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When Your Child Is Addicted To Drugs

My son died of an opioid overdose in 2016 after battling addiction for 15 years or so.  I’m certainly not alone.  During the previous year, 70,000 victims lost their lives to opioids. 

But opioids aren’t the only powerful substances that can wreck havoc.  Crystal meth, cocaine, alcohol, even marijuana also have the ability to destroy relationships between parents and children. 

I empathize with any parent dealing with children who have the disease of addiction.  I remember my son confessing to me during a time of sobriety that when you’re abusing drugs, “the only thing you care about is “getting high.”  Your son could be sober for a year and then relapse again. The odds of relapse are nearly 40%.

We fear for our children.  The drugs are getting stronger.  Imported fentanyl is ten times stronger than heroin.  Carfentanil, an elephant tranquilizer, is one hundred times stronger than fentanyl.  Even marijuana, being considered for legal recreational use, can be laced with PCP, “angel dust.”  The drugs rule the roost and can make a parent seem ineffectual.

It is easy for a parent to become addicted to his child’s addiction, to be “co-dependent.”  How many times did my emotions mirror my son’s helplessness or his temporary respite of sobriety?  Sound familiar?

… When the family is stuck in the same old patterns and isn’t gaining any ground, when the blaming and resentment get in the way of steering the child into therapy,  I’ve been there. 

While the child has to own his own recovery, when should a parent lean in and when should she withdraw?  It’s hard to know.  How do YOU move forward when your previous attempts haven’t worked or you’re too drained to make the initial effort?

In the hopes of helping baffled parents, such as I was, who want to mentor their children, I will post links to recovery organizations, write about different recovery options, and mime the research of addiction professionals.   

Anger: Behind the Disappointment and Frustration

Caught In The Middle: Kids of Addicted Families

Sesame St. Tackles Addiction

Stigma and Shame Prevent Treatment of Substance Abusers

Addiction now defined as brain disorder, not behavior issue

Shame: We’ve All Experienced It!

Shame: We’ve all Experienced It!”

Review of Victoria’s Voice (2019), published posthumously by Momosa Publishing and parents David and Jackie Siegel

Things That Treatment Facilities Don’t Want To Tell You – But You Want To Know

Treatment Transparency 12 Questions to Ask when Seeking Treatment

When The Opioid Crisis Hits Home

CRAFT: One Support System for Parents & Loved Ones of Substance Abusers

When your child is addicted, what you need to know

Treating Opioid Addiction With Meds: A Closer Look

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