Saturday, August 25, 2012

Too many random thoughts, along the bumpy road. How is my son?

It has taken me a few weeks to sit down, log in to this blog and write. That's unusual for me, because writing is my comfort.  I do a lot of self-reflection and praying, every day.  I listen to inspirational podcasts, like Pastor Greg Laurie.  I go to a weekly women's Bible Study, to study God's Word, and for fellowship. I go to church, every Sunday, to hear the Word of God being taught in such a way that I walk away feeling inspired and re-energized.  I willingly give my tithes and offerings to help organizations, and my church, to help others. 

This blog has helped me to journal, from the very beginning, about how I had to cope with my son's addiction to opiates.  For a long while, so many fellow bloggers left a lot of comments to support me... to help me wipe my offer cyber hugs and to offer their advice and support.

It helped me a lot. Many of them have gone away, or stopped reading my blog.

I keep writing.  (Not as often as I used to, but I won't go away.)

I have also read my fair share of anonymous comments who had no problem condemning me, or attacking my faith in God. I've read comments that, pretty much, labeled me an enabler-- or who offered harsh criticism about what I wrote about.

It made me stronger.

In the last few weeks, I've received comments and emails that have made my heart grieve.  I receive emails, on a weekly basis, sharing a parent's grief over their arduous journey as they watch their loved one go through drug addiction and/or withdrawals.

They paralyze me.

For the last few weeks, I have flagged those comments and emails-- and I haven't approved them, so that they'd publish on my blog.  Yes, I do have blog moderation turned on-- because I got tired of the SPAM comments from gambling sites and drug treatment centers.  Sometimes, the words that I read makes me feel so sad. It brings e back to a painful time in my life, when my son was so sick.

This morning, I need to write. The urgency is strong.  I've just published those comments.  I'm back. For today.

Where do I start? What do I address first?

Please know, that I read every single comment.  Thank you, to those of you, who pour out your hearts to me.  I really and truly do care. I pray for you. Believe me, I do.

I just received an anonymous comment from someone who said this, "Your son is not clean, he is still using suboxone (optiates) every single day. It is not a miracle, its switching one addicting drug for another...Try stopping suboxone and you will see this 'miracle' unveil its true self. Your son is still a drug addict, just a more manageable one. praise jesus right?"


I guess I'll start here--

Dear Anonymous person--

My son is technically not "clean".  That is, if your definition of "clean" means that he doesn't use any kind of drugs-- this includes opiates, weed or speed.  So, you win on that count.
But, you see, you don't know my son's story. It's a very long road that he has been on.  It started 11 years ago, with smoking weed.  It progressed to pills, then oxycontin, then heroin.  It progressed to my son being so strung-out, that he came close to death.

My son's addiction became a cancer in our home.  His addiction caused so much drama in our lives. It opened up a very Dark World that I was totally unfamiliar with-- the lies, his constant scamming for money for his next fix. It began to erode on my very happy marriage.  It began to cost me money that I could ill afford.

I helplessly watched my son try to kick his habit.   I watched my son try everything he could think of to break his addiction.    I was judged, criticized and attacked, by people who either thought they were experts and knew it all--or by people who didn't understand one thing about addiction -- and I began to second-guess my abilities as a mother.   

I was forced to do the unthinkable-- to learn how to detach from my son's addiction. I had to throw my son out of my home. I had to learn how to say "no" to helping him with money, and I had to watch my son suffer from withdrawals. I watched his body waste away, and worry that a call would come-- in the middle of the night-- with bad news...that my son was either in jail or at the coroner's office.

So, when my son finally got off the methadone (and I think that stuff is poison, and have nothing good to say about the clinic)-- and went on suboxone, I had to do what works for me. I sat back, and let my son deal with his own addiction.

My son is being seen by a physician who has very strict rules about being on suboxone.  B has been tapered down, to where he is on a very, very low dose.  He is nearing the end of using suboxone, and he feel confident that he'll be okay with that. He says he has no desire to use, any longer. Before you judge about suboxone, I suggest that you do research.  Dr. Junig ( is a medical doctor, and former drug addict.  He offers some interesting perspectives on this.  

So, is it a miracle that my son is on suboxone?

Yes. I have written, multiple times, that I pray for my son to be completely drug-free.  I wish that the only pills my son has to take would be an aspirin, on occasion, vitamins and an antibiotic (if he has some kind of infection).  Yes, my son is a drug addict. He always will be-- whether he is 100% free of suboxone-- or any kind of opiate blocker.   The suboxone treatment seems to have done the trick for my son.  He says that all cravings are gone.   He has money, at all times. He willingly pays us rent, and he pays his own car insurance, gas and all living expenses. He hasn't asked me for a dime, for six months.  Can a drug addict, who is using, do that?

What I do see is that my son lives a much more normal life than he's had in many years. 

My son said something, last week, that made me smile.  He was getting ready for his job (that he has held for two years), and said to me:

"Mom, you know what's great about being normal?"  "I earned $130.00 in tips the other night, and I still have it!  I'm going to put this in the bank.  When I was using, this would already be gone."

So, yes, Praise Jesus.

Oooops, you were using sarcasm when you wrote, "Praise Jesus, right?"

In this blog, I often talk about my faith in Christ.  I don't have the gift of evangelism (which Pastor Greg Laurie does.... and he's worth having a listen to).  I started to share my own personal testimony, on this blog-- months ago...but I never finished it.  That's because someone who knows us, personally, found my blog and was using it to hurt my son.  I stopped, because I don't want my personal story to be used against me, where I live.   If I ever do finish my personal testimony, you would better understand how God saved me from my sinful nature.

My point about Jesus Christ is this-- I don't blame God or Jesus Christ for the sorrows in my life. The sorrows in our lives are brought upon us, because there is evil and sin in this world.  Those of us who believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God, believe that he died for us-- on the cross-- for our own personal redemption.  Because he loved us first.  Those of us who have accepted the gift of redemption are now adopted into the family of Christ, and we know that we will be in heaven.  In the meantime, we are here, on earth-- to learn, to share the love and to "believe" with all of our hearts.  

A world that is free of suffering is not guaranteed.  It is my faith in Christ that gives me the strength and courage that I desperately need-- because I am sinful, by nature.   I have become a much better person, since I became a believer.  I'm a work in progress.

So, did I feel offended by your anonymous comment?

Yes, for about five seconds.  

Guess what? I prayed for you.  I prayed that you would understand who the real Christ is.

I do not condemn you, either. Because God loved you first.

What do you know? My writer's block just went away.  Praising God does that to me.  When I'm feeling down, or under attack, I look up-- and I feel joy.

I'll try to write more often.  

Thank you, to all of you who write to me.  That this humble little blog has touched so many of you-- it makes me thankful.

I give all the Glory to God, for He has been good to me.  My son is alive. He is happy. The dark grip of illegal drugs has lost it's strength on my son.

I live each day in faith and gratitude.


Anonymous said...

I am so glad you are back as I said in my previous comment. Of course, the enemy of our lives wants to kill steal and destroy and this includes your testimony. We will overcome by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony. So keep posting and praising Jesus and praying for those who do not yet know Him and His saving grace. Those of us in the body of Christ who walk this road of motherhood (and fatherhood) of addicts need the encouragement! Thank you for your very honest and open helps me personally and I am sure others, alot. God bless you.

Debby of Oxycontin and Opiate Addiction: A Mother's Story said...

Thank you so much. A part of me wants to put the memories of my son's addiction in the past-- and not look back. But then, I realize, that God has given me a testimony to share with those who are just beginning my journey. Being the parent/loved one of an addict is very painful and frightening. There is hope. So far, my son is back. For that, I am very thankful. Praise God, yes!

Anna said...

He sounds clean to me.

Lisa Smith said...

I have your blog listed as one of my favorites and when I see you have updated I anxiously click on it. Never to be disappointed by your faith and determination. Praise God indeed for without him we would all be lost!!! I will keep you in my prayers, and your son and ask you to do the same for me and my son. He lives with us and at 30 is well now and going to church. That is all I can ask for and God will do the rest. God Bless

Billy said...

Thanks for the post. I am sorry to hear that some people are writing unhelpful, hurtful comments. I got sober in a structured sober living called New Life House. When I was there, most of the residents were on speed. Nowadays, most of the people there are on opiates. It seems like the tide is somewhat turning...I am not sure why. Whether it is speed or heroin, it is devastating. I have been sober for the last 8 years and I am eternally grateful. If you or a loved one are looking for help then check out the New Life House site. They did a lot of good for me and my family. New Life House - A Structured Sober Living

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog and I just spent my 27th birthday two weeks ago withdrawing from a heavy opiate addiction...

I know it hurts my mother to see my struggle, so I thank u for being a strong mom when your child has needed you the most...

I have chosen not to get on a maintenance drug and I'm dealing with the torment that accompanies abstinence, the depression, the cravings, the emptiness, the "what now??"

I am not hoping to bring up painful memories for you, but to let you know your words are inspiring and inspiration is what someone such as myself desperately needs.

Thank you for your courage, and I soon hope to be the daughter I once was....

Cheri said...

What a beautiful post, Debby!

And a very clear testimony to your faith, in your loving response to one who meant to hurt you, but received only love in return. God is love, and through the giving of His Son, He has given us forgiveness we do not deserve and the ability to forgive others ... and the Holy Spirit to love through us when it seems most challenging.

Thank you for sharing your heart and your story.


Anonymous said...

I suppose if I had kicked my liquor habit with beer and kept drinking beer every day to cope, I'd be as clean as your son.

I'm not the original commenter, but a former addict (to alcohol, not opiates) who has had many friends fight battles against oxies and heroin/morphine. What is the plan? He's going to stay on suboxone for the rest of his life? Get real. I'm glad he's socially appearing better, but you need to have a plan to get him truly clean, not just running a "functional high".

Best of luck, some of us get out of it and stay out of it. But staying on suboxone/methadone/whatever for decades is not being clean.

Anonymous said...

I suppose if I had kicked my liquor habit with beer and kept drinking beer every day to cope, I'd be as clean as your son.

I'm not the original commenter, but a former addict (to alcohol, not opiates) who has had many friends fight battles against oxies and heroin/morphine. What is the plan? He's going to stay on suboxone for the rest of his life? Get real. I'm glad he's socially appearing better, but you need to have a plan to get him truly clean, not just running a "functional high".

Best of luck, some of us get out of it and stay out of it. But staying on suboxone/methadone/whatever for decades is not being clean.

Debby of Oxycontin and Opiate Addiction: A Mother's Story said...

Dear "Hostile" Anonymous,
What is the plan for my son? Well, that is the million dollar question, isn't it? If you read back a few dozen posts, you'd read that my son has been weaning down to almost no suboxone. It has been a carefully monitored program, under a reputable doctor's care. If you take the time to read the links to Suboxone Talk Forum you would better understand that suboxone is not a cure. Dr. Junig talks about this, in depth.
What's the hurry to get off suboxone?
So, let's see, you are using alcohol to beer as being the same as heroin/oxy to suboxone. C'mon, really? They aren't the same thing! I've said numerous times, that abstinence is my hope for my son.
At least he's not getting high. He can't.
He is involved in online support groups.
Thanks for your judgmental comments, without having done any kind of research or reading the links I provide.
I'm sorry you are so angry about something in your life, that you cannot leave a courteous and genuinely caring comment. Do you feel better now? You can come off your high horse now.
Bless you.

Anonymous said...

Hello, I just wanted to reassure you that yes, a drug addict who is using can do that. It's just very rare. The problem with the drugs is the adulterants, miseducation, and the price. The adulterants are more dangerous than the drugs and depending on what they are can increase the risk of death. The miseducation is what causes people to overdose. You rarely hear of people overdosing on alcohol and dying right? Well I bet you'd be surprised to hear that cocaine has been found to be safer in its dose response risk ratio. Shocking right? It's the miseducation that causes people to overdose on drugs and the fact that they are available illegally - making accurate dosing difficult if impossible.

Using Suboxone is using all the same. Some people even report that they get high from it, though in most cases it is speculated to be mostly psychological. Your son has money because in most cases Suboxone is cheaper than the drug of addiction. Without insurance, other opiates are far cheaper. I am on Suboxone and do not have insurance, the same applies to me. I know people who's insurance does not cover their prescription of Suboxone, and they are treated with much discrimination whenever they have to unfortunately visit the hospital for whatever reason. Oxycontin is far more expensive than heroin which causes people to switch over to heroin. It's horrible isn't it? In reality the world would be safer if drugs became legal and education in the public school system accurately described their dangers.

I'm wondering what you think about the legalization of drugs. I believe stimulants should be much more limited in availability than opiates. Empirical data proves stimulant abusers to be much more likely to steal and commit crimes for their drugs. They are also far more expensive than any other addictive drug.

I am sorry to hear about your sons experience, I hope it has made him a stronger person. I am happy to hear he is doing well on Suboxone. Did you know in other countries an enormous variety of opiate are prescribed to patients with opiate addictions? Even the drug of choice of the addict is sometimes prescribed. The regulation and mediation by a medical professional has been proven to result in addicts who function better than on opiate "blockers" (they really aren't blockers, only naloxone is and it isn't absorbed through oral use) and lead much more fulfilling and happy lives. I am soon moving back to my home country, where they treat addicts like patients, not like criminals.

I'm wondering your opinion on these subjects. I will be checking back to see if you have replied, and I hope you do.

Best of luck with your family and your work. You are loved.

Cindy said...

I have just found out that my son is an addict. In my heart I know there was something wrong but you think it is never gonna be my kid..well it turned out to be my son. i cam home from being away with my mom for a couple days and found my gold necklace, diamond earrings and ruby earring gone. At first he said he didn't do it but I knew he did finally he admtted to it and said he needed help. He is now on Soboxone and we are starting counseling reading these blogs have given me hope that he will find himself I now he will alwys be a addict or I should say can turn to one any moment. It is comforting to kow there are other moms out thre who have had to deal with is so hard....I will keep coming back t this blog to help me thru this I know I have to be the strong one..

Craig said...

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