May 29, 2014

Inoculating yourself with HOPE is not the answer

On HopeFar too many parents, though aware of the threat and the epidemic of heroin in their community, have inoculated themselves with hope –  hope that addiction won’t find its way into their homes.  This may work – until or unless it doesn’t work, then what?

Wake up parents — HOPE is not an answer, a solution, or a strategy!

On my recently completed five week trek across the country, I learned two things about the addiction challenge in our communities:

  1. Those that know what heroin can do to destroy lives and dramatically change a community are actively involved in getting the word out, creating awareness, and finding any way possible to get ahead of this epidemic.
  2. Parents living in denial and fear while embracing love, hope, and someone else for protection from this beast are looking in the wrong direction.  They need to get engaged, involved, and educated!

It is a fact that one in every 12 families in this country are and will be dealing with substance abuse related addiction in their families.


At least one family in your neighborhood, your church, your classroom, your yoga class, and your work is dealing with an addiction related issue in their family. It is everywhere. It is right in front of you.  If you are not involved, engaged, informed, or prepared the time to be in now.  Drug abuse, particularly heroin, is in mainstream society and your fear, judgment, or stigma embracing mindset cannot protect your family alone.

It is going to take an actively committed community — parents of addicts and non-addicts alike — to get ahead of the problem.  Even though it may not have hit your house yet, there is no guarantee is won’t.  Eight in every one hundred households are dealing with this issue!

Now that I have your attention, let me encourage you become more active!

  • Be involved: Whether your child is “perfect” or not, search out and become actively engaged in learning more about abuse related issues in your community.  Attend these sessions so you can become a knowledgeable and passionate resource for your family and your community.
  • Get engaged: Learn to talk about the issue with other parents.  Share with them your fears, your concerns, your rules, and your commitment to help them protect all the children in the community.  Be open to discovering ways to proactively protect your community from this threat and enroll other parents in the program.
  • Open your heart and your mind: So many parents suffer in silence because they don’t know who to talk to or where to go to find help. If you are one of the fortunate ones who doesn’t belong to the club of parents in pain, it doesn’t mean you cannot help those parents who are members of this club out. It does mean you will need to learn more about this problem, this issue, and how you can support and love those who are hurting or suffering.  Remember, it could be you someday!
  • Look inward: What roles are you modeling? Are you the parent that leans on medication, pills, or alcohol to feel better?  Challenge yourself to look at your habits, behaviors, and dependencies.  Your willingness to examine and change your habits may be enough of a call to action to influence a different outcome with someone in your family.

The Hope Inoculation does not work!  Hope is not an agent of change! Be involved, get engaged, be open and receptive, and challenge yourself.  This is a life and death battle in our communities and the best weapon is a informed, involved and committed parent.

I am starting a parents’ outreach program here in the Phoenix Area.  If you are interested in joining me, learning more, and becoming involved contact me.  I could really use your help and would love to be of service to those who need my help.  CONTACT ME!

Parenting and Addiction, Uncategorized , , , , ,
About Dave Cooke

Dave Cooke is a dad on a mission. His mission is to help parents get control of their lives over the powerful, destructive influences of a child's addiction. As the father of a son in a ten year heroin battle, Dave knows all to well the challenges parents and families face. He also knows there is a way to find peace in the chaos. It is his mission to help parents discover their path to a healthier, balanced life even if a child's active addiction is still part of their daily journey.