The authors of this book are parents. Parents like you. We have many similarities and differences, but one thing that we all have in common is that we parent a young person who has a severe substance use disorder. We call it, ‘the club that we never wanted to be in’. Like you, more than anything, we want our kids to be well, to leave this chapter of life behind and to grow into the healthy and happy individuals that we always hoped they would be.
You might be feeling as though you have lost control: control over yourself, control over your young person and control over your options in terms of what you can do to help them. You may feel a loss of the parent you once were and the relationship you had with your young person, of what you had hoped to be as a parent and what you had hoped for your young person. You might feel embarrassed to reach out to others. Please do not let that prevent you from getting the help you need.
We have written this handbook to let you know that you are not alone.
There are many of us in this club. We have found that one of the most helpful things that we have done for ourselves and for our families is reach out and join a support group. This journey is a marathon, not a sprint, and knowing that there are others who understand what you are going through is a lifesaver.