I’m posting this on behalf of a friend. Some of you will know who this is; I have her full permission to do this. In fact, she’s reading this. I’d like to help her solve this problem.
She has an addiction to DXM, which is the chemical in cough syrup. This has been going on for many years. At this point, the damage to her body and mind is severe. She’s got to quit and she knows it. But every time she’s near a drugstore, she finds herself walking in and buying DXM. She’s having a hard time breaking that habit.
She has tried seeking treatment in recent times. She was in a treatment program which she abandoned partway through. Now she’d like to return, since she’s more serious about quitting, but they won’t take her back because she left partway through. This was a mistake and I think she understands that now.
To complicate matters, she lost her living arrangements with her father, partly because he’s an ex-addict and finding it hard to be near her. She’s temporarily living with her mentally-ill sister, and the living situation is unstable and possibly dangerous to her physical safety.
She has almost no money. I’m unclear on the current job situation, but I know she’s been fired from many temp jobs for drug use. She could move just about anywhere to get treatment, if she could afford it. I think she could scrape up a couple hundred bucks if she had to, or perhaps her friends would chip in to buy her a bus ticket somewhere if needed.
Further details: she’s a resident of Michigan. I believe she’s exhausted all her local affordable options, though I’m not sure. She found AA and its variants difficult because they tell her how to relate to God (though I, and many of her friends, feel that she’s never given AA a truly fair shot). She may need medical detox; she’s struggling with the fact that few people understand DXM addiction and how it differs from alcohol and other addictions. She is not violent or dangerous at all.
As for me, I understand the perils of addiction (somewhat) and I’m taking care to offer what I can without getting bogged down in the problem. So don’t worry about me.
Now. What else can she try?
1. One idea I had was moving to a small town where DXM is not sold. There are lots of little towns like this. She could work as an assistant to an elderly person in exchange for room and board. This might give her the time she needs to be away from her drug. But I’m not sure how to find a setup like this. Alternately, she could move to a smallish town, and write a letter to the local pharmacist explaining why he should never sell her DXM. She’d still need a job, which might be difficult to find.
2. She’s introverted enough that she could live in a trailer in someone’s backyard with nonperishable food for months, and be just fine–perhaps trading farm labor for her room and board. Again, not sure how to find this setup.
3. She could take a bus to almost any state and enter a residential treatment program. I could help drive her to one if it’s in Northern California. Trouble here is that you usually have to be a resident of the state where you’re seeking treatment (right?) Also, money. This would be hard to afford. She could stay on and exchange labor for room and board, but I don’t know if that’s allowable.
4. What else can be done here? Ideas?
Thanks for your help, everyone. And to you who’s reading this: You know I care about you. *hug*
P.S. We’re brainstorming here. Suggest whatever you can think of; maybe it’ll spark another idea.