More than forty years of working with drug troubled young people and their families at Phoenix House have shown me the power of parental interaction and the many kinds of help they give each other. One feels this dynamic at work during the group sessions we hold for parents of teens in treatment. You can see it in their body language—in the thoughtful nods that acknowledge common experiences and the widened eyes that signal an epiphany, the “light bulb moment” of revelation when an obvious truth hits home.
So many of the parents I have counseled over the years tell me how unprepared they were to deal with their concern about a child’s drug use. They were generally reluctant to admit a problem existed, usually unsure of how to find help, and often trapped in what my colleagues in the treatment field call “the conspiracy of silence” – a silence born of shame and an unwarranted sense of guilt.
To help the many millions of parents who, each year, face up to the fact that theirs is a drug-troubled child, The Partnership at Drugfree.org has launched the You Are Not Alone campaign to break the “conspiracy of silence” and let these newly concerned mothers and fathers learn from others who have gone before them.
If you have a story to tell - about your child, yourself or other ways addiction has touched your life – then I urge you to share it. If there are lessons to be learned from your experience, you may provide that “light bulb moment” for a parent eager for answers to the questions that once confronted you.
Share your story, upload it to YouTube, or write it out and post it on your favorite social network. Please join the You Are Not Alone campaign.
You can also learn more about the help available at Phoenix House.
Mitchell S. Rosenthal, MD, Founder of Phoenix House
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