Do you want to get well? That’s the question. Or maybe it’s not you. Maybe it’s your 16 year old. Do you want him to get well? Or her?
Getting clean and sober requires a significant commitment, but the good news is it’s only for one day at a time, subject to renewal. During that one day you will say, “I will commit to being clean and sober for today” or “In the time that I have, I will do my best to get my child evaluated and into some kind of program.”
Living one day at a time is not some kind of “mind game.” It’s a simple truth. We really do have only this day. Tops.
If you are the parent, let’s say, of a substance-abusing teenager or the spouse of an addicted husband or wife, Al Anon is a must. Al Anon, founded shortly after AA in 1935 to help the wives of AA members deal with living with a recovering addict, is a tremendous resource available in thousands of communities. If you are the non-drug abuser you need help as well.
So let’s say it’s your child who is abusing drugs. Your job is to insist that he or she be evaluated by a doctor. Depending on his diagnosis and recommendations, you, as a parent, will begin to develop a plan and take the actions called for.
If you can afford it, a solid recovery program at a place like Hazelden Betty Ford is a good bet. There are approximately 4,000 treatment facilities to choose from with varying programs and varying costs. Some programs are free.
If you can’t afford a treatment facility, another option is a combination of Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12 Step programs combined with involvement in an Evangelical Christian church and a medical evaluation of the drug abuser.
Our role in Little Rock over more than a decade has been to offer hope, encouragement and information to those seeking recovery. This year we hope to add to these services by helping them get treatment. It is an ambitious goal requiring a significant investment but with the potential over time to save lives and families and lower community budgets.
In 2016, during conversations with City Connections, a 501 (c) 3 non profit company, we developed the concept of a local non-profit organization that would address local substance abuse problems by helping each individual develop and implement a treatment plan of his or her own. We gave it the name, the Little Rock Roundtable, evoking, as it does, positive feelings of compassion, steadfastness and courage.
Members will be men and women of faith with a special interest in helping people overcome their addictions to alcohol and other drugs. They will represent Christian churches, hospitals, schools, businesses, prison systems, veterans groups, lawyers, legislators and others. Some will be in recovery themselves.
Listed below is a recap of the six basic resources we need to address the drug problem in Little Rock and other communities we may serve:
- Hospitals to treat mental health problems.
- Treatment facilities specializing in drug addictions and offering detox services.
- Twelve Step meetings such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, and, for those living with an addict, Alanon.
- Christian churches and other Christ-centered organizations (i.e. Salvation Army, Union Rescue Mission, Teen Challenge and others) offering addiction recovery services.
- Special programs focusing on teens, veterans and prison inmates, three populations which have higher than average substance abuse problems.
- Law enforcement and prison systems that address the recidivism issue with programs which promote a faith-based program and an entrepreneurial approach to getting jobs.