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Tara Ariano

S14.E02: Mike & Lauren

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A family man's unhappy life takes a dark turn after he turns to alcohol to cope with the tragic deaths of two siblings; a woman who was forced to care for her father at a young age becomes a drug addict.

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Just gotta say, whether it's right or wrong, when there are two addicts crammed into one episode, I assume that they are too boring to get their own. This isn't always true though: i.e. Salina (ziplocs of vomit in the closet), Michael the rageaholic, Jessie (stripping for cake).  I guess I just want there to be more episodes of this show! 

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Mike's wife was in denial - not surprised to see she let him come home. Would like to know what the sons thought. I think the episode was rushed with two addicts.

Edited by mythoughtis
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I still cannot get behind the Skype chat follow-ups. I want the Five Steps song, I want a walk along the beach camera shot, I want a debriefing interview with the therapist. I want to see looks of surprise on the family members' faces when they're reunited after 90 days. I want to see the BSOJ. And I want it to be black, not white. Donna looked so creepy through the Skype screen, like she was Photoshopped.

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I was surprised that Lauren and Chad did well, but since their relationship was largely based on finding dope and getting high, they might find that having a relationship while sober more work and less partying.  I would expect these two to relapse.

 

Mike's wife made threats of leaving him which were empty.  She must enjoy having a heroin addict role model for her kids.

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I hope that Lauren and Chad can make it together or apart. 

 

Mike, what a mess.  His wife is so selfish to sacrifice  her sons and home for him.  It seems at least his sister in law got help out of his intervention.  I would rather hear her story than his.  

Edited by auntieminem
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Lauren and Chad's son (Weston?) is really going to have to be careful to avoid addictions. Double whammy on that poor kid. I am glad Lauren is doing well.

Mike had already been an alcoholic his entire adult life before switching to heroin, so I had no doubt his wife would take him back, Dillon is 20, right? He can leave, and he SHOULD leave. Also, how was Mike even able to afford $1800 a month in heroin? Was he even working?

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I really wish they would show or at least talk about the detox process. What is involved? Are there different types? It seems like they just let Mike suffer through it. I have heard about a detox where they sedate you the whole time and when you wake up you are clean - very expensive I've heard, but worth it if it works. 

 

I also wish they talked about whether or not the families have tried treatment before. It seemed like they never had with Mike and he didn't like his habit anyway.

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You'd think that after years of watching the show, I'd understand this more, but...I wish they would explain the amount of drugs the addicts use in a different way. "So-and-so uses up to a gram of cocaine a day." Is that a lot? Like, when it's an alcoholic, I get it - "so-and-so drinks up to two liters a day" makes sense to me. I need something like, "A gram of cocaine is equivalent to sticking your face in a bag of coke and inhaling for ten seconds."

There's a special place in Hell for people like Mike's parents.

I like Donna - she's not as warm as Candy, but she's tougher than Ken.

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The wife said that part of his routine in the morning before going to work is goung into the bathroom to get high. They never said where he worked.

 

Wherever he worked, he might be getting shown the door today.  I can't imagine employers wanting to knowingly keep a druggie on the payroll.

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I really wish they would show or at least talk about the detox process. What is involved? Are there different types? It seems like they just let Mike suffer through it. I have heard about a detox where they sedate you the whole time and when you wake up you are clean - very expensive I've heard, but worth it if it works.

I also wish they talked about whether or not the families have tried treatment before. It seemed like they never had with Mike and he didn't like his habit anyway.

I can share a little of my opiate detox story, PityFree:

My biggest hurdle in getting off opiates was the withdrawal period. Unless you've experienced w/d yourself, you'll never understand exactly how horrible it is. You literally want to die it's so bad. So once I decided to go to rehab, I wanted to be sure to go to one that offered a medical detox. I had been shooting up huge amounts of Oxycodone and Dilaudid for several years and had tried to detox myself at home and just couldn't do it. The rehab I went to used Subutex and other drugs for detox. I did my last shot right before I left home because it was a two hour drive to the rehab. After intake I went to the medical unit and slept for a few hours. When I woke up I was starting to feel kind of bad. The nurses had told me not to start the Subutex until I was in full w/d, because if you take it too soon, it will throw you into full-on withdrawal x100. Well, manipulator that I am, I talked them into giving me the Sub before I was in full w/d. OMG! Within 30 minutes I was puking, pooping, shaking, hurting, etc. They gave me a shot of Phenergan, and I thankfully went to sleep for awhile. When I woke up, I was feeling like death still. They gave me some more Sub along with some Phenobarbital, because my drug test showed that I also had Xanax in my system (I forgot to tell them about that). For the next 7 days (I think, it was all kind of a blur) I stayed in medical, taking Sub and Phenobarbital, and sleeping. I still felt really, really sick even with the detox drugs. I couldn't eat anything but a few crackers and sipped water or Sprite. They kept trying to get me up to participate in groups but I was just too weak. When I finally was able to go to groups I would mostly sleep thru them. It wasn't until day 10 that I was finally able to eat a little bit of a meal. I really felt for Mike last night when he was sitting at rehab with his head in his hands, talking about how bad he felt. I could totally relate. I would go to the smoking area to try to smoke a cigarette and would start feeling so bad that someone would have to take me back to medical. I think I smoked 3 cigarettes in about 10 days! Well, that was a short version of my detox. I think opiate detox is about the same for everyone except there are a few rehabs that don't offer medical detox; I don't know why anyone would go there though. I actually felt so bad even WITH the detox drugs that I wanted to leave rehab several times and go find some REAL drugs. The only reason I didn't was because my family refused to come get me, thank God, and the rehab was out in the middle of nowhere. If you have anymore questions, I'll be glad to answer them!

Edited by farmgal4
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I was really impressed with Mike's sons. The wife, not so much. She loves playing the martyr a little too much. And yes, the boys should leave. But I'm sure they would see it as abandoning their mother.

 

Lauren was just sad. Again I was impressed by her family. My heart broke for her son.

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Lauren's daughter was beautiful. Lauren reminded me of someone but I can't put my finger on who.

 

Mike's wife did seem to enjoy the drama a little too much. The boys should let her deal with that on her own - maybe then she'll get the message.

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I kind of don't mind two addicts in one ep because it means less gratuitous needle shots. I get that heroin addicts shoot up; I don't need to see the scabby vein stabbing every.single.time. 

 

BTW, how do panhandling heroin junkies get iPhones?

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Shallow me - Mike's son Dimitri is HOT! How can such a douche have a seemingly sweet and adorable son. Even long hair band son was sweet. Even if they're half my age :)

The longer-haired one's hair needed washing, in my opinion, but I liked both brothers as people.

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I felt bad for Mike during his detox but he should know it wasn't going to be easy. however it did piss me off that he said they were trying to make him suffer and not help him.

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I felt bad for Mike during his detox but he should know it wasn't going to be easy. however it did piss me off that he said they were trying to make him suffer and not help him.

Mike was exhibiting typical addict behavior, the Poor Poor Pitiful Me Syndrome. I was very disappointed that he didn't have the wherewithal to complete treatment. IMO his wife should not have allowed him to come back home. She needs a big dose of Alanon.

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Mike was exhibiting typical addict behavior, the Poor Poor Pitiful Me Syndrome. I was very disappointed that he didn't have the wherewithal to complete treatment. IMO his wife should not have allowed him to come back home. She needs a big dose of Alanon.

Very true and i'm sure he's not the only one to act like that.  Which makes me think - have we seen anyone else during the detox process before?

I suppose maybe it's best to not interrupt them with the distraction of a camera crew, but why did we get to see Mike's?

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Very true and i'm sure he's not the only one to act like that.  Which makes me think - have we seen anyone else during the detox process before?

I suppose maybe it's best to not interrupt them with the distraction of a camera crew, but why did we get to see Mike's?

No, I don't remember ever seeing them tape during detox. Not sure why they did that with Mike. I really don't like the new Skyping thing they do at the end. I'd rather it go back to the way it used to be. I have a hard time with change. Lol!

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I have been watching this show forever. I don't think I ever commented before. There are some things I like about the new format. I like the new BSOJ. I think it is snazzy. I am not sure about the Skyping. It looks weird but I do like having the interventionist talk with the (former)addict at the end. I think it works better then the old format.

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The detox part was the most interesting, to me.  I'm sure Mike did feel like total crap, but he got through thirteen days before he bolted for home.  Wouldn't that have been the worst part?  Seems like he (and his wife) wasted a pretty good start on his sobriety.

 

But I would have been pissed, too, with all the talk from the rehab administrator about "discomfort."  I just watched another show where one doc referred to discomfort, and another doc said,  "No, it's not going to be discomfort--it's going to hurt like hell."

 

 

It's really time for doctors to stop shining us on with the "discomfort" euphemism.  (I also want my gyno to stop introducing the woodchipper of pain as "You're going to feel a pinch.")

Edited by candall
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Mike seems to be a guy hiding from a lifetime of emotional pain. Detox deals with the physical withdrawal but to my understanding rehab helps you deal what caused you to use in the first place. I don't think Mike wants to deal with it especially when he has a wife who will take him back with open arms.

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They showed Mike 12 hours after arriving at the rehab.  Isn't that still before the real physical pain of detox kicks in?  He didn't appear to be in severe pain yet, more just anxious, irritable, nervous, etc.  He was sitting up in a courtyard, able to talk coherently, carry on a conversation and express clearly his complaints.  And, that is what they appeared to be to me:complaints.  I have no doubt that later he had  the physical pain - that they probably treated as the poster above described - but he hadn't gotten that far - he didn't even exhibit the symptoms he had earlier in the show when he had missed his fix.

 

I think the reason they showed us that part that is they wanted to foreshadow the fact that he left 13 days into the treatment.  He didn't want to kick his habit, he liked his habit,  he liked not confronting his painful past,  didn't yet have the emotional fortitude to deal with rehab and staying clean.

 

I also have come to the conclusion that his wife considers him the head of the family, and that she is under his control, and what he says goes..... in addition to the denial.  She had that meek attitude about her.   

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I have heard about a detox where they sedate you the whole time and when you wake up you are clean - very expensive I've heard, but worth it if it works.

Sometimes, they will treat the addict with medicines that counteract the withdrawal symptoms until they are past any danger point. This is critical with alcoholics that can have seizures with long term impacts. They often get very high doses of valium or a benzo to protect their bodies through withdrawal.

Sometimes, they will use medicines to remove the drugs from an addict, stopping the craving cycle. This approach can work for opiates or benzos. Its rapid detox. However, the compulsion and behaviors are not addressed. The addict wakes up feeling sober, excessively sober, and often over confident about their ability to use drugs. They really can quit at any time using a chemical detox, so they get more aggressive while using. There's different schools of thought about the usefulness of chemical detox.

Its very hard to treat a biologically driven behavior problem. We are wired to follow our cravings, that's how we've survived.

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The detox part was the most interesting, to me.  I'm sure Mike did feel like total crap, but he got through thirteen days before he bolted for home.  Wouldn't that have been the worst part?  Seems like he (and his wife) wasted a pretty good start on his sobriety.

 

But I would have been pissed, too, with all the talk from the rehab administrator about "discomfort."  I just watched another show where one doc referred to discomfort, and another doc said,  "No, it's not going to be discomfort--it's going to hurt like hell."

 

 

It's really time for doctors to stop shining us on with the "discomfort" euphemism.  (I also want my gyno to stop introducing the woodchipper of pain as "You're going to feel a pinch.")

Agree, candall! When I had to have a cervical biopsy, the doc said it would be just a little uncomfortable. Ha! Uncomfortable my ass! I could barely drive home because of the pain. Liar!
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Mike seems to be a guy hiding from a lifetime of emotional pain. Detox deals with the physical withdrawal but to my understanding rehab helps you deal what caused you to use in the first place. I don't think Mike wants to deal with it especially when he has a wife who will take him back with open arms.

I have a really hard time believing that Mike is clean and here's why:

Opiate addiction is hard as hell to kick. Even after the initial detox there's something called PAWS (Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome) that you have to go thru for up to 18 months after you quit using. I won't go into what PAWS entails here, but you can Google it if you're interested. I'm here to tell you that PAWS is no piece of cake. I not only had PAWS for over a year, but I also had major opiate cravings during that time, as well. When I say cravings I mean that I wanted to shoot up opiates from the minute I woke up until I was finally able to go to sleep at night, all day every day. Looking back, I really don't know how I stayed clean during that period. Praying constantly, going to at least one NA/AA meeting a day and the memory of how awful detox was is the only thing that kept me from using again. I went to rehab in 2000 for cocaine addiction and kicking coke was a piece of cake compared to kicking opiates. I'm really, really skeptical of Mike's claim of being clean.

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Lauren's daughter was beautiful. Lauren reminded me of someone but I can't put my finger on who.

 

Mike's wife did seem to enjoy the drama a little too much. The boys should let her deal with that on her own - maybe then she'll get the message.

Jackie Warner? Of the reality show "Working Out"?

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 I'm really, really skeptical of Mike's claim of being clean.

 

I don't even think the producers believed he was clean just based on how they worded it.  I think it was something like "Mike's wife and son claim that he has been sober since leaving treatment"  Not the definite "Mike has been clean since ____" that we get in the successful stories. 

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 Even after the initial detox there's something called PAWS (Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome) that you have to go thru for up to 18 months after you quit using. I won't go into what PAWS entails here, but you can Google it if you're interested.

I think I'm more informed than the average bear about drugs, but I'd never heard of PAWS, so I was interested and I did Google.  Holy shit.  The sites I looked at said to count on TWO years after physical sobriety when you can just get clobbered with massive withdrawal symptoms at any time--no triggers, no warning, no way to avoid it.  "It's going to happen, so don't overbook yourself."

 

Massive respect for you, fg4, because I don't really see how anyone guts out a thing like that.

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I think I'm more informed than the average bear about drugs, but I'd never heard of PAWS, so I was interested and I did Google.  Holy shit.  The sites I looked at said to count on TWO years after physical sobriety when you can just get clobbered with massive withdrawal symptoms at any time--no triggers, no warning, no way to avoid it.  "It's going to happen, so don't overbook yourself."

 

Massive respect for you, fg4, because I don't really see how anyone guts out a thing like that.

Thank you, candall.
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farmgal4, my cowboy hat is off to you. Well done! And thanks for the background info.

 

I can spot those whiny, dramatic, attention-seeking spousal enablers a mile away. Knew Mike's wife would cave in a heartbeat. Wonder what Mike's profession and income is. Or was, now that he's outed.

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I think Mike's detox that was shown was more of his manipulation and acting that his son talked about.  That guy spent his life on one drug or another and manipulating people (who allowed him to get away with it); he was never going to get clean, he had no reason to.  His wife's mother's face said it all at the pre-intervention when the wife said that she was going to get tough.  She didn't believe it either!

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Lauren's daughter was beautiful. Lauren reminded me of someone but I can't put my finger on who.

I didn't think this till the end--with her dark hair she was a dead ringer for Debi Mazar.

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Mike, what a mess.  His wife is so selfish to sacrifice her sons and home for him.

That was a classic example of why/how both spouses are sick in a relationship like that. What happened to sending the enabler to the Betty Ford family program? She needed it big time. Raising two sons around an alcoholic for 22 years...heroin's illegal, but it's probably not even as dangerous to the family as a drunk. So many drunks are violent. I really have to wonder whether Mike's wife has been getting beaten all this time. She looked so lost and helpless.

Edited by IvySpice
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I think Mike's detox that was shown was more of his manipulation and acting that his son talked about.  That guy spent his life on one drug or another and manipulating people (who allowed him to get away with it); he was never going to get clean, he had no reason to.  His wife's mother's face said it all at the pre-intervention when the wife said that she was going to get tough.  She didn't believe it either!

Yeah, and did you see the side-eye the wife got from the woman sitting beside her when she said that? Who was that woman anyway? I missed seeing her during the episode and then had no idea who she was during the intervention. Was she Mike's mom? Sister?

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I think that was the wife's mom.  I think that's what the caption said, anyway.  She was an interesting looking character!

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Farmgal4 said: I have a really hard time believing that Mike is clean and here's why:
Opiate addiction is hard as hell to kick. Even after the initial detox there's something called PAWS (Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome) that you have to go thru for up to 18 months after you quit using. I won't go into what PAWS entails here, but you can Google it if you're interested. I'm here to tell you that PAWS is no piece of cake. I not only had PAWS for over a year, but I also had major opiate cravings during that time, as well. When I say cravings I mean that I wanted to shoot up opiates from the minute I woke up until I was finally able to go to sleep at night, all day every day. Looking back, I really don't know how I stayed clean during that period. Praying constantly, going to at least one NA/AA meeting a day and the memory of how awful detox was is the only thing that kept me from using again. I went to rehab in 2000 for cocaine addiction and kicking coke was a piece of cake compared to kicking opiates. I'm really, really skeptical of Mike's claim of being clean.

 

 

I have to agree. I have been there. 


Farmgal4 said: I have a really hard time believing that Mike is clean and here's why:
Opiate addiction is hard as hell to kick. Even after the initial detox there's something called PAWS (Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome) that you have to go thru for up to 18 months after you quit using. I won't go into what PAWS entails here, but you can Google it if you're interested. I'm here to tell you that PAWS is no piece of cake. I not only had PAWS for over a year, but I also had major opiate cravings during that time, as well. When I say cravings I mean that I wanted to shoot up opiates from the minute I woke up until I was finally able to go to sleep at night, all day every day. Looking back, I really don't know how I stayed clean during that period. Praying constantly, going to at least one NA/AA meeting a day and the memory of how awful detox was is the only thing that kept me from using again. I went to rehab in 2000 for cocaine addiction and kicking coke was a piece of cake compared to kicking opiates. I'm really, really skeptical of Mike's claim of being clean.

 

 

I have to agree. I have been there. 

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On 3/29/2015 at 12:33 AM, SeenYouWitKieffah said:

Just gotta say, whether it's right or wrong, when there are two addicts crammed into one episode, I assume that they are too boring to get their own. This isn't always true though: i.e. Salina (ziplocs of vomit in the closet), Michael the rageaholic, Jessie (stripping for cake).  I guess I just want there to be more episodes of this show! 

 

Another reason for sticking 2 people per episode (which really isn't the norm) is because the addict has a say in how long you are following them.  If they are in a pissy mood, you might not get them to film longer than what they expect.

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On 3/30/2015 at 9:45 AM, PityFree said:

I really wish they would show or at least talk about the detox process. What is involved? Are there different types? It seems like they just let Mike suffer through it. I have heard about a detox where they sedate you the whole time and when you wake up you are clean - very expensive I've heard, but worth it if it works. 

 

I also wish they talked about whether or not the families have tried treatment before. It seemed like they never had with Mike and he didn't like his habit anyway.

Yes, they can give you a sedative after you've exhausted all the previous medications that are given to you to help you detox.  It's not a magic pill where you close your eyes and wake up drug free.  A sedative is the last resort given (which it barely helps a little better than some others) because sedatives are very quick in turning to another addiction for you which is obviously not wny you came here.....to get addicted to something else.

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