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Old 02-24-2009, 08:28 AM
 
1,569 posts, read 3,087,059 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avalon08 View Post
Anyway, on a completely bummer note
Avalon08, BIG HUG. So sorry to hear this. There are good support groups out there that don't cost anything. I dated a recovering addict for a year and went with him a few times to NA meetings and was impressed with how supportive and non-judgmental they were. If I had continued dating him I would have found a group for partners/family members to understand the struggle. I'm guessing your son wants to overcome this since he told you. That's a positive step.

 
Old 02-24-2009, 08:53 AM
 
Location: Winter Park FL
205 posts, read 360,250 times
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I was so excited but now hesitate to share my joy hearing Avalon's news. First, I am so sorry. I know how heartbreaking this must be for you. Your son has taken a first step. I know you want to support him in every way but you must first find your center and take care of you. Dancingearth is right that there are support systems out there. I think it would help you tremendously just to have someone who understands to talk with. I wish you well.

I am exited because my daughter is coming down from NYC to see me and surprise her brother before he leaves on Saturday for the beginning of his new life/adventures in Mexico, Central America, and unknown points beyond for an undetermined length of time. He and his girlfirend are staring out on their (eventually) round the world tour. I will have both my kids with me (they are in their 30's) - yeah! I can feel so down and alone sometimes when I get a call from them and then all is right with the world. I raised them (alone) to be strong, independent, open-minded people and they are. Any time with them is a joy and a gift to me.
 
Old 02-24-2009, 11:46 AM
 
Location: Monterey Bay, California -- watching the sea lions, whales and otters! :D
1,918 posts, read 6,244,061 times
Reputation: 2646
Quote:
Avalon08 :

Anyway, on a completely bummer note, my son gave me some horrendous news yesterday -- he's hooked on heroin. I am so devastated....I knew he was kind of aimless at nearly 30, but had NO idea he was doing anything more serious than pot. I feel as grief-stricken as I would if someone had died. Can't stop crying. Can't distract myself with things like the Oscars, the Bachelor Tells All, or whatever....I keep coming back to the harsh reality of my son. I am trying to get him help but he has no medical insurance....so he's trying for Medicaid. I won't get off-topic with any more details, but I just wanted to share my grief with my buddies here...there are very few friends that I can talk to about this otherwise.
Oh, I am sooooo sorry. In my long ago past, I had an unfortunate relationship with a heroin addict, and knew others (I was the "caretaker" and never did it myself, but I knew a lot of people who did). Obviously, you know it is a physical addiction. Hopefully, he is mentally desiring to kick it. It is a long, hard road, though. This is devastating news. I know what you mean about so grief-stricken as if someone has died -- because in a way, the little boy you knew, did disappear, and was replaced by a man who is now an addict. Grieve, cry, scream, stomp, sob, get it out.

Hopefully, he can get Medicaid, but also be sure to check into all the resources out there, what insurances they do accept, what is their policy, is there any support afterwards. Call your local county mental health office and ask to speak to someone in the department that deals with substance abuse. They should have numerous liaisons with multiple community providers and other resources you may be totally unaware of. Is there a methadone clinic nearby?

It is one of the most difficult drugs to get off of (I've heard addicts threaten to kill someone close to them if they "ever use heroin," because they know the effects.) Maybe he is not long into this addiction and can make the step to recovery more quickly.

This is devastating news and I, honestly, don't know how I would handle it if my daughter came to me with such information. And you must, must keep in mind that it is not you -- it is a drug. This is one of the most addictive drugs on earth, thus, the addicts. I know addicts who came from really great families, had wonderful siblings, lovely homes -- it is the drug. Always keep that in mind -- it is not you. I have heard from addicts that even using the drug once can hook you -- twice, for sure.

Be supportive, do what you can, but always know that a mother's love is first and foremost, and this is not about you, it is about something he tried, probably never imagining the horrible hold it would have on him. Because he confided in you, he is probably scared, and does need help -- but it may be nearly impossible for him to do it on his own -- he will need a guide through this upcoming maze.

((((((((Avalon)))))))) Hang in there.
Wisteria
 
Old 02-24-2009, 12:42 PM
 
Location: Knoxville, TN
2,172 posts, read 6,890,203 times
Reputation: 1525
So sorry to hear about your son. That is devastating news.
You need to start pushing to get him help. Call every possible resource you know to try and find rehab for him. There are lots of programs out there, but you've got to do a lot of work to find the right one. Don't be ashamed of asking for help and information.
And get support for yourself. I can't imagine how devestating this is to you.
Just don't let the addiction win. I've been watching those programs on MTV -- Sober House and Celebrity Rehab -- and on A&E (Intervention) and my heart goes out to the families who have to cope with this.
You'll be in my thoughts and prayers.
 
Old 02-24-2009, 02:05 PM
 
13,325 posts, read 25,586,246 times
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As someone who works with addicts, I caution the OP not to become the savior of the situation, despite the well-meaning advice of others. The son is a man, not a minor child. Yes, his mother could assist in finding services or a program, but in the long run, it's his job/motivation.
My sympathies to Avalon with this bad news. I do suggest you find an AL-Anon or some other "friends/loved ones of addicted people" support group so as not to get sucked in to thinking you are the one who must save your son and are to be blamed if you cannot. It might sound harsh, but it's not. It's true.
Getting off heroin is a simple matter of a few days of medical detox. STAYING OFF is the issue, and that's not a medical issue (unless he also has a concurrent depression or other mental illness, which is always possible).
NA and AA and all those groups are far more educated in the trenches than you or I. I strongly suggest you find their family affiliates for support and possible advice. My thoughts are with you.
 
Old 02-24-2009, 03:03 PM
 
Location: Monterey Bay, California -- watching the sea lions, whales and otters! :D
1,918 posts, read 6,244,061 times
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Quote:
brightdoglover: As someone who works with addicts, I caution the OP not to become the savior of the situation, despite the well-meaning advice of others. The son is a man, not a minor child. Yes, his mother could assist in finding services or a program, but in the long run, it's his job/motivation.
My sympathies to Avalon with this bad news. I do suggest you find an AL-Anon or some other "friends/loved ones of addicted people" support group so as not to get sucked in to thinking you are the one who must save your son and are to be blamed if you cannot. It might sound harsh, but it's not. It's true.
Getting off heroin is a simple matter of a few days of medical detox. STAYING OFF is the issue, and that's not a medical issue (unless he also has a concurrent depression or other mental illness, which is always possible).
NA and AA and all those groups are far more educated in the trenches than you or I. I strongly suggest you find their family affiliates for support and possible advice. My thoughts are with you.
I understand what you're saying, however, sometimes a person needs someone to help them take that first step. I'm not suggesting that she "fix" the problem, because she can't -- it is up to him. I'm merely saying that sometimes when someone is at that point that they feel strong enough to ask for help, that initially it is useful for someone to help them get on that path.

And, you're correct -- staying off is the issue -- but that is also because of the addictive quality of that drug. Sure, he could detox in a week, but a week later be back on. In fact, I knew numerous junkies who would purposely detox on their own, go through the agony, just so that their next high would be less junk and less money, but still a better high.

My suggestions merely point out that there are places/resources out there that they may not be aware of, and which may point them in the right direction for their own personal situation. Too often addicts don't stay off, in fact, it's much more common for them to go back on. Thus, being educated is a valuable tool, and that also means understanding resources that are available.

Believe me, I have been through this and I have seen the ravaged lives. Way too many. Tough love is fine -- but I do think that in the initial stages, it is important to know that there is a support system, whether or not they take advantage of it (and a lot of times they don't), and that can help. As a parent, this is an awful situation to be in, and you do your best to help.

Eventually, the addict either has the strength and motivation to succeed, or he doesn't. And it is up to him. But sometimes the mind and body are not strong enough to do it alone and that can be a dealbreaker.

Of course she can't "save" him, but by finding out about resources and other people, support groups, etc., she can at least be informed and understand the process better. Information is power. I'm a social worker and I deeply believe in being armed with information and available resources. And I also believe in personal accountability. This is a parent who has just discovered this devastating news, and I'm sure she is in shock right now. Sometimes that information and guidance will help a lot -- yes, AlAnon and groups like that are good because there is an opportunity to share their struggles and to understand more personally what this is about, but there are other things out there, too. For Avalon, joining AlAnon could be a good comfort in knowing there are many who share the same experience.

Believe me, I know that one can't "save" a person from going over the edge --in my twenties, I lost a partner due to that. Everything was used but didn't save him: detox, tough love, support groups, residential rehab, methadone, loving family, anything that was available -- but to no avail. And later, other narcotics were substituted for heroin. It's a vicious cycle, but (amazingly) I have seen success with parents who lovingly used tough love, rehab, and also various combinations of modalities.

Yes, he is an adult, and, yes, in the end it will come down to his own motivation and strength. As a mother, I am sure she is in deep grief. I hope and pray that he has the capability and determination to get off and stay off. Good luck, Avalon....I know the pain you are feeling.

I will get back on topic of moving to other places, but just wanted to acknowledge that I do agree that in the end, it is up to him to either succeed or fail. Let's hope he succeeds.

In the meantime -- how do people feel about the economic stimulus plan, and do you think it can help us with our moves???

Last edited by Wisteria; 02-24-2009 at 03:12 PM..
 
Old 02-24-2009, 04:39 PM
 
Location: home...finally, home .
8,236 posts, read 18,527,559 times
Reputation: 17765
I am so sorry , avalon. I sent you a DM and please let me know if you need someone to talk with.
__________________
******************


People may not recall what you said to them, but they will always remember how you made them feel .
 
Old 02-24-2009, 05:56 PM
 
Location: DC Area, for now
3,517 posts, read 12,057,804 times
Reputation: 2141
I'll add my sympathies to you Avalon. That's really tough news. I got no useful advice except be sure to take care of yourself too in this very stressful time but tons of sympathy.
 
Old 02-24-2009, 06:53 PM
 
Location: Sarasota Florida
1,236 posts, read 3,610,415 times
Reputation: 1230
Default Avalon......

Having had experience in dysfunctional family dynamics, I wish you the strength to endure.

Blessed are those parents whose children have become responsible adults living productive lives.

For the rest of us, we can only pray our adult children find fulfillment in their lives in spite of their addictions or mental or physical handicaps.

Even though we've strayed off-topic, we all have so much in common
 
Old 02-25-2009, 11:32 AM
 
Location: Florida Gulf Coast
4,409 posts, read 5,934,055 times
Reputation: 7126
Thank you all so much for your kind words and support. He is STILL trying to navigate the state bureaucracy and three days later, is still not in detox. I am two hours away and went up there yesterday to help, but today he's telling me they approved him for detox starting SUNDAY...four days away! I am walking that fine line between taking complete control, and letting him do it himself. It is so difficult, because he's not assertive and doesn't know how to stand up for what he needs. But if I start freaking out, he gets upset and starts withdrawing from me. Ughhh, I am trying to just...breathe...slowly....

Anyway, let's get back on-topic and our happy place -- dreaming of our beautiful ultimate retirement destination! Has anyone made any progress with selling their place? I've had "looky-loo's" but no serious buyers.
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