Author, mother of teenage addict shares parenting journey - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Author, mother of teenage addict shares parenting journey

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) - A successful professional, a mayor's wife and mother of two, Lisa Hillman seemed it have it all figured out. The pain of knowing her teenage son was in the thick of a battle with drug addiction, though, was too much to bare.

In her book "Secret No More" Hillman details how her life as an accomplished healthcare administrator leading a multi-million dollar healthcare system campaign became overshadowed by shame, denial and fear for her son's life.

The thought of her son getting high on heroin, Hillman said, was too much to face. For a long time she denied his problem and tried her hardest to keep it in the dark. She feared that her coworkers and friends, or even her professional acquaintances might find out. What kind of mother would that make her?

Hillman said her son started with alcohol and then marijuana. She was first tipped off when a concerned high school teacher called her to let her know that he was approached by some of her son's friends who told him that her son might be getting involved with drugs and hanging out with the wrong crowd. Her son, who as a child couldn't stand to swallow pills, let alone see a needle stuck in his arm, had soon moved on too oxycontin and then heroine.

Hillman started to keep a journal to detail all that was happening and sort it out, and from that came her book. In it, she details her son's addiction and its impact on her family. She talks about her period of denial and how much she regrets not talking to someone, a relative or a trusted friend, rather than keeping it in the dark.

Now, her story is out there, helping parents around the world dealing with a similar struggle. She talked a little bit about her book and her parenting journey with News 8's Heather Myers.

Hillman will hold a meet-and-greet and book signing Friday, July 7 at Upstart Crow Bookstore-Coffee in Seaport Village at 6 p.m.

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