An Open Letter to My Son with a Drug Addiction

What would you say to your son or daughter if you wrote them a letter?

In 2010, Ron Grover wrote an open letter to his son and anyone with a drug or alcohol addiction, that still moves us today. Writing a letter to your son or daughter who is struggling with dependence or addiction can be cathartic for both the parent and child.

It can also allow you to express the caring and emotion you feel that might be harder to communicate in person.

Read Ron’s letter below and ask yourself if letter writing might be a good option for you. Tell us: What you would write to your son or daughter?

Dear Son,

Life is not easy. It’s not easy if you have a drug addiction – or even if you don’t. It’s all about evolution. The strong survive. It’s not just about physical strength; it is more about mental strength. Do you have the will to survive? Do you have the strength to make it one more day?

As a person who has never had a drug or alcohol addiction, I can only speak from that perspective. My insight into your world is only through observation. I do not wish to walk in your shoes, but I can tell you what it is like to walk in mine – if you are serious about recovery.

Every day, I have unfulfilled wants that are not centered on anyone else. It may seem selfish, but I believe that the center of one’s being can only revolve around oneself. I want things, I want different feelings, I want changes in others, I want, I want, I want. It really never ends. I believe that desire is no different for anyone – a person with a drug addiction and those without.

Daily, there are people out there telling you, “No” – bosses, friends, parents, spouses, and significant others – that is just a part of life. Disappointment and hurt is as much a part of living as joy, happiness, and love. Hurt is the same for those with an addiction as it is for those without. The difference is how we react to and cope with our emotions, whether they are good or bad. I don’t know what drugs do for a person with an addiction to help cope with disappointment. I don’t know how drugs heighten the joy of happiness. But I do know that my life would be very monochromatic without the peaks and valleys.

I have no doubt from observing you that you hated every day you used drugs. I can see how your life was out of control, spiraling into a pit of hurt and despair. You became so lost that the helping hands of others could not even be grasped.

I see your struggles with being clean; more pain than joy. It’s a time in your life where the scales are not balanced. You are working so hard to survive but everyone is saying, “no.”  There are so many frustrations. What is the point, you may wonder?

There is one place where no one will say no. There is one life that will accept you. The life of drug use that you have known for the last several years. That is the easy path to take.

But, please know that the immediate pain you feel now will eventually fade.

When my father died, I felt terrible pain and remorse. I wanted to pick up the phone and call him, but I knew I couldn’t. I wanted one last time, for old times’ sake, but I couldn’t. I flashed back to all the good times, but they were not to be any more. I believe that feeling of loss is something similar to what you are experiencing in order to live on. Your old life must die and there is tremendous pain with that death. Each day you will want to use just one more time. Time may heal all wounds but the scars are there forever.

In time, the scales will balance and you will experience more joy than pain. But for now you must travel the difficult path and find the will to survive. You will become stronger each time you choose to steer away from that dangerous and tempting path at the fork in the road. It may be hard to see because the path to recovery is difficult. But please know you are not walking alone – hands of help are reaching out to you with your every step.


119 Responses

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    June 18, 2017 at 10:54 AM

    I can sympathize with your post. May God bless all those who are suffering from drug addiction and be able to reclaim their sobriety… Just sent a good friend of mine to an inpatient rehab program and hope he will turn out fine.

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    March 30, 2017 at 3:26 PM

    Hi Yvette,

    It sounds like your sister is dealing with intimate partner violence and you are right to be concerned. It might help to ask your sister if she is willing to talk to a local domestic violence agency or call the national number at 1-800-799-7233. If she is reluctant to call, it might help if you called and got information on her behalf. Often people in unhealthy relationships are willing to put up with a lot for fear of being alone. This will also have an impact on her son as he witnesses unhealthy behaviors and interactions. I hope you or she

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    March 23, 2017 at 2:58 PM

    I am a sister to an amazingly funny and beautiful woman, she is my younger sister. I feel so helpless I am praying for some guidance from the Lord to help me figure out what to do.

    She is in a relationship that i believe to be completely unhealthy, she has a 13 year old son who is now becoming a man. And is first hand seeing the things his mom is doing and the behavior she has developed. In addition, to that he is, i believe being to resent and hate her. He is already talking about moving out when he is 18, and I don’t blame him. It is not something any child should even have to witness or endure.

    My sister has a”fiancé”, who provides for her if that is what you want to call it. She can’t go anywhere unless its with him or with someone he knows. I feel like there is a form of “slavery” and “human trafficking” going on. She has no idea that I intend on driving from Texas all the way to California to be that hand to reach out and pull her from this life.

    Thoughts of, ” should i intervene?”, do not cross my mind, as that is something that shouldn’t be asked when someone you love is at a point of life or death. we haven’t been around one another if several years. What i am fearful of is the backlash from my actions. What is her “fiancé” capable of? What is he willing to do if my sister left him. Is he willing to harm our family to get her to go back? I don’t know but i can’t just sit here and hope that she sees the problems and decides to leave, and never does because she ends up dead.


    I don’t know what to do…..

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    March 23, 2017 at 10:38 AM

    This just made me cry… I cannot believe that I could connect like that with a strange person from the Internet.
    I am a mother myself and I am browsing the Internet searching for some answers, some guides, some comparison. But doing that I realize that every person is different. I’m just so happy to see that I am not the only one struggling, even tho sometimes I just don’t have any more energy. But posts like this help. Help me pick up the cross one more time, try not to give up, push even harder.
    Please don’t mind me posting this, but I found one FAQ Rehab Questions also help me understand the problem.
    I am proud that I’m in this fight together with my son and we WILL win!

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    November 8, 2016 at 11:43 AM

    I am a recovering alcoholic and drug user. However my Husand is on drugs and I battle with the thoughts of both everyday. I had No help. I am doing this on my own because I am tired of the old Me. I talk to My Husband about it alot and he promises to slow down and stop one day. I Pray for him and all addicts !! It’s not easy…I’ve been there. It take Alot of Willpower to do this on your own.

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