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"M y husband, the father of my two children, died the day before our son’s 15th birthday. He was supposed to live for 12 months after his diagnosis of brain cancer, but he lived for 18 months and then died at home, on Oct. 14, 1998. “I don’t know if our son had been using drugs before his dad died, but he certainly was using a variety of drugs a year later, when his coaches and teachers met with me at a high school conference. That was when I met face to face with the reality that my son was willing to lie to me, to lie to me with every word, action and intention. “The next 10+ years were an escalating nightmare of ER visits, doctor and pharmacy bills, multiple rehab stints as an inpatient, and watching my son relapse, again and again, slowly killing himself. My constant companion was the knowledge that, just as I had buried his father, I would surely bury my son if he continued his path of self-destruction.
“My constant companion was the knowledge that, just as I had buried his father, I would surely bury my son if he continued his path of self-destruction.”
“I remarried several years after my son’s father died and my new husband was patient and wise enough to know better than to try to put himself between my son and me. We both hoped and worked for the best for my son, but we also feared the worst. “The worst came when my son was arrested at a pharmacy for altering a prescription for opioids and resisted arrest. After a scuffle, he was taken off to the county jail—a first for our family, on both sides, in all our combined history. I couldn’t bring myself to visit him, to have imprinted on my memory, for the rest of my days, the image of my son in an orange jumpsuit. “That was a very tough decision, but the first of a number of good decisions I made on my own behalf. My son had a court-appointed attorney who successfully argued for drug court and he stayed clean and sober for a whole year of drug tests and probation. He was recognized at drug court graduation for his intelligence and his diligence and received a lot of praise and admiration. Within a few days or weeks, he was using again.
“One night, about a year later, he left my home and drove his car off my driveway and was fortunate to land in some trees. Over the next 24 hours, he and I spent countless hours on the phone with Narconon Louisiana and a drug rehab in Los Angeles. Narconon offered my son the chance to get off drugs and the Suboxone he’d been taking for over a year. The rehab in Los Angeles said he was, of course, welcome to stay on the Suboxone during treatment and indefinitely into his future. “I was desperate to keep my son alive and grateful he hadn’t killed himself or anyone else on the road, and I was willing, again, to pay for any treatment. I left the choice up to my son. Choose Narconon or the rehab in Los Angeles. Life without drugs, or life with Suboxone as a way to stay ’sober.’ The choice was completely up to him.
“In the hours after the car crash, he and I stayed up all night.
We cried together and he told me about his dreams for his own future…. He told me how lost he felt, how little control he had over the hours and minutes of his days and nights.” “I’ll never truly know how my son came to the decision to choose Narconon over Los Angeles. In the hours after the car crash, he and I stayed up all night. We cried together and he told me about his dreams for his own future; how he envied his sister, her life with a new baby and the track her life was on. How he wanted that kind of life for himself. He told me how lost he felt, how little control he had over the hours and minutes of his days and nights. How ashamed he was that he had squandered his own potential, and his feelings of sorrow for disappointing me as well as the memory of his father. It was a heartfelt, gut-wrenching, totally draining night for both of us. “Something inside, some glimmer of the son I’d raised, believed in the message of Narconon Louisiana and the promise of a life without the perpetual need for ’replacement’ medication. My son chose Narconon. It was the more difficult choice at the time, but it was the choice that would mean my son would reclaim his own life and his future.
“It’s been a journey, not a destination, just like the real thing—life.”
“That was nearly eight years ago. In between was the work, the learning, the stumbling and having a wise mentor to help him get back up, more than once, in a safe environment, toward his freedom. It’s been a journey, not a destination, just like the real thing—life. “He’s not only paid off his old debts, he’s rebuilt his credit; bought and paid for his car; qualified for a mortgage and moved into a new home. And perhaps best of all, is in a loving relationship with a wonderful woman. My son is building the future HE is choosing, one that isn’t dictated by a life of addiction, but that is of his own making, by his own gifts and talents. A life that is full of promise and setbacks, joy and sorrow, love and loss. A life, like his father’s and mine, and all of us who suffer and get back up and try again, by our own wits and grit, that demands us to draw meaning from what we have to endure. “I don’t know where my son would be without Narconon Louisiana. Only he can say what led him to make the choice he did. Was it the human contact of long hours on the phone with a counselor who knew the path so well? Was it the empathy and compassion transmitted over the phone? Why did he choose to try one more time, but this time without Suboxone? What rang true for him? Only he can answer those questions, only he truly knows why. I can simply offer that he made the right choice. He chose Narconon Louisiana and he chose life. When all is said and done, when my days of thinking about life and all its mysteries have come to an end, I don’t really need to know any more than that.” —Joanne B., Narconon Graduate’s Mother
How does someone wind up addicted to drugs? The truth is each person’s descent into drug addiction is different. This amazing story shows us a different perspective on how a person becomes addicted to drugs.