Parents Blog #5

On our 26th wedding anniversary, my husband Rich answered the phone and it was the Norwalk Police Department.  Our son Adam had been arrested for possession of heroin.  We both were in complete shock! 

Thus, my journey into the world of addiction began.  Heroin, I had foolishly believed, was the drug choice of junkies and homeless people—not a well-adjusted kid from Wilton.  Here I was facing a problem that–like many other problems I have faced—I hoped I could solve myself.

My husband and I worked diligently to help Adam through his difficult times.  We stayed up and comforted him during the night. We believed with our heart and soul that our unconditional love would see him through this.  However, despite the good intentions Adam still struggled.

Two years went by, and finally my husband and I convinced Adam to enter a 30-day rehab in California.  When he returned home, he looked healthy and well-rested.  It seemed that he turned a corner.  That evening—after Adam went out briefly to meet some friends–we enjoyed a quiet dinner together and then sat down to relax.

Later, I noticed a grumbling noise from the bathroom. The door was locked and Adam was not responding.  When Rich broke down the door, we found Adam close to death with a needle still in his arm.  Through my husband’s CPR and the help of EMTs, our son was brought back to life.

My journey with Adam’s addiction continued.  The overdose was not yet Adam’s rock-bottom.  With the help of a counselor Adam agreed to medication-assisted therapy (MAP) using methadone.  However, my son’s addictive mindset continued and life living together was a nightmare.  I was sucked into a vortex spiraling out of control–money missing, items being pawned, checks stolen, lies upon lies…

Adam attempted 2 more rehabs–for 90 days each. These had little lasting effect.  My son would return home and the addictive personality would re-emerge.  I noticed that my physical health was worsening, and my focus every day was solely on helping my son.  I was literally at my wit’s end, and so was my husband.

Rich and I decided to try peer support by attending New Canaan Parent Support Group meetings at St. Mark’s Church.  The people we met there saved our lives.  Suddenly we were not alone.  We could share our experiences with other parents, and focus on self-care.

While we worked on ourselves, Adam started working on his own recovery.  Three years later, Adam has changed into the loving son I remember.  He is tapering off MAT and has control of his life.  He loves his job and has won back the trust of his family. For today, all is good!