‘My Addicted Son’

This anguished piece from the New York Times Magazine by a California writer about his son’s devastation by methamphetamine addiction ends on a hopeful note, but just barely. As someone who treats detoxing substance users on my psychiatric hospital unit, it is useful for me to have a window into the experience at least some of their loved ones might have. When my ability to be compassionate to one of my patients is frayed, one of the mantras I use to get back to where I want to be in caring for them is to remind myself that this is someone’s son or daughter, that this patient was once a babe in arms cuddled and loved by some mother or father.

But it also makes me desperate to go and hug my sleeping children, still too young to have been exposed to drugs, and never let go.