At the time of this writing, a friend is frantically searching for her son who has been missing since last night. Today, it is storming on PEI, which does nothing to ease the stress of this family.
A few days ago, another friend was feeling empty because she had to let her son go even though she knew he was taking a path full of pain and suffering and even death.
These are just two examples of the worry and pain that families deal with on a regular basis when their children are addicted to drugs. We watch our children slowly kill themselves knowing that we cannot stop it. The stress is enough to make you want to die sometimes. This is why many parents of addicts end up with depression, high blood pressure, and various other health issues.
As for the addicts, they are also suffering. Most look like death. Oh, I know that it is hard to feel sorry for them, especially if you don’t buy into the “addiction is a disease” model (and even if you do!). The symptoms of the disease are VERY undesirable. Let’s face it. Addicts are hard to love (unless you are their parents). It is hard to feel sympathy for someone who is lying, stealing, and hurting family and friends, among other things. I get that! I really do. In fact, until it happened to us, I felt the same way. I thought they should be able to quit. They just didn’t want to. I thought they were all being selfish for hurting their families. I held these beliefs because I didn’t do anything to educate myself about the disease – until addiction hit home.
When your child has something he could die from, you soon learn everything you can about it. I have been a mom on a mission for a few years now and I’ve learned a lot! I recently watched a video called “Pleasure Unwoven” by Dr. Kevin McAuley. It is the best video I have ever seen for explaining the disease of addiction. Dr. McAuley is a leading expert on addiction and a recovering addict.
The video is one hour long and will open your eyes. Please take the time to watch it. With the addiction epidemic on PEI (and elsewhere) we need to all understand what we are dealing with so we can properly address the problem.
You may also be interested in this article by Russell Brand called "My Life Without Drugs" where he discusses his experience with addiction.
For those of you who take action (watch videos, read articles, comment, share) when you read my posts, I thank you with all my heart. Knowing that people (like you) care enough about my son - and others like him - to do something gives me the strength and courage to keep on educating and trying to make a difference. Thank you!