I just finished watching Grays Anatomy; Season 2, Episode 16 “It’s The End Of The World”. What would you do if this was your last day on earth? Do you know? Can you think of what you might do? I know I would make sure that I was with Sean and my kids. What a blessing to know that I wouldn’t have to cop first or get some money together to try to make sure I was not sick. Recovery is good. God is good.
We were visiting Sean last night in the hospital. He’s doing well. He was in some pain and discomfort and they made him wait every 4 hours for pain Meds. I went to to the nurse to see if they could move it up to every 3 hours. The nurse was very, very nice. I told her I worked in the addiction treatment field and she told me she was originally from Uniontown. I said “Oh small world!” She proceeded to ask me if I knew that they just shut down the largest treatment facility in PA which was located in Uniontown!! I said, “Oh as a matter of fact yes I do know…that was MY facility.” Her jaw dropped and we proceeded to talk and she told me that she thought it was absolutely ridiculous that it was closed and that it was needed more than ever. Unfortunately it is talked about wherever I go. It seems never ending.
Addiction is “never ending”. Addiction is the “big white elephant” in the middle of the room that family members walk around and act like it isn’t there. It starts very very very early in life. Actually it is hereditary. Unfortunately society thinks that it’s best to not tell our kids that we have experimented with drugs. Society teaches that it is best to LIE to them. “What they don’t know won’t hurt them”…..such an untrue statement !! Be honest with your kids. Tell them the truth. Educate them and let them know what is going on. Don’t scare them. Don’t threaten them. Don’t make them think that addicts and alcoholics are “bad people.” Let them know that if they are genetically predisposed to this disease that they truly should think very very hard before they make a decision to take that first drink or drug. THIS IS WHEN THEIR EDUCATION BEGINS. PLEASE don’t be one of those parents that say “be careful & drink responsibly!” or the parent that says “as long as they drink while they are at home and I take the car keys then it’s OK”. And I cannot for the life of me understand how parents can tell their kids that it is not OK to break the law and then turn around and be OK when their child drinks before the age of 21. (because everyone does it!). ALCOHOL IS A DRUG!!! And a drug is a drug is a drug….. Alcohol, marijuana, heroin, crack, cocaine, are all drugs. And an addict can NEVER use ANY of them. If they do choose to use one of them the addict will be unable to stop OR they will use whichever one of them they like the best, i.e. their drug of choice!!! Just so you know, when I use the term “addict” I mean alcoholic and when I use the word addiction I also mean alcoholism. There is no difference between the two. The only reason there is any differentiation is because thereare two fellowships, i.e. Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. This can be very confusing for people who are just beginning to learn about the disease of addiction.
I do not know what type of tangent I am going to get on when I’m writing so please bear with me. If you have anything that you would like me to blog about please let me know again thank you for your support and please send prayers for Sean and the Sugarmann family.
I was on methadone back in 1977. 80 mg was the maximum dose anyone was allowed. I never stopped using heroin the entire time I was on methadone. It was used for “harm reduction”. It was not used to help addicts get clean. It was used to keep addicts from robbing and stealing. It was created by the government. Never was it meant to be a tool addicts could use to become drug free. Since methadone is an opiate blocker, I had to use more heroin than usual in order to feel it. It was our theory that methadone could be used as a stepping stone to become drug free. Hence the 9-12-18 program was written and patented by ASI. The 9-12-18 program consisted of the addict attending two groups per week and one individual session per week. They also had to agree to “blind dosing”and attending Family program. That program was very successful and we had quite a few patients achieve being drug free due to ASI’s 9-12-18. The patients did their best to attend Narcotics Anonymous meetings while on methadone, however they were not welcome. ASI had 600 patients. 280 of which were in the 9-12-18 program. If a patient on methadone continued to use they were referred to ASI’s Partial program which was held 5 days per week from 8:30 am to 1:30 pm. If they continued using while in Partial they were referred to Mary E Steratore Treatment Center which was ASI’s inpatient residential program. ASI was a full service treatment program; it was NOT a dose ‘n go methadone clinic……. Like all the others. ASI cared about the patient. ASI cared if the patient got clean and recovered from this deadly disease. ASI was Fayette County’s best kept SECRET. ASI was helping addicts everyday. Many of whom have gotten clean and became productive, responsible members of society.
This blog is not a place for me to sound like a victim. This blog is intended to let people know about the disease of addiction as well as to let people know about what ASI was really about.
ASI opened in 1999. It existed for 19 years before Suboxone entered the picture. Suboxone offered a 9-12-18 program as well. It was not as well established as the methadone program. Suboxone & methadone CAN be used as tools to becoming drug free; however the staff of a facility must know what they are doing.
If you have a loved one on Methadone or Suboxone; try to talk them into using it as a tool to becoming drug free. If you need any help with that feel free to contact me via email at Rozsug@aol.com and please put “blog” in the subject line or try contacting me at 412-292-8899.
WE DO RECOVER.
Mario: So Roz, what is your first memory of childhood?
Roz: I remember my father’s death. I was 10 years old. He died of a massive heart
attack. In fact I don’t remember anything prior to being 10 yrs. old. and I don’t
remember anything until the age of 16 when I smoked my first joint.
My father’s death changed our lives. It changed our family. It changed my mother. Actually, she died too. She died mentally & spiritually. I had a brother who was 21 years old and another brother who was 30 years old. They adored my father. I was Daddy’s little
girl. My middle brother had peptic ulcers. “A nervous stomach” as my mom called it. He almost died. He was so handsome and he could sing really well. My oldest brother became my father. He raised me. He was married with 3 children and lived an hour away. He was strict. He was my God. He was my hero. He took on the role of my father.
I was angry at my mother. She abandoned me. She cried for days and nights on end. She sat on the end of the couch and cried with her black stockings rolled around her ankles. We went from a family of five to me and my mother. I hated being at home.
I suffered from the disease of Italianism as well as the disease of addiction. I had a pit in
my stomach. A hole in my stomach. I didn’t know what it was. I could not fill it.
When I picked up marijuana for the first time the hole was gone. I felt so much better. I could go on and on and on …………..I was a Hippie. I grew up in the ’70’s. My mother blamed my addiction on the way I looked at the BEATLES the night they were on the Ed Sullivan show. I used every drug there was between the ages of 16-29.
I started using heroin at the age of 20. All of my problems were gone…………..so I thought. Why do we use? Why can’t we stop?
I’ll have to write more later. Remembering what life was like before I entered the world of recovery is painful. Was I born an addict? Did I use because I was extremely depressed and I self medicated? The only way I could function was to get high first.
What was your first childhood memory?
WELCOME ! This blog is dedicated to ASI (Addiction Specialists, Inc.)…..and to the many, many patients who have gone through treatment there and who miss the therapeutic value that the family atmosphere gave them. April 30,2016 ASI was shut down by the PA Dept. of Health ………….. it was totally unfair and unjustifiable. October 8, 2015 the FBI unexpectedly raided the facility. It was a nightmare. The loss was almost unbearable. ASI was not a methadone clinic. ASI was not a drug & alcohol rehab. ASI was not a suboxone program.
ASI was Family.
Be prepared to hear the ups and downs, struggles and successes of a life you could never imagine. Addiction is an ugly illness and it causes major pain and suffering for families as well as addicts. If you live with an addict, give them a new name. They are two people. Two very very different people. Know who you are talking to at all times. If their birth name is Laura, you can name her Lisa. If their birth name is Robert you can name him Randy. One of them is the active addict and the other is the recovering addict. Let me take you on a walk down memory lane.