The stigma of addiction is a both a personal and societal barrier that stops many people from identifying the need for and taking the steps to receive help. However, the stigma of and discrimination surrounding addiction is not something that only impacts the individual suffering from substance use disorder. The stigma of addiction is also very real for the parents and families who are impacted and for the community as a whole.
Lisa Hillman is a long-time resident of Annapolis, Maryland. She is married to Richard Hillman, the former mayor of Annapolis between 1981 and 1985. She is former broadcast journalist and recently was the Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer of Anne Arundel Medical Center. Currently, she is a board member of Pathways and Samaritan House in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. She is a wife, a mother of two grown children, a business professional and a respected member of her community.
Lisa Hillman is also a mother who found herself and her family in a terrifying crisis of having a son facing the life and death battle of addiction. Because of the addiction faced by her son Jake, and his subsequent recovery, she is now also a published author of the book “Secret No More: A True Story of Hope for Parents with an Addicted Child.”
Published this month by Apprentice House of Loyola University in Baltimore, Hillman’s book details the personal journey she has taken regarding finding out about Jake’s addiction, the struggles trying to cope, finding Jake treatment and her life as a mother and parent with a son who has fortunately found recovery. Writing the book was a calling for Lisa, saying that she “wrote the book because I had to” in order to shed light on addiction and its impact on families.
Fear, anger, guilt and shame are not only emotions that individuals suffering from addiction deal with, but they are also very real emotions felt by the parents and families of individuals. The thoughts of what will others think of our family, what will others think of me as a parent, how will our family and my child be judged, and we cannot let anyone know about this terrible issue are very real thoughts that go through the mind of a parent when dealing with a loved one’s addiction.
Having taken this journey and understanding the value that her families story could have for other parents dealing with addiction, Lisa Hillman (with the blessing of her son) took it upon herself to write her book so that other parents and families could identify and take some solace in the fact that they are not alone, that addiction does not discriminate and that they must reach out for help. Not reach out for help just for the individual family member with the addiction, but also reach out for help themselves. After all, addiction is a family disease and the entire family unit is impacted and in need of help and healing. According to Hillman, this is the central message of her book. Every family member is affected and regardless of the willingness to seek help of the addicted child, the other family members must seek help for themselves. When the family unit seeks help, there is a greater chance that the individual with the addiction will ultimately recover.
We here at Maryland Addiction Recovery Center are proud to know Lisa and her son and are happy to offer our support in spreading her family’s story to those in need. Parents and families need to know that they are not alone. Until we are able to share our stories (not just those in recovery but their families as well), the stigma of addiction will still exist.
Lisa Hillman’s book “Secret No More: A True Story of Hope for Parents with an Addicted Child” is available at the Annapolis Bookstore, 53 Maryland Avenue, Annapolis, MD and online at Amazon.com at https://www.amazon.com/Secret-No-More-Parents-Addicted/dp/1627201394. The paperback version is $16.99 and the hardcover version is $24.99.
If you or someone you know is in need of help because of drug and/or alcohol abuse or addiction, please give us a call. Maryland Addiction Recovery Center offers the most comprehensive dual diagnosis addiction treatment in the Mid-Atlantic area. If we aren’t the best fit for you or your loved one, we will take the necessary time to work with you to find a treatment center or provider that better fits your needs. Please give us a call at (410) 773-0500 or email our team at [email protected]. For more information on all of our drug addiction and alcohol addiction services and recovery resources, please visit our web site at www.marylandaddictionrecovery.com.