Those of us who know teen substance abuse firsthand are unwitting invitees to a private party where we can share both heartbreak and healing amongst ourselves, cry together, support each other, and find hope amidst the ruins, hand in hand with our sisters or brothers. I am so thankful for the privacy of the community where I have found support and solutions; at the same time, I yearn for the larger world to have an accurate understanding of the disease of addiction/ alcoholism. Prevention and educational efforts will take place on a meaningful level only when our children’s substance abuse is acknowledged as a national problem.
Whitney Houston’s death may serve to open the curtains on addiction. While some may disparage her as an addict who “didn’t have willpower and chose to die,” other influential voices that tell a different story are now being heard. Dr. Drew continues to authoritatively speak the truth about the ravages of this chronic disease as it kills those in the public eye. Jamie Lee Curtis wrote boldly about fame and the disease of addiction in the Huffington Post.
How can we parents support this critical awareness without jeopardizing our family’s privacy or “outing” our children to their detriment? Some ideas to consider: spread the word about the disease of addiction by “liking” the Jamie Lee Curtis post. Share the Collision Course- Teen Addiction Epidemic documentary with your friends and family: you can view the entire 27-minute documentary online and even order a copy of the documentary for your schools or community. Please join this conversation and share with us the ways you are helping others understand addiction as a public health crisis.