Touching Letter from NJ Mom to Eric Scott Heard on Ask the Governor Show [AUDIO]
Jim was discussing the heart breaking story this morning (5/31) of a NJ mother who sent a letter to Eric Scott seeking help for her son. The woman's son has a drug problem and unfortunately due to the way the laws are setup in the state, he cannot get the help he needs to overcome his addiction because he may not meet the criteria necessary to enter a rehabilitation clinic. All the mom can do is plea to Governor Christie to reform the mandate for non-violent drug offenders to help her son.
You can read her full letter to Eric and her plea to the Governor here:
I listen to Jim every morning while driving to work and today’s topic really hit home. Jim’s conversation was a follow up to the information you reported with regard to the 79% increase in young adults seeking help for the abuse of prescription drugs. The call that came in from the counselor in Red Bank provided unbelievable account of my family’s life for the last 2-3 yrs. I was compelled to call and had an extremely emotional conversation with Irene. I will try to get through to the Governor tonight but I want to tell our story in the hopes that Governor Christie will understand how serious this problem is.
My son turned 19 yrs old this past May 19th. On that day, my husband drove our son up to Carney to be admitted into a detox facility. This was his fourth attempt to get him the help he needs. It breaks my heart to type this … my son is an addict. The progression was just as the caller described. He started with roxicoden and graduated to heroin. At this point, my husband and I know far more than we ever wanted to know about this world.
The cost of buying prescription drugs on the street is very expensive. Dealers get $25-$30 for one pill. And, one pill is never enough. How did our son pay for this? He stole from us, then sold the items at the local pawn shop - Video games, video game consoles, ipods, ipod players, tools, jewelry, money, TV, crystal. A couple of months ago I learned he stole a pair of earrings. I went to the pawn shop and was able to get them back. The earrings had already been dismantled. The stones were ready for resale. He got $120 for a pair of earrings worth far more than that. We had to pay the guy $100 to get them back. I don’t think many pawn shops care where the good come from; they just know that they’re going to make money from reselling.
We have had the police in our home many times. He has been picked up multiple times. In fact, he has two pending court dates. I’m terrified - he does not belong in jail. He needs help. Somewhere deep down inside we know our son is in that body. We want him back but he needs help. Now as the counselor said, because the pills are so expensive, many graduate to heroin. $7.00 per bag for basically the same high. The overwhelming hold that these drugs have on him is scary. He has admitted to wanting to kill himself, he also knows he needs help. This is all out on the table in our house. Not in my worst nightmare could I ever have imagined having these conversations in our home. The part about getting help…unless you are actively using, the insurance won’t pay for the rehab facility.
Today, we are waiting to get a call back from a facility but we aren’t sure he will meet the criteria for admittance. I would like to say that he is clean but he may not be. When and if he gets into the facility, he will be drug tested…if he is dirty, they’ll take him and the insurance will pay. If he is clean, the insurance won’t pay….but he needs the help! This particular facility is $4,000 a week. No, it’s not a typo - four thousand dollars a week. If the insurance doesn’t pay, we will pay out of pocket using a credit card because he needs this help. Another factor that is very difficult to deal with, these facilities are mandatory, he can sign himself out. That was a rude awakening for us when he was 17 yrs old!
This has created a life for all of us that we do not know. We live minute by minute waiting for the next shoe to drop. When he is not home and the door bell rings, I jump - is it going to be the police, was he arrested, had he over dosed, is in on a slab in the morgue? When we hear sirens out on the street and he isn’t home, will he be picked up ? It’s an impossible way to live. I could go on and on Eric but I will stop here. I will ask two tremendous favors, #1 please, please ask the Governor to mandate rehabilitation for non violent drug offenders NOW - these kids do not belong in jail with hard core criminals. They are young, immature and still very irresponsible. They really have no conception of what they are dealing with when they go down this path. I also want to know more about the public hearings and the task force that was formed to look into this problem. I am very very interested in attending the hearings so that I may tell my story. This is an epidemic and everyone needs to know that it does not discriminate. This is not a Newark or Camden problem. This is an epidemic throughout the state of New Jersey. Please, help us.
Here is the audio of Eric Scott reading the letter and Governor Christie's reaction last night during Ask the Governor show.