She says she's ready how do I help?

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Elsi, Nov 19, 2018.

  1. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    S called me this morning at 5:00 a.m. crying hysterically. This is the first time I've heard from her for a while, other than occasional texts telling me "everything's cool, call you soon!" Clearly, everything is not "cool"...she's been living with a coke dealer (pimp?) and even C says it's been "out of control."

    The dealer beat her up last night. I don't know how badly. She's 4'10" and probably down to about 90 pounds. She says she hit him first and "was being a real B" but now she's scared of him and doesn't know where to go. And she says she wants out of this life. She told me she's ready for rehab and wants to stop using.

    I asked her if she would go to a hospital now and she said no she just wanted to sleep for a while where she is (I'm not sure where that is) and sober up first. I asked her to please text me the address where she was right now before she goes to sleep but she didn't. She promised to call me when she wakes up. We'll see.

    So, on the off chance she's still serious later when she's sober and not scared to do I help her? What's the best way to get her into a program? She has no money (obviously) and I don't have a ton to spare either - not anywhere near enough for a private program. I could help her out with monthly costs for a sober living facility for a short time later, but I can't afford to rob my retirement or pony up thousands of dollars in bulk for an inpatient program. My impression is that spots in programs are hard to come by around here.

    N's program was prison based, and C and S have never expressed willingness to try a program before, so I don't really have experience with anything that isn't court mandated. Where do I start to get her connected to the right program? And what kind of support will she need from me?

    I know this may not be the turning point I want it to be - it's entirely possible she'll disappear on me again, or change her mind about being willing to try something. But I want to be ready, just in case.
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
    • List
  2. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Actions speak loud. Words are.....words. They dont require any effort. And no you cant spend all your money on her words, spoken one night after she is scared. I hope it lasts need to monitor her actions starting today.

    I would give her the phone number of a domestic violence safehouse. I believe they help people in all situations and if she is serious about quitting drugs I am pretty sure they know where she can go on Medicaid .if she doesnt have it yet I know that the place I volunteered at helped the women get benefits.They offer therapy too. And she can stay there for a while. The boyfriend would not be allowed in or even to call.

    in my opinion thats a good place to start.

    Love and luck!
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • List
  3. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    Thanks, SWOT. That's a good thought. And yes, I'm not hanging too much hope on words right now.

    She says the dealer isn't her boyfriend. Just "a friend" who's been letting her stay there (and drink and take drugs) for "free" because "he's a really nice guy, most of the time." I am not asking exactly what the terms are for "free" here. I know there is a lot she's not telling me.
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • List
  4. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I think SWOT had a good idea in the domestic violence program. But I do not know the rules about being clean.

    I have limited knowledge about drugs but detox would be different depending upon the substance and the method of use and duration of use. There will be a Drug and Alcohol Department in every County Department of Mental Health. They would know about resources for detox, treatment and sober living. I would not assume those beds are hard to get. They may be, but not necessarily. In the sober living where my son lived, the spot was free to indigents and it was not hard to get a spot. That was run through the Rescue Mission. They had free program, room and board. Meanwhile NA is someplace where she can start right now.

    If she were to go to a domestic violence safe house or shelter her housing needs would be solved immediately and they would help her to find stable longer term housing. They may well help her access drug treatment and counseling.

    Meanwhile she should be qualified for medical care through the government, by going to social services in her County. Sometimes one can apply at clinics that work with the poor and underserved populations.

    If she has been sexually exploited and/or prostituting herself there are resources specifically for this population, programs to help them transition to a different lifestyle.

    Meanwhile, if and when she stabilizes she is young enough to go to Job Corps, where she will be housed, fed and trained vocationally (GED if necessary) in very good programs. This is a federal program with sites all over the country.

    There are a number of options for her. I do not see where you have to fund her. She can access these based upon her own willingness to do so.

    It is a good thing she reached out to you. You will see whether she can sustain this and make it an intention and follow through. This part is hard. The follow through. Because we have no control. Our hearts are touched and opened...and then there is nothing to do...except wait. You are very strong.

    She is a victim of crime. If she files a police report she could get free long-term psychotherapy through a program called Victim Witness, most likely, if she wants it. She would apply through the District Attorney, but she must file a police report. She may not want to.
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • List
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2018
  5. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    I'm not sure about the rules for being clean at the DV shelter either. Good question to ask. But they may be able to point me to other resources, too.

    I KNOW, and she admits, she is a serious alcoholic. I have to assume, based on present living circumstances, she is on cocaine. I know many of her friends are on heroin. She claims not to shoot up herself, but she has near full sleeve tattoos on both arms now so it is hard to tell. Meth and opioids are very prevalent here. The last several times I've seen her, her hygiene has been poor and she looks more and more emaciated. But I don't know exactly what she's on presently, so I'm not sure what to expect on detox. I have to assume she'ss need a professionally supervised medical detox of some duration before she can move on to other programs.

    She has never gotten on Medicaid, even though she qualifies, because she can never get her act together to apply on time during the enrollment period. I think this year that's going to be the one thing I will push for both C and S - get medicaid applications completed before the enrollment window closes, so we will have more options for care in 2019.

    Sadly, here I think beds are very limited compared to demand. S talks about friends she knows who were turned away from programs and later died of overdoses. I don't know the full stories or why they were turned away, but I do know services are extremely stretched. I am in the rust belt and in the epicenter of the opioid crisis. The lack of available services is in the news all the time. My county morgue had to put up temporary trailers a couple of years ago to handle the overflow from the opioid epidemic. Those trailers are still there and they are talking about needing a couple more. It is insane. And heartbreaking. My sense is that priority is given to people who they think have the best shot of getting clean, and demonstrate the highest level of readiness and willingness to work with the program. They don't have the resources to spend on those who are difficult to work with or deemed to be at high risk of relapse. From what I can see, it's a very sad and cynical form of triage. So the question is - is she ready? Will she work with them? And can she convince someone that she's ready and willing? Maybe you're right, and maybe it will be easier than I think. But I do worry about availability in my area.

    Is she? I thought the cut off was 26? She's 28 now. 29 in the spring.

    I asked her if she wanted to file a report and told her I would go with her. She said no. She's had run-ins with police before, and for all I know could have an open warrant now. She's not going anywhere near them voluntarily.

    I just can't get her voice out of my head today. She kept sobbing "I know I'm going to die if I don't stop. Everyone around me is dying and I think I'm next. I can't do this anymore."
  6. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    This may be a way you can help her; to go with her to apply for Medicaid and food stamps and general assistance.

    I would not trust her version of events. She would rationalize why treatment options are non-existent or impossible.

    I thought she was younger. Over 26 can go if they are disabled, but it does not seem that she has a documented disability. But there are still ROP programs and other jobs programs from the Employment Department, when she turns the corner. Nurse's Aids programs are free. And Home Health Aid training too, which can be a live-in situation.

    What I am trying to say is there are options if she is ready. If she is not, there will be nothing.

    It sounds like the DV programs might be her best shot. I might support her to call the Rescue Mission. And check out what is possible.

    The Justice Project is one program that helps women get out of prostitution. If she was involved in this life. They might know of resources in your area.
  7. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    Good point. I know you're right. It's more the local news I hear, and the stats passed around locally this past election season, that make me worry. It's hard to overstate how bad things have been these last few years, and our local services were never designed for problems on this scale. But what else is there to do but try?
  8. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Copa you are blessed. There are many services near you that dont exist in other places. Where I live there is help but bare bones.
  9. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    That's been my experience in my area also. :( When the county response to the opioid epidemic is to buy a couple trailers and an extra generator for the doesn't give me a whole lot of faith.

    I have flashbacks to when S was 16, and was released after her second suicide attempt and an emergency hold, and I was told that the wait list for seeing a psychiatrist who could treat and prescribe for adolescents in our area was NINE MONTHS. With an actively suicidal 16-year-old. It wasn't even an insurance question, or a payment question, it was just that long a wait list for anyone within a 2-hour drive.
  10. Smithmom

    Smithmom Active Member

    Well I do have experience here. In my state anyway. Forget money, no addict has money.

    First and only step is sub abuse evaluation. Where in your area I don't know but your ER will know and in fact may be the place to go. Ask them to look at the bruises. Then ask where to get the sub abuse evaluation (which they likely do) which will give her the options. First is whether she needs detox. If she does, which is likely, they will make the calls to find a detox bed. If sub abuse evaluation says she doesn't need detox and she agrees to rehab they will call around to find a bed. They know the financial criteria of each program. They know what kinds of subs each program deals with, how long the program is and all the other things which don't really matter. All that matters is that they have an available bed. Whether she stays is the biggest question and no one knows that.

    Other thought... If the bed is 1000 miles away all you say is OK can you arrange transport? The addict doesn't want to leave. But it can be the best thing. No fear from predator. Chance to make clean friends. See world anew.

    DV shelter will require rehab. May give you referral to place to get sub abuse evaluation.

    Social services including medicaid not necessary. Again, may give you referral to where to get sub abuse evaluation. Medicaid not necessary, won't pay for rehab. ER will do paperwork for Medicaid for their services if you push it. If not they'll nod at you and you'll have to deal with their bill later. Once you get into detox or rehab they'll do funding paperwork.

    Remember that your child is like 99% of addicts who need rehab. No paperwork not even a ss card, no insurance, no money. We stress about this stuff. People who deal with these situations don't. Its the nature of the beast.
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Useful Useful x 2
    • List
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2018
  11. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    I would figure out a way.

    I guess the first step is to see if she calls me back and still wants to talk about it or disappears on me again.

    Meanwhile, C told me yesterday he was 8 days clean. This is the farthest he's made it in years. Still won't consider a program, though.

    You know, I've managed to find ways to live with the fear and uncertainty in their lives. It's the hope at times like this that kills me.
  12. Smithmom

    Smithmom Active Member

    Oh Elsi, these are the times I live for. The glimmer of hope, the times I may actually be able to help. It may only be that one phone call. But it is hope and that's what I'm always looking for.
  13. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    I guess I just know how likely it is that the hope will be dashed again. I can't bear it. The fragility of it. Going into rescue mode yet again knowing that it is probably futile. Because I want each time to be "the time" so, so badly. And I know it's probably just "here we go again."
  14. Smithmom

    Smithmom Active Member

    Yes. But remember that few go to rehab and never look back. Most people do rehab at least 3 times before it sticks. The feeling that they want to go to rehab is the same. They are unlikely to go the first few times. Its a process. I see it as being headed in the right direction. Its admitting that they need help. Mine has often told me that there's nothing wrong. Doesn't need rehab cause he doesn't have a problem. So if I got the call you did I'd be ecstatic. No, may never happen. But its momentum over time.
  15. elizabrary

    elizabrary Active Member

    Even if it doesn't pan out you have shown her that you will support her getting sober in any way you can. That is so important for them to know. I always tell my daughter I will do anything to help her get well and nothing that helps keep her sick. Knowing that support is there when they are ready is crucial.
  16. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    Very good advice.
    • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
    • List
  17. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    She could come to my town!
    • Friendly Friendly x 2
    • Creative Creative x 1
    • List
  18. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Elsi. What about a Salvation Army Rehabilitation program? These programs are well-regarded. They are all over. There are maybe half a dozen in the Northern Part of my state. I do not believe there is much of a waiting list if any. These are free rehab programs. They house and feed them. They work. I investigated the admission process for my son. He went as far as to get an application. If she is ready, there is no better option as far as I can think.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2018
  19. Smithmom

    Smithmom Active Member

    I wasn't aware that Salvation Army did sub abuse rehab. So I went and looked at several of their many websites. Perhaps they do in your area. But everything I could find on the internet refers to sub abuse as part of their "rehab centers". Again, feel free to point out a sub abuse program in the sense of the term as it is normally used. But that is not what the Salvation Army "rehab centers" are. Nor would it work for most of our addicts. The best I can suggest in terms of understanding what a sub abuse program is on a day to day basis is to watch an old show in one of its forms called Celebrity Rehab.

    Sub abuse programs are only for sub addicts who have very recently used. Salvation Army type programs accept people with many needs including addiction, mental health issues, recently released from incarceration, homelessness, etc. Sub abuse programs monitor what is brought into the "closed" environment down to opening socks in a suitcase. Salvation Army type programs operate more like a homeless shelter, little oversight of what is brought into the building. Sub abuse programs do not allow contact with anyone outside the program for a period, usually 30 days. Then increasing contact based on therapist approval. Salvation Army type programs don't monitor contact with the outside world or interaction amongst residents. Sub abuse programs have limited recreation activities but the bulk of the day is either individual or group therapy. Recreation activities are meant to be therapeutic. Salvation Army type programs have limited group therapy sessions of many kinds. But the focus is on moving on to independent life, finding housing and jobs. Sub abuse programs vary in length but are typically 30 to 90 days. Salvation Army rehab centers start at 6 mo.

    The Salvation Army rehab centers certainly serve a need. But I submit that a sub abuse addict who has just stopped using would not receive sufficient services in this setting.
  20. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    The program was recommended to me by an addict. I had known nothing about it. What I know is based upon several phone calls to two different centers.

    I just went to their website. This is what they say on the first page:

    Our free programs provide housing, food, counseling, community and employment as we work to address the symptoms and ultimately the root causes, of prolonged alcohol and drug dependence.

    I will see if I can find more.