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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.

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  • Sunday Inspiration for Parents of Addicts and Alcoholics

    Are you traveling in the wrong direction? Turn around.

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  • Tools from the trenches: David Sheff’s book on parenting an addict

    Author David Sheff documented his son’s addiction and his family’s torturous quest for recovery in his first book on the topic, Beautiful  Boy.  That book had struck a painful nerve in me, especially the twisted co-dependency that complicated an already complicated picture.  Imagine:  you’ve just had a stroke, and the one thought coursing through your mind is “How is my child?  How is my child?  How is my child?”  That warped sense of priorities seems all too familiar to parents of addicts who often assume second position behind the incessant demands of their child’s substance chemical dependency.

    David Sheff hits another home rum with, Clean: Overcoming Addiction and Ending America’s Greatest Tragedy.  This honest, accurate and empathetic book validated my experience.  Here’s a sample of what he writes:   ‘The view that drug use is a moral choice is pervasive, pernicious, and wrong. So are the corresponding beliefs about the addicted — that they’re weak, selfish, and dissolute; if they weren’t, when their excessive drug taking and drinking began to harm them, they’d stop. The reality is far different.”  You can read a longer excerpt of the book here.

    They say that, in recovery, all that needs to change is EVERYTHING.  That goes for knowledge and attitudes, too:  yours, mine, our children’s, the public’s.  Clean offers a powerful tool to change the attitudes that impact course of our loved ones’ addiction and recovery.

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  • Disruptive addiction – keeping sane when things implode

    I was reminded recently of how difficult it can be when you have an addict in the house. In this case it is a young adult coming back home for a few days. As parents we want to see our kids even if they are wreaking havoc in our home. We hope that maybe next time will be different. We set boundaries and make our expectations clear. We start to forget how stressful it was the last time and how we will do what we can to keep things even keel. Yet when you have an addict in the family it is always unpredictable as to what may set them off. One moment you are enjoying your family and the next something happens and the anger and verbal abuse comes flying out. Suddenly your happy home becomes a place where you fear for what will happen next.

    It’s been a long while since this has happened in my house. But I don’t have to think too hard to remember when it did and how incredibly stressful it was. It was the proverbial walking on eggshells always wanting to make sure that something didn’t get said or done that would set off a negative chain of events. I learned the hard way that I really didn’t need to take the abuse and that when I started setting boundaries and sticking to them (the hard part!) that slowly things started to change. An addict is very much like a two year old throwing a tantrum, if you let them get away with it then it will just keep happening again and again. Stay strong in setting and holding your boundaries to protect yourself and your family. This will help you to reclaim the peace and serenity in your household that you deserve to have every day.

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