Blog: For the Families

The 15 Minute Master | How to Make Everything Better 15 Minutes at a Time

The 15 Minute Master—How to Make Everything Better 15 Minutes at a Time Fifteen minutes. It was all my husband and I could manage at the height of our son’s heroin addiction. “Take it one day at a time” is the usual mantra in a crisis. But there is no “usual” with addiction. No normal, […]


What to Say When Addiction Strikes

by Mary Fran Bontempo What to Say When Addiction Strikes Oh my god, what am I going to say? How do I tell people what’s going on? Addiction is a horror that begins privately and almost always ends up playing out in public, for the world to see. The emotional trauma that consumes family members […]


Navigating the Holiday Minefield

by Mary Fran Bontempo Navigating the Holiday Minefield Ah, the holidays! The time of year when worries are sent packing and the world is bright with cheer, love, and lots and lots of temptation, triggers and potential traps for those struggling with addiction.  When families are embroiled in a loved one’s addiction, the holidays can […]


Lost and Afraid

by Mary Fran Bontempo Lost and Afraid As we drove up to the historic-looking white building outside of Philadelphia, I felt oddly detached, almost numb. Ordinarily, such a place would have sparked my curiosity about the origins of the house—what had it been used for years ago? Philadelphia is an area rich in history, something I always […]


I’m Mary Fran and I’m a Mother

By Mary Fran Bontempo On Mother’s Day, 2010, I learned I was the mother of a heroin addict. David had overdosed, not on heroin—he couldn’t get it that day—but on a pain medication he stole from his grandmother. He landed in the hospital, and doctors told us that if they couldn’t reverse the effects of the medication he’d ingested, […]


Are You Enabling Addiction? Signs You’re an Enabler (And How to Stop)

Addiction to alcohol or drugs is a family disease. Although the drinker or drug user is obviously sick, his or her loved ones also become sick. The family worries, they incessantly try to control the addict, they try to cover up for him, and they lose sight of their own needs as all energy goes […]


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