It is the hot topic right now to write about the tragedy of Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Not to minimize his experience but we must not forget how many other families had the same experience on Sunday.
As the rest of us prepared for the Super Bowl making snacks and gathering with friends other families were getting the news that their son, daughter, mother, father, brother or sister no longer felt the pain of addiction. They paid the ultimate price.
This continues to happen every day. It is not hard to remember the emptiness we felt a year ago when a friend called us to tell us about her son. Sadness, The Monster Claims Another
It may seem overly dramatic but there isn't a day I don't think about how lucky our family is that Alex is clear and sober today. Darlene ask me one day if there isn't a day I don't think about this. I replied no, "Not really." She told me maybe I need to talk to someone. I thought to myself, that's what all of you guys are for.
Seven years of my life while Alex was using affected me deeply. I cannot imagine the pain of those parents whose children that lost the fight before finding recovery. The nightmare must be horrific.
It's hard for me to give advice to parents whose children still struggle because I am not sure there is a good answer to the single overriding question, "What can I do to get them to stop?" I fought with that question for seven years. Today I have learned that the answer to that question is to take care of yourself and to not give up.
There are new treatments available today that were not available ten years ago. Chemical treatments and new evidence based therapy's show great promise. These aren't designed to be in place of the long tested therapy's like NA. It just means we have more at our disposal. Use whatever works for you and for your loved one.
My sympathies go out to the family of Phillip Seymour Hoffman. But my sympathies also go out to each of those families whose loved one wasn't the lead story on the national news. It happens every day. Statistics tell us that every 19 minutes someone loses their fight to the monster.
What if every single month there was a new 9/11 attack? Just as many of our countrymen lose their lives to addiction each month as those in New York. This is a national tragedy just as 9/11. We must not minimize any of these loses, not 9/11 and not the tragedy of addiction.