Personal Stories

Get advice and perspective from families who have also been impacted by substance use or addiction.

When It Comes to Your Child’s Addiction, Leave the Past in the Past

How do we help a loved one who is struggling with substance use?

Finding a Middle Ground: My Parents and Recovery

I attribute the gift of starting my recovery journey almost entirely to my family.

The Grief of an Overdose Death — and How You Can Support Someone Grieving a Substance Use Loss

What happens when some deaths are considered more socially acceptable than others?

“Secrets Will Help Nobody”: My Daughter’s Story of Addiction [VIDEO]

I sat down to tell Casey’s story and talk about what she and so many others go through, and how where there’s breath, there’s hope.

Reflecting On My Addiction and Recovery, Then and Now

I am but one of tens of millions of incredible recovery stories. Let’s find yours.

My Big Brother’s Journey to Overcome His Addiction

When I saw Neil for the first time after he had left for rehab, I immediately knew my brother was coming back to us.

I Hate the Word “Enable”: Getting Blamed & Shamed When You Have a Child With Addiction

We do not “consent” to the pain and misery, the shame and fear, the despair of addiction.

Addiction in the Family: A Sister’s Perspective

Substance use disorder is a family disease. I know how losing a brother can cause an irreversible ripple effect on the family.

How We Manage the Holidays Now That Our Journey Has Led to Recovery

I thought if I loved my son enough, he could recover. It took time to learn that he has a disease and that he needed help to manage it.

Coping with Addiction & Recovery During the Holidays

Our daughter’s addiction, and newly found recovery, added to the family tension during the holidays. Here's how we learned to cope.

What You Shouldn’t Expect When Your Child Is in Recovery

After treatment, the main question is usually, “What now?” As a young person in recovery myself, I might not be able to tell you what to expect — but I feel I can at least tell you what not to expect.

I Was Blindsided By How Insurance Treated My Son’s Substance Use Claim

I practice insurance coverage law and was not clear on my rights for substance use disorder insurance coverage when trying to help my son.

I Got My Son Back: A Mother’s Struggle with Her Son’s Addiction

Our family suffered for years in silence through this horrific journey of my son's heroin addiction, but now we can speak of Ryan’s health problem out loud.

Finding a Home in Collegiate Recovery

The typical college environment is not conducive to a life in recovery — until Timothy discovered his school’s collegiate recovery program.

How I Knew My Daughter Was Using Substances and in a Mental Health Crisis

It was like a light switch — I asked myself, “Where did my daughter go?” I found out it was substance use and mental health issues at the same time.

The Empty Chair at Our Holiday Table

When you lose a child, your life changes forever. There will always be an emptiness, and a missing piece at the family gatherings.

Secrets for Surviving Thanksgiving with an Addicted Son

Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays or anything that was special to our family — our son who was using drugs found a way to bring heartache to the occasion. Here are my tips for dealing with it.

There Is Hope in Recovery from Addiction, and My Son Is Proof

I learned that addiction hijacks the brain's ability to make rational decisions — and that I didn't cause it, can't cure it and can't control it.

My Son Did Not Die in Vain: A Story of Addiction & Saving Lives

The detective said to me, “If we had a 911 Good Samaritan law or a Narcan law, your son might very well be alive.”

Refusing Prescription Opioids in Recovery

When your child is in recovery, they may need a medical or dental procedure where the standard pain treatment is opioids. Here's how to deal with it.

I Addressed My Own Drinking and It Was the Key to My Son’s Recovery

I am working on my own recovery, so I am properly able to support his.

7 Truths About My Son’s Addiction That Took 5 Years To Learn

We have come to accept these truths. Today it's much easier to deal with the heartache. We have become more effective at helping our son with his addiction.

My Son Is Caught in the Cycle of Patient Brokering

My son is a drug addict caught up in the vicious cycle of detox, treatment and relapsing perpetuated by the scheme of patient brokering. He's still in it.

Can You Grieve Someone While They’re Still Alive?

There is no other word but grief when your child is lost in the haze of drug addiction. But your child is still there. There are paths to hope.
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