Parents don’t come with a handbook of instructions on what to do if your child becomes addicted to life threatening drugs. Parenting, in general, is a journey and a learning process, for the parent and the child.
Kids/teens start experiencing with substances for many different reasons such as curiosity, peer pressure from others to try it, self medicating to cope with mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression or escapism. Some just want to feel “high” or buzzed. Whatever the “reason” the result is the same. ADDICTED.
Addiction does not discriminate. You can be rich, poor, black, white, brown, intelligent or average, spiritual or not, come from a good home or a bad one and still addiction happens. It happens most often from one’s CHOICE to use the substance. A few become addicted due to being prescribed controlled substances by a physician due to an injury, surgery or painful condition. Most become addicted due to one’s personal CHOICE to use.
Addiction is a “family disease” because everyone in the family suffers the ripple effects of addiction.
Imagine learning your teen is addicted to drugs and the situation is life threatening. Imagine the panic and then frantically proceeding to learn everything you can about substance addiction and treatment options. Imagine offering assistance to your addicted child, pleading with them to take the help as they face their own premature mortality, yet they refuse to reach for help (*active addiction highjacks the brain). Next, learning about Involuntary Commitment laws, about filing petitions in the courts, speaking with Judges, Clerk of the Court, Prosecutors and Law Enforcement. Imagine standing in front of a Judge and pleading for their assistance and explaining your child will DIE without emergency intervention. Imagine learning your child becomes pregnant by the person representing them in a court of law (their Public Defender) and due to addiction, becoming the caregiver & legal guardian for the precious child. Hard to imagine, but completely true.
To make it worse, imagine the Judge who handles Involuntary Commitment Procedures, telling you in court, that NO ONE will be “railroaded” in their courtroom” when you are literally fighting to save your child’s LIFE.
Imagine your heartfelt prayers and millions of tears for thirteen years that your child SUFFERS with a spiraling chronic addiction. Imagine the trips to treatment, jail, counseling, drama, methadone clinics, fear of your child’s death each time the phone rings. Imagine the loneliness when none of your friends have ever experienced a child’s addiction and cannot relate to your fears. Imagine a day when a Police Officer comes to your door and tells you what you have feared the most, that your child is DEAD. Imagine identifying your child’s body at the morgue. Imagine picking out your child’s casket, the flowers and planning their funeral. Imagine saying the final goodbye and watching them lowered into the ground. It’s hard to imagine but that is my experience.
How does one face such tragedy and go on? How does one process it all? How does one keep faith in GOD and how does one continue to trust Him and find strength to continue living through such trauma? The answer is easy but the learning process is painful and long.
The reality is walking it out, day by day, with trust in GOD. Knowing that God does allow pain for a purpose. Knowing that GOD provides a daily abundance of grace and mercy and that He has complete control over all circumstances. Knowing His eye on is on the sparrow and He is watching over me.
The ten year mission that has been achieved with The Jennifer Act was already in the blueprint of Jennifer’s brief life, ordained by GOD, from the beginning of her life. The ministry has touched the lives of children & teens and of grieving mothers who also have lost a child to overdose and those addicted. The Jennifer Act origin has reached churches, Lawmakers, Governors, the President, the statehouse and been shared within the congressional chamber on Capitol Hill.
My personal testimony is that GOD is with me. GOD is for us and He enables us with a helper, the Holy Spirit to accomplish His will, purpose and plan for our lives. My prayer is that my testimony will help others to find what I have found, a relationship with GOD and believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living GOD and accept Him as their personal Savior, as I have done.
Whoever reads this, I wish you lasting peace in GOD.
2 Corinthians 2:14 – But thanks be to GOD, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him, in every place.
Founder of The Jennifer Act