“We are parents helping parents of
drug and alcohol addicted children.”
When a child starts drinking or using drugs, parents get confused, angry, and scared. Stigma and embarrassment may prevent parents from talking about the disease, so they internalize their feelings and isolate. Very often, especially if the drug use gets really bad, parents are traumatized by events and the consequences that the drug or alcohol use carries with it (arrests, injuries, emotional outbursts, threats, theft, violence, repeated lies, overdoses, relapses, and a long list of other predictable complications).
Working collaboratively with treatment providers and therapists since 2006, we organized, attended and conducted a variety of meetings to support parents in dealing with this counter-intuitive disease. In 2013, we decided to write a series of manuals so parents could have a “program” of support to turn to between meetings, much like what is available to our kids through their various recovery programs. The resulting parent “program” is educational and supportive, but should not be viewed as a substitute for personal recovery. It should be complimentary to 12-Step programs (such as Al-Anon or Nar-Anon) or professional therapeutic help and intervention.
The manuals correspond to the three progressive phases that our parents go through:
- Phase 1: Crisis
“Standing in the Storm – A Resource Guide for Parents of Addicted Children”
- Phase 2: Transition
“Two Roads – Choosing between Chaos and Recovery” and “On the Road – Topics for Parents in Transition”
- Phase 3: Recovery
“On the Road – Topics for Parents in Transition”
The manuals represent a collection of what we have learned from each other over the last decade. We provide each other with support, options and resources by sharing what worked for us (and what didn’t work). The manuals include stories from the perspectives of our parents, our addicts, trusted therapists, addiction researchers, and leaders from national treatment facilities.
The manuals address both the problem (addiction and its consequences) and the solution (recovery and its rewards). Most importantly, we suggest that recovery is made possible by changing our attitudes, behaviors and beliefs. Research strongly suggests that when parents change their attitudes and behaviors about the disease, their children have a better chance at getting and staying clean and sober.
Below are the first three manuals relating to Crisis and Transition. The final manual relating to Recovery is still in development.
The manuals are also available as PDFs at no cost through Be a Part of the Conversation. Please feel free to share them with anyone who may be struggling with a child or family member. If you find them helpful, please consider hitting the DONATE button to help us reach more parents in need. Thank you.
– Pam & Bill Roberts
Parents and friends of Be a Part of the Conversation
I. Standing in the Storm
“When the parent of an addict develops knowledge and awareness of the disease, learns how to set boundaries, how to respond appropriately to crisis, and how to manage the tyranny of their addict, they become a collaborator in reducing unacceptable and unhealthy behavior. The collective wisdom contained in this resource will help parents acquire these skills. . . .
. . . I have seen that involvement in the parent group process helps ‘newcomer’ parents deal with their anguish, recognize and accept their powerlessness over addiction and their own unhealthy co-dependent attachments, and provide hope, healing and a connectedness to self and others. They do indeed ‘Stand in the Storm’ with and for each other, and they heal. I am a believer, and congratulate the parents for this groundbreaking grass-roots work.”
– A Grateful Friend and Supporter