There may be few things more discouraging than watching a loved one suffer through the problems of substance abuse. Every phone call can seem like a threat – a threat that some day the worst news will come and there will be nothing more one can do to try and help a loved one overcome one of the most difficult and dangerous things life can present. Substance abuse that continues week after week, month after month and year after year can be emotionally draining for family members, who want to try and help solve the problem but have no idea how. It can be even more heartbreaking when offers of help are treated with suspicion and derision. Many loved ones struggle to come to terms with the fact that the individual they once knew and cared for is not all the same person while under the effect of drugs. This can be even more distressing when that same individual causes them harm, betraying their trust or openly deceiving them.
When it seems that the only way out for the substance abuser is prison or death, their family members often hope for a miracle. Sometimes, a miracle comes in the form of successful rehabilitation treatment.
Handling Twelve Years of Substance Abuse
CD enrolled in the Narconon Arrowhead rehabilitation program in order to address and resolve a twelve-year addiction to heroin. Despite having formed a very close relationship and friendship with her mother during her childhood and adolescence, CD’s substance abuse problems caused her to push her mother almost entirely out of her life. While under the effects of heroin, the only things CD cared about were getting high and spending time with her boyfriend. Her mother knew that CD’s life was spiraling out of control, and she would call her daughter, crying and pleading with her to get help. CD couldn’t see it for herself and pushed her mother even farther away.
CD began her Narconon rehabilitation program by withdrawing and detoxing from drug chemicals. With her body free from the immediate influences of drugs, CD started on the Narconon life skills courses. Part of her rehabilitation included discovering why she had turned to drugs in the first place, and taking responsibility for her actions and the damages she caused for herself and others. It was when she finally confronted her mother that CD realized how much she had hurt her through her actions. When she realized how much her mother had suffered in fear for her daughter’s life, CD felt sincere remorse for having caused so much pain and anguish. Luckily, she had gained the tools she needed to repair the damages she had caused.
While she cannot take back the pain she caused her mother while she was abusing drugs, CD knows that talking to her mother on the phone is an important step toward restoring their healthy, loving relationship. CD talks to her mother nearly every day, inquiring about how she is doing and telling her mother about her program progress. She knows that her mother can recognize her “real” daughter in CD now, since she is once again happy, laughing and upbeat. CD can hear the excitement in her mother’s voice as she acknowledges CD’s progress and happiness in life in general. There is no fear or worry that CD is in dangerous company or dangerous conditions, she knows that her daughter is safe, happy and rehabilitated.
After over a decade of substance abuse ruling her thoughts and actions, CD is now free and clear from drugs and their effects. She has never had a better relationship with her mother, and openly admits that she loves her completely. She is resolved to use what she has learned at Narconon to lead a healthy, happy life, and never hurt her mother again.