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.

12 responses to “Prodigal Son

  1. I’m fumbling around a bit with these blogs. Just typed out a comment here, and lost it when I had to go back and look up the name of my own blog. My beautiful, 30 yo old college-educated daughter is a heroin addict. How did this happen? I, too, started a blog to try to connect with and dialogue with parents of heroin addicts. Here is my blog address, I think: It also could be Helplessly hoping . . . As I mentioned, I’m still trying to figure out the blog process.

  2. How did you decide on a treatment program? There are so many. They all look good online, but aren’t necessarily all that good in reality.

    • Several people, including our son’s lawyer, recommended our choice:

      Harmony Foundation in Estes Park, Colorado (

      I just got home from their family weekend — a three-day program for families of clients who are in their last week. We had education sessions, counseling sessions, a time to develop and share wellness plans with our loved ones, and a graduation event for those clients who are almost done (including my son).

      I cannot say enough about Harmony, the changes I’ve seen in my son, and what they’ve done for me. Our journey is just beginning and the hard work is ahead of us. But they provided all of the tools and support we needed to get going, and they provide after care. This, from what I’ve heard, is one of the most excellent programs in the country.

      Let’s talk pracitical issues. This place is expensive BUT…some insurance plans cover it; they will create a payment plan for you; and in some cases they will work with you on the price. to be very honest — they want to see people get well. They really do. So it’s worth a call. There were families there from all over colorado, and from a couple of other states where this was their last effort. A good choice.

      The clients there call Harmony “magical” and “a miracle.” When my son first got there, he laughed at this. He thought those people must be “sappy” or “brainwashed.” But last night he made his graduation speech and said “They were right. This place is magical. And I’m very grateful to everyone for helping me.”

      Anyway, that’s my answer about the program. if you need something closer to you, perhaps call Harmony and ask them if there’s something in your area that is equivalent.

  3. We sent our daughter to medical detox a couple of weeks ago ($8,000) and arranged for her to go directly to a treatment program from there. She left detox on the 5th day, AMA (against medical advice). I am now thinking that she just went to detox to “take a break” from the horrible addiction cycle, get treatment for her multiple injection site abscesses, and be fully medicated the entire time. She has no health insurance and hasn’t even bothered to get herself in to the DSHS (welfare) system. At this point, we’ve been advised and decided to let her find her own way to detox and treatment. This “detachment with love” approach is very difficult on parents, but we’re trying it. If anyone can help lead her to recovery, we are convinced it won’t be one of us (her family).

    • Yes, if she won’t stay in detox, that’s difficult for all of you. You are right though — the “detachment with love” is the hardest thing ever. My son did his detox in jail, so he couldn’t leave. In a way, that was a blessing.

      I will keep you and your daughter in my prayers.

      • Hayley insisted on a medical detox. There is no such program in our small city. We had to send her to Everett, WA (Seattle area), and as I mentioned, she left AMA on the 5th day. She actuallly talked a cab driver in to driving her back to our home city, 150 miles away, which demonstrates her resourcefulness. She definitely admits to being a drug addict – has been using IV heroin for a couple of months, coke and crack for a couple of months prior to that, and a smattering of things (alcohol, RX painkillers, marijuana, etc.) for now, I realize, many years. She was diagnosed with a serious eating disorder (bulemia) in 2002 and went to an ED residential treatment center program which she essentially bluffed her way through. Obviously, she has an addictive personality. She told her younger brother that she was afraid that if she went off heroin, her eating disorder would return. I didn’t realize her ED was still a serious issue. She’s a master manipulator and I don’t think even realizes she’s lying a good part of the time. She’s always believed she doesn’t have to follow the rules – can take short cuts, which does not bode well for any treatment program.

  4. beyondtheendoftheroad

    I wish you and your’s the best of luck.
    Take Care.

  5. Thanks for the open and honest conversation, everyone. Your honesty and courage are inspiring.

  6. Have been looking for you and new posts on your blog. Are you mostly tweeting? How are YOU? How are your sons? Send me an update. Thinking of you, my dear blog friend who was the first to respond to me and my reaching out. Peggy

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