The Shame of Addiction: Are Parents to Blame for Their Kids' Addiction?
I AM the proof he was a good father. Anyone who may judge him for my brother’s addiction need only look at me. I am the fucking American dream that so many people still believe in. I am a woman. I am a mother. I am a successful business owner. I own a house. I have two cars and put fresh whole foods on the table daily. I have two healthy amazing kids. I am madly in love with the man I married. I speak my mind. I stand up for the less fortunate. I treat people with respect. I define my own beliefs and I stand up for them.
My father is the MAIN reason for this. He helped mold me into what I am today. He instilled the same values in me that he did my brother. He taught me about work ethic, passion, and family. I listened to him whilst my brother put a needle in his arm.
I believe there are TWO MAJOR PROBLEMS with addiction in this country. First is the drug addiction itself. Drugs are fucking bad. We all know this. Some are worse than others. Some people like me use and make it out just fine, some people like my brother use and become lifelong addicts. It’s a fucking crap shoot that has plagued our country for a very, very, very long time and I have absolutely no idea how this can be fixed.
The second problem is a much easier fix to me. The judging and shame that goes along with the addiction needs to be eradicated. I can pretty much guarantee that one of you reading this has an addict or substance abuser in the family. I can also guarantee that most of you reading this are normal, law abiding citizens who love their families. You probably live in a house, have a job, and treat people well. The majority of addicts have families like ours. Yet no one talks about it. Everyone hides their addict in the corner, dealing with the problem all by themselves. The addicts fight the battle, some live, some die, and most people stay quiet. We wouldn’t want The Joneses to know little Timmy is a meth head now would we?
The war on drugs is the longest losing war that our country has battled. Our perception of addiction needs to change for any movement in this stagnant war. Parents need to start talking about their kids with problems. In public. Out in the open. The shame of addiction must be eliminated for any change in this disease that is silently, slowly killing our country.
Starting today, starting now, starting with you and me, the shame of addiction can be stopped. All it takes is for us to open our mouths and speak up. Let’s stop judging each other and work together to find a solution to this devastating hurricane of a disease.
Photo Credit: g4gti.