As far as what I've learned about addiction/recovery, I quote Mark Twain: "Education is the path from cocky ignorance to miserable uncertainty."
Truth is, my addict is not your addict, our family dynamics are not yours. Al-Anon helped me learn to trust myself and my decisions. It doesn't make my choices right, but it took away the paralyzing fear of making them.
Here is a two year time capsule of one family's story.
I started the blog with a junky top ten list; I'll end with one.
Top 10 Truths after 10 Years
1. Heroin is mean and tenacious. Be prepared for the long haul.
2. Every junky tries at least once to clean up by switching addictions, usually (alcoholic) drinking.
3. Addicts/ alcoholics do not want to quit using; they want to quit suffering consequences for using.
4. Ten years of IV drug use leave irreparable neurological, physical, and emotional damage.
5. Long term methadone or suboxone maintenance is the best option for some.
6. Just when you're ready to give up on them, Hope whispers, "Try one more time."
7. Meet your addict where they are, not where you wish they were.
8. When in doubt, pray.
9. Err on the side of compassion, but don't leave your car keys out.
10. Recovery is a spiritual transformation. Not using drugs does not equal recovery.