Should my husband “back off?”

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Joe HerzanekQ:
Dear Joe:

My son went to rehab for 30 days and just got out of jail (45 days). He is back living with my husband and me. My husband calls him constantly during the day to see what he is doing, He averages at least once an hour. When my son gets ready to go out for a walk or a bike ride, my husband right away is on him with 20 questions.

 

 

 




Am I wrong to think that all the questions and constantly checking on my son is pushing him back into trouble? When my son went to jail, he had a fight with his dad and ended up getting caught doing drugs. He ended up getting arrested and we did leave him there for the 45 days (His drug of choice is heroin). I feel that my husband needs to back off or my son will be back to the drugs. How are we supposed to treat our son?

I have read your book and really learned a lot from it. I even passed it along to a friend of mine that was going through her son’s problem with Vicodin and alcohol.

Walking on eggshells in Illinois,

~ Julie E., Chicago, Ill

A:
Dear Julie,

I agree, your husband is putting undue pressure on your son right now. Showing some concern and wanting to encourage is a good thing.

Being suspicious of his every move will only make things worse. It sounds like you’re already doing many things right especially letting him sit in jail. Your son going through thirty days of treatment was also a plus.



The next stage of recovery is ongoing support. Is he going to some kind of group that talks about staying away from drugs and alcohol? AA or NA are the two obvious places to go. NO ONE recovers all by themselves. Going to meetings, working the 12 Steps, and getting a sponsor are the most important three signs of a willingness to do whatever it takes. If he will do this he will succeed.

They talked a lot about this when he was in treatment. If they didn’t I would be very surprised.

I would tell dad to back off some. If your son wants to use dad can’t stop it anyway.

Keep in mind that recovery is a process. I don’t know your sons age but if he is in his late teens or early twenties then he is still an adolescent in some ways.

Be sure to take care of yourself while dealing with all the above. Al-anon is something to consider, or even some “open” AA meetings. Ask his treatment center for guidance as well. There are resources available.

With effort and time this can all pass and life can be much more enjoyable again. Sometimes it’s a matter of just getting them from here to there.

People can and do recover all the time. Your son is no exception. If he wants change bad enough he will make it happen.

Best regards,
~ Chaplain Joe
Boulder County Jail

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RESOURCES:
> Phone Counseling for Family Members
>
Recommended Books and DVDs for families of substance abusers and addicts
>
Low cost, No cost Alcohol and Drug Treatment Directory

> Drug Addiction and Alcoholism Recovery Resources for Friends, Families and Employers


If you found this article helpful please see our “Ask Joe” posts listed at the bottom and consider reading

Why Don’t they Just Quit? Hope for families struggling with addiction.”

Available at:
> Our website, “Why Don’t They Just Quit?”
> Amazon.com
> Changing Lives Amazon Storefront (buy new, from us for much less)

Why Don't They Just Quit? Hope for families struggling with addiction.
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Recent Amazon.com reviews:

Best book ever about addiction. Written by one whose done it and is recovering. Easy to read, not preachy, just honest. I recommend this book to anyone with an addict in their life! ~Lynda A

Got an addiction problem in your family? Read this book. Joe knows his stuff. This book helps you better understand those dealing with friends and family that are addicted to drugs and alcohol. I have read several of these books but this one is the best. ~RJ

I, like many people, have some knowledge of what drugs and addiction are, but are clueless on what the process of recovery entails. This book does a great job in what it would take to help a loved one, who is an addict and is willing to get clean and stay clean. It also gives one hope that your loved one will survive the nightmare they are living through with their family. ~CG

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ASK JOE:
> Do you have to stop seeing all your old friends in order to recover?
> Is a relapse—failure?
>Should my husband “back off?”
> If someone can stop using drugs or alcohol for weeks at a time, they “aren’t an addict—correct?
>Chronic Pain Management & Pain Pill Addiction: What to do?
>How can I know if my addicted friend or loved one is telling the truth?
>How can I tell if someone is an addict/alcoholic or just a heavy user?
>What is Methadone? What is Harm Reduction?

SELF TESTS:
> Self-Tests: Codependence
> Self-Tests: Alcohol and Drug Addiction

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