Years ago our son detoxed at the ERJ. Now, he was not there on a drug charge. He was there on a charge
because his heroin addiction had led him to crime- a breaking and entering into a shed or a garage.
We know if he doesn't get clean soon, he will be back there because of what he does to feed his addiction. And he should be. You do the crime, you do the time! We just know from experience ERJ for rehab has a tremendous failure rate!
Years ago, I remember being so thankful the day I heard that he had been picked up off the streets. I know that is going to sound horrible but hey it is what it is. I was overcome with a feeling of relief. At least I knew he wasn't out on the street anymore. He would have a bed- even if that bed wasn't a comfortable one to sleep on. He would have meals- even if those meals weren't like mama's home cooked meals.
I don't know it is a feeling hard to describe. A few days later one of my other kids told me, "You know he's going to detox at the jail, right?"
Yeah so he will detox that is good, isn't it?
I'm learning now how very hard it is to detox in the jail system.
Often you aren't given medical assistance which is why some have died detoxing there.
This scares me to death because he has the past of trying to detox on his own and going into seizures detoxing. Without medical assistance, this scares me to death.
They basically do not care anything for you.
To them, you are nothing but a drugged up fiend. Okay now, that stings a little. Our son is worth it!
I started to read up a little while he was in jail.
I knew he would leave there free and clean of heroin.
Or so I thought anyway. I hear now that you can still get it even when incarcerated.
He would have to make some lifestyle changes.
He would have to stay away from those old so-called friends of his.
Okay, so we could help him with that. He first went to stay with a family member and after a month or so he met a woman and for at least three years- he was living a clean and sober life. We know that!
I can't help thinking I let my guard down.
Maybe I found myself too comfortable in that comfort zone? I don't know. Just when we thought we were through those years his relapse has reminded us differently.
Back then though we saw he was leading a clean and sober life. He was getting his life back on track. He had found a job- one that hired felons.
He was using the talent of his hands hanging drywall, painting homes and doing home improvement jobs. That man has a talent. He remodeled his girlfriend's house.
That man also has a talent for drawing and art. In fact, his sister gave him a tattoo kit because he was interested in learning to tattoo. He has done some really, really good work. We encouraged him to continue using those talents that God had given him.
All of my kids have talents. I wish they used them!
What I don't understand is when people continue to tell me that relapse is a healthy normal process in recovery.
I just can't grasp that reasoning. Just how is relapse the normal, healthy part of recovery anyway?
I know I shouldn't but I can't help myself going back there to those early days.
What should we have done to make his recovery a success?
He did his time for his crime and was released with his little envelope of possessions he had with him upon arrest with a wave and a see you again! Yeah, I swear that is what the officers at the jail tell them when they are released.
He left the ERJ with absolutely no means or resources of, how am I to get back on my feet? In those early days, his brother helped him out in that area.
Like I said I myself keep going back there wondering if I should have done something more aggressive?
For instance, should I have forced him to leave this area?
If he cleans up this time I am forcing him to leave this state. Get the hell outta Dodge dude!
I keep hearing others say how important it is for recovering addicts to do their 90 meetings in 90 days. I didn't know that. I know he didn't go to any support help settings. If he cleans up this time I will know this. He will be in a support group type recovery program.
I often told him- You Don't Live There Anymore...
I remember in those early years after his release sometimes he tried talking to us about his prior use and heroin addiction. I stopped him because I was terrified it would remind him of those old ways and days. Remembering those days would be reminders make him want to go back. I was told things like, it will be a daily struggle for him. Those addicted to heroin struggle every day with that.
I didn't want him remembering his old ways but now I'm wondering instead of telling him You don't live there anymore should I have listened to him by letting him get all of that out?
In telling him we were only looking at the future for him I feel maybe we somehow hurt him too because he wanted to talk to us about it.
I struggle every day with the coulda, shoulda and the woulda. I can't help myself. I struggle every day with blaming myself that I didn't have the information and didn't know how to help him continue to live a clean and sober life.
I have people telling me that if he wanted to stay clean he would have. I understand that when the brain is involved and damaged the disease of addiction. Trying to tell others about this sickness has been the hardest. I understand that this is a mental health issue.
I keep thinking to when we do this again... although my biggest greatest fear is an overdose. And that someone will give him something mixed with poison and he will die from that.
I know how important it is for this treatment center to be right here. We know there are just not enough beds to treat those dealing with heroin addiction who really want to be clean and free. I know the opposition doesn't see it because they have never had to deal with it.
I know the biggest response I have gotten from people is when I tell them I have planned my son's funeral. They really don't understand the unknown of this addiction. My son has a high probability that he could overdose and die. Just from the crimes associated to get his fix, we know he could be harmed or killed. We know that sometimes in order to get a fix that they do something to make the dealer mad and then the dealer goes after them. That is a been there, done that.
I thought we were doing everything possible. Apparently we weren't because he relapsed.
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