At a recent school event, a mother asked me how she could help her son who had begun drinking and taking drugs. “There must be something I can say that will make him listen,” she implored, hoping I could help her find the magic words that would make her son face his escalating substance abuse problem.
I teach writing at an inpatient drug and alcohol rehabilitation center, so I went to the source for answers. I asked my students to write about the question, “In your most receptive, optimistic and trusting moments, was there anything that anyone could have said to you that would have affected your drug use? If so, who was that person and what could they have said to you?” Here (shared with their permission and the permission of the program) are some of their answers.