The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

April 13, 2014

'I had to use'

At 21, recovering heroin addict starts over

(Continued)

Lewis completed rehab and started taking methadone. But after six months, he says, he realized he’d replaced one addiction with another, so he entered a detox program. He has been clean since Oct. 12.

He’s severed all connections with drug-using friends and won’t even watch his favorite movie, “Pulp Fiction,” because it depicts drug use. He attends Narcotics Anonymous meetings and group therapy and has begun speaking to church and school groups. He also hopes to attend community college this spring.

His mother, Karen, who attends Nar-Anon family group meetings, says the past few years have been an ordeal.

“I really hate to admit it, but there’s been a time or two when I thought ... it would be better for all of us if he could be put out of his misery,” she says. “I’m not proud of it, but I try to explain to him that until you’re on the receiving end, you don’t know how I feel.”

She worries that sounds too harsh, but says she knows parents of other addicts have similar thoughts. She still grapples with guilt, she adds, even though her son has told her: “‘It’s not anything you did. I would have done it anyway.’’”

She remains devoted to Cody. “I will be there for him as long as I can,” she says tearfully, urging families like hers to do the same. “As soon as they come out of it, that person that you know and love is there. They’ll come out. Cody’s finally ... coming back to the person that he used to be.”

And yet, she is cautious, too. “I don’t like to look too far ahead. I don’t want to get too excited because I don’t want to get disappointed again. ... The trust is going to take a long time to come back.”

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