CORTLAND, Ohio (WKBN) – When one person is battling an addiction, it affects everyone who loves them. That’s why it’s sometimes called a “family disease.”
For Jan and Rocco Greco, their son Rocco’s battle with addiction has been a rollercoaster ride.
“We have our ups and our downs. We have our good times. We have a lot of bad times,” Rocco Greco said.
“We’ve lived with the lies and the deception and the lack of trust and to see him normal, that is a blessing in itself,” Jan Greco added.
Rocco’s in recovery now, but that in itself is a journey of its own.
“There’s no delusion about it, him being clean and sober for the rest of his life,” Jan said. “It’s a day-to-day process. Today, he’s doin’ good. Tommorrow will come, and we’ll see what happens tomorrow.”
It’s a path they never pictured they’d be on.
A model of the law, the elder Rocco spent more than three decades as an officer for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and was park manager at Mosquito Lake.
He said his view of addicts has changed a lot since then.
“I thought they were scum, really, when I was an officer. But now it’s a 360-degree change. I mean, these people are good,” he said.
But seeking support through meetings of groups like Families Anonymous helped them learn to heal.
“It’s made us feel better knowing that we weren’t alone. It helped us deal with certain aspects of their addiction, setting boundaries for the addicts,” Rocco Greco said.
Jan Greco said she learned how to help people and that you shouldn’t be ashamed of a drug addiction.
Now, the two often volunteer their time helping others through the Alliance for Substance Abuse Prevention.
Last weekend, they were joined by their son, Rocco, at the group’s Rally for Recovery.
Jan Greco said it’s an issue that will affect them for the rest of their lives.
“27 Investigates: Heroin Crisis, Impact on Families” will air at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 13 on WKBN 27 First News and WKBN.com.