From when they were young we took care of them, we tried to teach them the way of the world. We watched them embrace the world and all the amazement they found in the little things that only children can truly enjoy. As they grow we help guide them through issues and difficulties the best we can. Using our experience we teach them the mores of society. We take responsibility for their success and their failures.
It is when they make choices that do not benefit them in the long run that we find hard to understand. With all the guidance and love I have provided for them how can my son or daughter choose start experimenting. I told them about what happens with drugs, I gave them other solutions, I tried to help when the going got tough. Addiction is a complicated situation that many of us are just simply not prepared to deal with. “How could this happen to my child? Where did I go wrong?” we ask our self.
Fortunately there are Counselors available that are educated in this manner and are able to help. They can educate you on the many options that are available out there as far as treatment goes for your child. With the right decision your child will be able to recover from this off path state and get back to the life you envisioned for them since they were young.
Below are a few stories about the effects of drug and alcohol use on a family.
Zach and His Mother Kathi
My son Zach since he was a child was ambitious, smart, and talented. I began noticing changes once he got into high school. He would stay out later, which at first I thought was normal for a teenager, new friends, girls and other interests. However, I noticed a change in behavior when he was home. He started to become withdrawn from us, short-tempered. I couldn’t understand what I had done to push him away. He moved out from our house at 18, chose not to finish school and began working. Rarely would he call although he only lived across town. On January 19th 2013 I received a phone call from one of his childhood friends that he had been arrested after crashing his car into a street sign downtown. He had been drinking that night and made the choice to get behind the wheel. When he got out of jail he came over to our house. He was resentful, crying, he seemed like he wanted to change, I supported him by helping him get back on his feet. After losing his current job he found a new one and seemed to have gotten back on his feet. I was proud of him, he called us more and visited more. For the first time in 5 years I feel like my son wanted to see us again.
Flash forward 6 months and our relation had worsened again. I assumed once again that he was busy, doing well but busy. His 20th birthday was coming up and he said he was going to come by on his birthday to celebrate with us. I was so excited. That morning I tried giving him a call to wish him Happy Birthday early in the morning. No answer. He is sleeping I said to myself. I flicked on the tv with my morning coffee, I saw his face. He had been arrested after driving under the influence again. He wrecked into another vehicle at 60mph killing both the mother and her two young children. He is facing Manslaughter at life sentence. I feel as though I have lost myself while losing him and failed to take action when I saw the signs that alcohol had become a problem for him.
Jacob and His Mother Barbara
Jacob, my son, was a high school football player. He practiced after school all the time. He went to parties but was never irresponsible about drinking. He knew our policy that if he were to need a ride that he could call us and we would pick him and his friends up. Junior year of high school he broke his ankle after a tackle in one of his games, it was a compound fracture that landed him in the surgery room. He was prescribed Oxycontin by the doctor to manage his pain. After a month he looked at me in pain and told me that he can’t play football anymore, I consoled him feeling his disappointment and pain.
He was prescribed Oxycontin for 2 months and then was prescribed Hydrocodone thereafter. He was 17 years old so he administered the as needed directions by himself with little oversight from us. That was our first mistake. At the start a bottle of 30 would last upwards to 5 weeks. After only 4 months he was going through them in 2 weeks. He said the pain has gotten worse and the meds are not working as well.
Near the end of high school he was very depressed from not being able to participate in anything physical due to the injury. I thought the best course of action was to bring him to a psychiatrist. She prescribed him Xanax for anxiety and Prozac for depression. He told me he felt better. As his mother I could tell this wasn’t him anymore, it was a shell of who he is. He began abusing those using a bottle of 30 in a week. He had a part time job but he had more money than my husband was making in his full time job. My husband and I made a very hard decision that we suspected he was doing more than just these prescribed meds. We drug tested him. He got very irritated with us but we stayed stern and what we found was very unexpected. Before the results came back he broke down and began crying. He said he didn’t know what to do anymore. He confessed to using codeine and other pills, trading what he had with other people who had different prescriptions.
I reached out to a helpline not knowing what to do. They suggested that he has a substance abuse problem and that he needs to get to a treatment center. They educated me on all the different options available and I chose one with Jacob. It was hard to send him off to California for treatment but we knew it was the best thing for him and us. We spoke with him throughout the program and I could hear it in his voice that things were changing. His sounded happier, sharper and more genuinely my son. When we went out to see his graduation I was so happy for him. I saw the man he had become in such a short time back to my little Jacob.