. Methadone is a good place to start for an opiate addict. We must first begin to function normally again, and for most of us it almost impossible to even fathom this without some kind of substitution for our opiates. I have been completely opiate free for over three years now, and I feel a freedom I have not known in ten years when I wake up in the morning and my first thought is no longer of heroin or methadone. To break the pattern of waking up and getting my morning fix(whether it was heroin or methadone or suboxone), has given me a new outlook on every day. I did not feel completely free of my addictions until this happened. But, I was on methadone almost seven years ago. Recovery is not an easy of quick process. Relapse is part of the game, unfortunately. I relapsed over and over before I was able to get clean. Methadone was the first step I took in a long, long road to get clean. Hang in there...that is what your son needs most right now, even if he does not seem to know it. Take it day by day. Methadone is better than not let anyone tell you different. Until someone has lived through this situation, they have no idea what it is like.

BMelonsLemonade said...

After reading some of your blog, I was inspired to write a short piece about recovery for my post on my blog today. It is titled "Thoughts on Recovery." You may find it reassuring, and your son may find it hopeful and inspiring.

Anonymous said...

Hi Debby.

I go by the name "mrmichael67" on various forums that focus on addiction, methadone, and pain management. This is my story......I was an athlete growing up. I wrestled, played football, and also baseball. I did well in all, but my best sport was wrestling. I made it to the states my senior year and sometime during that season, I herniated two lumbar discs in my back. Football might have played a part as I remember one tackle in particular. I was a defensive end. To summize.....I had a back back. It went out here and there throughout my twenties and I used percocet here and there throughout until 1997. I graduated hs in '86. That's when my back went out for good and since then, I have had two spinal fusions......two levels.....L4-L5 and L5-S1. The first fusion was a butcher job and the second stabilized my unfused spine. I now have four cages and two rods with six pedicle screws in my a power pack in my back to help the bone chips heal...the ones they took from my hip. Throughout, I have used a lot of opioids and yes, I am an addict....not just dependent. I have been on methadone since 2002 and it works quite well. If opioid addiction happened to me, it can happen to anyone. I was popular and an honor roll student in high school. I just happened to get hurt. And, in the process of it all, I found out I am an addict. I hurt every single day of my life and will most likely take methadone for the remainder of it....unless they find a way to fix me. It works for me and I am glad to see it working well for your son. Methadone is an excellent tool when used properly and responsibly. I also have my mom on my side....and my entire family. That is a huge help because I feel alone enough as it is often enough just being who I am and I couldn't imagine what it would be like to not have the support and love from my family. I just wanted to introduce myself and let you know I relate to your situation. I hope and pray my 12 year-old daughter makes the right choices. I wish you, your son, and your husband the best of luck.

Anonymous said...

bmelonslemonade, I wanted to comment on something you said regarding methadone and counseling.

I know a lot of people tend to view methadone as the "lure", if you will, to get the addict in the door for the "Real" treatment, i.e., counseling, and that the methadone should then be tapered down as the counseling cures the addict. But reality just does not play out that way.

Firstly, people become addicted for different reasons--some came from abusive and neglectful backgrounds and were seeking an escape, some were being treated for pain and found themselves addicted, and others were trying to self medicate a brain chemistry problem. The treatment MUST (although it rarely is) be tailored to the patient, and cookie cutter formulas just don't work.

For example--some addicts definitely need counseling. They may have severe abuse issues, current relationship problems, self esteem issues, etc that play into their using. Some of these can possibly be dealt with by a competent drug counselor--but many deeper problems require more training than your average clinic counselor has, and more time as well.

Also, there is the factor of trust--in order for a counseling relationship to be therapeutic, the patient must be able to trust and be open with the counselor. However, in a clinic setting, the counselor must play other roles as well--that of urine collector, disciplinarian, etc. This can impair the patient's ability to be honest with the counselor should they be thinking of using, etc, as they may fear losing their takehomes or worse.

For these and other reasons, the quality of the counseling available at clinics is usually poor, and it would be best to refer such patients to counselors with expertise in the field that applies to that patient's issues, i.e., sexual abuse, domestic violence, and so on.

I believe the patients would be better served at the clinic level by caseworker services. Caseworkers could assess the patient's needs, and refer them to services such as employment assistance, counseling, help with food, housing, child care, job training, schooling, medical services, etc. and then follow up with the patients to make sure services were being accessed.

Lastly, there are some patients who are NOT in particular need of counseling. Some patients were simply self medicating a brain chemistry deficiency in endorphins which causes depression, anhedonia and other problems. For them, it is primarily a medical issue, and when properly medicated, they often return automatically to the life they were raised to live without the need for extensive counseling. They were not using to "escape" abuse or relationship problems, and they may very well already have a job, education, and good family support. For many patients, the medication really IS the most important part of treatment.

I think society in general has a very hard time accepting that--they seem to feel that it CANNOT be the methadone that is helping so much--it just HAS to be that 20 minutes with a counselor asking things like "So, how ya doin' today?". Counseling has it's place, don't get me wrong--but most diseases of the body and the brain chemistry are treated PRIMARILY with medication (diabetes, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, epilepsy, depression), and the majority of the improvement seen is usually due to the medication. The same is true of MMT, I believe.

If this were not the case, the abstinence based rehab industry would have a MUCH higher success rate than it does.

Debby I am very glad your son is continuing to do well on MMT, and though I hope with you that he is able to get off one day, (just as I would hope the same for a diabetic who was insulin dependent), the important thing is that his life stabilizes and moves forward in a productive way and that he stays free of illicit drugs.

Tom at Recovery Helpdesk said...

I shake my head at the comment you responded to about "methadone being far worse than Suboxone." Like they are both bad and it's just a matter of degree!

Both medications are wonderful recovery supports for many people. It's fascinating to me that so many have trouble recognizing this.

Debby...I'm trying to get a "Methadone Moms" group started at in case you are interested.

Debby, Lemonade and Mr Michael...all three of you have great perspectives to share and I hope you will read and comment at my blog (having tech probs with my theme right now so it's on the default theme and doesn't usually look so bad!) and

I really like having people who understand the value of methadone around to share their experience with others.

Cheri said...

Feeling the hope of a fresh start!

Praying with you all,
Cheri and Wayne

Anonymous said...

I was surprised to see a picture on your blog, then I realized it was B. I love it!

I hope all is working out so far with his being at home. I also think it's a wonderful idea for his to pay his rent to C.

I am so glad things are improving for him. so so glad.


Teena in Toronto said...

I hope it works out for your son. You're a good mom for trying to help him.

Happy blogoversary :)

Anonymous said...

I've been praying for your son, mine, and all of the people (but, especially our young folks) who have become addicted to opiates. We have to understand that there are different methods available to help addicts to redirect their lives (but mostly it’s up to them). Methadone is helping B and this is wonderful. I also enjoyed seeing the photo of your son; I have the same feelings when I see my young adult children sleeping, but esp. my son because of what we/he are going through now. It gives me even more hope to never give up on him.

Anonymous said...

I noticed we have alot in common. One our faith and I have a son with an addiction to Oxycontin. My son also tried Suboxone. We found that he was replacing one form of drug for another. We also found it to be so expensive. After alot of prayer and some phone calls I received a call from a Christian rehab in Ft. Lauderdale. We set up a interview with them and my son by the grace of God has been with them for ten months. He works for the church they attend and is doing amazing. We believe that drugs are a form of Idolitry. We are born to worship. We have a choice what we worship. I'm not saying its perfect, but my son and others in this program have done amazing. God Bless.

Angelo said...

I need to catch up on your blog. I am so happy B is home with you for a bit. This will work. B has a handle on his addiction because of the methadone. It is working for him. I need to catch up on your other postings. I am on methadone still and doing great. The suboxone didn't work for B and me but we both found what did.


sickgirl said...

Again, I feel the need to speak out in favour of methadone as an effective treatment option for recovery. Four and a half years ago, regardless of what money my husband and I had been earning, we never had enough money to buy ourselves so much as a coffee from the local doughnut store.

As we celebrate over four years without opiates, the benefits of MMT are apparent in our lives each and every day. Our daughter just got her first apartment. Yesterday, I took her shopping so she could grab a few things for it. I spent $85 at our local dollar store then bought her $91 worth of new clothes and finally took her grocery shopping to fill her fridge and cupboards. Her 20th birthday was last week so her Dad and I decided to give her $360 cash so she would have a little walking around money in her purse.

Small change for most, no doubt, but not to us. This is a huge victory. Without MMT, we wouldn't have been given this second chance nor would we have so much as an extra penny in our pocket to share with any one. MMT has returned our dignity and pride and has allowed us to relearn much of what had gotten lost over the years while in active addicton. Evey day I am so grateful that we got off as light as we did, and know I/we shall never allow ourselves the arrogance to think we'd be able to get away with it again.

peace, love and happiness...