When “Craig” started overdosing, his friends drove him past two hospitals to a lonely highway median, where they dumped him. The coroner said he likely lived several hours there, and would have survived had he been given immediate treatment.
When “Derek’s” mom came downstairs in the morning, she found her son in the same place she had left him with some buddies the night before– in front of the TV, on the couch. Only, his friends were gone and Derek was dead.
These horrible tales of prescription drug and opioid abuse, as well as “Martha’s” story, are in my new book. But so is the hopeful story of a real friend, Andrew, who helped us get our son Brandon into rehab after he relapsed in 2010.
Andrew was living with our son when, following some dental surgery and a serious lapse in judgment, Brandon started his slide down the slippery slope of opiate addiction. I talked to him on the phone and could tell he was using again. When confronted, he admitted that he had taken some Norco pain pills but “had it under control.” How many? Ten. Yea right! Remember, if an addict admits to using one, he used ten…admitting to ten? We had a real problem on our hands again.
So Lisa and I had a kind of intervention going on over the phone, with Andrew and another roommate with Brandon in San Diego and us up in Northern California. The roommates acknowledged that they were overwhelmed and willing to do whatever we said. When Brandon ran from the room, screaming and completely out of control, I said, “Go get him and drag his ass back to this phone and don’t let him out of your sight.” And Andrew, who is a big guy, did just that.
Later, after everything had settled down a bit and Brandon had agreed to head back to rehab, Andrew agreed to escort him to the airport for a flight scheduled to leave in just a few hours. We were discussing the logistics of this, and Brandon headed to his room to pack a bag. After a few tense minutes, I asked Andrew where Brandon was, and he said he had gone in the bathroom to take a shower. I said, “Go kick down the door if you have to and don’t take your eyes off of him! He could have ten Norcos with him now!” You could hear Brandon screaming at Andrew when he jimmied the bathroom lock and opened the door. I could hear Andrew tell him, “Your Dad is on the phone and he told me not to leave your side!” There’s more of this story in my new book*, but suffice to say, he didn’t leave Brandon’s side until he was on the plane to rehab. And THAT is a friend.
*My new book, How to Prevent, Detect, Treat & Live With The Addict Among Us, is available at this website, in print and for your ebook reader. If you’d like to get my first and second book together, you can do that! Just click on the Two Book Set.