A house on stilts: mothering in the age of opioid addiction – a memoir

By Paula Becker

A house on stilts: mothering in the age of opioid addiction - a memoir by Paula Becker
Added November 13, 2019

A House on Stilts tells the story of one woman's struggle to reclaim wholeness while mothering a son addicted to heroin. America's opioid crisis is a national emergency, a war at home. Within this battle, family members form the first line of defense. Their mission is hellishly risky: opioid overdose now kills more than 100 Americans each day, and that number is growing. Many who die are teens or young adults. In spite of this, no parent expects to be forced to confront their child's drug addiction. A House on Stilts' intensely personal account of trauma and survival is a heartbreakingly timely exploration of one family forced to grapple with America's #CrisisNextDoor. Paula Becker's son Hunter was raised in a safe nurturing home by his writer/historian mom and his physician father. He was a bright curious child. And yet, addiction found him. More than 2.5 million Americans are addicted to opioids, some half-million of these to heroin. For many of them--for Hunter--their drug addiction leads to lives of demoralization, homelessness, and constant peril. For parents--for Paula--a child's addiction upends family life, catapulting them onto a path no longer prescribed by Dr. Spock, but by Dante's Inferno. A House on Stilts recounts Hunter's headlong rush into drug addiction, its shattering impact on his family, and Paula's determination to shield Hunter's younger siblings from the maelstrom into which his addiction thrusts them all. Paula and her husband desperately fight to help their son, fearing for his life, grieving the loss of the boy they thought they knew. Within this ten-year crucible, Paula is transformed by an excruciating, inescapable truth: the difference between what she can do (love her son) and what she cannot do (save him). —Summary provided by publisher

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