Tackling the Stigma: Helping Families of Those Struggling with Addiction

CEO of SilverBell Coaching, Natasha Silver Bell, pens an essay on the incredible work she does with Partnership for Drug-Free Kids.

Partnership for Drug-Free Kids has chosen to honor me at their Winter Wish Gala for the work I have been doing alongside my long-time friend, the passionate and gorgeous philanthropist, Chris Mack. Chris and I understand and take to heart the challenges parents face today, so we have been hosting and facilitating workshops for parents at private homes with the Partnership. Substance use is an epidemic with drug overdoses as the leading cause of death in the United States for individuals under the age of 50.

I have been in recovery for a long time and have overcome my own addictions. I know how incredibly difficult and rare it truly is to find a way out when one has fallen down the rabbit hole. This is why Chris and I give so much time and resources to Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. Parenting to prevent or mitigate damages before they take hold of loved ones is key. Teaching parents to put up loving boundaries and to hold them with their willful teens is essential. It is also crucial to help educate parents about all the dangers of ‘casual’ use. The most important ingredient Chris and I strive for is to erase any judgement from the parents’ minds about what an addict is and to move them away from stereotyping—nothing has ever been achieved with judgement.

Natasha Silver Bell and Chris Mack

In my private coaching practice, SilverBell Coaching LLC, I have witnessed the transformation of clients who have gone from being in the deep throes of addiction to achieving lasting sobriety, living a full and independent life. This incredible transformation can only happen when all family members are on board and can keep their fears in check with love and tolerance for the journey back to a healthy life. We aim for a pure and mindful life (organic thinking, if you will). Decisions that lead the whole family back to sound reasoning for any challenge they may face.

We know that in the beginning, the substances are not the problem—it is the reasons why the kids reach for them. Often these are worries about the future disguised as anxiety and/or regret and shame about the past disguised as depression. It is essential to help parents when they see and feel these behaviors taking flight. The creation of an open and loving home is our goal for parents to ensure their teens feel safe opening up. Chris and I understand all too well this cannot always happen. We thank God for the opportunity to turn parents to Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, where they will never encounter a person with judgement and will get the support and guidance they need to help their child.

For more information on Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, visit here.
For more information on SilverBell Coaching LLC, visit here.