Carroll O’Connor Speaks On Loss Of His Son

Do you remember the 70’s show called “All in the family?” Carroll O’Connor starred as Archie Bunker. Maybe you were also aware that he lost a son to the disease of addiction? Because of this tragedy, Mr. O’Connor was one of the first celebrities to talk openly about the illness. Maybe you recall the P.S.A. that he produced in which he shared about his loss and plainly advised the American public to “Do whatever you can to get between your kids and drugs.” I have never forgotten that commercial. For some reason it was very powerful to me. In almost every intervention I do, I think about what he said.

Families often state that they are afraid to do an intervention because their loved one (the addict) will feel betrayed, angry or embarrassed. When I think about O’Connor’s words and his pain, I know we must do whatever we can to get between that person and his addiction to drugs or alcohol. So, it is ok to make mistakes in the intervention process. It’s ok if we said something the wrong way or didn’t come across exactly the way we wanted. When a team member is struggling with one of these issues and doesn’t know what to do, I ask them to weigh it against what is at stake. This usually helps them get to where they need to be.

A full-blown, structured family intervention may not be necessary or appropriate. But, waiting for a crisis to occur or for him to “hit bottom” is not a good strategy. Sometimes when a crisis occurs, it is something that can not be fixed.

David is a licensed clinical interventionist. He has been part of the Recovery Alternatives team for over 5 years. He currently lives in Odessa. David has two sons and other family members in the Dallas area. His Bio is avail to read at

You can reach him at [email protected] or call 432-813-4031