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Help for Drug-Addicted Son

Update on the situation here. My son (who decided to move out with friends) came home today and asked my husband if he could come home. My husband told him that we would have no problem if the kid that we had last year came home but not the kid he has become. Mark I really had a good kid up until last summer of 2008. He was always appreciative and respectful now I have this monster. All of Chris's friends that he had hate the new group he started hanging around with they call this group the kids that are going no where. Chris started smoking drugs with this bunch. Chris told my husband that he doesn't see the problem with him having this habit. The reason he left was because we would not tolerate this behaviour, I am not going to change it is against my values and my morales to have a kid sitting there doing drugs. This kid choose this live style not me. It was like he choose to lose.

What steps do I do here, I don't want him home if it is going to be the same old thing. He ran away in March and came back 6 weeks later and we had him do a contract with the rules. No smoking dope, no skipping school, showing respect to us. He came home lasted 2 days, and he was telling me that he was staying out all night on a Sunday night and I would see him Monday night, I told him that if he left he would have consequences he told me that he was out for the night and that it was none of my business where he was going. I locked up the house the next day left a note on the door he could come back home on Saturday when my husband and I were home and discuss the situation. We were have a roof put on that day, he asked the roofer for the ladder and got in through the bathroom window. He left me a note saying well I told you I was only going out for 1 night and I would be home and I will see you on Saturday. This kid had decided he was running the show here, my house and I was taking orders from him. He came home on Saturday and kept up this behaviour. He got kicked out of his co-op program. This kid had won the leadership award at school and the engineering award, MPV 3 years in a row in soccer. My husband as me to please hold on until after June so that the kid would get his credits for school and I bit my tongue. By July I had a real monster here and that's when he stole the car, stole money from us etc. and I started to use your techniques and it was working until the one day he was getting to aggressive and then I told him that if he hated it here that he should work out a plan to leave and that is when he called his friend's mother and asked her if he could still move in with her and she said I will sent my son over with the truck to get your stuff and off he went. The next week there was a t-shirt that was knotted up and left at my door step I opened the t-shirt and inside the knot was sharp pieces of glass, the same week my car was keyed.

Mark, my father was a violent alcholic and so was my husband's dad. We hating living at home, just hated it. I don't want round 2. What do you do to get someone to realize that you are not going to change but they need to?

My brother thinks that when he talks to me that it just gives him more fuel for the fire, to say yes that is why I don't live there with them. That keeps him going for another few weeks. When I see him or talk to him on the phone I just keep it to 30 seconds and no more. I figure why give him more fuel for the fire. I think this was another one of his acts to con us. I don't want it to go back to what it was before he left.

Any advice. I am open to anything and even criticism if I am taking a hard approach.



Hi A.,

Your son has a huge risk of alcoholism and drug addiction given his heredity. I think it's safe to say that he will either have to stay clean and sober -- no use whatsoever -- or he will continue his decline.

I have worked with both adult and teen alcoholics/drug addicts since 1994. The one thing that continues to disturb me greatly -- even after 14 years of working with these clients -- is the unfortunate fact that most must hit several hard bottoms over the course of several years (if not decades) before they can finally agree that their chemical abuse/dependence is a real problem that needs to be addressed. Then, and only then, will the client pursue sobriety.

The insidiousness of drug abuse (i.e., what makes it so dangerous) is that the "drug" becomes the most important thing in the person's life ...more important than health ...more important than family and friends ...more important than getting an education ...more important than work ...sanity ...God ...and even life.

Your son does not see his use of chemicals as a problem. Thus he is not going to stop using them any time soon. So you can say, "Once you start rehab, we will consider letting you come home -- but until that time, you must live elsewhere."

Mark Hutten, M.A.

My Out-of-Control Teen: Help for Parents

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