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Mar10
2014

What I Learned Through My Son’s Addiction

By Dean Dauphinais

A few months ago, I uttered these words to the headmaster of my younger son’s school: “My older son’s addiction has made me a better person.”

It was the first time I’d ever said that to anyone, including myself. It just came out.

And you know what? It’s true.

First of all, let me be crystal clear: As I’ve told people many times before, being the parent of an addict who also suffers from depression is something I wouldn’t wish on anyone. That scenario isn’t one that crosses your mind when you have a child. When you see that new human being you’ve created for the first time, you envision nothing but wonderful things for their future.

My hopes and dreams for my older son were, I imagine, the same ones almost every parent has for their child. That list included academic excellence, graduating from high school, going off to college, etc. Not on that list? Severe depression, a suicide attempt, dropping out of high school, and, ultimately, addiction.

My son was diagnosed with severe depression and an anxiety disorder at age 15. A few months later, while being weaned off an anti-depressant that wasn’t working for him, he took an overdose of that medication and aspirin. Luckily, my wife discovered what had happened in time for us to get our son to the hospital for treatment.

Depression was a huge struggle for my son. There were stays in psychiatric hospitals and many self-injury incidents. Therapy and prescribed drugs didn’t help him, so he turned to self-medication. The marijuana, prescription meds (not his), and heroin he used were all attempts on his part to feel “normal.” What started out as casual drug use eventually spiraled out of control a couple years later.

When I first learned that addiction had overtaken my depressed child, it was a nightmare for me. I thought it was a curse. Why? Because I used to be one of those people who believed the stigma that is so frequently associated with addiction and mental illness. I thought kids who attempted suicide and became heroin addicts couldn’t possibly come from a decent, suburban family. I thought a heroin addict wasn’t a worthy member of society.

Boy, was I wrong. And I got educated in a hurry.

I will never say that my son’s depression and addiction were a “blessing.” That would be a ridiculous statement. Certainly, I would rather we lived a more “normal” life, with memories of my son’s high school and college graduations locked away in my mind, instead of memories of psychiatric hospitals, deception, stealing, heroin withdrawal, rehab stays, and the like. That said, my son’s issues have turned out to be, to this point, anything but a curse.

Being the parent of a child with two different brain diseases has made me a more cognizant, sympathetic, empathetic, forgiving, caring, understanding, grateful person. It’s taught me to appreciate the little things in life and made me more aware that I should live in the moment instead of worrying about yesterday or tomorrow. It’s also taught me volumes about unconditional love.

This might sound kind of twisted to some people, but going through what I’ve gone through with my son has made the current me much kinder and gentler than the old me. Not only am I more willing to help people, I want to help people. I want people who are going through experiences similar to mine and my son’s to know that things can work out. There is no guarantee, of course. But there is hope. And you should never give up.

I have also become passionate about working to help break the stigma associated with addiction and depression. I blog about it. I post on Facebook about it. I tweet about it. I talk to people about it. The world needs to know: Addiction and depression are diseases that can happen to anyone.

People I know frequently tell me they can’t imagine how my wife, my son, and I made it through all the things we’ve been through over the last several years. Well, if you would’ve told me eight years ago what was in store for me and my family, I probably would’ve said “Uncle” and told you I wouldn’t be able to handle it.

But as I look back today, I was able to handle it. So was my wife. We were able to handle it together, as a team. And I believe we are better people because of it. I also believe our relationships with each other and with both our children are stronger as a result. It took a while, for sure, but never giving up on our son—or on each other—has paid off.

My wife and I may have a few more gray hairs and be poorer financially because of our son’s mental health issues. But we are emotionally richer because of them. And that’s not such a bad thing.

Postscript: As I write this, my son has been clean and sober for more than 20 months, and his depression is under control. He has his GED, a job, and a girlfriend he adores. Best of all, he laughs and smiles and enjoys life every day.

Leave a Reply

Comments (88)

  1. DOROTHY LAZICH

    DEAN IS A SHINING STAR … A WONDERFUL EXAMPLE … A LESSON(S) HE IS TEACHING FOR ALL OF US TO LEARN … GOD BLESS HIM

    Reply  |  
    1. Dean D.

      Thank you for the kind words. Just trying to share my experiences to help others and offer hope.

      Reply  |  
  2. Anonymous

    Bravo. For being there for your son and being open to growing. Too many people judge and don’t understand.

    Reply  |  
    1. Dean D.

      Addicts aren’t bad people. They are sick people who need to get well. Not all people realize that. But if you are a parent of an addict, it becomes apparent very quickly.

      Reply  |  
      1. rhonda

        We are in early days yet, have just had to let go, so maybe he will ask for help.Very hard, but we have had to do tough love.Maybe one day he will come back to us.

        Reply  |  
  3. carrie

    For a split second I thought I wrote this about my own child…That was beautiful and well said…Thank you

    Reply  |  
    1. Dean D.

      Thanks, Carrie! I hope you and your son continue on your paths of recovery. Recovery for parents is just as important as it is for the addict.

      Reply  |  
      1. Leslie

        I am the mother of an addict my heart breaks everyday that my son doesnt get help. I appreciate your message and i do understand it. I am so happy to hear your son is clean I hope someday I will be able to share that kind of news.

        Reply  |  
        1. sofia

          My son is using a drug i dont know what it is he has lost so much weight . Im desperate dont know what to do

          Reply  |  
  4. Maria Lawson

    Thank you for posting this. I feel the same way. I was that exact person just like you before our sons addiction. Now I am a different person. There are so many people in the world hurting. They need help. Now I want to help them. There is hope. Rescue is possible!

    Reply  |  
    1. Dean D.

      Maria… Let’s keep spreading hope and breaking down the stigmas associated with addiction and depression. And, most importantly, helping people who need it.

      Reply  |  
  5. Barb

    Tomorrow will mark the one year anniversary of my son’s heroin overdose, which, by the grace of God he survived. He has had a couple stumbles along the way this past year, but is now 8 months clean and sober. Our story is so very similar to yours, thank you for sharing and bringing awareness to this mental Heath issue.

    Reply  |  
    1. Dean D.

      Barb… There’s a great new book out called “Beyond Addiction: How Science and Kindness Help People Change.” I love this passage from it:

      “If we treat a stumble as a catastrophe or a sign that a person was not really serious about change, it’s not likely that she will keep trying. If we encourage her to learn from the experience and problem-solve how to do it differently next time, she will more likely try again.”

      Please keep that in mind going forward. I wish nothing but the best for you and your son.

      Reply  |  
  6. Annalisa Jackson

    That your son has come so far is testament to the pair of you. Thank you for sharing

    Reply  |  
    1. Dean D.

      Annalisa… Thank you for reading. And for the kind words. It’s all about unconditional love.

      Reply  |  
  7. Daniel Clark

    As a “son” with the same issues, thank you for sharing this. You make a difference.

    Reply  |  
    1. Dean D.

      Thanks, Daniel. I decided years ago to take a negative that was dealt to me and my family and reframe it into a positive. I am passionate about making a difference.

      Reply  |  
  8. Anonymous

    I could of wrote this about my 22 year old daughter.NEVER GIVE UP!!

    Reply  |  
    1. Dean D.

      Amen. Never give up. Change and sobriety are possible. Nobody WANTS to be an addict. Their brains are just wired differently.

      Reply  |  
  9. Laura

    You must never give up.These kids need help.

    Reply  |  
    1. Dean D.

      Laura… In addition to not giving up, we need to break the stigma associated with addiction so that young people aren’t afraid or ashamed to seek help.

      Reply  |  
  10. Anonymous

    I could of wrote this about my 22 year old daughter.NEVER GIVE UP!!

    Reply  |  
  11. Ginger

    So happy for you and your family. Glad to hear your son is clean. Not good news here..my son was murdered in 2011…our only child.

    Reply  |  
    1. Dean D.

      Ginger… My thoughts and prayers go out to you. I am so sorry about your son. I will light a candle for him tonight. And thank you for your kind words about my family. We are grateful for every day our son is clean. One day at a time…

      Reply  |  
  12. Taxpayer

    Thanks for your post. Our daughter has struggled with depression for 3 years now. It was my greatest fear come true–that my child would inherit my disease.

    The upside, if you can call it that, is I know what she’s going through. I can see what she sees. And I’ve been able to help her fight against it.

    When she smiles and laughs, I feel as if God is blessing us. And fortunately, there are now more good days than bad.

    Reply  |  
    1. Dean D.

      I will keep your daughter and your family in my prayers. As a parent, it is tough to see your child suffer. My son used to constantly tell me, “I just want to be normal.” Thankfully, today, he is doing much better.

      Reply  |  
  13. Brea

    I think my mother could have written this. Now, she understands better that this can happen to anyone. Bravo to you for being supportive to your son and for joining those of us who seek to battle against the stigmas surrounding mental illness and addiction.

    Reply  |  
    1. Dean D.

      Brea… As a parent, when you first find out your child is suffering from addiction, it’s devastating. But you have to educate yourself and realize that it’s a DISEASE. Once you do that, coping becomes much easier. Not all parents “get it,” but I’m grateful that my wife and I did.

      Reply  |  
  14. Evie

    This means a lot to me because my brother has suffered something similar to this. We have not had the same story, we were “luckier” in the terms of drug usage and addiction. However I’m eternally grateful for you writing this because I don’t tell my friends why my brother isn’t at college, or why he’s still living at home despite him being an adult, and it’s hard. So thank you for writing this and putting it out there

    Reply  |  
    1. Dean D.

      Evie… I am sorry to hear about your brother. I hope he can find the right path soon. If you haven’t attended an Al-Anon meeting, I encourage you to do so. Talking about your situation with others who are experiencing the same thing does wonders for bringing about inner peace. Also, think about opening up a bit more to your friends. If you’re comfortable doing it, maybe tell one friend and see what kind of a reaction you get. I’m guessing it will be compassion. Hugs to you from Michigan. 🙂

      Reply  |  
  15. Kathy

    Great read. Gifts often arise from what appear to be ashes.

    Reply  |  
    1. Dean D.

      Thank you, Kathy. What you say is so true.

      Reply  |  
  16. Anon

    What did you do to help him through his addiction? My boyfriend who means everything to me is on a downward spiral and I’m so scared he won’t come back. He’s lied to me and kept things from me. Everyone tells me to give up but after everything we’ve been through its not that easy. His family doesn’t seem to care and would only freak out and say ‘well maybe he should go back to prison’ yet prison didn’t help him at all in the first place. I can’t send him back, but i cant watch him slowly kill himself. The treatment he’s going to doesn’t seem to work and his co workers have been bringing it to work. I need help and have no where else to turn. I need advice, and it sounds like you might have some.

    Reply  |  
    1. Dean D.

      I’m sorry to hear about your boyfriend’s situation. I can tell you what we did to help our son, and provide you with some resources, but I’m not sure this is the forum to do that in. (I’m not a doctor or therapist; I’m just a parent with experience. So I’d like to keep our conversation one-on-one if possible.) I don’t really want to post my email address here, but if you want to connect with me via my blog (search for My Life As 3D), I will be happy to get back to you and we can discuss.

      Reply  |  
  17. Judy E

    I have grown too… through the horror and chaos of living with the active alcoholism and addiction, through the doctor visits, the hospital stays and the rehab, through extended care, open AA Meetings and more Alanon meetings than I can count. My son is sober today. He has strung together many days of sobriety and is living and thriving again. I have so much more compassion these days. Recovery is a one day at a time process. Thank you for writing this. Hearing “me, too” helps.

    Reply  |  
    1. Dean D.

      Judy… Bravo on your son’s sobriety. And on your having survived it. Al-Anon is such a great resource. It allows us to share without being judged. More compassion is a good byproduct of a bad situation. We are stronger people because of what we’ve been through. 🙂

      Reply  |  
  18. Anonymous

    I too have learned this lesson of how to love unconditionally. Beautifully said.. Thank you for sharing your story
    Renee C

    Reply  |  
    1. Dean D.

      Renee… I was so happy to be able to share my story on the TWLOHA blog. The world would be a better place if more people practiced unconditional love, wouldn’t it?

      Reply  |  
  19. becca s

    Thank you for this. Im the wife of an addict with depression and anxiety. Everyday is difficult, having trust, letting go of anger and trying to be sympathetic. My biggest struggle is understanding what i dont understand. I want to be supportive but often find myself getting angry first. Im happy to see that people get through these things together and to not give up on yourself and your loved one

    Reply  |  
    1. Dean D.

      Becca… I will keep you and your husband in my thoughts and prayers. I highly recommend two books: “Beyond Addiction: How Science and Kindness Help People Change” by Jeffrey Foote (and others) and “Clean: Overcoming Addiction and Ending America’s Greatest Tragedy” by David Sheff. I’m pulling for you. 🙂

      Reply  |  
  20. KD

    Can I ask what finally got your son’s depression under control? We are at a standstill with my daughter, have tried everything.

    Reply  |  
    1. Dean D.

      KD… We tried several medications, most of which didn’t work for our son’s depression. But we finally tried the “right” one. That medication, in combination with therapy, helped our son make a turnaround.

      Reply  |  
  21. Anonymous

    I hope that my own family (especially my mother) will be able to say the same as you one day. I thank them, and people like you, for not giving up. Thank you for sharing, and may you, your son and family continue to enjoy many beautiful smiles and laughter together.

    Reply  |  
  22. Dean D.

    I want to thank To Write Love on Her Arms for giving me the opportunity to be a guest blogger on their site. I have nothing but total respect for the organization, and to be able to share my words here was truly an honor. I also want to thank everyone who read my post, commented on it, shared it, etc. Addiction is a horrible disease and it gets a bad rap. The stigma associated with it needs to be broken down. I’m just trying to do my small part.

    If you’d like to read more about my experiences as the father of an addict, please check out my personal blog at:

    http://mylifeas3d.blogspot.com/

    Peace.

    Dean in suburban Detroit

    Reply  |  
  23. Robyn suarez

    Your words give me hope for a better tomorrow…….thank and bless you.

    Reply  |  
  24. Donna Marie

    “…The most beautiful things are those that madness prompts and reason writes.”
    –Andre Gide, French author
    1869-1951

    Reply  |  
    1. Dean D.

      Thanks for sharing that wonderful quote, Donna Marie. And thanks for reading my blog post. 🙂

      Reply  |  
  25. Christine

    It’s nice to know that I am not the only parent going through this . My son is an addict and has clinical depression , his father can’t cope ,and is embarrassed how our bight well educated chilld is a heroin addict . I agree you truly find the meaning of unconditional love in these situations . I am so pleased your son is clean and happy it gives me hope .

    Reply  |  
  26. Dean D.

    Thanks for reading, Robyn. There is hope. Don’t ever give up.

    Reply  |  
  27. Veronica Kegel-Giglio

    We refused to enable my drug addicted son anymore, and now he will not talk to me. I try to let him know that I love him, but he will not talk or respond. How often should I try to contact him?

    Reply  |  
  28. Veronica Kegel-Giglio

    We refused to enable my drug addicted son anymore, and now he will not talk to me. I try to let him know that I love him, but he will not talk or respond. How often should I try to contact him?

    Reply  |  
  29. Nicole Broussard

    This POST touched me in so many ways….. My husband took his life in 2006 & not a day goes by that I don’t think about him. He was a brilliant & successful man & was loved by so many. He was only 35 at the time & had a whole future ahead of him. I always knew he may have had an alcohol addiction but overlooked the drinking everyday. I guess looking back he was a “functioning alcoholic”, but there is nothing positive that evolves from this behavior. When work got to be stressful & dependency & depression kicked in, things began to crumble. He lost his job & life spiraled out of his control. To make matters worse, I reached out desperately to family & friends for help. In the process of trying to get Brent help, he was told that Bi-Polar depression runs in his family & that he quite possible could be suffering from the disease as well. I wish there was not such a STIGMA attached to that disease. After discovering this, he felt his life would never be the same, and he refused to be controlled by chemicals & medication. The irony of this is that he was a successful Chemical Engineer & knew how chemistry affects all things. I wished he would have been on board with therapy & medication, but he saw what he was experiencing as a “character flaw” down to his core. He refused to take medication or continue seeing a psychiatrist. I didn’t push the issue out of fear of losing him. Finally life seemed to turnaround, and he found another career and we were moving to Nashville, TN. I left to return to our home in Iowa never knowing that would be the last time I kissed & hugged my wonderful Husband. Brent took his life in our apartment in TN & my life along with our families changed forever. I love this site & the cause it supports. Addiction, depression, mental illness, suicide are not dirty secrets. Share, become aware!! Sincerely, Nicole Broussard

    Reply  |  
  30. Anonymous

    From where I’m at now, seems like it would be easy to say that this all made me a better person – if my son were 20 months clean. Doesn’t look like that is going to happen and no one in the family is better for this experience right now.

    Reply  |  
  31. Kathy

    Thank you for sharing Dean. My son has similar issues and is currently doing his fourth attempt in rehab. Your words are a comfort, I will try to remember them. Uts the hardest thing I have ever done.

    Reply  |  
  32. Evonne

    I could really use your advice talking one on one:( I’m 22 my boyfriend is 23 and suffering similair to your son and i don’t know what to do anymore.

    Reply  |  
    1. Claire Biggs

      Hi Evonne,

      We encourage you to check out our Find Help page (twloha.com/find-help) or to reach out to us at info@twloha.com.

      Reply  |  
  33. BOZENA

    THANK YOU FOR THAT LETTER….ME AND MY HUSBAND ARE HELPING MY ONLY SON GO THRU ADDICTION ….AND IT IS SO HARD ….AND ONLY PEOPLE LIKE YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT WE ARE GOING THRU….THANK YOU AGAIN SO MUCH

    Reply  |  
  34. Anonymous

    Thank you for writing this. It was so helpful to me today. I am going through a similar circumstance.

    Reply  |  
  35. Mom

    We have been on a very similar journey for the past four years, and he just went into treatment on Tuesday with our 20 year old son. Thanks for sharing to know we are not on this journey alone.

    Reply  |  
  36. Anonymous

    thank you for sharing your story it gives me some hope. my daughter is a heroin, perception drug addict.I have been battling this with her for too many years. I’ve lost my daughter and grandchildren to this addiction, but I will never give up trying to get through toget. too has severe depression and severe anxiety/ panic attacks. she is currently homeless and the children are in permenant guardianship with my ex husband friends. I’m sick over all this. my ex has washed his hands of her and will just send her bubble quotes. I just can’t do that. it’s not just her life, but those precious children need a healthy clean mom. I never thought her addiction would mean she would lose her children she would never useand lose them. she was clean for four years and had my granddaughter and two years later my grandson. the second csection doc said she could have Percocet for pain. addiction back!! I know she loves those babies no one will ever tell me she doesn’t, but she is sick. people say she can’t live then and use!! I don’t understand it all by any means, but I know she loves them and the depression for not having them and the anxiety takes its toll. I’m trying to not have excuses because she needs help and only she can fight this demon, but I will never give up on my daughter. I will not enable her with money or bail outs because I know that just furthers her addiction, but live and sort to get clean yes! again thank you for Sharing. there is always a glimpse of hope. God bless your family

    Reply  |  
  37. Anonymous

    Those words hit home with me and what my son is going through. Severe depression, anxiety, cannibas use, and a devastating breakup with a girl has overcome his life. I know what you mean when you say it makes you a better person. I will never give up on my son. He means the world to me and it breaks my heart to see him so lonely and sad. I’m praying for his recovery and your post gave me more hope, knowing it can happen. Thank you.

    Reply  |  
  38. Tess

    My 28 year old son also has suffered from drugs, alcohol, depression and unfortunately suicide this past July. This disease happens to ALL walks of life AND like you it has also made me a better person. I pray your son continues to live a happy sober AMAZING life ! You are an amazing parent !

    Reply  |  
  39. Tracey

    Hi my son has been using drugs for about 15 years he is 26 now he started with pot now it’s also pills and what ever else he can get his hands on he stills from us and doesn’t even feel bad about it at all he is so deceitful when you confront him about something that has happened that you know he has done he will lie all the way to the end and then when you can prove he did it he will just say yea I did it and don’t know why he will say what ever he can to make you believe that he wants help and wants to change and then turn right around weeks maybe months later and do it again with no guilt regrets or feelings at all and try to make it out like its are fault he did it Im at the end of my rope with him he has lied stolen from his father and I grandparents ,sisters, friends I just don’t know what else to do could you give me any advice on how to help him before it’s to late thanks so much !!!!

    Reply  |  
    1. Claire Biggs

      Hi Tracey,
      Thank you for your comment. We’re so sorry to hear about how your son is struggling right now. Would you please email us at info@twloha.com? We’d love to give you some encouragement and advice.

      Reply  |  
  40. Karen

    thanks for sharing, I needed to read and have hope today.

    Reply  |  
  41. anonymous

    such a touching story. I too am going through drug addiction with my teen son. My heart breaks and sometimes I feel like giving up, but I know God is in control and will one day put him on the right path. Your story gives me hope. Thank you. I am so happy for your story having a happy ending and please pray that mine does too.

    Reply  |  
  42. Anne Marsman

    I’m terribly worried that my son may commit suicide. He has no job and his marriage has finished. Debt collectors are after him. He has no money for food and is being evicted in 2weeks. I think he might be on ice!

    Reply  |  
    1. Claire Biggs

      Hi Anne,

      We’re so sorry to hear about what you’re son is going through. We’d love to send you some encouragement and point you toward resources to help your son. Would you mind emailing info@twloha.com?

      Reply  |  
  43. shelly

    I am touched by your story and I too have a son that is 21, He was on ADHD medication from the age of 5 to 18 and stopped after graduating and has not let it be known in so many words that he is becoming addicted to meth. I have never seen him this mean, selfish and depressed. I cry everyday because I don’t know what to do. Everyone in our family just does not question his well being, they don’t really know what is going on, just me. He fights with me, he is always talking about ending his life, he cries all the time, little things make him violent and he runs off to his SO CALLED FRIENDS that just keep sticking needles in his arm when he goes to them when I wont give him any money. They use him for his vehicle and pay him with drugs, he stays away from his family and friends. I found a bag of needles in his pants pocket and threw them away when he was sleeping. He does not confront me about it. He has no job and his girlfriend doesn’t want to be with him anymore. I moved him 40 minutes away from everyone and he still finds a way there. I don’t know what to do, I don’t have anyone to talk to, I don’t know anyone that has been in this situation to help me, all i want to do is help him, I don’t want my son to die knowing there was something i could do. If there is anyone out there who can help me please, I just want to do what is best for him. I love him so much, it is tearing my world apart, I am always thinking the worst and cannot be happy in my own relationship because of this situation.

    Reply  |  
  44. Jane

    Thank you as I sit here and cry. My gorgeous 17 has turned to dabs and marjiuana and zanex . In the course of 4 months he cant live without it. Imam dying inside. I
    Can’t get out of bed and my husband still trusts what he says even though I know he is lying.
    We have a drug ” specialist ” that we have met with once and we go back in a few weeks. We cant get a clean drug test because he is a regular and you need 40 to clear it all out of his system. His old friends have left and the ” stoner club ” is the group that semi- cares about him. I can’t breathe. I literally can’t get out of bed. I just don’t know if I can do this. Depression and anxiety are rampant in his mental well being too.

    How do I do this for another day? There is no light in my day without him. He left us so quickly. It is literally paralysing me with sorrow, disappointment and anxiety.

    Any suggestions? Anything will help

    Thanks
    Jane

    Reply  |  
    1. Claire Biggs

      Hi Jane,

      We’re so sorry to hear about your situation. Would you mind emailing us at info@twloha.com? We’d love to send some encouragement your way and point you to some resources.

      Reply  |  
  45. rowena

    nice story..im struggling at the moment with my 20 year old son..who has lapsed…sometimes you just want to.give up..but I think.it’s hard to.understand it’s definately a brain disease a change in.thinking patterns I think..it’s going to be a long road ahead..
    concerned parent

    Reply  |  
  46. Pam

    Nice story ,I would love to know about enables I am soo guilty for this n his lies in can’t take much more !I can’t bring him home because he steels everything! I don’t know what to do he needs major help !

    Reply  |  
  47. Lassie

    Such a beautiful letter. May you be blessed. My angel nephew is struggling and it breaks my heart . The sweetest boy , how thos happened I do not know. Painful.

    Reply  |  
  48. Nancy

    Thank you for writting this! We are going through what we call hell right now with our son. He is in rehab and won’t talk to us. It is so painful , almost unbearable. I ( the mom ) am not able to sleep a full night or have a day when I don’t cry. Any advice for this time in my life ?

    Reply  |  
    1. Claire Biggs

      Hi Nancy,

      We’re so sorry to hear about what you and your family are dealing with right now. Will you email us at info@twloha.com? We’d love to send you some encouragement.

      Reply  |  
  49. Kris

    I am driving home from dropping my son off at rehab. We have tried detox, outpatient and now residential. It’s been a quiet ride home. After fighting tooth and nail with the insurance company for three days I gave up and did self pay. I am exhausted and feel there is little chance for an addict without the support of family.

    Reply  |  
  50. Penelope Barlow

    I need people like you in my life because I have no one to help me fight this battle of mine with my two sons.

    Reply  |  
  51. Valerie

    Im happy for your son and your family.my daughter is 17 and has been using herion for the past ten months..she is currently in juvenile detention due to issues w drugs and getting up in the system. My husband and I don’t know what to do to help her.we have been her biggest advocate but still get thru to her. I think the system is terrible and there really isn’t enough programs unless you rich. Anyway your story was very encouraging and I pray that we will be in a good place someday.

    Reply  |  
  52. Mary

    How did you do it? I am going crazy. My son is 41, and I have been going through this for over twenty years.

    Reply  |  
  53. Tiffany

    So glad to hear that there is HOPE!!

    Reply  |  
  54. Caroline James

    God bless you all.I’m going through the same with my son and I know in my heart it will be alright one day.Staying strong as a family helps me and I know I’m so lucky to still have him.There’s a lot of families with the same problems it takes hard work and a lot of love but its all worth it in the end and everyone learns from it.I wish him all the very best for the future and believe he will make you very very proud x.

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  55. Mary Eustaquio

    Help… my drug addict daughter just passed and my 25 yr old son has severe depression, anxiety and is also a heroin addict.. no money.. no resources.. what do I do??

    Reply  |  
    1. TWLOHA

      Mary,

      We are incredibly sorry to hear of the loss of your daughter. Please know that we are thinking of you and your family throughout this difficult time.

      So that we can learn more about you and your situation, and give you the best recommendations possible, would you email us at info@twloha.com?

      In the meantime, we list resources available to you on our site here: twloha.com/find-help

      Sending you hope,
      TWLOHA

      Reply  |  
  56. katrina chapa

    thank you for sharing

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  57. randi alderson

    we just found out our son is addicted and did an intervention after asking him once if he was using drugs…perhaps it was too quick…maybe it should have not been done until many many attempts to get him to admit he was using…but we did it this way and now he is angrier and vicious to us. Said it was the worst thing we ever could have done and he will never speak to us again. Needless to say it was a failed intervention and has made things worse as it is all in the open. He blames us for his wife now leaving. He had everything under control until his secret was exposed. We have also come to realize that he has some deep mental issues ..anxiety depression and i think possible bi polar but that is only my guess…never been diagnosed with anything. We thought all his strange behavior was drug inducted…but i think mental illness came first. I feel like i am going to die. I will never get through this. Everyone says i have to disconnect and only say you have to go to rehab. until then…we have nothing else to say. I literally don’t think i can get through this. Its been four days…from his secret being out…and today. We had a professional interventionist with us . we did everything that we read to make this successful…but in my sons case…it appears we made everything worse. I feel so guilty…he has sent numerous text messages with foul language and blaming us for ruining his life and his marriage. (he is a very successful businessman…two children and a wife that he has known since high school.) He is 35

    Reply  |  
    1. TWLOHA

      Hi Randi,

      We hope that things have improved somewhat since you commented. We want you to know that you and your family are doing the right thing by encouraging your son to go to treatment where he can’t the help he needs for his addiction and depression and anxiety. It seems you already know of treatment options, but just incase, we list local resources here: twloha.com/find-help.

      Please know that you can reach out to our team at info@twloha.com. We are not professionals, but would be happy to provide you with support and recovery options during this difficult time.

      With Hope,
      TWLOHA

      Reply  |  
  58. Marie Davidson

    You don’t say how he got clean and dry for 20 months. After 18 years my 35yo son went “cold turkey” and was clean and dry for 11months. Small mercies he’s not drinking again but is using IC and not taking his meds. He has Schitzoaffective Disorder anxiety depression, acquired learning disorder a learning difficulties. I too had the same dreams I had for his older sister who breezed through school and completed a double degree. I feel that we did something wrong with him…. but what? Congratulations on your sons Archie ENT’s, I’d just like to know what the magic ingredient is.

    Reply  |  
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