A dad told me his story: When my son was a junior in high school, I got a phone call from the police that he was in the hospital. When my wife and I arrived, he was out of it, but he told me that he had taken pills given to him by two local guys. I went looking for them to figure out what type of pills my son had taken. They were seniors and, when I found them, they were totally disrespectful so I called a policeman to check their car where he found drugs. The parents of the kids were furious with me for getting their kids in trouble, but I figured maybe I had saved their lives. After that, my son was on a tight leash. He had to call me when he got to work, when he was leaving work, and when he went out anywhere. I also had him drug tested randomly for the next year. We addressed the problem with love and honesty, and he knew he had to earn our trust back.
My reflection: Jeff got into trouble with the police during his high school years, but my husband and I were quick to believe Jeff’s lies. He swore that he was the innocent bystander and had done nothing wrong. Even though the facts were clear, we wanted to believe him. Our denial paved the way to bigger problems.
Today’s Promise to consider: With early drug use, we must act fast, and act decisively. Our children need boundaries, and they need to understand clearly what they can and cannot do. Sure, our kids will make mistakes, but we must explain without hesitation our concerns, and set concrete limits on their behavior while under our roofs. Once addictive patterns take hold, it’s often too late and we have little control.3955
I agree with everything that was stated in the Blog. However, the reality is that once the disease has been triggered there is no stopping it. It has to run it’s course! Each one of our children who suffers from a substance abuse disorder will travel their own journey in the own time but we know that recovery is possible. That’s why there is support for us in programs like Families Anonymous and Al-Anon. Parent support programs allow us to share our emotions with like minded people. We find strength, understanding and hope so that we are in the best position to help our child in the most appropriate ways.
Dear Pat, ….and I agree with everything you write. Dr. MacAfee used to say the same thing — that once the disease was triggered, it had to run its course. He did say, however, that appropriate intervention, education, support, treatment could possibly short-circuit the addiction. I join you in prayer for all those still suffering. Thanks for sharing your wisdom.