Read Clean and feeling confused....

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by toughlovin, Apr 30, 2013.

  1. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Hi all,

    Well I am feeling a bit confused and rather despondant and hopeless. My difficult child is still in the sober house but his behavior is pretty on the edge and he is skating on very thin ice. They are doing what they can to help him but I still feel he needs to somehow wake up and get something.

    I just finished listening to "Clean" on tape. I highly recommend it. It is a good book but it left me somewhat questioning myself and wondering what if anything I can do if my son gets kicked out of this place. I so dread the idea of him being homeless again.

    The book really talks about addiction being a disease....lots of info about that. It talks scathingly about the war on drugs and how it has failed and about current treatment options. It really outlines the problems with the treatments today. It does a good job of outlining what is needed at a good treatment center and I can see that we have not always had those things in the places my son has I have a better idea of what to look for.... but I suspect there are not many of those things at many places that are affordable or covered by insurance.

    And it talks about not letting addicts hit bottom because bottom is often death....

    So it leaves me wondering what on earth do I do if my son ends up getting kicked out again. I feel like I am out of options. I am convinced he is dual diagnosis and some of his problems are mental health issues because as far as I know he is sober now but doing really impulsive stupid things. The sober house may just make it mandatory he get therapy which would be good I think. I am just worried that the help there may not be enough.

    It all leaves me feeling so sad and wondering if I just need to take the attitude of he** wwith him and get on with the rest of my life.... but how can I do that?

  2. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Well-Known Member

    Hi TL - (((HUGS))) it never is just peace that we can have, is it?

    Someone posted this on another support group this morning - I was able to read some but swamped with work right now - it is a really great site!
  3. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    Yikes TL,

    I am sorry for the doubts you are having right now.
    I must say...I disagree with "hitting bottom often leading to death". That sounds like a shocking statement designed to keep your attention but not necessarily reality, in my humble opinion.

    For my oldest Prison and then potentially losing his first born was enough to sober him up.
    Young difficult child is still a toss up but I don't for a second think it impossible for him to sober up too. Look at me and my husband. We have decades of sobriety between us...I lost it for 6 weeks while manic around 8 yrs ago.
    And you know people with long term sobriety as well...It happens all the time. And not just with medication either. I was sober for many many yrs without medication of any kind. It was only an antidepressant that brought on Manic Behavior that lead to the last time.

    I believe in your son TL. I think he can do this. While he "may need" medication...he has sure shown a knack for surviving without it so far.

  4. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    Hi TL,

    Is he seeing a psychiatrist? Is he on medication? Does he have insurance?

    My son's halfway house has a dual diagnosis track that can last up to 6 months.
  5. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    He does have a psychiatrist and is on medications. He saw a therapist but didn't like has not been willing to see another. I think the sober house may make that a requirement for him to stay there which we would fully support. He is on our insurance although we have been having trouble getting them to cover stuff. I think the sober house is great and on him but it may not be enough....but I am not sure what else he could do at this point.

  6. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    Here is the NY Times review of the book, thought you'd like to read it. It was in today's paper. I'm so glad your friend runs the place difficult child is in right now, and I'm sure he's a great advocate for him. I don't know how much dual diagnosis individuals can really control their behavior, particularly when they are stressed.
  7. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I read the review and am going to order the book. The interventionist we used said that same thing about hitting bottom . . . she said we needed to take action before it was too late. I am convinced that if we hadn't acted when we did, our difficult child would be dead now. She had already been rushed to the hospital for alcohol poisoning and then overdosed on our couch. If we had just kicked her out to hit bottom, the next step would have been burying her.

    I liked that he said that addiction is a disease just like any other disease. Would you passively sit by and watch your loved one refuse treatment for cancer? Wait for them to hit bottom and then agree to treatment after the cancer had spread?

    I know that we often hear that addicts have to "want" treatment but our interventionist said that only 15% of addicts seek treatment voluntarily. Most end up in treatment because of family or because it is court ordered.

    I have done a complete 180 degree turn on this. I used to be a big advocate of kick them out and let them hit bottom. Now I lean towards seeing addiction and mental illness as intertwined and that they need to be treated together as part of a bigger picture.

  8. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I am looking forward to reading the book also. I have always had trouble with the word bottom because how do you know what someone's bottom is. Yes we did make our difficult child leave our home and there truly was no other alternative. So for us I guess you could say she hit bottom before she asked for help, it was her bottom at the time, obviously not the lowest bottom she could reach because she was not living on the street and she was still eating and she was not on heroin or other hard drugs. But it was her bottom because that is the point where she decided on her own that she didn't want to live that way any longer. So I understand what they are saying about not making them hit bottom but as far as I am concerned it's only playing with words. When a difficult child does not want help, is a legal adult, refuses to get help, is destructive and abusive and violent and is using drugs and not rational, there are not many other alternatives. So I hope this book is not trying to make those of us who have had to take that step feel guilty for doing it.

    I do agree that the person does not have to want help to get help. But I will also say that I sit in meetings every week and listen to addicts over and over say that they did not get clean/sober until they wanted to and no forcing or begging by their parents or any other entity did any good. So I can't discount what they are saying. This also could just be a play on words because a difficult child could be forced into treatment and somewhere along the way see the light and want help, but over and over again they relapse until they decide they want to stop. Again I feel that this is all just symantics.

    As time goes on I am becoming more and more convinced that no one knows the answer to the correct treatment program. I have yet to hear about any program that has a high success rate and believe it is different for everyone. And I do agree that mental illness is a huge component of addiction but there again I don't think we have a clue how to resolve that.

    I guess you could say I'm a bit negative today.
  9. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Thanks for all your thoughts. PG I liked that article on detachment... a great reminder that we can detach from their actions but dont need to detach from loving them. Jane.... that NY times review was very accurate I think. He really does not give very direct answers but rather points out there really arent any... a lot more work needs to be done. So Nancy you are not negative just realistic. What I did like about the book was the last part where it is kind of a call to action... that we need to make addiction the squeaky wheel issue and get research and treatment for this disease, similar to what has been done with cancer and AIDS!!! I totally agree with that.

    As far as the hitting bottom part... that is the part I am having to sort out in my head and your comments have helped! I think where I am coming to and may be is what he is saying is we dont need to try and force our loved ones to hit bottom by rejecting them or punishing them. I think he definitely feels this is an illness and we need to try and help our loved ones find treatment in whatever way we can. So if an intervention works then do it. We definitely cant force any adult into treatment so we need to find ways to encourage, support them to get to treatment. And I believe not enabling them is a part of that... I cant believe anyone would think I should give my son an apartment so he would not be homeless... we all know where that would lead. I really didnt see any other option other than letting my son find his way and be homeless and it did get him to treatment... and even if it was just to get off the street I think I did the right thing by helping him get there. If I had turned my back on him at that point and said you are not at bottom yet then that would not have been helpful and may have made things even worse.

    And what I got reminded of at my alanon meeting tonight is this is out of my control. I cant force him to do the right things, to follow the rules, to take help. I can continue to let him know I love him and will continue to help him do the next right thing. If at some point we are looking at treatment then I can look into options.

    Ok time to go watch some tv with my husband.