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DeannaAdler

DeannaAdler

Deanna Adler, mother of legendary rock star and original Guns N' Roses drummer, has first hand experience dealing with the heart ache and struggle that a child's addiction brings to a parent.

Deanna is the author of Sweet Child of Mine: How I Lost My Son To Guns N' Roses that is currently available for pre-order and is set to be released at the end of summer. You can follow Deanna on Facebook and Twitter @Sweetchildbook

Posted by on in Drug Addiction

As a mother your main goal in life is to protect, love and cherish your child. Naturally, we want to give our children more than what we had. Every parent does what they believe is best for their child but sometimes life doesn't turn out the way you want it. Parents could spend forever planning out their child’s life to ensure it is filled with opportunity. Unfortunately it seems that sometimes all of your thoughts and ideas you had for your child disappear. That happened to my family when Steven turned 12. At first he would come home late and I could hear him vomit in the bathroom. He came home one evening when I had a tupperware party and vomited in front of everyone. Of course I made up excuses often blaming it on the flu! At the time I had the “not my child” mentality, what a fool I was! From then on my house was a disaster area.

Steven rebelled like you wouldn't believe. It was like our world turned into a nightmare but we were wide-awake. He hardly ever went to school and when he did he got into trouble. He came and went whenever he wanted to and there was nothing I could do to stop him. We lived in a one level house so after everyone would go to sleep he would sneak out of his bedroom window and meet his friends at a park to smoke weed. Each day was worse than the day before. When he turned 13 he wanted to have a bar mitzvah, which he knew was important to me. He started to cooperate while we were planning the bar mitzvah and I thought he was going to clean up his act. Later I found out he only wanted the bar mitzvah so he could collect gifts and money. A few days after his bar mitzvah he went to live with his grandparents in Hollywood. Steven has always had a place to live. I know he tells people we threw him out of the house when he was 11 years old but that was just the drugs talking. I never wanted my son to leave and live with his grandparents but my family was in such turmoil. I had a small child at home that needed me and a stable environment to live in. Steven was hurting all of us especially Jamie his younger brother. I began to live a life of denial telling myself that Steven was better off with his grandparents. I pretended everything was fine but it wasn't. This went on for years. As a parent I did what I thought was best for my child. I wanted to believe that he was better off living with grandparents and that a change of scenery would be good. As I have said before I urge parents to educate themselves and their children on the dangers of drug use. Don't be the parent who has too much pride to directly confront your child!


 

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Posted by on in Drug Addiction

How has Steven's drug habit affected our family? At first, I said he’ll outgrow it but that never happened. It just seemed to get worse as the years went by. We were a normal family. I worked part-time as a waitress and my husband worked for Southern Pacific Railroad. I was the type of mother that baked cookies and homemade pizza. I guess I wanted to be like those families that we saw on television. I tried to raise my family the exact opposite of how I was raised. When Steven began his drug habit at such a young age my world as I knew it began to collapse. My second husband Mel, adopted my two older boys Ken and Steven. I had Jamie my youngest son with Mel. He tried to be a good father to all of the boys but when it came to Steven neither of us were experienced in dealing with a drug addict. We both made a lot of mistakes. Mel and Steven would fight all the time. As I think back now I get anxiety attacks! Here was a beautiful 12-year-old boy with big blue eyes and blond hair, why did this happen to us!

They say addiction runs in families. I know my father was an alcoholic, he never went a day without a drink. Steven told me one day that he took after his Grandpa. I don't know anymore, all I know is that once Steven's drug use began our life was never the same. How has Stevens drug habit affected my family? The answer is it destroyed our family! There is no easy way out of an addiction, not for the addict or the for the family. The struggle a family goes through to help a loved one who is an addict is never ending. As parents we must educate ourselves in order to teach our children about the dangers of drug use before they begin to experiment for themselves.

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Posted by on in Drug Addiction

My personal experience dealing with an addict started with my son Steven, who was 12 years old when he started smoking pot at the neighborhood park with his friends. I've always said that I do not wish the life of dealing with a child with an addiction on my worst enemy and I mean that sincerely. My family has been torn apart due to drug addiction and I don't think it will ever be completely mended. I have now been dealing with my sons addiction for 30+ years. You would think that over the years it would get easier but not a day goes by that I don't worry about Steven. Steven's addiction was so bad at one point that when the phone would ring late at night my first thought would be, “oh please don't let it be the coroners office.” It's terrible to live like that, but my story gets better.
Today as I am writing this, I want you to know that my son has cleaned up his act and is doing so well for himself. He was just inducted into the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame, how exciting is that? He looks great and I am very proud of him. Yes, the years have taken their toll on me but if I have learned anything it's that I cannot be responsible for anyone but myself. Addiction does not just affect the addict, it affects the family and friends who are so desperate to help. Would I do things differently if I could go back? I don't think so, because I knew nothing of drugs and feel that I did my best I could to support my son at the time of his addiction. I can only say that I don't want to live my life over again. It was a long journey filled with heartache and struggle but I am finally content to be just where I am today.

 

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