Addiction not only affects the individual but their family too and can create an isolating situation.
Quintin Giesbrecht says, "We want to sweep it under the rug, but I say that the time for sweeping is over and it is time for talking."
Giesbrecht and his wife, Beth, have a 25-year-old son who has struggled with alcohol and drugs for a long time.
Often, parents in this situation feel like there is no one to talk to about such a subject - it's too taboo.
"As parents, we find the situation we're in embarrassing. Who wants to admit they have a son who has a problem with drugs? Nobody does," says Giesbrecht.
Earlier this year, their son found himself at a critical point and reached out to Beth.
"Back in January, our son texted my wife and the text was very suicidal in nature. He's struggled with alcohol and drugs for a long time and we've known that. ... I don't think we knew how bad it was. I texted him and said, ' You need to come over for supper and we'll talk about it.' So he did come home, we talked and I told him, 'You need to get yourself into Teen Challenge, you need help.' We had approached the subject before and he had always said no but this time he said yes."
The application and process of getting their son to Adult and Teen Challenge moved quickly and he was in the program within a month.
However, they say their son struggled with the program and left after a month. He called Giesbrecht from a convenience store and asked for a place to stay that night, but his dad said he would only take him if they would be returning to Adult and Teen Challenge in the morning. He agreed and started to the program from scratch the next day.
Two months later, however, he was gone and is now living out of the province.
When Giesbrecht heard the news he says that God began to give him a song. "Somehow words to a song started coming to me. ... Right towards the end of when I was done writing - the ending was probably triggered by him leaving Teen Challenge."
Giesbrecht has a friend with a studio who donated studio time and equipment to record the song. Before long, Beth and Quintin both decided to start the website aparentsprayer.com. They felt God calling them both to support parents in similar situations to theirs.
Giesbrecht says, "Once we started recording, the website and the idea that we need to be there for other parents who are in the same situation as us, all of a sudden just started coming to us - both of us."
The song, A Parent's Prayer, is available on their website and 100 per cent of the profits will go to Adult and Teen Challenge.
"Even though (our son) is no longer at Teen Challenge, ... I think we need to support them," says Giesbrecht.
"We got to keep praying for our kids, whether we feel like praying for them or not we have to pray for them."
As they begin to discover how they can officially support other parents and families, Giesbrecht says prayer is the most important source of encouragement in these situations: "Prayer is a big part of it. We need to encourage each other to pray for our kids - whether they are in trouble or not, we need to pray for our kids. ... We got to trust that God knows what He's doing and He's in control."
Giesbrecht has considered speaking with groups to share his experience of having a son who struggles with addiction. He hopes that through the song, the blog, and through speaking he can connect couples with other families who need the support. "A win would be that we would know that we've impacted somebody else's life and that we can share our experience with another couple - many couples," says Giesbrecht.
After having the website live for just a week, they've already seen people in need of this sort of ministry: "We've already had one couple contact us via our website, it's been up for less than a week. They have a daughter that is struggling with addiction and they are actually going to be talking to her about Teen Challenge, so they want to meet with us and compare notes."
For parents who are currently struggling and experiencing the same things as them, Giesbrecht says, "In regards to what our kids do ... I have had to explain to our son over and over again that disappointment is different than love. Just because I am disappointed with you doesn't mean I don't love you."
"We still love our kids even though we are disappointed in the choices they make. I think that is the important thing that we as parents we need to understand - our kids need to understand that as well. I know it is hard for them to see that."