It is absolutely paralyzing to learn that your child has substance abuse issues. Where do you turn for help? How do you know what steps to take? What is addiction, anyway? There are endless questions and no consolidation source of answers or support. In addition, the stigma of having an addicted child causes many parents to retract and withdraw rather than seek help. In truth, many families struggle with substance abuse issues, and the support, wisdom and guidance they need are not easily found.Parent Pathway was created for parents, by parents, to provide a place to find peace of mind at a time when their world feels like it is falling apart.
December marks the official kick-off of the non-profit fundraising season, and I’d like to ask ParentPathway readers to support a non-profit that is focused on PREVENTING substance use and abuse. Your support won’t cost you a penny when you shop on Amazon (any time, from any device!) because of an affiliate marketing program that will give PathwayToPrevention a small commission on every sale that originates through a Pathway to Prevention link.
How does this work? If you plan to make any purchases at Amazon, simply enter the Amazon site through one of Pathway to Prevention’s links, and then shop away for anything and everything you want. Consider entering Amazon through one of our recommended books, below. You don’t have to buy either book: just enter the world of Amazon through this portal, and shop away.
- Saving Jake – When Addiction Hits Home by D’Anne Burwell. This articulate chronicle of a young man’s chemical dependency could be written by so many of us: a loving family, a talented child, the search for answers, the hope of recovery. The book is sprinkled with resources and evidence-based information about the epidemic of chemical dependency that is gripping our nation.
- The Joey Song: A Mother’s Story of her Son’s Addiction by Sandy Swenson. One Amazon reader commented, “It took years for (author) Sandra to realize that she could not save her son. That loving him meant letting go. She concludes the book without knowing what lies ahead for her son. This is not a happy story, but it carries a powerful message. While our children might move into a place where we can no longer follow, we must not blame ourselves for our failure to save them. Our children, much as they might blame us, must assume responsibility for their choices. Their lives depend on it.”
Prevention work takes time, money, dedication and expertise. Learn how Pathway to Prevention turns evidence-based information into free, downloadable, sharable resources for parents and educators, and please keep this worthwhile organization going strong with your Amazon purchases.
It has been said over and again, parents are the biggest influence over their children. I must of thought that meant for life. There were times I might have had a moment of influential pride – what I call the “my child is an honor student syndrome.” I never went so far as to affix it to my car bumper! I was more apt to give my children credit where credit was due. THEY worked hard at it…HE always had a love for basketball…HE was driven to pursue…I don’t know where they got it!” But there are situations where rightful ownership is distorted by pride – “Yep, that’s my boy!” With unsaid attitude: “I raised ‘em right!”
When behavior turns risky and substance abuse leads to addiction, the parental influence becomes nonexistent. But, like me, most parents don’t stop trying to reclaim their influence. And if crime related incidences by underage adults happen, we are quick to blame the parents casting quick judgment – “she deserves imprisonment” – “How can the parents allow that to happen?”
Like most of us struggling with an addict in the family, I stressed with martyrdom. I spent every waking moment trying to prevent or stop the unthinkable consequences of the risky behavior. I acted as if I had the ability to stop it. I acted like I caused it. I acted to regain that parental influence I was entitled to have! I’ll admit there was a bit of guilt, what I call the “what will the neighbor’s think syndrome.”
The flip side of giving credit where credit is due is taking responsibility for something I don’t own, good or bad. It’s easier to allow them the glory of success than to allow them the dignity of living with a disease. Who wouldn’t give their right arm to take away their pain? What good did it do in trying? It is this distorted thinking that causes further problems in helping my children recover from their drug addiction. The perils of parenting are for life but it’s never too late to improve on it.