Wednesday, January 01, 2014

It turns out that getting a person into rehab is much harder than I expected. I do not know what I imagined it would be like exactly, but easier than it was. Jason has another appointment with his psychologist on Tuesday. I wondered if it might be better for him to get on the medication before he went to rehab, on the other hand they probably had psychiatrists at most facilities that could prescribe him medication. I really did not know enough about the system to know what to do. I called my insurance company to talk about benefits. We are lucky that my employer provides one of the best insurance plans available. They gave me a list of preferred providers.

One of the EMTs that worked the night Jason attempted suicide had given me a number for a rehab that he had heard was good. They were the new kind of rehab. One of the 'not an addict for life' places. Having never been to rehab I did not know which was the best kind. I did a bit of reading online. One person said that what mattered was only how affective it is for your child. It is only 0% or 100% that matters. I did not know what would work best for Jason. He did not know either. With his brain functioning the way it was he had trouble with any decisions, big or small. When asked his opinion on most things he would say 'you're in a better position to know what's best. I'll do whatever you decide."

looking at the website this place looked like a high dollar summer camp. I wanted Jason to go there. My biggest hope was that he would learn to enjoy life again. He was still Jason, still funny, but he had too many anxieties to get out of the house much. Going to his brother's football games was out because of the crowds. When he occasionally walked down the streets of our town, a place of 400 people where he had lived his entire childhood, he was nervous because he knew everybody here wanted to kill him. I called.

First the man had me watch a video on the website about meth abuse while we were on the phone. I could not figure out while we had to stay on the line while I watched a video. There was not any new information on the video. I do not know, but I imagine most parents of meth addicts have already learned much of this on their own way before their child is ready to go to rehab, like I had done. The man, a counselor, seemed so enthusiastic about it that I told him it was interesting. He asked me to tell him about Jason. I assumed counselor meant therapist and was relieved somebody was finally going to help us.

I started telling him about Jason in high school. He was smart, funny, athletic. He graduated valedictorian of his class. He loved football. Then in October he had started doing meth, now he was suffering from extreme psychosis, has lost 30 pounds of muscle overnight from an intentional overdose. He is still Jason though. When I read stories online about extreme addicts he does not fit that profile. He had never stolen from me, made me afraid of violence, or been manipulative.

He stopped me there. In a sneering voice he said, "He's not manipulative? What, is he smoking meth at the kitchen table?" I was shocked and immediately on the defensive. "You asked me to tell you about my son and I was." My tone showed my irritation. "Yes, but do not fool yourself." He said. "Your son is not better than any of these other addicts. He just is not as far down the road as they are."

He then moved into a high pressure sales pitch. Throwing our phrases like "The cost is worth it to keep your son alive." He through in things I had told him before in the 'describe your son' part to guide me. I felt I was being manipulated. They would not try billing insurance first. I needed to come up with thirty thousand dollars. Not to worry though they would admit him while I tried to get a loan through my home equity. He pointed out that if I looked at their website I could see that their clientele was mostly upper middle class. He talked some more; I hung up.

When my ex-husband and I split up I felt lucky to have a great job. I know many single moms who had to go out and find work. I have been able to provide for my children. Sure we go on less vacations and I spend less on their school clothes, but we are doing alright. However, we are not living extravagantly. There is no bank around that will loan me thirty thousand on a run down double wide. Something about this whole phone call made me understand how desperate parents are to save their children and how easy we are to manipulate.

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