IF YOU LOVE ME by Maureen Cavanagh


A Mother's Journey Through Her Daughter's Opioid Addiction
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Another heartbreaking tale of opioid abuse and the toll it takes on an entire family.

Missing money, bent and burned or missing spoons, and missing jewelry: All of these served as clues that eventually led Cavanagh to the realization that her daughter, Katie, was a heroin addict who had stolen from her in order to buy drugs. The author’s grief and suffering are consistently palpable as she traces the numerous paths she took with her ex-husband, Mike, over the course of several years, to get Katie into treatment centers. She shares the anguish and dismay she felt each time her daughter slipped away again, returning to her life of drug abuse and abusive boyfriends. “I’ve seen so much pain in the last few years,” she writes. “I hadn’t known just how much pain the world could contain. It crushes me sometimes, not just my own but the pain of so many others also trying to hang on to whatever shred of their loved ones they can. I don’t know how I got here. There is never a day that goes by that this does not feel very surreal.” Cavanagh describes her powerful feelings of both fear and shame and how her need for support led her to reach out to others experiencing the same trauma. Because of her deep involvement in this crisis and her discovery that help was limited, the author founded a nonprofit group, Magnolia New Beginnings, to aid parents and drug users in finding treatment and the necessary emotional support for those struggling with all kinds of substance abuse. While Cavanagh’s story is unique, it’s also, sadly, fairly common. When she discovered the shockingly widespread nature of the problem, the author devoted herself to addressing the crisis—and its attendant stigmas—head-on.

An emotionally fraught tale of a mother’s love and her actions to save her daughter from opioid addiction.

Pub Date: Sept. 4th, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-250-29734-1
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Henry Holt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2018


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