Monday, February 6, 2012

Show and Tell

Just warning you…when the day comes that you return to The Coleman Institute for a repeat naltrexone implant and tell me it’s been a year that you’ve known the freedom of being clean—plan on adding another hour to the time you’ve already carved out for that appointment.

I can’t think of much else more gratifying in my job than to introduce a client with a year of sobriety to my other patients who are at earlier places in their recovery.

That happened yesterday. Ben (not his real name) had reached a year of sobriety. He was at The Coleman Institute for his 5th naltrexone pellet, which he’s been faithfully getting every 10 weeks.  Prior to finding out about us, he had been to a couple of treatment centers before and had experienced multiple relapses.

You couldn’t meet a more handsome, smart or nice guy.  He has a set of parents who love him and have been committed to helping him.  He has a degree in bio-chemistry and was accepted into a prestigious pre-med program.  Furthermore, he has hobbies and friends and many interests…but he also has this pesky little opiate problem that was throwing a wrench into all of it.

For the last year, in addition to reaping the benefits of naltrexone, a pure opiate blocker, Ben re-immersed himself into his recovery.  He moved into a half-way house and after several months was asked to be the House Manager.  His interest in science and his new-found joy in a life of sobriety have steered him in the direction of becoming a substance abuse counselor.

During his visit yesterday, I brought him in to speak to Darlene (not her name), here with her Mom, terrified at the prospect of beginning a life free of opiates.  Next we went down the hall where Jimmy (not his name)—here with his wife and their 6-month-old son--was on the final day of an opiate detox off high doses of Opana. I even invited our COO, Gene Wilson to meet this extraordinary guy.

His gentle, unassuming energy touched all of us!

So….just saying….prepare to be fussed over, bragged about, escorted around The Coleman Institute to speak to others who want what you’ve achieved…and basically be my "Show and Tell of the Day" when you’ve reached your first year of sobriety!

I can’t wait to tell your story.

Joan R. Shepherd, NP

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