How to Cope with A Loved One Suffering From Addiction

Kim is the mother of Tom, a successful graduate of the Turnbridge program. Like the majority of those with loved ones suffering from drug addiction, Kim has spent several years dealing with the consequences and uncertainties of this crippling disease. Through Turnbridge’s efforts and the support of Alcoholics Anonymous’ group sessions, Kim and Tom are both free from the yoke of addiction and the difficulties that come along with it. According to Kim, Tom began to veer down the path of addiction after graduating from high school. “After high school Tom didn't have a lot of direction,” Kim said. “He started smoking pot and using painkillers, they were a big thing in our town. He tried going to college; I thought he was going and he really wasn't.” Tom then began using heroin, and his addiction progressively worsened. Kim began to suspect his condition when things were missing from the house, and stories didn't add up. “We could see signs of his change,” Kim said. “He had a really good sense of humor and he liked to go out. If something was happening he wanted to be there, and all of that changed. He lost contact with the people he would normally hang out with. They knew what was going on and didn't want to be a part of it. Tom lost many of his friends and became isolated.” Dealing with a Loved One's AddictionBefore coming to Turnbridge Extended Care Sober Living, Tom was enrolled in several different drug rehab and detox programs, but nothing really “stuck.” While Tom was attempting to recover, Kim began going to Al-Anon meetings. While there she received the support that she needed at the time, and learned many things about how to best live with an addict. “Al-Anon was very helpful to me,” Kim said. “I learned how to have better, healthier responses. I still continue to go, and I’ll probably go for the rest of my life. It’s my turn to go and help support the families with children who are struggling.” In the latter stages of Tom’s initial recovery period, Kim recommended the Turnbridge program after researching online, telling Tom that it was the last program the family was going to be involved in. By that point, Tom was displaying a lot of anger, lashing out at Kim and the rest of his family, but eventually he made the call to give Turnbridge a chance. While in the program, Tom gained a reputation for resistance. “He didn’t unpack for three weeks,” Kim said. “He knew that he was welcome to walk out the door, but he stayed. Tom was angry, and I was worried and scared, but the Turnbridge staff was helpful. They listened and were supportive, using Al-Anon principles. The case managers were wonderful resources, and they helped me to create a good response when Tom was angry and lashing out.” Despite Tom’s initial resistance, he had success throughout the program and was eventually hired at Turnbridge where he continues to work. “He has a good network of sober men to be around,” Kim said. “I’m thankful that he is around them every day. He is growing into a good human being, and I’m thankful for Turnbridge. It’s been the best thing for him, and he loves being there. He’s happy to go to work, and I don’t know if you can ask for much more in life. He’s around people who are making the right choices, and he gets to see that while helping people.” “Turnbridge is a unique program, and I like that they help them work on being a good human being and a sober man. There are not a lot of programs like that. Tom is more insightful now, and he thinks about doing the right thing every day. I don’t mean just choosing not to use, but how to treat others, how to have better relationships. He’s really grown as a young man.”