Chelsey and Judith Cain came to class to speak give a mother-daughter account of addiction. The juxtaposition of their stories were really interesting to compare and hear back-to-back.

What stuck out to me the most about Judith was her honesty about the difficulty of the decisions parents make when their child has addiction. She said she had to kick Chelsey out, and Chelsey’s father and Judith’s ex-husband didn’t post bail for Chelsey when she was arrested. And although these choices seem t0 distance parent and child, there’s no severance in the mind of a parent, Judith said. It’s a balancing act between making the right and wrong decision, mixed with the unconditional love of a parent—a complicated solution.

Honesty must run in the Cain family. Chelsey talked about selling her body on Craigslist to get money for drugs and stealing guns—the crime that landed her in jail at 24 with four felonies. A switch flipped in her head, she said, when the handcuffs clamped around her wrists. Her story about addiction was compelling, but I really liked hearing her point of view about treatment services, specifically medications like methadone or buprenorphine. Most of the things I’ve heard about the medication-assisted treatment are positive, so I appreciated her dissenting opinion. I think it’s important to have a questioning eye on all things concerning addiction, especially the treatments and solutions we will be reporting on.