Guest Author - Susan Hubenthal
Against my wishes, at age 21 Kelly and a friend moved about 60 miles away. Late one night Kelly called me from a phone booth asking me for help. He said he just used some heroin and he was afraid he was dying. He couldnít tell me what street he was on but thankfully he was able to tell me the phone number. I told him to stay put and I would find help. I first called the Police, they couldnít spare an officer, and I got the same run around at the Fire Department. Ambulance Services needed a credit card number, but I didnít have one. Several hospitals also declined assistance. Finally, about an hour later, I found a hospital that offered to do whatever they could to help. They were able to trace the phone booth, and they sent someone to pick Kelly up and bring him to the E.R. After they evaluated him they put him in detox and called me to say he was O.K., telling me I could visit him after he completed detox and was admitted into the hospital for treatment. I called Kelly to tell him help was on the way, and that I would stay on the line with him until that time. I asked him why he turned to heroin. He began sobbing and told me he had lost his job and didnít want to tell me, so he was selling his blood to the blood bank for money. He said the nurse there loved his big veins and it was she who started him using heroin. The third nail in Kellyís coffin.
I went to visit Kelly in the hospital, I was shocked to see how gray and thin he was, but, he seemed eager to complete rehab and was once again hoping to be free of drugs. While I was there, the office administrator sought me out to tell me Kellyís Insurance Company called and refused to pay for Kellyís treatment, because the hospital wasnít an approved facility. Kelly didnít receive opiate substitute treatment, either. I had to take him home.
I begged Kelly to go to our local Chemical Dependency Unit, he refused, and because he was over 18, I had little or no legal right to have him admitted. So, the merry-go-round began once more. The fourth nail in his coffin.