Are You the Parent of an Addict?

by | Nov 9, 2014 | Helpful Resources, what you can do | 5 comments

Have you ever found yourself in a place where you didn’t know your way around? You had no map to help you get your bearings or direct you to lostwhere you needed to go. You were lost. And on top of that you were alone. There was no one to ask for help. Or maybe you were in a foreign country and everyone  spoke another language. So they couldn’t help you.

It’s frightening and unsettling. This describes how I felt when I first learned my daughter had a serious problem with alcohol and drugs. Lost and disoriented I had no clue where to find help. At the time no one I knew had faced this with any of their children.

I’ve been on this path for a little over ten years now. It hasn’t been easy to find resources and learn about this strange, foreign world I found myself in the middle of. Today I’m going to share with you a few of my favorite books for parents of addicts. Each one has helped me regain my bearings.


Addict in the Family by Beverly Conyers. Stories of loss, hope, and recovery for anyone who loves someone who struggles with an addiction of any kind.

Hope and Help for the Addicted by Jeff VanVonderen. He provides answers to the myriad questions facing those with addictions and those looking to help them. This powerful resource will help you see you through your darkest times. This book gave me new insights and increased understanding. Van Vonderen is one of the counselors who was on the cable TV show, Intervention.

Moments of Clarity: Voices From the Front Lines of Addiction and Recovery by Christopher Lawford. Written by a former addict, it really helped me understand how an addict thinks. Full of personal stories, it shows  how each one came to their “moment of clarity” when they finally realized they didn’t want to live like that any more. He also shares what recovery looked like for them – many are celebrities.  It’s not a Christian book so there is some profanity, but I thought it was worth reading. This one is available from your local library.


If you’re feeling discouraged and hopeless you need to read one of these books. Never give up. Hold on to hope and remember these words from the Bible:

HHP blog9“In my anguish I cried to the Lord, and he answered me by setting me free (Psalm 118:5).” 

God can set you (and your child) free when you cry out to Him. The situation may not change, but you will be okay because you are not alone.

Keep trusting in this:

“. . . the Lord is faithful to all his promises and loving to all he has made (Psalm 145:12b).”





  1. Laura P.

    In my anguish I cried to the Lord, and he set my son free…by calling him home…
    …and in my broken humanness there is no joy left…my son is home with Jesus – and his brothers, Dad, me (Mom), Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, friends – we all are left here, without him…lost here,in this world.
    I am confidant in my salvation – I know I will see my son again one day…but how does one continue putting one foot in front of the other – day after day, month after month…? …time does not heal,and the pain of loss – his missing presence – looms larger with each passing day…each passing moment…I feel lost in this world, this life…
    Share my heart? My heart is broken…

    • Tom and Dena Yohe

      Oh, dear Laura, I am so so sorry about the loss of your precious son. I’m glad you have assurance he is with the Lord, set free – and that you will see him again one day, but it is still so hard. How long has it been? I would like to recommend several things to help you cope with this significant loss: Find a Grief Group. A good one is Grief Share. You can go to: to find one in your area. Another suggestion is to keep talking to safe people. Are you part of a small group at your church? Have a counselor? You’re right, time doesn’t heal this pain, only God can – but it will take a long time. Be patient with yourself. You are in deep grief that cannot be rushed. This is the most difficult experience you may ever have so be easy on yourself. Have no expectations. You’ve never been here before. You’re doing the best you can. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other and He will meet you there. Moment by moment. You feel lost, anyone would, but He sees where you are and He is right there with you. Your heart may be shattered into a million little pieces, BUT GOD can mend, repair and restore in His way and in His time. Let me know if you like to read and I will suggest several books that will help. Again, I am so sorry for your loss. It is great and overwhelming. Keep talking to God, too. Tell him everything. He understands when no one else can and He cares more than you can imagine. 1 Peter 5:7, “Cast all your cares on him, for he cares about you.”

  2. Laura P.

    Hi Tom & Dena,
    I re-read my last post and need to clarify…my son died from “accidental overdose” of heroin. He had been ‘clean’ for three months…had no intention of taking his life…he made a stupid choice that night – unfortunately his last… As I said, I am certain he was surprised to awaken in heaven – though his ‘surprise’ was MUCH better than ours…
    I look forward to any resources you can recommend.
    Thank you again…
    In Him,
    ~Laura P.

    • Tom and Dena Yohe

      We had a death in our family which took us out of town for several days and I’m just getting caught up on life again. So I apologize for my delay in responding to you. Thank you for sharing more of your son’s story. I know it helps to “talk” about it. I’m happy to listen. How hard for you all. These journeys are brutal. I have some dear friends whose daughter died in their home (an intentional suicide – but from despondency over her life – drug use, etc.) She would be happy to connect with you if that would be helpful in any way. It sounds like you are doing all the right things for your recovery. I’m going to list a few books that I think will help you: When You Lose Someone You Love by Richard Cromie, Shattered Dreams by Larry Crabb, and When God Doesn’t Make Sense by James Dobson. Let me know if you’ve already read them and I will recommend a few different ones.

  3. Laura P.

    Good evening Tom & Dena,

    Ever so sorry to hear of the death in your family…and no need to apologize, it is important to be with family during times of grief and loss…I will keep you and yours in my prayers, for peace and comfort.

    I checked out the books you suggested, had not read them so ordered immediately…and received all three today! I appreciate the recommendations and look forward to reading these selections…I think they will help with this hideous journey we find ourselves on, and will share with my husband (and others, as led). I began reading the first few pages of “Shattered Dreams” and this book seems particularly appropriate for me/us right now… There is so much more to our story – far more than I could even begin to share here…suffice to say, our connection is a gift from God…He always sends just the right people at just the right time. Surrendering all to HIM – every moment of every day – is life’s greatest challenge, yes?

    I just wanted to say a quick thank you for the recommendations – and a thank GOD for connecting us. I will be in touch as I read these books. Thank you again.

    Forever humble in Him,
    ~Laura P.

    PS: My rather lengthy post has the comment above it “your comment is awaiting moderation” – does that mean you have not seen it yet? Just curious.
    Thank you again, ~Laura P.