Fentanyl hijacks our ability to find pleasure elsewhere in life, and the withdrawals are so agonizing that we’ll do absolutely anything to avoid them. How do you win the battle?
When drugs and alcohol take over, the family is drawn into the needs of the addiction, blamed when resources come up short, attacked when they refuse to provide the “help” requested. It is so hard to know what to do or what “helping” looks like. Come out of the gray area and learn how to respond to your loved one’s addiction.
In our next podcast, Annie and Laurie welcome special guest Alicia Cook, an established writer and award-winning activist on addiction issues. Their discussion covers a range of topics from the very personal, Alicia Cook’s own experience with her cousin’s death from overdose 10 years ago, to her work today as an activist helping families affected by addiction. This very open discussion about the opioid epidemic reveals some harsh truths but also shows a way forward.
Annie and Laurie open up about where the focus was when they first became aware of their sons’ addiction, all the way through to where their goals and focuses are now. How did their goals evolve over time and how they depend on who your loved one is: a child, a spouse, a parent. They also conduct a short quiz to determine where one might be in the stressful process.
Laurie and Annie tell their own stories as mothers facing an addicted loved one. They discuss their backgrounds and family dynamics, speak about their lives leading up to and through their personal experiences with the national opiate crisis. Their compelling stories confirm that addiction is a disease and it’s a family disease that can happen to any family in any community.
In order to start anew with the process of sobriety, a resident who has relapsed should be sent to a more intensive level of treatment (for example: clinical stabilization services or CSS in Massachusetts), but too often nothing is available and the only option is detox. Here is some useful information for pursuing the next level of treatment.
Getting off of methadone is very hard. It has a long half life; it will feel like it is hanging on forever. If your son isn’t mentally prepared and supported for what will quite possibly be weeks of withdrawal, there is a chance he may relapse and use again to make himself feel better.
Overdose deaths are skyrocketing and Narcan has become THE focus. But for the family of the opiate using loved one, Narcan is a double-edged sword.