There is such a disconnect between people and treatment. People with a history of addiction and who are actively seeking help can not find it. We see on the front page of the newspaper that Johnny had to go to Florida to get help. Johnny had to leave the State of Delaware to get help. Johnny left knowing he had pending criminal charges against him. There are too many cases just like Johnny's. Johnny choose life. He was going to die if he didn't go get treatment.
He found a fellowship in Florida. He found a community; a Recovery community. Wow! What a concept! It's common sense to people who have longer term recovery. We understand that young adults need a sense of community. Most of their friends can drink and smoke marijuana recreationally.
Do you know how hard it is to get sober before you are even 21 years old? All the normal is over. Drinking and drugging career... OVER! Well, what do these young adults do?
Mom has had about enough. Dad may or may not be around. So, the young adult is put back into the same environment with nothing to do. He eventually gives in, hangs out with old friends again and drinking and drugging looks like a good idea. Mom and dad don't understand how this could have happened. They think getting arrested or a visit to the local ER is enough to scare him. It takes a lot to scare a young adult. They think they are unstoppable.
The disconnect- Scenario 2
Mom reads local paper and sees there is a program that gives a medicine like methadone or suboxone. She sees people on the front page of newspaper that look happy and they are on methadone. 80 mg to be exact, which is a very high dose. Newspaper does not talk about how addictive methadone is and how methadone is the hardest drug to get off of. The withdrawal symptoms are worse than heroin. Methadone does not stop certain behaviors like stealing, lying, cheating and being emotionally unavailable. This is why mom doesn't understand. My daughter Sally is on methadone, shouldn't everything be magically better.
At the clinic, the counselors have to see up to 60 clients a day. How is that treatment? If you are lucky, you also attend an IOP like Argo or Aquila . The typical client is also on TASC and Probation. So now, this recovery has become a full-time job and most of that time is spent in waiting rooms or giving urines. The problem with urines is people know how to fake them. So, now we get into this huge problem called INSTITUTIONALIZATION. This is when people become more comfortable in this cycle than learning how to live life on their own. They get used to people telling them what to do all the time. They can't even think for themselves. When you are on the clinic, you can not travel unless you have a certain amount of "take homes". To get the "take homes", you have to give clean urines. These programs will allow someone to stay on methadone if they are smoking marijuana everyday. The problem is that they will never get "take home" bottles, and this is why we call methadone "liquid hand cuffs". You can't go anywhere if you are on methadone and you can't get off because it is so addictive. Most people I know had to go to jail to get off of it, and part of the reason is because Delaware will not detox a person from methadone. some people have claimed it is a liability, which is ironic because Delaware facilities will prescribe methadone. So, Delaware will allow programs to put someone on Methadone, but will not allow the person to get treatment when they want to get off. The person would have to have very strong recovery and people that support them to get off this very lethal drug called Methadone, essentially doing it on their own.
We need more holistic programs. Methadone has it's purpose, but there is a problem with the fact that rehabs will not detox patients from Methadone. The holistic programs that Delaware has are struggling to stay open because of funding. Some investors think methadone has a better Return of Investment, because the administering of methadone is profitable. BUT, as a person in long-term recovery it is believed the investor would have just as good of a return on their investment if they invested in more recovery communities. this would also potentially save more lives and billions of dollars.
These recovery communities would help the person as a whole, not just a piece. It would help them feel they were apart of group again, like a family. This is important in early recovery because many people have burned bridges with families as a result of their addiction and their family wants nothing to do with them. This community would help mom learn to trust again and eventually bring more family values back to the family, by sharing meals and holding each other accountable. In turn, this would bring an older community back to life again and give them a purpose too. Now Johnny can come to Delaware and experience the same recovery he experienced in Florida.
Disconnect with Narcan-
It is believed that Narcan is saving lives and has been proven. The disconnect is the people being "Narcanned" are not being provide suitable treatment. Some may even be "Narcarnned" multiple times in one month. So, are we really saving their life if we are not providing treatment or help for them. In many ways, this is a false hope. Parents believe if they get trained they will be able to save their child's or significant other's life. Narcan is definitely helpful to have if you are a first responder and have been trained for high stress situations. What is happening with the Narcan is drug dealers are selling heroin with the Narcan and calling it a "Party Package". Again, we have people/families who need help and who are not getting it. Very sad and expensive. Our tax dollars could be used more efficiently than this.
Disconnect with Community-
"Ain't my child, ain't my problem. Until it is your child.
These days, almost everyone is affected by addiction in some way. Why are people not helping each other more? People are so focused on their own family. Being someone in recovery, I found I must let go of control and turn my thoughts to someone I can help. Many times, it has been someone I was not related to. They needed help. Later, I was blessed to find there were other people living this way of life and ended up helping my brother. You see, I could not save my brother. I had to give him to God. I tried to control my brother and thought I was so great for doing so. Meanwhile, my brother didn't think i was so great. I wasn't very nice to him. I was very controlling. That's not how it works.
Coming Together tips-
Give someone a ride to a meeting or let someone take refuge in your home for a night or two. Take a phone call and talk to someone and let them know they are not alone. Sit with someone in the detox lobby until they get into treatment. Help someone call their insurance company to figure out where they will go. Pay a co-pay or deductable for someone, so the can get quality treatment. Pray with someone. Send some one an uplifting quote. Practice what you preach. Hold the door for a stranger. Teach your children about courage and kindness. Tutor an child at the Boys and Girls Club. Take your child to the store and have them buy a meal for someone who hasn't eaten in a few days. Give Hope. Get Hope.