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.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Another Overdose

Now in Imperial Beach with the family this week enjoying our annual vacation.

However, on Friday, the day before we left, we got disturbing news. My grandson is taken to the hospital because he overdosed on heroin. For a while, we feared he was going to die.  But then we hear that he's conscious.  And that he'd left the hospital against a doctor's advice.

Someone asked later how I felt about him overdosing. They knew that I'd been close to him when he was much younger.

I replied that since he'd done this a couple times before I had more or less accepted that one day I was going to get the news that he'd died of an overdose. After all, that's what happens when addicts continue to defy the odds. And today, the quality of the heroin is much stronger. In fact, in the last year, Arizona has recorded more than 700 overdoses related to opiates.

I learned a long time ago that we addicts don't change our behavior until something really bad happens. Most don't seek help until they have lost everything. And that means they either have to go to prison. Lose their job. Lose their home. Or perhaps have health issues related to their addiction.

The thing about this young man's situation is that family members and others don't care that they are aiding and abetting his addiction by giving him a place to live and helping him out in other ways. As long as they keep supporting him he'll continue to use and take advantage of their gullibility.

They may think they're showing him love.  But they might be loving him to death.

He knows where and how he can get help. But until he's forced to do so he probably won't change.

And until he gets help, I've accepted the idea that one day he may have an overdose that he won't survive.  That would be sad.

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