What addiction has taught me

What addiction has taught me

Recently I was asked what – if anything — I have learned from my son’s addiction.

And now that he has ten years in recovery, and I more than 11 years in Al-Anon, is there anything I want to pass along to someone living with active addiction?

Yes, and this may be just for starters…

  1. Even though Jacob has ten years in recovery, all the basic rules of Al-Anon still apply: to keep the focus on myself, take it one day at a time, and know what I can and cannot control.
  2. Addiction will be part of America forever, but the proliferation of synthetic drugs makes drug use today far more dangerous. Anyone who experiments with drugs is at great risk of accidental overdose or death.
  3. More and more treatment centers and programs are available to treat addiction than ten years ago.  Many are good.  Some are not.
  4. There is not one path to recovery. But for my son, and scores like him, AA is the answer.
  5. Despite the horrific numbers of deaths due to overdose, some studies report that millions of people recover and live healthy, fulfilling lives.  That gives everyone hope.
  6. Having attended hundreds of Al-Anon and AA meetings, I come away every time wishing everyone had a twelve-step program.

And finally…

  1. If life hands you the opportunity to know someone in recovery, especially long-term recovery, take it. He or she will be among the best people you ever will know.


9 Replies to “What addiction has taught me”

  1. So inspiring Lisa! Thank you.
    Thank you bring up the issue of overdose. It is just so scary. But, there is always hope , and people do recover.

  2. My friend always held hope 4 her daughter but that died last week as she penned the Obituary & made arrangements. Any counsel 4 the grieving remaining loved ones?

    1. I am so so sorry.
      My only counsel would be, to grieve. To share grief with others who loved her daughter. To find a support group, like the many for parents like your friend.
      Perhaps, even to find an Al-Anon meeting where her grief will be understood, instantly.
      She will be among those who will understand and will embrace her.