Thursday, March 5, 2015

There Is No Vaccine Against Addiction

No one is immune from addiction; it afflicts people of all ages, races, classes, and professions. - Patrick J. Kennedy

Last night I was kindly invited to attend "family night" at a a substance abuse rehab center. One Wednesday during a 28-day stay, the clients attend a one-hour lecture, along with family members who are able to join them. Last night, five sets of parents spoke to the group, to the clients, encouraging --- imploring them to persevere in their rehab programs, to get a sponsor, to go to a halfway house, to attend meetings --- whatever it takes to stay "clean."

These parents know well what's at stake. Every one had lost a son or daughter to an overdose. Two of the five sets of parents are about my age and raising a young grandson because mommy or daddy died from their disease of addiction. My friends, Bob​ and Sherry invited me. Sherry was one of the speakers, with her grandson at her side and her son's picture on an easel nearby.

It was a lot to take in. I'm still processing what it means to me. I've never been directly involved in these situations. There are however a few things I can say with certainty. Substance abuse is nothing to joke about. It can involve anybody. It can kill anybody. Know the signs. Get expert help. Support those affected, the parents, the children, as well as those trying to get help, and those who don't yet see how much they need it.

More on this another day as I continue to think and pray about it.

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