My brother would be 53 years old if he hadn't died 11 years ago from his addiction to heroin. He might have gotten married, had children, had a career, a life!! I'll never know because he had been an addict since he was an adolescent. I feel sad when I hear other women talk about their brothers and how close they are now that they're adults because I feel like he and I were cheated out of that.
My children, who were young at the time, had lots of questions. Why does he do things like that? Why is he in jail? Why does he take drugs when he knows they're so bad? I didn't know what to tell them, and I wanted them to get the correct information so that they could understand him and understand addiction and not judge him unfairly. I was also concerned because my brother wasn't the only addict in my family. My grandfather was an alcoholic; therefore, myself and my children were five times more likely to become addicts ourselves.
My children did get their answers; they also got tools! Tools that they needed to survive their adolescents with all it's temptations and readily available drugs.
They attended CARE's Project Focus camp. It's a free, 2 week camp for children 6-15 year old who have a loved one dealing with addiction or recovery.