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24 YO Son Sober After 2 DUIS Now Starting To Drink Again

by Lois
(Indianapolis, Indiana)

My son has had multiple addictions. He quit gambling on line. He quit pills after treatment. He finally recognized that alcohol was a problem after his 2nd DUI.

After alcohol treatment he has been sober for 3 months. He has no license and used that as an excuse to stop going to AA. He is still on Probation. He is employed and goes to work.

It's Christmas and he has started drinking, saying he can handle it, it's just Christmas etc. but he drank at Thanksgiving and we found an empty wine bottle in the basement where he sleeps.

He hangs out with his long term buddies once every few weeks and I fear he drinks then. I know he is rationalizing and am scared he is in old denial and drinking patterns.

I know I can't control him but see this going down hill and wonder if I should say he has to return to AA or find somewhere else to live. That may just push him over the edge, but how can we just watch this happen?

We give him rides to work. I feel it's right to confront him but of course he gets angry. He is not violent in anyway. He was so motivated by AA at first then didn't like them "telling him how many meetings he had to go to" and quit talking to his sponsor. Any advice appreciated. Answer

There need to be clear boundaries and expectations put in place with your son ... if he's got a history of addiction, alcohol has to be an absolute no-no because it's just another drug to an addict.

So if he's drinking, you need to make it clear that his behavior is unacceptable and that until he starts making healthier and better choices, there will be consequences from your side.

Should one of those be he can't live at home if he continues to drink ... only you can say. But eventually as a parent you aren't left with much else to use, because usually telling your child to leave home is the last resort when everything else has failed.

The greatest thing any parent can teach a child is the concept of personal responsibility - that we are all totally and entirely responsible for our own lives and that the choices we make determine who we become.

And that is the message you will be giving your son by forcing him to stand on his own feet and start taking responsibility for his life. If he wants to make poor choices ... you can't stop him. But you don't have to enable him or stand by while he does so - and that's the message you'll be giving him by telling him he has to find somewhere else to live.

Always make it clear to him that you love him and that once he's ready to make different, wiser and healthier choices, you'll be there for him, but until then he's on his own.

He's had treatment and been to AA so knows what is required to stay sober. He simply chooses not to. As a parent there is only so much you can do and unfortunately when it boils down to it you have no control over what will happen with your son, and can only trust that somehow everything will work out as its meant to. All the Best.

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