In today’s society, parents are known for coming together in times of crisis to ask themselves how to overcome addiction once it has torn through and destroyed the lives of their family members. It may be hard to believe since there once was a time when it was a shameful thing to admit that an addict is in the family or that a child died of an overdose. Now, it has become more imperative than ever that parents speak up about the lengths that the deadly disease of addiction brought their children and family to. This is exactly what an organization called The Addict’s Mom is doing.
The Addict’s Mom Breaks The Stigma
Barbara Theodosiou was proactive in her decision to stand up and raise her voice about the stigma of addiction, since discovering that two of her four sons were suffering from the disease. Explaining addiction in the family as “the fight of your life,” Theodosiou admits how she originally felt there was nowhere for her to turn, and every day she lived in terror it would be her sons’ last. With overdoses becoming a regular event, Theodosiou knew it was time to take some kind of action. In 2008, she created The Addicts’ Mom Facebook page. This eventually evolved into a website known as The Addict’s Mom, designed to unite mothers affected by their children’s addiction in a place to receive support, relief, advice, and hope.
Behind The Scenes Of The Addict’s Mom
Barbara’s oldest son, Peter, is working on earning his master’s degree in speech pathology at age 25 — now that he is in his third year of recovery from drugs. Before this transformation, Peter was hooked on prescription painkillers and eventually heroin after his addiction had escalated. Theodosiou’s youngest son, Daniel, is now 22 and had grown accustomed to “robotripping,” which is abusing cough medicine to achieve a desired high. After his longest five-week stay in a drug rehabilitation center, he relapsed and was sent to jail for violating terms. This is the unfortunate reality that has to be faced with the disease of addiction; there is no guarantee that an addict will remain in recovery, away from drugs despite having years abstinent from them. This is why viewing addiction as the deadly disease that it truly is, becomes so vital. Brenda Stewart, who also has two addicted children, explained that accepting this has helped her tremendously. According to Stewart, a majority of society still continues to hold a stigma against addicts, and people are known to shun them for being addicted to drugs, as they perceive it as a lack of willpower or choice, not for the illness that it actually is.
Supporting Addiction Recovery Through The Addict’s Mom
Support between the families of suffering addicts can provide the aid needed to cope with addiction in the family. Theodosiou went into detail about The Addict’s Mom’s motivation for reaching out to others, saying, “If my sons are going to be living this life and be destroyed by this, I’m going to tell every mother and help every mother I can think of. I’m not going to keep it a secret.” This clarifies how Barbara’s struggle with her own sons’ addictions gave her experience to share with other mothers that were tackling the same difficulties with their own children’s disease. When families can turn to one another and discuss their hardships, they form a bond by coming together. This unity helps break the stigma of addiction because they aren’t afraid to stand up and share their stories to spread awareness instead of hiding away in shame.Tags: Addiction, addiction recovery, early recovery, Recovery, stigma of addiction