Son returning from rehab....what next?

texasoneNovember 25, 2013

Our 23 year old son knew he needed drug rehab when we found out about his drug use. He did the homework and found the place. He has been there for 6 months and will be coming home in January. We have had little communication with him and he has sent a few letters apologizing for all the lies and damage he has done.
We as parents are a nervous wreck...what do we expect of him? Will he go back to his drug friends? Can we trust him? Do we watch his every step? Obviously he will have to live at home w us until he finds a job....that might take a while as we live in a very small town. Do we give him $ in the meantime? Can a parent who has been thru this give us a head's up?

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Have you spoke with his counselor, or anyone at the facility?
Often they have "class" for the parent(s) touching on those very issues.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2013 at 4:37PM
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No I have not but I will look into it....that's a perfect idea thank you for mentioning it.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2013 at 8:41PM
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If I were in your shoes I would find an Al Anon or Nar Anon family group meeting as soon as I could. They should be a great resource for you. I would also contact the rehab center, as mentioned above. I would think the rehab center would be eager to help families learn to give the best kind of support, and particularly happy to help families learn the difference between support and enabling.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2013 at 7:00PM
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Yes..I need to learn that...any books you might reccommend on support/enabling your son? I need some kind of boundary line and I am not sure where that is with my son now.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2013 at 12:47PM
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That's exactly where Al Anon or Nar Anon will help you. The phone numbers are available online, just google it and your town.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2013 at 2:11PM
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I attended Al-Anon over issues with a family member. It was very helpful for me and a book would not have been nearly as helpful. I love to read and get plenty of tips from self-help books, but this issue is so big that you really need the support Al-Anon will give you. Please go. You need to go for your son's good and for your own.

I imagine this could be very hard on a marriage as well, so please go for the health of your marriage.

Meeting with my pastor helped me a great deal during this time. If I had had access to a counselor at that time, private counseling probably would have helped me as well. Even if you have access to other resources, please consider Al-Anon or Nar-Anon. If the first chapter you try doesn't work, look to see if there is another in your area that is a better fit.

In my experience, I felt so alone and unlike anyone else I knew. I had very little experience dealing with people who abused substances. Just going to the meetings and meeting people with the same circumstances, the same story, the same consequences is so helpful. When you want to enable your son, you will see that there are a room full of people who tried that and it didn't work for them and it won't work for you. By the same token, you will see that you are not a big meanie for setting proper boundaries - that is what you have to do.

Al-Anon made me a better person. I had no idea, I was just desperate and grabbing at any straws I could grab. If my son was a substance abuser wild horses couldn't keep me away from Al-Anon or Nar-Anon (never been to Nar-Anon, but I would sure try it).

And I would absolutely contact the rehab facility and pump them for every bit of advice and help they could/would give me.

You, your husband and your son are going to be walking a tough road. I have never been the parent of a substance abuser, but I have been the mother of a teen who had some difficult years and made life hard for us. Nothing like the h-e-double-hockeysticks substance abusing teens put their parents through, but enough. The pain and damage doesn't just vanish overnight. And whatever drove them to that behavior doesn't disappear overnight.

Please go. It sounds trite to say that I am thinking of you and hoping the very best for you and your son, but it's true. All of us who have been touched by substance abuse, mental illness, or both know that our hearts shatter silently into a thousand pieces day after day. There is help getting through this.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2013 at 10:00PM
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Thank you daisyinga so much for taking the time to write and caring about the outcome of this situation. We are just a down to earth everyday family and never thought this would happen. This son aced the ACT could he turn to drugs? But of course NOW we see the signs we couldn't before. Scares me to think that most drug rehabbers don't stay clean their first time....Does he automatically go BACK to rehab? I am frustrated, mad, confused and missing him all in one. Thank you for your some very sound advice. God Bless.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2013 at 8:53PM
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I'm glad it helped, texasone.

One of the helpful things that I saw when I went to Al-Anon was that some addicts come from homes with good parents who did their best. Sometimes our children make terrible choices despite our best efforts.

There are plenty of clean-cut, all-American, apple pie young people abusing substances. Academically gifted kids, athletically gifted kids, religious kids, Eagle Scouts.

There is hope for your son. The family member I went to Al-Anon over hasn't abused substances in many, many years. We went through some awful, awful times but it turned out okay.

Hugs to you across the internet! God's wonderful peace and amazing mercy to you, your husband and especially your son, too.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2013 at 11:28PM
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6 months is a while for insight rehab, set boundaries, if he ever sees a drug using friend make sure you don't ignore it. recovering addicts are not suppose to see old using friends. A big sign.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2013 at 1:04AM
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