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Kossacks are the most generous, helpful, knowledgeable people on the web and I desperately your help and input to get my sister off of drugs. First of all a little background, every addict has their own story, here is my sisters. To protect her, I’m going to give her a false name, Dawn.

Several years ago, Dawn was in a car accident and she hurt her back pretty seriously. She had car insurance, so we just figured they would take care of all of her medical needs. She followed the insurance company’s instructions, and went through therapy, got multiple opinions and even went to see the insurance company’s doctor. When Dawn’s own doctor concluded that she needed to have surgery, the insurance company’s doctor claimed that her injuries were preexisting and therefor the insurance company would not pay for her surgery.

Dawn was in agony, so she used the pain pills prescribed by her doctor. She sued the insurance company and got a small settlement, but it only covered her existing medical bills. There was not enough to pay for the surgery she still needed. Dawn went for years in pain, using pills to just make it through the day. Finally she got to the point where she lost feeling in her left leg due to her injury. Thankfully at that point the local Catholic hospital stepped in and provided her surgery pro bono.

But by that time, it was too late. Dawn was addicted to her pills. She tried several times to get off them, but never quite managed. But she was still a productive member of society. She got married, had kids and kept a job. But eventually her drug use has spiraled out of control. She is now using heroin.  She has lost her job, her husband kicked her out and she is sleeping on my couch.

She desperately wants to get clean so that she can return to her children. This is where I need your help. She is visiting a clinic where she is getting treatment. But she has no insurance and the daily medication she needs to take is $10.50 a day, plus she has to undergo periodic blood tests that are $45.00, and she is required to visit the clinic daily and it is 30 miles round-trip from my house. I’ve been paying for her treatment and gas, but I can’t do it much longer. I have enough to cover this week, but I have no idea how I’m going to pay for next week’s treatment.

Does anyone know of any resources in the Portland area that will help pay for her treatment. I’ve looked on the internets, but haven’t been successful. I want my sister to be healthy, but I’m at the breaking point financially. There has to be some type of program for uninsured people, but I just don’t know what it is. Please help. Thank you for listening. I've provided my paypal account just in case someone wants to help my sister.

Originally posted to estorm on Thu Apr 26, 2012 at 07:04 AM PDT.

Also republished by PDX Metro.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Methadone is a dangerous drug. (10+ / 0-)

    I don't know if that's what your sister is being treated with, but it's a common "treatment."

    Methadone maintenance is simply substituting one dangerous drug for another. It may be legal but it's even harder to kick than heroin...and more dangerous. It can lead to convulsions and worse.

    I would recommend a Therapeutic Community in-patient treatment program like Phoenix House or Synanon...though I don't know what's available in your area. You might google Therapeutic Community or In-patient drug treatment to see.

    IMHO, a program has to be based on drug-free treatment to have any lasting value.

    Best of luck.

  •  I wish I could offer some help. (4+ / 0-)

    That's a problem I've never had to face with anyone close to me.  My co-worker is currently going through a similar situation with a very close friend of hers... I'll ask her if she has any ideas when I get into work today.  Unfortunately, we're in the SF bay area, so not sure if it will be something that will help you in Portland.

    For both of you, I hope some of our fellow Kossacks do have some answers in your area.

    Thank you for being so good for your sister.

  •  A very sad story, I have no doubt some Kossack (4+ / 0-)

    will come through for you in some helpful way. Since she has children she might call Child Protective Services, I know that sounds scary because we think CPS is about removing children from their homes but that is not the case... they will be able to provide resources in your community and if your sister asks to have a case opened voluntarily the county would pay for services as long as she follows their case plan.

    Best of luck, and please, take care of yourself during this time of need and stress.  

    On the bailouts "... We should have thought about how they would treat us before we gave them the money." Now get out there and "Make the world a better place!"~ my 7 year old.

    by remembrance on Thu Apr 26, 2012 at 07:29:15 AM PDT

  •  I agree that (4+ / 0-)

    Methadone is a very dangerous and very addictive drug itself. However, there is nothing more dangerous and more additive than opiate-based drug like Heroin.

    The well known notion that "once an addict, is always an addict" is not true.

    I would suggest that your sister find a clinic where "free" Methadone is dispensed for recovering addicts. Surely there is one in your area. I will tell you why this is very important if your sister truly wants to kick it.

    Methadone patients are started with a dose (liquid) as I recall from my own experience, to maintain a certain "high" on your sister`s system that allows her to function normally without wanting Heroin. This dose is gradually lowered, depending on actually habit an addict has. Remember, all Heroin addiction is the same, but no all habits are equal. Some are more addicted than others.

    I suspect that in your sister`s case, Methadone is a safe bet because she will be monitored by experienced nurses who are licensed to dispense this program. After she is "d-toxed" by finding no further need for Methadone, she will be fine..Believe me I know.

    The only money or resources you will need to help your sis, is to find such a clinic. I am quite sure these clinics are more available now, than in my time.

    Other than that, if she truly wants her life back, cold turkey is a low price to pay.

    Old men tell same old stories

    by Ole Texan on Thu Apr 26, 2012 at 07:47:20 AM PDT

  •  Try calling 2-1-1 (5+ / 0-)

    It is a nationwide concept to provide info on all available social and health services in an area. They are more effective and well run in some areas than others. Then there is whatever limitations there are in local resources - if there isn't a program then 2-1-1 can't create one. They can only tell you what they know of that is available.

    And for you - check out Al-anon
    There is always the issue of helping vs enabling to wrestle with, and it looks like you may be in a situation where you need to wrestle.

    from a bright young conservative: “I’m watching my first GOP debate…and WE SOUND LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE!!!!”

    by Catte Nappe on Thu Apr 26, 2012 at 07:55:14 AM PDT

  •  President Bush Told America That Your Sister (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Horace Boothroyd III

    simply needs to go to the local hospital emergency room and everything will be taken care of.

    Thus everyone in America has healthcare.

    Hasn't that worked?

    If it hasn't, call a Ron Paul supporter who purports that charity is available for everyone and ask them for assistance.

    Even better, call the Romney campaign and ask for assistance.  He would love test cases where "private-free-enterprise" charity takes care of Americans.  I'm sure he and Ann and their church would love to hand over some of their tax exempt funds to help a fellow American.

    Americans need to make these politicians put their money where their mouth is.

    And then tell how it worked out in reality.

    A Good Peasant Is A Silent Peasant - Jesse LaGreca

    by kerplunk on Thu Apr 26, 2012 at 07:55:39 AM PDT

  •  Didn't see any mention of NA/AA (3+ / 0-)

    I've known hundreds of addicts (some in my immediate family) and almost every one who's managed some recovery has been involved with NA or AA (in small places where there's not enough 'demand' for a separate NA).  The essential element in recovery is the desire to recover --all the resources in the world can't help those who aren't truly serious about it.

  •  Well according to google there are (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    more drug treatment centers and programs in the Portland, Oregon area than in my entire state.

    So my guess is that the bad news is the Portland area obviously has a HUGE drug problem, but the good news is there seems to be a lot of different options available to help people with drug problems in the area.

    Where I live that isn't the case, the closest drug treatment programs and facilities are 2 hours away with limited slots available, and very long waiting lists.

    Hopefully one of these organizations will either be able to help your sister, or at least point her in the direction of somewhere that can help her.

    I'd start calling the numbers of these treatment facilities and programs and see what they have to say, then go from there.

    I hate to say this, but in my experience with addicts they have to want to change their lives, and nothing, and no one else can make that change but them. Has your sister been taking positive, meaningful steps toward recovery herself, or has she been depending upon you, and just sort of going along to get along?

    I only bring it up because I've been there myself - not as an addict, but as a loved one trying to "help", only to find out later I merely being placated in order to keep my compliance as an enabler.

    It's a tricky thing, and sometimes you can end up doing more harm than good. I wish you luck and am sending you all the positive vibes I can, I know from personal experience that you're in for a VERY rough ride, even if she is actually sincere about changing her life... and if she hasn't yet reached that point where she's ready to change, your road is going to be even rougher.

    Take care, stay strong, and remember that your sister's decisions are hers, and hers alone, you're not responsible for her, you can't "make" her better, nor can you control her actions.

    I know that will be hard to remember as you travel down this hellish road, but please at least try to remember that none of this is your fault. She's an adult, and she will do whatever it is she will do.

    "It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion." Oscar Wilde, 1891

    by MichiganGirl on Thu Apr 26, 2012 at 11:55:20 AM PDT

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