I need your help!

Posted: 29th July 2016 by Doc in Uncategorized
Comments Off on I need your help!

Meth in the News

Professor Nicholas E Goeders

As I have done many times before, I am going to use my prerogative to go in a different but related direction this week. It will still be about meth, but if you are looking for the next big meth bust or meth-fueled horrific act, I’m going to do something different today.

And, actually, I need your help!

This all came about because of what happened to two ladies that my wife and I met several months ago. We watched them as they fought their addictions. They have now both been clean and sober for several months, and we are so proud of them.

But then something happened. Something that is not new to me – I have heard it all before. I have received letters from men in prison pleading for help with this, and the same thing from women and men alike that contact me by other means. I have literally heard this cry time and time again.

There are many types of treatment programs – medically facilitated (like the medicines-based pharmacotherapy I have been developing for almost 30 years), psychotherapy, 12-step programs, faith-based programs, or a combination of these that do help people get sober, with varying degrees of success.

So someone goes into treatment, and gets clean and sober. Then what?

Some of you may be saying, Ok Doc, what’s your point?

You see, one of the ladies I mentioned above was released from treatment and had to move in with her daughter. The other lady was put on a bus to Monroe with nowhere to live. They are both scared to death now! They are scared that all of their hard work to become sober may suddenly dissolve if they can’t figure out how to live a sober life.

What do they do now? How do they restart their lives as sober members of society?

Yes, I have heard this same cry time and time again. I’ve had more and more people tell me that this is one of the major reasons for the high recidivism rate for drug addiction.

I even discuss this in my addiction lectures to medical students – I usually call it the “Lindsey Lohan” effect – not to pick on her, but because many people are familiar with her trips in and out of rehab.

While in treatment, it is relatively easy for her to stay sober. But when she gets out, that is when her problems start. And this also happens to many people who successfully complete treatment. They cannot deal with life on the outside sober, so they relapse to drug use.

Lindsey Lohan has wealth and people to support her when she gets out of treatment, and she still has had her problems with sobriety. Most people, including the two ladies I mentioned above, have nowhere to go – nowhere to turn!

It is not just an aspect of treatment. What if the newly sober woman grew up in a meth house? What if her mother or both parents used meth in binges, often neglecting her while she was growing up?

What if she started using meth herself as a young teenage girl and was exposed to repeated meth use and sexual abuse that lasted well into adulthood?

What if the newly sober man had left home while young and started using alcohol and marijuana, got into trouble with the law and spent much of his life either in detention or the courts? Now all he knows is his drug use and the hustle required for him to get by on the outside.

How can they learn how to get and keep a job? Where can they get the required job or social skills? Who will even hire them? Who do they turn to if everyone they know is either a cop or criminal?

Where do meth (and other drug) addicts turn for social rehabilitation after they finish treatment and get clean? Where can they find a safe place to live and learn the indispensable social skills that you and I take for granted?

There are so many aspects of our daily life that are considered “normal” and routine and are done by everyone that we know.

For example, you likely went to school or are in school now. You found and keep a job, and have somewhere to live with the utilities turned on for your use. You have a car, and pay for the insurance. You have a doctor and dentist you see regularly. You know how to shop for and prepare your meals. You know how to dress appropriately for the things that you do. You know how to use the Internet and library to find useful information. You know how to carry on a conversation with someone you just met. You know how to live your normal everyday life.

Most of us do these things almost without thinking. They reflect where and how we were raised, the learning and supports from our parents, the guidance of teachers, ministers, family and friends. They reflect our own determination based on our sense of self and security.

But when someone becomes totally immersed with using drugs, especially meth – and when that happens at an early age, they never learn these rather simple social skills. They don’t know how to write a resume, balance a checkbook, apply for a job, and maybe 100’s of other things that we take for granted to live in society today. What if they have been out of mainstream society for so long that they no longer remember the simplest of life’s skills?

You know what happens next, whether you want to admit it or not. When they cannot find a safe place to live or get a job or figure out what to do next, they RELAPSE! It’s as simple as that. Then they are using again, often committing crimes against you and me to feed their drug use. And we complain about the high crime rate.

There must be some way to help them stay clean and become productive members of society. It’s the other side of treatment that is too often neglected. Getting clean is hard work. Staying clean is harder work. They want to do it, but often can’t. We have to ask ourselves why treatment doesn’t seem to work. The newly sober woman or man just falls through the cracks. They have completed treatment and were sent on their way. They may be free of the drug, at least temporarily, but if they don’t learn – or relearn – how to be a member of society, they soon relapse.

I am asking for your help! They are asking for OUR help! I can keep praying to win the Powerball jackpot, but you know what the chances of that are. When my two new friends ended up with nowhere to go after they finished treatment, it was as though God finally told me that now was the time to do something.

So I need YOUR help!

Almost every family has been touched by drug addiction in one form or another, and many families have been torn apart by meth. And if not meth, they have been touched by alcohol, prescription drugs or cocaine, among many others. There are so many of you who can relate to what I am describing.

Furthermore, people who use meth tell me that I would be shocked beyond belief if I knew how many people were actually using meth today. You’ve heard me talk about this before. This is a much, much more widespread problem than our society has been willing to admit.

They need our help – and our love. They are as deserving of love as anyone else – we all are.

I know that there are halfway houses out there. But there are not enough – and people keep falling through the cracks. We HAVE to help them. My wife and I are being called to do something NOW to help, and we must start somewhere.

We want to provide an environment where newly sober women and men have a safe place to live – and where they can also learn the necessary skills to survive and lead a drug-free life.

We cannot rely on the government for help. Louisiana is out of money – look at all the budget cuts that have already been made this year. And believe me, more are coming. We also all know that the U.S. government is trillions of dollars in debt. The money is just not there. Besides, government grants and the associated government control are not the way to solve this problem.

This must be a grassroots effort, with communities coming together, providing money, facilities, and people’s time, effort, and love to make this happen.

So regular readers of this column, you know the horrors of meth addiction, both to the users themselves and to society. Will you help me?

What will this social rehabilitation look like? What needs to be considered, and what skills should be learned? How do I go about finding the support and the funding to get our rehabilitation facility started and operational?

If your family has been touched by drug addiction, and you have resources that we could use – let’s talk! If you have a way to help, let me know. It might be your knowledge, time, property/ facility, or money. There are so many of you out there that know something needs to be done, and want to be part of the solution. Let me hear FROM YOU.

It is time to quit pretending that there is not a huge drug problem in our country. It is time to stop turning a blind eye to the problem! It is time to stop thinking that the government is going to fix this. It is time to do something, time for us to do something – NOW!

Please let me hear from you! Future columns will discuss what you have to say and how you want to help, and how we can begin to make an impact in people’s lives.

Please contact me at nickgoeders@gmail.com. I truly need YOUR help!

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