Our beloved Dr. MacAfee wrote, This is the simple fact: substance drives the addict. Families grow ever more dysfunctional and stressed as they try in vain to cope with the disease’s devastating impact, but most often they move into deeper levels of confusion and denial. While underestimating the severity of addiction, they are shocked and outraged and overreact believing that, somehow, they should have known from the start.

My reflection: It took me years to learn this truth: substance drives the addict. I, too, was shocked and outraged, and totally incredulous that I lived in denial for so long. How was it possible?

Today’s Promise to consider: Our loved ones, who are addicted to drugs and alcohol, chase their next fix. Their obsession has nothing to do with us, but it is about their love affair with the drug. It took me years to realize that my son didn’t want to hurt me or our family. He knew he was destroying himself, but he couldn’t stop, until the pain became overwhelming and he made the decision to change his life.


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PennylibbycataldiPat Nichols Recent comment authors
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Pat Nichols

This post reminds me of the classic story of “The Frog in Boiling Water” (see below). I’m sure that all parents who have lived through this addiction journey can relate to that frog. I was told by a alcohol/drug counselor that my denial was necessary. He felt that if my denial was broken too soon, before I was ready to accept the truth, that it might create even more devastating results. Looking back I now have to agree with him. Of course, if you stay in denial it will also create long term devastating results. This is the truth of… Read more »


Insidious is the best word I’ve come up with to describe addiction. The definition for insidious is “proceeding in a gradual, subtle way, but with harmful effects”. The fall into the pit of addiction is a very gradual and subtle fall, and one no person initially means to happen to them. However, it is a fall that wreaks havoc on every life touched by the addict. Thank God the fall often (but not often enough) leads to hitting bottom which leads to recovery.