I was that confident parent…

who believed that “Dare” “Just Say No to Drugs” “Partnership for a Drug Free America” and honest open dialog was going to save my children.  I was conscientious about sharing the dangers of drugs with my children. I told the story that led to my brothers death at the age of 30 from drug abuse.  I showed them pictures of the uncle they never met. How could it be anymore concrete then that? DEATH.

Partnership of America you want to do something constructive take all these drug shows off TV.   Call it coincidental but J’s drug use started simultaneously with his fascination with the show “Intervention”. Maybe that should have been my clue that something was up but I honestly thought “here is a show that portrays the very ugly consequences of drug abuse” but maybe it is the trigger.  All the “Partnership” does is make me feel like a horrible parent who was obviously asleep at the wheel and worse yet…I still have three children to raise and I don’t know exactly what I should do differently.  How messed up is that?

Any other parents notice their addicts fascination in “drug centered” literature or reality TV and movies?


About madyson007

I am a mom of 4 who thought she was home free when my oldest son went off to college. My serious blunder? Genetics and being naive or maybe just plain stupid.
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12 Responses to I was that confident parent…

  1. Sheila says:

    My daughter kept telling me that the movies about drugs made her want to NOT try them, but that’s not how her life turned out. She appears to be more or less clean right now, probably because her funds are pretty tight, but I know she could go back to using at any time. She’s not in a recovery program. She did NA for about a week and a half and then stopped.

    I truly believe that addiction is a disease. We can do the best we can as parents, but if they are susceptible to it, sooner or later it is likely that they will become ill. Don’t beat yourself up about what you did or did not do. It probably would have made very little difference.


  2. heathersmom1 says:

    The interventionist we used with Heather told me that the show “Intervention” is “porn for addicts”. I thought that addicts were so interested in the show was very interesting. I know Heather has seen it, how often I don’t know, but she referenced it when we showed up for “our intervention”.
    There is an awesome book called, “Beyond the Yellow Brick Road REVISED” by Bob Meehan (even if he is controversial I really like him). I read it and it has helped me so much to know – I am not to blame. It also had some tips I wish I had known when Heather was younger.
    Love & hugs to you!

  3. Kristi says:

    Yes, for Jacob it was reading about all different kinds of drugs online or from books he was able to find from of all places the school library. In addition to this was a fascination with the movie Blow. And the fascination began at an early age as well, 12 to be exact. Of course I never condoned any of this and would get all over him anytime he brought it up….he would say he was just interested but would never do any of that because he wasn’t stupid. I tried to deter all of this, to no avail. And here we are. Kids just have way to much access to way to much these days.

  4. HerBigSad says:

    Yes, I am convinced that the drug programs brought the whole thing to my daughter’s awareness way earlier than she would ever have even been curious. And that was a long time ago. As Kristi said, today, kids have access to so much information, soo much sooner.

    In retrospect, if I had it to do over, I would definitely do it differently. For starters (and I’m not a religious fanatic) I would homeschool straight through, like my sister did, grades 1-12. Her three kids went on to merit scholarships that completely covered their educations at private universities. The last just graduated magna cum laude. Past that, all the kids and parents I met during the years I did homeschool (2), I have kept in touch with, and guess what? Oddly(?), not a single addict. And its not that I just don’t know about it, I can see their kids facebook pages, their jobs listed, their degrees, their pictures of healthy fun recreational activities. I know it would not be a guarantee, but I think it might have improved the odds, at least for my daughter. I’ll never know, and what’s done is done. Sorry to go off on a tangent. But yes, the drug campaigns seem to have precipitated my daughter’s unhealthy facination with drugs. She wasn’t watching a lot of TV as a child, so it was not TV campaigns, it was the “say no to drugs” crap at school that started it all.

    You were/are a good mom. Never let anyone tell you any different. You, and you alone are the judge of that (well maybe your higher power too!). You are the only one with all the inside information about any and all decisions you made at any time. We all did the best job we could, within the limits of our humanness. I no longer apologise for the fact that it might not have been enough. What I apologise for now, is my enabling her to continue in her addiction as long as I did, before I got more education into just how harmful trying to fix her is.

    Sorry to ramble – I seem to be in a rambling mind frame today. Hang in there! Prayers and hugs!

  5. i can’t even watch that show intervention, or the other one, obsessed. those get me itchy. we were watching some horrible movie about using and these people were getting high in front of a baby and then i just made him shut it off, it was way too real for me. i cannot watch those shows they do not help. they hinder.

    it is like when we see a newcomer come into the rooms and we want them to ‘get it’ so badly then they go back out and come back in, then go back out and come back in, and again with the flipping revolving doors already!!

    honestly those shows did not get me to use, i was using way before television found a way to make money off of suffering addicts. now there is a pill, a pill to cure using!! yeah like we just need some fix it pill right?!? i mean do you see the insanity in telling an addict i have a pill for you?!? don’t they realize we are and or were using drugs because we were and some still are trying to fix what is broken and empty inside us!! that is the ultimate problem, us, we need to fix what is broken inside and nothing outside is going to make anyone feel better inside. that is an inside job we have to become willing to do the footwork for ourselves.

    i hate those shows and i hate how the pharmaceutical companies think they just need to shove one more thing down our throats to make us feel better about ourselves. oh and take our money!!

    the think and simple truth of it all is simple we, addicts, need to find that magic combination of what ever that will make us feel whole inside, it is not something in a bottle a needle a slot machine or any other mechanism we use for the instant gratification that will make us feel whole for a short while. that magic combination is between us and our higher power. we need to seek with in ourselves how to be better. anything other than that will not work for an addict.

  6. Renee C. says:

    You are not alone. My daughter and her addict boyfriend used to watch intervention all the time and I used to say why would you watch that Little did I know they were both heroin addicts living under my roof and boy were they good at covering up their addiction. I have to thank God that my daughter figured out this was not what she wanted and asked for help. That is when I found out she was an addict and no time before so please stop beating yourself up. There is nothing you did wrong and unfortunately if your other children are going to be addicts there is nothing you can do but keep educating yourself and stay healthy so you can help them through it. My daughter just celebrated her 6 months clean this weekend. Hugs to you and I know where you are coming from

  7. Dawn McCoy says:

    mine, with sarcasm, her junior year in high school, used to make fun of that commercial and walk around saying “I want to be a junkie when I grow up”

    and, she was.

  8. Lisa C says:

    With my son, who also watched a myriad of these drug shows, I believe he was already using/experimenting/trying a variety of drugs when he started watching shows. I think, to some degree, it makes what they are doing “okay” in their very immature brains. If someone makes a television show about it, it must not be that bad! I’m pretty sure the fascination and the shows were not the start of the problem, but they gave him permission and even possibly made it “cool.”

    If I was going to do one thing differently (because frankly he became an addict without my help or support), I would have never given him a cell phone. I do think it would have made the early days of drug use harder if he didn’t have direct access to his supplier. Although if he wanted the drugs bad enough at that time, he still would have found a way.

    We all HAVE TO STOP BEATING OURSELVES UP! WE ARE AS GOOD A PARENTS AS WE COULD POSSIBLY BE. NOT A ONE OF US DID ANYTHING TO SUPPORT OUR CHILDREN BECOMING ADDICTS. And for the record, when the child is exceptionally good (A+ and college and whatever), they generally did that on their own as well, whether the parents take credit for it or not.

  9. Olivia says:

    Hi Madyson007,

    I hear your frustration. I think you did the right thing by having honest, open and loving discussions with your son. Communicating and connecting is so important, but unfortunately the disease of addiction will sometimes occur despite a parent’s best efforts to prevent or intervene.

    To your point about the Partnership not doing anything constructive – I have to disagree. In fact, we do a lot of research so we can develop different messages and science-based resources to help parents in different points in their child’s life, with the hope that parents and families will be positively impacted by at least one of our messages or programs. In fact, we hear feedback from families every day, many who have teens with drug addiction, expressing their appreciation for the support, resources and answers we aim to provide.

    For parents who need help finding treatment, we’re actually launching a community called Time to Get Help (coming out this summer) – this will be a great place for parents that have children with addiction and are going through treatment to talk and share their story.

    You offer an important voice and perhaps you’d consider being a contributor. It’s important for all of us to work together to build awareness, eliminate this stigma, help each other and other families across this country.

    Please let me know your thoughts.


    • madyson007 says:

      I am sorry I took so long to reply, and I really hope you get to read this. Eliminating the stigma would be a good place to start. I know what it feels like to be judged because I was one of those people. I thought “not MY child, he is to smart for that…we raised him right, we did all the right things” and here I find myself with a child who has a very serious addiction. I don’t begrudge the fact that you are trying to help parents be proactive and talk with their children about the dangers of drugs and give them some tools to help them accomplish that. What I think bothers me most is the illusion that if you have good communication and educate your children to the dangers of drugs that your child is some how immune to addiction. There is no vaccination against addiction. I don’t want parents to think that if they do all the “right things” their children are safe and that is just not the case. Parents need to never let down their guard. My sons drug abuse did not start until he entered college. I actually naively stated to my husband “Phew…we made it, he is safe and on his way to being the adult we always hoped for…” little did I know that would all come crashing down 6 months later.

  10. Syd says:

    I honestly never thought about the ramifications of this. But perhaps it is like every young person–telling them NO makes them want to say YES.

  11. Kim says:

    My 23 year old son is also a graduate of the Dare program. He took a class his freshman year of college on Drugs of Abuse. I think it was to increase his knowledge about which drugs to use, although he was already experienced with narcotics, pot, alcohol, etc and had begun his journey into addiction. Currently he is a college dropout, on probation for a felony burglary charge, and working odd jobs here and there. After many treatment programs including a 13 month residential program, he still continues to relapse. I dont blame the schools, drug education programs, or myself any longer. He has a disease and must fight his own demons. All I can do is pray and encourage his recovery. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

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