Addiction Files

An insert from the latest blog of JADE Founder and CEO, Lucy Garrighan :

\”More people are dying from drug overdoses at a brutally alarming rate since the day that I lost my beautiful first born son, John Ryan Garrighan. He was 27 when he lost his battle with this demon of opiate addiction. He left behind a 5 year old daughter.

Awareness is being raised and yet I think about what really has changed in preventing and treating this disease in the years since he died. The reality is not nearly enough has changed.

John died on January 30, 2011. Even before his death, I studied addiction at great lengths to try to save my family. Now, my life is filled with reviewing research and studying everything that I can get my hands on about this disease that took my child. I founded licensed regulated treatment centers to help others. This work actually helps me live in a world without him. I work with an incredible Staff led by our full time wonderful addiction psychiatrist at the treatment centers that I founded. The greatest knowledge I obtain comes from working with and listening to patients that trust their care to my Staff. I am grateful for their time when talking with me. If we just listen, we can learn so much. I wonder who else is listening.

5 years after I lost John, addiction is still treated like a lack of control and a morale failing. Yes, we have made some progress here on the surface but when we get down to it, patients are still punished and put down for being sick. We live in a world where we shoot our own wounded.

The phrase that I use, innocent addiction, is seldom heard or understood. Prescription drugs are responsible for the most of today’s opiate addiction. No one sets out to destroy their lives. We have a generation that has been blind- sided.

Medication is still not readily accessible for the masses that need it. The stigma of taking medication to treat the biological cravings of addiction is still strong despite the research. The medication Vivitrol (non-addictive, once monthly injection for relapse prevention) is still not used often enough.

Parents still lack knowledge about this illness. Advice is thrown about by everyone. Tough love is still alive and kicking despite the vast research on the neuroscience of addiction.

The lack of training needed for a doctor to treat addiction remains the same. Eight hours of an online course and any physician can treat this disease. This madness greatly contributes to the fact that not much has gotten better.

Patients are still sent to inpatient treatment, detox and jail without a follow up plan for when they are released. Patient tolerances are dropped and then they are sent out to the same situation except their risk of overdosing is 100 fold.

Other things that have not changed; I miss my son John in the intervals between seconds. I grieve for him and cannot fall asleep without my pillow being wet from my tears. It hurts. John was incredible. He loved with all of his heart.

For the Johnny\’s in the world that have been lost, and for all of those struggling, I will continue to study this disease and share the successes that I see from best practices. People do get well at JADE Wellness Center.

For all of the parents that need help understanding, I will provide information.

I profoundly thank the team of JADE for being part of my ongoing mission. I am tremendously humbled and so very proud of my children, John\’s siblings, Abbie Scanio, VP of operations at JADE and Dan Garrighan, a phenomenal force in the world of recovery and also Clinical Supervisor for JADE.

I am incredibly thankful for the people that I have met during this journey. My friendships are so strong with the parents that lost children and/or are fighting for the lives of their children. We share an incredible bond. They all amaze me. These parents are taking action to fight this epidemic.

I will expand our services and obtain more knowledge about this disease. I will share. \”

To be continued………..