how will our kids fill that need? let’s start talking about prescription and cough medicine abuse now. #EndMedicineAbuse

September 12, 2013

At four days old, my good friend’s baby boy pushed away from me though in my arms, the first time I held him. With an arched back, he turned his head to the sound of his mother’s voice. His little mouth opened, bird-like, seeking her out. I said, Look! Look at him turning to you. He knows that voice. He knows what he needs. Mama.

She beamed and the sound of her laugh was the last straw for him. He wailed for her as if he hadn’t eaten ever before, wanting his mother.

We go on needing like that, always. We come to this world and whether we’re nurtured well in our youngest years or not, we’re needy and full of empty spaces and we stretch and turn, trying to get filled up. Then suddenly, almost as in a flash, we become teenagers, and there’s no more insecure and scary time of self-discovery than that. And yet, we are still just babes, seeking comfort. If only we knew.

My kids are still young, but they’ll get there too. To the, I’m fine. I don’t know. What!? and DOOON’T! when I reach to hug them. Despite that, I’m going to need to keep trying, talking to them, reminding them we all have empty places and they are so worthy of NOT abusing themselves as they find their way.

I spent so many years in an insecure phase of self-destruction, it’s hard not to live in fear of what my children will be exposed to when already every 19 minutes another person dies of a drug overdose.

Oh, please not mine.

These are the worries of parents for generations before me, and yet, there’s more now. More use, more addiction, death and options. For instance, today more than ever before, teens are using prescription (Rx) and over-the-counter (OTC) cough medicines to get high. This is dangerous, deadly, and our kids are doing it anyway.

With their particular gene pool, my kids have the cards stacked against them when it comes to addiction. Sometimes I feel like I’m holding my breath, waiting to see what will happen, where will they turn when they feel that need? Will they be aware of the rampant abuse of prescription and over-the-counter cough medicines? Will they get it that it’s just not worth the risk?

I can’t live in constant fear over this, but a healthy dose of fear is good for reminding me to get educated. Which drugs cause what reaction? What are the kids in our community into? What do I have in my closets and cabinets? How can I keep talking to my kids about this, as they grow, without driving them away? What are some ideas for prevention?

The Partnership at is answering these questions and many more. So as we watch our kids grow, learn how to drive and navigate the pressures of teenage life in 2013 and beyond, I’ll be looking there to know more.

When they are first given to us, at the beginning of their lives, needing and turning to us, it’s hard to imagine ever having to address these very real issues. At the start, we have what they need, mostly, and we can comfort them, feed them and help them rest. And then suddenly they are becoming their own and naturally separating from us and we stand mostly helpless as witnesses, cheerleaders and taxi drivers. We keep trying, letting go and believing that what we’ve instilled in them will rise up and win: They are so worth not abusing themselves as they go.

Excellent resources are available via The Partnership at 

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and don’t miss these powerful stories of addiction, prevention and redemption…


This live event featured:

Janelle Hanchett – 
Brandi Jeter –
Sherri Kuhn – 
Lyz Lenz –
Judy Miller – 
Lisa Page Rosenberg –
Alexandra Rosas –
Ellie Schoenberger –
Zakary Watson –
Melisa Wells –


{This post is sponsored by The Partnership at as part of a blog tour with

in an effort to #EndMedicineAbuse}


Jenny September 12, 2013 at 9:41 am

Thank you so much for sharing your story, Heather. I worry about my girls. The odds are stacked against my girls as well based on our family history. They know that mommy takes medication to help my brain and that is for Mommy only. This project made me more determined than ever to continue having this conversation.
Jenny recently posted..Ridin’ Dirty: Dirty Girl 2013

Heather September 12, 2013 at 8:13 pm

Thank YOU, Jenny. I love that this project got people thinking. We just don’t get all that concerned about things like cough medicine and prescription meds….but I get it now. It’s so accessible, obviously…and I’m going to keep talking too.

Heather recently will our kids fill that need? let’s start talking about prescription and cough medicine abuse now. #EndMedicineAbuse

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