Family

Part One Intervention in the old school sense used to rely heavily on tough love.  Families would gather at a pre-designated location and unbeknownst to the addict, surprise him or her with strict words and an ultimatum.  The sole focus was to get the addict into treatment and away from the family.  The more co-dependent a family, the more the need to separate them.  But things have changed – for the better.
I have three sons all in their 20’s, all pretty good kids, all pretty normal except one who suffers from a not so rare disease…. Drug Addiction.  So how did I come to accept the fact that I would no longer be able to drink a beer with my son at a baseball game, or go shoot a game of pool and grab a drink with him? 
Drug abuse aftercare is getting a bum wrap – or is it?  “Funny story – over the last week I’ve had two different people ask me, ‘So, is what you do: telling people when they are ‘acting out’ during their recovery process a ‘Boot Camp method’?”  Mike Joly is bewildered by the misconception that people have about programs like his that emphasize a “Holding-Your-Peers-Accountable” approach. 
Neither Karen nor I were aware of Brian’s drug abuse until I received “the” phone call from school that he was seen smoking dope on campus.  Hindsight being what it is, we now realize that the signs were there but not recognized by either one of us.  Karen thought Brian and his friends wanting massive quantities of snacks at late hours of the night, was growing boys, just being boys.  The smell of incense and other fragrances was the boys exploring other cultures.
I'm writing this narrative explaining my experience with being a dad of a son with a heroin addiction.  For a long time I suspected that my son, Matthew, was on drugs; he looked terrible, was always in a bad mood and never seemed too happy to spend any time with the family. 
The New Life House Recovery Community asked Dr. Martha Koo to discuss the high risk of substance abuse in individuals with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and the importance of early therapeutic intervention.
“Successful intervention” wasn’t on Erin’s mind when she and her husband Paul first started to look for answers to their oldest son’s drug and alcohol addiction. She could barely wrap her head around the fact that Trevor had a problem; so considering the possibility of sending him away for treatment wasn’t even an option.
When I was writing the script of my son’s young life…heroin, addiction, homelessness, were words I never penned. The following is the encapsulation of a 6-year journey towards recovery.
I am ashamed to admit that I knew Shane* was using drugs (he rarely drank) for years before I ever took any action or got honest with myself about his addiction to drugs.  I recall Shane smoking pot around 13 years old and I specifically remember telling myself that at least he is only smoking pot, which I convinced myself at the time was the LESSER OF THE EVILS.  It seemed to me that all young people were smoking pot, therefore I justified it in my mind that there was no harm in it, as long as it was pot and nothing else.
The New Life House recovery community asked Dr. Noelle Rodriguez what her thoughts were on “gateway drugs.”  Here is what she had to say: Any drug that becomes habitual in use could potentially be a "gateway drug.”  Someone who has addictive behavior, who is genetically pre-disposed to addiction, mental disorders, victims of violent abuse/exposure are at highest risk for substance abuse that can lead to addiction.