Adell and Melinda

Alcohol and Drug Addiction: A Family Affliction

The disease of addiction often affects the entire family. When Melinda’s mother, Adell, was struggling with alcoholism, Melinda found herself feeling hopeless.

“Before my mother embraced treatment and recovery, I felt certain that her addiction and her way of life was going to kill her,” said Melinda. “I’d moved her into my home but she was so sick, and I knew she needed help.”

Melinda reached out to Fairbanks to see how she, as a daughter, could help her mother.

“I came to Fairbanks because I didn’t know what else to do, or where else to go. I just knew that we needed help. I told my mother that I couldn’t help her, but I knew a place that could.”

Melinda wasn’t sure that Adell would be willing to seek help since they had tried treatment once before without success. But Melinda was both surprised and relieved when Adell agreed.

Adell recalls coming to Fairbanks feeling very sick. At times she was even too weak to walk, but she was hopeful that she could succeed.

“I wasn’t totally in control and I didn’t know what to expect,” said Adell. “I made up my mind to do whatever I was told to do to make recovery work.”

Melinda and Adell learned that treatment was just the beginning of the recovery process. Through family programming and recovery management services, both Adell and Melinda learned how to manage the disease of addiction and how to recover as a family. According to Melinda, Adell has made significant changes in her life by sharing her story and volunteering at Fairbanks. She attributes her mother’s change to the programs at Fairbanks including the supportive living apartments, recovery coaching and volunteering.

“Recovery means bringing life back to a loved one, and it has truly been a blessing for her, our family and me,” said Melinda. “I’m indebted to Fairbanks forever.”