Uncle Jeff and niece Iysa

Uncle Jeff and niece Iysa

A mother wrote to me: I am the mother of a heroin addict. He is 18 years old and living at home. We have been through a lot over the last two years, but I’m afraid that we are just at the beginning of his addiction. He has been in and out of rehab centers because we’ve forced him to go. He believes he can overcome his addiction on his own; he won’t go to AA or get any help. I fear the future. I am worn down, both emotionally and physically. 

My reflection: Can an addict get clean without help? After my son’s second recovery center, he said, “If you’re not working against addiction, it returns. It’s inevitable. The time in treatment was helpful, but it was too early for me. The consequences of my use had been minimal and I was convinced that I could control my using. I refused to accept that drugs had become bigger than I was.”

Today’s Promise: Sobriety is a choice that only our loved one can make. Addiction professionals and the Big Book of AA say that sobriety is best achieved by diligently working a program of recovery. I will encourage my loved one to get help. I pray he fights for his own sake, and ours.

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Pat Nichols
7 years ago

I am still of the opinion that our addicted children do not have a “choice.” It is the disease of addiction that is making the choices. However, at some point in this addictive process the disease eventually wears itself out and allows the child the only option left….which is recovery. The child doesn’t get to choose recovery, it is simply the only option left. As the recovery process matures (over time) the child’s mind begins to heal and at some point the child does begin to have the power to make his/her own choices. We, as parents, siblings, family and friends play an important role in the recovery journey. We “Stay Close” and love the child, forgive the child, welcome the child back into the family and support recovery. This is a life time process. Everyone needs to be an advocate for recovery!

7 years ago

It is interesting what you say Pat. It was not until my daughter found out she was pregnant that she finally felt the only option was recovery. She and her partner discussed their options over and over again but they wanted a new life, they wanted to live and their daughter has given them the will to live. I commend them on their recovery and drive to be better parents for their daughter but I also fear what may be.
When I look back now I realize that in the past she was never truly ready for recovery. Why now, I don’t know but I hope as you say Pat that some healing has begun and she continues to make the right choices.

I will continue to stand by her with love, support her in healthy ways because I believe this is key to a successful recovery.


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