Finding community with OPLM was my saving grace when my son was struggling. I feared judgment but I found acceptance instead. I knew I was no longer alone.

By Amber Nurmi on September 18, 2023

Parents helping parents can lead to families more effectively navigating the recovery journey. Find out how parent-led support groups can make all the difference.

By OPLM on September 5, 2023

Parenthood is a beautiful and rewarding journey, but it also comes with its fair share of challenges. As parents, our primary concern is the well-being of our children, and when they face difficulties, we often experience a whirlwind of emotions – pain, fear, and stigma.

By Casie Fariello on August 15, 2023

“Why do I need to focus on my self care? I’m fine, because finally, my son is out of the house, he is in a robust program and soon, he’ll be back home and everything will be back to normal.” – I was perplexed why the family therapist at this program kept bringing up selfcare for me.

By York Ast on May 15, 2023

It was painful for me to see our son struggle with anxiety, depression and his attempts to self medicate with substances. I was confused and could not relate with what was going on. Our relationship continued to deteriorate and the more exasperated I became and the more I pushed him to ‘snap out of it’, the further apart we moved. It was a little more than 3 years ago that our son went to the first really effective recovery program. 

By York Ast on May 1, 2023

It’s been more than 4 years since my daughter returned home from wilderness therapy and residential treatment.  It seems like a blur, but also seems like it was yesterday we were anticipating her return and the next chapter in her and our family’s lives.

By Andy Goldstrom on April 15, 2023

When I think back to the time when our older son was struggling with his mental health and substance dependency, those experiences feel at times like they happened a long time ago – other times, it feels like a nightmare that I had just woken up from. I clearly had no idea how to deal with the fear of losing our son to the point where the sense of helplessness was numbing. When our son entered the first effective treatment program 3 years ago, I started to be hopeful in spite or because I had been in denial that I had been traumatized by our son’s struggle.

By York Ast on March 30, 2023

The Gifts

Parent Stories

This Christmas and Valentines turned out to be very special to me this year. My son came home to spend Christmas with us before he began his very first semester at the University of Arizona. He had bought us all gifts, without any prompting from me, with his own money.

By Carrie McLaughlin on March 16, 2023

Lately I have been thinking a lot about the idea of what it means to feel safe and protected. This is an area that I have always been curious about since I was a child. As a child I never wanted to be alone.

By Marcie Steinberg on February 28, 2023

When I decided in November of 2022 that I would not be contemplating resolutions for the New Year, I found some curiosity about resolution.

By Michael Fariello on February 15, 2023

“…not sobriety. The opposite of addiction is (human*) connection.”  That is how Johann Hari ended his TED Talk on “Everything you think you know about addiction is wrong.”

By York Ast on January 15, 2023

Drugs make him numb out
They prevent him from feeling
I’m scared for my son

By Sheila L on December 29, 2022

Staying Tethered

Selfcare & Personal Growth

I was meditating in the bath the other night, with my favorite binaural beats pulsating through my water-resistant headphones the other night (Have you discovered binaural beats yet? Magical!). I […]

By Beth Syverson on December 15, 2022

An online search of “mental health during the holidays” brings up a barrage of articles from sources including the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Mayo Clinic, and Harvard Medical School, […]

By Casie Fariello on December 5, 2022

As Equals

Substance Use Disorder

While soft piano music and warm lamplight lit the family room, I was reading a long book when my sister brought my brother home from a night of using in […]

By Zachary Johnson on November 30, 2022

The term “stigma” has a long and complicated history, and countless definitions to describe it. Researchers across time have broken down stigma into differing types, including internal and external (or […]

By Casie Fariello on November 21, 2022

The Story in My Head

Substance Use Disorder

Without knowing it, I had a definite agenda for my son’s life. I had a story in my head of how his life would unfold. I envisioned him living a fairytale […]

By Sheila L on November 15, 2022

In 2014, two bombs were thrown into our family: Addiction and Mental Illness. It was like the chicken and the egg. Which one came first?

By Laura Peterson on September 30, 2022

While everyone initially resisted our family’s transformation (including myself), I think we can all now agree that we are stronger and more connected than ever.

By Jenny L on September 15, 2022

Wondering Path

Selfcare & Personal Growth

My admiration of walking in the woods, as serpentine as it might be, did not translate to my expectation of a recovery path. Nope. Not one bit.

By Michael Fariello on August 15, 2022

The Gift of Gratitude

Selfcare & Personal Growth

Gratitude is a gift I give myself. Even in the darkest of times, it is waiting there for me to open it and explore what’s right in front of me so that I can appreciate life’s beauty.

By Jenny L on July 29, 2022

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