If you’re worried that your child may have a problem with drugs or alcohol, there’s a good chance your suspicions are correct. While there are undoubtedly parents who worry unnecessarily, far more parents are clueless about how much and how often their kids are getting drunk or high.
As parents of addicts, we each have our own “catastrophe” story. Whether we meet in support groups or battle alone, we become “initiated” into a club we never wished to join, as parents of sons and daughters with a potentially deadly, progressive brain disease.
When parents finally “come in off the street” to get help with the serious substance abuse of their addicted child, in many ways we closely resemble our down-and-out addict with our worn, drawn faces, vacant stares, and slumped shoulders.
"I have worried about an extended family member's drinking for many years. This family member is functional but drinks far more than is healthy. This person is also very defensive (in general) and I do not think they would be open to hearing concern from me or anyone else... Should we wait until this person reaches out to us? Do people now ever say to you how worried they were, and you wonder, "well, why the heck didn't you say something?!"
“We’re airlifting your daughter to shock trauma”, said the paramedic on the phone. “Is she going to be OK?” I asked, barely able to speak. “There’s a lot of blood” was the response and the line went dead.
My relationships are the most valuable things in my life. But when our third child, a son, found himself in the throes of active addiction, my dream of an intact, united family flew out the window.
Ours was the family to which this could never happen. When my beloved daughter, Annie, became addicted to alcohol, marijuana, and then ultimately lived on the streets of our community as a meth addict, I realized that if addiction could happen to her, then addiction could happen to absolutely anyone. And it of course does.