Tuesday, June 2, 2009


I was struggling yesterday to write an article on the 4th Step principles when I got a call from Denver Central Office about a guy in ICU in a community hospital about 25 miles away.

Jeffry (not his name) was in as a consequence of an OD and thought he might be an Alcoholic as well. I called him and talked to him and his wife. Most of the contacts I had in that town were either busy or out of town so I figured it was only 50 miles out of my way for other errands I needed to run and it was a glorious spring day so, why not?

I arrived and heard a story that was all of the drama we talk about. Turns out, this is the 2nd OD that's put him in the hospital in a year. This time he died - they had to use the paddles to resuscitate him. His exit drug was Oxycotton. I've never done these drugs but had sponsored someone who kicked this crap about a year ago and so I could appreciate the pain and suffering (it was ~65 degrees in his room and he was sweating like a pig) he was going through.

Although drinking was a part of his deal, he was pretty clear that he was an addict. He had plugged into NA as well as made the call to AA.

His wife was there and she was an acknowledged "heavy drinker" - possibly alcoholic.

As a consequence of the drama when he was hauled into the hospital, their 2 children were removed from the family.

They thought this might be a "wake-up" call for them. They had lots of the usual questions: 'What about God/religion?" "How do I start?" "How does it work?" "Where can I go to meetings?" "What's the difference between AA and NA?" "How can I stop drugging/drinking?" "The doctor wants to prescribe some drugs for me - can I do that?" "Can I be both an addict and an alcoholic?" "How can I never drug/drink again?"

I prayed my ass off to be available to being useful. I tried to listen hard. Most of their questions I either set aside or talked of my or others' experiences.

As I said, he was a hurting unit so he was only able to be with me for about 45 minutes. I got his permission to pass their phone number to others in our sponsorship family for follow up. I'll call him again in a few minutes.

Life just doesn't get any better or sweeter.


Steve E. said...

Hopefully (with hope?) it will get better and sweeter...and sooner, for Jeffry.
Peace, and thank you, Ed.

Syd said...

I'm glad that Jeffry made it. Hopefully, it is his wake up call. Glad that you were there.

Scott W said...


I love it they had questions. I hope they do well.