Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Phone call from an addict
One of the important aspects of my state representative job is reaching out to constituents about issues kicking around in the joint committees on which I serve. Nothing we've been working on has been more high profile and critical to Cape Cod than opiate addiction.
I received a call the other day from a friend who is an addiction counselor at a rehab facility.
He told me that he
was sitting in his office with Faye, a 21-year-old cocaine and heroin addict
who had been at the facility for 18 days. She was insisting on being released
so that she could get back to her neighborhood to get high.
The rehab facility cannot force people to stay, but my friend told her that she needed to speak with her state representative before making her final decision. I am in no way qualified to counsel addicts; I'm just a father of six with a passion for changing our model for dealing with addiction.
With Faye now on the speakerphone, I asked her why she was abandoning her treatment plan. She told me that all she wanted to do was to get high. Nothing else mattered. She and her boyfriend had overdosed on a narcotic a few weeks before.
He died. She survived, but the need to get high had
clearly overtaken her free will.
I told her that I have six kids and have worried about them getting involved with opiates, even innocently by taking pain medications after a wisdom tooth removal. I asked her what I should say to convinced them to steer clear of opiates. Faye suggested that all I would need to do is to introduce my kids to her. After seeing the impact of drug addiction on her, my children would never consider using.
I asked how Faye views her future. She had no thoughts of what might become of her, other than to say that she'd probably be better off dead. What was important to her, however, was getting out of the rehab facility to chase her next high.
Faye was released later that day.
Categories: Losing America