Monthly Archives: September 2009

Alateen and Questions of Faith

Dan came home yesterday.  I am happy to have him here.  He is, right now, excited about staying with his program.  He has an added incentive — staying out of jail.  He has felony drug-related charges pending which will likely be deferred if he stays clean.  But I believe he wants to do it for himself, and to help some of the other young people in this area–set a good example. 

But the original Prodigal Son had a brother, didn’t he?  And that brother wasn’t thrilled that dad killed the calf and had a celebration upon the brother’s return.  Well, this son has a sister, Cathy, who is so angry about her brother coming home.  She does not admit fear (fear that her brother will relapse and, sooner than later, kill himself with that needle).  But she does  confess anger and a real and growing doubt about God’s existence, or at least about God’s goodness.  She asked me some tough questions.  And my answers, which usually make sense to adults, did not do much for Catherine. 

I have suggested Alateen; she refuses to go.  She doesn’t see why she should have to make any effort to find a solution to something that she did not start.  So she’s holding on to her anger right now, like an anchor.  A heavy anchor. 

Is there anyone out there who can give me info about Alateen and how to get this lovely, stubborn 15 y.o. to go?   Any suggestions about how to talk to her about God in the midst of trouble?  I’ve been a leader of adults in their search for faith, but I’m floundering with my own daughter!


I came back from rehab family weekend excited to jump right in to Al-Anon.  But I can see how easy it would be for me to dismiss it.  I’m busy.  You know how that goes.  And I think I’m tempted to slip back into denial.  “I don’t have a heroin addict in my house if no one in my house is using heroin.”  This is the lie my brain wants to adopt.  The temptation to roll with that theory is very strong.  I better get my butt to a meeting before this week is done. 

If you are out there reading this…if you are an Al-Anon person…did it take you awhile to get plugged in and add this to your schedule?  I wish someone would call me and say “come on, we’re going!”  Argh.

Other Stories

My daughter is doing great in school and on her sports team.  She’s been bumped up a level in her sport and she’s so excited!  I wanted to post this because it’s one way for me to acknowledge publicly that there is more going on in my family than drug recovery.

Other Mothers

I know there are other mothers (and fathers) of addicts out there in Blog Land.  One has reached out, and I am grateful.  If you are looking for community, please join us here and also:  Thanks!

No Fear, Cont’d

As soon as I made the commitment to counter my fear with statements of Faith…  As soon as I reached out to God for strength…  As soon as I spoke the Scripture verses and my own written statements confirming my identity as a child of the Most High — fear pulled back and I found rest.  This is not a fable, friends.  The ultimate power is not in our thoughts and emotions, but in the unsurpassable might of our Creator.  Use whatever words you will to speak of it.  I say, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

“No Fear” or “Taking My Own Advice”

As soon as I posted about feeling afraid, I was reminded of the studying and praying I have done around the issue of fear.  I believe that if I fear anything other than God, I am giving power over that thing or that process.  If I live in fear of Dan’s potential relapse, it is a signal to me that I am focusing on the power of heroin or the power of addiction rather than the power of God. 

So instead of focusing on my fear, I will focus on the promises of God to love me, to save me from trouble, to deliver me from my own fears, and to carry me through every difficult time.  The Bible tells us:

“Jeremiah 17:7-8  blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.  He will be like a tree planted by the water, that sends out its roots by the stream.  It does not fear when heat comes.  Its leaves are always green.  It has no worries in a year of drought, and never fails to bear fruit.”

Prodigal Son

On Wednesday, my Prodigal Son comes home and I … am scared.  I sit and talk with him, and he is like the young man I have always known him to be:  polite, intelligent, compassionate, and stubborn.  His rehab center has given him the best tools and all of the steps he needs to get a running start.  He is confident.  I want to reflect this same confidence to him.  I want to tell him I feel sure he will succeed.  But it’s not true and I have vowed to be honest.  I’m just a mom who is a little bit afraid.

30 Days for Daniel

Dan got his 30-day-clean award at NA meeting tonight! This was the highlight of my day.

Government, Crime, Heroin…

Take a look at this story:   If a government gives heroin addicts drugs for free, there is less crime.  Sometimes the ends don’t justify the means.  Wouldn’t the money be better spent on recovery programs?  Should the government take the roll of feeding addictions?


As a parent, when you first discover something like your teen using heroin, of course you look for the most immediate solution.  The boys said, “Suboxone.”  It’s what everyone is taking — a prescription drug that stops the heroin cravings.  That was the first thing I knew about it.  No more methadone clinics for modern addicts.  That rang sweet in my ears, since I have memories of seeing the addicts heading to the methadone clinics in the city where I grew up.  Not a pretty picture in my mind.

Early last Easter morning, after visiting the police station and both boys allowed to leave in my custody, we headed to the emergency room.  That’s a story in itself; but for this conversation the relevant point is that the psych evaluators gave me a list of doctors who are licensed suboxone prescribers.  So we went with it.

Suboxone seems to be a successful alternative for Allen.  It did not work for Danny.  He took a high level of Subo (I guess that’s the short name) — 16 milligrams a day (in comparison, Allen takes 6 milligrams a day total).  Dan relapsed after two months.  More recently, he told me that after taking that level of Suboxone, he had built up a tolerance for the heroin.  This means that when he went back to heroin, he needed more of it.

What I’m saying is that now, I realize Suboxone is controversial.  I’ve visited some online conversations of addicts in recovery and they are divided over whether it makes sense to use this substitute drug.  Some like it and say it’s helped them.  Some say no, don’t go there; full sobriety is the only way.

I don’t know the answer.  But I’m up for hearing from others.  What do you think?