Active Member
met the man who helped organize this grp.
he lost his daughter when she was 35 and overdosed on oxycontin.
some very good info here:

The family’s best defense against the emotional impact of alcohol and drug abuse is gaining knowledge and achieving the emotional maturity and courage needed to put it effect.

Individuals who may be capable of assisting drug and/or alcohol abusers outside the family may become confused, destructive persons if a member of their own family becomes an active abuser. This is especially true if the abuser is a son or daughter.

The next of kin or person most responsible for the abuser may need more assistance and counseling than the abuser if an effective recovery program is to be launched. Addiction is an illness, but one which has tremendous emotional impact upon the immediate family. Those most affected by the abuser are the parents, sister, and brother. The more distorted the emotions of these persons become, the less adequate their help will be. The interaction may and often does become destructive rather than helpful.

For example, parents may find themselves blamed for everything that is wrong in an abuser's family. This may reach the point where they may fear this is true. Yet addiction is an illness. The parents are no more responsible for alcohol/drug addiction than they would be for the existence of diabetes or tuberculosis in their children. No parent ever made his son or daughter an addict, therefore, no parent can be held responsible for his or her recovery. However, by lack of knowledge they may allow the illness to go unnoticed. By lack of adequate understanding and courage they may acquiesce in the development of the disease. For the existence of alcohol/drug abuse, the parents are not responsible, but they can abet the child avoiding treatment; or take steps which may lead to earlier recovery, though this cannot be absolutely assured.

This same principle holds true for all members of the family, especially the one person upon whom the abuser ultimately depends. This primary person in the abuser's life cannot treat the illness. No doctor should treat his own serious illness, and few will ever act as physician for a member of their immediate family, especially spouse, parent or child. As drug abuse progresses, relatives become involved emotionally. The best help they can give initially is to seek help and treatment for their own situation, so that they will not play into the progressive illness pattern of the abuser and thereby contribute to the progress of the illness rather than recovery. The mistakes made by well-meaning family members are almost unbelievable, and often make recovery most difficult for the patient.

In the beginning it must be understood that a family may do everything known or thought to be right and the illness might go unchecked. However, if a family is willing to learn the facts about alcohol/drug abuse and put them into effect, the chances of recovery are greatly increased. In fact the best way to help any abuser recover is to remove ignorance, acquire an adequate attitude based on knowledge and have the courage to practice these principles when dealing with the abuser. To begin in the usual manner of attempting to force the abuser to stop depending on drugs, without first learning and changing one’s own self, will simply make the matter worse.

Initially we must understand that the problems of drug/alcohol abuse do not lie in the drug/alcohol, but in persons. However, recovery does not begin until the abuser is able to break away completely from the drugs and practice continued abstinence. Recovery is also similar to the construction of a Gothic arch. There are unseen foundations; many persons may lay various stones in the arch; but the keystone must be put in place by the abuser or the structure fails. No one can do for the abuser what must be done by the addict himself. You cannot take the patient’s medicine and expect the patient to benefit. Choices must be made and action taken by the abuser of his own volition, if recovery is to occur on any permanent basis.

It is appalling how well the abuser controls the family, especially the parents. The addict takes drugs again and again. The family screams, cries, yells, begs, pleads, prays, threatens, or practices the silent treatment. It also covers up, protects and shields the abuser from the consequences of the drugs. If the abuser continues to act like a little god, it is because the family is inadequate in opposing this attitude and abets the preservation of the illusion of omnipotence. In the preservation of this omnipotent neurosis the abuser has three primary weapons. The family must learn to defend against these three, or become virtual slaves to the illness thereby creating for themselves emotional or mental illness of no small proportion.


Active Member
from that site some of the things parents of users do:
Tell the abuser to leave the home.
Then tell him he can come back home.
Go out to look for him or telephone around to find him.
Tell him not to yell at them.
Then yell at him.
Complain that he doesn’t love them anymore.
Deny it when he makes the some complaint about them.
Resent bitterly the money he spends on his drugs.
Then give him money.
Blame his drug abuse on his friends.
Console him when he is feeling sorry for himself.
Tell him not to feel so sorry for himself.
Try to tie up his free time so he won’t have time for his addiction.
Buy him all kinds of tools and sports equipment to get him interested in something else.
Feel mortally offended when the novelty wears off and he goes back to his addiction.
Worry over him.
Cry over him.
Scold him.
Mother him.
Beat him.
Scream at him.
Swear at him.
Give him the silent treatment.
Threaten to put him out of the house.
Fail to carry out threat.
Try to reason with him.
Tell him to telephone if he is going to be late.
Argue and scold him when he does call.
Wait on him.
Make him wait on himself.
Call the police, go to court and charge him with assault and then withdraw the charge.
Refuse to put up with another physical assault.
Put up with another and another.
Beg him not to drive when he’s high.
Get him out of the jam he gets into for driving when he was high.
Hate him.
Try to get help for him.
Pray he will quit drugs.
Pray the drugs will kill him.


Active Member
I have done mosst of the above and that is only part of the list.

difference now is that I will do nothing like that again. his life and mine are seperate. he has taught me I cannot control anything. I can choose to not participate.


Janet, I'm also guilty of many things on that list.

I haven't yet been tested as you have been, but I do believe that I've become somewhat detached in the ten months since my son went into placement.

He's only been home for three days, so it's MUCH too early to tell, but I think, during the one mini-issue we had, I've at least begun to get the hang of not allowing myself to become sucked into his "stuff."
I was the user, once upon a time. My mom did every single thing to me / for me on that list, and then some.

I did not get help the first time until I was homeless, living in a forest preserve, stinky from not having showered in days, the beginnings of dreadlocks, and needle tracks up & down my arms.

Mom could have brought in the National Guard, the French Foreign Legion, or Christ Himself. I still would not get help until she detached and stopped enabling me.

Thanks for sharing that, Janet.


Wow, BBK, it is very enlighting to hear your point of view! I wish we could paste your post everywhere--that you would not get help til your mom detached and quit enabling you. It is such a hard lesson for us parents to learn.


Well-Known Member
Staff member
That really is the key, isn't it, Janet? There has to come a time that you realize that nothing you can do will change another person's behavior. And at that point, you need to let go and start living your life as a separate person.

A person that can still be happy and lead a full life. A person that still loves your (adult) child but watches from afar and simply prays for the best.

It's not easy but it is the only way to keep your sanity.

What happens in the end is up to your child or loved one.


hearts and roses

Mind Reader
BBK, your words definitely ring true to me right now. After our counseling session was spent going over my family's alcoholism and determining if H's alcoholism helped difficult child get to this point (*possible alcoholism), difficult child announced that she'd like to move out of my house as soon as she secures a job. Well, the counselor said we didn't have time to talk about that, but we should think about it and talk amongst ourselves. All of it was buzzing around inside my head and I actually allowed myself to daydream of her being out of our home and I allowed myself to feel the slight glimmer of relief and freedom and yes, HOPE, that she'd quite possibly learn something for herself instead of everyone who loves her pointing it out to her all the time.

She's only 17 and just enrolled in 2 classes, and jobless, so she's not going anywhere soon, but I am anticipating some big changes this winter. I guess we'll see.

Janet, thanks for much for sharing that list - it's great. I printed it out as a gentle reminder to myself not to become so wrapped up in all of difficult child's crap.


Active Member
Thanks for the link. I will share it with others. There has been discussion on a Jewish site. No 1 below is pretty anti the 12 steps and has shared various links and books ( I only used the internet to check out the books ) I am interested in your comments. My response is no 3

1 They follow, advocate, and believe in 12 stepping, not as the cure-all though, because they believe you are sick for the rest of your life with these "illnesses." People should be forewarned that if they get involved with their 12 Step approach, they will be labeled a "recovering addict" forever after. The word "recovery" is used in a way unique to 12 steppers so that you never actually recover as in the conventional sense of the word, but you are perpetually sick.

This is a website which shows the fallacies of the 12 step program: http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-drydrunk.html

Some books that are a small voice within the seemingly universal promotion of 12 stepping for everything that ails you are: "Nobody's Victim - Freedom from Therapy and Recovery" by McCullough, "I'm Dysfunctional, You're Dysfunctional" by Wendy Kaminer, "A Nation of Victims", "The Myth of Mental Illness," "the Real 13th Step" and "Beyond Recovery" etc.

2 The only part of the link's diatribe that was scientifically relevant was when it quoted Harvard Medical School: “…at least 50% of alcoholics eventually free themselves although only 10% are ever treated…another estimate is that one recent study found that 80% of all alcoholics who recover for a year or more do so on their own, some after being unsuccessfully treated. When a group of these self-treated alcoholics was interviewed, 57% said they simply decided that alcohol was bad for them. Twenty-nine percent said health problems, frightening experiences, accidents, or blackouts persuaded them to quit…support from a husband or wife was important in sustaining the resolution. Treatment of Drug Abuse and Addiction -- Part III, The Harvard Mental Health Letter, Volume 12, Number 4, October 1995, page 3. (See Aug. (Part I), Sept. (Part II), Oct. 1995 (Part III).) As you can see, this information is about 12-years-old, and I wonder what more recent studies say. What’s more, even this study states the importance of support. What if you don’t have a supportive spouse? Many alcoholics don’t have any support—which brings us back to the importance of AA

3 I have looked at the links, checked out about the books and like most thing in life their is some truth in all approaches, but no approach is perfect and it is up to the individual and his therapist if he needs one to find what is the best fit for him. For some the addiction may be a bad habit and not really symptomatic of any underlying factors such as depression, unhealthy life style, bad company, bad choices, being unfullfilled - a cheftza needing to be entertained or being made to feel alive with drink , drugs and maybe also the social scene that goes with it. So being ' dry drunk 'and not dealing with the underlying causes makes relapsing into ' drink' quite possible. Some people need to find new friends and support groups provide this and the support and experience to cope and learn a new way of life. From what I read about the book the 13 th step , is that the 12 steps does not go far enough and a person may need more than a support group , but individual therapy etc. In the 12 steps , in my humble opinion there seems to be the conceptual problem of not being able to know and understand the power of prayer, the help we get from heaven and yet at the same time being confidant and believing in our willpower and efforts we make, we do not ' fear', believe in our abilities, we go into war believing in our abilities , that we can win and at the same time we know that it is the partnership with God that is the secret to our success.


Active Member
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Allan-Matlem</div><div class="ubbcode-body">in my humble opinion there seems to be the conceptual problem of not being able to know and understand the power of prayer, the help we get from heaven and yet at the same time being confidant and believing in our willpower and efforts we make....and at the same time we know that it is the partnership with God that is the secret to our success.</div></div>

AMEN and double Amen.

ant's doctor told us he has worked with many addicted people. he said he finds the true answer to be belief in a god. that someone is bigger than this, that someone can be there for you and you dont have to bolster yourself or hide with being high.

ant is not a social being. the AA mtgs are not for him. he does not like to interact with any groups. ant chooses to drink. he says he drinks due to depression, yet he refuses to take anti-depressant legal drugs. his increasing blackouts scare him. he wakes up sitting upright on his couch, fully dressed, not knowing how he got there, sometimes people he has been with bring him home. he is very vulnerable when in a blackout and also very super strong and unreasonable. it scares him.

I like POTADA because it helps the family of the addict/alcoholic let go.