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Chemical Dependency and the Dysfunctional Family

Finding a Way OutThe Road To Recovery, It's Your Choice

S haneen was beginning to realize that things needed to change in her family. But who could she turn to? Her mom wasn't in any shape to help and her dad was never around.

Though the fire was not really Shaneen's fault, it made her realize that she had a drink ing problem. Just like her mom, Shaneen had put her desire for alcohol ahead of her respon sibilities. As a result, she hadn't been home when the fire started.

Shaneen thought about the people she knew and could trust. Then she remembered Kendra Dale. Shaneen had known Kendra and her family since she was a little kid. The girls didn't hang out much anymore, but she remembered how comfortable she had always felt at Kendra's house.

Shaneen decided to visit Mr. Dale. She told him about the fire, about her mom's drinking problem, and even about her own. Mr. Dale lis tened quietly. He didn't get mad or yell. He didn't even say anything bad about Shaneen or her family. Instead, Mr. Dale offered to help.

Kendra's father found an inpatient program at the local hospital where Shaneen could get treatment. Shaneen could live there until she recovered. There was even financial aid avail able for people with low incomes.

Shaneen wasn't sure at first. But then she thought about Jesse and Mikey and what might have happened to them if the house had burned down. Finally Shaneen decided to enter the treatmentprogram. She wanted to help her family, and she knew that the best way to help them would be to help herself first.

Ray felt sick. As usual, he decided to stay in bed rather than face another day at school. But Mrs. Stanley had other plans for Ray.

“Get up. It's time for school!” she bellowed.

“I can't,” Ray said. “I'm sick.”

Mrs. Stanley left the room and returned a minute later with a thermometer. When she determined that Ray did not have a fever, she asked Ray again what was wrong with him.

“My head is pounding, my body hurts, and I feel like I'm going to die,” Ray said. Suddenly everything seemed overwhelming. Although he hated to admit it, he knew that Mrs. Stanley cared a great deal about him. Ray also knew that he had come to the end of the line in terms of what he could handle on his own.

Ray decided to trust Mrs. Stanley. He told her about his cocaine addiction. To Ray's sur prise, Mrs. Stanley didn't seem mad at all. In fact, she seemed relieved that Ray had told her. It was as if she had known all along and was waiting for Ray to tell the truth.

Mrs. Stanley told Ray that she would do whatever it took to get him into a rehabilita tion program. She also promised to help Ray talk to his parents about his addiction.

Additional topics

Marriage and Family EncyclopediaChemical Dependency and the Dysfunctional Family