Question: My son is 17 years old. He started smoking marijuana at 13. This just got worse and worse. In March of this year he was arrested. He was seen snorting suboxone up his nose and taking a hit of synthetic marijuana. He went to juvenile detention center for 6 days and then to inpatient rehab for 45 days. He came home in May and finished school, got his diploma. He was taking masonry in a vo-tech school, he graduated from there and got a job right out of school. He was going to outpatient sessions, and NA meetings. A few weeks ago he broke his arm and was out of work. This is when the suspicious behavior started again. I found marijuana and suboxone in his wallet last weekend and I turned him in to his probation officer. We are all at a loss of what to do for him. I have read everything about recovery and relapse and what to do, but this is frustrating. So now he is going to be on strict house arrest for up to 6 months, and he will no longer be allowed to drive to work or his meetings. He also has to attend a meeting every day. Please help me with some advice on what to do. He will be 18 in August, but that isn’t going to matter since probation has now placed him on house arrest. I just want my son back, but I don’t know how else to help him or how to trust him.
EXPERT CHRISTY CRANDELL: “It sounds like your son just needs a more intensive outpatient program to help him with his ongoing recovery. Does his probation officer work with any local treatment programs in the area that they can recommend or even perhaps help pay for? The recovery process is oftentimes a bumpy road and a very frustrating and scary time for a parent. Find a local Al-Anon program in your area which will give you support as you try to love your son through this but at the same time allowing you to stay healthy yourself. Sometimes you have to try multiple meeting locations to find one that meets your needs. Remember, he has been smoking marijuana for four years and it is going to take him awhile to figure out how to live his life without it. People beat this every day – don’t lose hope!”
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