TM_061 (2)A mother wrote to me: I am the mother of a heroin addict. I wake up sick to my stomach with fear for my whole family. The impact is great and it’s tearing us apart. My son is 20 and has been into drugs since age 14 – in residential treatment for nine months at 17. He has been clean for six months and living with grandparents out of state, but wants desperately to come home, be with his friends and go back to college. My husband won’t hear of it and neither will one of his brothers. It is so hard to be the mother. I would tear out my heart and give it to him if it were to heal him and this family.

My reflection: Addiction takes prisoners. First it takes our child, and then it guns down the entire family. Parents argue, a mother’s heart breaks, a father is compelled to protect his family and siblings are angry and confused.

Today’s Promise to consider: When addiction took over my family, chaos reigned. I was drowning. In the process, I learned to educate myself and to reach out my hand to family groups like Al-Anon. I needed support for me before I could help my family and my addicted loved one. Today, I refuse to lose myself in the addiction.


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8 years ago

I discovered, when helping my addicted daughter, that dads at Alanon and men who were our friends were very tough on me and on my daughter. Reading this mother’s story really hurt my stomach and brought back the pain. A dad at an Alanon meeting told me I shouldn’t be supportive to my daughter because I was “enabling” her. Her probation officer said I was wrong to take my daughter to the doctor when she had a kidney infection. Your story “Stay Close” was such a wonderful resource when I began to question myself and wonder if should just cut my daughter out of my life. I’m so glad I didn’t do that. Both of my daughters tell me I was brave to hang in there and continue to tell my daughter I loved her.

The current conversations in the political world are refreshing. They are putting more focus on how to save lives and looking at drug addiction as an illness. I hope this conversation will help the dads in the world to see there is nothing wrong with being there for a child that is struggling with the worst pain a person can have.

pat nichols
8 years ago

Our children get in too big of hurry and want to rush as quickly as possible back to what they perceive as a ‘normal’ life. This mentality is dangerous! In my personal opinion this 20 yr. old should want to stay where he got clean. He should establish his recovery home right where he is and bond with others in recovery. The other problem for him is the majority of his family is not in recovery so coming home would jeopardize his recovery. Family members who refuse to educate themselves on the disease, who refuse to join a support group and work the steps with a sponsor are the most dangerous people the recovering addict can be around. They continue to wallow in their own anger and resentment. They will live forever in their own denial of the truth and therefore will never be supportive of their family member. How sad!

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