I spent time the last couple weeks speaking to students about our family experience and how drugs and addiction affects a person and all of those loved ones surrounding the addicted.
Hopefully this is a message that many can take to heart as they enter the time of becoming an adult and facing choices that have the potential of catastrophic results. As I interact with these young people they remind me a very special message. As much as we parents suffer with an addicted child there younger siblings and friends that hurt and suffer with this pain without an understanding as much as we do as parents.
Many students after the presentations came up to me and spoke of brothers, sisters, cousins, relatives and friends afflicted with this disease. The told me of the pain and frustration they feel about an addicted loved one. Sometimes it is easy to be consumed by our own grief about the situation of our own child but this reminds me that these young people are trying to process life with this disease without the life learning we have has as adults.
Following the presentation I tell everyone that there is a stack of business cards on a stool in the back of the room, they have my name, phone number, e-mail and blog address, feel free to take as many as you want. I make no judgements, so many students quietly walk back to that stool and pick up a card, I hope it helps and they find whatever it is they need.