Friday, October 13, 2006

Drugs and the family

Why won't a parent let go of their substance abuse using child when letting go is the best thing for them? This is something that truly perplexes me? I guess it puzzles me because it is not my child. If my child was an alcoholic or drug addict I may act the same as other parents who are called enablers. An enabler is one who provides the opportunity or means to achieve an end. I believe that parents think they are helping when they are actually causing the disease to progress.I have one substance abuser in my family and he is the youngest boy and the youngest child. He is loved by all even though he is a drug addict. My immediate families, cousins, neighbors, his neighbors, community folks all love him. Why? Because when he is not feening, he is helpful and will do anything to help others, but when he wants his drugs, he finds a way to get them. Most of the time it is by these means:

1. Stealing from our mother and his fiancé;
2. Getting drugs on credit

I say let him go, good riddance. But I look at my brother and I soften the same as she does. She loves her child and believes that she is helping him. I love him too but know that she is enabling him and he is getting worse. Even though I am angry with him, it subsides when I see him.

His beautiful behavior includes:
* daily cooking dinner for my mother and nieces and nephews
* daily cleaning the house
* keep my mothers' yard maintained
*runs his fiancé' bathwater and rubs her feet when she comes home from work and cooks dinner everyday for her
* Keeps his child until fiancé returns home from work then he goes and tends to his landscaping business
*looks out for the family

Bad behavior:
*lies*exaggerates so that you will not figure him out
*enrolls in treatment to satisfies others, dropout before time

So you see even though I try to explain to my mother how she has becomes his enabler, I do see why it is so hard for her to let go. You see when I see him washing cars, cleaning and cooking and tending gently to my mother and his girlfriends' needs it is easy to forget that he is sick. You want to believe that he is better but he's not. So we struggle and keep trying to encourage him to get help.

Sadly drugs are everywhere. An estimated 22 million Americans suffered from substance dependence or abuse due to drugs, alcohol or both. Based on results of the Household Survey released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), there were 19.5 million Americans, 8.3 percent of the population ages 12 or older, who currently used illicit drugs, 54 million who participated in binge drinking in the previous 30 days, and 15.9 million who were heavy drinkers.The report highlights that 7.7 million people, 3.3 percent of the total population ages 12 and older, needed treatment for a diagnosable drug problem and 18.6 million, 7.9 per cent of the population, needed treatment for a serious alcohol problem.

Will we ever see an end to this drug problem that robs families of their loves one, break down neighborhoods and communities and steals the dreams of our young? I hope so, though it doesn't seem that things are getting better, they are actually getting worse.


Belizegial said...

Rose, good morning!

I always enjoy coming here to see what new posts you have put up. Your topics are so relevant to our times.

Drugs affect all of us. Whether we know someone who is closely connected to us or it is just the society at large demonstrating the afflictions of drug addictions.

In our little country of Belize it is a huge problem as our population is small and the drug culture is large, almost large enough to overwhelm the security and/or police forces.

As in the case of your family member, it takes the united effort of each and everyone of us to address this issue within our own little communities and give our afflicted ones lessons in faith and hope. With prayer, faith and hope all is possible.

Clare said...

There is a singer over here who is a well known drug addict and you've probably heard of him as he's dating Kate Moss. His mother has written a book about what it's like to be the mother of a drug addict and you can probably find it on Amazon. I think her name is Jackie Doherty. Might be worth a read.

African girl, American world said...

I'm a mother and my kids are not at an age where they could be addicts but I understand that you want to do the best for your an enabler or not. Mothers never see themselves as enablers...they just want to keep their babies no matter how old, safe.
I hope he gets into rehab one day by his own accord and gets help.

Brownsoul said...

It seems that no matter how many times God allows us to see that we can't fix everything, some of us still try when it's futile. That's why some parents don't let go.

I wish we could see an end to drugs, but sadly, I don't think we will. I've seen the way alcoholism has been passed from one generation to another in my family and can't help but look at my cousins and fear the same fate for many of them.

Nevah~ said...

Letting go of your child who needs help is hard to do because as parents we still want to protect them in anyway we can. One thing for sure drugs destroys the whole family. Tough love isn't for everyone but strong and supportive love help those who's willing to help themself. Great topic Rose!

Elizabeth said...

It has to get worse before it gets better...hopefully that won't mean a really horrible disaster, but it might.

Hasan Mubarak said...

In my opinion, enablers are created out of the fear of loosing their loved ones who are into drugs. They fear that a little bit 'extra' harshness could cost them their loved one.

But, obviously, it isn't the solution to keep quite and letting the problem worsen. A certain balanced behavior towards such people will be most effective. By adding emotional pledges and some material restrictions, such situations can be handled. What do ya think?

Afghan war with the Soviets and the chaos that followed it when the West forgot Afghanistan brought this curse to our country. Currently, there are millions of drug addicts in Pakistan who may never be able to afford or to get the rehabilitation treatment that Americans or Europeans can over the period of their lives. A sad situation, indeed!

Alina said...

Well Rose, in my opinion there are two kinds of enablers: those who care too much and those who care too little. Both cases are causing the same effect though. I think in such cases, the treatment and support should not be given to the abuser only. Their families should be taught how to deal with them. It's not something we know by instinct. But I am sure a little learning will help.

Andrew said...

Hi Rose,
you are so right that illicit drugs are an incredible problem in our society, and it's quite a coincicidence that you and I would both post on a drug-related theme in the same day. Thanks so much for dropping by my site and for leaving such a nice comment.

All the best,
Andrew ("To Love, Honor and Dismay")

Luke Cage said...

I've been watching this show that comes on either A&E, or Bravo and it's called Intervention. This is a heartbreaking program. You see a loving family member fall into despair through drugs and then the family and friends of the addicted rally to try to get him or her treatment. Usually, the addicted individual succumbs to drugs so far, they are oblivious to how their addiction affects their loved ones. The embarrassment that they have to go through when watching that individual virtually change from who they are to who they have become. That's when they go seek treatment. Sometimes the treatment works, sometimes it doesn't. It's always sad to see. I don't see drugs going away any time soon. And definitely not within ours and our children's lifetimes. As long as man suffer's from pain, turmoil, distress and anguish, drugs will never be farther than arms' length. They will always need that escape that drugs provide. And that in itself is a tragedy. I hope that your loved one is able to get the treatment he deserves. He sounds like a fine young man who's sadly caught up in drugs' embrace. Take it ez Rosey!

The Gig said...

Great post, Rose: I have a co-worker who I really care about -- we are also confidants. She has a child who is on drugs; she enables him just like you mentioned in this post. He steals from her and the family. He disrespects her and his dad. He calls the job constantly for her to give him money. He is on some sort of disability or SSI because he has some sort of mental issue. I think very highly of my co-worker and would like to tell her exactly what you have written in this post, but I know she wouldn't take it well. The only thing I can do for her is pray which is something I really haven't done much of.

princessdominique said...

You know this is a great post. It should be formulated into an article or something. So many people need to read this and apply it.

kathi said...

I have so many friends who are their childs worst enemy because they're afraid of not being their childs 'friend'.
I'm with you on this completely.

Jaimie said...

I would never, never enable. Never.

Ruben said...

My other fought for my older brother's life harder than he did when he was on drugs. I truly beleive it was God and my mom's prayers tat helped my brother overcome his addiction.

sodijety said...

I know exactly what you mean, as a mother I'm always thinking what I would do if any of my kids fell victims to drug abuse. Specially since my behaviour with one will affect the others. It worries me more because their father is an addict, they didn't see much of it, because I left after several years of trying to help. But I understand this might be genetic, so we have talked much about it. I think the clue is prevention, and a really strong relationship. Yes I think you should let go, but as mother I know it usually is not possible.

Michelle said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dr. Deborah Serani said...

Tough love is hard to do, but you're right, it is the only way to really help a person in such dire straits.

Dr. Deborah Serani said...

Tough love is hard to do, but you're right, it is the only way to really help a person in such dire straits.

brooklyn babe said...

Hey Babes,

I just blogged about this, I think addiction provides a great x-cape for ppl, that they can't x-cape.... sad irony.

Rose said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Rose said...

Thanks to all of you for responding to this important topic. This is a problem that is spreading through many communities throughout the country, but in the African American communities it's rate of crack usage is at an all time high. Education, treatment and prevention are the only thing that will help control this problem. We are at war, I pray that we can win it and help our family and friends who are addicted.

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