Monday, April 28, 2014

Addictions Recovery Unit

As expected an announcement was made today regarding the opening of The Addictions Recovery Unit.
10 beds with a stay of 4 weeks,open to those 18 and over.
We'll take it !!

As most of us know who have loved ones battling addiction, that time after detox is sooo important..If they are sent back out without further supports in place, within a few days they are back using..This will help with those that do tend to relapse quickly.It may also give them the time needed to set up those supports..especially with the 3 new addiction positions recently announced to help steer and navigate through the system.

Is it enough..By no means !!! It is a step in the right direction, but the number of beds available leaves room for improvement....and the criteria ( which is yet to be released ..hmmmm).. I will take it with cautious optimism..considering 25 go through detox weekly..100 a month..with only 10 beds available.

I do hope this is not a bone thrown to us in place of a Long Term Residential Facility..Cause there is not enough meat on this !!

I truly do not think the public,the Politicians,The professionals understand our misgivings about their reports and speeches.My god these are our Children's lives !! Our Mother's,Father's,Sibling's,We want nothing more than anybody else, if it was their loved one, battling a Chronic Disease.You just can't give us a few choices for care..we need..and deserve..the full deal !! WE can't just throw up our arms and give up..We have already lost to many lives last year!! It is every parents nightmare to lose a child..why do you think we are any different!! WE will not give up the fight..There is nothing like the love of Mamma for her child...And they are all Our Children.

Parents of children with other chronic diseases get lots of support,from family,friends,hospital staff,neighbors..they get sent lovely cards..they get meals brought their homes..No one bakes us a one sends us cards with a simple" Thinking Of You"..Our Children get turned away at hospitals..We are by no means playing victims..We have found our voices..Overcome the stigma...and...WE. ARE. NOT. GOING. AWAY.

P.S. We are not Activists..We are Parents of children who have a disease !!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

It's not a Race

I am sitting here on a cold, rainy, Sunday Morning, thinking about where my son is on his journey...None of my business I know, BUT..there is always a BUT.I keep falling into the trap of comparing his journey to others.The fact that I acknowledge I do this, is a bit closer to realizing......I can't...He Can' his recovery to others...The fact he is not where " I " think he should be... is mute..He is where he is and That's ok..It's his journey..don't fall into this trap..It's not a race...xo

Friday, April 25, 2014

Doctor Who Said What ?

After listening to Dr.Rhonda Matter's Radio interview the other day on CBC with Matt Rainey,I waited to hear what those of us as clients and families in the Addiction & Mental Health Community thought of it.Seems like we are all on the same Page..The Doctor is Out.

  • She stated Access to treatment was the main problem,but once access was gotten the services provided were top notch ?????? There will be improvement in this area with 3 new positions having been created,addictions patient navigator, an outreach social worker and a complex case coordinator.I agree these positions will help.I do not agree,nor do many I have heard from that the services are Top Notch..In all fairness to the front line staff..they can only offer what they have been given..which are far from Adequate. Access to service was not anyone's priority..Treatment..Treatment..Treatment..Is the BUZZZ word!!
  •  She mentioned the wait times for children and adolescents seem to be the priority based on her conversations. NEWSFLASH! This is a disease. Everyone should be treated with the same level of care, concern and opportunity to get well. Would we accept priority lists with cancer or heart disease or any other illness? NO !! 
  •  Dr.Matter's Quote  "Even if we always had services available, relapse is part of the process of recovery so sometimes family members and people are ready to go one minute and not able to stay. It is a very difficult process." Yes, It is a difficult process. That is why it is important to have adequate and intensive enough treatment available! It is hard to overcome addiction. Islanders battling the disease do not need more obstacles like inadequate programs for their level of addiction!!
  • When asked about Treatment services for those no longer youth..She stated the 10 "new" transition beds at the Addiction Center are for those 18 and older..along with detox..AA..NA..and we have Recovery Houses..Plus Access to off Island Long Term Residential Centers In NB & ONT. Let's dissect these services for a moment..bear with me.. 
  1.   The 10 " New transition beds are not new..far from it..they have been sitting there for years unused!  
  2. Access to Off Island treatment..If you qualify..If the Board Deems you have tried all services here on the Island first and failed... Really want and are ready for the help..If you have 2 Letters from 2 different Doctors..One being a can be your family Doctor..and last but not least..even if you have all of the above..They decide if you go or not..So Roll the dice Folks..It's a crap shoot whether you live or die( And to many who have gotten refused ..these are their words).Alot on our fair Island do NOT have a family Doctor..and the wait times to see a Psychiatrist  is 49 days..let's round it out to 60 days since you must be referred. I think I can safely say most..If not all have been through the services offered here so many times they lost count.Apparently there were unused PEI beds at the NB facility..Yet People were refused..Hmmmmmmm.  
  3. I saved the best for last..Recovery Houses..We have 3 for whole Island..Average stay..30-90 days..some longer. Beds Available: Talbot House:  Men only 14.Lacey House : Women Only: 6 These are the only 2 recovery houses serving the Charlottetown area. I think the other is in Summerside.Now let's do some math..Last year alone 1000 people went through detox..The youth then can apply for the Strength 8 week..semi-residential program that runs for 8 weeks with an intake of 10...Bottom Line.. If I remember Correctly 8-10 were sent to NB..6 to Ontario, There is a whole lot of people NOT getting into Recovery Homes,Residential Treatment..We have over 500 hundred now in The Methadone Program..I think about 75 new spots this year..These are just Guesstimates From What I heard on an Interview With Dr.Ling, of The Addiction Center.
 When the Big Question..Do you feel pressure From Premier Ghiz as he handed over the power to you in  Addressing the Question " Are we going to get our own Long term Residential Treatment Center..He stated if you recommended it, he would build it tomorrow ! So Dr.Matters..What has your research so far told you ? Well For me all I heard were excuses as to why we would NOT be getting one..population..need..access to off Island Centers...Basing her decisions on scientific educational based research..End of story..That's it Folks..Read into it what you wish..

My final thoughts on the statement she has spoken to many of her front line staff..professionals in all areas of our Addiction & Mental Health Services and feels with a bit of tweaking they can all work together to serve us all Quite Nicely..My only problem is it is impossible to rate your own business !!...I believe the only to rate it is from the Client 's perspective!! That's how you build a better business that serves the needs of a community..The People spoke loud and clear at the protest..In the papers..On the Radio .. From The Judges... to The Lawyers...                                                                                                  Someone does not have their Listening ears on !!                                     

    Monday, April 21, 2014

    A Reminder

    I was thinking about the what last Easter was like to compare what was going on with me this year.I was reminded by a fellow blogger's post, to do just that !

    Hmmmmmmmm Well....I don't remember last Easter!! Our lives were in such turmoil, I truly do not remember!

    The good thing about not remembering is..I've come along way :)

    We did celebrate Easter at home this year..just us..& of course a Turkey.

    It was a quiet uneventful day..YES!! calls !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    My son's old girlfriend has crept back in........or, he has crept back into her life...Either way..I, stayed out of the way!! And will continue to do so..

    Yes I've come along way Babeeee..xo

    Sunday, April 20, 2014

    Happy Easter

    Happy Easter to all , especially those families whose loved ones are still struggling with their disease,holidays can be an extra stressful time ! Be kind to yourself..xo

    Thursday, April 17, 2014

    Just for Today

    When I started this blog it was just for me..A place to come and get my feelings out..write them able to go back and read my previous posts...Kinda of a gauge to see how I was progressing in my own healing process...I think I've come along way !

    But not I need to rant..and rave !!

    My Gut is working overtime..I know this feeling all too well..and I hate it!!

    I hate the fear that creeps into my thoughts, telling me this could be the time He doesn't survive!

    I  am so angry people do not understand that Addiction is a Disease..But hopefully If we keep educating we change that..for some.

    His options are so limited for treatment !

    And no one listens..

    There is a 17 yr old  girl Lying in the ICU due to her addiction..But sorry there is no money for treatment for addiction..But there is money to treat her when her addiction takes her to the brink of death..My heart just aches for both her and her Family..This is Insane!!

    Every Dam person on this Island derserves and is entitled to treatment  under our Health Care System!! Known to Canadians as "medicare", the system provides access to universal, comprehensive coverage for medically necessary hospital and physician services."
    Universal coverage for medically necessary health care services provided on the basis of need, rather than the ability to pay.
    Yet Addiction remains a second class disease, that for some unknown reason is not treated in Our province Like the Health Issue it is.. stated under the Canadian Health Care Act.

    Just for today I will allow myself this time to be scared & angry & feeling hopeless...
    Just for today ..xo

    Wednesday, April 16, 2014

    Wag The Dog

    It is not what our peaceful rally achieved in terms of a commitment for a Long Treatment Center,but it did bring our plight out in the open and brought us all together! The Successes hopefully will come.. when they realize we are not going away !!

    It was a small turnout ( 100),not bad for our first attempt to gain the public & the politicians' ears & eyes to the epidemic numbers of those suffering in silence with addiction & mental health issues on PEI.

    Diane Young is to be commended for having the courage to take this step,arranging this protest, with the recent loss of son to suicide. As shown by the tearful,emotional speech she gave imploring our government to act on long term treatment!!

    She was followed by others ,who took to the mic,shared their families journeys, showing the gaps,absence of adequate treatment within our system.Mr.Ghiz could have saved ,we the taxpayers, a whole lot of money spent on papers,research & studies if he would just listen to the people impacted!!!

    His whole thought process is system( and money) oriented..not client..and there lies the problem !! Within the whole treatment program !!

    He spoke without compassion or empathy..but he spoke.He did not promise a long term rehab program, only deferred this to his new Chief mental health and addictions officer, Dr.Rhonda Matters.Dr.Matters Job is the problem and report her findings back to her boss,He promises he will then act accordingly to her findings..Have you ever seen the Movie "Wag The Dog" ?

    It does not matter that 20 people took their lives last year due to Addiction & Mental Health issues!!
    Nor does it matter how many more we will lose this year !

    Well Mr.Ghiz..It matters to ME!!
    It matters to many other Families pleading for help !
    How Much is a Life worth these days ?

    Monday, April 14, 2014

    Rally For Change

    It is the day before the Rally being held at the Province House !
    April 15 at 5:30..Hopefully a day of Change ,for our province , who continually  ignore the pleas of Families, who are suffering Addiction & Mental Health Issues!

    Diane Young spearheaded this campaign after losing her son Lennon Waterman to suicide ,late last year.
    Lennon had been struggling with Addiction & Mental Health issues and the help he sought in fighting both these demons fell short..Seeing no way out, he took his own life.Lennon was one of about 20 last year that seen suicide as their only treatment to easing the pain!! That is just wrong!!

    • I hope that people will rally around Diane tomorrow !
    • I hope they will see the need for better treatment for Addiction & Mental Health!
    • I hope The public will see the faces of Addiction,The mother's & father's,The sister's,brother's, and see the devastation this disease creates!!
    • I hope the Addiction Community comes together in the thousands...because we are in the thousands !! We are out there ! Let's not lose another Child,Mother, Father to this Disease!!
    • I hope the shameful words of those that do not understand, do not keep us silent !!
    • I hope the politicians will come together as one..For once step up the plate and actually do something to address this problem instead of talk,talk, talk and spending millions on studies and research year after year, with little actual progress being made!!
    • I hope those struggling with addictions themselves will speak,how powerful to be able to tell their story, while surrounded by people who understand and are fighting for them. Give them a Voice! Instead of hearing, sorry we have no beds,sorry there is a 1 year wait,sorry you don't meet the criteria for treatment,sorry sorry sorry! 
    • I hope no other Family loses their love one, because they did not get a chance for a treatment that could have saved their life!
    • I Hope to see you there...xo

    Wednesday, April 9, 2014


    He needs to embrace a whole new thought process

    He doesn't have it yet and recovery may be long hard road for him.

    He just isn't willing to give up that control.. to something that could help, anything that changes his self-destructive course, that in the end,may make his life better..or save his life!

    I see the same old behaviours.
    It is everyone else's fault..I can do as I please..I know it all...I'm doing great! I'm in recovery!

     Support without enabling is darn hard..But it is making my life alot easier !..He constantly challenges, has this sense of entitlement..always the victim.

    Until he sees himself as the driver of his own journey, has his GPS system turned on,has a road map handy in case the GPS fails..He is going to have a very bumpy ride, riddled with potholes and filled with wrong exit ramps!

    I.. on the other hand, refuse to drive with him anymore. I'd rather walk ..xoxo

    Saturday, April 5, 2014

    Art For Addiction

    The Reach Foundation is holding their Art for Addiction fundraiser tonight.A very worthy cause,I hope many get out and support this event!!

    This foundation was started by 2 Mamma's whose children are affected by Addiction & A business woman who saw the need for help, they joined forces to offer some much needed help for the Community.

    It is a wonderful aftercare program for the youth,helping them get back to living a normal life.They assist them with Employment,Education, etc.

    They have also very generously offered space for Smart Recovery and a Family Support Group to hold their meetings.
    The Addiction Community is stepping up and trying to fill the many gaps that exist in our Treatment for this disease.None of the above are run by professionals but Family & Friends whose only concern is for others struggling, recovering or just in need of support.

    You can read about the event here Art for Addictions.

    I hope the Success of this fundraiser "Reach" higher numbers than they ever could have dreamed!!

    Hope to see you there..xo

    Thursday, April 3, 2014

    Mines Bigger Than Yours

    While scrolling through our local support page on facebook, I noticed a conversation that made me sad.
    Why do people feel the need to express their choice of treatment is the best.
    If you want to share what Treatment worked for you,educate,give options,share your success,write away,that's what we want to hear!
    It takes alot of heart to even admit you have this disease in an open forum,even more to share your journey with others.I am always so proud to hear and see us encouraging each other,sharing accomplishments etc.
    But when it turns to.. this treatment is better than yours,I just want to shake them!!

    Whatever works People!! 
    Whether it is:
    • 12-step
    • Methadone
    •  Buprenorphine 
    •  Naltrexone
    • Suboxone
    • Residental Treatment
    Etc. As long as it works for you that is the most important thing.
    Remember that others are in early recovery in the treatment of their choice.Negative talk about other's choices only makes them second guess themselves and the path they have chosen.It can work their brain into thinking this isn't going to it doesn't.The mind is a powerful thing,which all people with addiction know only to well!! So let's not play mind games.

    Let's be positive,embrace whatever treatment they chose,celebrate their success,encourage when they stumble..Let's not divide our community into" mine is bigger then yours" mentality.The only people who benefit from that kind of talk is those who look down on addiction,are uneducated about addiction and judge without walking our path.We receive enough Judgement without Judging each other !

    Peace & love..xoxo

    Wednesday, April 2, 2014

    The Slip

    Apparently he did not relapse..It was a slip.
    A relapse is returning to his drug use, forgoing all treatment and returning to his old ways of Using.
    A slip is when he uses, but still maintains his program.
    The fact he was able to stop after 2 weeks confirms the "slip"
    Thus....He does not need to go back in for detox for further treatment.
    The fact he was still getting his daily dose of Methadone..And using..attending meetings..and is still a slip ?

    Slips & Falls are all part of the Journey of Addiction..This I got and understand..It's all in the wording and the opinion of the professionals I do not understand.

    My definition of a slip get right back up..brush yourself off and keep going..You don't sit there for 2 weeks..

    I am VERY happy, he is now back on the road to recovery..I am grateful "he" was able to see he needed to stop his self destructing behavior..I am Hopeful he will refrain from using this time... I will continue to live in the moment .. Let him own his recovery, slips & falls,one day at time..I am a work in progress..xoxo

    Tuesday, April 1, 2014


    Wikipedia defines Courage as:

    The quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.
    For my son, this word defines one of the power's he will need to face his new journey of recovery.                                          If he takes, all he has learned, through out his battle thus far, it can both encourage and empower him!

    Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” 
                                                Winston S.Churchill 
    I hope he does both..xo
    Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.
    Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.