Top Menu

Wonder and Worry: Can I Save My Daughters From Drug Addiction?


As a parent in recovery, I look at my children’s faces every day and I wonder and worry.

I wonder, with everything I know and everything I’ve learned, will I be able to save them from the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse? I wonder about the “gene” and the fact that I know there are many in both my family and my husbands’ that have it.

I worry about my children’s environment: the drug pushers, the “cool” friends and doctor’s writing careless prescriptions—all out there potentially giving my beautiful, innocent daughters something that could threaten their lives.

I worry about the things I say, the things that happen on the playground at school. I worry about the things that could happen to them emotionally that could somehow predispose them to being receptive to actually trying a prescription drug to get high, and that that one time could be all it takes.

I guess I could wonder and worry about so many other things happening to them, but because I am in recovery myself, this is the one thing that is closest to my mind.

If I tried all of it, why wouldn’t they?

All I can do is hope and pray that if they do try it and they do get hooked, they get help. Maybe it would be the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) just like I did.

AA has changed my life so profoundly and on so many levels. It has put the tools for living and happiness right into the core of my being.Because of it, the black hole exists no longer, and my need to fill it with substances is gone. I have been given the ability to walk through life with faith and hope and trust.

I just hope that I can transmit some of these values and the inner peace I feel to my children and that I do whatever I can to prevent them from using drugs and alcohol. But if they go down the path of addiction, I hope they too will find sobriety and serenity just as I did.

I hope that by teaching them to allow themselves to feel their feelings and to always speak up when something is going on and to try not to hold the emotions in, they will be aided in keeping away from drugs. Maybe teaching them that negative emotions are not bad and should not be discarded or ignored or seen as something to distract ourselves from will be useful. I hope that by saying to them that negative feelings are as important as positive feelings and that in our life’s journey we have to learn to deal with both sides of the coin.

I wonder if any of this will help.

And I wonder, are there other parents in recovery out there that are thinking about the same things? If so, please share.

11 Responses to this article

  1. Avatar of Frank Lavario
    Frank Lavario / January 24, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    Dear Pernilla, you wrote “If I tried all of it, why wouldn’t they?” I think in many cases children want to be different than their parents. They want to develop their own personality and life stories. I think that as a parent in recovery , the more you talk about your own former problems, the more the daughter or the son will be trying to NOT repeat your mistakes from earlier in life. Genes are not everything. There is hope…

  2. Pernilla Burke / December 18, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    Dear Linda, thank you! I’m so sorry about your son. You are a gift to your other children by being sober. When I read you comment, I was again reminded that there is hope and that miracles can happen. You are a miracle. I loved what you said about having an “open ear and heart for her.” That is what I will continually work on..
    Thank you

  3. Pernilla Burke / December 18, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    Dear Sherry- I’m so sorry about your daughter. I can’t even imagine what it’s like for you. Thank you for sharing with me and I will take every word you said to heart.
    Thank you

  4. Pernilla Burke / December 18, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    Sober Living – thank you for your words of Hope. When I read what you wrote, it all sounds so simple. I guess I hesitate cause I always felt loved by my parents, however, when I think about it now, it never felt unconditional and I was always very very afraid to do anything that would make them angry. I tell my daughters often that it is ok to be angry and I want them always to tell me how they feel…
    thank you

  5. Linda / December 17, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    First of all I want to say congratulations on your recovery and continued abstinence and sobriety. You are definetely where you should be amd I am very proud of you! I am a recovery addict. I have been clean now for 10 years now but not before I lost my son from an od. It is hard not to feel totally responsible that he chose that way even though I know it is not my fault. I have 5 other children that I pray for everyday and I know that by me being in recovery and learning the things I have about addiction I am more prepared to help my children so that they have a chance to never have to go through what I or my son did. Education has and is the key. True your genes predispose you and my children are at a greater risk of addiction but now i know that their are ways and all people don’t pick up or use drugs when they can’t cope. You are doing everything right. Again I am proud of you and all you have to do is love your daughter and have an open ear and heart for her.

  6. Avatar of sherry
    sherry / December 14, 2012 at 12:35 am

    well i lost my fight with drugs with my daughter dec15 2010 my 20 year old daughter died from a drug overdose i thought i did everything right but it wasnt enough just dont give up on your kids stay in thier lives be nosey get into thier bussiness and stay in it cause when you think the danger is over thats when it happened to my little girl i miss her so much if i had stayed in her bussiness she woukd still be here god bless

  7. Avatar of Sober Living
    Sober Living / December 13, 2012 at 11:35 am

    Every human-being is different. Its not necessary that if you have been an addict your kids will also be. Chances are that they would not feel any need of drugs.

    Even if tried with some of their friends, they can refuse it the next time. The survey shows that not all first time drug tasters become drug addicts.

    Drug addiction largely depends on the mental state of the person. If person is happy, loved and satisfied he won’t go for addiction. So I would just say to love your kids and they won’t feel the need to be an addict.

  8. Pernilla / November 27, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    Thank you so much for your comments Beth and Becky, really appreciate it. From what you say it sounds so simple…I am glad that I am in recovery, learning about who I am and why I do the things I do can only be beneficial to those close around.


  9. Beth Wilson / November 23, 2012 at 3:33 am


    What a beautiful and heartfelt piece.

    I believe your girls’ journey will be molded by God’s hands along with a few choices they make and the ways in which you guide and teach them.

    My dad used to tell me that it’s a parent’s job to worry about their kids and what the future holds. I believe it’s also a parent’s job to hope and envision a future where her children are strong and decisive and convicted by their beliefs.

    They learn that from you and it sure sounds like you’re doing the best job possible to ground them. The rest is in God’s capable hands.

    Bless you for the work you do–with your kids and with the recovery community.

    All the best,

  10. Avatar of Becky
    Becky / November 18, 2012 at 12:41 am

    There are thousands of parents in recovery and I sure hope they are thinking about the same things. I know that I wonder and worry about my grandson and am so grateful that he has never known anything but a sober “Nana.”

    I love what you said about allowing your children to feel their feelings and always speak up when something is going on. That is critically important to raising healthy children. As a child I was frequently told “DON’T CRY” or “DON’T BE SAD” and even “CHILDREN SHOULD BE SEEN AND NOT HEARD.” I learned that my feelings didn’t matter and also learned how to hide them. Eventually, drugs helped me to erase my feelings, at least until they didn’t work for me anymore.

    I think that your post is RIGHT ON and believe that your children will benefit the most from your recovery.

  11. Pernilla Burke / January 25, 2013 at 12:03 am

    Thank you Frank. I certainly hope so. I definitely think it is not something to hide or to think it never happened, as some do. It is interesting that after all these years (14 years) – even close family sometimes tend to forget how bad it was. Denial is powerful even now. Telling my story in a meeting or otherwise in life makes me remember, and as long as I do, that’s all that matters.

Leave a Reply

Please read our comment policy and guidelines before you submit a comment. Your email address will not be published. Thank you for visiting

+ seven = 13