For Parents

It's frustrating to experience a family member's dependence on psychoactive chemicals. The expense, risk, distraction, and sometimes degradation of the person who is consuming, take a toll on the rest of the family. Particularly when the family member is one's child, even if that child is an adult, the concern is extra poignant. For example, many parents help support their adult children economically, only to watch hundreds of dollars a year of their support go up in smoke, knowing that, sooner or later, that expense will include medical problems(footnote).

I always recommend that those concerned about significant others who are consuming psychoactively, get involved with Al-Anon or similar support groups. Go to or you could call Information. If there's no listing, try Alcoholics Anonymous; the AA person usually has Al-Anon information as well.

By practicing Psychoactive Management, one can model responsible attitudes about recreational psychoactive consumption, and have an impact on other consumers. "Do as I do, not just as I say," is a powerful message. Whether the person about whom you're concerned is consuming legally or illegally, the 5 Rules apply in either case; modeling with a legal substance gets the message across for illegal substances. On the other hand, because of this fact about modeling, those who disregard the 5 Rules, yet admonish others to manage their psychoactive consumption responsibly, are likely to sabotage their communication of concern.

"If we don't manage our psychoactives, they will manage us" applies to relationships, family systems, and public policy, as well as personal consumption. If someone close to you is dependent or addicted, don't wait. Seek support and help now, and examine your own relationship to your own recreational chemical.


Footnote: Regarding the diversion of support into an abusive chemical habit, I recommend this mild confrontation (specific dollar amount and psychoactive substance are just examples, of course): "I am glad to send $200 a month to help you, but am totally against your consuming tobacco. Please tell me how much you spend on it, so I can deduct that from what I'm sending." The child can say what they want, and might even lie (depending on the degree of dependency), but at least you've taken a stand.