"Dear Caron," Here's What to Do to Help Your Addicted Kid," by Ian Hemley

Dear Caron, here’s what to do to help your addicted kid

You can’t do anything

You can’t help

Help yourself

Go to the Sunday night parents meeting of Al-Anon in Burlington. Big, and

Drinking and smoking weed non-stop

Cut him off, can’t do that he’s only 18.

Send him to rehab. It’s expensive. It might not stick.

Talk to him. With detachment. As a person, not as a parent. Find out where he is coming from. What about the drugs does he like? The euphoric feeling? The relief from hard feelings? What are other ways of relief? Because his friends are doing it? Are they really his friends? Do they have his best interest in mind? Maybe drop the follow up questions at first. LISTEN. Because these are all valid reasons to like drugs. But once you accept the validity of the choice, he might then be more likely to share more with you, or also accept the validity of other (maybe healthier) choices that you offer. 

Send him to boarding school. Expensive. You might miss him. He might run away.

So many options, so many potentialities – unforeseeable causality, chain reactions.

Ultimately, you are powerless over him. Just as ultimately we are powerless over everything in our lives. That’s not comforting, but accepting that might provide some relief. I've heard it’s the hardest thing to accept in the world when your child’s life is on the line.

I went to rehab when I was 18. I stayed sober for four years, but I stayed stuck in other ways. I had so much shame and fear, I didn’t feel like I could honestly ever share what was really going on with me. But things that I didn’t understand or accept at the time, they’re still in my head, and they’re helping me now.

Gary MillerComment