It’s been two days since I’ve spoken to Ben. He won’t answer the phone or his mobile. He won’t answer my Skype calls. I’ve asked a friend to contact him. Most of the time, he won’t answer her calls either.
Meanwhile, I have been searching for detox centres. One of them quoted a fee of 4000 pounds for two weeks. None of us has that kind of money to throw around. Given that Ben used up all the public funding he had from our borough on his day rehab programme (the day programme he failed from day 1 because he was drinking on the sly), it is very unlikely that he will access another detox through the NHS. So, we have to go private.
I think most families of addicts end up here. Having exhausted all avenues through the NHS, they have little choice but to go private. It is not something I believe in, in principle, because, as Danny Boyle’s Olympic tour-de-force so movingly showed, the NHS is a great British initiative founded on the most basic principle: that everyone is entitled to quality healthcare, whatever their financial means.
But here we are. The NHS has helped us, yes. Ben has been detoxed twice already and received a generous funding package for him to go into a rehab day programme. But the fact remains that he was given the wrong care, because the NHS blindly follows guidelines motivated by budgetary concerns. Because he hadn’t received care in the community the funding panel, in their infinite wisdom, chose to send Ben to a day programme rather than a residential one. Everyone, including Ben’s own care manager, knew this was the wrong choice. In the end, it was a waste of public money.
So, here we are. There is no guarantee that going private won’t be a waste of private money, but what other choice do we have?
How do I feel about all this? In refusing to answer my calls, in provoking and sustaining my anxiety, Ben has done the unforgivable. Yes, I will sort out his detox. Yes, I will ensure he gets from there to rehab (well, my friend will). I may even try to sort out an exit plan for him, once rehab is over. That exit will probably entail him going back to Australia. Because I don’t want him back in my home.
- Long distance anxiety (marriedtoalcoholic.wordpress.com)