This blog is about a large multi-generational functionally dysfunctional family.
Friday, February 18, 2011
Tom's Comment to my last post-comment form wouldn't work!
Tried to comment on your blog and couldn't get it to take my comment for some reason. Will you post this for me?
Here's my comment:
Dawn, I can't help but like you--even though I don't particularly want to like you because I often disagree with you and sometimes cringe at your, um, directness. But I do like you, and respect you too. You are all you and really real.
1. The term "clean" is slang. If you stop to think about it it's pretty rude and insulting (which I don't anticipate will register for you but will for some others). It's a product of the profound lack of empathy and respect our culture has for people struggling with DRUG addiction. People aren't "dirty" for alcohol or "dirty" for tobacco. They are "dirty" for marijuana, cocaine or heroin. Smokers aren't "clean" when they quit with or without medication. The term just isn't used in that context. If you go to your doctor for some Chantix, I can promise you your doctor won't discuss your attempt to quit in terms of dirty vs. clean. But the same doctor would not hesitate to tell an opiate dependent patient that the medical lab results for a urine drug screen came back "dirty." No other medical lab test is discussed in this way. Even most drug treatment providers see no problem calling their clients "dirty" or "clean." Language matters not just because of hurt feelings, but because it profoundly influences the way people are treated by doctors, politicians, drug treatment providers, judges, probation officers, police and others in ways that really hurt people.
3. Recovery is a personal journey. It is a process. It takes place over time. For most people in includes periods of use and non-use. We should allow people to define recovery for themselves, and offer our encouragement and support for any positive change. If someone says they are in recovery, they are in recovery. To behave otherwise is like telling someone on a diet, "well you may be eating right, exercising, 20 lbs. lighter and on your way to living longer, but none of that matters because you are either thin or fat --and no matter what you say I say in my book you are still fat!" How motivating and supportive is that?
4. WHY do you "need" parents to "know" that their loved one is not "clean." I would say what the need to know is that medication-assisted treatment is scientifically proven to be the most effective treatment for opiate dependence, and saves lives. Seriously, why does a Mom need to know whether you think her daughter is "clean" enough to meet your arbitrary standard? And by the way, the brain chemistry of a long-term opiate user has changed so that abstinence "tickles" the opiate receptor sites like hell --which is why people succumb to overwhelming and persistent cravings, relapse and suffer the consequences (overdose death, incarceration, loss of family relationships, loss of housing, loss of job etc).
p.s. If you come to MY blog, EVERYBODY is clean (unless they have been in the mud), and many people are in recovery too