Sandy and Tim Varga will be sharing advice and lessons they learned while watching their son battle addiction

Story of addiction unfolds

A Vernon family is hoping they can spare others at least some of the same horror and pain they suffered

A Vernon family is hoping they can spare others at least some of the same horror and pain they suffered watching their son be taken away by addiction.

Tim and Sandy Varga are the loving parents of two boys. From happy, healthy little babies, they both grew up under hardworking parents with strong morals and a solid foundation.

“They grew up in a good home,” said Tim.

But despite good intentions, their once energetic younger son, who excelled in sports, fell into addiction. Just going to show that it is not a pre-determined disease.

“It can happen to anyone,” said Tim, fondly recalling his son’s passion for hockey, where he made it to the juniors, but one bump sent him off track.

“I don’t think he ever got into a fight in his whole time playing hockey,” said Tim of his boy’s demeanour.

Wife Sandy’s eyes resonate with light as she recalls her youngest’s true character.

“He is a fun-loving, caring guy. Where ever he goes people glom onto him,” said Sandy, who is very close to him. “He’s got that contagious personality.”

But the man who became addicted to prescription pills and alcohol in 2011, is not the same person they once knew.

“That is not him,” said Sandy.

When it comes down to it, their son’s addiction was no fault of theirs.

“He admits that what happens is he lost his way,” said Tim.

“He’s a great kid who just went off the rails.”

Their only mistake was loving him to a fault.

That is the story told in their book, Loving Him to A Fault. A book the couple wrote in the midst of their distress in 2013.

“Loving him to a fault, that’s what you do as a parent but it’s about knowing the right time to let go,” said Sandy. “Save yourself.”

“What you have to learn is to set boundaries,” said Tim, who has unfortunately met many parents in the past few years who don’t do that. “We have to go on and live our lives.”

It wasn’t easy, but letting go is what saved them.

“We had to make the toughest decision a parent ever had to make,” said Tim. “We had to let go with fear that he’s not going to make it.”

“We had no choice, nothing else was working,” said Sandy. “We exhausted every other avenue so that was all that was left to do.”

And since making that tough decision and following through with it, their son is now on the road to recovery.

“He is in treatment and working hard at the program” said Sandy.

Tim Varga will be sharing what he has learned in a public presentation called Loving Your Kids To A Fault – Parents, Don’t Enable Your Child, on Monday in the Vernon Secondary School theatre at 7 p.m.

The presentation, put on by the Vernon School District, is free and children are welcome to attend.

Proceeds from the sale of the book, Loving Him to A Fault, will be donated to the John Howard Society.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

No bucks for Ellison park expansion, ministry tells Vernon chamber

Vernon Chamber of Commerce vows to help government connect with potential funding partners to see Chelsea Estate purchased

COVID-19: Vernon fields and courts ready for booking

Local sport organizations will soon be able to get back out on the field for limited activities

$500 fine for Vernon man caught near Coldstream playground

Richard Slobodian, 58, served one night in jail and ordered to pay for breaching probation

Vernon firefighters showcase new rescue equipment

New tools helping VFRS make safer, swifter and more versatile rescue operations

House arrest for Vernon physiotherapist guilty of sexual assault

Stephen Witvoet to serve 18-month conditional sentencing following July 8 hearing

B.C. identifies 20 new COVID-19 cases, travellers specified in count

Pandemic total 3,028 cases, 51 people from outside Canada

Summerland Ornamental Gardens remain closed

Staff and volunteers continue to weed and maintain plants

Kelowna taxpayers could pay $90K for losses caused by cancelled Memorial Cup

$135,000 would be put aside for a potential bid for a future opportunity to host the tournament

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Motorcycle rider seriously injured in collision with vehicle on Highway 97 west of Pritchard

Chase RCMP report that motorcycle was attempting to pass when crash occurred

Predator mutilated cats in Kelowna: BC SPCA

The BC SPCA confirmed a mutilated cat was killed by a predator

LETTER: Former Summerland mayors speak out on solar project

Five former Summerland mayors sign name to short letter

Emergency crews conduct CPR on unresponsive person in Okanagan Lake

West Kelowna emergency crews are on scene at the shores of Jubilee Mobile Home Park

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Most Read