Thursday, July 27, 2006


I've been wanting to write something about my son who is in Residential Rehab. I find it difficult, if not impossible, to put in words the extremes of emotions that we've gone through over the last three months.
No one wants to believe that their kid is addicted. We were certainly aware he was using, and at least suspected further underlying issues. But the degree of use that has come out through his counseling and therapy has just been staggering.
I mean, we're relatively hip, early forties parents who have been there and done that. We have no pre-conceived notions of our children as angels, and have talked to them long and frankly about drug use. We both have friends that have gone from promising young people to worthless adults, in and out of prison and homes because of addiction. We thought we were successful in teaching them to know better.
Turns out, just because they know better doesn't mean they won't turn around and do it anyway. Peer pressure? Addictive personality? Inability to deal with stress? I don't know the answer, and I'm not too sure he does at this point.
Prescription meds were his drugs of choice. If he had a pill he would pop it, regardless of what it was and sometimes how many there were. We found him one night so passed out that he would not awaken. When he did wake up we caught him in the bathroom, so hopped up on pills that he forgot to lock the door, getting ready to take more Xanex and Vicodin. We called the cops, and they came and got him. We later found out he had hidden more Vicodin in his sock, which the police did not search, so he had a little supply to use up in his jail stay. I'm convinced that had we not intervened that afternoon, he would have OD'd that night.
I feel fortunate that the facility is only an hour and a half away, and that he's doing well there. After some initial turmoil (he was still coming down, I'm sure, begging for Tylenol or Aspirin or anything he thought might get him high), he's become a model patient, at least according to his counselours and the staff there. I'm concerned that he's mostly telling them what they want to hear, so he can get out. They tell me that's normal and really doesn't matter, because if they can get him to say it enough eventually it'll sink in and he'll believe it.
We'll see.
What I do know is that we picked him up Saturday for his first out pass. We had six hours to kill, so we went out to eat and played catch with a football and drove around and went to Wal-Mart. There was some initial tension over whether or not we were going to get him some smokes (we were NOT), but once that settled down he later said he didn't even want one.
I marveled at this young man who was with us, this stranger I hadn't really seen in years, this kid who was suddenly articulate, and funny, and a joy to be around.
I pray you stay well, my son. I pray you stay clean and follow the path that leads to you being a productive member of society. I pray that the young man who was with us on Saturday stays around for a long, long time.
I pray.
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