Personal Stories

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

On July 9, 2021, we lost our oldest child, Rory, to an opioid overdose. He was 29 years old. Summarizing the last 20 years of Rory’s struggle with ADHD, mental health and substance use feels daunting. I remember the day he was born being overwhelmed by the need to keep him safe. It is heartbreaking when you realize that you aren’t always able to protect your children.
I’ll never forget the day my father told me he struggled with drug addiction. I was in the second grade.
When a parent finally realizes that their child’s drug use isn’t “just a phase,” they begin the terrifying journey to finding some kind of remedy. It would be helpful if that journey weren’t marked by wrong information, stigmatizing opinions, predatory service providers and an uneducated medical community.
A decade ago, at the beginning of the opioid epidemic, my son, Corey, died of a heroin overdose at age 23. I knew so little about opioid addiction when Corey struggled. I didn’t know anyone with a child who had died, let alone from an overdose.
My younger brother, Marc, passed away from a heroin overdose. He was only 29 years old. Marc struggled with substance use disorder for many years and it all began back in November 2010.
I really wanted this opportunity to help guide people to a reliable resource for addiction information and support. It's something I wish I'd had and something I have seen friends and family struggle to find.
Through the parent coach program, I had learned how to care for me and how to live life again. Missing that call didn’t change anything, and it certainly didn’t make it any less devastating.
Partners for Hope Marathon team member Jason Brown shares his recovery journey, which has included lots of running. Writes Jason, "Today, for Dominick, I see it as my responsibility to keep him away from the path that I took those years ago, and with this responsibility comes the need for honesty and communication."
Partners for Hope Marathon Team member McCord Henry write, "Running is my time to process. It’s my time to think and get my aggression out on the pavement. It confirms that I am free from addiction and able to put good out into the world."
Partners for Hope Marathon Team member Lauren DiGaimo shares her family's story of loss, and the way it has inspired her own vocal advocacy in support of other families facing the challenges of addiction.
How do we help a loved one who is struggling with substance use?
I attribute the gift of starting my recovery journey almost entirely to my family.
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.
I am but one of tens of millions of incredible recovery stories. Let’s find yours.
When I saw Neil for the first time after he had left for rehab, I immediately knew my brother was coming back to us.
We do not “consent” to the pain and misery, the shame and fear, the despair of addiction.
Substance use disorder is a family disease. I know how losing a brother can cause an irreversible ripple effect on the family.
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.
Our daughter’s addiction, and newly found recovery, added to the family tension during the holidays. Here's how we learned to cope.
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 practice insurance coverage law and was not clear on my rights for substance use disorder insurance coverage when trying to help my son.
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.
The typical college environment is not conducive to a life in recovery — until Timothy discovered his school’s collegiate recovery program.
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.
When you lose a child, your life changes forever. There will always be an emptiness, and a missing piece at the family gatherings.
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