Stepping Stones – Caroline’s Blog
Is it just me or does everyone wonder what the worst family crisis might be?
What about drug addicted kids?
We might not talk about it but we all know a family dealing with someone problematically using drugs or alcohol.
Last week a girlfriend of mine died. Anna was addicted to drugs since we were kids. It started with marijuana but escalated really quickly. By the time we left school Anna was living a completely different life to the rest of us. And her path never really corrected. Anna stumbled from one druggy boyfriend to the next, eventually having five kids.
Anna’s mum and dad never gave up. They took in her kids, visited her in gaol and paid for rehab, time and time again. The sadness of broken promises, ugly behaviour and wasted opportunity was written all over their faces.
Last week, I heard Anna died. Both her parents are still alive and while we are no longer in touch I know they will be exhausted by a lifetime of grief.
Nothing could have prepared them for the chaos Anna wrought. For the violence, the deception and the constant fear. Anna and I grew up together, I know how loved and cherished she was, and how hard her parents tried.
We know now, of course, Anna’s addiction was a disease but we didn’t really know that in the 1980’s and I have no doubt about the judgement, blame and shame the family felt in our small town.
It’s 2018 now, and I suspect it’s not much better. Families with drug addicted kids face enormous challenges, not the least of which is isolation and helplessness.
This week, the morning after I heard Anna had died, I was contacted about a course for parents that is looking for numbers. It seemed fateful.
Family Drug Support (FDS) is a not-for-profit organisation providing a range of support services specifically designed for family members of drug and alcohol users for over 18
years. ‘Stepping Stones’ is FDS’ support program for families.
You pay just $40 for the ‘Stepping Stones’ workbook and FDS promises that by the end of the course you will feel stronger, better supported, more informed about dependency and better equipped to handle your relationship with the user.
I heard from one dad, ‘Stepping Stones helped change my attitude toward my son. We are communicating better and trying to rebuild trust.’
He said everyone who did the course had felt alone in their fight to save their kid. FDS gave them a community and that collective wisdom and understanding means the world.
‘Stepping Stones’ runs over two consecutive weekends, 16-17 & 23-24 June 2018 in Gympie.
Contact Family Support Worker Devushka Blake on 0484 000 806.
For 24 hours a day support, call toll free 1300 368 186.