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Topic : 06/11 Wasted Youth

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Created on : Thursday, February 05, 2009, 03:16:53 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
(Original Air Date: 02/09/09) “If you’re somebody who uses drugs, you do drugs recreationally, or you have a child who’s experimenting with drugs because ‘That’s just what kids do,’ or ‘Everybody does it,’ please sit down with me in the next hour, pick up the phone right now, call a friend, call two, tell them to tune in, get your child next to you on the couch,” Dr. Phil tells his viewers. Stephanie was an aspiring songwriter who loved taking care of kids. Diana was a preschool teacher with a bright future. Neither one of these women knew they could end up addicted to drugs, on the brink of death. They face Dr. Phil to ask for help, but do they really want out of their drug-crazy lifestyles? Does Stephanie deserve a second chance? Don’t miss this intense intervention. Plus, former Dr. Phil guest and addict lifeline, Joani, celebrates a milestone and receives a momentous surprise.

Find out what happened on the show.

As of January, 2009, this message board will become "Read Only" and will be closed to further posting. Please join the NEW Dr. Phil Community to continue your discussions, personalize your message board experience, start a blog and meet new friends.

June 11, 2009, 3:47 pm CDT

parents of drug addicts

I have noticed when Dr. Phil has people with addictions on his show, he is surprised if not shocked to the point of making it sound like he doesn't believe that a parent could have a son or daughter that is an addict and not know it.  I can tell you from experience, not all parents are aware.....it's not always denial as he said on his program today.  I  have a son that is an addict.......a recoverying addict, thankfully.  When he was using he was so thin and sick looking, near death really, but I thought he had some horrible disease.  Though, I realize addiction is a disease, I knew nothing about it at that time.  I was never around addicts of any kind, didn't know the signs and symptoms at all.  My son lived over 1000 miles away from us at the time he started using.  He is a Pharmacist and became addicted to prescription drugs due to some oral surgery when he was prescribed Vicoden.  I had not idea he was on vicoden.  I am from a medical family, my daughters are in the medical profession, but we just did NOT know it was drugs that was causing him to look so desaparetly sick.  We only saw him a couple of times a year.  I talked to him on the phone nearly every day, though.  It was easy for him to put on a front during those times.  So, I, nor my husband or daughters had no idea he was using.  I begged him to tell me what was wrong with him.  I would cry and beg to the point of making myself sick.  But, he always had an excuse and as I said I had no idea of the signs of addiction.  To say that he nearly died is an understatement.  To say that he was VERY sick, is an understatement.  When we did find out, in a very shocking way,............he still tried to lie, but I confronted him with evidence and he broke down.  This is a man, who as a child was never out of control in any way.  He was an honor student, never broke the rules we set forth for him, graduated college with a degree some people could only hope for, got a wonderful job and drugs caused him to lose it all...including his pharmacist license.  But, by the grace of God, he got the help he so desperately needed in a residential rehab that we paid for, by the way.  He was there for 3 months, went to after care for 9 more months and has been clean and sober for over 4 years now.  He is the son I always knew again.  So, we have a happy ending.......so far.  We have learned so much through alanon and know he is in this battle for the rest of his life.  He works hard at his recovery, working an active program.  My total reason for posting this, is this........I feel it is just not fair to say to parents that they are in "denial".  I was NOT in denial!  I simply did NOT know and was not educated in addiction.  I know now and I work very hard at making sure that I can help anyone else that is going through similar circumstances.  So, please Dr. Phil do not add to a parents heart ache, pain and nightmare of having an addicted child by saying we are in denial if we simply do not understand addiction or know what to look for.  Some parents may be in denial, but is it really fair to lump us all together as though we should all know better?  Addicts, in my humble opinion are not all alike.  It's not one size fits all, even if there are many many similarities.  It is my hope that you will think about what I have said and just maybe touch upon this subject with parents in a little bit different way.  Just giving my story and my opinion.  Thanks for allowing me to share my point of view.
 
June 11, 2009, 4:21 pm CDT

I've been there!!!

Hi my name is Heather and a lil over 6 years ago I too was addicted to drugs...   It all started with my boyfriend who shot up, he got me into it...  I never shot up but, I did used to smoke and snort Meth...  I quickly got addicted to it...  i began stealing from my own family and other people I loved...  We ended up moving four different times because we couldn't afford to stay at the places we were staying because we spent so much money on drugs...  We began staying with our dealers and getting the drugs for free which made it that much harder to quit...  Soon we were lviing in a storage shed..  That was the worst, we also began stealing peoples mail and forging there checks..  My boyfriend at the time and I also began stealing money from pop machines..  Although  we got alot of money that way, it was a horrible way to live...  He ended up going to prison for it all and I ended up moving in with my grandparents...   I spent weeks looking for drugs, doing things for drugs until one day I was hiding under my bed from my family because I didn't want them to see me that way....  hours and hours went by until my neice who at the time was only two years old saw my foot and found me...  That is what made me quit.  i had been there when she was born, for every new things she had learned and her first words, smiles, laughter...  She is the one person that helped me quit...  It is now 2 years later and I have not touched that stuff since...  Don't get me wrong i think about it all the time but, there are more cons that pros so I keep clean...   i know you girls are going through alot and at times it may feel as if you don't wanna go on but, once you finally do get to the point that you don't wanna touch that stuff,  you are going to feel so alive and free...  From one used to be druggie to another I know you can do this...  Just keep your heads held high and keep on truckin....  I will have you in my prayers... 
 
June 11, 2009, 8:10 pm CDT

Sober 29 years

I am a recovering alcoholic and have been sober 29 years.  The show on Wasted Youth was very powerful and I wish more young people would watch it.  Our nation is more worried about young people not smoking cigarettes than they are about the real drug problems.  How many people die from alcohol or drug addiction every year versus cigarettes?  How many domestic violence cases are related to drug addiction?  How many murders are committed by people under the influence?  I think young people smoking cigarettes are the least of our worries!!!!
 
June 12, 2009, 5:02 am CDT

huh?

Quote From: sisatsunset

I am a recovering alcoholic and have been sober 29 years.  The show on Wasted Youth was very powerful and I wish more young people would watch it.  Our nation is more worried about young people not smoking cigarettes than they are about the real drug problems.  How many people die from alcohol or drug addiction every year versus cigarettes?  How many domestic violence cases are related to drug addiction?  How many murders are committed by people under the influence?  I think young people smoking cigarettes are the least of our worries!!!!
As a recovering addict of 23 yrs and a registered critical care nurse, I must say that the numbers that die every year from cigarette smoking are VERY high indeed. Actually, it's the lucky ones who die. I see all the ones whose lives are made a misery living with the cancer as their quality of life often sinks to deplorable depths. While I understand your point that if someone is an addict and smokes cigarettes, it's getting them into recovery for their drug of choice that is the priority. But campaigns to  encourage young people to stop smoking or to not start smoking are, indeed, very important endeavors. Smoking is an addiction just as any other drug. When I came into recovery, the number of cigarettes I smoked increased greatly. Eventually, I realized that I was still in an active drug addiction and used the same 12-step principles to get clean from cigarettes as I did with my other addictions. Once again, I get your point that, initially, quitting your drug of choice is the main thing, the priority. However, cigarette smoking among young people is certainly not an insignificant health risk.
 
June 12, 2009, 5:11 am CDT

06/11 Wasted Youth

Quote From: valmargot

I have noticed when Dr. Phil has people with addictions on his show, he is surprised if not shocked to the point of making it sound like he doesn't believe that a parent could have a son or daughter that is an addict and not know it.  I can tell you from experience, not all parents are aware.....it's not always denial as he said on his program today.  I  have a son that is an addict.......a recoverying addict, thankfully.  When he was using he was so thin and sick looking, near death really, but I thought he had some horrible disease.  Though, I realize addiction is a disease, I knew nothing about it at that time.  I was never around addicts of any kind, didn't know the signs and symptoms at all.  My son lived over 1000 miles away from us at the time he started using.  He is a Pharmacist and became addicted to prescription drugs due to some oral surgery when he was prescribed Vicoden.  I had not idea he was on vicoden.  I am from a medical family, my daughters are in the medical profession, but we just did NOT know it was drugs that was causing him to look so desaparetly sick.  We only saw him a couple of times a year.  I talked to him on the phone nearly every day, though.  It was easy for him to put on a front during those times.  So, I, nor my husband or daughters had no idea he was using.  I begged him to tell me what was wrong with him.  I would cry and beg to the point of making myself sick.  But, he always had an excuse and as I said I had no idea of the signs of addiction.  To say that he nearly died is an understatement.  To say that he was VERY sick, is an understatement.  When we did find out, in a very shocking way,............he still tried to lie, but I confronted him with evidence and he broke down.  This is a man, who as a child was never out of control in any way.  He was an honor student, never broke the rules we set forth for him, graduated college with a degree some people could only hope for, got a wonderful job and drugs caused him to lose it all...including his pharmacist license.  But, by the grace of God, he got the help he so desperately needed in a residential rehab that we paid for, by the way.  He was there for 3 months, went to after care for 9 more months and has been clean and sober for over 4 years now.  He is the son I always knew again.  So, we have a happy ending.......so far.  We have learned so much through alanon and know he is in this battle for the rest of his life.  He works hard at his recovery, working an active program.  My total reason for posting this, is this........I feel it is just not fair to say to parents that they are in "denial".  I was NOT in denial!  I simply did NOT know and was not educated in addiction.  I know now and I work very hard at making sure that I can help anyone else that is going through similar circumstances.  So, please Dr. Phil do not add to a parents heart ache, pain and nightmare of having an addicted child by saying we are in denial if we simply do not understand addiction or know what to look for.  Some parents may be in denial, but is it really fair to lump us all together as though we should all know better?  Addicts, in my humble opinion are not all alike.  It's not one size fits all, even if there are many many similarities.  It is my hope that you will think about what I have said and just maybe touch upon this subject with parents in a little bit different way.  Just giving my story and my opinion.  Thanks for allowing me to share my point of view.
Dr Phil can be extremely judgemental at times. And, I've said this before on here...as a recovering addict of 23 yrs and a former addiction counselor (RN now), I'm shocked at how little he seems to actually know about addiction. This always shocks me as he is an educated mental health professional and talks about his father's alcoholism. He says things to addicts that I feel are inappropriate AND neglects to say things to addicts that should be said. It's maddening! You are right. We addicts are extremely good at hiding our problems..we'll do anything to protect our substance abuse. Eventually, as my addiction progressed (which it always does), friends close to me became concerned, but this had been after years of hiding my problem. Still, when I went into recovery, most people I knew were shocked that I was an addict. I am so happy that your son made it...so many don't....I hope he continues to do the things he needs to do to protect his society...sounds like he's got a good start!!!! 
 
June 12, 2009, 5:28 am CDT

06/11 Wasted Youth

As a recovering addict and former addiction counselor, I find these kinds of shows disturbing in ways. The shows feature addicts who are usually so in denial and not at all ready for recovery who are then sent to rehabs taking the bed and resources away from those who are really ready but have no financial needs to get there. The young ladies portrayed seemed to not have the slilghtest clue. They were in serious denial, and have not idea what recovery means or entails. They get them on these shows where they are under intense pressure to say what Dr Phil wants them to say and to say yes to rehab. Unfortunately, rehabs are often not what they need to be. It's not that they don't want to and that they are not trying, but funding for any type of mental health treatment, and especially, it seems, addiction is egregiously inadequate. When I worked in one( the one I had once been a patient at), the social workers would have to fight each day to try to get a patient's stay extended. This underfunding has been very detrimental to the whole dynamic of rehabs. They're struggling to keep going, so are not as likely to discharge patients who break the rules. It's difficult for those working there to maintain order when there are few consequences for bad behavior. I had to run groups and educational seminars and it was made very difficult at times because many of the patients were people that were only there because it gave them an opportunity to get out of prison early. These people often caused such distractions that it had a negative impact on the other patient's attempts to get the information and support they so desperately needed. And so it will be for many of the people who show up on shows like this. They get a free ride (for them...not for anyone else involved) while others that really want to be there to work a program of recovery and have no finanacial means or insurance remain in the dark. The guests on these kinds of shows should probably be referred by someone else (case manager, addiction counselor, etc) rather than themselves. Of course, there are miracles in recovery..maybe one of these young women will "get it." It seems far more likely that they will only use up resources that would be better used by someone else.

 
June 12, 2009, 5:36 am CDT

06/11 Wasted Youth

Quote From: ramair

 Dr Phil's help might end up wasted on this show's guests, but it certainly wasn't wasted on Joani. She's helped so many other drug addicts since receiving his help. I hope these guests will let her help them.
Joanie is a wonderful success story. However, I do feel some concern about the fact that she is fairly new in recovery and putting so much energy towards other people. I hope she is still finding time to work her own program and deal with her own issues. It's not an uncommon phenomenon in recovery for people to get very involved with others early on to the point of not taking care of their own "program." Often, it's a way to avoid their own stuff. I'm not saying that this is the case with Joanie...just worries me..hopefully she has her own support system that is helping her maintain this kind of awareness.
 
June 12, 2009, 12:19 pm CDT

06/11 Wasted Youth

Quote From: leogorky

Joanie is a wonderful success story. However, I do feel some concern about the fact that she is fairly new in recovery and putting so much energy towards other people. I hope she is still finding time to work her own program and deal with her own issues. It's not an uncommon phenomenon in recovery for people to get very involved with others early on to the point of not taking care of their own "program." Often, it's a way to avoid their own stuff. I'm not saying that this is the case with Joanie...just worries me..hopefully she has her own support system that is helping her maintain this kind of awareness.
This is ramair, under my new user-name.
You're right, Joanie needs to take care of herself, too! Or, she could become another "burn-out" statistic. "Burn-out" is common among those who must deal constantly with people in crisis.

 
June 12, 2009, 12:24 pm CDT

06/11 Wasted Youth

Quote From: shelly_80

I fully agree!  Rehab is a joke!  One that really makes you want to laugh because you know better than to think one can really be rehabilitated in 3 week to a month.  Like you said, it takes 2-3 years to actually get the drugs out of your system.  I'm sure anyone at anytime can relapse, but I think it's less likely for those who have been clean for a fairly long period of time, as opposed to those who have been clean only several months.  I've always said, an addict will not lay down his/her habit until they are ready.  It is a proven fact no one can force them; they have to come to it on their own, if they survive that long. 

 

I can honestly say, I've never had a drug problem because I've steadily watched what it's done to my cousins and knew I didn't want that for my life.

 

It just occurred to me they can hold inmates "against their will" basically but they can't hold an addict against theirs?  I think rehabs should be ran the same as any prison.   Addicts are free to walk out if and when they get ready.  Anyone correct me if I'm mistaken but I'm under the impression that most if not all rehabs are run by the state, correct?  So are prisons.  I think once they enter the program there should be a minimum time they have to stay and THE STATE should be allowed to keep them there.  They shouldn't be able to just walk out because they can't hack it. 

No kidding "rehab" is a joke! Some "rehab" staff are "using", too. Joanie, who Dr Phil helped get clean, and now helps other addicts, was a "rehab" nurse, stealing, and using, drugs from the center's own pharmacy.
 
June 12, 2009, 12:30 pm CDT

06/11 Wasted Youth

Quote From: leogorky

As a recovering addict of 23 yrs and a registered critical care nurse, I must say that the numbers that die every year from cigarette smoking are VERY high indeed. Actually, it's the lucky ones who die. I see all the ones whose lives are made a misery living with the cancer as their quality of life often sinks to deplorable depths. While I understand your point that if someone is an addict and smokes cigarettes, it's getting them into recovery for their drug of choice that is the priority. But campaigns to  encourage young people to stop smoking or to not start smoking are, indeed, very important endeavors. Smoking is an addiction just as any other drug. When I came into recovery, the number of cigarettes I smoked increased greatly. Eventually, I realized that I was still in an active drug addiction and used the same 12-step principles to get clean from cigarettes as I did with my other addictions. Once again, I get your point that, initially, quitting your drug of choice is the main thing, the priority. However, cigarette smoking among young people is certainly not an insignificant health risk.
Cancer caused by smoking can be a really miserable way to go. A former co-worker died of lung cancer caused by a smoking habit she'd quit years before. And, I was told that she suffered constantly her last two months of life. Why young people choose to start a habit that can cause them such abject misery is beyond me.
 
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