Friday, January 31, 2014

Clean Sweep

I had a really bad day yesterday.It started when I woke up and heard on the radio the police had arrested over 40 people in overnight drug raids, a four month investigation dubbed "Clean Sweep"
It was to continue all day with home searches and further arrests.

I kept waiting & watching for that knock on the door.Even tho my son has been in recovery for almost 4 months now,that fear,that doubt is still there.In a small population, 40 is quite a haul..this is sad.

The good thing is it has taken many many drugs off the street..and perhaps will help others to say I've had enough,time to get help.

There was no knock at the door.

My son remains in recovery doing well,for today.My heart goes out to those parents who got caught up in this operation,handcuffed,as the police tore their homes apart and took away their child..Or the children who witnessed their parent/parents being pulled away, This is the true face of addiction..Any way you look at it,it is a lose/lose situation.

My hope is some of those caught up in the sweep will reach for help and have the treatment available to achieve recovery and move on with life instead of death.

A a footnote to this news... it was also announced 5 Nursing positions were  to be cut in our Mental Health & Addiction Programs..Way to go !!! In a time when we are fighting for better treatment,increased beds in our detox,more openings in the methadone program, seamless care in mental health..they cut & slash..Yes people our government is listening..But not to those who put them in power.
Shame Shame.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Ring Ring

After searching for the phone number for our new Chief Mental Health and Addictions Officer,I finally came across a number and put in my call and left a message.Last night the phone rang and there she was!! I was very impressed she took the time to return my call,especially after hours.It went downhill quickly from there.

She informed me she was no longer taking new patients,apparently the number I called was her private practise ( my bad).I then explained that was not what I was looking for.We wished to speak to her in her new role.Give her our experiences as Parents trying desperately to get adequate Addiction & Mental Health treatment for our son.

Did we try Mental health ? Yes
Did we try Addictions? Yes
Did we go for Family counselling? Yes
The problem lies within these systems..long waits..gaps a mile wide...a system that is not patient friendly..nor user revolves around the system and not the patients needs.etc etc.
She thanked me for my call.She is busy meeting with other groups,committees etc.
Watch the paper for upcoming townhall type meetings where parents & patients can tell her their concerns..sometime in the future.

My misunderstanding I told her.As we sat and watched you accept your new position at the announcement of the new Addiction Strategy, I thought I heard you say your door was open to wanted to hear from everyone?
A long Pause..Yes watch the paper.
I thanked her for her time,for returning my call..Au evoir..xo

Failed test 

P.S. She informed me Addiction was a very complex disease !

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Let's Talk

Here we are..January 28..Bell Canada's Day to contribute 5 cents to Mental Health initiatives for every Actually a great way to bring out Mental Health talks into the open and help break down the stigma.Alot of those with addictions also have Mental Health issues..sometimes they go hand in hand..The importance of getting quality treatment for both issues is critical to getting control of their lives back!
Too Many have already lost the fight.

Today in our paper we had an editorial by our new chief mental health and addictions officer,Dr Rhonda Matters.It was a good Article..full of the work she is doing..ummm research..talking to professionals..front line staff..committees..etc..sound familiar..It should is the same rhetoric we have hearing for years. I remember Our Health Minister touting much the same for years,well back to 2008 when he promised a youth residental program,then backed away.

I really want to believe things are going to change..but nothing ever does..Just the names of those making promises.I did notice Dr.Matters failed to mention she was meeting with Parents..Those with Addictions Issues..Mental Health issues..Just As Minister Currie failed to Acknowledge us at his Big announcement,They don't want hear from us..listen to us..hey we might actually speak the truth..keep us quiet with empty how naive do they think we are..I see more parents speaking..Those with addictions speaking out..Time to test out Dr.Matters..I am making a call..Let's Talk Dr.Matters..xo

Monday, January 27, 2014


After just having a read a post by a guest blogger on a dear friends blog it made me cringe inside.
I will add the link so as not to take away from her words "Damned if they Do,Damned If They Don't"

As POA's we have all experienced this at one time or another with our Children.It is tough to watch.My son is very fortunate to have nothing but positive words about his pharmacy & the respect & friendliness he receives there.

I wish I could say the same about his treatment elsewhere.I will not go into the who, as I do not want to paint the whole system with one brush( or get sued!!).

It just irks me that a person in a professional position can be allowed to treat those he is supposed be helping in such an unprofessional way.It is not just unprofessional..It is sad. My son & I both sit waiting for his appointment and watch the faces of those coming out after their Appts.It dictates what direction he will take.Most of the girls come out crying & the boys red faced.At least he is prepared when he goes in.I have told him just to go with flow,bite your tongue,take the good parts & leave the rest,he is all we have and you need him..And he knows it, which allows him to do what it does..Treat addicts like dirt !! Ok maybe the next visit he apologizes..means nothing.My son has put in complaints,but nothing changes.And it won't change until better treatment is available.Attracting those Professionals in the Addiction Community that truly want to help !! Not get their Jolly's off by demeaning our kids.They deserve better!!..xo

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Not in My Neighborhood

Since that day last week when I saw the ambulance down the street, I wondered & worried about that young man.As if I don't have enough on my own plate! When my neighbor called me over yesterday I wondered what was up.He was also concerned about the young man and asked if I had heard anything.Of course I hadn't and told him so.I had just seen the Ambulance..nothing more.

What Ambulance?? He asked...hmm that's why I thought you were concerned ?
No..He was concerned as he been letting the girlfriends of the young man in his house to use the phone..Girlfriends?..How many does he have ?..A few..Hmmm..Then he proceeded to tell me his story..
He had been allowing the girlfriends to use his phone..a land line..Just being a good neighbor..but he was concerned as now they are just walking knock..They also try to sell them groceries & cigarettes..he is nobody's fool and knew it was stolen goods( Or food his Mamma was buying for him).But he had put a stop to it as he was now scared they could steal off him.Yes they could & would..Your phone is now out of order..and please lock your doors..even if you are home.He is not in the least judgemental..and I am sure he is aware of my son's addiction issues and does possess alot of empathy..But I do fear for his safety..I hope he heeds my advice!

So I asked my son if he knew this young man...he said yes..he has met him a few times in detox..he lets girls stay with him who earn their money.. selling their body's.. in exchange they buy him drugs. So he is a they just crash there..OoooK.And they use my neighbors phone for what? ( I say this to myself).

This made me so sad..another scenario in the ongoing saga of addiction on our gentle Island.I just wanted to go over there and shake those kids silly!! But we all know it would do no good...Just makes me want to fight louder & harder for treatment for our children..It is getting worse everyday and no more is being done!!!
Wake up people! This could be your daughters tomorrow ! And if you think..No not my Daughter..No not my son..Think again!!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

3 months

Well here we are, just a few days shy of 3 months.Things are still on the right path.In fact this week I saw some really positive changes.Maybe to someone else they are nothing, but to those of us who are living this nightmare of addiction they are significant.

WE a family..real laughter..There is real benefits to laughter.It is sad when you say it has been awhile since I heard that sound in my house involving my son...but there it was.

He actually wanted to walk with me & our dog.We walked the trails,nowhere near people or houses..just trees & nature.He thought the exercise & fresh air would be good for him.When my boys were small & I knew something was bothering them I would take them for a drive in the car..It seemed to always allow them the opportunity to open up and share what was wrong in the tight quarters of the car.I thought perhaps that was the purpose here.It wasn't.It was just for the walk & fresh Air.It was nice!

He actually bought me a small gift..some wax melts for my burner.I was cringing when he handed them to me thinking omg did he steal these??? Then he handed me the bag to throw out..did I look for the receipt ?? You bet I did..and there it was..I'm not sure if he saw me rummaging through the bag looking for the receipt or if he gave me  the bag to show.. he did buy them..Not a word was said..I thanked him and smiled..The fact that he saw something & thought of me was a good thing..He is starting to think of others!

The week ended on a gut wrenching note... when I looked out the window to see an ambulance parked across the street.I waited and watched.When they finally appeared from an apartment down the street they had a young man on the stretcher..I recognized the mop of red hair peeping out from under the sheets.A young man I see alot on the street,Another young man battling addiction.You get to recognize them I am sad to say.I hope he is ok & gets some help.I hope his Mother, who I see weekly dropping of groceries to him, is ok. 

I hope we have another good week.. and I hope..and I hope..xo 

Friday, January 10, 2014

The Battle Within

The article I am linking to is an excellent article on the benefits of and medications for, those who struggle with addictions.My reason for writing about this today is two-fold.

The first reason and it is just my thoughts & inner turmoil with my son on methadone.I just can't seem to let the fears about using an opiate to treat an opiate addiction.My fear is and has always been his using while on methadone,which is one of the reasons he was dropped from a previous methadone program.I have seen first hand the effects of using while on this program..he near died from overdose..I have also seen the horrendous side effects of coming off the methadone safely,impossible, unless you take it very slowly over a long period of time,even years.Of course active addiction in itself is scary and carry's with it the reality of death due to overdose or a slow death due to years of using on the body.It is for me a question of pick your poison.My optimistic side tells me the methadone will keep him alive until he decides enough is enough and gives him a chance at a normal life..which is where he is now,I am ever so grateful for that second chance.He is closely monitored,blood work,P tests,and healthy heart checks.So why do I still struggle about this course of treatment ???

This is the second reason , yesterday, my son lost another friend,who was on the methadone program and died in his sleep.A young father of 2 children who wanted nothing more than to turn his life around and provide a great life for his children.The why's are not important,what is important is that ADDICTION stole another of our young!!! It is such a horrid disease and I hate it so dam much!! It is indeed a war..and all's fair in war..So you use all the weapons available in fighting it! Because in the end..if you don't..Addiction will win.
In Cancer we do the same,we use a host of potent chemicals that could possibly kill us..or cure us..and time & time again we chose the chemicals..even if it means just an extra 2 weeks,2 months,2 years.

Prevention and education and talking and telling our stories is our only hope for our children who are NOT in the nasty grips of addiction but at that vulnerable age of perhaps just thinking it might be cool to try..just once.

 Our lives are and will be forever changed by addiction..for us and many many family's we have to go on living..or addiction wins..we do it one day at a time,one hour at a time,or one minute at a time.We continue to fight and educate ourselves and pay it forward...xo

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Next Step

My son appears to be doing quite well..working the program & all reports from his program are positive.In fact he is looking so much better that a pharmacist who administers his methadone asked him for his ID! He had been away for a few weeks and he did not recognize him..This was not lost on my son as he couldn't wait to tell me..every word,morsel,tidbit of positivity is just what he needs...He needs to learn to love himself again..these little successes can add up and help him achieve that.

He is actually taking his Dad & I  out for supper this weekend..His treat!! We are not rushing him on anything,he needs to heal both inside & out,this takes time.I see my son slowly emerging..Such a long way to go..but..One Day at a time.                                                                                                                                                                                                I am still focusing alot of my energy & time on learning about addiction,,,and attempting to help in any I can to get better treatment for our children here on my Island.It is a daunting task..I would love to have a parents support group..we are so lacking in that area..and with so many parents now speaking out it would benefit us all!! Maybe that will be this years goal !

Thursday, January 2, 2014


And how not to !

The holidays being a hard time for those with addictions,It is also hard for those in recovery.So much temptation.

For me it has been not wanting to control his every movement! It was a good test for all of us,a test none of us wanted to fail!!

He is following the rules & boundary's his Dad & I set up and not challenging them so much as when he was first in recovery.We all seem to be in a nice rhythm.Until the holidays.Friends calling,visiting,and invites.This was by far the hardest for me.

Although I would not trust him for a New York second,I could not control him either.So off he went Christmas Eve to a friends house( Non User).And home he came a few hours later,no worse for the wear.
New Years..Same thing. He survived,We Survived!

I have to keep reminding myself,daily,That only he can control his recovery and I have to step back, even when "I" think it is a misstep or he is not doing enough.

So for today we are in a good place,all in recovery,doing it in our own different ways,but doing it!