How has addiction affected you or your family?

Former Congressman Jim Ramstad is going to work for Hazelden Treatment Center as a senior policy adviser. In a statement released Tuesday he called addiction to alcohol or other drugs “America’s No. 1 health problem.” Today’s Question: How has addiction affected you or your family?

  • Elizabeth

    Addiction has torn our family apart but also allowed us to rebuild and reconnect, stronger than ever.

  • Kim

    How has addiction affected me or my family?? How hasn’t it? My mother is a recovered iilicit drug user, which made me the stand in mom for my younger sister when I was only 7y/o. We have reconciled and have a loving and close relationship now.

    Tragically though, her sister (my aunt) whom she’d been very close to and who had not been able to make a recovery like my mom, was murdered this month. My aunt had been clean and was in a program where once you get clean, you help another addict get started in the program. The man my aunt was helping to get clean is the very man that murdered her.

  • Joan

    My 60 year old alcoholic brother has moved in with my 90 year old parents after release from jail. My heart is broken as they enable him, allow him to exploit them and compromise thier own health .

  • Bu

    1) My alcoholic father, much-beloved by others, was a batterer and sexual abuser which left myself and other members of my family with permanent and various damages. Sixty-some years later we still pay for what he did to us.

    2) The low-income neighborhood in which I live harbors an abundance of alcoholics and druggies. It’s impossible to feel much freedom due to breakins, vandalism, and drug-laden gang-bangers wandering around, especially at night.

  • JS

    As a recovering sex addict I learn everyday in what harmful ways my addiction has affected my family. Thanks to a 12-Step program and institutions like Hazelden, I have found a way to control my addictive behaviors. I have become a better person and enjoy closer and more meaningful relationships with my family than ever before!

  • CPage

    I was married to an alcoholic for over 30 years. He was a consummate liar and seducer of everyone around him. He was a public figure and we moved often which left me without support of family or friends. I raised children and worked part-time until we moved back to this country. I divorced him, but this system asks that mediation be tried before court. He manipulated the mediation and refused to return to the table as is required. Alimony stopped and I was diagnosed with PTSD, among other conditions. The court upheld the law that says nothing from mediation is admissable in court. The good ol’ boys’ network is alive and well.

  • JH

    My father was a late-onset alcoholic who withdrew himself from residential treatment after less than two days and attended only one AA meeting. While he succeeded in steeling himself to stop drinking, in his last years he become a classic “dry drunk.” Without the “anesthesia”, in many ways it was worse than when he was drinking. It became painful to be around the complicated man and watch him squander his relationships and his own mental health. We all lost.

  • Michelle

    For a large portion of my life addiction was a word that existed “out there”, under bridges, on street corners, and in sad households. It wasn’t until I was 25 and began my own recovery work that I was able to see the subversive nature of addiction. It was the status quo, my father’s dependent relationship with alcohol was always under the surface, always lurking, acting like an iron blanket over our family. Hardly ever standing out, but always present, like a heavy weight that you become so accustomed to it just becomes part of your day to day life. Slowly but surely, that iron blanket has been lifted off our family collectively and as indivuduals but through hard work, committment, and miracle of recovery. Like, Elizabeth addiction nearly tore us to shreds, but getting to a solution has brought us closer than ever. We recover as individual people tending to our own needs and learning to live with ourselves, but it is possible for recovery to restore families, one miracle at a time. It is possible, if you’re out there looking for answers, don’t give up, they will come.

  • Joanna

    My father, like his father, was a high-functioning, successful professional, alcoholic, and drug addict: cold, verbally abusive, a liar and a cheat. The image “an iron blanket’ that Michelle uses is a great description. One sibling is in recovery now, and we have all spent years trying to undo the harm he and his addition did to us. He no longer drinks but he and his second wife are still using, and have cut themselves off from the world. I still feel grief that I could never have a loving relationship with my father.

    Kim, I’m so very sorry about your aunt.

  • Michelle

    My heart goes out to you Joanna. I get it, I get it, I get it. It sounds like you’re already doing some work of your own, but, the grief, yes…it’s tangible. Luckily, you can always have a loving relationship with you, regardless of the destruction your father is putting himself through.

    all of you are in my prayers

  • Richard B Ehlert

    Actually I can think of two items that need to be resolved.

    First, funding for a national health care plan needs to be obtained in a absolute form. Legislation that requires all citizens to have health care and pay for health care is not enough to insure that all citizens actually pay their share. Payments need to be either from paychecks or a similiar absolute form. Otherwise the healthcare system will become much like auto insurance where those that actually pay for auto insurance not only have insurance for themselves, but also must pay for those that do not abide by the law in the form of un-insured motorist insurance.

    Second, there needs to be an incentive for citizens to live healthy, meaning eating corrently and living healthy. It is unfair for citizens that live their lives correctly voluntarily to pay for those that have unhealthy lifestyles, meaning consumption of cigarettes & cigars, alcohol beverages, fat foods, etc. and also have inactive lifestyles. Perhaps a tax on unhealthy foods could help fund the illness that they cause. Perhaps higher health care rates could be associated with Body Mass Index as an incentive to assure that those citizens that do not have self discipline to eat properly or live properly pay more of their future health care costs.

  • loaliowLica

    so informative, thanks to tell us.

  • Jermajesty

    Gee willikres, that’s such a great post!