Skewer the Stigma: In the wake of losing a star, an addict shares “who we are:” The message for all of us


One in four children is affected by the family disease of addiction/alcoholism. We know these kids. They are in our classrooms. Their parents may pick them up “a little late” from child care. They may come to parent conferences with a faint whiff of last night’s binge on their breaths. They may be the ones who always forget to sign the field trip form. Or not. They may be the ones you’d never suspect, until you read in the paper that they just got their 4th DUI and are headed for jail.

And:, to be honest….isn’t it hard not to judge them? To wonder how ANYONE could choose alcohol or drugs over their children? As the author of the blog I’ve shared below says: “We love our children fiercely. Yes, we would change “For the sake of the children” if only we could.”

Have a read and a think  as you read some reflections about substance use disorder from the perspective of a parent in recovery, following the unexpected death of Phillip Seymour Hoffman. We can only support the children we work with by supporting their families. And one of the best ways to support a family suffering from this wretched disease is to bring it out of the shadows, and out of the shame.

The Beggar's Bakery

Philip_Seymour_Hoffman_2011 Rest in peace, Mr. Hoffman.

He had enjoyed 23 years of clean time, previous to his relapse.  Phillip Seymour Hoffman.

In the announcement of his recent death from a drug overdose, CNN refers to Hoffman as “everyman,”  and indeed, he was extraordinarily talented while still remaining personable. I know in my head that people with two decades of sobriety “fall off the wagon,” but it is always jarring to my heart when I hear about those occasions. Addictions will not be taken for granted.

There seems to be a slight shock that Hoffman, who suffered the same disease as Amy Winehouse, died from the same disease. His spin was not that of a train wreck, but of an accomplished and revered performer.

The article goes on to describe Hoffman as an actor so versatile that he “could be anybody.”  I’m not sure the author of the piece really appreciates how…

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One thought on “Skewer the Stigma: In the wake of losing a star, an addict shares “who we are:” The message for all of us

  1. Pingback: Outside Looking In: What Do Teachers of Young Children Need to Know about Substance Use Disorder and the Stigma Attached To It? | Imagination on the Move

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