Helen Jennens, March 12, 2017
Two terms I most hated when supporting my son through heroin addiction were, “tough love" and " they need to hit rock bottom”, and let's not forget, "enabler." These words are too often used.
I had more than my share of this advice from many that I now know, really did not understand the realities of addiction. My personal response to these phrases now are: Rock bottom is most often in the landscape of this opioid crisis, dead. If sticking a needle in your arm everyday, maybe two or three times a day, just to stave off painful withdrawal and feel normal for a few hours, is not bottom? We cannot even imagine the things they must do to secure their drugs. Again, the bottom.
The toughest love you will ever see is a mother trying to save her child, if that makes me an enabler, I plead guilty. I, and the moms and allies of Moms Stop The Harm believe in "moving heaven and earth to save them".
I had one son Rian and one son Tyler, they are irreplaceable and I must live the rest of my life without them. I wish I could have done more and am glad I did not buy into the falsehood fallacy of tough love.