She knows what addiction looks like. She is widowed and happily remarried, but the father of her four children was a heavy drinker throughout their twenty-three year marriage.
But Barbara had never heard of cocaine, except on the news. And an alcoholic and a crack addict are two entirely different things. Unfortunately, Barbara's second youngest son, Matt, was both. But it was crack that changed the lives of her family and landed her son in drug rehab.
Matt's addiction only lasted for a year and a half. After only a few months, the family discovered the problem and hired an interventionist and got help, Addiction is frightening for most people and sometimes you don't even know where to start. "The intervention itself was a great beginning, a way for the whole family to pull together and deal with this thing as one. Without that, I'm not sure that we could have gotten Matt to go to drug rehab at all."
Matt entered a local thirty day drug rehab facility shortly thereafter. Things looked good for a while, but his relapse floored the family once again. "We were devastated. We had already all been through so much; we thought the whole thing was over. It was not."
Six months later, Matt entered another drug rehab program. This time it was non-traditional model which offered a more holistic approach. And it worked. The program took Matt several months to complete but, in the end, the former crack addict and alcoholic got clean. He now works with others who struggle with addiction to get them the help they need.
"Not knowing where Matt was, what he was doing, if he was safe--it was like living in a tunnel of horror. When he went to drug rehab it gave me hope, not only that he would overcome his addiction, but that he would find his place in this world. I believe that has happened. When my son was on drugs, it was a complete nightmare--drug rehab changed my life as well as his. I went from being the most scared person on this earth, scared that I would lose him, to someone who can sleep at night."
September marks the eighteenth annual National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month. Communities across the country are banding together to help the millions of Americans who suffer from addiction. Do your part.
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