Friday, July 28, 2017

I See Myself in Every Young Person with an Addiction. This is What I Want Parents to Know.
Justin Kunzelman
I am in recovery from a substance use disorder and work in the field of advocacy, peer support, harm reduction and treatment. I have days where I wake up fighting mad and others where I smile, hopeful at the small bits of progress we are making.

The number one rule for me in working with people with an addiction is to always remember the last dumpster I slept behind or the last blast of crack I took. Never forget where you came from. I believe that drug users are my people. How could I not? I see myself in each person I work with. To this end, I fight for common sense drug policy, user’s rights and patient rights. Realizing there are those who would harm the people in my community, however inadvertently, fuels my passion.

The same is true for being a parent. I have an amazing two-year-old son, Kaleo Lawless. Every time he defies me — like spinning in a circle and giggling when I ask him to turn around, I get frustrated and my wife laughs and says, “He’s definitely your son.”

When we had Kaleo, my passion for helping other people’s children increased tenfold. I understood what the love of a parent meant and gained a new perspective on the folks I worked with.

Being a parent isn’t easy; being a parent of a son or daughter using drugs can seem impossible at times. This feeling of hopelessness is often magnified if your child ever needs treatment for a substance use disorder. There is a lot of bad information and advice out there regarding substance use treatment and recovery and it can be difficult to sift through it.

Click here to read a few things I’d like parents to know so they can best help their child — and themselves — through treatment and recovery.
Parent Toll-Free Helpline1-855-DRUGFREE

© Partnership for Drug-Free Kids
352 Park Ave South | 9th Floor | New York, NY 10010

No comments:

Post a Comment