“See, my son is in jail, & I’m glad but I still am wrenched with worry all night that he will get out in the night & in the day I hate when he asks for money for the phone or for actual real food or a bit of candy that we all crave but especially them when they are coming off heroin because I don’t want him trading it for drugs or calling his cronies to bail him out. After all, even though- he detoxed last weekend and became so suicidal and depressed that they put him on suicide watch and when I called the nurse she said they might pink slip him to the hospital so then I worried that he wouldn’t have a guard when I should be more worried that he’ll harm himself- he still has the mental obsession and cravings to use”………breath…
I can see the blank stare of “What am I supposed to do with that?” Look which I’m so accustomed to.
I knew the minute I saw the “Inmate has been discharged” on the prison message system that we were in deep do-do. Or More do-do…..
As I posted in this blog, I knew that 47 days in jail with 21 of them in solitary confinement, hadn’t brought my son to a place of clarity about treatment or a forward motion on fixing his life. I also realized that getting out on a Saturday afternoon without a home or car or even a job; was not going to be in his best interest. But to a jail with 100’s of inmates, one less to deal with, probably sounded good to them.
I mean I can understand the courts not knowing what to do with him but after 2 years of delays due to covid; to let him out thinking he was somehow cured and suddenly responsibly, is ridiculous.
What I didn’t anticipate, is that he would spend almost a month in Vegas with ‘professional gamblers” yet scavenging around for a room and food too.
So, now, after a few weeks of my horrible dreams of mafia leaving him in the desert, with a surprising(?) new addiction of gambling; here I am- no solution in sight and only envisioning more problems for him.
Meanwhile, I do still agree with Gabor Mate, that the “correctional” system doesn’t correct anything:
This is a great interview by ‘The Clearing Maia Szalavitz” that I may have shared before. The transcript is pretty long, so if you don’t have time to read it here are my favorite takeaways:
"We've been using punishment to try to treat a condition that is defined by its resistance to punishment."
"Treatment that is punitive, shaming, and humiliating is not good for addiction … All those tactics are aimed at making you hit bottom and experiencing consequences and all this stuff like this, because clearly the problem is that you just haven't suffered enough yet.
If you're willing to persist despite negative consequences to get your drugs and you lose your house and your car and your friends and everything else like that, why is another punishment going to help? It is not."
I know my son is suffering. I also know what his coping skills for ANY EMOTION are. Yesterday when I tried to talk to him about his friend being buried, he deflected to: “The good news is, ****( the ICU guy) was given 3 days to live, and he’s s driving around in a truck today”.
The Drug Addiction Treatment and Recovery Act was passed in Nov 2020 and this article by Alexander E. Sharp shows how it could be the new end to the war on drugs.
It quotes President Nixon in 1971 stating “the war on drugs has begun”.
“Almost 50 years and $1 trillion dollars later, we can categorically say that the WarOnDrugs has been lost.
Drugs are more widely available than ever. Use has not declined. In short, the drug war has failed even on its own terms: it has not curtailed the market.”
Oregon’s New decriminalization of drugs is their version of the war on drugs following after portugal’s lead years ago.
“Their goal is to move people out of the criminal justice system into the health care system. But the health care system isn’t ready to receive them,” Marshall stated. Funding for treatment would be handed out via a grants program, being overseen by a newly established Oversight and Accountability Council, with its members appointed by the director of the Oregon Health Authority. “The Oversight and Accountability Council shall provide grants to existing agencies or organizations, whether government or community-based, to create Addiction Recovery Centers for the purposes of immediately triaging the acute needs of people who use drugs and assessing and addressing any on-going needs thorough intensive case management.
—CNDP Exec Dir Rev Al Sharp examines the impact of Measure 110 in Oregon for the Christian Century:– from Heart of a Warrior Women facebook group.
Theological Walter Wink stated 8 years ago:
“Our attempts to stamp out drugs by force violate a fundamental spiritual principle. Jesus articulated it in the Sermon on the Mount: “Don’t react violently against the one who is evil.” Adapted to fit the drug issue, it means “Do not resist drugs by violent means.” We have merely repeated the mistake of Prohibition.
Less than 1 gram of heroin Less than 1 gram, or less than 5 pills, of MDMA Less than 2 grams of methamphetamine Less than 40 units of LSD Less than 12 grams of psilocybin Less than 40 units of methadone Less than 40 pills of oxycodone Less than 2 grams of cocaine The measure reduces from a felony to a misdemeanor simple possession of substances containing:
1 to 3 grams of heroin 1 to 4 grams of MDMA 2 to 8 grams of methamphetamine 2 to 8 grams of cocaine”
Under these amounts, my son would be free to get help and services without this fear of getting arrested. As it is now, he is running scared, with a hijacked brain, not a dime to his name and scared to apply for food, housing, or a job. His brain is in a state of panic and turmoil every day. To survive, not be sick that day with his to illness and try to find money. All the while, the shame of him not fulfilling his obligations, failing at every aspect of his life, being continually buried deep under the facade of his withered pale unfed skin.
Jail is not going to help his illness and make him have self respect again. It’s going to put him in survival mode even more, defending himself against the gangs, proving he’s “one of them” and not “too white” or he will be knifed. 😭
The ASPC treats dogs better than this. Our little kids with a variety of problems that yes med them to use drugs, are being banished from society for having an illness that is 100% treatable.
As Gabor mate states in his Video about addiction and the correctional system:
“In my opinion, the correctional system does very little correcting”.[ for the addicted.]
Even though I’m biased, I tend to agree. I will admit, my bias- ness comes from a place of fear. My son has warned me of the gang mentality in prison. I didn’t believe him until I saw the net flix documentary, Big brother. The scene of the reporter standing by the back of the pick- up truck, talking to the “boy” with his cousins confirmed my sons stories.
But, it hardly matters since I have zero control over the outcome. I never have really. But that doesn’t stop this mom from having hope every day that my strong “beautiful boy” will be back soon.