what do you think of this article


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hopeandjoy, I think drugs are addictive physically. I also have read a lot about addiction since my daughter used drugs and I have read many people say that rehabs are not the most common way people quit. Most just quit. I don't know if this is right or wrong. My daughter quit. No rehab. Nothing. It was time. She was not in a good time in her life, forced to live in her self-righteous brother's basement where it was cold and he rarely gave her company. Her boyfriend was the only person there to hold her hand.

I think addiction is complex. If it were as easy as feeling connected to family/friends, well, most of our kids had that. They were not on the street first. That came after they became dangerous to us.

This man is a blogger, not a doctor, just like us. I do think some people are more prone to addiction. My daughter seems to be able to use almost anything then quit. She also quit cigarettes, which I hear is VERY hard to quit. I think it's your genes, your personality, and your choices. I also think I'm not a scientist.

I wish somebody did have all the answers to drug addiction.
I too think that drug addiction is very complicated. I do believe if it was that simple then we would hardly have addicts at all. The thing we all want for our kids is that they some how connect with us. Many do have that connection with their family at some point and then all hell brakes loose and we end up loosing them to addiction. Too many of us have tried and tried to help them to no avail. My vote is still on the hooks of addiction into the brain.


Well-Known Member
Well said MWM. One thing to remember with addiction, just like with crime, there is NO one size fits all program. Aint gonna happen! Our difficult child has a loving family and he CHOSE to live how he does. Being a smoker currently trying to quit (Lil and I have smoked less than a half a pack each since before Thanksgiving) I can assure you that its both easy and hard to do. One of my favorite sayings is that its easy to quit smoking. Ive done it a thousand times! Yes, its been scientifically proven that certain drugs are more addictive than others. Yes, its been scientifically proven that some people are more prone to addiction than others. What science doesn't take into consideration is free will. I tell inmates all the time that the only way for them to succeed is if they want to. It wont be easy and it wont happen over night but if you stick with it, eventually you'll get there. Part of this is, if your particular problem is addiction anyway, to WANT to stop doing the drugs.

I know the dangers of smoking having had several friends and relatives die of lung cancer and having one (who was a MAJOR difficult child) uncle who is currently in remission. Im no genius but consider myself to be reasonably intelligent and even having facts like these doesn't stop me. Only I can stop me and their has to be the motivation to do so. Could I kick heroin addiction? I think so. I hope so. Not gonna get addicted to it just to find out though!

One thing this article blatantly ignores though, is the fact that there comes a time when, for your own safety and the safety of those living with you, that you HAVE to at least limit contact if not cut it off completely with an addict. The gentleman who's son attacked him when he tried to take the difficult child to the hospital is a perfect example of this. Its been said before and I'll say it again. An addict needs to hit rock bottom (most of the time anyway) before they can truly begin to conquer their addiction. The problem with letting someone hit rock bottom is that its dangerous and potentially lethal.

Look at the research, the studies, and the information but don't forget to look at the individual as well. You cant help someone who doesn't want help and sometimes it takes hitting rock bottom to realize you want help.


Well-Known Member
We should not assume that the connection missing the blogster talks about would necessary be connection to parents. Most get addicted as teens or youngish adults, some later in adulthood.

For a baby primary connection is (usually) to mother and that connection is enough for the baby. Toddler starts to wider their horizon when it comes to connections and dad, siblings, grandparents etc. come important. When they are at school age, peer group starts to become bigger and bigger connection and in teens it is more influential than parents already.

In later teens or young adulthood parents can love unconditionally as much as they can, but it doesn't mean that much, when talking meaningful connections for those teens and young adults. Connection to friends, feedback they get from them, trying to fit in, boyfriends or girlfriends, connection to something meaningful to do; going to school and studying something that interests you, having a work you find meaningful (and not just a way to make some money), interacting with work- or schoolmates, neighbours and so on, having plans for future and feeling connected to country/system you are living in, being connected to more abstract things like meaning of life, some spiritual or ethical world view etc. is much more relevant in that age than how kid gets along with parents.

Often, when reading people posts about their troubled children here, it is striking, how few or bad connections those troubled children have in their live outside their childhood family. How they have failed to develop all those other connections their healthy peers have at that age (and yes, often substituted them either with substances or very poor quality connections with 'friends' who either take advantage of them or from whom our problem children try to take advantage.)

I also have to say, that most people I know who have overcome substance abuse issues, have done it, because they have something meaningful to do or meaningful interpersonal connections.
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I also have to say, that most people I know who have overcome substance abuse issues, have done it, because they have something meaningful to do or meaningful interpersonal connections.

I can give a very good example of this. One of my nephew's was heavy into drugs. Not just pot either, but was smoking meth. He met a girl and it turned out that she meant more to him than the drugs. They are now married and have three children.


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On the other hand, many addicts have such people in their lives and still don't quit. I'm not at all ignoring that this could be a motivation. It may have been for my daughter.

Also, there are people who don't NEED a lot of people in their lives. I am one so I know this exists. I k now many loners and that does not mean they use drugs. In fact, due to lack of caring about peer pressure perhaps they are less apt to abuse??? Our difficult children often do not have meaningful friendships or connections outside of family (at least I know it is so in my son's case) because he is not only a loner, but, frankly, is not very likeable. My sister is a party animal who always had tons of friends and connections yet it seems she and her friends never stop drinking and many snort cocaine. They are in their 50's...lol. But I get what you are saying, Suzir, and I don't discount it at all. I just think addiction is complicated...a mixture of life, personality, circumstances, coping skills, family, friends and that gene that makes some more prone to addiction and some not prone to it.

I do not think an addict has to go to rehab to quit. I think they need to come the realization that something, anything, even life itself, is so important that he/she needs to quit. Almost any of us would support helping our loved one who was really quitting. But, yeah, Jabber is also right. We can not put ourselves at risk either.

My own philosophy is that it is probably better if, at a young age, you learn to care for yourself and enjoy your own company because there is no guarantee that any other person will always be there for you, except you. I try to talk to Julie and Jumper about this. That way, even if you find that your anchor person is no longer there, you can toddle along shakily at first, but make it in the end...because your best friend and support system is yourself.

Scent of Cedar *

Well-Known Member
Extrapolating from SuZir's post, bullying and status-thru-money and status-through-cool morality is rampant in our schools.

A very good article. I too believe addiction has more than one component. I too believe there are people who will condemn an addict for the simple, savage pleasure of condemning someone ~ the same dynamic always at work in human nature.

The truth must be somewhere in the middle, between the dependency model and the moral deficit model.

The theory put up for consideration in this article could be that missing piece. For sure, it can help us see our addicted loved ones with more compassion.

Halleluiah on that one.

Thanks for posting, Hope and Joy.



Well-Known Member
There can be many reasons for "connection issues" - and yes, some of our difficult child kids "should have" had good, supportive connections - but their own issues and challenges do not enable them to feel supported, connected.

I do believe there can be an element of physical addiction, and it may be partly a DNA thing. Some people may be more at risk of becoming an addict than others. For these, recreational use can be the trigger. BUT... I believe that the greater portion is driven by MI, including the despair that comes from extreme poverty.

If we had put as much effort into the "war on poverty" as was put into the "war on drugs", we might have made more of a difference on the drug front as well. JMO of course, and I'm not in the USA - slightly different culture etc., but we still have somewhat of a "war on drugs".


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Well, because the U.S. is right now run by conservatives and they are very against social programs that help the poor, it's not going to happen here. Just won't. I live in a state where services are being slashed. This affects the poor AND the mentally ill, especially the mentally ill poor. The whole country leans in this direction now.

As for drugs, I think it's more DNA than mental illness. Mental illness doesn't mean you are prone to addiction. It CAN lead to substance use, but maybe not abuse. I knew a lot of well-adjusted kids who experimented with drugs and then some of them got hooked. Who knows who is at risk? It's like Russian roulette. Most kids start using drugs because it's "Fun" or "cool" or they want to be accepted by the "popular" kids, not because they are not well off or mentally ill. At least here, drugs are as big in the well off suburbs as in the working class.

Of course, the ultra-poor...selling drugs is about the only way to make a living and forget your hopelessness so I agree in that case. I doubt Canada sees the poverty of a third world country that does exist in some areas of the U.S. Maybe I'm wrong. THAT of course would lead to drug use if only because there is no industry, no recreation, and nothing to do but work for the drug lords on the corners of streets. I have driven in some areas that didn't even look like America to me. The few times this happened it was due to my poor sense of direction getting me into a very dangerous place. But I couldn't even stop to ask directions to get back to where I needed to go. The people did not look friendly. I saw guns. It was as if I left one country and found myself in another one and, yes, I am positive drug use was the biggest recreation there because all businesses were gone, fun place buildings vacant, people hanging on street corners...very sad.

Tanya M

Living with an attitude of gratitude
Staff member
I too am of the mind that there are many reasons and ways people become addicted and the same goes for how they are able to kick it.

I know an individual who's parents were drug addicts and being raised in that environment you would think this person would follow in the path but they didn't. Not that is wasn't offered and even encouraged.

An addict needs to hit rock bottom (most of the time anyway) before they can truly begin to conquer their addiction
For some they have to hit rock bottom more than once. For some, they have hit bottom, they have kicked it and been clean and sober for many years and then one day they relapse.


Well-Known Member
Here is another interesting article you may want to check out.

RE, this article was absolutely awesome. This one I really related to. As much as I hate to admit it, divorce hurts our kids. Yes, I was divorced once. Those kids are nowhere near as well adjusted as the two who did not experience divorce and a stepparent in the middle of their childhood. I think that stay-at-home moms are great...kids need stability and a parent after school, not a smiley caregiving stranger. How many kids have that personal touch from mom anymore? How many have grown up in daycare? My grandson was in daycare at six weeks old. Now he'd also gone through a divorce and spends half time with mom and new stepdad and soon-to-be new baby and his father. This can't be good. It can't be good.

I am appalled at how much time some parents spend on their smartphones while raising kids. You and I did not have that option. Regardless of how our kids turned out (mixed bag for me), the kids did not have to compete with half the word texting us. I find I have to compete with Jumper's cell phone though when she is home. So I have a feeling how frustrating it must be for a kid to want Dad or Mom, yet they are there, but not there...just like Jumper can be. Technology takes you out of your environment and who you are with and strangers invade the family.

I liked the psychologists ideas of how to relate to teens and young adults.

If anyone doesn't mind finishing the longish article, it is a very good read and I believe it nails much of the issues our kids have today. Stability is gone. Mobility is here. Neighborhoods are transient where they used to be stable and kids knew everybody. There is very little for our kids to hang onto and we can't be with them all the time...not even those of us who try our best.

Are the Amish the best off of all of us? The ones who stick it out? Is it really better to live in OUR world? I've thought about that often.