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However there are so many parents that live with the stigma of addiction

by Press Release
September 17, 2017

I was honored when Gina approached me and asked me to write a piece for awareness month. If she had asked me a year ago I honestly could say I would not have done this. Parents need to be aware. I am a mother of a recovering heroin addict.

My son’s addiction started with pain medication that was given to him after knee surgery and then again after having his appendix taken out. It started in middle school.

So many people ask where were the parents. Do you know how infuriating this is? It adds to the stigma that is present in my life every day, which is why so many of us live with this struggle by ourselves. We feel that everyone is looking at us and judging us.

So where were we? Let me tell you where we were. We were there for him when he cried out in the middle of the night, reading bed time stories, kissing boo boo’s, field trips, first communion, sporting events, proms, graduation and all the milestones a child makes.

Where were we when he told us he first needed help for his addiction? We were by his side fighting the system to get him help. Where were we when he was arrested and sent to jail? We were by his side. Why do you ask? Because he is our son.

There were nights he slept in a shelter and we prayed to God that he would be safe and to spare his life. We spent many sleepless nights not knowing what was going to happen. It was awful.

There is a difference between enabling and loving your children and it is a very fine line. Knowing the difference is important. We did not support his habit. For the first few months it was very hard for me to comprehend why is he doing this why can’t he just stop. It took a wise person to explain to me that addiction is a disease. The drug has taken over your child he has no control any more. He doesn’t want to do these things he doesn’t want to hurt you or anyone. He doesn’t care about the consequences of his actions he only cares about getting his next fix. He will do anything and I mean anything to get it.

There were so many days I felt like giving up. I was depressed, angry and mad. I hated the fact that I could not control what was happening to him. I just wanted to fix it. I just hoped he was strong enough to want sobriety to want life he is only 21 now he is 23.

I am happy to say that there is hope. Even with a felony conviction he has a full time job. He attends his meetings and has found a great network of friends. He has figured out that being sober is a life style change.

So anyone out there reading this there is hope. Don’t give up on your child. Love them but don’t enable them.

There are other pieces of addiction I could write about, however there are so many parents that live with the stigma of addiction I felt it important for everyone to know that we are normal parents who love their children and raise them in a loving environment. There is hope.

Hate the drug not the addict.

(Editors Note): During the month of September which is National Addiction Awareness Month the Reporter is publishing articles from local residents dealing with addiction, some are signed, some are not.

 

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Comments (2)

The sad thing is that this was not your fault or your son's fault. I blame the medical system for over prescribing opioids. Addiction rates have sharply increased because of doctors prescribing way too many oppoids and/or giving too many pills for patients to bring home. Doctors have prescribed Oxycodone and Percocet to me without explaining the risks of addiction. I worry they will do the same to my children. I am so sorry your family is dealing with this terrible disease. I wish you, your family and your son the best. Tomorrow is Recovery Day Celebration at Fanueil Hall, starting at 9 am. I thought you and your son might want to know.

- Alison Fondo | 9/18/17 8:21 PM

Thanks for exposing your story to the public. This is the only way that people can learn the truth...and might I add, I believe your story is repeated often in the neighborhoods of our cities, Boston, Chicago, etc. Just because a child comes from poverty, is black or brown, or whatever does NOT mean that the parents didn't care, didn't try. Until recently, no one gave them a chance. We should ALL care about ALL of those who are addicted and for their families who suffer along.

- Mary Greendale | 9/18/17 3:01 PM

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