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Welcome to my blog. I hope we can help each other endure the pain of the addiction of a daughter or son.

Friday, February 11, 2011


It seems I have entered a new stage in life. My parents are failing as are the parents of my friends. Did I think that this would not happen to me? It was more fun when we were getting married and having babies.

Mom is in a lot of pain. During my visit there they thought it was from sciatica. Now they have found a blood clot. They only looked for a blood clot after a desparate call from my father telling me that she was much worse. I called the hospital administrator, her attending physician, the head nurse, the hospital she transferred from and her general practicioner. Amazingly, they had not communicated about her records and history previously!

Beth has been calling my Dad. That is nice of her. She visited her Nana today and brought her Dad lunch. All this with no requests for money!

I talked to Tom at recovery helpdesk on Wednesday. He gave me some good ideas that I had not thought of. He seems to think that Beth is either not using, has switched to something milder or has cut down greatly given her behavior. For whatever reason, it is the kindest and most considerate behavior she has demonstrated in years. Praise God and praise Beth for that!

There is an entirely different theory of how to deal with drug addiction. It follows the established and mainstream approach which is the norm in Europe. Essentially, they try to establish a connection with the addict to get them into treatment. If they can not get the addict into treatment, they try to keep them alive and as safe as possible until they come to their senses. They have a better success rate than we do in Europe and Canada. Less addicts die. Less get and spread aids and HEP C. There is less crime from addicts trying to get drugs.

This approach includes harm reduction, methadone maintenance treatment, needle exchange and other controversial for us in the USA strategies. Housing first is another one of their initiatives. They think that housing is an inalieable right of a human being. Most of us would agree with this concerning dogs  but have trouble with it when it comes to an addict.

I am not saying that I totally agree or that it is for all cases. I am saying that it is worthwhile looking at what they do and why. It is reasoable to balance boundaries with compassion. It is reasonable to help someone who is sick yet we do not want to encourage substance abuse in any way.

Every time I hear of an addict who quits or just makes progress, I am happy for them and their families.


  1. very good food for thought.....and wow....great to hear about how your daughter is doing !! :)

  2. Interesting ideas. My heart says "yes" but my exhaustion level says "no way."

    Glad to hear about Beth...when an addict is able to look beyond themselves and to see and meet the needs of other...that is HUGE progress. I am happy for you.

  3. "Most of us would agree with this concerning dogs but have trouble with it when it comes to an addict." I believe this is the attitude of the general public on any type of homelessness - people are more likely to donate to an animal shelter than buy a mean for a homeless person/addict.

    I'm glad things are going so good for Beth. I have friends dealing with elderly parents and its very, very difficult.

  4. Is there a name for what you are talking about?- I knew my son was never out on the street and to this day I don't know that I could stand it if he was. I think I would end up helping with him a place to live. The failure rate here is so bad there has got to be a different way. The thought of him living with me and using isn't going to happen. But helping him with a place to live? I can't say I wouldn't be much more at peace knowing he had a bed to sleep in. I am so sorry for your Parents. My prayers are with you, your family and of course Beth.

  5. Tori,

    Pathways to recovery, shelter plus care, harm reduction, methodone maintenance therapy, suboxone treatment........ these are all alternative programs that exist throughout the country. The success rates, I think are around 60 per cent compared to 20 or less for twelve step approaches.

    I have seen people get better all of these ways. There are other ways out there as well. Lots of people get better in jail. I will pray for you.

  6. Interesting about other countries handling addicts differently and having more success. In general, our mental health systems here are horrible. Way too many ways to fall through the cracks.

    I am sorry your mom is so sick, but very glad Beth is being so kind right now. Maybe she isn't using right now.

  7. The 20% is what I worry about. I am hoping that he will use something else in conjuction with the 12 step program. I know far too many who have relapsed. I know my son wants to be sober,he loves how he feels and looks right now BUT he needs all the help he can get. Thanks I will look at those.

  8. In prayers for your parents.

    I was totally against various harm reduction techniques until I read, "In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts" by Gabor Mate, MD.

    There is a percentage of addicted individuals who would be much better off with this type of approach.