Hope from our Jewish Community Sustained Us Through Our Son's Addiction
When my son was young, we had him visiting counselors for his issues with anger and depression. It seemed like he was doing well, always exceeded at school, involved in extra-curricular activities in the neighborhood, as well as with our temple’s youth group.
When we found out about his drug use, things went from bad to worse. But I never imagined I’d hear him say he’d been using heroin.
My wife and I started going to support group meetings for parents of addicts, and that helped a lot. And we turned to Temple Chai, where the rabbi and temple members were quite supportive, especially the Shalom Center, whose loving and dedicated staff helped my wife and me, and a few other members in similar circumstances, start a local JACS group, for Jewish alcoholics/addicts as well as their loved ones.
By attending JACS meetings, we found strength not only from the members who attended JACS, but also from our Jewish heritage. That was six years ago, and I still attend most of the bi-monthly meetings.
Whether we’re reading from The Twelve Jewish Steps to Recovery, listening to a speaker (who might be an addict/alcoholic, a family member, or clergy…rabbis from around the Valley have addressed our group), or discussing a topic, we share our experience, strength and hopes for ourselves and our loved ones. And with what I’ve learned over the years, I now know that I’m better able to handle my own issues, regardless of the state my son is in.
I do want to add though, that my son has been clean, sober for almost five years now. He’s earned academic honors at college, and I’m proud that he’s found a healthy way to fill his life now….with education, love, and also G-d.
My wife and I continue to be grateful to Temple Chai and the Shalom Center, and look forward to attending services and being part of a vibrant, Jewish community.
A. is a member of Temple Chai in Phoenix, AZ.