I recently was reading more about Phillip Seymour Hoffman and the question of whether he received appropriate treatment was brought up. I think the 23 year factor of sobriety and then relapse has shaken a lot of people. So now we set out to figure out why? What happened? My friend Mary would say its because addicts are only clean and sober one day at a time and the "sword of Damocles" is always hanging over their head, our head. I believe she is right.
What is appropriate treatment? Is appropriate treatment a necessity to getting well from addiction? I don't know....but I thought I would write out some of my questions and thoughts here. This is just a rambling...not really anything cohesive or productive. lol
I will start with what I believe...."appropriate" treatment should be available to everyone. How much money you have or don't have should not be a factor. Every life is worth saving. You can't put a price on health and finding your way to wholeness. I think that treatment has become big business, big money in today's society. Treatment centers are the dichotomy of drug dealers....but both are taking a drug addicts (and their families if we still contribute to that sort of thing) financial resources. Both have different reasons for bleeding people dry, but they both do it.
Ok, so enough with the topic of money....add in the dual diagnosis dynamic, which I believe most if not all addicts have some sort of dual dx issues going on. I mean really, what happy and content person sticks a needle in their arm "recreationally?" Even a glass of wine each night is a solution to a stressful day, is a way to relax. Its solving something. Medicating something inside. The numbing effects of drugs and alcohol are a solution, a means to an end...not a long term or healthy solution of course, but a momentary respite from whatever is ailing us.
There are spa like centers to recover in, Ibogaine treatment centers in other countries, wilderness programs, scared straight programs, there are rehabs with ratty twin beds lined up... unmatched bedding abounds, everyone does chores and contributes to the cooking, there are harm reduction clinics that will prescribe and pass out Suboxone (or clean needles if you choose,) there are expensive dr's that will prescribe Suboxone or the Vivitrol shot, there are giant HMO's who will run a treatment program like a machine...protocols, unbreakable rules, medical record numbers, strict parameters for how to handle a crisis, a phone maze to find your way through.....but hang on, don't shoot up...call this number, got a voice mail? Call back in an hour, they must be at lunch. And then there are 12 step meetings.....for any sort of thing that ails you. Food, drugs, alcohol, "helping" others, sex, being raised by an addict....the list goes on. There is outpatient, inpatient, massage therapists, group therapy, individual therapy, psychotropic meds....and any combination of all of the above. There are people who just decide they are done and stop. No 12 steps, no "treatment." Voila! They just stop and move on.
What if.....getting clean and sober is just about being ready to be done? I think any of the above can and should be used as tools (and we have used and are currently using many of them) but I think the biggest factor could be, possibly, if our addict is sick of being sick. What if they went into treatment and did what they were told to do? I know, believe me when I say this....I KNOW that its far more complicated than that. The head stuff that goes on is a constant jerking around in the very core of our kids. Does that mean that my girl hasn't gotten appropriate treatment? I don't know.....I can't stand our giant HMO that she has gone through, but its what we had available to us.
The question for me and the stark raving fear for me has always been how do we keep them alive long enough to get them to that point of being sick of being sick, with the least amount of permanent damage being done? That is what I have carried with me for the past 10-12 years.
So I guess my question really is "what is appropriate treatment?" Is there such a thing and if so where do you find it? P.S.H had any form of treatment available to him and was intelligent enough to figure out what he needed and where to go. Maybe, and I can't stand the thought of this, but maybe sometimes they want the relief of the drugs more?