Current Project


Our Team

Laurie Haapanen


Laurie is working with me on this project. She is the mother of a son in active addiction. When her son revealed his long term struggle with opiates, she was relieved and  overwhelmed all at once.  Relieved because she had been aware that things were not quite right with him, and now she knew why, but overwhelmed because she didn’t know exactly how best to help him. She began  intensively researching substance use disorder hoping if she improved her knowledge she could be more supportive of her son. As she searched for answers, she discovered so much more than she expected, but her most helpful discovery was that focusing on self-care was a big part of the answer..

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Ann Bennett Cookson


Hello, I'm Ann, but Laurie calls me Annie. Laurie and I met about two years ago, becoming good friends. When she first became aware of her son's struggle with addiction, she was beside  herself. We spent hours talking about substance use disorder (SUD) and how complicated it is. We are both passionate about this issue and I knew through countless conversations what we needed to do. One day, after our walk, I asked her if she wanted to write this book with me. Our writing styles are quite different, and I knew if we combined our skills and life experiences, this book would be amazing. We are not experts by any means, but we are experts concerning addiction and how it affects families.

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Offering Hope

For Future Release

This is a book being written by parents for parents who are caught amidst an intense, never-ending storm, needing hope and a compass pointing toward hopeful outcomes, and reassurance that recovery and healing are possible.

Please stay posted for release updates.


A Path Towards Hope

What's different about this book from other books about addiction?

There are numerous books on addiction, so the question is, what is so different about this one? This book is written by parents who have experienced firsthand the devastating effects on their families surrounding substance use disorder (SUD), opioid use disorder (OUD), and mental health disorders. We understand the emotional state of parents feeling disconnected, helpless, hopeless, stigmatized, and frustrated by societal norms reflected toward those struggling with these issues.

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Why We Chose to Write This Book

Encouraging dialogue and sharing stories

We each felt the need to voice our convictions. We are not clinicians or researchers, and we don’t want to highlight dreadful stories, but we have lived experiences with substance use disorder, and we recognize the stressful impact it can have on families. That is why we desire to write a text that offers hope and solace. This book is written to encourage openness and acceptance of the struggles many families are facing. Our intention is to offer a practical roadmap through the confusion surrounding SUD. The challenges are real, raw, and often overwhelming, especially considering that stigma is encountered with SUD. We desire to encourage dialogue, share narratives and honest stories, including stories surrounding recovery. This is a book written by parents for parents who are caught in an intense storm, needing a compass pointing toward hopeful outcomes recognizing that recovery and healing are possible.


The mental health connection

Self-Care Is Not Selfish

Addiction is often connected to mental health challenges and trauma. Through our lived experiences as well as through our research, we recognize how important it is to take time for self-care, reflection, and mindfulness. It's important to understand our mental health needs and when it's time to ask for help.


Learning the art of self-care!

“Self-care is how you take your power back.”
— Lalah Delia


Feeling Invisible

Understanding our Mental Health Needs and How to Reach Out for Help

Shedding light and giving a voice to those struggling with mental illnesses and coping with those who have taken their own lives.


An addict's story

Lessons From the Mental Hospital

Her struggles with addiction and finding her way toward recovery! I found this real. A story of self-care and self-realization.