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.


123 Responses

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    October 15, 2017 at 4:07 PM

    Being an old age mentally and physically sick parents of a married alcholic, bipolar son in denial. Now let go by his homestaying wife, kids, brothers, parents, relatives and friends after all efforts for his rehab treatment efforts.
    Now he is alone in his mortgage house drunk un attended, may be without eating for days.
    Family decided to let him touch the rock bottom.
    God knows what is his present condition. Parents received daily call from him but not responding. He leaves voicemails with low pitch dyeing like sounds. It makes parents devastated, sleepless, helpless, powerless and
    Stressed and crying 24/7.
    No support to parents from any side is available so they are like dying in their shells. On other hand wife and kids are also in survival mode and moved away from him.
    He love his kids and known to be dying for them. Don’t know what to do as parent now. Mind is numb and not working. Visiting any supportive group is not possible but on phone possible if available.
    Under present circumstances spending every moment is deadly.
    Kindly advice and help.
    Life is miserable and forgetting is 2nd to impossible.
    Help…. Help…. Help.

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      October 18, 2017 at 12:25 PM

      Hi Momo7,
      I’m so sorry you’re struggling so with your son. You might find help in an online support group such as SMART Recovery Family and Friends. This link is their schedule and you will be able to see the family meetings highlighted in pink:

      Families Anonymous is another option although they use an email list serv as their format.

      It sounds like some self-care would be very important to you as well. This can include reaching out to supportive people, engaging in activities that are uplifting to you, prayer and meditation, etc.
      Hopefully your son will reach out for help for both his bipolar and drinking-related problems. It’s important for you to have the strength to help him when he does which is why your self-care is so essential.

      Wishing you and your son well,

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    July 21, 2017 at 2:16 AM

    Well written. Everyday and night thousands of thoughts come and go in my head. So many things to say or not? that is the question for me. What I feel in my heart only will be carried so much with words. Would the words be perceived as I intend them?
    Would them be understood and reflected upon before actions/reactions or judgments passed?
    Is there possibility of sharing the feelings?
    All I can say walking on these egg-shells is: I love you, that’s why I am here for you.
    Does anyone know or feel LOVE the same as me toward my love one’s?
    Above all these thoughts is the dark cloud of substance dependency and so many profiting off of our beloved.
    So hard to bear the pain of seeing them struggling, yet the only thing keeps me going is the “HOPE”. Yes, I will fight to the end with all I can and any help I can get to Survive and Help our Love ones to make it through. Label me what you like, But I am not going to give up on my daughter and other young ones, ever….

    Love you all.

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    July 6, 2017 at 12:07 PM

    This makes me sad. I pray that all the addicts can recover to their addiction. My friend has previous drug addiction case but he recover now and it feels so great. Hope your son could recover soon.

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