A blog for parents concerned about their teens alcohol and drug use

Archive for September, 2010
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Thursday, September 30th, 2010

I wrote in my journal: So how do I feel? Like a failure of a mother. Everyone in the field of drug addiction says, “Don’t blame yourself. You didn’t cause it, you can’t cure it; you didn’t make him a drug addict.” But look deeply into a mother’s eyes and tell her that her child is dying and it’s not her fault. Is it possible for a mother to do nothing to stop the pain, to alter its course?  Sure, it makes sense if the child is not your flesh and blood.

My Reflection: I felt I had failed my son. He was a drug addict and I couldn’t stop it. Mothers protect their children, right? I wanted to blame the addiction on anyone, even myself, but certainly not my first-born son.

In time, I learned that trying to assign blame didn’t help anyone: not me, not my son, not my family. I learned to have faith in the Al-Anon saying: “You didn’t cause it, you can’t cure it, but you can contribute to it.” Wherever the addiction came from, I had to acknowledge it, accept it, and move forward in prayer and action. Feeling like a failure did no one any good.

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Posted by Libby Cataldi  /  Filed under Addiction, Dealing with an Addicted Child, Recovery & Relapse  /  Comments: more

Moving Away From Enabling
Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

The best thing you can do for yourself or any addict you care about is to not enable their drug addiction. Parents can fail in this regard when they are unable to accept a family member’s addiction as a serious problem. With the best of intentions, parents can unknowingly support their teen’s drug use by enabling. As sad as it is for parents to see this; it is equally an enigma to an addict as they find that their mental condition progressively responds only to their cravings. It’s important to do everything you can to stop feeding the lifeline to addiction – it can really save lives.

Too often, young addicts steal — and as a result many parents enable by not holding the young addict accountable for their actions. Often times the thought of jail, shame and the fear of loss paralyzes a family. Those who live with a drug addict and have endured many violations understand a level of madness that can’t be explained. It is a sobering thought to find that jail isn’t more dangerous than life on the streets for a young addict.  A parent’s instinct is to protect their child at all costs, but drug addiction doesn’t rationalize what a second or third chance means. This disease has a course of its own — unless interrupted by an intervention. For many diseases, intervention comes in the form of medicine and care. Cancer doesn’t ask permission to be brutal, neither does addiction.

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Posted by Bill Ford  /  Filed under Addiction, Co-Occurring Disorders, Dealing with an Addicted Child, Enabling, Recovery & Relapse  /  Comments: more

The Scarlet Letter Revisited
Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

As a teenager I read  Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel, The Scarlet Letter. For those of that haven’t read it, the book chronicles the trials and tribulations of Hester Pyrnne, a young woman living in a New England Puritan community during the 18th century.  Hawthorne describes a scene where Hester, who has been accused of adultery, is led from the prison carrying her infant daughter borne of her affair.  A scarlet rag, shaped in the letter “A”, is noticeable against the breast of her gown.  It is the symbol of her sin of adultery — her badge of shame.

This story came flooding back into my mind when my husband, Ed, and I were at a neighborhood barbeque. At the time, our son Alex was in an inpatient rehab program.  One of our neighbors, I’ll call him Joe, cornered me to ask how Alex was doing.  I didn’t know Joe well, but my general impression was that he was a gossiper.  I had heard from another neighbor that Joe was looking for juicy details about Alex’s drug use and his incident with the police.

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Posted by Pat Aussem  /  Filed under Addiction, Heroin, Substance Abuse, Taking Care of Yourself  /  Comments: more

Drug Use, Memory and the Brain’s Reward System
Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

The New York Times published a great piece earlier this week titled Lasting Pleasures, Robbed by Drug Abuse by Dr. Richard Friedman, MD.  The article sheds some light into the powerful and long-lasting effects of drugs on memory and the brain’s pleasure centers. It’s definitely worth reading! 

Here is an excerpt from the article:

Of all the things that people do, few are as puzzling to psychiatrists as compulsive drug use.

Sure, all drugs of abuse feel good — at least initially. But for most people, the euphoria doesn’t last. A patient of mine is all too typical.

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Posted by Community Manager Olivia  /  Filed under Addiction, Cocaine, Recovery & Relapse, Substance Abuse, Treatment  /  Comments: more


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