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Cathy Hull from Treatmenttalk.org shared a link COLLISION COURSE: TEEN ADDICTION EPIDEMIC. This video has been nominated for an Emmy Award and posts, “Teen substance abuse is one of America’s top public health problems and can devastate our youth and their families.” 

My thoughts: This video signifies the growing awareness of substance abuse and calls for a change in education and public policy to recognize the truth of the escalating problem of drug addiction, especially among teens. Although the film is 26-minutes long and many of you won’t have the time to view it in its entirety (or at all), we celebrate the hope for teens to live a life with addiction. 

Today’s Promise to consider: As Dr. MacAfee says, “We need to take addiction out of the shadows and into the light where it can be healed.” This documentary and other efforts are doing just that. Let’s keep this light alive.


Beth and Kenny

A mom wrote to me: My son has 14 months drug free and I am so proud of the strength and courage he has demonstrated in changing his life and managing his disease. I’ve shared my heartache with you before, and I knew you would share in my happiness. 

A couple of weeks ago, I awoke to find the following text message from him. I asked his permission to share it with you. He agreed knowing it can offer hope to other parents. 

U had the biggest part in getting me sober. I’m so sorry for the years of pain I caused u.  to some extent it was the disease but it was me for the most part.  I’m in such a good place in my sobriety.  I finally have some direction in life and it feels good.  Rehab was the toughest thing I’ve ever had to do but it was the best thing I ever did.  there’s no way to change the past but the future looks bright.  I love u so much.  Ur my favorite person and my biggest fan.

My reaction: These are the messages that keep parents staying close. We hold hope that one day our children will find their way to sobriety. We remain humble, knowing it’s one day at a time, but for today, in these moments, we are grateful.

Today’s Promise to consider: Today, I will be my child’s biggest fan. I will celebrate his good qualities and achievements, and let her know how much she is loved.


Jeff and his friend Reneé

A recovering addict wrote to me: In reading the responses of the parents of addicts on your blog, I am truly moved by the love, acceptance and understanding that you have. I was not fortunate enough to have parents that were understanding or willing to stand by me through the depths of my addiction and the struggle that I underwent to find my way alone was almost insurmountable. As a friend of Jeff’s, it makes me very happy to see that he, as well as others of your respective children, have had that support. Don’t ever give up, you have no idea how much we really do need you.

My response: I feel humbled when I read this young woman’s words: Don’t ever give up, you have no idea how much we really do need you. When Jeff was in active addiction, there were many times I wanted to walk away because I was filled with anger, hurt and deep grief. I’m grateful that I learned the concept Stay Close.

Today’s Promise to consider: I will stay close to my loved ones. I know that I can’t ‘fix’ them or change the situations in their lives, but I can stand by them with my emotional support and assure them that I will never quit believing.





A dad wrote to me: I never realized honesty was going to be so painful; however, it’s worth it. 

Honesty, for me, means facing reality.  I, like you, took great pride in being the very best parent I could be. When, drug abuse raised its terrible, ugly and disgusting head, my immediate reaction was to hide, avoid and dismiss the fact that this could happen to our family. I went through phases: First shock, then despair, followed by embarrassment. I asked myself, “How could this happen to my family?” I thought addiction could only happen in dysfunctional families, not mine. My marriage, like yours, ended in divorce and this added to my self-blame. Keep in mind, the whole time I was doing my very best, I still took the blame. Finally, honesty arrived and I began to start living again. Honesty began the process of healing my family.  It was just so painful getting to honesty.

My thought: This dad arrived at a place of healing by embracing honesty and facing reality. Dr. MacAfee says, “When people meet on the common ground of truth, difficult though it is, healing happens.” The Big Book of AA says, “Sobriety can only be found in rigorous honesty.”

Today’s Promise to consider: Facing reality can be excruciating, but I’ll try. It’s the only path that leads to healing. I won’t blame myself or anyone else. Even the ugliest of situations are made better with honesty and faith.





Jeremy asked me (May, 2009): “How will you end the story about Jeff?”

I admitted, “I don’t know, Jer. It’s not my story to end.”

His answer was clear, “But that’s the point. We don’t know what will happen to Jeff, but no one can ever take away our hope. You have to end the story in hope.”

And we did.

My reaction today: Jeremy was wise. In the midst of Jeff’s fight against his addiction, Jeremy, the younger brother, knew that we could never give up hope. He held tightly to this even when my resolve faltered. Jeremy helped me to be strong.

Today’s Promise to consider: Jeff is healthy today and our family is deeply grateful. We are humble as we continue to learn and grow each day. Jeremy taught me that hope is a powerful source of strength.