Get support! You don’t have to go through this alone, and you don’t have to stick with the first counsellor you find. For any counselor to be helpful, you have to be able to agree with their philosophy and on a course of action. Keep trying until you find one you can work with.
If one-on-one help doesn’t appeal to you, join a group. There is no substitute for personal experience, and self-help groups (Parents Forever, Parents Together, Al-Anon, Nar-Anon) offer mutual support from people who have been there and are still struggling with addiction issues.
If you live in Vancouver, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Vancouver operate the family support group Parents Forever .
Check out mumsDU: A coalition of Canadian mothers and fathers who have lost sons and daughters to overdose and other drug related harms who are working to change the system by sharing their stories with communities, policy makers and professionals across Canada.
Check out Moms Stop The Harm: A network of Canadian mothers who have lost children to drug misuse, and who now advocate for drug policy reforms based on science and human rights.
If there is no group in your area, start one. Don’t let embarrassment or shame get in the way of taking action. Others in your community are bound to be struggling as you are. You just need to find one another: Try posting a notice of a meeting at your local church, community or health centre. Let health and other professionals in the field know what you are planning, and get their help in advertising and organizing the gathering. In other words, be creative. You have nothing to lose but your isolation. Tried and true advice from across Canada has been published in FGTA’s Parents in Action guidebook which you can download here.