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Friends & Families of Addicts Information for coping, dealing & living with a loved one's addictive behavior.

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  #1  
Old 07-26-2015, 06:48 PM
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Default Need advice on helping an addict on the inside

My LO is currently serving a 5 year bid for drug charges. To set the background we have known each other since we were children, we were each others first kiss, he had a pretty rough home life including addicted parents and an extremely abusive step-father. Early in high school he was taken from his home after a bad altercation with the step-father and placed in a group home out of state. I was devastated. We lost touch. He got into drugs and other criminal activity that goes along with it. He did 2 seperate 7 year prison terms not being out very long in between. Not long after he was released he found me thru a friend (I had moved from Mass to Florida) and the moment I heard his voice I wanted nothing more than to be with him. We had both always wondered about each other and he decided to come to Florida. In the beginning life was great! Then he had to have back surgery and his addiction took over and spiralled out of control. I tried to help without enabling him. I tried to love him without enabling him. I left him a few times over his addiction. April 2014 things had been seemingly going well. His mother and step-father also had relocated to Florida and we were going to visit and attend his brothers wedding at their house. We decided to get a hotel for the week as they lived on the coast and we could make a vacation out of the trip. A week or so after returning home he was sick, evasive, lying, stealing from me. All signs of being back to using. So I played cop and searched my house. I found needles and I was devastated. When he got home I confronted him and of course he lied.... An argument errupted and I lost control of myself and my temper. I am ashamed to say but I got physical with him. And by all rights he called the police. They came and I fully expected/deserved to go to jail. However he ended up being the one to go because unknown to me he had street drugs(crack) on him. I say it that way because I was under the impression before this night that he was abusing his prescription medications but I was completely shocked to find out that he was using crack and heroin. His mother posted his bail and he didn't come home. Instead he met up with a dealer who introduced him to a friend( another addict)and she let him stay at her house. Over the next two weeks I begged him to come home. He refused he was high and he was happy being that way. I knew he was with a bad crowd. I moved. Another week went by and he started calling asking me to come get him said he was sorry he messed up. I refused. Two more weeks and I get a message from a friend asking if I had heard what my man was doing in that town. I didn't know she sent me a picture of the front page of the newspaper. There he was on the front page arrested for drug possession and a robbery an attempted robbery and burglary!! I was heartbroken how could he be so stupid?? Why would he throw his life away again??? I couldn't understand. I didn't speak to him for the first month or so after he was arrested. Then I wrote him.
He has apologized more times than I can count. We have discussed our issues and his addiction on many levels. He says that he has finally decided that he is done and ready to stay clean. I want so bad to believe him. I truly love this man with all that I am. It's been over a year now. We talk daily. I pay for our phone calls I write I visit I stay faithful to him. I believe that he wants to be clean. I believe that he realizes the effect his drug use has had on his body. However I also believe that it is much easier to do in prison than it will be once he is back on the street. The prison he is at doesn't have any substance abuse programs. How can I help him learn about the powers of addiction and how to overcome it while he is incarcerated in hopes of him having a fighting chance once he is released?
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Old 07-26-2015, 07:17 PM
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My advise to you is not to change your life for him yet. Watch him for a good year after release to see if what he says about being done is true. To many times people fall back to their old ways, their addiction when life gets tough and the significant other is caught in the spiralling down that addiction does to us addicts or drunks.
Step back, watch and learn from.what is shown to.you upon release. Mary
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Old 07-26-2015, 07:49 PM
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I don't feel that I have ever changed my life for him. I have stayed true to my word with him always. I told him that it will not be tolerated or allowed in my home and have remained adamant about that. Our plan has been for him to come home upon release. He accepted a plea agreement and will have 5 years of probation to complete after he gets out. If he violates he faces the original charges against him which carry a sentence of 72 years. He is disabled physically which creates its own issue. His only other real option would be to go to his mom's where his step-father also resides making it not really an option. We had talked about getting married before and has asked me since he has been incarcerated and I told him that I think we should wait until he completes his probation. I know that wasn't the answer he was hoping for but I also know that I have to do what is right for me. I feel that he is ready but I also believe that he needs help and he agreed that having some counseling services while he is in could help him be successful. Unfortunately it isn't available to him where he is at. He is not a spiritual person therefore doesn't relate to the 12 step programs. I was thinking there may be some kind of reading material I could get that might give him a little insight on how to better cope with triggers and cravings and things of that nature. He was literally knocking on deaths door before he went back. He spent months in the hospital and then at home with hospice. He has told me of the abundance of drugs in prison. He has also been able to stay clean. I believe he is genuinely interested in living a sober life and reaching out for the tools to help make that happen.
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Old 07-26-2015, 08:43 PM
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He needs to start attending AA/NA in prison. If he's not doing that, he's probably not staying clean and sober.

YOU need to start attending Al-Anon and Narc Anon and getting clear on addiction, what to expect, and how to deal with a loved one with addiction.

I'd also encourage him to get into therapy in prison, though it'll be pretty ineffective because it will be pretty chaotic/short/sparce. Still, it will get him in mind of doing therapy when he gets out, and with his history, he needs therapy, an AA schedule, and a support system that's dedicated to his sobriety by doing Al Anon meetings and narc anon meetings.

Since you've confessed to getting physical with him to the point that you expected to be arrested, I'd also get into some therapy - there's never a reason to get physical because of anger with somebody you love, and you need to deal with whatever it is in you that resorts to physical violence rather than walking away.

You both have some serious work to do. You need to start now, and he can start doing the AA/NA meetings in prison, and signing up for therapy.
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Old 07-26-2015, 08:51 PM
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As stated, wait and see how committed he is after being out for a year or two. He's in prison. The first thing that someone says to the LOs on the outside are all the things he's saying to you. I'm not saying he's lying. He probably means it. But he means it because he's in prison.

If there's something you think he doesn't know, you can always write it in your letters to him. The prison may allow books to be sent from approves sources, so he might have that as an option.

If there's nothing in prison, then he needs to stay clean and get into treatment as soon as he gets out.

He has a lot to prove to you before you should think about making any kind of commitment whatsoever. Words are nice, and he knows nice words. But action is all you need to be watching for a long time.

The thing you need to remember is that you can't do any of this for him at all. There is nothing you can do to make it happen. Let him do what he's going to do.

Best of luck.
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Old 07-26-2015, 10:31 PM
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Here's the thing about the spiritual stuff - you don't have to be spiritual to be in AA/NA.

My bro is a long time addict/alcoholic. He's done a number of stints in prison and jail because of it. When inside, he says exactly what you need to hear so that he has a soft place to land when he gets out.

He goes to rehab for exactly as long as he needs to do it to stay out, and quits the next day.

He was dry for 3 years once, just because he was subject to random UAs, but as soon as that threat was gone - boom, right back to using and drinking.

All of his crap aside - YOU still need to get on the right page with your response to addiction. Just because he's not willing to do AA/NA because of the supposed "spiritual" side of it doesn't let you off the hook in as far as your need to deal. And the best way to deal is with AlAnon, CoDA, and Narc Anon.

Here's the thing about AA/NA in prison - if that's all there is to help him deal with his addiction, he should be taking ahold of it, getting information on AA for atheists, and taking what he can from the program and leaving the stuff that makes no sense. The "all or nothing" thinking is addiction thinking. It's like a starving person saying, "no" to oatmeal because it's not a 7 course meal. See what I'm saying? By concentrating on why AA/NA won't possibly work when it's the only thing available (besides doing some therapy in prison, but he has to actually go to and sign up with mental health), he's a starving man saying no to oatmeal.

But, again, you need to deal with your relationship with him and his addiction. If you're not willing to deal with your own shit, he's found the perfect patsy who will allow him to stay in his addiction, even if he has to be clean for a period of time. You need to deal with it. Learn as much as you can about it. Learn how you respond to him and his addiction, and learn better ways of coping/dealing with him that don't involve the risk of arrest.
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Old 07-26-2015, 10:38 PM
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Believe me, I've had my own struggles believing in God, his mercy and some of the teachings from the big book of AA but what it boils down to is you (the addicted) have to give in and admit you are powerless over your addiction and commit to change threw a higher power- that power is something YOU have to believe in greatly even if its a piece of gum. AA/NA give you the tools you need to believe in yourself, sobriety and work towards a better life. If your guy is telling you hes not attending these meetings because hes not spiritual then hes still in denial of his addiction. It's basically misleading and unusual for an addict to kick their addiction alone and while struggling to find sobriety will in deed reach out to these programs and use the reading/ teaching to the best of their knowledge to intrepid it and use the steps to turn their life around. Not everyone who attends believes in God but only a higher power. A power that they believe in - everyone believes in something.
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Old 07-27-2015, 03:52 AM
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Hi I am sorry to hear you are going through this. You know he won't change until he really wants to and no amount of therapy, NA, or rehab will have any affect until that light switchs on in his mind and he realises that enough is enough.
Addiction is a very powerful life consuming thing, I worked in mental health and I worked with addicts.
The unfortunate thing is that a lot of addicts loved ones also become addicts. They become addicted to the person and trying to fix their life for them. Lo's devote their lives, money , time and sanity trying to change the person and make them better, They can't move on with their lives and they live in fear of the person becoming seriously ill or injured.
Make sure you look after yourself and deal with your own needs. He needs to change his own life.
Good luck
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Old 07-27-2015, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by lovinRich View Post
My LO is currently serving a 5 year bid for drug charges. To set the background we have known each other since we were children, we were each others first kiss, he had a pretty rough home life including addicted parents and an extremely abusive step-father. Early in high school he was taken from his home after a bad altercation with the step-father and placed in a group home out of state. I was devastated. We lost touch. He got into drugs and other criminal activity that goes along with it. He did 2 seperate 7 year prison terms not being out very long in between. Not long after he was released he found me thru a friend (I had moved from Mass to Florida) and the moment I heard his voice I wanted nothing more than to be with him. We had both always wondered about each other and he decided to come to Florida. In the beginning life was great! Then he had to have back surgery and his addiction took over and spiralled out of control. I tried to help without enabling him. I tried to love him without enabling him. I left him a few times over his addiction. April 2014 things had been seemingly going well. His mother and step-father also had relocated to Florida and we were going to visit and attend his brothers wedding at their house. We decided to get a hotel for the week as they lived on the coast and we could make a vacation out of the trip. A week or so after returning home he was sick, evasive, lying, stealing from me. All signs of being back to using. So I played cop and searched my house. I found needles and I was devastated. When he got home I confronted him and of course he lied.... An argument errupted and I lost control of myself and my temper. I am ashamed to say but I got physical with him. And by all rights he called the police. They came and I fully expected/deserved to go to jail. However he ended up being the one to go because unknown to me he had street drugs(crack) on him. I say it that way because I was under the impression before this night that he was abusing his prescription medications but I was completely shocked to find out that he was using crack and heroin. His mother posted his bail and he didn't come home. Instead he met up with a dealer who introduced him to a friend( another addict)and she let him stay at her house. Over the next two weeks I begged him to come home. He refused he was high and he was happy being that way. I knew he was with a bad crowd. I moved. Another week went by and he started calling asking me to come get him said he was sorry he messed up. I refused. Two more weeks and I get a message from a friend asking if I had heard what my man was doing in that town. I didn't know she sent me a picture of the front page of the newspaper. There he was on the front page arrested for drug possession and a robbery an attempted robbery and burglary!! I was heartbroken how could he be so stupid?? Why would he throw his life away again??? I couldn't understand. I didn't speak to him for the first month or so after he was arrested. Then I wrote him.
He has apologized more times than I can count. We have discussed our issues and his addiction on many levels. He says that he has finally decided that he is done and ready to stay clean. I want so bad to believe him. I truly love this man with all that I am. It's been over a year now. We talk daily. I pay for our phone calls I write I visit I stay faithful to him. I believe that he wants to be clean. I believe that he realizes the effect his drug use has had on his body. However I also believe that it is much easier to do in prison than it will be once he is back on the street. The prison he is at doesn't have any substance abuse programs. How can I help him learn about the powers of addiction and how to overcome it while he is incarcerated in hopes of him having a fighting chance once he is released?

You are one devoted LO. I admire that & everyone in prison should be so lucky. My first thoughts took me back 30 yrs when I worked as a nurse in a detox unit. We had frequent flyers attributed to the avg rehab stay was 2 weeks not nearly enough time. There is obviously something wrong with that system. You have gotten much good advice from others here. One suggestion, I was wondering if your LO is able to request a transfer to a prison that does offer a drug rehab program? You know...put this time he's doing to good use. Also, my husband & I have done some motorcycle ride fundraisers for Teen Challenge. Their name is a misnomer b/c you don't have to be a teen. I have found out they are in all the states & in many other countries. They have the greatest success rate in addiction recovery which I believe is attributed to them being a residential program that also provides support to the families. We ended up friends with this really bad guy turned good. He used to be a body guard for a mafia person in NYC. He had committed many crimes & was addicted to multiple things. He has been free from his old life for 15 years now & encourages & teaches others now how to be free from it. I do know of some men who were given the option to attend Teen Challenge in place of prison. Like any other program, you will only get out of it what you're willing to put into it. Just another resource for you to check into.
Hope this helps.
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Old 07-27-2015, 01:28 PM
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If he was serious about overcoming his addictions, he would accept the available help and ignore the parts that don't suit him. It sounds more like an excuse to me, and anyone who is looking for that will always be able to find something they "don't like" about each and every "program", not just AA.
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Old 07-27-2015, 06:30 PM
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I came back to apologize for my post last night and to explain.
I'm in recovery myself. I attend AA regularly and am on a panel that visits AA meetings around the LA area. Some of these meetings are open to the public, some are closed and some are in rehab centers where young people are there only because its there last chance before prison or they have newly been released from prison with their parole packet including they attend programs & have housing in sober living units in rehabilitation program settings.
In these meetings/these programs sometimes it turns into they are only there because of their circumstances, they're there to make their wife, husband, girlfriend, boyfriend, siblings, etc happy. They don't believe in our program, they don't believe in a higher power, they just come to get the paper signed. I think i may have heard it one to many times this weekend and took it out on you. I apologize.
I would like to share with you that whatever your guy does to stop his addiction will only work if he is willing doing it for himself. You can find him all the tools, meditation, sources, literature or whatever but unless he has an open mind it will not work. He has to want to be straightand work ssome kind of program that doesn't just include him. It's very rare to find someone who was capable to kick.any addiction alone.
Good luck. Mary
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Old 07-27-2015, 07:48 PM
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Thank you Mary. I understand your frustration partly because one of his reasons for not wanting to go to NA is because he feels he will be taking away from people who will benefit from that program. Maybe I should have been more clear in my first post in saying that at the time of his first drug charge (which was a trafficking charge) he was not a user it was his "job" his way of income. He did not become an addict until after he had his first major back surgery and became addicted to the prescription medications he was on for so long. We have spent countless hours talking about his problems. He has reached out for help even before he received ANY of his current charges. I do believe he does want to be successful in his recovery. I have looked into naranon and plan to attend a few meetings myself as I feel I could benefit from it. And may be able to better understand what he is going through. I was hoping to get some insight on maybe some books written by other addicts in recovery that may help him through this. He knows how and who do get drugs from in prison and has chosen not to (so far as best I can tell) but he also knows that once he is released (at the earliest 8/18) that there will be stressors and triggers that he doesn't have while behind bars. He is asking me for help and I'm just trying to do what I can to help him. Like I said he wants to do substance abuse counseling and prepare himself as best he can to remain strong. He put himself in rehab 3 times and was released after less than 30 days each time before he was charged with any of the crimes he is doing time for now. I luckily have not struggled with addiction myself so it's hard for me understand why if he wants it it's so hard to achieve but I have lost more friends than I care to count to this horrible disease so I do know that it takes more than just wanting to be clean to stay that way.
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Old 08-10-2015, 08:04 AM
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Post Need advice on helping an addict on the inside

When I learned my husband had a heroin addiction I found an addiction doctor on the outside to help him with his addiction. He went in not only for treatment but counseling with other addicts as well. But this was only heroin, I didn't know he was using Meth before his arrest. Although I found odd looking pipes in our home and had to research what they were. Once I found they were Meth pipes, I spoke to his addiction doctor of what he could do to help him. Unfortunately for my husband it was to late as he was arrested shortly there after. The sheriff who searched our home also took his medication prescribed by his addiction doctor. I know my husband is a smart man, but he tried to get me to get him a court order to release the medication to me, his wife. I can only hope while he is in prison this time, he will get some type of help. I do not know if they offer any more then N.A. but I hope they will offer him with something else. Maybe a prescription that will help with his problems due to drugs. I doubt it, but I can only hope. The meth addiction has ruined his life, and I am not clear as to why a heroin addict would go to use Meth. I used to think the sitcom breaking bad lead him to his Meth addiction. I just hope while he is in prison, he will learn to break away from all illegal drugs. I can't have the sheriff's office release his medication to me, and I don't know what I am suppose to do with it anyways, as it cant be sent to the prison medical staff. I am at a loss of what I could do to help him with his drug addiction.....but it is up to him if he wants to get with the program of life, and stop using. It all falls in his hands and lap.......all I can do is give him the emotional support out here whether it be writing to him or when he calls home.
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Old 06-04-2017, 02:54 PM
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My LO is currently serving a 5 year bid for drug charges. To set the background we have known each other since we were children, we were each others first kiss, he had a pretty rough home life including addicted parents and an extremely abusive step-father. Early in high school he was taken from his home after a bad altercation with the step-father and placed in a group home out of state. I was devastated. We lost touch. He got into drugs and other criminal activity that goes along with it. He did 2 seperate 7 year prison terms not being out very long in between. Not long after he was released he found me thru a friend (I had moved from Mass to Florida) and the moment I heard his voice I wanted nothing more than to be with him. We had both always wondered about each other and he decided to come to Florida. In the beginning life was great! Then he had to have back surgery and his addiction took over and spiralled out of control. I tried to help without enabling him. I tried to love him without enabling him. I left him a few times over his addiction. April 2014 things had been seemingly going well. His mother and step-father also had relocated to Florida and we were going to visit and attend his brothers wedding at their house. We decided to get a hotel for the week as they lived on the coast and we could make a vacation out of the trip. A week or so after returning home he was sick, evasive, lying, stealing from me. All signs of being back to using. So I played cop and searched my house. I found needles and I was devastated. When he got home I confronted him and of course he lied.... An argument errupted and I lost control of myself and my temper. I am ashamed to say but I got physical with him. And by all rights he called the police. They came and I fully expected/deserved to go to jail. However he ended up being the one to go because unknown to me he had street drugs(crack) on him. I say it that way because I was under the impression before this night that he was abusing his prescription medications but I was completely shocked to find out that he was using crack and heroin. His mother posted his bail and he didn't come home. Instead he met up with a dealer who introduced him to a friend( another addict)and she let him stay at her house. Over the next two weeks I begged him to come home. He refused he was high and he was happy being that way. I knew he was with a bad crowd. I moved. Another week went by and he started calling asking me to come get him said he was sorry he messed up. I refused. Two more weeks and I get a message from a friend asking if I had heard what my man was doing in that town. I didn't know she sent me a picture of the front page of the newspaper. There he was on the front page arrested for drug possession and a robbery an attempted robbery and burglary!! I was heartbroken how could he be so stupid?? Why would he throw his life away again??? I couldn't understand. I didn't speak to him for the first month or so after he was arrested. Then I wrote him.
He has apologized more times than I can count. We have discussed our issues and his addiction on many levels. He says that he has finally decided that he is done and ready to stay clean. I want so bad to believe him. I truly love this man with all that I am. It's been over a year now. We talk daily. I pay for our phone calls I write I visit I stay faithful to him. I believe that he wants to be clean. I believe that he realizes the effect his drug use has had on his body. However I also believe that it is much easier to do in prison than it will be once he is back on the street. The prison he is at doesn't have any substance abuse programs. How can I help him learn about the powers of addiction and how to overcome it while he is incarcerated in hopes of him having a fighting chance once he is released?
There is a lady, sorry I can't remember her name, who's on Facebook prison pen pals who will write to the addict inmates. She uses a teen challenge workbook for her templates with her letters to them. It's worth finding her post online and asking her to write to them
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Old 06-04-2017, 04:09 PM
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I don't know if this is any good but it sounds like the kind of thing the OP was asking for.

https://www.amazon.com/Addiction-Wor.../dp/1572240431

"
The Addiction Workbook starts you on your journey by explaining the facts about addiction. It shows you how you can determine if you have a problem and helps you cut through denial or ambivalence to reach a clear decision to quit. Simple, concise exercises and tips help you gather support, deal with detoxification, improve nutrition, and build a personalized exercise program. You will discover how to relax without chemicals and cope with feelings of depression, anxiety, and anger.
The book's final chapters cover conducting a personal moral inventory and making lifestyle changes to foster long-term relapse prevention."


Has anyone had a loved one benefit from that book?


At $20 it's one of the cheapest bets you could ever place on an addict.
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  #16  
Old 06-05-2017, 12:03 PM
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lovinRich lovinRich is offline
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Unfortunately my other half passed away6 months ago of cancer as the prison system sat back and watched. They did nothing to treat him until a spot of skin cancer had consumed his internal organs and still they refused to let him come home. I guess the prison system was more deadly than addiction in his case.
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Old 06-05-2017, 02:28 PM
Minor activist Minor activist is offline
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That is horrible.

You have all my condolences, for what they are worth.
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Old 06-05-2017, 02:43 PM
lucky71013 lucky71013 is offline
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WOWWWWW! Our stories are SO SIMILAR! Crazy. Sorry, I don't advice for you at this point but I will be following your post. Sending love.
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Originally Posted by lovinRich View Post
My LO is currently serving a 5 year bid for drug charges. To set the background we have known each other since we were children, we were each others first kiss, he had a pretty rough home life including addicted parents and an extremely abusive step-father. Early in high school he was taken from his home after a bad altercation with the step-father and placed in a group home out of state. I was devastated. We lost touch. He got into drugs and other criminal activity that goes along with it. He did 2 seperate 7 year prison terms not being out very long in between. Not long after he was released he found me thru a friend (I had moved from Mass to Florida) and the moment I heard his voice I wanted nothing more than to be with him. We had both always wondered about each other and he decided to come to Florida. In the beginning life was great! Then he had to have back surgery and his addiction took over and spiralled out of control. I tried to help without enabling him. I tried to love him without enabling him. I left him a few times over his addiction. April 2014 things had been seemingly going well. His mother and step-father also had relocated to Florida and we were going to visit and attend his brothers wedding at their house. We decided to get a hotel for the week as they lived on the coast and we could make a vacation out of the trip. A week or so after returning home he was sick, evasive, lying, stealing from me. All signs of being back to using. So I played cop and searched my house. I found needles and I was devastated. When he got home I confronted him and of course he lied.... An argument errupted and I lost control of myself and my temper. I am ashamed to say but I got physical with him. And by all rights he called the police. They came and I fully expected/deserved to go to jail. However he ended up being the one to go because unknown to me he had street drugs(crack) on him. I say it that way because I was under the impression before this night that he was abusing his prescription medications but I was completely shocked to find out that he was using crack and heroin. His mother posted his bail and he didn't come home. Instead he met up with a dealer who introduced him to a friend( another addict)and she let him stay at her house. Over the next two weeks I begged him to come home. He refused he was high and he was happy being that way. I knew he was with a bad crowd. I moved. Another week went by and he started calling asking me to come get him said he was sorry he messed up. I refused. Two more weeks and I get a message from a friend asking if I had heard what my man was doing in that town. I didn't know she sent me a picture of the front page of the newspaper. There he was on the front page arrested for drug possession and a robbery an attempted robbery and burglary!! I was heartbroken how could he be so stupid?? Why would he throw his life away again??? I couldn't understand. I didn't speak to him for the first month or so after he was arrested. Then I wrote him.
He has apologized more times than I can count. We have discussed our issues and his addiction on many levels. He says that he has finally decided that he is done and ready to stay clean. I want so bad to believe him. I truly love this man with all that I am. It's been over a year now. We talk daily. I pay for our phone calls I write I visit I stay faithful to him. I believe that he wants to be clean. I believe that he realizes the effect his drug use has had on his body. However I also believe that it is much easier to do in prison than it will be once he is back on the street. The prison he is at doesn't have any substance abuse programs. How can I help him learn about the powers of addiction and how to overcome it while he is incarcerated in hopes of him having a fighting chance once he is released?
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Old 06-05-2017, 05:03 PM
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cljinct cljinct is offline
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So sorry for your loss..unfortunstely the system has very little empathy..my heart hurts for you..
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