Monday, August 31, 2009

Starting Again

Two weeks ago we worked with a kid who we were pretty sure wasn’t gonna make it.

In fact, in the middle of the last day of his accelerated opiate detox from heroin at The Coleman Institute, Barry called his dealer and arranged for a delivery.

After we dealt with that pesky little problem, the detox resumed without drama.

Two days later Barry called to tell me he bought some dope and tried to get high and was furious that he couldn’t. He took a razor, cut through his stitches, widening the incision and tried to dig out his naltrexone implant.

He was supposed to have stayed with his parents for 48 hours following his detox, but instead he called ‘friends’ to pick him up take him back to his apartment.

I wasn’t sure why he was even bothering to call me, but he was worried about the gaping incision and possibility of infection. I told him to come into the office.

Barry looked a little sheepish. I cleaned up and re-stitched his incision site. He spent about an hour talking to our counselor.

Barry has been to 3 different rehabs; he says his parents have probably spent over $60,000 treating him. He said when he realized he couldn’t get high, an incredible feeling of relief surged though him. For the first time in many years, he knew that it would do no good to buy or use heroin or other opiates. It was a freedom he hadn’t tasted in a long time.

I told him to come back to the office the next day. When he didn’t show up I was sorry but not too surprised. Our program works, but if a person is determined to fail, he will.

I was pleasantly surprised to have a phone call from Barry later in the afternoon. He wanted me to know that he didn’t make the appointment because he had returned to his parent’s home. He knew if he stayed in his apartment the only people he knew to call were his dealers or other users.

So far Barry has made it back for two follow up appointments. He has been clean for about 12 days now. He is a good looking guy, he’s smart, he’s got parents who support him, and he’s got a certificate in heating and air-conditioning. He has contacted a former employer who is in The Program to go to meetings with him.

Everyone at The Coleman Institute is pulling for Barry. He’s got a long way to go, but like everyone on the planet, can only do it a day at a time. He has started the journey. Call us if you’re ready to start yours.

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