Sunday, April 29, 2012

Busy Weekend

My weekend has been consumed with preparations and plans for bath crashers weekend. Buying materials, organizing tools and refining my plan.

Mom wimped out on me and went to the lake to see her sister's house that was struck by the Branson tornado. Tornados Get Personal

On Friday I spoke to students at Shawnee Mission West High School. Plus, the local news interviewed me for the evening news. I'm not much of a television personality. The most important thing that day was the students.

The students were fantastic. From my point of view they were very intent on my story. Everyone was paying attention and many shared stories and ask questions. I put business cards on the counter near the door. The students are free to take them if they want. It is very emotional for me when I see students purposely go over there to take a card with them. The cards have the blog address, my e-mail, and my personal phone number. The hardest part of these talks are between classes. Students come up to me to tell me about their own family experiences, it breaks my heart but I see so much strength in these students. It takes guts and heart to talk to a stranger about addiction.

I guess it is impossible to know for sure if I have any impact on these young people but for myself I believe.

The news anchor interviewed me in the hallway before one class then they shot video of me speaking to the students. Of course I was not happy with what I said or how but I'm hard to please. They posted on the station website an article written by Mark Clegg, KSHB about our experience and my talks. Father Blogs About His Son's Drug Addiction To Help Others Avoid His Family's Pain

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Bath Crashers

The excitement and anxiety is building. The weekend of May 5th we are planning to do a home version of Bath Crashers at my Mom's house. (this is the house I was raised in)

As many of you know from past posts my Mom has Alzheimer's. She is OK enough right now to stay at home but she is also getting more frail. The biggest issue is her bathroom. She lives in an old house built in the early 50's and the bathroom hasn't been changed since the house was built except for a little cosmetic tile and wallpaper. The weekend of May 5th Alex, my son-in-laws, brother, two nephews and myself are going to crash her bathroom. It will be expanded and made handicap accessible.

I've been working on the plans for a couple weeks and this weekend I am buying all the materials to have on hand like they do on TV so we can keep the project moving.

It's important that we get this done in the time we scheduled. The disruption for Mom that weekend is going to be pretty bad and I know she will be confused so Darlene and the girls are going to try and keep her occupied by going hairdresser and all those kind of "girl" things.

My philosophy is "All Hands On Deck", the more hands the better.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Another School Presentation

On Friday I will again be talking to students at a local high school. This time it is Shawnee Mission West High School. I have four classes to present.

As an added twist to this one the local NBC station, KSHB 41 is sending a crew to cover it and Mark Klegg the anchorman is suppose to be there to interview me. Be sure to watch on Friday night and see me stick my foot in my mouth and generally come off as a fool.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

How Did We Get Here? Guest Blogger: Lisa

The question haunted my every waking moment.  It wasn’t supposed to be this way.  I had moved from planning a high school graduation party to shopping for my son’s first rehab.  What about college?  What about all the other kids in his graduating class who were moving on to a new chapter in their lives?  What about those hopes and dreams I had carried for my child for 19 years?  How did we get HERE?
I simply had to have an answer to that question.  I thought I had done a good job as a parent raising my two children.  I had scaled my work schedule back to part-time when they were growing up to spend more time at home with them.  I volunteered in the preschools and schools they attended, helped with their extracurricular activities, attended Church with them, sent them to Church camp each summer, chaperoned their events, vacationed with them as a family, shared family meals with them every evening and helped with homework.  How did we get here?
In time the question changed.  How do we fix this?  Surely if I read books, attended parent support groups, found the right counselors, doctors, recovery coaches, rehab programs, aftercare groups, halfway houses and sober living establishments we could find out what to do to put this all behind us and get our lives back on track.   Now it didn’t matter how we got here if we could just find a cure.
That was three years ago.  Today I don't ask those questions.   There are no answers.     
Today I have come to a place of acceptance.  I have been affected by my son’s addiction.  I wish it had never become a part of our lives.  To question, however, why it happened, or spend time trying to control it is a waste of my time and energy.  Instead I have accepted it as a part of our lives.  I can live my life torturing myself in an attempt to find answers to questions that do not exist.  Or I can live my life accepting the reality of what is.  And along the way I can learn from every life experience. 
My son's life has not unfolded as I had planned, and I cannot see into his future.  His life will continue along on its journey.  I do not know what the path ahead will look like.  It will be different than I had imagined it would be.  Perhaps it will turn out better than I ever could have hoped for. 
 Today my son is again in rehab.  Today is a good day.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Guest Post???, Anyone

Today I am going to offer our blog up to anyone that would like to guest post.

I know many of you have your own blog and share your thoughts there and I feel privileged for the opportunity to read your postings.

I am also sure there are others that have not made the step to write their own blog but I'm sure you have some very valuable insights and experiences we would love to read. This is the time for readers to become writers.

Please, share your wisdom and experience. E-mail your contribution to:

A couple rules:
Guest bloggers can remain anonymous or be public, your choice
Links will be available to your blog, website or e-mail address if you choose
No commercial advertisements
Good taste must be used.
Appropriate language and content for our community
You will NOT be graded on grammar but be sure to use spell check
One paragraph or one page, it doesn't matter

Monday, April 16, 2012

Another Request

Becky Vance, Regional Director - Field Operations and National Director - Parent Ambassador Program for The Partnership at is looking for a parent and teen to be interviewed about marijuana use and the prevailing attitude towards marijuana usage today by young teens. This is not a TV interview. 

If you are interested in taking part in this opportunity to help many people please contact Becky at:


Sunday, April 15, 2012


Cathy over at Treatment has a very good and interesting post on her blog If you haven't seen it I would recommend taking a look. It is 17 quotes from various blogs and books about Recovery.
How to Recover: 17 Quotes of Experience, Strength and Hope

Friday, April 13, 2012

News About Making OXY Unabusable

I just read this news article, Scientists Work to Make Prescription Painkillers Unabusable.

Inside I want to scream, "IT'S ABOUT F'ING TIME!!!!!"

But, I am learning, today is better than tomorrow and being grateful for today is better for me than being angry about yesterday.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Happy Birthday, Quite a Difference

Today is Alex's 24th birthday. This one is so different that you could almost consider it abnormal, he is clear and sober.

Last year he was clear and sober but in jail serving his 6 months. So his birthday came and went behind bars. All the years before, I guess, around 7 years he was in some stage of active addiction. there is nothing normal about an addicts birthday, it seems like they celebrate by increasing the drama of the day. Bet you all know what I mean.

The best story of Alex's birthday while he was active was what I wrote last year, April 11, 2011.

Mom and dad get to celebrate with him this year. Don't know what we are doing yet. Haven't made any plans the family celebration is scheduled for Saturday. Our celebration is one done privately inside ourselves.

Where there is life there is hope.

Monday, April 9, 2012


I just noticed on my counter I have over 200,000 hits. Thank you all so much for your support.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Waco, TX

I received this e-mail and am posting it for any of you that may be in the Waco, TX area.


I'm a reporter at KCEN TV in Waco, Texas. I'm currently working on a story about prescription drug abuse awareness and came across your blog. I was wondering if you could let your readers in the Waco, Temple, & Killeen, Texas area that I'm looking for a family to interview. I'm hoping they can tell me what it's like to help a loved one recover from prescription drug abuse or what the addiction can do to their loved one and family. You can tell your readers to e-mail me at

Thanks so much for any help you can provide,
Amanda Kenney

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Persecution of People

As parents of addicts we all understand the symptoms and consequences of addiction. We see our children involved in illegal activity and then ultimately prosecution for the crimes they commit. It is easy for us to see and understand the symptoms of this disease and recognize what is happening with our addicted loved ones. These thoughts are not about prosecution for crimes. There are consequences to ones actions. Fitting the consequences to the actions is another article for another day.

My point today is about persecution versus prosecution.

It is easy to marginalize someone or a group when they don't fit into our view of the world and how it should be. Most of us can relate to persecution when we think about racial, religious or persecution of peoples with different backgrounds. History is full of examples that we remember or learned about in school. In hindsight, we all wonder how did so many people allow this happen to so many people?

Addiction is an epidemic in our nation and the world. A recent study estimates that over 10% of the US population is involved in addiction in some way, either active or recovery, that is over 30 million people! My point is not to argue the numbers, my point is that it is a real problem and it's not getting fixed doing what we are doing today.

Not so long ago I remember as a nation we persecuted people in this nation because they contracted a disease. In the 1980's we became aware of people with a disease and the lack of understanding of that disease lead us to persecute a massive group of people. What did we think in the '80's when we saw letters strung together, HIV+ and AIDS. Does the name Ryan White ring a bell? We persecuted the person instead of dealing with the disease.

I feel this is where we are today with addiction. Too many people are feel more comfortable with persecuting the person versus understanding the disease.

There has been progress in treatment for HIV+ and AIDS. There still is no cure or vaccine but no one can argue that there has not been serious inroads into treatment for these diseases.

Research and treatment for addiction is painfully slow. For a while we have had a chemical treatment, methadone. More recently there have been other chemical treatments such as Suboxone. There have been many alternative behavior modification models developed. Separately, in the 1930's the Alcoholics Anonymous 12 step model was designed and has helped millions of people with alcoholism. AA has proven to be the most successful model to help alcoholics worldwide. NA, Al-Anon, Nar-Anon all adapted from AA likewise has helped millions. In my opinion even with all of this we are not where we need to be.

Until there is a more enlightened and educated population I believe we as a nation will continue to struggle with the epidemic of addiction.

Persecution of the addicted will not cure the disease of addiction.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Kansas City Area Readers

Here is a notice of a seminar in Kansas City Area. If you are interested details are available at the link.

A counselor from Adolescent Center for Treatment in Olathe will be a guest speaker about the growing trend in Bath Salts. 

Stand-Up Parenting Special Event: PARENTING IN A CHAOTIC CULTURE

Monday, April 2, 2012

Jayhawks Live Here

As many of you know if you have been reading in the past in our home we are Jayhawk Fans. It's not the football, tennis, baseball or any other collegiate teams that matter it is Jayhawk basketball.

During this time of year Jayhawk basketball is not a game.........  


Are YOU prepared for tonight's game? I'm ready, got my t-shirt on, it's the one I was wearing when we beat Roy's Boys at North Carolina, picked it up from the chair in the bathroom on Saturday night and put it on when we were playing the overconfident braggarts at Ohio State, got it on today. I know some of you are wondering, NO, it hasn't been washed! You think I'm crazy? (don't answer that)

To all you UK fans out there reading this, ______________________. (leave it to your imagination)

Of course there can be only one winner. You can tell where my loyalties lie. I wish the best for all those players on the court tonight. I just wish the best a little harder for those that understand that KU is the proper order of initials for a basketball team.

ps.: I EXPECT several ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK, GO KU in the comments.