Every day, we at the Coleman Network for Addiction Medicine help people fight their addiction. We work with families and friends of addicts and help them fight the ravages brought on by addiction. With compassionate and qualified case managers and social workers, we can do this much more easily.
The Starting Point
Regardless of what substance a person desires to stop, physical detoxification has to be the starting point. Once a client is engaged with the Coleman Network, the journey toward recovery begins to reveal itself. We specialize in helping people get off alcohol, benzodiazepines, and opioids in their many faces: heroin, fentanyl, methadone, buprenorphine, codeine, Dilaudid, hydrocodone, morphine, tramadol, kratom, oxycodone, oxymorphone, etc.
A Mother’s Real Experience
I invited the mother of a patient who detoxed off opioids and is now well into her second year of sobriety to write a guest blog describing her experience:
I remember the hot August day that I got a call from my ex saying he had discovered that our daughter was using opiates. Worried, I pulled over and tried not to completely freak out. There would be time for that later. I remember thinking, “Our lives have changed forever.”
Not Knowing What to Expect
Neither of us had any idea of how to proceed. When to tell her we knew? How to tell her, what words to use for the best outcome? Was she in so deep she’d need rehab or could she just stop? Ah, how clueless I was. Call me naive, but I never thought this child would choose to use anything other than alcohol and marijuana. I was shocked and afraid for her. I told her dad that we needed to act immediately, that her next use could be her last.
Our Plan Forward
Her dad and I wanted to hammer out exactly what to say and we had no idea where to start. She was living out of town so we had to wait for her to come home. I called a local residential treatment program, and spoke to a woman there who gave me important advice: Tell her how much we love her and have a plan in place. A local Nar-Anon group a friend told me about was immensely helpful in helping us form our plan. Every day I was worried out of my mind about her using, possibly fatally, and the confrontation we were getting ready to have.
My stomach hurt and my heart ached and I was full of fright. On the next weekend when she was home, she found out that we knew of her secret so we agreed to meet the next morning. We talked about our fear and our love for her and that we hoped she’d be willing to go to the local program and talk to them about her options. We set the rule that she could not stay in either of our houses as long as she was using. So she agreed to go reluctantly and she and I headed directly there.
What To Do Next
When we arrived, she met with an intake staff member for 45 minutes. His message to her was urgent: you need to get help now or you will die. Heroin is lethal and can lead to death. This was a heavy message and she came out of his office shaken and tearful. He took us to see the women’s residential recovery house and urged her to commit to signing up for treatment immediately.
I called another local rehab program; as it was the only one I knew of. They said she could come, so her dad and I took her there the next day. We drove away feeling like she’d be safe there but only two hours later she called and said we had to pick her up. It turns out a girl had told the director that, because her boyfriend knew our daughter, she felt uncomfortable. We picked our daughter up, headed home, and wondered what to do next.
A Pinnacle Moment
That was November and we lived on eggshells through the holidays. I told the few friends who knew about what was going on that I felt we’d dodged a bullet. It was a combination of denial and hope that we were done with the situation. At lunch with her one day, I asked her if she was using drugs because I suspected that she was and she flat out denied it. She even swore on her dog, and I wanted to believe her. She was lying. Because she had not been using that long and she was detoxed, we decided that she would put together her own program by going to meetings and not using. Her dad and I thought that maybe we’d caught it early enough that this might work. What did we know?!
She had tried to detox herself and it was a horrific experience. She described the violent shaking and getting into the shower as she desperately tried to get through it. She really wanted help this time.In January, she called me in tears. “I’ve relapsed and I’m so sorry, but I’ve already called the rehab program and they have room, and I’ve called my insurance company, and I’ve called the Coleman Network about their detox program.” This time was different, it was a pinnacle moment. I was so grateful that she had not resumed use when things got bad.
Getting the Help She Needed
She spent a week following Coleman’s medical detox protocol. She was prescribed meds to help her get through the withdrawal with lots of rest and a visit at the clinic every morning to check in. Then she packed her suitcase and we headed back to the treatment program where she stayed for the next month.
Here, the residents are up every morning at 5 to workout. The days are filled with one-on-one sessions with therapists as well as group meetings. She needed intensive therapy like that, and she immersed herself in the opportunity to heal. The intensive therapy was giving her the space to dig into issues that had been needing attention. By the time we attended family day, she had made lots of progress and was embracing her recovery without hesitation.
After a month she came home and decided to live with me for a while. I was honored to watch her recovery unfold. 17 months later she remains enthusiastic and positive. She has her own apartment and recently got a promotion at her job. There are no guarantees, but every day that she is sober I am grateful for.
Sharing the Journey
I was initially uncomfortable with our daughter being so public about her recovery. My mother was an alcoholic and back in the day we didn’t speak of it to anyone… It was a family secret. When I suggested to her that maybe she shouldn’t be quite so open about her story, she admonished me, “Mom, there is no shame in recovery!” She was right and I have chosen to be open about our family as well.
The staff at the Coleman Network were professional, friendly and non-judgmental. Her 30-day treatment program matched her needs. I so appreciate the people who helped us when our heads were spinning and set us on a healthy path. They helped us understand the urgency of the situation. And I’m especially thankful for support from members of the Nar-Anon group at a local church. We could not have done it alone and appreciate the guidance of everyone.
If you would like to discuss your or a loved one’s addiction problem, please give us a call.
Joan R. Shepherd, FNP