You know how there are some people who complain constantly, and others who are content, even excited about life? Why is that? We all experience obstacles and challenges. Why do some of us take it in stride while others let it ruin their day?
You might have heard, “Boys will be boys.” While this sentiment may be common, it does not reflect the very real dangers that impact our young men, their families, and our communities. Beginning in high school, and sometimes even earlier, young adults compel one another to try new experiences, including illegal drugs and alcohol.
When we imagined what it would be like to be a parent, substance abuse was not in our minds. It is not something you can prepare for, but once it has impacted your family, things will never be the same. How does having a loved one with substance abuse issues impact the family?
In dysfunctional relationships, people live in reaction mode, responding to each other’s attitudes, behavior, and actions instead of being guided by their own perspectives. When applied to substance abuse in the family, this tendency is called codependency: when individuals “share the responsibility for the unhealthy behavior, primarily by focusing their lives on the sick or bad behavior and by making their own self-esteem and well-being contingent on the behavior of the unhealthy family member.” Dupont and McGovern (1991).
Despite its long-standing reputation as a highly-addictive drug, millions of Americans from every socio-economic layer have now become acquainted with the deadly effects of heroin. Because heroin use is so widespread, it is important that we become familiar with its signs, and understand how to proceed if we should encounter it. Here are the essential facts: