My son has been in solitary for 8 days now, for feeding the cravings of a DISEASE. No one cares. He was denied a clergy visit on Tuesday. He hasn’t met with any counsel. In his hearings they just berate & shame him for his actions. (His actions while operating in his reptile brain in which the drugs take over- leaving rational thinking & empathy by the wayside).

My Momma heart hurts & even in the Mom support group I still get “let him go”.


HE IS HUMAN. With a disease, just like a heart disease patient eating at McDonald’s or a diabetic at crispy kreme, but we would never shame them for trying to get what they crave, let alone arrest them.

I understand the law is the law, but it’s a hypocritical law. A society that glamorizes alcohol and even some drug use (like cocaine in movies); immediately does a 180 & looks down on those who can’t stop and becomes addicted.

"It's just a matter of wanting it bad enough"

It’s just not as simple as that, it takes time and for sure exiling them to isolation like Napoleon was- clearly isn’t working.

Yesterday I heard an inmate at the same facility my son is in, tell the judge that it’s really frustrating to be put in solitary just for handing a magazine to someone else. The judge proceeded to berate him by saying, “I get mad a hundred times a day and I don’t lash out at other people or I would get myself in a lot of trouble. You have to learn a better way”. So the solution is to isolate & shame them even more than addicts already are?

This is from the state of New York. I wish there was someone from my state to advocate for my son. I’m exhausted.

Testimony of Corey J. Brinson
Policy Associate
Legal Action Center
New York City Council
Before the Committee on Criminal Justice
December 11, 2020

My name is Corey Brinson. I am a Policy Associate with the Legal Action Center. The
Legal Action Center uses legal and policy strategies to fight discrimination, build health equity,
and restore opportunity for people with arrest and conviction records, substance use disorders, and
HIV or AIDS. I am testifying in favor of eliminating the practice of solitary confinement in New
York City jails.
I have endured difficult times in my lifetime. I have endured the high crime and violence
of my inner-city neighborhood. I was stationed in Saudi Arabia with the United States Airforce
on September 11, 2001, and I reacted to the alarms indicating that we were at war. But the most
difficult experience I have endured is being held in solitary confinement for several days. That
experience of living in a cell, which was the size of a large closet, with no clock, lights that went
off at midnight, no privacy for sleeping, showering, and being feed through a slot in my cell door
was psychological torture. You can tell a lot about a country by how it treats the people it
incarcerates. Placing people in solitary confinement for any period of extended time is immoral,
unethical, and it should be unlawful.
People need meaningful social interactions with other people to maintain their mental
health. People in prison are already isolated from society. They are already isolated from their
communities and their families. And when they are placed in solitary confinement, they have been
essentially buried alive. Placing people in solitary confinement says more about us as a society, as
lawmakers, and as a community than what it says about the people behind those cold walls. I
acknowledge that we have made strides to reduce the number of people being subjected to solitary
confinement. The number of people who have been subjected to solitary confinement has reduced
significantly. But one person in solitary confinement is one person too many.
The laws in this state treat animals better than people in prison. Under New York Law §
356 “[a] person who, having impounded or confined any animal, refuses or neglects to supply to
such animal during its confinement a sufficient supply of good and wholesome air… is guilty of a
misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment for not more than one year, or by a fine of not more
than one thousand dollars, or by both.” If an animal is worthy of good and wholesome air, then
should not a human being, who is subjected to the confines and cruelty of living in a closet for
extended periods of time, being granted the same freedoms as an animal? We cannot countenance
a law that treats people worse than we treat animals. Solitary confinement does just that for too

Solitary confinement damages the mental health of the people subjected to its cruel and unusual punishment.
When we damage the people in solitary confinement’s mental health, we damage their opportunities, we damage
their families, and we therefore damage their communities. It should not go unnoticed that a disproportionate
number of these people are Black and Latinx—evidence of the systemic racist criminal legal system. I ask that
you pass this bill and begin providing relief to the scores of people suffering in solitary confinement as we speak.
There is an argument that this bill is moving too fast through the legislative process. For the people who are cut off
from any meaningful interactions with other people, this bill is already too late. The Legal Action Center
encourages you to immediately end solitary confinement in New York City jails.

Exiled to a deserted Island?

Napoleon Exiled to St. Helena, 1815

Or more like:

"A barren, wind-swept rock"

My eldest son, sits in solitary confinement for the second week now, because he is unable to manage his brain disease and the system STILL believes that more isolation and punishment will “Cure” him. So yes, I’m going to compare him to Napoleon, because to me- he is a warrior.

Napoleon was exiled to die alone stating these words as he was sent away:

“For what infamous treatment are we reserved!”  

Witness to

The Emperor Napoleon
 After his defeat at the Battle of Leipzig in October 1813, Napoleon retreated to Paris where (due to a lack of support from his military marshals) he was forced to renounce his throne in April 1814. The European powers exiled him to the island of Elba in the Mediterranean. Within eleven months, however, Napoleon was back on the European continent at the head of a hastily-raised army intent on restoring Napoleon to the throne of France. Napoleon’s defeat came in June 1815 at the Battle of Waterloo.

This time, the European powers were not going to take any chances on Napoleon’s possible return. They exiled him to the island of St. Helena – a barren, wind-swept rock located in the South Atlantic Ocean.

The Fall of an Emperor

Among the small entourage that accompanied the deposed Emperor into exile was the Comte de Las Cases who kept a diary of his experience:

“August 10

This day we cleared the Channel. We had now entered upon the dreary unknown course to which fate had doomed us. Again my agonies were renewed; again the dear connections I had abandoned resumed their sway over my heart… Meanwhile we advanced in our course and were soon to be out of Europe. Thus, in less than six weeks, had the emperor abdicated his throne and placed himself in the hands of the English, who were now hurrying him to a barren rock in the midst of a vast ocean. This is certainly no ordinary instance of the chances of fortune, and no common trial of firmness of mind.

October 23-24

The Emperor Napoleon, who lately possessed such boundless power and disposed of so many crowns, now occupies a wretched hovel, a few feet square, which is perched upon a rock, unprovided with furniture, and without either shutters or curtains to the windows. This place must serve him for bedchamber, dressing room, dining room, study, and sitting room; and he is obliged to go out when it is necessary to have this one apartment cleaned. His meals, consisting of a few wretched dishes, are brought to him from a distance, as though he were a criminal in a dungeon. He is absolutely in want of the necessaries of life: the bread and wine are not only not such as he has been accustomed to, but are so bad that we loathe to touch them; water, coffee, butter, oil, and other articles are either not to be procured or are scarcely fit for use…

St. Helena Island
 We were all assembled around the emperor, and he was recapitulating these facts with warmth: ‘For what infamous treatment are we reserved!’ he exclaimed. This is the anguish of death. To injustice and violence, they now add insult and protracted torment. If I were so hateful to them, why did they not get rid of me? A few musket balls in my heart or my head would have done the business, and there would at least have been some energy in the crime. Were it not for you, and above all for your wives, I would receive nothing from them but the pay of a private soldier. How can the monarchs of Europe permit the sacred character of sovereignty to be violated in my person? Do they not see that they are, with their own hands, working their own destruction at St. Helena?’

‘I entered their capitals victorious and, had I cherished such sentiments, what would have become of them? They styled me their brother, and I had become so by the choice of the people, the sanction of victory, the character of religion, and the alliances of their policy and their blood. Do they imagine that the good sense of nations is blind to their conduct? And what do they expect from it? At all events, make your complaints, gentlemen; let indignant Europe hear them. Complaints from me would be beneath my dignity and character; I must either command or be silent.'”

"Either command or be silent".

My son always says: he’s either all in or all out… Which I think is similar….

I’m not comparing leading a country & fighting & losing a war to an addict’s journey…….butttttt if the shoe fits……

My sons shoes after 9 months “out there”

As I stated in this post, and as Pierre Tristam’s article “Addiction Not Being a Crime”:

“treatment works better when cut off from all these legal threats and penalties.”

As my son remains locked in isolation today; for the crime of possession, for a disease that he’s unable to manage; I wonder what good shame, isolation & more punishment does. He’s been isolated for over a year from family, he’s lost everything he worked for and cared about. His internal punishment is manifested in his continual self-abuse with substances and the almost homeless lifestyle. So to force someone to suddenly want to change seems like it would work, but most statistics show it just doesn’t.

"We are not going to arrest our way out of this crisis"

Please pray for all…🙏🌀🙏

“They” are not a criminal, they are a person with an unmanageable disease who is in unfortunate circumstances.

Another Day in Paradise

As I wake up in the night to see the missed call from the jail, my heart skips a beat.

What is this? #5 in 3 years?

But then I realize I’m not even upset or scared. It hardly fazes me! That’s what’s scary.

Hey at least he called for mothers day……..

Sarcasm aside, this Mothers Day was sad.
No BBQ’s or parties. My fractured  family is suffering.

I had spent the afternoon by myself. In a melancholy reflective state. Looking at pictures. Reading up on treatments & the new opiod vaccine that is being considered.

The answer to this problem is a hundred -fold. Not a one time cure.

One of the pictures I came across is from 27 years ago.
Family times. In the backyard.
I see my son in the background.
He’s staring at the family who’s gathered around the trampoline.

He looks lost.

Sandwiched in the middle.
Between the babies and the first born high expectation achiever.

What suffering was he starting to experience?

Did he feel left out? Unimportant?

Did his heart yearn to be the one who got the attention?

The future would say yes. He spent the next 15 years trying to BE SoMEBODY.

Trying to be the funniest. ( he was)
The most daring ( he was )
The most successful ( he was ).

Until all that wasn’t enough.

He turned to the most rewarding brain food ever. Heroin.

His life spiraled.

Now, the day after mothers day, this little boy sits in jail.

Sick, freezing, scared.

No one cares. And why should they.
He’s just another j. key.

Pass more laws they say.

Harsher sentences.

No more harm reduction monies. It’s encouraging drug use.

These people don’t know my boy.

Stricter, colder, harsher punishment isn’t going to heal his damaged brain.

He needs connection, food, proper housing, counseling, positive accountability.

But how do I say that without sounding like an enabling mother?

We are damned if we do………

For now….. I want my boy to have a breakthrough.

I want to go back to this picture and tell that boy on the step that he’s loved. That he’s gonna face some hard shizz.
But that he can Do Hard Things and get better.
I want him to know that he’s worth it. That he can have a happy life again. That he can walk out of that jail cell and be a new man.

That little boy.
Every single person in that jail was a little boy like this once.

He’s loved.
He’s valued.
He’s worth saving.
Prayers to all who’s suffering today.

The Addicts Plea

Photo by author

On any addiction site or ad for a rehab or for a medication, you will find the argument of “disease versus choice”. Emotionally, it exhausts me. I write about it many times on this blog.

I heard it again this morning… From a nurse….

“They choose to stay in that situation”

I wonder if- as a nurse – she would say that to a domestic violence victim. It may be a poor comparison but it’s the only love / hate relationship that I can see compared to addiction.

The last few days of intently listening to my son’s fears of prison and his charges- {He has court tomorrow}-for possession of feeding his cravings for a disease that he thought he was immune to; I am sitting here in complete desperation and fear myself. I’m exhausted from trying to explain to people that NO-ONE (*** in their right mind***) WOULD CHOOSE this. And it’s just not that easy to get out of. And…theyre not technically in their right mind! There’s a reason they tell you not to operate heavy machinery or make important decisions after surgery:

Due to the affects of the medication on the brain and rational thinking!

So this is why I can see my son’s limited view. I can see where the years of drugs have damaged his rational thinking. His primal brain is in full throttle of fight or flight. He wants to run away. He can’t see a solution. He doesn’t think it’s fair to get 8 years for self-medicating just to feel ok and then to have it turned into this monster that sucked the life out of everything. He didn’t know he was selling his soul to the devil.

I understand his pain, his dilemma way back when…..Because right now, I WANT to just feel ok. If something was in front of me as a solution to get out of this pain I’m in, I would probably take it! I would! I want it to stop. This is what my son did years ago…..he felt uncomfortable, unsafe in his own skin, always seemingly “doing it wrong” because that’s what the world tells us.

That’s what I continually get told. I’m doing it wrong. I’m supporting him wrong, I need to live my life, let him figure it out, & my favorite: go do something you enjoy. They just don’t understand that no matter what you’re doing, the discomfort & pain is ALWaYS THERE.

In my post Rat Park, Pam Jones Lanhart states:

NO ONE and I mean NO ONE chooses addiction. Not one person who took a drink or a toke off of a bud expected to become addiction. That’s a ridiculous notion and not informed by any data or science. “When I used I was rewarded with a really good feeling. So I used again.” And eventually the neuropathways of the brain are reprogrammed and THEN in spite of all of the negative consequences and the fact that the using is no longer working for them, they can’t stop. That is the definition of addiction. Continued use in spite of negative consequences.”

I know that recovery is a choice Also, but trying to convince a damaged brain that it isn’t damaged is exhausting.

A fellow addict wrote this:

Let me say… Cause this may be the only way some people can understand.
This was not our plan… We didn't plan this daily struggle of depending on something to numb us, just to get through whatever pain we can't stand.
Our plan was to be a natural part of society, not dependent on whatever may be lying around to help us see another day.
It's no excuse… We're a mess, I will confess… But we're also blessed by the best.
If god can forgive us then u can to, because trust me he's better then you.
Your no better sitting on ur throne, with ur nose held high to the sky… We don't judge you cause we already know that he's in charge of that… And we may be addicts, but I know for a fact one day we will change and you'll still be well… well you'll still be That.
N. H.

Please pray for my son, my family, the judge, the court, everyone who can have a hand in relieving the pain of this nightmare, not just for me but for the turmoil and pain my son is feeling inside. The feeling of being trapped and hunted down & punished for a disease that continually reminds him of who’s in charge. No matter what good intentions he has; no matter when the dad- or son, or brother, or entrepreneur, in him, peeks out and wants a “normal” life again; the master is quick to squelch this thoughts into “maybe tomorrow”. This monster took him way beneath his capability to handle or understand the consequences, no matter what ” choice” or reasons he started out with to use.

Thank you🙏

Tranquilizer Chair

In a previous post, I shared a guest piece from a relative of Dr. Benjamin Rush, who still holds the title “Father of American Psychiatry.” He lived from 1745-1813. So I decided to look him up.

Needless to say, I was a bit horrified at the methods of treatment for mentally ill people back then.

They included:

  • tranquilization through the imposition of physical restraints
  • food modification or deprivation
  • cold water treatments
  • prolonged shower baths.
  • Plus a strange blood draining method.

Read Letter B below:

Read that again….

FEAR, ACCOMPANIED with PAIN and a sense of SHAME has sometimes cured this disease.

Just like prison sometimes appears to cure someone of their traits. I’ve spoken about the correction system in regards to addiction many times in my blog. I’m adamant that if negative consequences cured addiction, no addict would ever lose more than one thing, or ever get arrested more than once because they would be so horrified and shocked at their own behavior they would just be magically cured.

Back then, little was known of mental illness so of course, the theories that were presented we’re taken as Bible. There were no “fact checkers.” Being the Monday morning quarterbacks that we are all experts at, its easy to scoff at Dr. Rush’s ideas of circulation & bleeding to cure the brain.

When you know better, you do better. I hope there is currently enough education being done around MAT treatment for inmates that better humanizes their need to have treatment like any other disorder. Many people can quit cold turkey and maintain sobriety, but I believe it’s because THEY chose it- not because they were forced.

Samhsa’s website lists the goals of MAT therapy:

The ultimate goal of MAT is full recovery, including the ability to live a self-directed life. This treatment approach has been shown to:

  • Improve patient survival
  • Increase retention in treatment
  • Decrease illicit opiate use and other criminal activity among people with substance use disorders
  • Increase patients’ ability to gain and maintain employment
  • Improve birth outcomes among women who have substance use disorders and are pregnant

Acamprosate, disulfiram, and naltrexone are the most common medications used to treat alcohol use disorder. 

Buprenorphinemethadone, and naltrexone are used to treat opioid use disorders to short-acting opioids such as heroin, morphine, and codeine, as well as semi-synthetic opioids like oxycodone and hydrocodone.

These MAT medications are safe to use for months, years, or even a lifetime. As with any medication, consult your doctor before discontinuing use!!!!!!!!!

Web MD lists 6 current “traditional” treatments for addiction that have proven successful:

6 Treatments For Addiction That Are Proven Successful
By Corinna Underwood
Reviewed by Dr. Carol Anderson, LMSW, ACSW on December 12, 2020
With several options available, you can find an addiction treatment option that best fits your individual needs.
Addiction treatment is not one-size-fits-all. Treatments may vary based on your needs. You can choose the treatment that works best for you based on the substance you're abusing, the level of care you need, your personal mental health needs, or what health care options you can afford. Here are some of the most common addiction treatments that have set patients on a successful path to recovery.

Medically-assisted detox allows you to rid your body of addictive substances in a safe environment. This is beneficial because sometimes substance withdrawal can cause unpleasant or even life-threatening physical symptoms. Because detox does not treat the underlying behavioral causes of the addiction, it is typically used in combination with other therapies.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
According to American Addiction Centers, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a valuable treatment tool because it can be used for many different types of addiction including, but not limited to, food addiction, alcohol addiction, and prescription drug addiction. Not only can CBT help you recognize your unhealthy behavioral patterns, but it can also help you learn to identify triggers and develop coping skills. CBT can be combined with other therapeutic techniques as well.

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy
Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) could help you recognize your negative thoughts and give you ways to combat feelings of self-defeat. The goal of REBT is to help you realize that the power of rational thinking lies within yourself and is not related to external situations or stressors.

Contingency ManagementContingency Management (CM) can be used to treat a wide variety of addictions including alcohol, narcotics, and tobacco. Contingency management therapy reinforces your positive behavior (ie maintaining sobriety) by giving you tangible rewards. This type of treatment has been used successfully to combat relapse, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

12-Step Facilitation
Twelve-step facilitation therapy ("12-step programs") can be used to treat alcohol and substance abuse. It is a form of group therapy that includes recognition that addiction has several negative consequences that can be social, emotional, spiritual and physical. This type of therapy begins with acceptance, then moves on to surrender to a higher power, then eventually transitions to involvement in consistent group meetings. Programs like the popular Alcoholics Anonymous use group meetings for discussion and mutual support.

Treatment with Medication
Medication can play an important role in recovery when combined with behavioral therapies. Certain medications can be used to reduce cravings, improve mood, and decrease addictive behaviors. For example, the FDA recently approved lofexidine to help reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms in patients receiving treatment for opioid addiction. Medications like acamprosate can help reduce drinking behavior.

If you or a loved one are struggling with an addiction, you don’t need to fight the battle alone. Talk to a medical professional. There are successful treatments available that can help you overcome your addiction.

There are many other alternative treatments such as Ibogaine, vivitrol- not sure if that’s alternative- its pushed as pretty mainstream now- & also sublicade injections & subutox.. I won’t go into all of those here; because it’s been a rough day & my brain is loopy but its important to remember that NOT ONE SIZE FITS ALL despite what any social media influencer tells you.

Let’s work together to find help for these struggling souls, including my son who’s still out there. Other struggling humans aren’t the enemy & other recovery providers shouldn’t be either.

Instead of a tranquilizer chair let’s find a LOVE chair!

Btw..Don’t look up “love chair” for a blog, at 4:30 am- before coffee…

You Forgot to Tell Me, Mama

Photo courtesy of author

Mama you forgot to tell me how hard it was.

You forgot to mention how those sweet little sticky faces grow up to get in sticky situations.

You forgot to tell me the battles they will face.

You didn’t mention how far my heart would drop when I heard my child was struggling.

You failed to tell me
about the lump in my throat when I heard my child was getting divorced.

You didn’t even mention my eyes; that they would cry a thousand tears when I didn’t know where my son was.

You didn’t tell me Mama.

You didn’t tell me what to do when I’m in my warm bed at night, my belly full, wondering how much weight my boy has lost this week or when he last ate a meal.

You must have missed the part when the phone call from the jail came. You didn’t tell me what to say to this:

"Incoming call from a facility to house your child that obviously can't control himself- do you accept the charges?"

No I don’t accept!!

I don’t accept that my little blonde haired boy who loved dump trucks, and dirt bikes and playing tricks on his sister; who loved to go fishing and camping and finding little baby frogs in the pond; is now locked up in a freezing cold cement cell.

I don’t accept that he says they only turn on the heat every few hours when a visitor or vendor comes by.

I don’t accept it because I don’t even know what’s real anymore.

I don’t even know if that God you talked about so much exists Mama. Because it seems like HE has forsaken me.

When I’m driving to work, I cry out to Him, the tears so thick, I can’t even see anymore. I beg and beg for this pain to stop. For my little family to be healed again. You didn’t tell me what to do then.

You didn’t tell me what to say when people ask “How are you?” “Fine” seems so ridiculously false.

Mama, I don’t know what to do anymore.

I’m trying so hard to remember those simpler times.

The carefree days you told me about. The cotton candy at the fair and taffy down at the 5 and dime store.

You playing “kick the can” and swimming in the creek.

Photo by

I’ll bet you never thought that sixty years later your youngest daughter would be asking you for answers to an unknown problem.

You loved my boy. The night he came home from the hospital you stayed up with him so I could rest & so he “wouldn’t choke”. If he did, you would always ” raise his left arm”. An old wives tale I suppose.

But it worked.
Maybe I could try something like that now.


Anything you tell me to do Mama, I’ll try.

I know you did the best you could, I only wish you were here to help me again.

Maybe you could do something from heaven.
Can you start a prayer circle there? Do you guys pray?

Oh Mama.

I wish you would have told me that my heart never seems to heal. I wish I would have known the pain you felt when you lost your boy.

I wish I could have comforted you more.

Sometimes I get a whiff of your hair spray. Or Wrigley’s spearmint gum. Or the lilac bush we had in the yard.

It sends me back.
To when I thought my worst day was not getting a part in the school play.

Oh how life changes Mama.

Come to think of it, you did teach me how to deal with life. You made soup out of nothing, and mended clothes over and over. You put bread wraps inside my boots to keep the snow out. You marched to the school to stand up for me when I couldn’t.

You cleaned my house when I had my babies. You watched them so I could work night after night even as you were getting old.

You fixed cuts with that stingy red medicine.
You told me to stop yelling at my kids so much.

I realize now that you had the answers all along Mama!

It’s LOVE!

You did LOVE.💛 
You did it right.💛
You were LOVE.💛
And you taught me how to Love.

Thank you Mama.
Rest in paradise…..I’ll carry on from here.