An Open Letter To My Dad: This Is What Your Addiction Did - Clearbrook (2022)

The following was submitted by the child of an alcoholic & addict: An Open Letter to My Alcoholic Father

“Dear Dad,

We had some amazing times during my childhood and for those moments when you were being a dad, I thank you. We’ve gone to baseball games, you taught me how to drive and I’ve always had a good time with you. Those are the moments I will forever hold onto.

Unfortunately, those memories have a dark shadow cast over them because of your poor decisions. I know you didn’t want to hurt me, but your addiction to drugs and alcohol left a hole in my life. There is more damage done than you could ever understand.

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I’ve spent years watching mom try to help you get well. You go to rehab, you come home and start it all over again. How about the times I was forced to tag along for your drug runs? You thought that if you took me, mom wouldn’t know what you were up to. I was used as a distraction in your hunt for more.

Or, how about the times the electricity got turned off because we didn’t have any money. Jon and I had to sit in the dark while you were out with your buddies at the bar.

Your drugs and alcohol were always more important than me, Jon or mom. You didn’t care if we were in danger because you owed money to a dealer. You didn’t stop to think about how it affected us.

Here’s what your addiction has done…

I Can’t Trust Anyone

How could I learn to trust someone? Every time I believed you; every time I thought you cared about me, you would hurt me all over again. Like the times you never came home for Christmas. All those times you told me that you were clean when you really weren’t.

How about the time you stole my Playstation to get drug money?

I would cry at night and hope for a miracle, but it never came. In those fleeting moments when you tried to be a dad, I thought it was over. Only to have you crush me yet again when you didn’t change.

Because of this, I can’t put my trust in anyone. I walk around life with a shield on protecting myself from the next person who wants to hurt me.

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I Can’t Be Good Enough

No matter how hard I try, I just don’t feel good enough anymore. While you were gone, I studied hard and worked to maintain straight-As. I never got in trouble and I made sure to take care of mom and Jon while you were gone. I made myself the man of the house and you never noticed.

You never took the time to thank me for cleaning up your messes. You never said you were proud that I wasn’t turning out like you.

I know that your addiction is a disease and not something you can control, but I hurt. What you did will forever have an impact on me that can’t be reversed. Every day I struggle to find confidence in myself. I feel weak most days.

I Don’t Believe in Love

I watched you hurt mom. You lied, broke promises, cheated and manipulated her until she became a shell of a woman. I sat and listened to you fight with her. I remember the times the cops showed up and mom was so helpless to your power.

You’ve left me with no sense of love. You only showed me how terrible a marriage can be. I am sure there are plenty of people that have found fulfilling and trusting relationships, but I don’t think I’ll be one of them.

I don’t want to hurt my loved ones like you did.

I Suffer From Anxiety

I always worry. Day in and day out, my life is driven by fear. I believe it’s because you provided no stability for me. You always let me down.

I sat up at night wondering if you were still alive. We never knew if you would come home or not. When you did come home, we had to worry what mood you were in. Were you high or withdrawing from the drugs?

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Even now, I find things to worry about. I struggle to feel happy or enjoy the moment I am in. Each day, I think about the next 20 steps I have to take and that robs me of all joy.

I Don’t Know What A Real Father Is

I look at others I know who had great fathers. There are days when I can’t understand the love between them. You are in my memories, but your addiction made most of them dark and painful.

Even now, you barely have time to check in with me. As I prepare to graduate, you’ve taken no interest in my life or my future. It hurts that I never had a father.

I try to be the best role model I can for Jon and fill the absence you’ve left, but it’s hard. I don’t know how because you never showed me.

As I pick out colleges, I don’t have you to talk to for advice. When I am struggling at work, I can’t confide in you. I am thankful every day for a mom who tries to be a dad to me as well, but she isn’t meant to do that job. You are!

There are days when I miss you deeply. I find myself gravitating toward other men as replacement fathers, but that doesn’t work. I will never know what it is like to grow up with a real father. Because of that, I am not sure that I could ever be a dad. What if I let my children down?

I Know What Not To Do

If anything, I’ve learned a lot about what not to do in life. I don’t want to hurt people the way that you so easily did. There is no time in my life to be a bad person. I choose today to be kind and caring to my family and friends.

I’m learning that working hard and staying focused will pay off. I plan to stay on this path until the end because I don’t want to be like you.

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Your words, negative actions and lack of love are causing me to be stronger. The pain is motivating me to work at being the best man I can.

So, in a strange way, I thank you. You’ve modeled what not to do with my life. I love you dad and I always will, but you’ve forever affected my heart in a negative way. That pain won’t ever be fully gone; it is something I will live with.

Maybe one day you’ll be proud of me. Today, I’ve learned to stop waiting for that day. Today, I live my life without trying to please you any further.


Your Teenage Son”

What to Do If Your Parent is an Addict

This impact letter on drug addiction shows how difficult it can be for children and families of addicts. Those hurt by addiction may have trouble healing and understanding how to move forward from their parent’s or family member’s actions in addiction. There are things you can do to help both yourself and your addicted mother, father, or family member:

  • Find addiction treatment programs to help your parent get sober
  • Enter support programs for parents of drug addict fathers and mothers
  • Recognize what you can and cannot change about your parent or family member

Writing your own open letter to your drug addicted parent can help you recognize your own feelings regarding their addiction. Write out the letter, much like the one above, and lay out all your feelings about your parent’s addiction. You don’t have to give this letter to the parent who chose addiction, but getting your feelings out on paper can help you understand what still needs healing.

Contact Clearbrook For Addiction Treatment

Unfortunately, as we struggle through the cycle of addiction, we do not realize the pain and hurt we are causing to those most important to us. While it is never intentional, it is still painful all the same. Addiction is a family disease, because while one person may abuse drugs and alcohol, everyone in the family suffers. Nevertheless, there is a way out of that cycle and hope for the future; for both the family members and the addict.

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If you or someone you know and love is currently struggling with alcoholism and/or drug addiction, Clearbrook Treatment Centers can help. For 45 years, we have been providing effective treatment to those suffering from chemical dependency, while also providing the affected family unit with education and support. If you are ready to come to treatment or are interested in our Family Educational Program, please contact our Admissions Specialists today.

We look forward to hearing from you.



What do you say to someone who has an addiction? ›

Trust that they know themselves. If they say they are addicted, believe them. Someone opening up to you about their addiction is likely a sign that they trust you. Respect how difficult it might be for them to talk about their addiction.

How do I write a letter to a recovering addict? ›

Intervention Letter Writing 101
  1. Begin With A Statement Of Compassion. ...
  2. Outline A Specific Example Of Their Substance Abuse And How It Affected You. ...
  3. Show That You've Taken The Time To Understand Their Addiction. ...
  4. Repeat Your Love And Concern, And Ask Them To Accept Help.
Jan 16, 2017

What are three examples of addiction? ›

However, in terms of substance addictions, some of the more common types of addiction include:
  • Alcohol addiction.
  • Prescription drug addiction.
  • Drug addiction.
  • Heroin addiction.
  • Opioid addiction.
Sep 8, 2021

How can we solve the problem of addiction? ›

10 Ways ANYONE Can Stop Addiction Now
  1. Admit There Is A Problem. The hardest part to recovery is admitting you have an addiction. ...
  2. Reflect On Your Addiction. ...
  3. Seek Professional Support. ...
  4. Appreciate The Benefits of Sobriety. ...
  5. Evidence-Based Care. ...
  6. Identify Your Triggers. ...
  7. Change Your Environment. ...
  8. Exercise.

What should you not say to someone in recovery? ›

What Not to Say to Someone in Addiction Recovery
  • I Know How You Feel.
  • I'm Sorry.
  • How Many More Meetings Do You Have Until You're Cured?
  • I Had No Idea.
  • Can You Ever Try It Again?
  • I Don't Think It Would Be Hard for Me to Stop.
  • Be Our Designated Driver.
  • What About Your Wedding?
Sep 1, 2017

What to write in a card for a recovering alcoholic? ›

Below are some sample messages you can use.
  • “I'm so happy to see you taking care of yourself.”
  • “You've grown into such a strong and independent person.”
  • “I'm so proud of you and the progress you've made.”
  • “You deserve to be happy.”
  • “I'm happy you're doing so well. ...
  • “You are deserving of a happy and sober life.”
Jul 21, 2021

How do you write a recovery letter? ›

Here are some suggestions for writing a powerful intervention letter.
  1. Open with a statement of support. ...
  2. Say that you understand addiction is a disease and that recovery is possible. ...
  3. Stick to the facts. ...
  4. Ask the person to accept help. ...
  5. Seek feedback ahead of time. ...
  6. Stick to your letter during the intervention.
Feb 12, 2020

What do you write to someone in recovery? ›

8 Things to Say to Someone in Recovery
  • I Love You. ...
  • You're Not Alone. ...
  • Everyone Needs Help Sometimes. ...
  • How Are You Feeling? ...
  • How Can I Help? ...
  • Let's Hang Out. ...
  • I'm Proud of You. ...
  • I Know You Are Struggling, But There's Always Hope.
May 29, 2019

What does the Bible say about addiction? ›

“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. Godis faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”

What are some good addictions? ›

8 Healthy Addictions That Are Okay To Have
  • Drinking Water. Whoever said a drinking addiction is unhealthy clearly didn't take into account an addiction to drinking water. ...
  • Exercising. ...
  • Getting Your Shut-Eye. ...
  • Laughing. ...
  • Getting Social. ...
  • Learn how to be more with Productivity Theory's weekly newsletter! ...
  • Eating Healthy. ...
  • Cleaning.

What are two types of addiction? ›

Today, most experts recognize two types of addiction:
  • Chemical addiction. This refers to addiction that involves the use of substances.
  • Behavioral addiction. This refers to addiction that involves compulsive behaviors. These are persistent, repeated behaviors that you carry out even if they don't offer any real benefit.
Feb 27, 2020

What are the problems of addiction? ›

The Impact of Addiction Can Be Far-Reaching
  • Cardiovascular disease.
  • Stroke.
  • Cancer.
  • Hepatitis B and C.
  • Lung disease.
  • Mental disorders.
Jul 10, 2020

Is Solution a drug? ›

Solution is one of the most popular drugs among youths, owing to easy access and low cost of barely 30 rupees ($0.45), according to Jain.

Why do people get addicted to drugs? ›

Factors such as peer pressure, physical and sexual abuse, early exposure to drugs, stress, and parental guidance can greatly affect a person's likelihood of drug use and addiction. Development. Genetic and environmental factors interact with critical developmental stages in a person's life to affect addiction risk.

What can I say instead of sober? ›

Some common synonyms of sober are earnest, grave, sedate, serious, solemn, and staid.

Who is a sober person? ›

1 : not drinking too much : temperate. 2 : not drunk. 3 : having or showing a serious attitude : solemn a sober voice.

When is someone sober? ›

The most common meaning of sober is "not drunk" — people who drive need to be sober. Sober sounds a lot like somber, and it often means sad and quiet too, or sometimes too serious. Another meaning is to be logical or realistic about something.

What do you say on sobriety anniversary? ›

"Congratulations on your sobriety anniversary and best wishes for continued success! We hope that this next year will be another safe, happy, healthy one to celebrate. Remember the power of your past achievements and take some time every day to focus on what you can do today and in the future."

What do you call a sobriety anniversary? ›

A sobriety birthday (also known as a sobriety anniversary, sober anniversary, recovery anniversary, or sobriety milestone) also serves as a reminder of the progress you've made. It can be the last day you used drugs or drank alcohol. It can also be the day after you last used.

How do you celebrate 1 month sobriety? ›

Various Ways to Celebrate Your Sobriety Birthday
  1. Reflect & Look Back. Getting sober is something you should be proud of. ...
  2. Have a “Me” Day. ...
  3. Thank Your Loved Ones. ...
  4. Get Together with Friends & Family. ...
  5. Plan a Fun Activity. ...
  6. Share Your Story. ...
  7. Do Something New. ...
  8. Become A Mentor or Sponsor.
Dec 9, 2020

How long does Covid last? ›

Many people feel better in a few days or weeks and most will make a full recovery within 12 weeks. But for some people, symptoms can last longer. The chances of having long-term symptoms does not seem to be linked to how ill you are when you first get COVID-19.

How do you travel after Covid? ›

1. Read the FCDO foreign travel guidance
  1. provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test before you travel. ...
  2. provide proof of recent or past COVID-19 infection. ...
  3. provide proof of your COVID-19 vaccination status. ...
  4. quarantine on arrival at your destination.
  5. complete additional documentation prior to your arrival.

What's a recovery letter? ›

What is a Covid-19 Recovery Letter? A COVID-19 recovery letter/certificate certifies that you previously had COVID-19, have recovered, and thus may have built a natural immunity to avoid re-infection.

What do you say to someone in physical rehab? ›

Reassure your loved one that recovery takes time and remind him how far he's come. When he says, "I wish I didn't need help just to walk to the end of the driveway," tell him, "But a week ago, you couldn't even walk out your front door."

How do you write a good impact letter? ›

Impact statements follow a simple formulaI:
  1. Describe the issue or problem statement (relevance) in simple terms appropriate for your principal audience. ...
  2. Provide an action statement (response). ...
  3. Describe the impact (results). ...
  4. Who was responsible? ...
  5. Your name and contact information.

How do you write a social impact statement? ›

Top 4 Tips for Impact Statement
  1. Think about your audience when you write the impact statement. ...
  2. Use numbers to describe the impact of your work. ...
  3. Keep the impact statement short and meaningful. ...
  4. Proofread the impact statement, and have someone else proofread it, too to avoid unnoticed mistakes or typos.
Aug 11, 2021

What do you write in a personal statement for a victim? ›

Making a victim personal statement
  • physical injury;
  • emotional impact of the crime, if it has affected your feelings or emotional wellbeing;
  • social impact, including how you interact with people;
  • financial impact, including any money or property lost as a result of the crime, or inability to work.

How does God deal with addiction? ›

He simply wants you to remain persistent toward overcoming your sins and constantly strive toward his everlasting love. Learning to manage your addiction will take effort and sacrifice. It will require you to admit your shortcomings and push toward something stronger than yourself.

What is the true meaning of addiction? ›

An addiction is a chronic dysfunction of the brain system that involves reward, motivation, and memory. It's about the way your body craves a substance or behavior, especially if it causes a compulsive or obsessive pursuit of “reward” and lack of concern over consequences.

Is smoking a sin? ›

God clearly states in the Sixth Commandment: 'Thou shalt not kill. ' Smoking endangers not only your own life, but also affects the lives of others. In this article, we will prove that smoking is a sin!

Is there a positive addiction? ›

Glasser claims that positive addictions “strengthen us and make our lives more satisfying.” They also enable us to “live with more confidence, more creativity, and more happiness, and usually in much better health.” Positive addictions, unlike their negative cousins, enhance life.

Who is at risk of addiction? ›

Heredity is a major risk factor for addiction. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse , up to half of your risk of addiction to alcohol, nicotine, or other drugs is based on genetics. If you have family members who've experienced addiction, you're more likely to experience it too.

Can you be addicted to happiness? ›

However, happiness can cause addiction over time simply because you enjoy the way drugs and alcohol make you feel. The more you use the substances, the more you begin to crave them to experience a higher level of pleasure.

Is it love or an addiction? ›

Many of us confuse longing and obsession with true love. Through two previous editions, Is It Love or Is It Addiction? has helped countless people find their way from the trials and confusion of addictive love to the fulfillment of whole and healthy relationships.

How does addiction affect the brain? ›

In a person who becomes addicted, brain receptors become overwhelmed. The brain responds by producing less dopamine or eliminating dopamine receptors—an adaptation similar to turning the volume down on a loudspeaker when noise becomes too loud.

Can a person be addicting? ›

You can be addicted to a person. This is also referred to as relationship addiction, love addiction, or codependency. Each of these consists of seeking external validation to compensate for low self-esteem.

What does addiction look like? ›

General signs of addiction are: lack of control, or inability to stay away from a substance or behavior. decreased socialization, like abandoning commitments or ignoring relationships. ignoring risk factors, like sharing needles despite potential consequences.

What is the result of addiction? ›

Addiction can also trigger depression, psychosis, and anxiety, and greatly increase the risk of suicidal ideation. It can also deeply impair people around the individual, destroying relationships and finances, and even pushing people towards illicit activity and crime.

What are the first signs of addiction? ›

Recognizing the signs of addiction is the first step to getting help for yourself or guiding someone you care about to rehab.
Physical Signs
  • Enlarged or small pupils.
  • Sudden weight loss or gain.
  • Bloodshot eyes.
  • Insomnia.
  • Unusual body odors.
  • Poor physical coordination.
  • Looking unkempt.
  • Slurred speech.

How can Whitener be used as a drug? ›

The pungent smell of whitener can not only erase print on paper, but also memory from the human brain. The toluene and trychloroethane help to intoxicate and apparently the addicts experience a kick for five to eight hours, depending on the intensity and quantity of the inhalation.

What is a suspension drug? ›

Suspensions are defined as finely divided undissolved drugs dispersed in liquid vehicles. They can be a ready-to-use liquid suspension or a dry powder reconstitutable suspension, which is dispersed in water by the patient, a caregiver or a pharmacist.

What is pharmaceutics syrup? ›

syrup in the Pharmaceutical Industry

Syrup is a medicine in the form of a thick liquid containing a sugar solution. The cough medicine is supplied as a thick, sweet syrup. The thick syrup is sweetened with a solution of sugar. Syrup is a medicine in the form of a thick liquid containing a sugar solution.

How drugs can affect your life? ›

Studies show that drug use increases your risk of mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and psychosis. People with mental health issues also have a higher rate of drug use problems.

Is drug addiction genetic? ›

Yes, there can be a genetic predisposition to substance abuse. In fact, the American Psychological Association (APA) states that “at least half of a person's susceptibility to drug or alcohol addiction can be linked to genetic factors.”

What are the five characteristics of addiction? ›

  • An inability to stop.
  • Changes in mood, appetite, and sleep.
  • Continuing despite negative consequences.
  • Denial.
  • Engaging in risky behaviors.
  • Feeling preoccupied with the substance or behavior.
  • Legal and financial problems.
  • Losing interest in other things you used to enjoy.
Feb 8, 2021

What are the factors of addiction? ›

Certain factors can affect the likelihood and speed of developing an addiction:
  • Family history of addiction. Drug addiction is more common in some families and likely involves genetic predisposition. ...
  • Mental health disorder. ...
  • Peer pressure. ...
  • Lack of family involvement. ...
  • Early use. ...
  • Taking a highly addictive drug.
Oct 26, 2017

How many addictions are there in the world? ›

World Drug Report 2019: 35 million people worldwide suffer from drug use disorders while only 1 in 7 people receive treatment.

How does addiction affect behavior? ›

Addiction often leads to risky or unethical behavior. As noted above, studies have found that prolonged substance use impairs your prefrontal cortex, which is involved with planning, attention, emotional regulation, and self-control. It's also involved with foresight.

What does addiction look like? ›

General signs of addiction are: lack of control, or inability to stay away from a substance or behavior. decreased socialization, like abandoning commitments or ignoring relationships. ignoring risk factors, like sharing needles despite potential consequences.

Which personality type is addictive? ›

As far as addiction goes, Type B personalities are more impulsive and tend to have a stronger family history of alcohol abuse. On the other hand, Type A personalities are prone to stress and may use alcohol and drugs as a way to cope.

What is the true meaning of addiction? ›

An addiction is a chronic dysfunction of the brain system that involves reward, motivation, and memory. It's about the way your body craves a substance or behavior, especially if it causes a compulsive or obsessive pursuit of “reward” and lack of concern over consequences.

What does it feel like to be addicted? ›

Getting Hooked. Then imagine that you have an experience—you drink, take a drug, win a bet or a game, have a sexual experience, overeat, make a large impulse purchase—and suddenly, everything feels great.

What are the basic stages of addiction? ›

While there are many factors that contribute to drug and alcohol addiction, including genetic and environmental influences, socioeconomic status, and preexisting mental health conditions, most professionals within the field of addiction agree that there are four main stages of addiction: experimentation, regular use, ...

Who is most at risk of addiction? ›

Age of first use

Starting alcohol, nicotine or other substance use at an early age is one of the strongest and most consistent predictors of an increased risk of addiction.

How does addiction affect the brain? ›

In a person who becomes addicted, brain receptors become overwhelmed. The brain responds by producing less dopamine or eliminating dopamine receptors—an adaptation similar to turning the volume down on a loudspeaker when noise becomes too loud.

How drugs can affect your life? ›

Studies show that drug use increases your risk of mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and psychosis. People with mental health issues also have a higher rate of drug use problems.

Is sugar a drug? ›

Research says that our brains are hardwired for pleasure and sugar works like many addictive drugs.

Is coffee a drug? ›

Caffeine (pronounced: ka-FEEN) is a drug because it stimulates the central nervous system, causing increased alertness. Caffeine gives most people a temporary energy boost and improves mood. Caffeine is in tea, coffee, chocolate, many soft drinks, and pain relievers and other over-the-counter medicines and supplements.

Is Sugar as addictive? ›

Sugar is noteworthy as a substance that releases opioids and dopamine and thus might be expected to have addictive potential.


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