Living within the circle of the scourge of opiate addiction and its rippling affects is like living in hell, only it’s not a burning inferno. It is a cold, desolate, and desperate existence where family and friends are stripped of trust, love, possessions, and anything else that at one time might have seemed meaningful and precious.
The most vulnerable person is the center of this chaos is the addict—the lost son, daughter, grandson, granddaughter, mother, or father. They are the addicts, the ones we judge, and the ones we think should be able to get control of their lives. But often they cannot, and the despair is everywhere in the universe they share.
I have watched while her daughter tries to save her son. She has seen him from rehab to rehab, meeting to meeting, grabbing at straws only to realize that finding a solution is like finding a needle in a haystack. Lots of straw, but no needle to be found except in the arm of child who has overdosed. Sam Quinones has recently released a book called “Dreamland,” which tells of the story of how opiates have infiltrated our society, either as legal pain relief or as distributed by drug cartels from Mexico. It is important to note that more often than not, the people who distribute opiates DO NOT USE heroin. They just manufacture and deliver it.
But there does seem to be a silver bullet in the medication, Vivitrol. Vivitrol is a once-a-month injection given to opiate addicts. The stories of recovery are remarkable, as children are reclaimed and families rebuilt. Many mothers experience post-traumatic stress disorder as the after effect of parenting a child of addiction. Mothers of children who are on Vivitrol are able to breathe a little better, sleep a little longer, and celebrate the child who is returning to them.
The challenges I’ve seen on the Facebook site for Vivitrol users and families are: price, access to care, and a myriad of conditions that some providers place on the person seeking assistance. Some patients can simply go to their doctor’s or midlevel nurse practitioner offices and get the shots, while others are expected to attend meetings or receive treatment. There is no one size fits all. In my opinion, getting the medication to the addicts and letting them stabilize and then seek support groups is not unrealistic.
Bottom line, Vivatrol is saving lives and saving families. Our communities need to rally around those who need our help.
I saw a Facebook post that spoke of a tribe in Africa. When someone does something wrong, they put that person in the middle of a circle and recognize that something wrong was done, but then they tell that person all the good that they have in them and what they bring to the village. I am here to say that addicts can be wonderful. It takes a village. Let’s surround the addicts, give them hope, and allow modern medicine to help provide that hope. See Vivitrol.com for more information.
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis, cure, or treatment of any medical or health condition(s). If you have any specific questions about any medical matter, you should consult your physician or other professional healthcare provider. The listing of a medication or supplement herein does not imply endorsement or recommendation by HealthComU. If you are suffering from any medical condition, please seek qualified professional attention before beginning, changing, or ending any regime of medicine, nutrition, or supplements.
Joan Moon, EdD, CNM, RN is a certified-nurse midwife who teaches graduate nursing for Walden University. She has a website entitled WomensHealthDynamics.com, and is the author of the educational module, A Woman’s World: Discovering the Dynamic Menstrual Cycle. She is the mother of three grown children and grandmother of 7. Her love for her addicted grandson who has been opiate free for 17 months because of the Vivitrol injection has propelled her into the role of activist. She is currently introducing the medication to people in her community.