Skip to main content

‘Parents Like Us'; a guide to dealing with addiction in the Sault


Navigating the many services to combat substance use disorder is now an easier process in the Sault.

Together with the Sault Area Hospital, parents with lived experience have created a guide for other parents struggling with addiction titled ‘Parents Like Us.’

Susie Celetti spent 11 years trying to find as much help as possible for her son Jason while he was fighting addiction problems.

She said she had to learn the hard way about the options out there and wanted to help other parents who could use the help.

“If I would have had it at that time it would have given me a little more assurance, a few more answers quicker...and (the ability to) get the support I needed, to give support to my son,” Celetti said.

She lost her son in 2011 due to a fentanyl overdose.

In addition to the resources in the handbook, it includes motivation from those parents, including Celetti.

“If I can offer any seed of hope in my walk to someone who's at the beginning of theirs, I’m willing.”

The guidebook was inspired by a resource of the same name from B.C.

Sault Area Hospital Mental Health & Addictions Director Lisa Case said in order to do something similar locally, it had to be mostly done by those parents.

“It’s essential to have those parents and friends and family members helping to inform the work, it makes it valid, it has some efficacy in it,” said Case.

Parents Like Us’ is available in a physical version at a number of local agencies.

It's also easy to find on the hospital's website.

Its contents are "extensive" says Case, with early warning signs, information on the science behind addiction, and starter resources like contacts for the Canadian Mental Health Association.

“The same cookie cutter approach doesn’t work for everyone,” said Case.

“So we want options that work for the individual, that work for the families, depending on what supports they can offer and provide. I think this book is a step towards that.”

The guide is earmarked toward parents of youth that are involved with drugs or alcohol, where early intervention is critical.

But Celetti believes everyone could be well served by learning about the hardships of addiction.

“Drugs take away your ability to choose, the hard drugs. So it’s very difficult and didn’t happen overnight, and you usually don’t get out of it overnight, but with help there’s always hope.”

Although her son eventually lost his battle with addiction, Celetti said she thanks the countless organizations who helped them during those 11 years.

Celetti told CTV News it is help that she believes extended his life and gave her more time with her son.


In a previous version of the article words spoken by Lisa Case were attributed to Susie Celetti in error. Top Stories

Stay Connected