Category Archives: Heroin

What I’m learning as I learn it.

Parents of Addicts United

PoAUnitedThis is the name I’m using (in addition to “One Mom Talking”) for my efforts to provide support to parents of addicts: “Parents of Addicts United.”  If you’re interested in having some other ways to communicate with each other besides through our blog posts, I have one new option:

“Parents of Addicts United” discussion group on IntheRooms.com.  You probably have to sign up on the website to view the group – I’m not sure. But it’s a good and safe place to meet for conversation.

I’d like to form a secret facebook group as well, but that will have to wait until the weekend. (Plus, I need a few people to invite first. So if you’re interested, send me a note with your full name so I can invite you!).  Secret groups on facebook are great because no one can see the list of members except a member; and the only way to become a member is to be invited. I know that makes it a little hard for outreach, but it preserves anonymity, which is important.

That’s all for my report of the day. Be well, my friends. Do something for yourself this week, just for fun. Remember fun? It’s still out there just waiting for us to open up to it a bit.  Choose life. Your life. Because you’re still here and you can add blessings and joy to the world.

“In the Rooms”

Hope Mountain SmallI live in a small coastal town near a small city in South Carolina.  We are bound by the ocean to the east and rural areas to the west and south.  There is one NarAnon group in the city and no others anywhere within reach – not for us and not for the smaller towns and cities in surrounding counties.

I work in a women’s recovery house and sometimes the parents call – especially the moms. Due to HIPAA, our privacy regulations are extensive and I usually cannot tell the parents any details about how their daughter is doing.  I talked to one mom who was sobbing on the other end of the phone, “What do I do? Will it ever be better?”  I was heartbroken.

I want to create a resource for parents but I don’t know how that looks yet.  In the meantime, I’ve discovered a website called “In the Rooms.”  I just joined and it looks great. You can attend a video NarAnon meeting, participate in meditation sessions, chat with other people and even get a sponsor.  If you have never checked it out, I recommend that you do. And if you’re there, look for me, “One Mom Talking.”

Lastly, if you have suggestions about how to build a program or network for parents, especially in rural areas, please share!

God bless!

 

If Knowledge is Power…

I wrestled with whether to title this “If Knowledge is Power…”  or “Ignorance is Bliss”!  When it comes to addiction, those of us who have faced the music in one way or another know that ignorance cannot be our choice. Detachment, yes. Ignorance, no.  And if I’m not going to be ignorant, then I want to know what’s happening out there – and friends, it’s not simple, it’s not easy, but it is a war where we need to know the names and faces of our enemies.

I was contacted recently by the Foundations Recovery Network, a residential and outpatient treatment center located in Tennessee.  They are encouraging education regarding the risks associated with the abuse of benzodiazepines.  Since I have no experience regarding this category of drugs (known on the street as “Benzos,” “Downers,” or “Tranks”), I did a little extra research and found some confirming information put out by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).  You can read that here: DEA on Benzodiazipines.

What I’m thinking is – let’s opt for knowledge and take all the power we can. Click on this image to see the full infographic:
Benzo

If this is an area of concern for you or a loved one, I hope this information is helpful. And if you have anything to add, please leave a comment. We learn best when we share information and learn together.  Thanks, and God bless!

Darkness into Light

curtainIn my church – and in many churches – we teach the idea that the way to conquer an evil is to remove it from the darkness and shine the light of Christ in its eyes.

I am saddened by the continued reports saying: “There’s a heroin epidemic in [you name the city, state or metro area].”  And yet, I am encouraged that more and more people are sharing this news out loud. We are pulling the curtain aside and shedding light on the evil of heroin and drug addiction.

In my coaching business, I teach about the importance of facing our fears, naming them, and taking back the control that our self-imposed silence had given those fears.  We are doing this now. We are speaking up.

I’m feeling prompted to take this further. Every once  in awhile I get this intense feeling of wanting to speak out, but I’ve held back – in part because I just wasn’t ready emotionally – in part because I have concern about protecting the privacy of my children.  But here I am again, wanting to actively help.

If you were to speak out about your experience as the parent of an addict. Where would you start?

Love Wins!

Love WinsWishing you all a very blessed Easter.

I know it doesn’t feel blessed to many of you. Five years ago today, at this time (7:15AM), I was in a police station learning that my boys had been using heroin at a party.  It’s amazing to me that Easter is the anniversary of this journey for me. No wonder I’ve been tense these past few days.

But now – I’m off to church. Know you are all in my prayers. Know that Love Wins – if not in this life, then in the Great Beyond. Easter is our reminder that there’s more to life than what we can see. And that death holds no power over the beautiful spirit of life in all of us. LOVE has already won. Amen.

 

Telling Our Stories & Public Policy Changes

storyI haven’t done any formal research on this, but it seems to me that there is a pattern to creating public policy changes: It starts with telling our stories to whoever will listen.  If you are anywhere near my age, you remember when the word “gay” or “homosexual” would rarely be spoken in a whisper. Now we have states passing gay marriage legislation. Why? Because brave people stood up and told their stories.

How about child abuse and sexual assault? I remember the days before the term “date rape” existed…days when people would barely say the word “sex” and any kind of talk about incest or sexual abuse or rape was hushed in families and communities as if speaking it would make it spread like a disease.  Now we have laws prohibiting these crimes and, recently, commercials with celebrities speaking out against sex crimes. There’s a long way to go, but we’re making progress.

Same with drug use and abuse and dependencies.  We’re learning. How many people have to die of heroin overdose before we all stand up and speak. We are learning. We are starting. And some laws and legal processes are changing – like “drug court” systems surrounding people with services for recovery rather than condemning them immediately to jail.

I’m not lecturing any one person to stand up to speak – because it all depends on where you are in the process whether that’s a role for you or not. I’m just bringing up the issue.  People are learning and those of us who are ready and able can speak out.

Here’s the article that brought these thoughts to my mind. Take a look and see what you think. I’d love to hear your views: http://www.drugfree.org/join-together/addiction/lets-get-serious-about-treating-addiction

Blessings and prayers to all of you…

 

Health, Education and Making a Difference

Recently, I applied to a job opening as an Addiction Recovery Specialist.  In South Carolina, there is a certification for this specialty – which I do not have yet.  But I thought that my coaching certification combined with my personal experience might make me a good candidate for the job.  I’m interested in helping people get healthy.  I’m interested in educating the public about drugs and families and recovery.  Where do you turn when all those efforts you made as a parent to avoid this experience slip through your fingers and here you are … wanting to wake from what feels like a nightmare?

I want to tell you there is HOPE!  As long as there is breath, there is hope!  For me, my first focus was the health of my child. And the next focus was education for me and my child. And amidst it all – a constant focus on God and faith.

Every now and then, I spend some time on Google looking for new information or resources. Recently, I came across a recovery center called, “Advanced Health and Education.”  Well – isn’t that on target!  Advanced Health and Education has a truly holistic approach to recovery which seems to be increasingly popular these days – for good reason.  Most of us have learned that recovery is about more than just resisting cravings.  It’s about rebuilding and redefining an entire healthy lifestyle for both the addict and the family.

In the west – states like Colorado, Kansas, Texas and Arizona – I have had excellent experiences with the Valley Hope treatment centers.  They have gone above and beyond in providing service not only to their patients, but to families as well – on the personal side as well as making treatment financially viable.

Now that I live on the East Coast, I’m snooping into what’s available here.  I have a friend who recently went to New Jersey for treatment.   New Jersey drug and alcohol treatment centers abound, but I’m interested to know how many have the comprehensive type of program offered by Advanced Health and Education.  If you are located in the NY/NJ area – a good resource for New Jersey addiction treatment centers can be found here: http://drugabuse.com/usa/drug-abuse/new-jersey/.   For New York (and other states), look here: http://www.recovery.org/browse/new-york/.

I want to follow the lead of Advanced Health and Education by advocating their example of treating the whole person – I’d even say, the whole family.  What should our next steps so that all treatment facilities – from California drug treatment centers to NJ drug treatment centers and everything in between, above and below, continually improve and provide excellent healing service to addicts and to us? How can we help? What can I do to make a difference?