Couldn’t your child have made better decisions and not abused opioids? Was your child just weak-willed?
Yes. He could have made better choices. I don’t think he wants recovery badly enough, yet. I think … he either makes it or he doesn’t. Because we’ve backed off. We quit giving. He knows we mean business this time. He knows he can’t manipulate us anymore. And we have to stick to it. We’re just as sick as he is. We’re addicted to the addict. We’re addicted to our son. And I think this time we finally have decided to get ourselves well in order to help him get well. So we’re working on us the same as he’s working on himself, if that makes sense.
Initially they both had choices and made the wrong choice. But after that choice was made, the switch for both of them was turned on. And they no longer have a choice.
Yes. So … boy that’s a straightforward question, isn’t it? Out of respect for every individual who struggles with addiction, I know they have it within them. They are not weak-willed. And they do have the power to overcome addiction, but it takes a lot of work. With Brady, he didn’t know what kind of monster he was playing with. He didn’t realize how dangerous it really was. He was just doing it to enjoy the high. If somebody had said, “Brady if you take one more of these pills, you will die.” I feel confident my son wouldn’t have taken that last pill. I feel confident about that, and I feel confident with all these other individuals that if someone said “If you stick this needle in your arm, right here, right now, you are going to overdose. We have no Narcan and we are out in the middle of nowhere. We have no cell phone. You will die.” I feel confident that most of them would not do it at that particular time. I like to think that Brady had it within him. He just didn’t know what he was playing with, because when the toxicology report came back, he had a lot of methadone in his system. And it was all time released. We think Brady would pop a pill and it wouldn’t get him high enough, fast enough, so he would pop another pill. And that wouldn’t get him high enough fast enough. So he would pop another pill. And by the time all of that medicine had fully opened up, it was too much for his system to handle.
No … because the opioids turned her into a different person. She was not really our daughter at that point. Legally she was our daughter. But emotionally she was not our daughter anymore. All that left. All of her sense of compassion left. She did what she needed to do to get by and get what she needed. That was it. One of the ways I could see that she was healing was that I got my daughter back: we could have the conversations we used to have. And her compassion came back. It wasn’t all about money and “what can I get.” She wasn’t so self-centered. But once she had the opioids on board and the addiction set in, it changed her brain chemistry enough that she’d gone down the road and she was stuck.
I am not buying weak-willed. Bailey was always the most compliant child. She just went with the flow on everything. Riley was just always obstinate about everything.
Travis: I don’t know about that. Tyler was given opioids from a doctor because of surgery. So the very first time he was exposed to opioids had nothing to do with his behavior. He was given them from a doctor at age 11. Now … did he have a gene that got turned on because he was exposed to opiates?
Shelly: It has absolutely nothing to do with being weak-willed. If it was about will, Ty could have done it.
Travis: Addiction had nothing to do with him being weak. Lifting weights is not only a physical event, but also a mental event. Ty was 18 years old when he lifted 505 pounds. That was more a mental event than a physical one. It has nothing to do with willpower.
Christy – Absolutely not. Here’s what should have happened – when Tyler had surgery, the doctor should have said “Here’s 10 pills. Or 4 pills. And that’s all you get. And this is why.” And he should have explained it to him. We weren’t there to monitor it. We didn’t know. So how could we expect Tyler to know the dangers of that drug?
Wayne – Someone might ask if Tyler used drugs in a recreational sense. And we have no idea. But there was never a sign that he did. He was so driven to be a good athlete. He would watch NFL football and when it came up to draft time, he would show me all of these safeties and he would say “Dad, look at their height and their weight and their speed.” He said “All I want to do is run on a kick off team one time. I don’t care if I don’t make the team. I’d like to, but that’s what I want to do.” So as a starter, he would play special teams because he knows the NFL looks at that. That’s how focused he was.