I have specifically decided to use comments from families who have loved ones struggling with addiction, and from individuals struggling with addiction, rather than comments from “professionals”. I firmly believe no one knows more about the truth and fallout of addiction than someone who has grappled with this unforgiving disease, and no one knows the journey better than a parent or loved one who has walked that path with them.
I have read Addiction: A Mother’s Story multiple times now and given copies to several people as well. I have also attended three separate presentations of June’s over the past three years. She has without a doubt written the most accurate, honest, powerful, and compelling book on addiction, the related fall-out, and all the various “players,” that I have ever read. She is a most engaging speaker and completely down to earth.
I was part of an outlaw motorcycle gang for many years. I am not proud of my past, not proud of the man I was. In fact, I am deeply ashamed of the tremendous pain I caused to a lot of people.
I can’t explain how or why I first picked up her book, only that I was drawn to it. I read it cover to cover that night, never once putting it down. Addiction: A Mother’s Story changed my life. June saved my life. Of that I have no doubt.
~ Greg, former gang member, Vancouver, British Columbia
I attended a presentation June gave. I was one day clean. She said that every single time Nathan told her he wanted to get clean, she knew he meant it. By the next day, he may have changed his mind, but when he said it, she never doubted him.
That night was a huge turning point for me. Every time I said I wanted help and then used, I felt like a failure, and eventually everyone around me stopped believing in me. But June believed Nathan, and when I talked to her, she believed me.
Everything in Addiction: A Mother’s Story spoke to me. My entire family has read this amazing book. We have a new understanding and a new relationship. I have been clean one year, one month and six days and counting.
~ Gina – addict very proud to be in recovery!!
Our mother gave each one of us a copy of Addiction: A Mother’s Story. We had not spoken to our brother for many years. We had tremendous resentment and anger towards him and his addiction. Our mother pleaded with us to read June’s book. Begrudgingly, we all did. For the first time, we had a real glimpse into our brother’s world. We had never understood addiction, and we had never understood our brother. After reading Addiction: A Mother’s Story, we had a new awareness. A better understanding. We decided to reach out to our brother, not knowing how he would react. He was overjoyed. We remained cautious, but we got together as a family unit. Our mother passed away of terminal cancer two months later. All four of her children were with her when she died. Had we not read Addiction: A Mother’s Story, that definitely would not have happened. June gave our family the gift of awareness. Our mother died knowing we would all be okay. That we would all stay connected. Our brother still struggles every day, but we go for coffee and the occasional meal. Had we not read Addiction: A Mother’s Story, this would never have happened. Thank you, June and Nathan, for sharing your story.
~ Sherry, Mark, and Danny, New York City
June is the light in the blackness of poverty. She gives love, hope, and friendship to all. Shine on, my beautiful friend. Shine on.
~ Liz Johnstone
June has picked me up, dusted me off, bandaged me up, and continued to show me love, understanding, and compassion more times than I want to think about, over the past several years. She didn’t give up on me. She doesn’t give up on anyone. She just keeps showing us all that she cares. She never pushed me when I wasn’t ready, but each time I fell hard, she told me that if I ever decided I wanted help, that I wanted out, she would get me into a good place. And she kept her word to a T. When I finally went and asked her to help me, she pulled out all the stops—she made phone calls, and her connections got me into a place that has given me my life back. I no longer feel hopeless. Today, I have hope for my future, but if June hadn’t pulled me through this and advocated for me when I could not advocate for myself, I believe I would still be where I was. This lady and her book, Addiction: A Mother’s Story, changes lives. It changed mine.
~ Mike – proud to be in recovery
I got a brain injury from a really bad beating. I am homeless and addicted. I have seizures. June always looks out for me. She always tells me I am a really good man. She knows I don’t hurt no one. She gives me food and dry clothes, and she helps me when I am sick. She takes me to court when I have charges, and she speaks up for me. She is my true friend.
~ Tom – A survivor
My mother and father both died of overdoses when I was a kid. My grandma looked after me, but when she got sick, I was put into the system. I got moved a lot. I lived in group homes. Ran away a lot. Did a lot of bad shit and have been in and out of the women’s pen. Everyone I ever trusted fucked me over. I don’t trust no one, except June. Her I trust. I’m a fucking mess but she always listens to me. She understands me and she always gives me a hug and tells me she loves me, and I know she does.
~ Penny – A survivor
I could have written Addiction: A Mother’s Story. Everything June says is exactly how I felt. Until I read her book, I felt completely alone. I never talked to anyone about my son’s addiction. I felt ashamed of him and I felt ashamed like I had somehow failed him as a mother. She has taught me that neither one of us should feel ashamed. Addiction is a disease.
June, Nathan, and her family are so courageous. I reached out to June in an email, and she responded right away, giving me encouragement and understanding. Thank you, June and Nathan. My son is still struggling and so am I, but I no longer feel alone, and whenever I need strength, I pull out your book, and it renews me and gives me strength.
~ Vera, mother of an addicted son in Kamloops, British Columbia
Addiction: A Mother’s Story is the only book on addiction that I could ever relate to. It’s so honest. I knew Nathan back in the day, and it was bad, man, and I know June. I call her Mom—actually, a lot of us do. Nathan’s been clean now for two years, and I can’t even believe how good he looks. Totally different. He’s a good guy, and June, well, I don’t know anybody kinder than her. And Mike her other son, too—they are good people. They really care.
~ Steve – A survivor
June’s the best friend I have ever had. She’s my “West Coast Mom.” She wouldn’t let me die on the street. She worked hard to get me into hospice, and she comes to visit me every day. I know she will be here holding my hand when I die—so I’m not scared.
~ Paulie, 1957–2015 – and June was there holding Paulie’s hand.
A truly heart-warming story of a mother who would give all to help her son gain a victory over the powers of darkness, exhausting her resources to the point of selling her home, putting her son through treatment centre after treatment centre but to no avail. Then, while telling her story to a group of Sabbatarians halfway around the world, having not spoken to her son in two months and with no idea where he could be, these people humbled themselves in fervent prayer, calling on the name of Jesus in intercessory for a young man they had not known. When June Ariano-Jakes returned from Africa, she quickly learned that what was impossible for man was possible with God. Her son now has over two years of sobriety, he is giving back to his community, and a mother has her son back from the depths of addiction.
I’m truly blessed to be a family friend.
~Shayne, manager of a sober-living facility
After not hearing from our son in over four months, we traveled to Surrey, BC, Canada the last place we had heard from him. There we came across a shelter and met June. When we explained we were unfamiliar with the area and more than a little intimidated to be there, June immediately grabbed her jacket and a bag of clean socks and gloves, and we hit the street. We could never have navigated the area without her. She greeted everyone with a smile and a hug and called everyone by name. And everyone knew her and responded in kind. She exudes love and compassion for those living with homelessness and addiction and mental illness. She asked everyone she met if they needed dry socks and gloves, and everyone was grateful to be given those items. She introduced us, and people took the time to look at our son’s photo. We were able to gather credible information we otherwise would never have been privy to, had June not been with us—of that we were certain. After two hours, we returned with her to the shelter and she gave us her book, Addiction: A Mother’s Story. We found such a tremendous amount of solace in the pages of her book—a clear understanding of what addiction truly is—and gained so much information and awareness from the pages of this remarkable story. Our copy of Addiction: A Mother’s Story has areas highlighted and underlined; we have written in the borders of the pages and copied so much of the wisdom in her words. A remarkable story of a son’s survival through years of addiction, and the unconditional love between a mother and her son.
~ John and Becky, Seattle, Washington
There is so much more to be said about June, Nathan and Michael. She has raised two beautiful boys who love their proud mom immensely. I look forward to getting to know them even more in the years to come.
I doubt that I will ever forget the day I walked into Surrey Urban Mission and met June. It was, without question, a moment that changed the course of my life. We swapped stories, shed tears and, of course hugged. This book is a raw, open and honest telling of a beautiful and humble woman’s story.
~Mike Musgrove, Executive Director, Surrey Urban Mission
Thank you on behalf of all of us who have a loved one addicted to drugs. Addiction: A Mother’s Story is the encyclopedia on addiction. I have never read a more honest and informative book on addiction, and believe me I have read many. Thank you for sharing your knowledge, your awareness and your heart. The love for your son shines through on every page.
~Ann Marie, Orange County, California
I cried as I read Addiction: A Mother’s Story. I have all the same feelings. Unless it is your life, you cannot understand what it is like to be a parent of a drug addicted adult child. Thank you for validating my fears, my devastation. Addiction: A Mother’s Story touched my heart in a way no other story ever has. Thank you.
~Sheena, parent of a seventeen year addicted son, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
The revolving door style of dealing with this ever growing problem needs changing. These poor people are disenfranchised and are unable to speak up for themselves. Thank you so much June for the work you are doing.
Your love has no boundaries.
Thank you for sharing your story, Addiction: A Mother’s Story. It makes me feel that there are others like me, a loving parent, addicted child, a family destroyed, dreams stolen. Bless you for your inspiring story.
Thank you June. Your knowledge about addiction, your insight and wisdom, are truly a gift. Thank you for all the good work you do.
I had been searching for a book I could relate too. I read several books over the years but not one spoke to me like Addiction: A Mother’s Story did. This remarkable book helped me more than all the other books put together. Thank you June, for sharing your wisdom and heart with all of us who have people in our lives battling addiction.
I found Addiction: A Mother’s Story sad, tragic, hopeful, enlightening, wise, informative, terrifying, shocking. I could go on and on. An unbelievable story of addiction, hope and the love of a mother for her son.
I was only able to hear some of your interview on the CKNW radio talk show but the parts I heard truly hit my heart and described much of the situation I have been living with. I will be picking up a copy of Addiction: A Mother’s Story today.
I just finished reading your book – Addiction: A Mother’s Story. Wow – a powerful true testimony with what a mother goes through when her child is an addict. I cried, I related, I done that and been there. On many of the same journeys you have traveled. I remember not long ago, getting a call from my son wanting help. Three hours later, I am downtown Philadelphia, Pa., high crime and drug infested area, scared to death picking him up. We will go to any lengths. Many times we do this alone. There are so many love ones going through this same thing, feeling they had no one to turn too. We need more places and awareness out there for parents. The isolation associated with this is horrific and many times we look for answers in our own non-objective brain because we learned not to share with others in fear of the negative response. Thank you for letting me know I am not alone.
As I opened your book and started to read I felt the tears streaming down my cheeks. You are an amazing person, friend, mother and I am so blessed by your presence in my life. I am glad I have had the honour to work along side you and you truly inspire me each and every day.
You gave me a copy of your book. I am just about to finish Chapter 21, The Day Life Changed. I cannot put this book down. Thank you June for this touching story that me and my wife can relate to on both sides of the fence.
I just finished reading Addiction: A Mother’s Story. My 24 year old son is addicted to Oxycontin and has been since he was 16 – starting with marijuana and progressing from there. I have tried so hard not to enable him but I am struggling against a husband who enables. I have asked him to read your book in hope that it will help him realize he is putting another nail in my son’s coffin. I cried so much reading your book. Thank you for sharing your story.
Unless you have experienced a family member who is a drug addict you cannot believe the damage addiction does to a family. Addiction: A Mother’s Story describes in great detail the unbelievable life a mother has lived through trying to help her son. I give her all the credit I can for trying so hard. All schools should have their students read this book. This book is a must read.
This book is a portrayal of one mother’s difficult and courageous fight against her son’s drug addiction. Through her struggles, the love and affection for her family shines through. I highly recommend that every mother should read this, as it not only makes great suggestions, but also proves that we cannot lose ourselves or our personal power to the addiction. Sometimes we can easily be part of the problem instead of being part of the solution. Conversely, when things are not working, sometimes you have to be the one to change because the addict won’t. This is a gripping story proving that one person can make a difference.
~Debbie Holmes – Career Mentor, Foundations Program Surrey School District 36, B.C, Canada and the author of How to Help Others Without Losing Yourself
Brutally honest. Talk about a testament of a mother’s love!!!
~My name is Jim. I am an addict
Should be required reading in every high school everywhere. This is the real deal. I know, I am an addict in recovery.
I have known Junie and Nathan for almost twenty years. As an addict myself, I can tell you she shows, love, compassion and respect for everyone. Whenever I see her, whether I am clean at the time or completely fucked, she always treats me the same way. She gives me a hug and a message of encouragement. I love this lady.
Raw. Powerful. June doesn’t tie things up in a pretty bow. ‘You’ve got to go there to know there’. And she sure as hell has been there with her son. This truly is the story of addiction.
~Christine. The addict in my life is my husband.
I am living a nightmare with my drug addicted thirty year old daughter. I am devastated and heartbroken. I just finished reading your book Addiction: A Mother Story. The best purchase I have ever made. Thank you for sharing your story, your wisdom.
You have been an incredible mentor to me. Throughout my placement at the Mission I always looked up to you and will continue to do so. This is because you are an incredibly kind, generous, understanding and compassionate person. Anyone who has the pleasure of speaking to you instantly feels how genuine you are and is comforted by your warm soul. Not once did you make me feel like my age or gender should hold me back from loving and caring. Your endless encouragement and support is greatly appreciated by me. You are someone that has truly made a difference in my life. The lessons I have learned just by watching the way you work, I will carry with me. I admire how you weren’t afraid to show you cared. As painful as caring for people can be, you didn’t let this block your heart off to people.
June you have truly been a gift to us all. The lives you have changed over the years is nothing short of a miracle. I believe you will go on to continue to make an incredible difference in people’s lives. Knowing when it is time to move on is something many of us are not strong enough to face. I am proud of you for going where you believe you are needed. You will be missed by everyone and there will be a grieving process to go through for us all. This is not a bad thing, this is how you know you were exactly where you were supposed to be for all those years.
Your hugs, your kindness, your warmth and the balance you brought to the Mission will be remembered and missed by us all. You truly are an angel. Thank you for everything.
You are such a beautiful person inside and out and I am so grateful for the opportunities I had to work with you. I will treasure the love, wisdom and knowledge you have poured into my life. You my dear friend are so special words can not explain.
I love you!❤❤
I don’t exactly know what to say, but I know I need to say something. Your book made me cry, made me laugh, made me cringe. My whole life has been like a bunch of jumbled up puzzle pieces and your book was the magic fairy dust that clicked it all into place. I now realize that my brother has been struggling with addiction for almost 20 years. I always knew something was wrong, and we knew he “did drugs” sometimes. When I went with him in 2014 for an official psychiatrist assessment (after 9 months on a wait list while he was using regularly) I realized the extent of his addiction. All the other parts, the violence, the alienation from family, the disappearing for days at a time to come home a wreck, the disruptions at critical times in the family’s life, those ring so true for me, and I finally understand what was going on all those years. For me, it was always like one big tragedy after another with him, and I have prayed and prayed for him to catch a break. I went into a degree in psychology secretly hoping I could help my brother, but I avoided all the classes on addiction because I guess I didn’t want to really admit to myself what was going on. I had that huge guilt that maybe somehow I screwed him up by being the “star” of the family and leaving him in the shadows. I now have my PhD in psychology, and work as a transpersonal psychotherapist. My mom gave me your book at the perfect time. She has dyslexia and ADHD, and yet read your book in under a week. I read it over two sittings. You have captured something, June, and I am in awe of your courage. Thank you for writing. Thank you for being.
I’m not sure if you remember me, but I had the privilege of meeting you. I shared with you about my cousins that were struggling with addiction and you gave me a copy of your book to share with my aunt. The aunt I wanted to read it refused and she has not brought it up since.
That being said, I did lend your book to my other aunt and uncle when their daughter entered treatment. They wept simply looking at the cover because they had found their daughter like that before. My aunt read the book once and my uncle read it twice, back to back. They said it was absolutely amazing.
Thank you for authoring this book and for sharing a copy with me. I am currently finishing up my final course in my master of arts in counseling psychology degree. I am set to begin my practicum at a private practice in September. I have shared your book and website with everyone in my current course and a couple of other people I’ve met along the way. Though my time with you was brief, you and your book had a profound impact on me and I have been able to share that with others in my family.
I hope you and your family are doing wonderful! Especially Nathan.