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Old 04-10-2011, 02:10 PM
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I Love Who I Am
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For Parents of Addicts

I have worked in drug policy reform for the past 5 years. Mostly working with cops who want to end the drug war. The premise is simple: the drug war is the longest standing war the US has ever engaged in and while it has cost us 1 trillion dollars, it has met none of it's intended goals. Not one.

I've been recruited to work wtih a group of women, mothers, who speak out against this failed policy. Many of them have lost their loved ones to addiction. Denise is one of the women I've become close with and her story, still, every day, shakes me to my core.

I guess this is what's called "harm reduction," but I'm coming at it from a different perspective.

We cannot in any way help an addict or A until they're ready. Criminalizing them for just being addicts in possesion of their DOC doesn't help. It creates barriers to recovery. Try getting funding for school, a job or place to live wtih a drug conviction.

I know here we are entangled, enmeshed with the disease and fighting our own demons. I know lots of moms have to do the tough love scene for their own sanity. I know I did years ago with my now 26 year old, but regret it. If I had this to do over again, I would never have thrown out my kids at age 15, never have allowed him to be put in the system. I thought I was trying to help.

Denise often tells me to hug my boys, for her. She's an ANGEL and I admire her in so many ways. Her story and her loss and compassion are overwhelming to me. I know many of you have lost your loved ones too. I hope this helps you in some way.

Love, Transform


On Denise Cullen's 50th birthday she paused for a photo with her son Jeff. He died of a drug overdose : Home Photo
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Old 04-10-2011, 02:22 PM
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"Our goals are to end the shame of addiction, encourage medical research and increase accessibility to rehabilitation," Denise explained. "There's always money to build more prisons, but just try to get in rehab when time is of the essence."

Amen and amen. Thank you for the article.
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Old 04-10-2011, 04:38 PM
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I did the "tough love" thing..still do..I love her (my RAD)and will do anything to support her recovery and nothing at all to support or protect her from the consequences of her addiction.the story is horribly sad and I really agree with the whole rehab instead of jail..for possession..NOT for DUI's or other crimes where others lives are risk. It is tragic how much rehabs cost, and the unavailability.But the really sad truth is that rehabs aren't magic bullets and until a person wants to stop AND is willing to do do the work, it's not going to happen whether us parents coddle them and enable or boot them to the streets.. no easy answers here with a cunning and baffling disease.
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Old 04-10-2011, 05:08 PM
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I am completely agreed in that there needs to be more beds available in rehabs for those who really want it and cannot afford it or don't have the insurance for it. The Salvation Army can only do so much. The closest SA rehab center is 1.5 hours from here by car.

Certainly it is a struggle if the young person is still under age but is completely out of control. Some teenagers have been a danger to themselves and their family members and have had to be removed from the home and placed into temporary foster care just to calm the immediate tensions and provide counseling for parents and child separately.

I agree with keepinon in that there are no easy answers. I'm sure that Mr. HG is thought of badly by some folks because he kicked his son out....the difference being his son was 27 and had threatened to kill 3 members of his own family. Whether or not "Jr." believes that he is loved by his family----I don't know. But he has been told he is loved at every point of contact.

I continue to pray for those struggling with addiction every day.
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