May 26, 2015

Where Are the Dads?

A_dad hiding (2)That’s the million dollar question, isn’t it? Every time I give a presentation, whether I’m speaking about addiction at churches, parent’s groups, business organizations, or neighborhood associations, the audience is mostly filled with moms. They’re the ones gathering information, committed to helping their addicted child.

It takes two to successfully tackle a family crisis like addiction. The mom and the dad must work together. That’s a given. Yet where are most of the dads in this equation?

You know where they are. They’re MIA. They’re hiding out at work, at the gym, at the golf course, at the bar. Ticked off and frustrated, dads tend to throw up their hands and walk away, leaving moms to deal with the situation alone.

Thank God for moms, right? They’re the persistent, tenacious ones. They don’t give up on their children. Dads shouldn’t either. But they do.

The problem with dads is their need to “fix” problems. It’s a guy thing. And if the addiction situation can’t be easily fixed in the usual way (and it can’t), dads label the addicted child “lazy” or “irresponsible” or both. Soon the addicted child becomes “your son” or “your daughter” in conversations with the mom.

Here’s my message to dads: GET OVER IT. Your family needs you. A house divided falls, and addiction is a disrupter. There’s no quick fix for it. None. Nada.

Don’t allow addiction to drive a wedge between you and your wife. She needs a partner she can count on. Be that partner. Women work hard inside and outside the home every day. Solving the substance abuse problem in your family isn’t a responsibility she should have to bear alone.

Dad, lock your ego in a drawer and throw away the key. Help your wife gather information. Become educated about every aspect of addiction. There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to substance abuse. Keep trying healthy solutions until you can restore balance and peace in your home.

Your wife needs a strong husband, not an absent husband. Your addicted child needs a dad who can take the lead, not one who retreats. This isn’t the time to abandon your family, no matter how frustrated you might be.


Is your child addicted to drugs or alcohol? Are you trapped on the emotional rollercoaster of addiction? Dave Cooke can help. He’s an Addiction Coach and an internationally recognized speaker. Let him show you how to create an action plan that will move you, your family, and your addicted child back on track in a healthier direction. Contact Dave today for private coaching or book him to speak at your church, parent’s group, business organization, or neighborhood association. Go to for more information or email

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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.