For my little bro!

Genna Panagopoulos
Tell us about your (or your loved one's) recovery journey. What has been the most rewarding part?

Watching a loved one suffer through a drug addiction is nothing short of painful. I remember having vivid nightmares about my little brother and his battle against drugs. I recall the bitter taste of worry that would arise every time the phone rang, or worse, when he didn't answer. Battling addiction is one of the hardest personal burdens I've ever watched someone go through. It painful from all sides affected, and finding community and support is crucial for all involved.

Do you have a message for the Shatterproof community?

We are stronger together! Shatterproof provides those suffering from addiction and their loved ones resources, solidarity and the strength to move forward. Stay involved, stay strong!

Nearly a decade ago, we found out our youngest sibling was addicted to pain medications shortly after losing our mother to cancer. He was only 16 when he started down this path, although we didn't know it for another year or two. The last decade has been a roller coaster of ups and downs, struggles, defeats, pain, joy and mostly, forgiveness. Through his battle against addiction, he and our family truly learned what it meant to be a family. Although we all learned the hard way that as a family and support system, all we could do is provide our brother the love (although sometimes that meant tough love) and support, as it's truly a battle he must fight from within. I stay involved with Shatterproof, as I never want him to lose hope or strength in his determination to stay sober. Those who haven't faced addiction, will never truly understand what they go through each day, each moment. Being involved with Shatterproof is my way of showing my little brother and all others suffering from addiction that as a society, they do have support and resources and they can get the help they need.