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Edmond parents' experience inspires national parent's network

Vickie and Pat Nichols of Edmond turned the terrible experience they had helping their son battle his addictions into a national organization, Parents Helping Parents.
BY Charlotte Lankard Published: September 3, 2012

If you are a parent of a teenager — or an adult child — and suspect possible abuse of alcohol and/or drugs, go to Parents Helping Parents,

You will find education, information and contact with other families.

Parents Helping Parents (PHP) was born out of the frightening and painful experience of Vickie and Pat Nichols, of Edmond.

Back in the '90s, their 16-year-old son began abusing alcohol and drugs. Not knowing the warning signs, they believed it was mere “experimentation.”

Later they learned that teachers, counselors, coaches and parents of their son's friends suspected there was an issue with substance abuse, but none of them mentioned their suspicions to the Nicholses. Pat is quick to acknowledge even if they had suggested that to him he probably would not have believed it. He calls that the denial with which parents protect themselves.

It wasn't until their son turned 18 they felt there was something much more sinister going on. It was another seven years before they reached out for professional help from an alcohol/drug counselor and another two years before Vickie and Pat, with the help of a professional counselor, began making changes in their own behavior to stop enabling.


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