46: What One Dad Learned About Addiction, Recovery and the Family’s Role in It With Dave Robbins

According to the latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health, nearly 20 million Americans ages 12 and older battle a substance use disorder. 

The effects range from deteriorating one’s physical health, to impairing mental functioning and damaging the overall spirit of who they are.

But think about it: that’s also 20 million families across the U.S. who are directly impacted by addiction—financially, physically and psychologically. And those effects are painful. 

But as Dave Robbins will tell any family in the throes of it, God has a plan for your child’s life and it doesn’t include addiction.

Dave is a manager and senior VP of Leidos Innovations Center and on the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board. He and his wife experienced the effects of addiction on their family as they watched and helped to navigate through it with their daughter. 

He’s on the show to share what he learned about addiction, recovery and the family’s role in it. And he shares his own “burning bush” moment at a Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center chapel—and why he keeps coming back years later.

Show highlights include:

  • Progression of his daugher’s addiction: Personality changes, strange behavior and scary situations.
  • Too much to handle: Daughter’s drinking and smoking marijuana led to serious drug problem and job loss.
  • Powerless: Despite family interventions, outside help and in-patient programs, so-called friends surrounded Marilee.
  • Family history: Understanding addiction due to genetic disposition and challenges push some to use drugs.
  • Let it go, and give it to God: Addiction is common, but often hidden until others share their stories.
  • Nudge from the judge: Time to go to The Salvation Army’s Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC) for a miracle and burning bush moment.
  • His daughter today: Relapsed but then completed a recovery program, attends meetings, works steps and helps others by being a volunteer and sponsor. Also, she chooses her friends with care.
  • Course of action: Addict feels need for recovery, engagement, time, abstinence from using and support.
  • Parents place blame: What did we do? How did we cause this? Not responsible for your child’s addiction.
  • Relationship with God and The Salvation Army: God works through us and enables us to do the most good.
  • Dave’s advice: Addicts must want and accept help. Don’t enable addiction by providing the wrong support.

Good words from Dave Robbins in this show:

[06:15] “It was a really, really hard time for us. We shed a lot of tears not knowing what to do.”

[07:43] “My daughter’s addiction was something we were really powerless to fix. Even though we really wanted to help her, we just weren’t able to.” 

[10:20] “Miracles happen at the ARC. It’s a sacred place.”

[18:20] “God will help them get through this, and they just need to find what will work for them and their child.”

Additional resources:

Download this episode wherever you get your podcasts. Find show notes for this episode and more at Connect with The Salvation Army’s Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC) to learn more or find help. 
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