Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Friday, October 24, 2008

Reform Needed In Drug Treatment Community

Stop Rehabs/Treatment Centers from throwing addicts out for non-violent behavior

My son was thrown out of rehab for returning some name calling. Since his death I have heard from hundreds of parents who have spent thousands upon thousands of dollars to try and save their child's life only to have them thrown out for getting in arguments or sneaking in a candy bar. Unless they are violent or caught using a substance in rehab they should not be thrown out to die. They are addicts who are in detox and going through withdrawals. You can't expect them to behave. They should lose privileges but not be thrown out of treatment that you paid thousands of dollars for them to receive.

Please sign this petition so we can take it to Washington D.C. to stop this practice and to have a bill passed to create a committee to oversee these facilities. It is a crime that one does not already exist. Addiction is a disease and you don't see anyone thrown out of cancer treatment for being in a bad mood or argumentative. Please help us and pass this to everyone you know for their signature. Help us stop our children from dying. The life you save could be your child's.

To sign this petition please post your name in the comment section and your city and state - add a loved ones rehab experience if it was not up to standards or they were thrown out.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Jason's Birthday

Jason would have been 34 on this past Tuesday. God, I miss him so very much. No one in my family or any of his friends thought of Jason or visited his grave. None of them sent me an email or called me. Not even his sister but then she never remembers either. She is absorbed in her own world.

I had to have an emergency root canal on his birthday so I couldn't go to the cemetery on his birthday. I was at the dentist all afternoon after I got off work. But I went the next day - yesterday. I just sat there holding my hand over his name and crying. I was trying to feel him, trying to make contact. I sat there for about 20 minutes just crying and talking to him.

His two best friends are also buried there with him. Joey was murdered five years before my son Jason died. Josh died two years ago but they are all there buried together and honored on a monument. I made sure of that because it was their wish. I go there and I see that monument with all their names on it and it just breaks my heart. How could they all three be gone? They were just young adults. Joey was 18 when he was killed. Jason died at 23 yrs old. Josh lived the longest, he was 33 yrs old when he died. There was also one more of the "gang" who died a few months before Josh. That was Kye, but he is buried where his family lives. No matter, they are all in Heaven together. We are all left behind grieving the loss of our kids.

It will be 11 yrs this coming February since I lost Jason. I still cry for him, I still miss him, and I still fight to save other families and children from the disease of addiction.

I have started a new online support group for parents who are currently dealing with a child addicted to substance abuse. It is called "Parents of Addicts Unite". Please feel free to email for information on joining either group "Angels of Addiction" or "Parents of Addicts Unite".

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Grief is not a sign of weakness nor a lack of faith. It is the price of love.

It has been almost 11 years now since addiction ended my son Jason's life. I still grieve everyday for my son. I may not look like it when you see me out somewhere. That is because I learned that I have to put on my "normal" face in public not because it is best for me. But because you want to see the old person I use to be.

Well, I am not the old friend or co-worker you use to know. I am a completely different person. My grief makes you uncomfortable so you avoid talking about my son. You won't mention his name anymore or talk about fond memories of the past. Somehow my pain has become all about you.

My son's birthdays come and go, his Heaven date comes and goes and I spend the whole day wondering if anyone will remember only to acknowledge at the end of the day that as I suspected no one remembered his life. No one remembered his handsome face, his cheshire cat grin. Or that he was brilliant, loyal and kind. All you remember is that he died after taking LSD.

If I mention my son to any of you all you remember is he was an addict. Just some young guy who chose to use drugs. So he got what he deserved. Right? Why feel any sympathy for me or empathy for him because he did it to himself.

You couldn't be more wrong. The only bad choice someone makes is to self-medicate their pain a few times not knowing that in their genes lies a deadly disease just waiting for the switch to be flipped on.

It is amazing to me that in this day and age people are still ignorant about the disease of addiction. Most doctors don't understand that addiction is a disease. Thousands of treatment centers realized one thing... that there is a fortune to be made out there and they prey on parents like me who are watching their kids slowly killing themselves and can not stop.

I am the founder of www.angelsofaddiction.com and I began Angels of Addiction because I needed someone to help me with this horrible journey through grief but found that no one cared about my grief because my son was an addict. Not even other bereaved parents had sympathy for me. Their kids were perfect and didn't deserve to die.

Their so called safe "Compassionate" place to come for support was cruel, thoughtless, and just a pity party with a higher archy. Over the years I have heard the same story from countless grieving parents of addicts desparate for someone to reach out to them in their struggle to survive the loss of their child.

Do us a favor, if you can't say anything nice then don't say anything at all. I don't want to hear that he is at peace now or that he is in a better place - he is in a grave. Dead is not better. Save the religious cliches. They are not comforting. My God doesn't kill children for any reason.

I don't want to hear that God needed him because I needed him more. Don't tell me I should be moving on or it has been way too long for me to still be grieving for my only son. I will grieve for Jason until the moment of my own passing.

A piece of my soul is missing and none of your ill advice or useless sayings is going to make my pain go away. All I need from you is for you to listen if I need to talk about him or my grief. Allow me to miss my son and say his name so I know that he hasn't been forgotten. He died but he was not erased from history or my heart.

We have become a society of disposable people. There is no mourning period anymore like in the old days when you wore black for a year. We are expected to "move on" once the funeral is over. We are told we need mental health treatment because we are still grieving the loss of our child.

I had my son for 23 years. For 23 yrs. I worried about him, loved him, protected him and society thinks that in two weeks I should be over the loss of him.

What has happened in our society that life is so disposable? Where did our true compassion for all life disappear?