A mother wrote to me: I sat in an Al-Anon meeting last night and three people walked in: an adult male, a young adult female and a two-year-old child. We looked up as they entered and the man said “We are a family.” Just like that. They sat down and we opened our books to Step One.

My response to the above passage: Addiction is a family disease. Some research says that for every one addict, four others are directly affected. Then it spirals out and affects aunts, uncles, grandparents, teachers, coaches and friends. Addiction takes prisoners and wants to destroy our children and our families.

Today’s promise to consider: I understand that addiction is powerful, but we are a family and we can hold hands and stand together for our loved one. With prayer, hope and belief, we will win this battle. We will stay close.



The son of a recovering addict wrote: My mom found her sobriety after she had me. She said that she wanted a better life for herself and for me. She told the story of how she tried to walk out of rehab the first night when a big fella named Norman put his hand on her shoulder and turned her around. I remember thinking because Norman was a giant dude that he was able to keep my mom in rehab and that we were lucky for that.

Norman and my mom remained friends. He would come over to the house for coffee and they would talk. Now that I am older I understand that we were lucky, not for Norman’s size, but that he was able to start a dialogue with mom that kept her in rehab and it was constant throughout her recovery. Mom lived the rest of her life continuing that dialogue with other addicts, getting them into rehab and guiding them through recovery, just as Norman did for her.

My reflection on the passage: Jeff says, “Anything that shuts down dialogue is dangerous.” The young man above and I think this is absolutely correct. Honest communication is critical in recovery and in life. The Big Book says that recovery can be found only in rigorous honesty.

Today’s Promise to Consider: Open and honest dialogue is an essential first step is achieving healthy relationships with others and with ourselves. The young man above wrote, “Dialogue is to an addict’s recovery as fire is to man’s survival. Without it I wouldn’t have had a sober mom.”



The Partnership for Drug Free America launched a campaign dedicated to the 11 million teens and young adults who are struggling with drug and alcohol problems and to the families who struggle alongside them. More than 85 million Americans have been directly impacted by addiction. You Are Not Alone aims to reduce the barriers that stand in the way of families getting their children the effective treatment and recovery support they deserve.

We thank the Partnership for giving us an opportunity to be involved in helping them help others like us.




A father wrote to me. This is part of it: Our son is a methamphetamine addict. Fortunately for our family, my wife and I are still together and my son is doing well halfway into his fourth year of being clean. Mothers are so loving, so strong and so caring.  However, those wonderful qualities, in my opinion, can be enabling when dealing with an addict.

My response to the passage: Mothers might enable more frequently than fathers, but I’m not sure. What I am sure about is that all family members are affected by their child’s addiction. The addiction steals into our home and takes a place among us, destroying our relationships and laughing at our powerlessness. If parents communicate well and work together for the good of their addicted child, everyone benefits.

Today’s Promise: I will listen to my spouse and respect her feelings. I will listen to my child and be present for him. I recognize that we are all in pain and suffering together, but each in his own way.