Addiction: Does a Family Ever Forgive and Forget?

Addiction is no stranger to many families. More families than ever are having to learn first-hand what some of the nightmarish outcomes of drug use can be. When it used to be pot, LSD, mushrooms, and a little cocaine, the drug scene these days is heroin, fentanyl, OxyContin, and methamphetamine. The scene is completely different than it ever was before and it’s a lot deadlier. Too many parents are having to endure the eternal heartache from losing a child to an overdose. Too many moms are finding their sons slumped over in the bathroom after having shot up, and too many fathers have to go and rescue their daughters from dimly lit street corners in the bad parts of town.

The reality is, parents are just as traumatized by addiction as the addict is, if not more so. While an addict can never scrub from their minds the memories of being held at gunpoint, getting robbed, beaten, or watching their best friend overdose, parents will never forget the Holidays and family gatherings that were absolutely ruined, watching their son or daughter nod out at the table, and constantly relapsing after treatment. Parents go through a lot with their addicted children but what happens after they get sober? Do families ever forgive and forget and just move on with life?

The answer is no, they don’t ever forget. Parents of addicts will always keep it in the back of their minds the chaos their child’s addiction caused. They remember the sleepless nights waiting for them to come home and they remember their heart palpitating in their chest every time they heard ambulance sirens go screaming by. I’ve been sober for a long time and I’m positive that my parents still have all of these memories and always have it the back of their heads that its possible for me to relapse and use drugs again. And that’s actually a fact, it’s always possible for me to pick up drugs again. I’m only one bad decision away from having a needle back in my arm and completely ruining my life and the same goes for any addict who has gotten sober. Things can change in a snap and that’s why it’s important to have life skills in order to deal with day-to-day problems.

While families never forget what addiction took from them, they do forgive. They forgive their loved one for stealing their jewelry. They forgive them for the late-night arguments and they forgive them for wrecking the car. See, that’s the wonderful thing about family. They forgive because blood is thicker than water and, at the end of the day, they love the addict. That’s why it’s so hard for them to sit back and watch them continuously self-destruct as they dive deeper and deeper into addiction.

For any family of an addict, get them help and into drug rehab before it’s too late. I know that what you’re going through is rough, to say the least, but there is hope for recovery. While it may feel like the world is crashing down on you, once your loved one gets sober you will forgive them eventually, but don’t ever forget where they came from.


Jason Good

Jason has been working in the field of addiction and recovery for over 10 years. Having been an addict himself he brings real-word experience to the table when helping addicts and their families, while also offering a first-person perspective to the current drug crisis. Jason is passionate about educating the public about what’s currently going on in our society, and thankfully, offers practical solutions. Jason is also the co-host of The Addiction Podcast—Point of No Return. You can follow Jason on Google+, Twitter, or connect with him on LinkedIn.