We received the following comment from mom101:
"I appreciate the detailed feedback. Lots of info and still I feel lost as to how we will get through this. I suppose that the marijuana substitute looked to me like a quick easy fix but it seems that it's only a new crutch and could just be used 'in addition to' the opiates if one isn't ready to stop or feels that they cannot handle abstinence.
Thank you for your response."
Overwhelmed and lost is a pretty common state for a family member. We wrote and produced this site to address this very challenge. We believe treatment is the best answer for your son. Yes, some people recover on their own, but that is too long to wait.
Aim for treatment. The videos on this site describe how to lay the foundation for a calmer, better relationship with your son, and when and how you should suggest treatment.
Find that treatment for him. Make a list and call the places. Find out everything you can about the places: wait list, criteria for admission, cost…figure out how your son will get to treatment, who will take care of his kids/animals/rent if he has to absent himself. How he will get there.
We have written some blogs that address getting them into treatment.
Your role is to partner with your son and help him get into that treatment. In other words, enable treatment.
For opiates, look for medication-assisted treatment (MAT) as a start (suboxone, methadone, vivitrol). Ask about the counseling he will receive. Think of adding in a recovery coach, more group or individual therapy, self help like AA/NA or smart recovery. Create a list with all these options and present him with it when the time is right or almost right—a wish or a dip or a planned talk (see Learning Module 8) (blog posts on wishes & dips).
It can be paralyzing to feel overwhelmed and lost. Focus on this piece of it: what you can change in yourself that can improve the likelihood he will agree to treatment, as detailed in in the Learning Modules.
One last thing: past treatment failure is not an indication of future treatment failure. It can and often does take repeated treatment episodes to gain some traction. Don’t despair, keep pushing for treatment when you see an opening to talk about it. It is the best and fastest way to change the course of addiction in your family.