Streamline Addiction Health Services & Remove County Barriers for Treatment!

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Please sign this petition.
Our children do not want to be addicts.
The shame they feel is unbearable and they are suffering more than most can imagine.
Help our adult children get addiction health services quickly.

What should have taken no more than a day or two, took two weeks of concerted effort by three adults, two of whom had access to all necessary resources. My desperation to help my addicted adult son to get into treatment has turned to rage.  Rage at the ineptness of our systems and the people running and accepting this nonsense. 

When an addict wants help, he needs to get into detox immediately and accepted into inpatient nearly immediately. The following were massive problems experienced by us and I can’t imagine overcoming these hurdles if I were homeless, without a phone, an address, ID, and on the verge of debilitating, rolling on the street, feces running down your leg, violently throwing up, withdrawals.

The Opioid Epidemic motto for Medi-Cal should be,

                  GET THEM IN NOW AND GET THEM HELP NOW !! !! 

1. Remove county barriers to treatment for addiction services. 

2. Require all counties to maintain, on a per capita bases, a minimum number of beds to access treatment with the same speed as other self-pay and insurance users, at least.

3. Make longterm naltrexone (Vivitrol) available to ALL addicts. Not just AB-109 recipients. 

4. Require Medi-Cal to answer the phone (shocking suggestion, I know.)

5. Allow Medi-Cal beneficiaries ability to change address online.

6. Allow renewal of Medi-Cal benefits to be done THAT day if there is NO INCOME to verify.

My adult son has been struggling with a life destroying/ chronic brain disease opiate addiction for about 7 years. Parents, family, and friends of addicts are heartbroken and in despair. We are seeing our beautiful children ruined by this affliction. One moment my son was a junior in college and yet quickly spiraled down to being a homeless young man addicted to opiates on the streets of San Francisco. In and out of jail for drug related charges, he was so beat up, so scared, not believing himself what had happened to him with unbelievable speed. Once on this path of addiction, the individual’s… and his family’s …life changes in so many ways you could never have imagined.

My son was released from jail and wanted, once again, to try for long term sobriety. He asked for our help to arrange inpatient rehab using his MedI-Cal benefits to get treatment. I was hopeful it would be a quick, easy, and positive process because of the current “epidemic” status of opiate addiction, nationwide.

First call was to the Federal Addiction Hotline to get a referral to treatment. We received three.  Two in Los Angeles county and one in Santa Clara county. I called the first one and this is when we found out that you must live in the county where applying for services.

Second call was to the California Addiction Hotline. They told us the same thing and connected me to Solano County addiction services. When I told the Hotline staff member who answered what my son’s situation was, he literally laughed and said, “Well, maybe he can get treatment in 90 or 120 days… or there’s this place in Vallejo but it’s pretty rough…”I could not believe that a staffer for an Addiction Hotline could act so insensitively when an addict and his family are reaching out for help.

Third call, back to one of the treatment centers given to me by the federal hotline, Tarzana Treatment Center in Long Beach and told her my son will move to Los Angeles county, as we have relatives there. The employee on the call, Alice told my son if he couldn’t be there in three hours he couldn’t have the bed, knowing he was still in Solano County at the time. I would not have believed this ‘gaming’ with Medi-Cal beneficiary’s life had I not heard this myself over the speaker phone.

All the while, my son Is desperate to get into residential treatment, so we actually started driving south to help keep him away from places and people that are “triggers” to use. He’s trying not to use, he’s ready, motivated and wants to do this NOW. Two weeks go by before we can get him moved to Los Angeles county, update his Medi-cal benefit, find a bed and get him into treatment. 

My husband and I are retired, and WE were able to do for my son what he was not able to do for himself because firstly, he was in jail and secondly, when he was released from jail California’s Medi-cal system (paid for by my husband myself, and my son when he was working, through the taxes we are HAPPY to pay so people who need help CAN get it!) created so many roadblocks and is a nightmare to navigate, that it was impossible for him (or another addict in need of this help) to get what he needed… help. And, they NEVER answer their phones.

It took a total of two weeks to get my son into treatment, this with two functioning adults, two cell phones, an iPad, a computer, a home phone, food to eat and a safe place to sleep. And when my son was released we had a car to pick him up, take him to the DMV to get an ID so he could get services, and drive him away from a bad environment, and money to pay for a motel close to treatment so we could be there in minutes, (didn’t want a bed to be given away, as mentioned before, because these treatment centers do their very best to ACTUALLY avoid taking Medi-Cal patients seeking in-patient rehab.

Imagine your child is now on the street…not able to understand how this little pill, prescribed by the billions called OxyContin, made and promoted to doctors by Perdue, a synthetic form of heroin much more potent that heroin itself…caused him to lose who he was… entirely, in a year or two, becoming homeless, helpless, addicted to one of the most powerful drugs in the world, and maddeningly, manufactured by humans.

California’s tent cities are populated mostly by the physically addicted. Without access to some form of opiate, be it oxy, heroin or Vicodin, your child, your addict, goes into severe debilitating withdrawals, causing them to commit crimes they never thought possible of themselves.  They loathe themselves, they hate themselves, they live with daily shame yet they continue to be unable to get off and stay off this drug. I personally blame Perdue. 

Look what kind of help (and governmental ‘hoops’) was needed (and governmental bureaucratic ‘hoops’ navigated) by us and our adult addicted son to get him the benefits to which he is entitled and into treatment. Most addicts don’t have that available and this process MUST BE STREAMLINED. 

The point of this petition… we MUST change this hostile environment for our addicted children, gaining them access to inpatient treatment and medically assisted treatments (MAT’s), which are medications to help with opiate receptor blocking, anxiety, etc) with the sense of urgency that it is!  

                     GET THEM IN NOW AND GET THEM HELP NOW!! !!

Please sign this petition. Our children do not want to be addicts. The shame they feel is unbearable. Please help humanize addicts, they are suffering more than most can imagine.
Please help our addicted children… A tired but never wavering, Warrior Mom

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