Son2 began treatment for his heroin addiction two years ago, in December. He was prescribed Suboxone, and immediately quit using. We were told to use was dangerous, and to drink alcohol was also dangerous while on this medication. He began outpatient treatment over his Christmas vacation which was for four weeks. He went to half day sessions four days a week at the center. Because of his age (he was just turning 19) he was treated as an adult and was attending group therapy with other adults. As an adult, his medical records and medical information were private and we were not allowed to know anything without his consent. So, he was put in charge of his own recovery immediately, and I helped support that as much as I could. It was hard for me to let go of the idea of him being a child and dependent on us for everything. So, of course, as I always tended to do, I did a lot of tasks for him, made appointments and phone calls, ran errands, picked up prescriptions, etc. Eventually I did let go of a lot of that, but it seemed necessary at the time, for both of us. Another thing we did was attend the group sessions that were open to family. This accomplished two very important things. First, it showed Son2 that we loved him enough to be involved with his treatment, and Second, it was a real eye-opener for us. It was hard to hear and learn the harsh truth, not only about some of the things he had done, but also what it was going to take to overcome the addiction. These were things we had to know.
During this time, Son2 seemed willing to attend treatment, but still seemed to be holding back. He went to all the sessions, did his homework, and seemed to start feeling better physically. I think he wanted to beat the addiction, but didn't really realize what that meant. He was going through the motions, but not putting his whole self into it. For example, it was recommended to begin attending NA (Narcotics Anonymous) meetings. He didn't go, didn't want to, didn't think it would help. I think he felt some fear and shame. I'm guessing that's true because I felt that way myself. At one point, when asked about his priorities, he put his relationship with his girlfriend and college before his recovery. That's where his head was at. He seemed to be making progress, and since we didn't realize ourselves the impact of what was going on, we thought everything was going to be ok, and it was for a while. So off he went back to college after the four weeks, and started coming home once a week for after-care group sessions.
After he went back to school, we continued to touch base with him daily. He didn't seem to mind, and in fact I think he was grateful for our support.