How to help our son who is in treatment?

by Dee

Good Morning,

I am writing because I am looking for help for myself, my family and my son. We (mom, dad, sister, wife and in-laws) had an intervention with my son on Saturday.

My son is a Heroin addict. He did admit he needed help and he is now in a center. His wife is a mess now because they do -2 young children and he(my son) is always calling her. Has only gone to a few things because he is sick. We think he is detoxing still but we don't have knowledge ourselves.

What is the best thing we can do on our side to understand what he is going through and to help us get through this. We live in CT and are looking for meetings. Al-Anon seems to be for drinking.

Can you give me advice or where I can start looking. Also when in a rehab center can we call and let them know about these calls from him and text messages from him?

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On the right track!
by: Debbie Wicker

Hello Dee,

After reading your story I felt like I have so much to tell you. The first thing I would say is congratulations on getting your son into treatment and keeping the family together. Your intervention worked and all involved should proud of themselves for trying to help save your son's life.

The next thing I would say is that "Rome was not built in a day". Your son is fighting a deadly disease that has total control of his brain. Drugs change the brain and convince the addict that they MUST use. Often people relapse and have to go into treatment multiple times before they truly move into recovery.

Your son must first detox from the opiate (they may put him on Methadone or Suboxone to help with that process). The treatment center will also likely do a psychological assessment to try to help him to understand how and why he became an addict in the first place and to address the issues he needs to deal with in order to recover.

They should also get him to start a 12 step program that he will need to stay in for at least a year or more. That's where you and the rest of the family come in. You should all be going through the 12 step process too.

Al-anon is not just for Alcohol but also for drug addiction. Al-anon meetings are a good place for the family to go to learn about the 12 steps and to learn to understand the disease of addiction. You will usually find excellent meetings at churches, but you need to go to different meetings until you find a meeting that you like and that meets your needs. As many family members as possible should go.

Also, you should absolutely contact the treatment center and find out what services your son is receiving. Often treatment centers invite the family to be involved in treatment sessions and should let you know when you'll be allowed to visit with him.

I would get more information before telling them about the communication your son is having with his wife. Your son is VERY fragile right now and he may view telling the treatment center about the messages as a betrayal.

My final piece of advice is that even if this treatment center doesn't work or your son relapses, DON'T GIVE UP ON HIM! Look for different treatment centers, get him to understand he needs to keep trying. Don't assume he is never going to get better and that nothing will work. There are many, many different types of treatment centers and it may take awhile before he gets into a program that will meet his needs.

Also, keep working the 12 steps (at Al-anon meetings) and try to make your son go to meetings DAILY and try to get him to work the steps. He can recover from the addiction if he commits to the 12 step program. The steps will work if he works the steps!

Good Luck and May God Bless you, your son and your family.

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