Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Jail Does No Good For Addicts

It was quite a Monday evening and the soreness is gone in the muscle under my arm. 53 year old men should not be wrestling with 21 year old men. Although I do have a weight advantage, I'll have to remember in the future we are not in the same weight class so I shouldn't engage. LOL

Our son is in jail now on a paraphernalia charge in Leavenworth County. Yesterday he had a regularly scheduled meeting with his probation officer. This is the same one I spoke with and have been working with as noted in previous posts. At 10:30 was his meeting so because our son was in jail I went to his scheduled meeting and had a face to face with the PO. After hearing all the circumstances the PO developed a plan and wanted to know if I would help and if I bought into the plan.

The plan is that Alex needs to get out of jail. When he is released if needed he needs to go to a detox in Johnson County if they have space. Which they do I just called. After detox Alex must voluntarily submit himself to the Johnson County residential center for 6 months. After that we go from there. The key was Alex buying into this plan.

Yesterday afternoon I spent with the Leavenworth County Sheriff discussing my son and his situation. I found a sheriff very sympathetic and compassionate to this plan. When I went to discuss this I had no idea if would would find a sheriff in the model of Andy Taylor or Boss Hoss, I must watch way too much TV. The sheriff was a model of Andy Taylor, good old Mayberry must still be alive out there.

The sheriff got a meeting with the DA, his undersheriff and I. We all four had a discussion about Alex and the plan worked out with the PO from Johnson County. All in the meeting agreed that would be a very good plan if Alex agreed, which he did after I had a discussion with him at the jail visitor center. So LV Cty is going to drop all charges on the paraphernalia and kick him loose at 9:30 tonight. I must be there to pick him up. Alex must then call the detox for a quick 5 minute phone screening and I will take him straight to detox. The PO is going to the detox tomorrow to speak with Alex personally about the residential center. His admittance to the residential has been walked through the system by the PO and approval has been given for this plan by the "powers that be".

There is a plan, Alex says he is bought into the plan. The rest is completely up to him. Fingers crossed, and here is that old nugget of hope. I never give up but I better understand this time the responsibility is on Alex, I only have to help like this when I want to help.

ps.: What was so re-assuring or surpising was discussing this with the sheriff he admitted jail doesn't work for addiction. He said jail was his only tool so that is what he has to use. He was happy that I found another option, his opinion was that he didn't want our addicts in there any more than we want them in there. The sheriff is an elected position, I can only assume if he took a public stand like that he be branded soft instead of intelligent and re-election would just be a dream. Wish I had an answer for that.


ChaiLatte said...

I think this is great. How lucky you are to have the help and guidance of both the PO and the Sheriff. I completely agree that Alex has to want this and has to do the hard work that it will take. As much as I want to kidnap my son and get him off the streets, I know that my efforts would be fruitless unless HE wants recovery for himself. That's why addiction is so heartbreaking for us parents and loved ones~ we want them to love themselves as much as we love them and get the help that they need! You are GREAT parents!!! Many prayers being sent your way~ ChaiLatte

Syd said...

It sounds like a hopeful plan. And the sheriff sounds great. I hope that your son understands that this is a great chance for him. Hang in there.

Gin said...

I hope that your son takes this opportunity and runs with it. Both for himself and for the two of you. It seems like this is a really good thing that the Sheriff's office is doing. I am glad they recognize that addicts need help, not confinement. I hope all goes well. Looking forward to updates!

Annette said...

How encouraging to find people in high places willing to listen to reason and help get things going. This is a huge opportunity and a gift. I hope Alex takes it, embraces it, and begins a new life! You are wonderful parents...I agree with Chai.

Cindy said...

Wow. This sounds really good. I hope things go smoothly with the transition from the jail to the detox then to the residential center. One day at a time, right? You're in my prayers.

DM said...

I once did an entire research paper on the negative effects jail has on addiction. But he was right, he has very little options.

I will pray for you and your son.

God, I hate this disease.

Lou said...

I have found most people involved in the justice system have the best interests at heart. I have dealt with many that went above and beyond to help my son..from judges, prosecutors, policeman, warden (yes, I once called a warden AT HOME), and rehab personnel.
I feel most people try to do their job with compassion and common sense.

Everyone involved knows incarceration does not address the core issues of addiction. It's just that there are not many options. Budget cuts have really eaten into funds used for diversion programs.

This is excellent that your son has been offered an alternative. It is much better than sitting around in county jail, watching TV and playing cards.

Changedit said...

Oh good for Alex, I hope he sticks with it. That would give you and your wife some space and rest too. Detox is a long term thing, it doesn't finish after the physical detox. Good luck with it all. Fishy x

Anonymous Mom said...

I am impressed with all of you for taking this initiative and agreeing that jail is not the place for your boy. I am hopeful (again) and will continue to hope the best for all our kids.

Her Big Sad said...

Praying, crossing fingers, thinking good thoughts, etc! I am hopeful that your son will jump on this opportunity... hopeful that he is ready! He can do it! Keep us posted when you can.... {{{{{Big Hug!}}}}}

NH said...

I just want to add a comment from the point of view of an addict currently in recovery. We will always, forever, and ever, till we die, struggle with wanting to get high. Everyday, all day long we have to fight it. Even after 5 years clean I have to stay vigilant and I know tomorrow may be the day I use again if I'm not careful and lucky. Even though that sherrif sounds nice and intelligent, the fact remains that there are really poor options in this country and the world over for addicts seeking recovery. We all know jail doesn't help, but it remains the foremost solution for law enforcement. And unless you have the money to pay out of pocket, it is almost impossible to find a treatment center that will treat addicts for the length of time neccesary for them to be prepared to attempt life alone. The reality that is lack of addiction care is probably just as frustrating, if not more so, for the parents of addicts than it is for addicts themselves. Parents want to help so much. But in my experience they generally end up enabling. It is so hard to just say, "Get out and figure it out on your own". But honestly that's the only way that any addict will find their way to maybe wanting to get clean. It's a total cliche, but we really do have to find our own rock bottom. I guarantee Alex would think twice about his using if he sat in jail, sick as a dog for long enough. I know it's harsh, but I've been there. And now I'm clean. Just don't help him too much, as much as you want to.

Julie said...

As the parent of a former addict, I don't like to use recovery, my heart goes out to you. My son just turned 23 on Aug. 6, 09. We have been fight drugs and alocohol since he was 14. Mostly the usual beginning with alcohol and marijuana. He has been in jail 7 times, the longest being 30 days, he has been in 6 car wrecks resulting in 3 eye surgeries to save is right eye. He has seen a addiction psycologist, been to outpatient 3 times, one 2 month inpatient and just graduated from a program in Oklahoma in April, 2009. The program fit him or maybe he just got tired, I don't really know. He chose to move back to Oklahoma to work at the treament facility and has been clean for 7 months which is miracle.

At the end he was shooting heroin and, because he knew he was going to be arrested again, said he wanted help.

I have done nothing for 9 years but soak up every bit of knowledge possible on addiction.
I spent countless hours searching for a program that might fit my son. The program is not a 12 step and basically relies on free will and behavior.

After hundreds of books, dvds, lectures, counseling, etc. I still do not know if addiction is a disease. My son said he always thought he had a disease, based on the other programs, and that he was doomed for life or was a victim and probably would relapse. He says now that he is relieved not to have that burden.

The hardest part for a parent is the opposite of what we do to help our kids. Addicts have to want it but they usually don't until somekind of intervention happens, jail, etc. We as parents can not think as addicts even though in the early years we tru. The brain changes. We are not dealing with our child anymore and that is a very difficult concept to wrap your head around.

Good programs, 90 days or longer, are very expensive and that is huge problem.

My husband is a criminal attorney and 95% of the crimes involve drugs. The problem is not addressed correctly and, unless a person is the the parents of an addict for 10 years, or walked the walk, addiction is very difficult to understand.

The emotions us parents experience range from anger, sadness, pity, etc. etc.

There is no addict profile, but as my son has said, eventually all addicts are the same.

In my opinion drugs to replace drugs are not the answer. Addicts just want more of whatever it is.

The treatment center, in my opinion, should be far from their home and in an environment that doesn't allow for easy "escape."

My son is doing good, so far, but the thought of future horror is constant.

If addiction were addressed in an educated manner in this country, crime would drop tremendously.

As a parent, I want to do something but I do not know where to start.

My son recently sent me a message, this is still knew to me that he communicates at all because I have been his addiction's enemy for 10 yars, and the message simply stated, " You never gave up, thanks mom."

Good luck

P.S. My son and his dad have also fought physically.

found4sure said...

I am new to this blog. I do not know the whole story. My adult son is addicted to opiates. The addiction has driven him beyond any line I thought he's ever cross. My sensitive loving boy is serving time in prison now for burglary. I actually believe that he is relieved to be away from the possibility of using. I want to believe that his time in prison will help. I don't want to consider that it is like a pause button has been pressed until his release. God knows.....

moretreatmentlesstime said...

found4sure, your experience sounds like it mirrors mine exactly. My opiate addicted son is 22 and now facing a federal robbery charge. He first offended when he was 3 weeks away from college graduation. Now in pretrial custody. From normal to nightmare in less than 2 years.

Anonymous said...

You should be ashamed of yourself! Your kid is going to remember this forever. Your a terrible parent!

Dad and Mom said...


I'm sorry but I do not understand your comment at all. If you want to explain maybe it would help.

But whatever you feel or think is OK with me. It's your opinion.

Unknown said...

Hi, I just needed to let you know if you felt alone you're not. Boy have I got news for you and have lots to say, but I'd like to do it when I have more time. My son is 30 gets out of jail tomorrow a.m. reno nv. He's been in since Dec last year, has 2 felonies drug addictiona and domestic and credit card fraud, stealing, you name it. All due to good ole Meth and Pot and drink.
My ph# 7753481788, I'm a Christian and I'm starting a website and blog on Christians who are still in bondage to their addiction whatever kind it is. I'm Clear God Bless I'll pray for your son as well.

Eliseo Weinstein said...
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