MICHELE | Erie, CO
Because of the stigma associated with medication-assisted treatment, he couldn’t tell them he was using Suboxone, even though it was keeping him off heroin.
I am Michele. My son Adam’s substance abuse started at a young age, and it eventually escalated from alcohol to heroin. He was arrested for stealing money to buy heroin, and when I bailed him out of jail, he told me about his opioid addiction and that he wanted help. He got on Suboxone and then into a sober living house, which was abstinence-based. Because of the stigma associated with medication-assisted treatment, he couldn’t tell them he was using Suboxone, even though it was keeping him off heroin, otherwise they would’ve kicked him out.
The treatment worked for a while; he was working at the sober living home and helping others into recovery. But once he moved out and tried living sober on his own, he started drinking again. Unfortunately, he’s been caught in a cycle of trying to stay sober – he tried to take his life, was in a coma, got sober, and has relapsed with alcohol and heroin. Relapse is an expected part of recovery, but it’s like he doesn’t feel worthy of a good life, and I think he uses that as an excuse to escape rather than facing his addiction. It’s extremely difficult for me, as a parent. I want to fix him, because I know you can’t do it alone. I stay focused on loving him unconditionally, and instead of being part of the problem by judging him, I continue to support him, and hope he can find lasting recovery.