Sunday, March 17, 2013

All Over The World

Yesterday I received an e-mail from a parent just as I do most days. I am so glad today that I posted my e-mail on our blog long ago. I never tire of getting e-mails from parents and I answer each one in some way. That has resulted in some writing many times and we share our trials on line and even some people I have met here locally. The single common denominator is our love for our children and desperation to do something about addiction and alcoholism.

These letters come from all over the world. I have written people in South Africa, New Zealand, Europe, Pakistan, South America Australia and many, many other places.

Yesterday I received an e-mail came from a mum in Australia. She told the story of her son and their life. She gave me permission to reprint her letter and it is below. I print this because we all need to understand that in this battle none of us are alone. No matter if we are sitting next to someone at a meeting, sharing hugs with a relative, answering an anonymous e-mail or sharing with someone on the other side of the world, we are not alone in this mess.

This is an epidemic the world over.

Good Luck Julie, all my best wishes for your family and your son. Where there is life there is hope. We have shared a few e-mails, feel free to write any time.

Dear Ron

  I have come across your blog on the net and have been reading your past blogs.  
Our son, Andrew is 24years and other than me being "mum" not mom things are 
pretty much the same over here for our family in Australia. There is so little 
help over here and in our National news this week they are telling us young 
Australians are up in the biggest Drug users in the world statistics. It is so 
wonderful to read your feelings that almost mirror mine and to know I am not 
alone!  We have been struggling with Andrew's drug addiction for 7 years and I 
think if only I had written it all down...this roller coaster ride that we 
co-inhabit with our son.  he is living in our family home, on a methadone 
program and I think just maybe he has reached the stage of not enjoying the drug 
life and it does not give him any happiness anymore. He struggles with recovery 
and relapses are common.  We are a middle class family with two sons, Andrew is 
our youngest. He started with pot at 15 years and was an A grade student up 
until this time. He has also been a poly drug user and has even taken to 
misusing his methadone dose and injecting it.  There are very few rehabs in 
Queensland where we live, and almost all of them are 12 steps based. Total 
abstinence is impossible with him using the methadone and god knows if he will 
ever be able to stop. Trying to find a detox unit to coordinate with rehab is 
almost impossible. Andrew has been admitted to every private hospital in 
Brisbane and in every case has had himself excluded for misusing drugs whilst a 
patient.  He went to a rehab down the Coast and was clean for 9 months!! He 
entered their halfway house program and started using again Then he came back 
home to us and we live this never ending nightmare. Fortunately he has not been 
to jail, I think our system is somewhat different to yours.  Each court case he 
has managed to evade prison somehow and does not have a record which could be 
good if he does decide to get clean one day as he will be able to gain 
employment. However i sometimes feel it may have been better for Andrews 
recovery as so much help is given to them in jail. It is so true the 
codependency addicts families develop. My husband is the classic enabler and how 
our 32 year marriage is still intact is a wonder! All of the feelings you 
describe the hatred, the frustration, the sadness, the disappointment, the utter 
helplessness is everything that we feel.  We cannot see a way out at all and 
wonder will it ever end? Or will he end up dead our greatest fear of all!
 Anyway Ron I just wanted to say thank you to you and your wife for your blog 
as it has given me hope and I don't feel quite as alone now.. Thankyou both so 


Val Paulson said...

Blessings to you and your family. It does help to know you are not alone. Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Lisa said...


Ron's writings have been a gift to so many of us. As he mentioned, hang on to hope. I remember a post he wrote one July. I'll never forget his words "it won't be long now." He thought he would lose his son. Today his son is clean and living his life as a healthy individual. Your son can do the same. Recovery happens every day. Blessings to you and your dear son.


Suzy said...

I can feel your pain just reading your letter. I went through this nightmare with my son. Rons words certainly gave me the courage to 'let go with love'. My son went to the lowest point, and I often wondered if I would get the dreaded phone call. However, prison has saved his life!! He was sent down for 5 years for robbery (to feed his habit). He was put on a 40 day detox, and has been clean for 6 months now into his sentence. He is a different person. The son I once knew. He may have lost his freedom, but he is alive. Please have faith, take one day at a time. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone looked into ? AA does not work for everyone. Smart Recovery is gaining quite a following and some even use it in conjunction with AA. There is also information for parents at

Best wishes,

Anonymous said...

I have only found this blog in the last 30 minutes. I am particularly interested in making contact with the Queensland (Australia) Mum, Julie. We live north of Brisbane and our son lives on the Gold Coast. He has recently started on a daily methadone dose via ATODS (Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Service), to overcome an oxycontin addiction (after years of post-surgery pain control due to bike riding injuries). Will read your site for more info re: how NOT to enable our son. We know we have been of real help to him in the past, but our son is a fairly skilled manipulator, and we need to smarten up on not being part of the problem. Thanks for this blog so much :-)

Anonymous said...

anonymous, if you would like to give Ron your email perhaps he could kindly forward it to me and I will email you.

It is Easter and for some reason every celebration or important occasion seems to coincide with relapse for our son, as it seems to do for so many addicts. I am just praying that Andrew will be okay this weekend and would love if he came and sat at the table on Easter Sunday with our family. Trying to keep being normal preparing and cooking for everyone with a smile on my face is sooo hard to do!, I know you all understand and hat is a comfort. Julie x

Dad and Mom said...

I'd be happy to connect you if I get the info.

SOBERBOOK said... is a safe, anonymous place where ALL people can tell their stories without having to attach a name or face to the words. It is here that you will see chapters about finding recovery, overcoming obstacles, mending relationships, achieving happiness, following dreams, and much more. The goal for is to create a community of support, camaraderie, and hope for the future.