Educational LinksWhere to start? Educating yourself about alcohol and drug problems is an important first step.
* The naabt.org and drugfree.org links above also contain online family support groups.
Addiction Recovery Support Groups
Support Groups Specific to the Heber Area
As Dustin's mother I feel like I need to express my love and gratitude to everyone who is visiting this website. Thank you for sharing your memories.
I am so blessed to be Dustin's mom. The first thing he would say when he came into the house was "mom". He was my baby and yes, I did spoil him. He was a very easy person to please and was grateful for everything that anyone did for him. He treated me and others with respect.
As a parent you never want to believe that anything so tragic could happen to such an awesome person. At first I was in denial. But finally I realized that Dustin's problem could not be ignored. As parents we think we can fix everything and protect our children.If anyone reading this has an addiction problem, please recognize and admit that you have a problem. Go to your family - they love you. Through counseling and support groups you will gain the power to overcome your problem.
A note to parents, please don't be in denial. Addicts have a way to disquise their problem. You even start to believe they are all right. By ignoring the problem you enable them to continue their behavior problem. Believe me, the problem will not go away on its own. There is help out there for your loved ones. Protecting them and praying that the problem will go away will only enable the problem to continue and get worse. Don't belittle them, just listen. Let your loved one know they are loved, they need the support. I hope and pray you never receive the devastating phone call I received on May 19th.
My prayers are with you. Billie Sue Morris
These thoughts are very difficult to write. I do this in an effort to be open and honest, and hopefully to help someone. These thoughts come from my own experiences with my brother Dustin, and I realize that other people may have very different experiences with their loved ones.
First I would ask that everyone could have an open heart and mind when it comes to the judgments that we make about people who suffer from addictions. These judgments are usually very harsh. I can understand this. Addictions cause great pain, in fact the worst pain I and my family could ever imagine. But, I strongly feel that we cannot understand what addicts have gone through to reach that point in their lives. I feel that we cannot understand how much their mind, body, and spirit struggle. We can never know what an addict goes through every second of every day to try and stay clean. I have never had an addiction, and so I don't understand it. But, watching my brother Dustin struggle with his, I can tell you without a doubt that he suffered so much from the consequences of the addiction, he definitely did not need anyone to beat him down emotionally. He was trying as hard as he could. And what he needed was a lot of helping hands and hearts. People who would look at him and treat him as the wonderful person that he still was despite his problems. He needed to know that we still believed in him. I am not talking about any enabling behaviors. I am not talking about bailing him out of money issues or anything of that nature. There is a difference between being supportive and being enabling. I am talking about "loving the sinner and hating the sin". Being a friend no matter what. Just as Dustin was to everyone he ever met.
I had a moment in Dustin's room two days after he died when I felt like maybe just maybe, I had a glimpse of what he felt like, as an addict. I was reading in one of his notebooks. He had listed 6 or 7 goals for that day and next to all but one of these, he had written "failed". This was repeated page after page, "failed, failed, failed." I can't explain the crushing, overwhelming despair I felt when I read this - to feel such huge failure suffocating you. It absolutely broke my heart. I would do anything to take that pain away from him. The comfort is knowing that he is at peace now and does not suffer anymore. He was not a failure. He did so much for so many people and gave genuine love to everyone.
One of the counselors at the outpatient rehab that Dustin attended told me that 60 to 70% of their patients are not people who were taking drugs recreationally. Instead, they are people who had some kind of surgery or injury and were put on a pain killer by their doctor during their recovery. Unfortunately many of these people become addicted. The drugs that are being prescribed are highly addictive and dangerous. Doctors need to be much more careful about this and accountable to their patients in the long run. There is no follow up with the patient, no "exit plan" to help them get off of the pain killer. Most of these people probably do not realize what is even happening to them. I share this with you to raise awareness. Do not assume that all addicts intended to do drugs. And I'm sure that all addicts if given the chance to go back and change things would do it in a heartbeat.
Dustin's addiction was obviously very hard on our family. However, he was always very loving with all of us. He never got mean, he never stole from any of us. He still came to most of the family parties, birthdays, baseball games and vacations. Our children loved him immensely. He was a great Uncle. He never fit the typical drug addict role that I hear about. There was sometimes some tension and nervousness between us. This absolutely broke my heart. I just wanted him to be with us, no huge problems looming in the background. I really wanted the problem to magically go away. It didn't seem possible that my brother, my strong awesome little brother, could have this big of a problem. He was such a good kid and had a great testimony, and had so much going for him, I just didn't think that this problem could possibly overtake his life. May I say that if it can happen to my big strong brother, it can happen to anyone. Dustin didn't want people to know about his addiction. He hated it, he was ashamed of it. I knew he was trying very hard to stay clean and so I thought I was doing the right thing by respecting his want for privacy. I tried to only discuss it with him privately and I did not tell anyone about it. Be open, be honest, hiding the problem makes it worse.
In putting together the information for this web page I have learned a lot about addictions. I wish I would have learned as much beforehand. I guess it's hard to know what to do. But I believe that knowledge is power. It gives you options, it gives you direction, and it opens doors. And so I would say to anyone reading this, have the courage to face whatever your goliath is in life. Don't live in denial. Seek help, study the problem, study the treatment options, and talk to people who have been through it. Don't be afraid to attend meetings. Don't be afraid of the assumptions that will be made about you, instead be afraid of the valuable information you might miss if you don't attend. Open your mind and heart to the problem and its solution. Realize that addiction is a chronic relapsing disease and your loved one will require professional help. Make sure you choose a professional who specializes in this field, otherwise they can do more harm then good. It may require a number of attempts before your loved one can remain drug-free. Don't despair if your loved ones first try doesn't produce long-lasting results. Even if it's not apparent at the time, each step brings them closer to a healthy life. They can recover. Don't give up hope.
When Dustin died, he had just started re-reading a book for the 4th time. It is called "Facing your Giants" by Max Lucado. The insert reads "David. You read his story and wonder what God saw in him. His life has little to offer the unstained, straight -A saint. He fell as often as he stood, stumbled as often as he conquered. But for those who know the sound of a Goliath, David gives this reminder: Focus on Giants - You Stumble. Focus on God - Your Giants Tumble. If you're ready to face your giants, let his story inspire you. The same God who helped him will help you." This book meant a lot to Dustin and I know that it helped him. Maybe it can be of some help to those reading this also.
I do feel that in some ways I failed my brother. This haunts me everyday. I know that you can't look back. It doesn't help, but its hard not to. I always tried to show him that I loved him no matter what and always would. I do wish that I would have occupied more of his time, found reasons to invite him down to our house more often, and especially on the night that he died, I wish with all of my heart that he would have been bowling with me and my kids, doing anything other then what he was doing. These are very painful thoughts and I have them every day. I pray for all of you who are suffering right now, I pray for all of the families that are suffering. Please help each other. Don't give up, just love them. Find any reason to spend time with them. And just love them.
I love you Dustin, now and always. I am so sorry. Love Love Tiffany
These links are intended to provide you with information that we hope you can use to your advantage. Please know that we do not endorse or recommend any one particular program. If you would like to talk with any of Dustin's family, or have any suggestions for this webpage, you can contact us through the "e-mail Dustin's family" link on this website.