My name is Rebecca and I work here in the admissions center at Vertava Health. I answer calls, save lives by helping people get into treatment, and I put families back together. I’m not an ER doctor. I’m not a cancer surgeon. I’m not a doctor at all. But that doesn’t mean I can’t save your life or the life of your loved one. In order to save you, I have to tell it like it is – and sometimes, that means I have to hurt your feelings.
Unfortunately for you, I am not afraid to do this. I have to say the things you don’t want to hear to stop you in your tracks. To stop the enabling.
I know the truth hurts. I don’t want you to hurt, but sometimes things have to get worse before they get better. If I don’t tell you the truth, someone could die. It could be you, or a loved one. So I kind of look at myself like a “truth healer,” wherein I tell you the truth about the dire situation you or your loved one is in and then get you to place to be healed.
I’m here to remove the scales from your eyes, show you the ugly reality and help you stop lying to yourself. I’m here to rip off the band-aid of lies that you have placed over your deep wounds. You know which lies. The lies you’ve been telling yourself, your family and your friends.
I’m in a unique position to do this for you. I’m not your family member or your friend. I don’t care if anyone hates me or doesn’t speak to me again. I don’t need your love and affection. I need you to listen so I can save you. I’m going to tell you the truth and your feelings will probably get hurt.
I am going to get tough with my responses because often times that is the only way I can get past the wall of excuses and fear that people have built around themselves.
This is my job.
1. He hurt his back and he just can’t work. I don’t think he’s really an addict.
I believe you when you say your son sustained a back injury 12 years ago. And for 12 years some knucklehead with a prescription pad has been giving him pain pills for his back.
Let me ask you a few very important questions:
*When was the last time he went to see a specialist in order to fix the injury?
*When was the last time he went to physical therapy?
*Why exactly is he running out of the prescription early? After all these years the pain is worse?
*Are you giving him your pain meds because he consistently runs out of his early?
The truth of the matter is that when we have an injury, we seek a solution. If the answer is surgery, then, by all means, find a surgeon and fix that herniated disk or whatever it is. But then you heal and you move on. Your pain is gone and you can go back to work and live a productive life.
Why is your son not doing that?
Because your son is not still suffering from an event that happened years and years ago. He’s addicted to narcotics. He’s living out of a prescription bottle. And he can’t stop.
Here’s your final dose of truth. I watched one of the best men I ever knew die of cancer. I had the honor and privilege to care for him until he took his last breath on Earth. I have never witnessed anyone in so much pain. Do you know that he never asked once for his prescribed dose of narcotics? He wanted to be present and in order to be present – he bravely endured the intense pain of death.
Now ask yourself. Is your son in that much physical pain?
2. My daughter doesn’t really have a problem, it’s that loser drug dealing boyfriend she’s with.
I understand that every time you look at your daughter you want to see that big eyed five-year-old girl that thought you hung the moon. Instead of acknowledging what she’s become, you choose to remember all of the times that you bounced her on your knee, taught her how to ride a bike, maybe catch a football and let her dance on top of your feet. I get it. She’s your baby and to think she’s a drug addict hurts. What I am about to tell you is going to hurt even more.
People who don’t have drug problems don’t date drug dealers.They date people with jobs. She’s not your little girl anymore, even though she may still be acting like a child in a lot of ways. Whether or not she was addicted to drugs before or after she hooked up with this “drug dealer boyfriend” is not the issue. There are different brands of synthetic urine kits to help you pass drug test.
Because you have to deal with the now. And the now is pretty ugly.
You need to know:
Your daughter is addicted to drugs and she needs treatment. You may be able to get her to break up with this boyfriend, but there will be another boyfriend–and he will be addicted, too. He isn’t your problem, the disease is. Until we treat the disease, the addiction will remain. The good news it I promise to get her far, far away from him. I really can do that.
If her boyfriend is a drug dealer she’s probably not only doing drugs but she’s selling drugs. This is very typical of addicted/drug dealer relationships. She needs the drugs more than she needs him and will do what she can to maintain her high. She will eventually be arrested for possession with intent to distribute.
He will get arrested and he will go to jail. This leaves her to run the drug game while he’s gone. Addicts don’t make good salesmen. She will finish using what drugs are left and then she will need money. She will call you. She will call her Dad. She will steal from you if you don’t give her what you want. She will try to sell things from your house. You will have to change your locks.
But that’s the easy part. Because when your daughter’s illness tells her she needs more drugs and she can’t pay for them she won’t do what a lot of men drug addicts do. She won’t get a gun and hold up a gas station. She won’t rob someone on the street. She’s not strong enough, she’s not intimidating enough and she’s not fast enough to pull that off.
So guess what she’s going to do, Mom? It kills me to tell you this – but like I said, I’m not afraid to hurt your feelings to save your child.
She will turn to prostitution. It will be something little at first – maybe she finds a new drug dealer and offers sexual favors for drugs. But he will want more from her. And he knows she can’t stop doing drugs so he will take full advantage of that. Maybe he shares your daughter with his friends. Maybe he decides to pimp her out and make a little money off of her. If she refuses, maybe that dope man will come knocking on your door because she owes him money.
Before she knows it – her beautiful life living in the safe haven of your home, your arms – is only something she dreams about when she has a chance to sleep. Sleep is the only time her old life comes to her and it hurts. So she stays high. One thing I know for sure, when this disease starts to progress, and it will—–the last thing you are going to be thinking about when you are bailing her out, looking for her on the street or picking out her casket is that drug dealing boyfriend whose name you can’t remember. He’s not the problem. The addiction is.
Like I said, there IS good news! And it’s the fact that you already knew in your heart that this might happen. You called me.
I’m going to save her, I’m going to get her far away from her life of addiction and I’m going to put your family back together. I’ve been doing this for years for many, many individuals and families.
I’ve got this, Mom. You came to the right place.
3. I know I’m using drugs, but I can’t go to treatment. I have children to take care of. They need me.
Let me start with this, Momma. You are not a bad mom. You are not a horrible person. You are a lovable person who is caught in the throes of addiction.
No one plans for addiction.
But here’s the brutal truth.
This is the most brutal truth I have ever have to tell anyone.
If you are using drugs, you’re not taking care of your children. It doesn’t matter if you are waiting until they go to bed at night to get drunk or high. You are still trying to manage this disease, and you’re not present. You’re bringing illegal drugs into your home where your sweet, innocent babies live.
If you’re too drunk or stoned:
What are you doing to do when your baby gets a cold and stops breathing in the middle of the night? Are you going to stumble to the car and drive blindly to the ER? Think you will make it safely? Probably not, Mom, because you’ll be passed out.
What about when your baby falls out of his bed and accidentally breaks his arm? Will you fall down the stairs as you carry him to the car making everything worse?
Mom, what happens if your sweet baby simply has a terrible, scary nightmare? Will you be lucid enough to go to him? To comfort him? To be his safe place in a scary world.
And finally, let me ask you this. What if your child finds you overdosed? What if your sweet, innocent baby girl finds you passed out in a pool of your own vomit?
I know you think they don’t know. I know you think you’re pulling it off and everyone believes you. Wrong. Your kids know you’re drunk and your kid’s friends know you’re drunk. Everyone already knows, Mom.
You are not parenting, you’re not present, and your children deserve more. And you’re calling me – so you know this already.
This is the ugly, nasty, dirty truth about addiction that I need you to see. And I know from the bottom of my heart that you didn’t mean for this to happen. I know that you’re not a bad mother. I know that you love your babies and that right now you’re doing the very best you can.
You didn’t wake up one day and decide that the best way of parenting was to lock yourself away in the bathroom from you three-year-old and smoke crack. Believe me – NO ONE does. No one wants to actively hurt their loved ones.
Speaking of loved ones – I know you don’t feel lovable right now. But let me love you, today. I will love you better.
All is not lost. I will say that again, all is not lost. Your call to me today is the first step.
Now let me help you pick up the pieces. Let me help you put your family back together. Let me help you save your life.
This, folks, is what I do every day, all day. You came to the right place and I am fully confident that today is the day you or your loved one to regain control, to kick the addiction and to live the beautiful life that we all deserve to live. There is a way out – and I know what it is.
And that’s the truth.
Don’t be afraid to reach out – you never know how amazing it can be,