Traversing the journey through a child’s addiction can be a challenging time. Here you can look through frequently asked questions from other readers. And you can ask your own question if you do not find what you are looking for. Be sure to check out our panel of experts. They represent a wide range of professions to cover the broad arena of questions our readers might have. Remember you are not alone in this journey, Parent Pathway is here to provide Information, Help, Community and Hope.
Newest Expert Suggestions
After 30 day rehabs my son is back to using once he comes home. It breaks my heart, what else can I do but ‘kick him out’?
YOUR QUESTION: My 22 yr. old son lives with us and has been addicted to opiates for the past 2-3 yrs. Since early HS was chronic pot smoker, drinker and did other numerous drugs. He has been to 30 day rehab 2 times…May 2012 and Jan 2013. Has relapsed several times and was using suboxone too. He is or was participating in an IOP support group locally. Soon he will have acourt appearance for possession of heroin…has a long record of traffic violations, pot possession and 2 DUIs. Last night we found evidence that he is once again using and possibly selling. He has been sleeping most of day, up all night, and barely working in family office to pay off fines, not grooming, eating little….yet has been very pleasant and loving. I put a suitcase on the front porch as he stayed out all night. He had been using the drugs in our home and obviously that is unacceptable. Yesterday before we confronted him, he expressed to me that he thought his life was a “hell hole”. He doesn’t want to do this but it really has a hold on him. Should we go ahead with “kicking him out” or try to discuss parameters for him living here and continuing with his recovery????????? Thanks so much!
EXPERT CHRISTY CRANDELL:”While it may appear harsh to kick him out, it is really the most loving thing you can do for him as it may help him get to the point where he is ready to check back into a treatment program. The latest research tells us that one year is the optimal dose of treatment. While your son has been able to get clean in the 30 days of rehab, he needs to continue in an ongoing program for much longer. A transitional living home would be best for him so he can focus on his recovery. Please find support for yourself in a local Al Anon meeting to help you stay strong and healthy during this difficult journey with your son.”
EXPERT BRAD DEHAVEN: Your son has all of the classic signs and symptoms of Opiate drug abuse as you now know all too well. Ask yourself if everything you are doing for him is too much and not enough at the same time. I think I know the answer will be “yes”. Addiction doesn’t get better without professional help and just like other diseases, sometimes it doesn’t get better with help. You hit your bottom long ago and in my opinion, it is time for the addict to hit their bottom. I don’t believe it is fair to treat any disease with a specified period of time for treatment. All addicts are different just like all people who have cancer. Imagine how outraged you would be to discover that your insurance only covers 30 days treatment for cancer. I have spoken to hundreds of addicts and most told me that 30 day treatment centers were just a temporary fix to a permanent problem. Most addicts see 15 days left in a 30 day treatment and know that is how much longer they need to wait to abuse drugs again. Based on hundreds of interviews of families and addicts who are afflicted by addiction, I find that those who send their addict away to a long term treatment program which is over when it is over get much better results on recovery. I also see that those who send them away for treatment and let them grow up surrounded by people with the goal of sobriety do much better. We parents are ill prepared to treat addiction at home and we are fooling ourselves if we think this will work. Your son has learned over his whole life how to manipulate you and now that he is an addict and a liar out of necessity, you are not equipped to curtail his drug abuse. Hand your addict to a professional, step away as mom & dad and allow someone trained in the field to attempt to recover your son. My second book “The Addict Among Us” has many suggestions on how to live with and treat addiction and this information was shared with me by these families. I hope you get the help you need because as you know all too well, addiction doesn’t get better over time, no disease does. All the best, Brad
Declined, Denied, and Spent; our son still needs professional help. Are there grants or financial assistance to help financially strapped parents?
Queston: First and foremost a sincere thanks to all the experts (and everyone on this site) for a terrific job in helping us parents. I don’t know what I would do without my 15 minutes each morning.
My son was denied rehab from every facility we went to this year; our insurance company basically said if he is not suicidal, we can’t accept him. Insane! So, we self-paid over $30,000 and almost lost our house. The good news: he was clean for 6 months…the bad news: he is no longer sober. After a very good friend recently passed away, he spiraled downward and turned to drugs to cope. We can no longer afford health insurance and really, what would be the reason to purchase again as every door was closed with it?! I spoke to someone who indicated that some rehabs offer grants or pro-bono type cases, etc. Are any of you familiar with this?
Should I call every rehab and just ask or do you think this is just a waste of my time? It is so sad that we live in United States and we can’t help our children and young adults (ours just turned 20). It’s even sadder when this person wants the help which is such a huge step. Any insight on where I can go… where maybe a door would open would be most appreciated. In the meantime, we will continue to hold him prisoner the best we can and watch out the window for a possible car pulling up to the house. Again thank you all for your time.
EXPERT KENT MORRISON: To offer some help and insight. Yes there are programs out there that do help find scholarship monies to send people to rehab. Some places like Hazelden, actually Hazelden Center for youth and Families (HCYF), have patient aid money awarded depending on need. Making a phone call to their intake department would be the best way to start. A financial case manager would contact the family and do a needs-assessment and award money depending on the assessment. The intake number for Hazelden is 1-800-257-7810.
Also, I know that Ricki Townsend is also very instrumental in helping families find scholarships to other programs as well. Working with Ricki may be a very helpful avenue to take as well. Ricki’s contact number is 916-539-4535.
Finally, there is an organization which is designed to help addicts get to rehab. H.E.A.R.T (Helping Every Alcohol/Addict Receive Treatment) and their website is www.heartinc.org. H.E.A.R.T. has been doing this sort of thing for a long time and they have established many relationships with treatment facilities. I would suggest looking more into their website and making contact with one of their representatives. I hope this helps, Kent Morrison, MA, LAADC-r, CADC II
EXPERT RICKI TOWNSEND: The best way I could possibly answer this question is to first say, “I so agree with you” regarding the way those of us in addiction are treated by Insurance companies. I would have to say also my vision for the future; that we are treated with dignity and deep concern. This is a DISEASE, of the brain.
Yes, some treatment centers offer scholarships. I travel and am involved with many around the United States and a lot of treatment centers bring Interventionists out, at their cost, to see these treatment centers. They too are having financial troubles as the economy changes. Some will do a scholarship a year, some a month.
Yes, you can call centers and ask if they offer a scholarship, or if they have any ideas for you. They can be extremely helpful, and kind. What about in your county? Are there programs he can do free, or at a small cost? What about Salvation Army? Be prepared to hear they have a waiting list.
What I would respectfully like to ask though, “what is he doing at this moment for himself?”
What are you doing to care for you? We women have a difficult time self-soothing and giving ourselves time. Are you putting more work into this then your son is? One question we ask in Al-Anon as well as in my field of intervention….”Are you wanting this treatment more than he is?” I know this is hard, believe me, I too am a mom with someone still active in addiction.
A task I would give you if you were to accept it: Write a journal every day for one week. This will be a time journal to actually record where your time is going in every hour from your waking moment and until you go to bed. Put it in your purse, take it out when you get home and have it with you every moment for a week. This is one way of seeing where you are putting your time. If you do this, I would love to hear from you and how you are doing. – Ricki