About the Book

 Third Edition Available Now 

Addiction impacts every life, everywhere, in one way or another.  We may be the family member of a person battling addiction, or perhaps a friend, coworker, or neighbor.

My son battled a heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine, and crystal meth addiction for twenty-three years.  He is polite, charming, and handsome.  He is kind and loving and generous.  However, throughout his addiction he lied, stole, manipulated, and used good people.  He robbed banks.  He had been in and out of detox facilities, recovery houses, and programs.  He had also been in treatment centers in both Canada and the USA.  He has been in prison.

Addiction: A Mother’s Story (Third Edition) is the story of addiction through a Mother’s eyes.  It is the story of the journey of addiction with my son whom I deeply, deeply love.

As parents we search for answers and go to what might be considered unbelievable lengths to try and help our drug addicted children whom we love so much.  Over those twenty-three years I read well over 200 books and thousands of articles written primarily by doctors, psychiatrists and psychologist, addictions counselors,  and specialists in the field of addiction.  I have read several stories written by addicts in recovery.  Over the years what I perhaps needed most, was to read about addiction through the eyes of a parent.  By a mother or father whose knowledge and awareness of addiction was also accompanied by a lifetime of love, of memories, and of emotions that only a parent can know.

I sincerely hope that Addiction: A Mother’s Story helps you help yourself, your addicted loved one, and all your family by acknowledging the love and the ties that bind us while we battle this disease with our loved one.

Addiction: A Mother’s Story shows the progression of Nathan’s addiction as the chapters unfold and how that addiction played out.  How his addiction progressed to devastating and life-altering circumstances, and how it affected Nathan, our family, and myself.

Throughout Addiction: A Mother’s Story,  you will read of the many things I tried to do to help my son battle the horrific disease of addiction.  What helped, what didn’t.  What I did, what I wish I had done differently.  About effectively helping, and about enabling.  Tough love.  Hitting bottom.  Both Nathan’s and mine.  You will undoubtedly recognize your own efforts as a parent as you travel this journey with me.

I know your heart is breaking.  I hope Addiction: A Mother’s Story speaks to your  heart.   This is the story of my journey as the Mom of a hard-core addict, navigating the road of his addiction.

18 thoughts on “About the Book

  1. Holli

    Hello June,
    My son almost didn’t graduate because of drugs. I think his autism and bi polar make a big impact on his addiction. I at times feel powerless because my husband and I are surrounded with enablers. I was married to my sons dad for 20 years. We don’t parent the same. The treatment my husband and I feel best for our son is usually over run by his dad. I do feel alone. My whole family has turned on my husband and I because they “think” we have done nothing for our son. We have always did the HARD thing of saying “no”. My family saw that as abandonment. The things my son hears about my husband and I are far from the truth. He abanded us for a year and a half before EVERYONE FINALLY saw that our son had an addiction. Because of his age it’s so hard to help him because of HIPPA. I feel hopeless and alone. I cry myself to sleep at night. He has been to 10 day rehab after being on the hospital inpatient treatment. He now is in sober living. We are hopeful he’s learning but has already shown redflags to my husband and I. My Hubby is my support thank goodness, but being surround my an enabeling family breaks my heart. I want to read your book, but I am concerned it may make me more depressed and hopeless. But it maybe more support I need. This disease is the most heartbreaking, confusing thing I have ever dealt with in my life. Feeling broken 💔

    1. Please forgive the delay in responding to your heart breaking note Holli, I have been caring for my grandson as his Mom has been hospitalized for an extended period.

      I could hear the pain in every word you have written. It is such a difficult journey we travel when we are a parent of someone battling the disease of addiction. What makes it even more difficult is when others are of a different mind set than we are. While ‘we are all in the same storm, we are all in different boats’. Everyone has their own opinion of how best to deal with the devastating effects of addiction and sadly there is no perfect solution.

      The most important thing is that whatever decision we make, it has to be the decision we can live with. I would never say ‘decision we are comfortable with’, because there is no decision that is comfortable. It is a difficult and heartbreaking decision we have been forced to make and we know regardless of our decision, there will be fallout.

      I am comforted to know you have the support of your husband. I am though very sorry you have been harshly judged.

      For many years I had a very difficult time separating “letting go” with “abandonment”. To me I felt they were one and the same. And of course I was wrong. There is a very big difference.

      No one loves your son more than you do I am sure. Know you are doing the very best you can in a situation that is the most devastating and heartbreaking one you have to deal with. And one day ‘doing your best’ will be different than ‘doing your best another day’. We can only do what we are capable of doing each day. And remember taking care of yourself is not a luxury. It is a necessity.

      So often when we have a loved one struggling with addiction, we put so much focus on trying to find a solution to helping them get well, we put our own needs at the bottom of the list. Remember you matter. Your feelings matter.

      I truly hope your son will stay the course in his current treatment so that you will be able to live the life you deserve, free from so much worry and heartbreak and so that he will be able to live the life he deserves, free from the chains of addiction holding him hostage.

      I hope you will keep in touch. Please know you are not alone. I truly do understand your devastation.

      Take care,

  2. Cathy

    My son died from an accidental drug overdose two years ago. I would like to read your book because I’m sure I can relate, but wonder if it will make me feel worse because your son recovered and mine didn’t.

    1. Cathy, thank you for reaching out. I cannot tell you how very, very sorry I am that you lost your son to the horrific disease that addiction is. I don’t think anything that you will ever read, or anything you will ever hear could ever make you feel worse than the pain you feel every single day already.

      One thing I will share with you – I have had Moms like yourself, who have lost a child and raised that same concern. I often here back from mostly Moms but also a couple of Dads, letting me know that after reading my story, they felt a sense of peace. Because my story was their story. Tragically different endings, but the feelings expressed, the fears, the frustration, the unconditional love and hope was exactly the same. Those feelings of love and that sense of helplessness is the same.

      I had one Mom say to me, “I couldn’t get rid of the guilt. The shame. The anger at both my son and the addiction. At the whole system. The fact that nothing seemed to help and It became overwhelming. I felt like I was teetering on the edge. Your book gave me insight. I feel like I know my son better now. Your story really helped me understand both him and myself better”.

      As Moms, we have that “Mom guilt” feeling. That somehow we feel we must have somehow missed something. We blame ourselves when things go wrong. We think, “if I did such a good job, how could this have happened”. I think reading Addiction: A Mother’s Story may help you find peace in some of those feelings. You did absolutely nothing to cause your son’s addiction. My story will remind you of that throughout the book. Your son sadly had the disease of addiction.

      I would happily send you a copy of my book if you send me your mailing address. If you find it helped you, then send me a cheque for the book. If you find it did not then just donate it to your library. 100% from all book sales goes directly to helping those struggling with addictions, poverty and/or homelessness.

      Take care Cathy – I hope I hear back from you. You are in my thoughts.

      I truly care.

      Very sincerely,

      1. Cecilia Adolph

        I would like a copy of your book please. My son is 33 years old and currently in rehab. Been almost 16 years of a struggle between sobriety and use of drugs. As parents we agree about the tough love route but when he needs help for recovery, we cannot decline. It is an exhausting journey and currently I am feeling numb. To such an extent that it is scary

      2. I sincerely hope your son is receiving the care and help both he and you deserve in his rehab facility. Addiction is a cruel disease that affects every single member of the family in different ways.

        I believe you will find information in my story that will resonate with you and with all you are going through and validate your feelings.

        To order a book copy of Addiction: A Mother’s Story Cecilia – please go to the Buy The Book page on this site – and fill in the necessary information and a copy will be mailed to you immediately.

        Take care Cecilia – I am truly sorry for all you and your son and family are going through.

    2. Judy Barnes

      Going through this with my son rgt now hes been in hospital 22 days now will be there till November 10th then he will be going to another hospital for 1 year. I know he is safe rgt now and not on drugs but its hard not being able to see him with covid there no visitation. It been a rough two years watching him struggle with Meth. Lots of sleepless nights wondering if he was ok and where he was at. Watching him lose everything and everyone. It has played a toll on my health from stress and worry. Still worrying does it stop.

      1. I am so very sorry to hear of all you have and are going through Judy. Unbelievable pain and suffering for you and for your son. Absolutely heartbreaking. I can hear your pain in every single word you have written.

        When you mention that your son has been in hospital over three weeks already and will be there for another three weeks and then transferred to another hospital for a year, that suggest to me that he was either a victim of an accident or violence due to his struggle with drug use or perhaps he sustained brain injury or damage due to perhaps lack of oxygen from a drug overdose.

        Either possible scenario is absolutely devastating.

        Please know that for every day your boy is in a safe hospital environment where he is getting the care and support he needs and deserves, is another day where he is free from the substances that were literally holding him hostage and where he is able to re-evaluate his life and where he hopes to go.

        As his Mom, not being able to be with him because of the Covid 19 pandemic, adds tremendously to your concern with your inability to be with him, to see him and talk with him. I hope he has a phone or IPad or some device whereby you can communicate with him on a regular basis, letting him know you are supporting him and that he is deeply loved. Just hearing your voice will be soothing for him. Where you are able to give that emotional support.

        I hope you have a support system for yourself Judy. That you have someone around you that is a constant source of support for you. What you have gone through these last few years has without a doubt, taken a huge emotional and physical tole on you.

        Remember to reach out to those who care about you. And I hope you will keep in touch to let me know how your boy progresses and how you are doing. I truly care. You have given so much of yourself. You need to heal as well.

        Take care of yourself now.

        Much love being sent your way,


      2. Kathryn Rushford

        I am so sorry to hear about your son. We made lots of mistakes but our son always knew he was loved. I’m sure your son knows that too. I’m glad he will be going to a one year program. Dave had applied to go to Teen Challenge, which is also one year, but he never made it there. In her book, June tells how she wouldn’t take No or Later for an answer. I wish we had done that. Do whatever you must do to get him there! And then take care of yourself while he’s in a safe place! Big hugs. Kathryn

      3. It is wonderful how we Mom’s take care of each other by offering support. I truly believe that it is the love and determination of Mothers that will be the tipping point in laws being changed and our sons and daughters getting the help and support they need and deserve immediately upon asking for it and not be put on waiting lists. The window of opportunity is very small. Help must be immediate.

        Thank you so much Kathryn for offering your words of understanding and support to Judy. We are all stronger when we work together. And no one knows the heartbreak of a Mom whose child is struggling with addiction more than another Mom who has had to walk that journey.

        Sending much love to you both,


  3. Carla

    Hello June. Your book is something I am really looking forward to ordering and reading. I can feel the pain rise up in me as I was reading your excerpt. I have a son that has been battling drug addiction for a very long time now. Dealing with it is so very painful and confusing. A lot of people cannot grasp the depth of despair and anguish that a parent goes through when dealing with an addicted child. No matter what their age, what they’re doing, or how bad it gets, they are still your child. I feel isolated and there doesn’t seem to be anyone I can go to and express all the feelings I have inside of me. I ache to see my son become free of his addictions and demons. To become a productive member of society again. The guilt I feel for somehow being responsible, has taken it’s toll on me. My health has suffered and I have taken on a few addictions of my own. Thank you June for writing the book. I look forward to reading it.


    1. Thank you for taking the time to write Carla. I really feel you will benefit from reading Addiction: A Mother’s Story – Second Edition Carla, as everything you have described as feeling is exactly what I went through as well.

      We do blame ourselves as Mothers – thinking if we had done such a good job of raising our child, then how could this have happened. We think we have failed them. And you are absolutely right – it doesn’t matter what their age or what they have done, they are still our children and we love them deeply. I do talk about these very things in the book and know Carla, that unless you handed your son the drugs and said “try this”, then you are not to blame. Do we wish we had done some differently looking back? Of course we do sometimes. But remember, you did the very best you could, with what you knew, at that time.

      I know there will be chapters in Addiction: A Mother’s story that you will read and say, “I could have written this”. Our children may be from different communities, maybe even different countries, but the heartache and heartbreak we experience as their Moms, will be the same. We love our sons and that will never change. You and your son will be in my thoughts and prayers. Please stay in touch Carla, I truly care.

      From one Mom to another, I am sending you a hug wrapped in care and understanding.

      Very sincerely,

  4. Debbie

    I was searching for a book for my son a heroin addict and came across your book. I am living so much daily pain that I am not sure if I want to relive more in your book. I am happy to see that evryone loves it thoough.

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to write Debbie – I am so sorry for all you and your son are going through. The pain of watching an adult child we love, living the life of addiction is gut-wrenching. It is absolutely devastating.

      If you ever decide to read Addiction: A Mother’s Story, you may find something in it that speaks to your heart – from one Mother to another. Just re-enforcing that you did nothing to cause your son’s addiction. As Moms we tend to blame ourselves – “if I was such a good Mom then how could this have happened” all to often runs through our head. It is the “Mother guilt thing” that I think we Moms have.

      Please feel free to write anytime Debbie if you just feel the need to share or vent or cry – you are not alone. I truly care.

      Very sincerely,

      1. Deb

        Thank you June for writing. I have been so heavy hearted lately. Between my sons addiction and he is in rehab again and my moms Alzheimer’s has her living a home now:-( I guess it’s part holiday blues too. Things I have no control over are very hard for me! But I did get up early and went to the beach to watch sun come up and walk. I do find peace there. I am so grateful to have that magnificent place within walking distance:-) I am trying to focus on the positive and be thankful for the good in my life instead of obsessing on negatives. Not any easy thing to do but I HAVE to or I am going to either away. Maybe I will get the book:-) thank you again for your kind words. Deb

        Sent from my iPhone


      2. Please accept my apologies for the delay in getting back to you Deb – I volunteer at Surrey Urban Mission in Whalley, BC most days and evenings keeping the shelter open for those living in homelessness now that we have our winter weather.

        I feel your sadness and heartbreak in every word you have written. You are carrying an enormous load between your son’s addiction and your Mom’s illness. The holidays also are often the most difficult time of year for many of us living with a loved one’s addiction. That feeling of “another Christmas – another year coming to an end” and still the enormity of the situation remains a constant. Hopefully this will be the time your son finds those pieces, finds that strength within, has the will to grasp the lifeline to live a clean and sober life.

        In the meantime Deb – do allow yourself to feel. And give yourself permission to enjoy your walks along the beach and anything else that can bring some joy into your day if even for a short time. You are clearly a loving, giving, caring person. Don’t forget yourself in that mix my Friend.

        Take good care and please keep in touch.

        Very sincerely,

  5. Lindsey

    Hi June, would this book be appropriate for a mother who has an adult addict (in his 50’s). Im pretty sure age doesnt matter, but just so some of the levels are well related…thanks

    1. Thank you so much for your inquiry Lindsey. Yours is an excellent question. My son will be forty in a couple of months – so in regards to your question, yes I do feel Addiction: A Mother’s Story will speak to your heart.

      As Mothers who have adult or teenagers struggling and living with addiction, our feelings, our fears, and worries are very much the same. We are in a situation of unbearable pain and anguish, where we would do anything to help our addicted loved one and yet we are powerless over their choices. Addiction: A Mother’s Story really is directed at those of us who are Mothers. Absolutely anyone who has a loved one struggling with addiction will relate but the undeniable bond, connection, that we as Mother’s have, influences all the choices we make in regards to our teen or adult child and their addiction. We think both with our head and our heart. Nothing is completely black and white.

      I really do believe you will find Addiction: A Mother’s Story will speak to your heart. Will acknowledge how you feel and hopefully help you as you continue with heartbreaking journey.

      You and your son will be in my thoughts.

      Take care of yourself Lindsey and please keep in touch. You are not alone. I truly do care.

      Very sincerely,

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