A mother’s plea

Jim Day
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Rose Barbour urges province to do more to help treat drug addicts like her son

Rose Barbour of Charlottetown says she wants people to "see past the actions of the addict to the person who is lost in the addiction.'' Barbour hopes her son will receive treatment that will see him beat a crushing drug addiction.

Rose Barbour is fighting for her son’s life.

The young man, who will be called John in this article, has a disease that could kill him.

Treatment will hopefully save John but he needs the right treatment at the right time, says Barbour.

John’s disease — drug addiction — is far too common in Prince Edward Island. A look at the population in the Provincial Correctional Centre, where John is currently serving his third sentence for stealing to support his crippling habit, reveals the heavy toll on both addict and society alike.

More than half of the people prosecuted in the courts of P.E.I. are actively engaged in drug use, says Gerald Quinn, senior Crown attorney for the province. People using addictive drugs have committed some of the most blatant and senseless crimes he’s come across in his 22-year career with the Crown.

Barbour, of Charlottetown, has grown all too familiar with the long, damaging reach of addiction by witnessing her son’s life come off the rails and, for the most part, stay off the rails.

John, 21, has been using drugs since he was 13, starting with marijuana and progressing to opiates. He escalated to injecting drugs about three months before he eventually hit rock bottom. Finally, he sought help.

“It was the happiest day of our lives when our son told us recently that he wanted to go to treatment,’’ said Barbour. “It took years for him to get to this point.’’

Both John’s family doctor and his psychiatrist recommended a stint at a residential treatment centre to be in this addict’s best interest.

Crime, unfortunately, got in the way.

While waiting for approval to attend the treatment centre, John confessed to shoplifting because, his mom says, he wanted to start a new life without anything from his past coming back to haunt him.

“Much to our shock, the province refused to send him for treatment,’’ said Barbour. “How could they say no to someone who is so sick and wanting to get better?’’

Instead, the province wanted to have John start seeing a counselor once per week and attend Narcotics Anonymous meetings. But John’s addiction, stresses mom, is too far advanced for an outpatient service such as that suggested by the province to be effective.

Barbour wants better for her son. She wants better for other young addicts as well.

Many families, she says, are frustrated with the limited treatment options in Prince Edward Island.

She has been doing all she can to impact positive change. She is constantly trying to get a better handle on addiction, reading up on studies, reports and research.

She started a Nar-Anon group for the loved ones of addicts last February in Charlottetown. She speaks to university students and community groups about her family’s experience with addiction.

She is set to go into junior high schools this month with Charlottetown Police Services Const. Tim Keizer to assist in a drug prevention program.

“I am trying to stop the stigma associated with addiction so that people will be comfortable getting the help that they need,’’ she said. “I also want to make sure that adequate help is there when they do ask for it.’’

John gets out of jail in a couple weeks. Naturally, mom wants her boy to get the most appropriate help to treat his addiction.

“We can’t jail our way out of this,’’ she said. “We need adequate treatment.’’

The province has plenty of addiction services, notes Margaret Kennedy, director of mental health and addictions with Health P.E.I.

Demand keeps growing for those services. There were 983 admissions last year for inpatient detoxification, tallying a whopping 5,728 bed days. Addiction to opiates, which is John’s ongoing nightmare, accounted for more than half those admissions.

Addicts are also beating a path to outpatient detoxification and individual counseling, said Kennedy. Each year, hundreds of family members of addicts are even accessing counseling services.

A day program called Strength has also been doing brisk business since opening in January 2010. Kennedy says the program is aimed at addicts who need more intensive service than individual counseling.

Participants in the program, that runs five days a week for eight weeks, typically fall between the ages of 18 and 25. There is counseling, group programming, life skills, and focus on mental health issues.

“It has a variety of services,’’ said Kennedy.

Half of the 126 clients to date have had probation involvement. Three were transfers from an adult correctional facility and four were transfers from a youth correctional facility.

Barbour is impressed with the program.

“I know a lot of good people work for addiction services such as the staff at the Strength program who are very genuine and caring,’’ she said.

“They really want the youth to succeed and stay clean. The problem is that the program is not long enough. These same wonderful people would be just as wonderful working in a residential treatment program.’’

One major shortfall in addiction services, concedes Kennedy, is the failure to get treatment in a timely fashion for addicts once they are released from prison.

Correctional Services approached Health P.E.I. about 18 months ago to say too many addicts that are released from jail are not able to access addiction services in a seamless fashion.

So they typically continue their harmful addiction. They return to crime to feed their addiction. They return to jail.

“It’s a vicious cycle,’’ said Kennedy. “It’s a disease where relapse is more or less expected.’’

Kennedy hopes considerable improvement is just around on the corner.

She expects a new protocol to be in place in the next month or so that will allow addicts after serving a sentence to enter immediately into appropriate addiction treatment.

“If they need treatment, we have treatment available,’’ she said.

“This is a very tough disease, addiction...some people are motivated (to address their problem) and some people are not motivated...it’s a very tough disease to treat.’’

All Barbour is asking for is that her son and other addicts are given a fighting chance to turn their lives around.

“Addiction is a disease and, therefore, a health issue,’’ she said.

“Like any disease, adequate treatment is needed for the patient to get better. If left untreated, the results are devastating for the addicted person, their families, and the entire community.’’

Organizations: Provincial Correctional Centre, Charlottetown Police Services Const. Tim Keizer, Correctional Services

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.She Nar

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Recent comments

  • Norma Albrecht
    May 04, 2014 - 23:07

    Hope improvements are made,,,It,s a battle that is very hard to win without support of everyone involved,The hardest part is that the ones that are not involved are who have the power to make the changes that need to be made,Perhaps when higher ups have no where to turn there will be more funding and programs available,It is so often the middle and lower class that find themselves dealing with addictions,Yes the famous are also ,but they do have the funding to go to the expensive treatment centers,That are well run and effective,Those who are lucky enough can get help,those who are not, are left to fend for themselves,,,

  • A Friend
    October 09, 2012 - 10:34

    Nothing but love and support for this deserving family. As someone who used to know 'John' well, I look forward to the day when all are happy, healthy and safe. Good for you to speak out and bring attention to this clearly stigmatized subject, and hopefully you are able to look past the ignorant comments of others. Thinking of you all.

    • Another Good Friend
      October 16, 2012 - 23:16

      i agree i have seen the path that this has taken him down! i really miss the old JOHN and would love to have him back into my life clean! Just because of what the drugs make u do it dont mean that you are a bad person all together! John is a great guy and would give the shirt off his back for anyone! I think that if he is willing to go for help they should give it to him!

  • Elle
    October 09, 2012 - 10:24

    I wish I had the patience or mild temper to respond to all the people who are making ignorant and ill informed comments about this article and claiming that addiction is NOT a disease...well...I don't, and I am saddened that so many people have this belief. Addiction is not a weakness, it does not make you a bad person, and it IS something our Island should be concerned about. It is a HUGE problem that is being swept under the rug and NOTHING is being done for these people. The wait time to get into a program to help is unheard of and the damage done in the interim is very serious. Our government needs to stop wasting all this money on useless nonsense like new highways, basketball teams, concerts that never came to be, putting liquor into convenience stores (BRILLIANT..*Sarcasm*) and whatever else they choose, and they need to focus on what matters, the people who live here. An addict is not what is portrayed on television or in the movies, your daughter, your son, your mother, your 60 year old next door neighbor can be addicts....I really feel pity for you closed minded uneducated people who do not understand how heartbreaking this situation really is....

  • Elle
    October 09, 2012 - 10:21

    I wish I had the patience or mild temper to respond to all the people who are making ignorant and ill informed comments about this article and claiming that addiction is NOT a disease...well...I don't, and I am saddened that so many people have this belief. Addiction is not a weakness, it does not make you a bad person, and it IS something our Island should be concerned about. It is a HUGE problem that is being swept under the rug and NOTHING is being done for these people. The wait time to get into a program to help is unheard of and the damage done in the interim is very serious. Our government needs to stop wasting all this money on useless nonsense like new highways, basketball teams, concerts that never came to be, putting liquor into convenience stores (BRILLIANT..*Sarcasm*) and whatever else they choose, and they need to focus on what matters, the people who live here. An addict is not what is portrayed on television or in the movies, your daughter, your son, your mother, your 60 year old next door neighbor can be addicts....I really feel pity for you closed minded uneducated people who do not understand how heartbreaking this situation really is....

  • Elle
    October 09, 2012 - 10:20

    I wish I had the patience or mild temper to respond to all the people who are making ignorant and ill informed comments about this article and claiming that addiction is NOT a disease...well...I don't, and I am saddened that so many people have this belief. Addiction is not a weakness, it does not make you a bad person, and it IS something our Island should be concerned about. It is a HUGE problem that is being swept under the rug and NOTHING is being done for these people. The wait time to get into a program to help is unheard of and the damage done in the interim is very serious. Our government needs to stop wasting all this money on useless nonsense like new highways, basketball teams, concerts that never came to be, putting liquor into convenience stores (BRILLIANT..*Sarcasm*) and whatever else they choose, and they need to focus on what matters, the people who live here. An addict is not what is portrayed on television or in the movies, your daughter, your son, your mother, your 60 year old next door neighbor can be addicts....I really feel pity for you closed minded uneducated people who do not understand how heartbreaking this situation really is....

  • A Friend
    October 08, 2012 - 21:25

    Nothing but Love and Support for Rose and her family. As someone who used to know the family personally, I hope you are able to look past the ignorant comments of others and continue spreading the word. Looking forward to a happy and healthy family soon.

  • Margaret Ross
    October 07, 2012 - 21:43

    Thank you Rose for an amazing article.It's astounding the ignorance of some who still do not accept the concept of the Disease. I am an addict/alcoholic in recovery 14 yrs now,I have a son,who is clean/sober 7 yrs now. Neither of us woke up with a "bad habit". Treatment was available to me but not my son at the time. The Disease of addiction WILL end in death if treatment is not accepted or available. Does anyone truly believe, we CHOSE addiction??? I am a parent of an addict(in recovery) and the toughest thing I had to do was watch him being taken away to jail because I could NOT find resources available to help him and his addiction,so he went to jail. Me...as a Mom ... couldnt help her son ... but guess what? BECAUSE I didnt/couldnt bail him out of the problem,he found his own strength and recovery which meant more....he did that... as a MOM I stand tall and proud for any parent that will scream out to be heard in this matter. Addiction is a Disease,if that FACT fears anyone,maybe you should open your closet and see what falls out. I pray a solution is given by the Govt. My son went thru Hell on Earth ... by the Grace of a Higher power he made it. The need is there and more parents like Rose need to "Voice their love" and help make changes.

  • not an addiction
    October 07, 2012 - 16:15

    I agree with it's not a disease, and I live with a addict! Drugs are a chemical dependency, and it is all about choices and taking responsibility for your own actions! I am not perfect, I smoke, and have made bad decisions,throughout my life, but these are all my responsibility, no one else's! It's the same for the addict, they are clean and sober in jail, unfortunately when they get out, the majority makes the decision to use again, and the cycle continues! As for people saying, addiction is hereditary, it isn't, again it is not like cancer, or another deadly disease, it's about choices! I know all of this because my mother was an addict, prescription pulls and alcohol, andmy husband of 14 years is the same! It isn't an easy road Ruby any means, but with help and positive changes, the addicts life can turn around,, there is always hope!

    • I see
      October 08, 2012 - 20:15

      You may live with an addict and your mother may have been one but it doesn't mean that you took the time to understand the devastating disease. This is the only disease I've ever heard of where people argue with the researchers. On another note, you take responsibility for your choices, that is great. When/if you get lung cancer, emphysema, or some other health problem related to your smoking, you will pay for your own chemo, radiation, and other treatment I suppose? I am assuming that you pay for all your hospital visits now because you would be more susceptible for colds, etc. since you smoke? Good for you!

  • heartbroken
    October 07, 2012 - 12:02

    I relate to her story like it is my own. I too have a 24 year old son who was diagnosed with adhd as a child. Through school was hard on him and the family. He ended up dropping out after grade 11. After this he left home and than started his own life. This life consisted of alcohol and drug addiction. He has been in and out of jail to fund this addiction. As a mother watching her son go down the wrong path is heartbreaking. I have been there to support him on his journey, but the only support he wanted was money. He has been in and out of being detoxed many times but once back on the streets the cycle starts over again. We have been to counceling hundreds of times over the course of the school years and in his later life. Im not sure what else to do but watch and wait for him to reach rock bottom. I thought he had many times but each time it starts over. For him its a way to function and be accepted with the friends he hangs out with. Many people comment that it is not a disease, I do understand why they feel this way, but the addiction is hard socially, mentally and physically. I just want help for him by the detox is not working. Many people also commented "where are the parents", I have been there to support my child through the whole process, but with the adhd and the influences of his friends, my support was not enough, drugs and alcohol won. Lets make this cycle end soon in a positive way. Any help appreciated

  • andre' in cornwall
    October 07, 2012 - 11:18

    Treatment will hopefully save John but he needs the right treatment at the right time, says Barbour. You say it, Day writes it, yet you did not give it, at the right time; now you all look too folks that make their living ($) playing up too kids wants? When mine were in Euston St. group home, staff said, as long as its not here, and/or that they’re in at 9/10/11 they had three of mine. I would drive up, go to where they were or they’d be and tell them to get back; even Dr. J. Baker told me, they did not belong to me any more. So, where were you people when, your children started; why did you not help right away, and/or help now? I did…As I fought Colleen MacDonald of CFS. Get mad at me if you wish, its easier than taking responsibility for your Children, and say, those tax dollars pay are to help/cure; well folks thems do not care about your children, I got six that can verify this. Come by if you want names, dates and numbers…

  • Charlene Island Girl Now Mountain Girl
    October 06, 2012 - 21:57

    I hope that those who disagree with the article or have smart ass answer never have to go through what Rose and other families have.. Did you parents never teach you manors,if you don't have anything good to say you should keep your opinions to yourself. You sound like complete jackass's I hope one of your friends or family members never falls in to these terrible addictions. Being addicted to 3 coffee a day is a whole hell of a lot different then being addicted to drugs and alcohol. Maybe you should get help not for your coffee addiction but for being an idiot. The Guardian asks people to be polite well I guess no one really thinks before they comment on news articles. Rose I hope your son gets the help he needs along with everyone else that needs the help. Keep fighting the fight for everyone that needs it.

  • Theresa Kenny
    October 06, 2012 - 20:39

    I am a Mother of 3 self confessed addicts. My elder son started using Alcohol when he was in his early teens. Then there were drugs but they didn’t seem to pose a problem because he was out on his own. He is now sober for about 5 years. Our next son tried alcohol and immediately became addicted. He was in trouble with the law and spent 3 months in juvenile detention center. He is now sober for 2 years. Our youngest son starting using drugs when he was 15. It started with marijuana, and led onto harsher drugs, opiates was his drug of choice. He has been in and out of jail on numerous occasions, --3 at least. The last time he was in jail , he was earnestly crying for help. So I intervened and got his drug counselling , he went to self-help programs and was in a support house for 7 months. He had to go of Island to get other treatment. He tells me he is now on the metadone program and he tells me he is doing well. All my sons are very kind gentle persons. The youngest son has ADD and developmental delay. I always got him extra help through his primary years at school. I wasn’t aware that he was using drugs and I knew all the signs to look for, lack of appetite, irritability, changing friends, being sneaky, lying etc.It wasn’t until he was well advanced in his addiction that I saw the signs. Thank God ,I have a self help program because I would be devastated otherwise. This program has taught me every person is a child of God and God doesn’t make junk. I know all addicts have a disease. It doesn’t help to enable them. I have to use tough love and that is hard but with the use of my programs, I know I am doing the right thing. This program has enabled to sleep at nights even though I didn’t know where my son was, to let go and let God, say” no” when he is looking for money, listen to him in the good times as well as the bad times, admit to the fellowship when I am having a bad day, reading the literature which gives me strength and hope. I call my son every day and tell him I love him. I never hang up the phone from any of my children without telling them “I love you”. This program has taught me to pray to my Higher Power, whom I choose to call God, for all those suffering from addictions. I think the addictions centers running 20 years ago were more tuned into addictions than the present day system. Our Premier admitted in the house in March, there was a problems with addictions on this Island, our minister of Health says there was going to be more done for addictions on this Island.That as about 2 months ago. I haven't seen any earth shattering changes in the field of treatment. All I can say to our govenment leaders ,if they had to walk for a day in my or Rose's shoes and see what will be done then. Good for you Rose for sharing your story.

  • Definition
    October 06, 2012 - 16:44

    For those of you with the problem of addiction being classified as a disease, perhaps you should take it up with the Canadian Society of Addiction Medicine and other organizations who definite it as such. You can argue your points with them. What do they know? They are only the people who spent years studying it! The government is already paying for addiction through courts, jails, policing, health care, etc. For every $1 invested in treatment, $12 is saved in those other areas. I think the investment in treatment is the wisest choice. Also, these highly addictive pain pills that the FDA approved for general pain use has caused this problem. If these addictive drugs were not on the street, we would not see this alarming rate of addiction. So, yes, the government holds a lot of responsibility!

    • Bill Kays
      Bill Kays
      October 09, 2012 - 09:03

      I would love to take it up with the Canadian Council On Addiction Medicine. Brainwashed people like yourself aren't thinking for yourselves. Instead you rely on an "institution that has a vested interest in continuing the scam". It was defined as a disease only so it could be covered under medical insurance programs. Rather than being seen as human frailties or weaknesses we gave them names (drug addiction, alcoholism, sex addiction, gambling addiction, etc., etc.) and then decided it was a disease. So now this "council, foundation, association, or whatever they call themselves has to keep up the ruse. After telling the lie for so long people now believe it. People forget that Dr. Sigmund Freud returned from a trip to Columbia stating he had founf the cure for alcoholism. The cure wasa cocaine and we all know how that turned out, don't we.

  • Our fight is hard enough
    October 06, 2012 - 15:25

    So let me get this straight! They have a strength program for those between 18-25, a new program is being established for those who get released from jail.So my son is 29 and has never commited a crime.Is that what hes going to have to do now to get help???.As well as having drug issues he was also diagnosed with Bi-polar.For 3 years we struggled to pay for medication that we couldnt afford and until I gave up all dignity and literally sobbed in front of a mental health official did we get some assistance with this.The programs they have are kept so secret that you have to constantly fight with the system for the help that our family so desparately needs.We love our son and have only ever wanted the best for him.Not to say that its not also up to him because we all know that to be true.He just needs those tools and the assistance to get him to where he needs to be, I agree there are alot of wonderful compassionate people who work in addictions as well as mental health.Please just give us the information we so desperately seek and dont make us fight.Our fight is hard enough.

  • DeniseA
    October 06, 2012 - 13:41

    Bless all the children that have lost their way in this defunct society. Protect the week that they not go astray. Wrap them in love so they come back to stay.

  • No faith & fed up
    October 06, 2012 - 13:33

    We won't count on any changes until Ghiz Government is out of power. I traveled the same road as Ms. Barbour trying to seek help for a family member but was running into lots of barriers. The fact is, we don't have staff that are trained enough to offer intensive treatment on the Island. We need an assortment of professionals involved when an addict is being treated. Keeping an addict for 10 days just to detox him/her and sending back out into society just doesn't cut it. The treatment Centre on the Island is just a bandage better still a farce! Unfortuately, the addict has to be a Government employee to be given the privilege of going off Island for Treatment. I have asked for help from our Minister of Health and his office didn't even have the courtesy to return the call when I was advised to call for an appt.. The fact is, our Minister of Health is not interested & doesn't give a damn in improving our Treatment Centre because he is not dealing with a family member that is an addict. Unfortuately, I do not have any confidence in our Health system including our treatment centre. I wasted months chasing something that wasn't going to happen and that was off Island treatment for a family member. Folks, if you want change to happen you need to keep this all in mind on Election day!!! Unfortantely, this is only part of my story......

  • saherbal
    October 06, 2012 - 10:30

    Do NOT let him go on METHADONE. It's just trading 1 addiction for another.Look into Ibogaine. A friend of mine is clean from all drugs because of this.I have a friend that has access to it.

  • Terry
    October 06, 2012 - 10:22

    With all of the problems we have with alcohol and drugs and addiction on the Island what does our government do??? They allow alcohol in convenience stores????? Completely unethical for the sake of a buck. What is wrong with them??? We sit back and complain about our government as our parents did before us and nothing is done.

  • Jacinta
    October 06, 2012 - 10:04

    My heart goes out to you, I have three children or perhaps I should say adults have grown up without this devastating noose. I see and hear about this troubling trend. Young people go to bed feeding their habit and wake up feeding this habit, I know! How and what are we to do, it seems these young adults sometimes have to much time on their hands and this is what they choose to do with their time. When you see a young adult take their own life because of addiction you wonder what is next. Anyway you are not alone, this crosses my mind all the time, as I said having a young adult it is hard not to.

  • XComa
    October 06, 2012 - 09:10

    Treat Addictions... That is pretty straightforward, right up there with common sense... Seems like people would rather hide Drug addicts in Jail and Not Deal with the Problem...

  • mitchell
    October 06, 2012 - 08:50

    hey i agree my name is mitchell and im also fighting with the disease of addiction there needs to be more out there so we can relise life isnt so bad sober and things do get better instead of thinking the drugs will take the pain away and being put into a 7 day detox program is not going to help addicts that lived years of using and didnt think it would turn out this way we think everyday why cant we hit it , but people relize we cant hit it because were not givin a very big chance to do it there is little bits of help with addiction which there should be lots because it is a very big struggle im 21 and have used since i was 15 years old and i am introuble with the law because supporting my addiction also and when walking into hospital and we tell them we have addiction we are looked at as low lifes and pushed out of the hospital but some doctors and its not right we are human beings also and we want to live our lifes but not giving the chance to be able to get on the methadone program with out sometimes waiting up to 5 years i think thats not right some people cant just do the sober thing on there own they need this to help them and crime would go down alot but when you know what you need and your being told that you dont need it just discurages us and makes us want to give up so i am very happy that someone stood up to the plate and is fighting for what is right thank you very much i hope this goes farther because addiction is not fun specially when you find your friends dead or over dosed it happened to me and i wouldnt want it to happen to anyone so the goverment needs to step up and help with these issues by giving more organizations and support to addicts thank you rose

  • Quiet Observer
    October 06, 2012 - 08:46

    I feel for Ms. Barbour as I am suffering through almost the same situation. The addictions program for those addicted to the pills on PEI is far from adequate, regardless of what Kennedy says. The system and training on PEI originated with dealing with alcoholics and is not customized to those with pill addictions. No fault of the peoplle working the program, but the fault of governments (be it Liberal or Tory) who have refused to allocate the resources to this problem (front line workers, beds, program design). A successfull program in addictions would pay for itself by reducing the costs of incarceration at Sleepy Hollow. So many young lives are being wasted and so many people are suffering (not just family of addicts, but also victims of their crimes), yet successive govedrnments have refused to increase resources to the program to match the needs for it. If major changes are not done, expect Sleepy Hollow to remain full of drug addicts who broke the law to support their habits, and expect these inmates to re-offend upon their release because of not support for them when they get out.

  • Madan
    October 06, 2012 - 08:41

    I can imagine how this mom has been suffering from the behavior of her son.This is a serious issue and everybody needs to understand it.Sometime its tough to overcome this kind of suffering alone.We all need to understand it.If i could be a help by anymeans please write to me,,Thanks,,,

  • Marie
    October 06, 2012 - 08:15

    Bravo to you Rose Barbour! It is obvious that the current treatment programs are inadequate ( at best) . I hope your son is able to get the help he needs .

  • Enough is enough
    October 06, 2012 - 08:06

    Such a wonderful mother to go public.... Most parents are behind closed doors trying to plea & beg for help and actually end up feeding into their loved ones addiction as the back lash from the loved one is unbearable... I have no idea why the courts do NOT listen to the parents/loved ones of the person going to court....it's a shame!! These people need extensive help...they don't need us paying for more Methadone programs from the tax payers pockets...they need to get off the bloody drugs, and instead our money should be put into rehabilitation centers staffed with doctors and nurses so these people can have adequate care and with drawl then send them to counselling. They need "OFF" the drugs.....not given more!! And in the long run who is paying for Methadone??? Not the drug seekers!!!! We are.....the tax payers! Who work for a living, not steal, beg or borrow! In the long run which is more beneficial?? A methadone drug treatment can last for a lifetime....or a stent at a drug rehabilitation center to come clean for a few months??? Get our children of Prince Edward Island off the drugs..... and by the way, doesn't it all start with marijuana? The oh so called innocent drug!!!

    • A new beginning
      October 06, 2012 - 19:53

      Im sorry but its people like you that get to me. Methadone is not a drug that is abused and the nurses or doctors know what they are talking about whenever they prescribe it to the people that really need it. ""and in the long run who is paying for Methadone"? The people who are getting their treatment (prescribed it), or the "Drug Seekers", As you so ignorantly called us, are the actually the ones paying for it. It is not something that is free every morning, so maybe get your facts straight, before running your mouth about something you obviously know about.

  • youngislander
    October 06, 2012 - 07:57

    Wishing you all the strength in the world, Ms. Barbour. We often forget how hard it is for not only the addict, but the family of the addict as well. You are right to want to try to dispel the stigma, and to push for the proper treatment programs.

  • Retired Police Officer
    October 06, 2012 - 07:53

    We have heard similar stories of addictions and the need for an Island Treatment Centre for a long time, each year this subject comes into public domain, we have more addicts, more crimes and more people dieing. What makes me very upset , is this is all falling to the deaf ears of our Government , MLA'S and others in the position to do something positive. This government has wasted millions of dollars and continues on their journey with very little regard for anyone. They could have built and paid for an Island Treatment facility three times over, so stop making excuses and get this done. Unless we as a Province makes this a priority and DO IT, than examples as we read about here will continue, addicts will die, families will be broken, crimes will raise with more victims. Now is the time to stop making excuses and get this done. I feel for Rose Barbour's family and hope her son gets the treatment he needs, we are dealing with an addict, not the person he really is, but until he receives the proper treatment he needs, this is a losing journey, this young man could be like alot of other recovered addicts, now living a productive life . Time for the ones in Government, Enforcement, Addictions, Mental Heath and others to step up and demand out own treatment facility. Time for action.

  • Bill Kays
    Bill Kays
    October 06, 2012 - 07:45

    The Bible says you will know them by their fruits. This government simply does not care about the common trials and sufferings of the common person. Instead of plan B they should have had "Plan another treatment center" . The money would have been much better spent. I have been around all aspects of drug use, drug addiction, drug rehabs, in patient , out patient, this program, that program, and recovery and believe me, this province is woefully lacking in their approach to combating drug and alcohol addiction and abuse. Mount Herbert is a joke. The provinces attempt at trying to care for these addicted persons is a joke. This story makes it sound like marijuana is and was a gateway drug. I disagree. The gateway drug for most of these people are the very pharmaceutical drugs that your MD is prescribing to your child. Get your kids off of these psychotropic drugs, these anti depressants, these attention deficit disorder drugs, etc. Can you seriously tell me that a 10 year old is "suffering from depression" ? Give me a break, they prescribe these pills because of incentives to prescribe them for secondary uses, etc. By the way,. studies show that decriminalizing drugs would lead to a reduction in people getting addicted to drugs but that would cut into pharmaceutical companies profit so that will never happen because of their lobbyists and our MDS are no longer the saviors they would have you believe. It's time to pull the MDs down off the pedestals we have put them on. Only an alopathic doctor (an MD) would treat drug addiction with another addictive drug. Where is their common sense?

  • Confused
    October 06, 2012 - 07:40

    I am a little confused here with this article . “It was the happiest day of our lives when our son told us recently that he wanted to go to treatment,’’ said Barbour. “It took years for him to get to this point. Crime, unfortunately, got in the way. While waiting for approval to attend the treatment centre, John confessed to shoplifting because, his mom says, he wanted to start a new life without anything from his past coming back to haunt him. I can't understand this ? Crime got in the way . Did John not choose ??? I realize that drugs are a very large problem in raising children today & feel very sorry for the parent's that have to contend with it . It is heart breaking to watch a young person ruin their own life along with their family being unjustly punished because of the child's choices . I wish I knew the correct answer . Just maybe tough love & not accepting their child's actions without punishment in early life may help . Too many children today have very little respect for the law or elders & just run uncontrolled . (where are the parents's) ???????? This is the direct responsibility of the parents .

    • Parents huh?
      October 06, 2012 - 16:52

      Did you drink as a teenager (or do anything else risky that you were told not to do)? Did your parents tell you not to or did they encourage you to? My guess is that they warned you not to drink. Are they bad parents who were not there because you drank before it was legal for you to do so? Absolutely not! The fact is that kids have a lot of access to highly addictive pills today. Some are choosing these pills over alcohol. I know it is hard to imagine that a teenager doesn't get the long-term consequences of these decisions! I am being sarcastic, of course! Those that do try the pills get hooked faster than the teenager who tries alcohol. Alcoholism takes a lot longer to develop. Teenagers DO NOT think that they will get addicted and they are very curious so they try them. Before they know it, they are physically dependent and need help to quit. I, for one, want addicts to get treatment so that there will be fewer victims.

  • Not a disease
    October 06, 2012 - 07:20

    Alcoholism and drug addiction are not diseases. Cancer is a disease! Alcoholism and drug addictions are about bad choices. If you have cancer you can't wake up some day and say I'm tired of being sick, I'm going to get better. I realize that drug addiction is a very strong chemical dependancy that is hard to break away from much like smoking and other addictive behaviors but calling it a disease is doing a disservice to people who really have a disease and that had no choice in their illness. People have to start to accept some responsibility for their own actions. We know that drugs are addictive just like we know smoking causes cancer as well as a whole host of other illnesses. When you choose to light up, whether its a cigarette or a joint, you know there is a risk of addiction and all the other illnesses that go along with it. The government can not constantly be expected to bail everyone out after they make bad choices. They need to start accepting responsibility for their choices or live with the harsh consequences such as jail time or whatever. I realize addiction is heartbreaking for the loved ones of the addicted person. I lost a brother as a result of his addiction but I watched him make bad choice after bad choice and although we tried, we discovered that we were unable to help him until he wanted to help himself.

  • Worthless article
    October 06, 2012 - 05:58

    It's not a disease, it's a weakness. This article Should be removed

    • How is this worthless
      October 06, 2012 - 21:38

      Looks like you have never studied addiction. Addiction It is proven to be a disease and how is this article worthless, it shows how addiction is affecting people these days and how there is not great treatment for it around here

    • Worthless Comment
      October 06, 2012 - 21:41

      You are the same person who posted in the Journal Pioneer where another mother shared her story. Your comment was pretty much the same. You are not very compassionate. I think it is rather sad.

    • Worthless article
      October 07, 2012 - 17:44

      It has never been proven, it is a theory genius. to worthless comment i think you're reading way into things as iv'e never even been where you speak of.

  • Nor easter
    October 06, 2012 - 01:00

    Well I'm addicted to three coffees a day for years, will all islanders pitch in and make sure i get over my addiction, sorry Its not my fault.

    • No
      October 06, 2012 - 21:55

      No, but I would gladly pay for you to take a course on the biggest health/social problem on PEI right now - ADDICTION - so you can understand the difference between a caffeine addiction and an opiate addiction! Of course, if your coffee habit leads to a decline in your health and well-being, and that of my fellow Islanders who suffer from your actions then, yes, I will gladly pay to help you my friend.