25 August 2016

Mother Sees Car Crash as an Unusual Addiction Intervention

When it comes to addiction, the family members of those affected often suffer terribly. They will be under immense pressure trying to get their loved one to accept treatment, and many will resort to an addiction intervention as a last resort. But even this does not always work.

One mother in the US is calling a crash involving her drug addict son and his wife ‘God’s intervention’, as she believes this could be the kick they both needed to quit the addictions that have been blighting their lives.

Living with Addiction

Addiction is a devastating illness that can have terrible consequences for those affected. As well as the physical and mental health problems that can be caused by illnesses such as drug or alcohol addictions, there are other consequences too. Many addicts will lose their homes, jobs, children and other relationships because of their addiction.

However, family members are also deeply affected. Rhonda Combs said that she constantly feared having to have a funeral for her son Chad Fry because of his drug addiction. She said, “You plan their funeral when they’re on this stuff.”

Chad’s addiction to heroin started when he was prescribed opioid medication for pain relief caused by a back injury. An addiction to his pain medication led him to start abusing heroin, and he has been struggling with addiction for around ten years.

God’s Intervention

When people think about addiction intervention, they usually imagine the addicted person sitting with loved ones listening to them explaining how the addiction has had an adverse impact on their lives. This is what addiction intervention is meant to look like.

Nevertheless, for Mrs Combs, addiction intervention for her son came by way of a serious car collision, of which she said, “I know this is God’s intervention.”

Her son and his wife Betty were in their car when it slammed into a tree. Both Chad and Betty needed to be revived with Narcan by paramedics as they had overdosed on drugs. Their daughter was in the backseat of the car at the time, and Mrs Combs is all too aware of how much worse the accident could have been.

She said, “This is the intervention I’ve been praying for. It isn’t exactly what I would have wanted, but you got to watch what you pray for.”

Setting Boundaries

It is very difficult when your child suffers from addiction. You want to do everything you can to help them, but you also do not want to enable them. Mrs Combs and her husband decided that certain boundaries had to be set in order to try to help Chad. They would not lend him money or allow him to live at home while he was addicted to drugs. However, she added, “That’s really hard to do when you have your two grandchildren involved in that and you can’t fix everything for them.”

In an effort to help her son, she filed criminal charges against him after he stole from her. She said that when he and Betty married in April 2016, she had hoped that things would change, but this was not to be, prompting her to cut off contact with them, apart from occasionally seeing the grandchildren. She said, “It’s very stressful, frustrating, heartbreaking.”

Although she said parents are not naturally equipped to deal with a child’s drug addiction, she would advise other people going through the same thing to set boundaries and avoid enabling their children, even if that means pressing charges.

She is now hoping that the crash will make Chad and Betty get help for their problems, and said, “It’s got to get better because if this is not their rock bottom, I don’t know what it would be.”

Mrs Combs said that Chad and Betty were frightened after the accident and are now ready to overcome their addictions for the first time. Both have checked into rehab, and she says they seem willing to get better. Their children are living with Mrs Combs for the time being.

A Typical Addiction Intervention

Although Mrs Combs sees the car crash her son and daughter-in-law were involved in as God’s intervention, the traditional addiction intervention is less dramatic. Family members of addicts who are frustrated and upset at their loved one’s actions may want to consider staging their own intervention in a bid to get the individual to accept a diagnosis of addict and to encourage him or her to seek help.

This process typically involves a group of people that the addict respects and loves coming together to speak to their loved one about how they have been affected by the addiction. It is not meant to be confrontational or a way to make the addict feel bad, however. A good addiction intervention should help the addict to realise the seriousness of the situation and to motivate him or her to want to get better.

Source: Mother of addict calls crash ‘divine intervention’ (WSAZ)

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