You can’t imagine the sorrow of losing a child to drug addiction and subsequent overdose death. The sorrow of watching the deterioration day after day and being unable to change or stop it.
Eventually, you realize it’s not a question of will he die, but more a question of when will he die. Now imagine after you lose one son, you have another on the exact same path. One beloved son gone and another on his way. Such was the case in our family.
God really does work in mysterious ways. One day after Maxx died, an old childhood friend of Jake’s came to the door looking for him. That friend Mike had gone through drug rehabilitation and was now working in the field.
He said he knew what was going on with Jake and wanted to help. Over the next few months, he helped me understand what was going on with Jake’s addiction. He tried to get Jake to commit to detox and rehabilitation.
After a particularly bad day for Jake with drug use, and racked with pain and guilt about his brother, Jake overdosed and ended up in the hospital. Mike and some amazing friends came to the hospital as moral support for me and also to convince Jake that now was the time.
I don’t know how we all did it but Jake had finally agreed to go to detox. Those boys even transported him. I know he was thinking he would get there and bolt. He never did.
Jake remained in detox for 8 weeks. After a couple of hard weeks, Jake started coming back to life. He started to feel again (not all good feelings) and he started to think again. At that point, he became determined to see this detox through. He had so much support there.
During his detox, we started talking about where he was going after he completed the program. I was hoping he would take the opportunity to go into aftercare and intensive outpatient therapy. On Mike’s recommendation and with his help we got him into treatment.
Addiction recovery is where the real work began. Jake went into a comprehensive/intensive program of aftercare. He was placed in a great residential home with his peers and supportive staff. He attended daily outpatient classes and had meaningful counseling sessions. We, as his family, had the opportunity to participate.
I saw a dramatic change in Jake in the time he spent going through treatment. His level of confidence in himself started to develop as well as his understanding of the disease process and the work necessary to stay sober. He became self-aware and socially-aware. He became humbler and more grateful. More like the pre-addiction Jake.
He also seemed to know how hard it was going to be to stay sober. He became vigilant about getting a sponsor and studying the Big Book and going to meetings. After a while, I noticed he was more prepared and willing to deal with the stress and uncertainty of life and he was doing it one day at a time.
Needless to say and thankful every day, he graduated. He has only grown stronger in his sobriety. He trusts his decisions more and is no longer afraid to ask for help.
He has gone on to be an AA/NA sponsor, is working in the field of Addiction/Recovery medicine, and currently a straight-A student in college. He hopes to go on to addiction counseling as he feels he has a lot of experience and wants to help other people regain their lives from this devastating disease called Addiction.
Addiction Treatment Programs have the expertise, tools, and offered the support that Jake needed to find his way. I thank GOD for them and what they did for my son.