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Dear Parents: Strategies to Help Your Loved One Through Addiction
Dear Parents: Strategies to Help Your Loved One Through Addiction is for the parents who have a loved one with a substance abuse issue and wish they had more control over the situation. Addiction can play by its own set of rules, it has its own language, and no one teaches you how to deal with these murky, confusing waters. You can be left feeling as desperate and hopeless as your adult child. Dear Parents provides strategies, guidance, and hope for any parent at any stage of substance abuse.
In this book, you will:
Gain a deeper understanding of addiction and what motivates and drives an addict to do what they are doing to themselves.
Learn strategies and tips on five areas where you have influence when confronted with difficult situations.
Be introduced to the proven F.A.C.T.S.™ system, which helps you navigate your decisions guilt free
“This book is wonderful! I loved it. It’s the truth, it’s raw, personal, and most importantly, it shows how much Jen cares about the parents with loved ones in addiction and how they can help their kid.” -Laura P. Baley: Editor
Forward: Written by Lynn Carnes (Jen's Mom)
Hi, I’m Lynn Carnes, Jen’s mom. If you are reading this, you likely have a child in addiction. My heart goes out to you. I’ve been where you are. Starting with her 22nd birthday, I discovered that Jen was an addict.
She didn’t become an addict then. Oh no. That’s just when I finally got it. Her addiction had begun many years before. I was blind to it for a long time. Looking back, I have to chuckle at all the signs I missed. Sometimes we really do only see what we want to see.
My behavior as her parent was also a significant part of her addiction, even though I was not the one handing her drugs. What I WAS doing was ignoring signs, being caught up in my own world and just barely surviving my own chaotic life.
Then, through a series of fortunate events and some wake up calls, I began to change.
My wake-up calls may have saved her life. I know it saved mine.
Thanks to being part of a leadership development program that had a heavy emphasis on self-awareness, an important seed was planted. As I developed self-awareness, my understanding of my part in Jen’s addiction became acute. I came to realize several critical things:
I could no longer try to rescue her, especially since she was not living under my roof.
I could not change her, no matter what incentives I offered, be they money or punishment
I needed to breathe
She felt justified destroying her life to pay me back for being a less than perfect mom - and if I bought into that story, it would only make things worse
She had to own her own life
She might die from her addiction
My greatest strength would come from prayer
In many ways, the mom who raised Jen (as a single parent) had to grow up to save Jen's life. And mine.
When I did that, I was able to set the conditions for her recovery.
That’s what I want you to be able to do: set the conditions for your child’s recovery. But always remember, they have to choose it for themselves.
Praise for the book
I am reading your book and finding it powerful! I am thinking that this is so needed by real people living in this real life chaos and needing real life talk learned from the inside/out. I thank you for putting all of this down in writing and getting this help out there. What a gift.
Melissa Mcnair, MCC, MSC
This is the book a parent of an addict turns to when it’s clear that more of the same will never be enough, and the desire to do whatever it takes to break free from the pain has never been stronger. It illuminates this choice is taking on an assignment of a lifetime, and the deep-seeded commitment it requires to successfully repair and close the wide rift in this important relationship. Or walk away grounded in the knowledge that the decision to do so is made from an informed place and an act of love.
Kristin C. M.A., NCC
Excellent quick read! Gives a starting point for those whose loved ones are suffering from addiction. It gives you permission to focus on YOUR healing and break the bonds of codependency.
I started Jen’s book this morning and read it straight through! She is spot on ~ I was highlighting and starring things she pointed out on almost every page. I am amazed at her depth of understanding from the parent’s perspective, even though she herself is not a parent. Her honesty and commitment to tell it like it is makes this work a true gift for any parent, family member or even friend walking with someone in addiction.
Available in Print on Amazon
Still prefer books in print, no problem! The book is available on amazon.
*If you are part of an organization or are a therapist, counselor, etc. and would like to hand this book out to clients or the parents of clients, please email me at and I will be happy to send you the book in bulk at cost.