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.


122 Responses

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    August 12, 2016 at 2:21 PM

    I am a widowed, single, mom of 2 children. We are the 3 musketeers and I’m all they have have had and vise versa.. But 1st severe depression hit me, then suicidal attempts and thoughts, now drugs (all in a 8 month span) I was scared that my children would find me hurt or even dead, so I reached out to everyone I could and nobody took it serious, I guess they thought that I’d snap out if it as I usually did and be fine. As a last attempt for help I contacted DHR, told them about this depression and how Its gotten so bad that I no I am going to die, they agreed to put my children in a safety plan. Until I could figure out what’s wrong and see a Dr. That’s been 3 months ago, I have done alot, but yet have I kicked thus depression and in the process I’ve relapsed with my drinking and pills to try and numb it all. I need help, I lost my insurance when my husband died.. So I need a rehab that is inpatient and will either scholarship me in or agree to take small payments from me monthly to pay for their help. I am scared to be alone with myself. But I want and need help. I don’t ever want to put my children through this ever again.

    Lost and Broken

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    Caring Family Memmber

    March 9, 2016 at 10:07 AM

    HI, some advice would be great. I have a family member who has been on pills over the last several years and its only gotten worse as time has gone by. Now the addiction has gone to Heroin. He has been to rehab several times and does not stay and Finnish it and checks himself out and clams he is better. Over these last few years his wife and kids and tried to help hum in any way possible and nothing worked. She removed herself and the children from his life style and now at this point in time is nothing but stealing and lies. He claims he is clean except a pill here or there however we know differently. Its hard to watch him destroy his life and and lives around him as we have to watch and he is one day closer to death every day. Is has always been a great father and took up time with his kids and now he wants to sign his rights away and have nothing to do with them. Is there any advice you could give?

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    February 15, 2016 at 3:33 AM


    I have been living with my partner for 7 months and have been together for almost a year. He used to drink a beer daily when we first met. But I have faith that he will quit it someday. But its not getting better. When he drinks he loses control and usually gets angry. I do not know what to do. I need an advice.

    Here’s short story what happened to him:

    He’s 27 years old. He had everything: wife, son, good work, fame, money, house, friends… Unfortunately, his ex-wife had an affair with his former friend so he had to divorce. He started to drink in order to forget the pain he was going through for almost a year and half. Now he is addicted to beer and drinks 5-8 beers a day. And when he is drunk he talks about his past life, why he hates women, how much he misses his child, worst words, phrases etc.

    But i know him that he loves me dearly. He’s all fine and gentle when he is sober. It feels like I’m living with two different person…. Please give me an advice what should I do? should I leave or stay?

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    February 12, 2016 at 9:03 AM

    Not drugs here. But I am an alcoholic downing about half a bottle of grain vodka a day. Can not express in words the damage this addiction has done to my work and life & human relations.

    I’ve graduated from an Ivy League School and got a job in a a Fortune 10 co. Earned accolades at work and reached enviable position in society. But on one fateful day I met a new guy – ‘Vodka’ and from then on, things went downhill.

    Several times in the past I managed to stay sober for few months. Then something triggers and the old habit kicks in. This has been my story for the last 10 years. 7 years ago I quit my job ( as it was interfering with my habit).

    Out of desperation, last week I had quit ( bruit force) without any aid. I am clean for 5 days now. During these 5 days , I suffered two episodes of GTCS, hospitalized for 24 hours , was on drips and oxygen. But this time, I am determined to drive alcohol permanently out of my life that ruined 7 years of my life and career.

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    February 4, 2016 at 4:27 PM

    I too am dealing with a situation back in September I moved with the love of my and we got married that November 2014. She was super amazing treated me like I have never been treated but over almost the last 2 years I see her buying pain pills taking Tylenol like it’s Candy and a free months ago she stated smoking that spice crap. I love her dearly but knowing what we do fit our profession I can’t keep going down this road. I lived with my ex spouse for 15 years with a crack addiction and promised myself I would never allow it again, but here I am at the cross roads again. Life is very different from when I first married her, we have become complete strangers. How do I address this matter. I deserve to be happy? Desperately seeking answersv or advice.

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