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A Message to Families of Substance Abusers

Many of you may have heard that Jackie Chan, who is a Narcotics Control Ambassador for the Chinese police, and is an anti-drug advocate, has been struggling with some recent events.  It has become known that his son, Jaycee, has been arrested for drug related charges.  Per RTE Ten news, the elder Chan stated,  “With regards to the incident involving my son Jaycee, I am very angry and shocked. As a public figure, I am ashamed. As a father, I am very sad and his mother is heartbroken. I told Jaycee: if you have done something wrong, you must bear the consequences. As your father, I am willing to face the road ahead with you.”

 
 I think many of us can relate to the Chan family – conflicting emotions, including anger, confusion, and sometimes self-blame can be experienced when drug use comes to light.  I think we can learn from the Chan’s response, which includes acknowledging natural emotions, encouraging loved ones to experience the natural and logical consequences of their behaviors, and finally to “share the road ahead,” during the difficult process of recovery.  At the AToN Center, our residents participate in family work, which includes acknowledgement of how use has affected the family, how the family can assist in recovery, and creating expectations and guidelines for the resident after discharge.  Sometimes, additional family sessions are held when necessary.  
 
Ultimately, the AToN Clinical Team hopes to assist the families in whatever way may be needed; sometimes that includes education on enabling, or problem solving current or potential issues that may arise.  All in all – the AToN Clinical Team recommends that families receive their own support; whether that be from their own individual therapy, attending SMART Friends and Family, or Al-Anon.  
    
Cassandra Cannon, Ph.D. 
Clinical Director
AToN Center 888-535-1516