The sad death of Amy Winehouse once again has pushed the issues of addiction into the public spotlight. However as of yet no known cause for her death has been established remember - it may just be that some other cause is found let us remember. However you cannot deny the very public issues she had with drink and drugs.
I found this article on the BBC site which asks the question "Can a parent save their child from addiction?". So in my experience and observation the answer is no. Indeed to quote the big book of Alcoholics Anonymous where the "three pertinent ideas" are introduced, in Chapter 5 just after the 12 step programme has been outlined the second pertinent idea is "That probably no human power could have releived our alcoholism". The belief of the AA programme is that once in the grip of addiction no human power, that is the addicts themselves, friends, family, doctors etc. can bring them out of it.
Whether you agree with the spiritual side of the programme or not, and I know several devout atheists with many years of sobriety that prove it isn't about religion or a belief in God, the fact still remains without a doubt nobody can stop another addict.
For me my parents were terrific, there is nothing at all in my background and upbringing that led to me being an alcoholic and I found some of the comments on the BBC page deeply offensive to the memory of my dear parents. To spin it another way - I had two fantastic kids who looked to me to the father they hoped for and whilst I was drinking I sadly massively failed them, and was consious that I was doing so but try as I might I could do nothing about it. The drink had taken me over it was killing me, physically, emotionally, spritually. The unconditional love of two great kids couldn't stop me - the love of my mother couldn't stop me the love of my wife couldn't stop me.
Many of the comments on the BBC site and others show a massive lack of understanding of addiction. One person declaring that if you stop celebrties taking drugs everyone would... sorry! Also others denying that alcoholism is a desease - which is has been recognised as such by very very eminent physicians for many many years. They just think the alcoholic/addict can just give up... well you can but bloody hell it is the hardest thing in the world to do once in the grip. In fact you carry on only due to the massive will power of the addict but that will power is never going to get you to stop.
However AA has taught me many things one of which is that I can't conduct the world. I don't agree with those peoples views and wonder how they can feel that passionately about something with out any real knowledge - well again apologies I assume they have no real knowledge. Maybe they are angry as it has taken loved ones from them - whatever I should let them have their way as long as they let me have mine... Live and Let Live we call it.
Today I'm sober and reasonably well - at least drink isn't on the menu and that is the number 1 priority - always has to be.