This is a very special show for me because I interview my 19-year-old daughter, KC, on the lessons she learned from overcoming addiction. KC had been using drugs and drinking alcohol for a number of years. As parents, everything we initially tried to do to help her didn’t work. In this show, KC shares her story, the key things that helped her overcome addiction (she’s been clean and sober for 18 months), and she provides tips for parents about the best first steps to take when they learn their child is using drugs, as well as how to support their child during recovery.
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As a parent listening to this show, I know you’re trying to figure things out and help your child. I was just like you. I was kinda lost.
I knew my daughter was using drugs and drinking alcohol. Her dad and I had her try drug counseling, therapy and drug testing. We created consequences, and handed out rewards to motivate her to stay clean and sober. I knew—most of the time—when she was lying to me. I saw the emotional outbursts and the mood changes but, honestly, I thought it was normal teenage stress and that she would move through it.
I felt that I was an engaged parent. So was her dad. We volunteered at school and went on school trips. We met with her school counselor. We had a family therapist and she had a mentor. We encouraged her to take hip hop dance classes, to play the guitar—we bought her a guitar and lessons.
KC is a terrific artist and so we encouraged her to take outside art classes. I found a volunteer opportunity to have her and her 8th grade classmates prepare organic food for cancer patients. I thought it would help to build empathy. We sent her to summer adventure camps and traveled abroad with her, hoping she’d see how good her life was and how grateful she could feel knowing she didn’t live in the poverty we saw in Cambodia and Africa. We did all we could think of to support her. We hoped that if we could just get her through high school, she’d grow out of it. All of these things helped a little bit, but it really wasn’t enough.
KC will explain in her own words, her story, and why she thinks the things I mentioned didn’t really help her come to terms with her smoking and drinking. And, she’ll share with you how great she’s doing now. She attends Santa Monica College and is taking courses in art, business and nutrition.
KC is also working at a nonprofit that believes it’s important for kids to get through high school as untainted from drugs and alcohol as possible. In addition to providing teen prevention education programs and counselors, they believe in the power of storytelling. This non-profit created a unique program of sending young adults into classrooms to tell their stories. KC shares her story at high schools and she’s about to do it here!
In this interview you will hear from a young adult in recovery:
- Her story…when she started smoking weed and drinking. Why she tried it initially?
- What she remembers thinking and feeling when she started.
- What happened in high school?
- What was her lowest point?
- How she thinks she could have been supported differently by me and her dad?
- What was the least helpful thing we did?
- What was the most helpful?
- Were there times that she didn’t want to keep going and became aware that this wasn’t the path she wanted to go down?
- What was it like to be aware of that and not be able to stop?
- What did she get out of wilderness therapy program?
- What did she realize there?
- If she had a 13 year old daughter who wanted to hang out with kids who smoked weed what would she do?
- How she’s doing now?
- How important is the 12 step program to her sobriety?
- How important is her community in LA, the support, and the coaching support she’s getting?
- Advice for parents about the first steps they should take if they see their kid starting to smoking weed on a regular basis or getting drunk.
- If a parent plays the replay of this show for their kid, what would you like to say to someone who was perhaps in your situation and getting into doing drugs or alcohol?
- For someone in recovery what’s been helpful in terms of support from family that maybe she hasn’t gotten?
- Now that she’s working at the non-profit, what’s it like talking to high school kids?
THANK YOU FOR LISTENING!
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This episode of Kids in Crisis originally aired on BoldBraveMedia.