Helpless Mother

Addiction Took Her Son But Couldn’t Shatter a Mother’s Love

Besides the death and damage that addiction inflicts on users, it also tears apart family members who are often helpless as their loved one struggles. But these struggles don’t extinguish their love.

As reported by the Daily Journal of Franklin Indiana, no matter how much pain and anguish it caused, addiction couldn’t shatter a mother’s love for her son. Ginny Kelp watched as opioid pain pills and then heroin seemed to swallow up her son, John Cunningham.

Addiction wasn’t just consuming Cunningham’s life. His family was sucked into its depths as well. Everything they did seemed to be focused on helping get him better, or doing what they could to at least make sure he didn’t die. They agonized over ways to lead him to sobriety.

“It took his soul. It took all of our souls,” Kelp said. “But as his mother, you love him all the way through it. I never gave up on my son.”

Parents whose teenager or young adult are addicted can feel isolated by the stigma of opioids, said Dr. Keith Humphreys, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University.

“A lot of people’s view is ‘wow, you must really be a bad parent,’” said Humphreys, who was the senior policy adviser to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. “That is very isolating for the parents. If your teenager gets cancer, everyone bakes food and comes over. But this, everyone shuns you.”

Humphreys’s advice to families whose dependent child is addicted: Fighting the addiction has to be the family’s No. 1 priority at all times. Never laugh it off as typical teen behavior.

Are you or a loved one struggling with addiction, lying to yourself and others? Don’t wait any longer to ask for help. In today’s environment, you never know when your next dose will be your last!

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To read more about how entire families are impacted by addiction, please visit the Daily Journal.

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