I just read an interesting article on this subject, and I urge everyone to check it out.
My own view on addiction awareness for my son is something I’ve been passionate about for quite a few years now. Granted, it is because of my own struggles with addiction, but I think it could be useful to teach all children about the dangers of addiction. Anyway, this is important to me because…
In rehab, I was told that addiction is 60% hereditary. I don’t know how factual that is, but if there is any genetic/hereditary component to addiction, then I must presume that there is a possibility my son has a predisposition to addiction. (i.e. The probability that should he choose to use a habit-forming drug at some point in his life, there is a risk that he would become addicted and have similar problems to those I’ve had, a risk greater than average.)
And… that’s enough for me. The possibility that he has a predisposition to it is enough for me to do whatever I can to ensure that won’t happen one day, and the safest way that I can imagine to deal with this, is make him aware not only of this predisposition, but also of the harmful consequences of addiction. If he knows well in advance of the dangers, I hope this will prevent him from ever taking that first hit. I have this picture in my head…. Josh at a party one day when he’s a teenager or maybe in his early twenties, and all the “cool kids” are doing cocaine. My objective is that if he finds himself in that position, he will choose not to do that first line. (And should he make the wrong choice, I hope I’m still around to help him. But him making the right choice first time is the primary objective.)
Of course, I did get some addiction awareness education in school, and it didn’t really help me. I vaguely remember some videos and stuff from back then, but I wasn’t really paying attention, and all it did was leave me curious about drugs. But I don’t recall ever knowing about the consequences of addiction, and that’s where my focus is when it comes to Josh.
Interestingly, I had a recent conversation with a counsellor and Josh, and they seemed to think my telling him everything is not such a good idea, but I will have another chance to speak to them as well as a therapist this coming Saturday, so let’s see how this goes…
And although it’s been an awful year, there is one positive thing about him having seen how unstable his mother is, since she lived with us for several months. It isn’t something I wanted, but at least he has seen how crazy people can get. Sorry M, but you taught Josh something and made an example for all the wrong reasons.