Support and guidance for families of those suffering from addiction

(Editor’s Note: The following is a Question and Answer with a mother who has dealt with addiction in her family).

Sally is a mother of two and a wife. Her children were raised under the same roof in Carson City, with the same rules, but heroin found her son.

According to Sally, her son said, “Heroin was my destiny.”

Following is an interview with Sally, whose name was changed to protect the family.

Q: What were the first signs of addiction?

A: He came to us and said he was addicted to pills. He must’ve been 19 and he was smoking heroin. We got him counseling and he was sober for about 11 months and then he was introduced to intravenous. That lasted for about 3 years.

Q: What drug did he first start using? When?

A: He started with prescription pills as a junior in high school. He was prescribed OxyContin by his family physician for a torn ACL tendon.

Q: What was your primary reaction? What emotions were you feeling?

A: We got him help. We both sat there and cried. I’m really glad he came to us so we didn’t have to discover that, and he asked for the help.

Q: How did you deal with his addiction?

A: I went to my own counseling. After seeing so many people in court and seeing so many people in jail, seeing so many of his friends caught up in this, I knew I was not the only one, so I wasn’t alone. This is not a singular problem here. It was good to know there were other people out there that were going through similar things.

Q: What advice would you give to other individuals that have loved ones suffering from addiction?

A: Read up on Nar-Anon material. They have a website. Read as much material as possible and go to a Nar-Anon meeting or an Al-Anon meeting. Learn about detachment — that’s probably one of the most important things. Also, learn about enabling. Once you learn about enabling and detachment, you can have a normal life.

Q: Is your son sober now?

A: Yes. It’s a good thing to see recovery. He started going to Narcotics Anonymous meetings everyday, sometimes twice a day. He started to go to counseling. He was pulling weeds this morning, I was feeding the birds, and his dad was working on the car. We were doing normal things.

Nar-Anon meetings in Carson City will be held from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursdays beginning Aug. 13 at Partnership Carson City, 1711 N .Roop St., on the corner of Beverly and N. Roop Street. Enter through the south entrance of the Partnership Carson City building. A light supper will be provided. For more information, call Partnership Carson City at 775-841-4730.

Emily Ammerman is a junior at Carson High School. She is also a journalist for Partnership Carson City and plans to pursue a career in journalism.


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