As a little girl, Mom and Dad promised I could be anything I wanted — police officer, teacher, journalist — and that no matter what, my life would be a good one if I followed my heart. Hard work, dedication, honest effort and the Golden Rule were required but, according to my folks, a small […]
My son stopped using over two years ago. For seven years he was addicted to drugs and, by the end, was a heroin addict. Today he is drug free and working to put his life back together. These are just some realizations that seem to help me.
As a parent in recovery, I look at my children’s faces every day and I wonder and worry. I wonder, with everything I know and everything I’ve learned, will I be able to save them from the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse? I wonder about the “gene” and the fact that I know there […]
What kind of training has the staff had regarding adolescent addiction?
When my son was in a sober high school, the principal was a kind and knowledgeable educator, but he did not have a background in adolescent addiction and was easily manipulated into thinking the kids would voluntarily admit if they or fellow students were using. That didn’t happen. Like teenagers everywhere, not to mention teenage addicts, the kids lied about their own use and covered up for their friends. Staff needs to be educated and trained in adolescent addiction.
Then we snap out of our dream and see our child addicted to a drug and wonder if the future is even possible. We mourn the loss of our dream. We experience suffering for our child because in our life and wisdom we know the hardship of life even without being saddled with addiction. We cry, become depressed and grieve this fading picture. Never really giving up the hope that all of the past will go away and we all get a “do over”.
Certain parenting books help us feel less alone and provide hope that our child’s drug use can get better. They provide a treasure chest of advice, information and comfort through the ups and downs of raising a teen with a substance abuse problem.
If you’re a parent of a child struggling with drugs or alcohol, here are 11 noteworthy books that might help you take care of yourself during this difficult time.
It starts with letting go of the idea of having a “normal” life. Truthfully, it’s a far cry from the storybook life we all fantasized about once upon a time. Being a parent of an addict is about being more than you ever dreamed you could be. And most days it feel like you’re at war.
That’s the trap. It is important to notice behavior in a teen and consider in-home testing to determine if a positive result should lead to intervention. If the result is oxy’s, heroin, meth, or anything like that, then, YES! Accept it and map out some solutions. And in the process, don’t forget to take care of yourself.
I want to share something very personal with you; my own daughter’s relapse. I doubt if I would be the complete clinician if I did not walk in some of your shoes, share the same trials and tribulations, victories and successes. So, I’m hopeful that you won’t be offended if I share my recent heartache and despair with you.
My Reflection: I felt I had failed my son. He was a drug addict and I couldn’t stop it. Mothers protect their children, right? I wanted to blame the addiction on anyone, even myself, but certainly not my first-born son.
In that moment, I felt like I was wearing my own scarlet letter – that the “A” for addiction was emblazoned on my forehead and would be my mark to bear for as long as I lived. I was embarrassed and ashamed about our situation, not knowing how to begin to respond…
As a mom, I never really understood that I could never understand the pain of the addict, of my son. I was so immersed in my own pain and the trauma of our family that I couldn’t see the other side, what my son must have been feeling.