Hi Dr. Laura,
Your e-mail asked if any listeners had a family member with addiction issues and how it affected us. My son, now age 24, was addicted to prescription drugs when he was 19-years-old. As soon as I figured this out, his father and I hired an Interventionist, staged an Intervention and he agreed to go to a 90 day treatment center in another state to receive help. It was probably the most stressful year of my life and money well spent.
He went across the country and it was like the "school of life" for this upper middle class kid from the midwest. We visited him numerous times in support of his treatment and participated in counseling to understand and get to the root of why he used drugs. He came home after a year and has been working full time, going to school as well as taking care of his rescue dog. I attended parent support groups and see a therapist that specializes in families and addiction.
My son has been clean and sober for 4 years now and I pray that he stays on this path. As I see the overdose rate in our state and this country skyrocket, and have met parents who have lost their kids to this disease, I thank God every day for the outcome of sober living for my son. Do I still worry? Yes. Addictive behavior is a scary thing and relapse is the concern once an addict is back living in the "real world" outside of a treatment center. I try to help/guide friends who are going through similar situations with their loved ones and always recommend seeking out a treatment center that works on the root of the problem, and to get help ASAP. In the end, it really is up to the addict to want to get help and live a better life.
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