Posted by: addictionstinks | February 19, 2010

Be Sure To Thank Your Advocates

There’s no doubt, this journey sometimes feels like a never-ending trip to hell, with flames constantly being thrown at you from all directions. As the parent of an addict, we watch as our child burns to the ground, and there is nothing we can do to save them.

My son has been arrested, incarcerated, on probation for years. Sometimes its felt as if there was NOBODY that was on our side – who just wanted to see him healed. The law must uphold the law, and my addict has deserved every piece of trouble he has gotten – no doubt. I absolutely don’t begrudge the police, the state’s attorney, the judge, the probation officer for every bit of grief they have given to him – it was HIS choice to make the mistakes he made.

But every once in a while, a person comes along that can give us just a small shred of hope. And for this person, I am so incredibly grateful!

My son has been incarcerated since September – another well deserved in a long line of arrests. My husband and I made the very difficult decision to NOT bail him out. We felt that it was about time that big, giant brick hit him in the side of the head, in the form of truly paying for his mistakes.

Since his arrest, he has been trying to get into a court-run drug program. He first tried the county drug program, which he was turned down for. The evaluator felt that the scope of his addiction was beyond even their abilities.

From there, he could put in to be evaluated for a state-run drug rehabilitation program. This is where his advocate entered the picture. His name is Richard, and if ever there was a better person on this planet, well, I certainly have not met him yet. Richard is basically my son’s liason in the state-run drug program. He’s the one that initially evaluated J for the drug program, decided whether or not he should be accepted into the program, and made his recommendation as to the type and scope of treatment that J would need. When I say this guy knows his stuff, I’m not kidding. He holds a Doctoral degree in addictions counselling.

So Richard evaluated J, found him acceptable for the program and recommended a 3-month inpatient program to begin his treatment. During this time, J was still incarcerated and just waiting to hear the results of the evaluation and the recommendation. We all sat on pins and needles, hoping against hope that he would be accepted.

Finally, word came that J was accepted, and that Richard would pick him up on Tuesday to take him to the rehab center. A shred of hope!! After all this time!! Until……..

J called me from the rehab center to let me know that his insurance would NOT pay for entire stay. Dad and I would have to foot some of this bill. Yikes!! To say my husband was displeased at this announcement would be an understatement – in fact he was quite livid! You see, we promised ourselves some time ago to NEVER EVER EVER again foot the bill for J’s mistakes.

So we went to the clinic to speak to the folks there, and this is where I met Richard for the first time. This guy looks like Santa Claus – no kidding. And he performs miracles too – just like Santa!

When we got to the clinic, we were informed that insurance had refused to pay for ANY of J’s treatment. Their reasoning was that he had been incarcerated for 5 months and not using during that time, therefore he is no longer “addicted” to drugs and did not require this level of treatment. Silly silly fools. Apparently nobody at the insurance company truly understands the dynamics of addiction. But, whatever…..

So now we are told that if J is to stay at this treatment center, WE would have to pay privately – to the tune of $450 A DAY!!! Cough……choke……sputter. Uhm, no. This just simply was not feasible, nor possible.

So, at that point there was absolutely no other choice but to send J back to jail, and wait for a state-paid bed. Which we were informed would be anywhere up to a 2-month wait.

The look of dejection on J’s face was horrid. To think that he was <this close> to being out of jail and beginning the treatment that he said he wanted so badly, and then turned right back around to jail to wait some more – maybe even for a couple of months more. Not only was J dejected, but I was sooooooo sad too. Another delay, another hope dashed once again. It had been such a long road to get to this point, and it was gone in an instant.

Enter Santa (er, I mean, Richard). Somehow, some way, and I have no idea how on earth he did it, but he got my son that state-paid bed – the very next day. Imagine my surprise when my phone rings and its J, calling from a number I don’t recognize, to tell me he’s at the rehab facility and needs me to bring him his clothes and personal care items.

I’ll never know how Richard accomplished this. I called him today just to say “Thank You”. He was in a conference and couldn’t speak for long, but I identified myself and told him I just wanted to thank him for getting J that bed so quickly, and for giving us all a shred of hope (tears are welling in my eyes yet again as I write this). He simply said, “It was a lot of work” and that “we are great people”. Oh, no – HE IS GREAT PEOPLE! I’m guessing it took hours of overtime and many phone calls to accomplish this miracle, and for this I am forever grateful.

Every once in a while, on this long, horrid journey, just when you feel the world is totally against your kid, someone just might come along and surprise you.

Don’t ever forget to thank that person.



  1. Praise God πŸ™‚ It is always so touching when someone goes out of their way for you – and even more so for your child – when it seems like everything is stacked against them. Richard sounds like he was truly an angel in the path πŸ™‚

  2. It sounds to me that Richard is J’s angel. I read in a blog some time ago, and I believe it, that God gives our addicts “extra angels” to take care of them. That’s why they so often survive their hellish lives seemingly without a scratch.

    I am so happy for you that this journey is starting down a new path.

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