Monday, May 14, 2012

Bondage and Bonding



We love our patients, no matter what stage of addiction they are in when they come to The Coleman Institute (TCI).  Although our clients come to us for our Accelerated Detox programs, and not traditional psychotherapy, magic often happens when circumstances allow our clients to interact and bond as they realize their common bondage to substance abuse.

A few weeks ago we worked with a young woman, 21 years old, from Louisiana.  Leah’s** story started at age 14 when she began to party.  It escalated until, just prior to coming to TCI, she was using a gram and a half of heroin a day.  She had made several half-hearted attempts to stop along the way, but it wasn’t until she overdosed and the terrified ‘friend’ that she was with dumped her off at the emergency department of the local hospital and left, was she convinced she needed to stop using.

At the same time she was at TCI, Annette**, a 48 year old woman from PA was with us, detoxing off a case and a half of beer and 120mg of Oxycodone a day.  Annette has three children and a job she loves.  Her drug and alcohol use had kept her in bondage for many years.  Her marriage was over, and she was in danger of losing her job and her children.  In despair, she contacted us and got a friend to be her support person.  The final day of an A.O.D. (Accelerated Opiate Detox) involves being in a suite for several hours as we flush the rest of the opiates out of our clients’ bodies.  Most people are pretty comfortable, and there is a lot of camaraderie happening outside at the smoking section.

These two women bonded instantly.  I think Annette saw herself in the young woman or maybe saw what could happen with her own children, and Leah just responded to this lovely woman’s compassion and sense of humor and humility.  They got through their day; each received a naltrexone implant, and exchanged information and a long embrace.  It was a very emotional and heart-warming experience for all of us.

People won’t stop drinking alcohol, using methadone, suboxone, benzos or using opiates until they are ready.  If you or a loved one are ready, we would be honored to help you through this piece of it.  Many before you have succeeded.  Miracles happen when reality is embraced.

Joan R. Shepherd, FNP-C

**Names and details always changed to protect our patients’ privacy.

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