The Price of Admission, The Gift of Desperation, The Grace of God
Updated: Apr 23, 2019
Almost daily I have at least one person that reaches out to me for help regarding a loved-one who is struggling with #SubstanceUseDisorder (SUD). The number of individuals and families being impacted by SUD is overwhelming.
I have literally spoken to hundreds of family members over the last year. Some solicit my services and involvement in intervention and treatment placement, others listen but never take action.
But there is ONE special mom and her son that will always stand out in my mind. This mom reached out to express concerns for her 24-year old son. She was feeling the need for intervention; however, it was not a feasible option for her family. I understood, and when faced with this situation, I never leave an individual or family without first offering up some solutions.
I am a Certified Arise Interventionist. This evidenced-based interventionist model involves extensive work with the person of concern (the addicted individual) and their family for up to a six-month period of time.
I had a new case starting up the next week, along with some planned business travel. But I didn’t want to leave this mom without options.
The mom had shared her son’s current drugs of choice (DOC), which was marijuana, cocaine and abusing #Suboxone. She mentioned that he previously abused pain pills (OXY), but had stopped awhile back. I offered to look into treatment options for her son. But I also had a strong prompting to share one specific story with her from my blog, titled “From Pain Killers to Heroin.”
This mom and I have two things in common. We both have sons with SUD, and we both have a STRONG faith in God! To this day, I have not met this mom face-to-face. But the connection and bond that I felt when we spoke was undeniable, and I was certain that our paths had crossed for a reason. Before I left town, I messaged her to say, “God is really tugging at me to help you with your son”, with a plan for us to talk again when I returned.
Close to a week passed before we spoke again. She was very worried about her son, trying to hold strong, and doing what she knew to do best; continuing to pray, and show her son unconditional love! In one message to me, she spoke these #prophetic words.
“I just keep praying that God can and will use this for His good and glory...somehow, someway.”
About this time, I am thinking, “yes…let’s pray, but let’s get some action going also!” I began to start leaning in on the situation, in a manner in which I am certain made this mom a little uncomfortable. I felt an indescribable sense of urgency that I just could not shake.
I began talking to her about treatment options. Asking her if she was ready to get him into treatment. There was some hesitance on her and her husband’s part regarding “forced” treatment, and at the same time in her own words she said...
“I don’t want to be saying should of, would of, could of, after the fact!”
Another week goes by, and I receive a call from her. Her son conveyed to her that, “he no longer wanted to live this way.” At this point I did what I do best; I JUMPED into action!
I collected her insurance information and started reaching out to treatment facilities, looking for the right fit for her son. This boy needed help, and admittedly, mom needed direction.
I identified two solid programs in the area. Both of which I knew well, and had no reservations making the referrals. The only thing left to do was to choose between the two, have her son assessed by phone, pack his bags ,and GO!
Then Came the Resistance and the Delays!
What her son had previously said would be his last shift at his restaurant job, turned into a double shift. Then he needed one more day because he had money to collect, owed to him by a "friend." I cringed when I heard that he was living/staying in a motel (AKA a trap house!), but he promised to come home the following day. The final delay was that he really needed to give his manager at least a week’s notice, and it appeared treatment was never going to happen.
I knew what I was seeing, and it wasn’t good. And worse, I still had that unshakable feeling that if this boy did not get to treatment soon, he may die! I rarely (like never) do this, but I got assertive with this mom. I held nothing back in saying what I believed to be his motives behind his delays; he wasn't done getting high! I advised her to keep praying, as I feared for her son!
By this time, THIRTEEN days had gone by from first contact to now! I told the mom, “I think you have a problem on your hands right now. He’s not talking or acting like he’s ready for treatment”
We spoke by phone, I was rather frustrated, but knew I had done all that I could and that it was time for me to back off, let go, and let God! I provided the mom with all the contact information for the two treatment centers in which I had identified, and warned her of the risks (legal issues, overdose, death) of putting things off any longer. My heart was troubled! Quite honestly, I was angry! And I was VERY afraid for her son!
I went about my evening, was in the middle of a bible study at my home, when the BREAKTHROUGH happened! I received a text message from one of the treatment centers giving me indication that her son was about to be admitted!
I was shocked, as just 2 hours prior, this boy was as far as the East is from the West, in terms of going to treatment. What had happened that changed things so quickly?
Here's what happened. The son came home, said he needed help, and told his parents of his heroin use. I spoke with the mom over the phone shortly after, and she was shaken to her core. With her voice quivering, she could barely say the word “#heroin.” I consoled her, told her that I recalled the first time that I had to attach that word to my son’s name, I knew exactly how she felt, and everything was going to be okay.
I apologized for my assertiveness earlier in the day (assertive might not be a strong enough description!), but looking back now, both the mom and I agree that God was in control the entire time!
They made it to treatment that night, praying during the entire 50-60 mile trip for God to lead them to the treatment center where HE would have their son to go!
That unshakeable, gut feeling that I had since the very start of this story? Turns out it was spot on!
At a family session at the treatment center, their son shared every parent's worse nightmare! Unknowingly, while mom and I were working to find treatment solutions, while I was PUSHING mom hard, while he was finding one excuse after another as to why he couldn’t go to treatment….their son, their #BeautifulBoy, the one we had been praying for…experienced a heroin #OVERDOSE! And thankfully, God saved him by putting someone in his path who was able to bring him back!
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, "About 80 percent of people who use heroin, first misused prescription opioids."
That survived overdose, as someone I know would say, was “The Price of Admission!" The price he paid to reach for RECOVERY!
As the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book says, it was his “Gift of Desperation!”
His mom and I believe, it was the Grace of God!
When dealing with a loved-one with addictions, time is always of the essence.
For more information about Intervention Services, Treatment Referrals, Sober Transports, and Sober Home Living, please reach out to us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 713-249-6658!