Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, a 850-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992 when he had a year sober. He's in his 27th year of recovery.

In these posts, he views life mostly through the lenses of recovery. While the blog is factual, he sometimes disguises events and people to protect anonymity.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Family Suffering


This is an excerpt from a long email from an addict’s family member.  It illustrates the pain and suffering we put our families through until we finally change our lives.  (Email was edited for anonymity and brevity.)

“I cannot describe how grateful I am to you and your staff for everything they do! The reason for my email is to get some peace of mind for my family.

 My family spent $2,000 to send my brother there.  He is a 10+ year heroin addict.  Since his arrival he has been constantly calling everyone in the family from his cell phone and crying and begging to come home.

 He claims there’s rampant drug use in the facility where he is, 20 Macdonald St, and that there are drug dealers just waiting for people to come outside to try to sell to them.  Yesterday he called and said he needed $40.00 for a drug test before he could get into the detox so we sent the money via Western Union. Then he told us that the detox made him sit in a plastic chair for 24 hours so he left and went back to the Macdonald location. Then he decided he was going to go back to detox so he needed another $40.00 for another drug test before he could get back into the detox facility. Then he called late last night and said that he left the property all together and bought drugs from someone and didn't have the money to pay him and was being held against his will at a Pet Smart Store so we needed to send him $60.00.  

This behavior is destroying what little is left of my family.  I just need a confirmation from you that what he is saying is not true (even though I know it is all lies) so that my mother and grandmother can have some peace of mind that he is where he needs to be and that he is being taken care of. 

He has been in and out of detox and rehab and prison for years and nothing seems to work.  All of the people that he associates with here are addicts - also including the mother of his daughter.

 I truly believe in my heart that this is the best place for him to be.”

I assured the man’s family that everything he said was untrue-that he was manipulating them so he could get more drug money.  

But this email made me grateful that I no longer have to live in a world of lies and deception because of my disease.