If you have followed my blog concerning my personal dealings with substance abuse and two of my sons, then you would see one of success and one of failure. I have not added to my blog for some time as the younger son who was five years in successful recovery, was doing well. He had a good job, met his fiancé and became a father to a beautiful baby boy. As they, life was good.
He and his fiancé were preparing to move back to Maryland. Both were from the Maryland area and Florida no longer was that appealing. They missed the mountains and cooler weather that was absent in Florida. He had turned in his notice of leaving his position as a Behavioral Health Technician and was preparing to move when he had a serious automobiles accident that resulted in several fractures to his hip and multiple bumps and bruises. He was nursed back to the point where he was able to make the move although the pain had not lessened.
The family managed to move back to Maryland and he sought a pain management specialist to help provide some relief. I have to really blame my son at this point in that he did not confess that he was a recovering addict. The doctor prescribed acetaminophen and oxycodone to help deal with pain. Before long he realized he was becoming addicted and elected to enter the detox facility where he had worked. After a short stay he returned to his job in Maryland and seemed to be doing well. At least that was the impression the family had at the time.
A year or so later he and his family planned to move to South Carolina. His fiancé’s family was located there. Housing costs and the general cost of living was significantly higher in Maryland than South Carolina. A week before the move was to take place, my son sat down with his family here and confessed that he had been on street drugs since he had left the detox facility almost a year before. He had tried to self-medicate but as with most was not successful. The pain had become a lesser problem because he was working and the movement helped erase the pain. What was not erased was the need for opioids.
Again, because he knew from years of recovery that he needed help. He was admitted to a rehab facility for a twenty-eight-day period. With all the background knowledge we had from the past, twenty-eight days would not address the steps needed for successful recovery. While he was in the rehab facility, his fiancé and his son completed the move to South Carolina. He knew what steps were needed. He needed a new sponsor, to start the steps again, and start an outpatient program. Basically, he needed to start over again from ground zero. He was admitted to an outpatient program in South Carolina to start this part of his recovery. This is where things stand at the moment.
The reason for updating my blog is only to remind each of us who deal with loved ones having substance abuse problems, that this disease never rests. One episode or trigger may result in a relapse. It’s so difficult to understand why someone who can be successful for a long period of time, falls victim. I know I read years back that ninety plus percent of those having substance abuse will relapse. Knowing this it should not have surprised me. The main lesson here is that we have to be aware that this can happen. We also need to believe that those victims with a good bit of clean time will know what they have to do without your suggestions. It will help both the one addicted and those around them if each realizes what addiction is and what our role is for successful recovery. You can really do no more than support the victims and pray that they have the strength and willingness to make this most difficult journey back to recovery.