‘Dad, Help me, please help me.’
There is no worse feeling than seeing your child struggling with addiction and not knowing how to help. Everything you think might help doesn’t. In fact, it turns out that what I thought might help was 180 degrees off from what my son needed.
We were at the emergency room so often the nurses knew his name, and what he’d need for treatment. My son was treated for acute pancreatitis 5 times before his 22nd birthday. 5 Times! That was over 30 days in the hospital. And every time he’d promise to never drink or use drugs again. Every time was a lie. You see, addicts are very good at lying. Very, very good.
During every hospital visit, I was told my son needed help. Every time. By doctors, nurses, administrators. Yet when I asked what to do or where to go, I ran into a wall. ‘He has to ask for help because he’s an adult’ they would say. Yes, there were tv ads. Yes, there were companies online. But there was no helping an adult, anyone over 18, without them committing and consenting to go into some facility. For several years we didn’t really know what existed to help him. So, the circle continued.
My son tells his story and remembers the first time he got high. Where, when, and with whom. He remembers the feeling and the freedom. Just weeks later, he had his first drink. Vodka. Right then, right there, his, and our family’s journey of chaos began.
Car accidents, belligerent and defiant behavior, physical fights with siblings and me, and finally, of course, jail. Fortunately, no one was ever severely hurt, especially someone from another family.
Three and a half years ago, we caught a break. An administrator from an outpatient clinic made a call for us. Now understand, she did this without my son’s knowledge or approval, violating all medical protocols. She saw how helpless our situation was. That call changed everything. With a few more days of coaxing, my son completed a phone intake form while so drunk he could hardly talk, and he went into a detox facility.
Today, I’m happy he’s been 14 months clean of alcohol and over 3 years clean of all other drugs. Yes, if you do the math, he has relapsed. It’s part of the process. But he never gave up. WE never gave up.
Supporting him was never a question. He’s our son. It’s what you do as a parent. Supporting the community of recovery is a commitment that evolved as we helped our son. These are people, young and old, rich and poor, all races, all education levels, who have found themselves in a lifetime battle with addiction. And it includes their families. Parents, siblings, spouses, children. Everyone. And so many of them fight every day. Most succeed, many don’t. Some of my son’s best friends lost. I know parents whose kids have lost. That’s why my family, my company and my team support the recovery community with everything we have.
Your help today will save a life tomorrow so that we will no longer have to say ‘too many kids lost.’
TQG is a premier sponsor of Gosnold golf outing and Hanover High School Herren Project curriculum.
We hold an annual client fundraiser for addiction coaching program at Gosnold. The initial 2020 fundraiser raised over $3,000.