Photo Credit: Davood Madadpoor

A father wrote to me: Addiction touches many of us. My oldest son was headed down that path. We feel very blessed to have discovered the problem early and much to his chagrin put him in treatment for eighteen months. Pretty hard on the family, but everyone seems to have benefitted in some way. He is now a productive member of society with a wife and child and very committed to his church.

My reflection: Does early intervention stop addiction? There is a body of research that indicates that a fast response is critical and, although it might not stop the addiction, it can bring up the bottom and possibly curtail the devastating effects of the disease.

Today’s Promise to consider: If I had the early years of my son’s 14-year addiction to do over again, I would have taken my head out of the sand, educated myself more thoroughly, talked openly with him and our family, and put him into a long-term rehab program as soon as possible. Jeff’s addiction was like a fire that was left unattended for too long and, before we acknowledged it, the entire forest was ablaze. With all the deaths happening today from drug overdoses, every minute is critical.


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I put my son in rehab at 15 years old. He was pretty much in and out of rehabs for the next 5 years. He is now 25 and the last 2-3 years have been much better and he occasionally has some pot and drinks beer. He’s not totally out of the woods yet but at least he knows a lot and we are getting along much better. He still can’t keep a job down for more than 6 months but is self sufficient. I think its a miracle how far he has come. Im not sure if I recommend… Read more »
John whitford
Hi Libby and your followers… The stories and messages that are shared here are often heart rending and sometimes inspirational. I’m blessed that my sons avoided drug use (with the exception of tobacco for the oldest). My youngest is raising two children, 7 year old son and infant daughter and he shared his concern with his mother about how to keep his kids from drugs. There is no magic bullet to keep kids from drugs but having them in positive activities via church, scouts and similar groups is a good start. Having positive friends with good values is very important.… Read more »
Susan Muck
Unfortunately, our son refused to be compliant at 13 when he was smoking pot every day. Our Canadian system will not allow families to intervene. Privacy laws kill people. Our son is dead, he died two years ago at the age of 25. He died from an overdose of alcohol which he was addicted to after combining it with prescribed ativan and street hydromorphone. Alcohol addiction is just as deadly bye the way as any other drugs and needs also to be taken seriously. The government needs to stop promoting alcohol so they can make money from the taxation on… Read more »

You were fortunate to have the financial resources to provide 18 months of rehab and that your son was willing to cooperate. Sometimes catching it at the onset can work but only if the addict or potential addict recognizes the problem and is willing to work at it.

Pat Nichols
Education and working with a alcohol/drug counselor are the two critical steps for parents. We have to pour out all of our perceived knowledge and replace it with the true knowledge of addiction. Unfortunately, due to denial, that will not likely happen for a very long time in the majority of cases. There’s no blame or shame as that is simply the nature of the disease of addiction, it is a family disease for sure. It’s an individual process and our own recovery begins just like our addicted children and that is when “We get sick and tired of being… Read more »
Mindy Bartholomae
We were well aware of our son’s trajectory early and we took what steps we could at the time. This is not to say we weren’t in the dark at times as far as how deep he was in his addiction. But denial is a powerful force. And he is a very willful person. He refused rehab early on, when we could have possibly thwarted his pathway to where he is now, 15 years later, still not in recovery. I think I am being honest with myself, but I really don’t have much guilt as far as what we did… Read more »

How do you convince a 21 yr old he has a problem and needs to go away for atleast a year? I can’t make him go and he won’t go on his own!