Alcoholism and Drug Addiction Help Header

My 29-year-old Son is Addicted to Prescription Drugs and Currently in Jail - Should I Bail Him Out?

by Donna

Do anti-depressants really work or do we just create a new breed of drug addicts? When my son was 25 years old a doctor decided that he was suffering from anxiety. Well from anxiety to addiction ...

He lost his family due to the addiction, and in the past year has spiralled down the ladder of life. Arrested 3 different times for prescription drug charges - I am furious with him and with doctors with television commercials that advertise these miracle cures.

And now that my son is in jail again I don't know if I should bail him out. I have done it before and it hasn't helped but to leave him there until he is arraigned could do more damage. If anyone has any thoughts I am open. So my question is should I bail my son out of jail or let him deal with the consequences of his actions?


Hi Donna

Gosh, that's a tough one. Your son most definitely needs to start experiencing the severe consequences of his ongoing addiction if he's ever going to reach a place where he's ready to admit to his addiction and get proper help.

Yet, as you say, leaving him in jail could do more harm than good? But then again, could it really because how much worse can things get for him? Maybe some time inside will help open his eyes to what he's become and that it's time to start turning his life around ...

You could possibly consider agreeing to bail him out on the condition that if you do he goes straight into a long-term drug treatment program - even get the judge to make it a formal condition of his bail. He clearly needs help and maybe this is an opportunity to get him some. I would think in his state, you should try for a program closer to 90 days than the typical 30.

It's really shocking how easily potentially devastating and dangerous prescription drugs are simply prescribed without second thought. Prescription drug addiction is such a massive problem and doesn't get nearly the attention it deserves. I really hope everything works out for your son. Let's pray this is the wake up call that will get him to change..

God Bless

Comments for My 29-year-old Son is Addicted to Prescription Drugs and Currently in Jail - Should I Bail Him Out?

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Nov 07, 2012
please read this it is non-prifit.
by: carol kaiser

May 12, 2011
Addicted adult children
by: Anonymous

I have a 24 year old son addicted to prescription pain meds. He also abuses them by snorting and takes more than he should and suffers withdrawals until his prescription is refilled. He also suffers from severe depression as a result of a botched surgery causing permanent, chronic pain due to nerve damage I am active in Al-Anon and have a fairly good understanding of drug addiction, enabling and treatment. However, I believe the true problem in the prescription med mess are the doctors prescribing the drugs and the pharmaceutical companies reeping the financial benefits. I do not want my son to suffer and my heart breaks he has faced such hardship and dismal future. He once was extremely athletic, snowboarder and skier, and made the Dean's list in college. I am angry at his doctor for not enforcing a strict, written treatment plan with consequences to ensure he is not misusing his drugs. I also suspect he may be selling them as he has been denied disability twice now and only has his divorced parents supporting him. There will be no end to the horrors of the prescription meds mess until the government enforces consequences to the physicians and pharmaceutical companies that continue to profit from unresponsibly creating legal drug addicts that are only trying to escape their chronic pain. Most addicts are usually mentally ill and unable to make decisions for themselves. As a mother of two addicted sons, I can only recommend taking care of yourself, attend Al-Anon, stay in counseling yourself with a good psychiatrist who can guide you in the right direction, and seek out help with others connected to your family member (church, family, friends, doctors, jails, interventions) any way you can get your addict hooked into services. Trust me, it is a difficult battle and horrible to watch, but unlikely they can do it on their own. Keep praying...and ask all your family and friends to pray too. I understand the tough love approach, consequences, etc. but unfortunately with severely mentally ill chemically addicted individuals the right path is no where in sight for them. Also, your county health department may intervene if the situation is life threatening which may require a non-voluntary inpatient hospital stay. Any help is better than going it alone, having them angry at you is better than losing them.

Jan 27, 2011
Same predicament
by: Anonymous

My son is also in the same predicament. Bailed him out once, put locks on the doors inside our home so you needed a key to get out (almost like our own little prison). Allowed him no access to vehicles and he still managed to get drugs. Last week we had him arrested because he became aggressive and started punching his father. Now there is a protective order and he can't even call or see us but I now know that we cannot save him ourselves. We are leaving him in jail from where hopefully he will go right to a long term rehab facility. He is on a waiting list. I am afraid for him in jail but I think I would be more afraid for him as well as others if he were out. It is killing me inside but I am sure it is the right thing to do for him even though we miss him. When in his normal state of mind he is a sensitive, kind, caring person. Good luck to you.
Be strong!!

Sep 16, 2010
Check this place out it saved my sons life
by: Anonymous

Hi, my son was in the same boat. He is alive now, sober now and helping others in the field of addiction.

he went through this program in NC which accepts addicts from all over the USA.
The clinical director came 400 miles to my sons rescue and attended court and he did not have to go to prison. He did rehab in lieu of prison

Call: 888 553 6444 ext 1

I highly recommend this place and choose to remain anonymous for this is giving back in a small way for me.....

Sep 15, 2010
Let him sit
by: Anonymous

Hi, I am a mother. My son is in jail right now. He is an addict. This is his second time preparing to go to prison. Theft crimes. He started using at 17 and is now 31. He has lost his wife and son. You must remember that your son is a man and must be held accountable. It is hard for a parent not to help when their child says they need help. The manipulative mind of an addict counts on your love to enable them. Parenting an addict leaves only one choice, tough love. By not helping him, you may be saving him. This doesn't mean you can't accept a call or put some money in his account. He will thank you in time. Be strong for him. Good luck.:)

Mar 06, 2010
I'm afraid they're right
by: Greg A

I always find it sad to see loved ones falling into the abyss of addiction. Although she is still alive today, I lost my mother to prescription drug addiction as far back as the mid-50's.

It all started when she suffered a head injury during a car crash caused by my fathers' drunken driving. Soon afterward, following an eye doctor's appointment stemming from the accident, she fell down a flight of steps, seriously injuring her back. Before long she was being presribed several medications from 3 different doctors. She quickly lost all interest in raising her children, preferring instead to stay numb and detached from the world around her.

To lay the blame on the doctors would be to deny the fact that she manipulated them to obtain as many drugs as possible. She's still doing it, although it's gotten more difficult to play the multiple doctor game.

Indeed, a few years ago in the town of Chandler, Arizona, a young middle-class woman who had tried to purchase pain pills on a forged prescription was shot and killed at a Walgreens Pharmacy. The police officer who responded to the 911 call from Walgreens said he shot her because she tried to run him over. Charged with murder for the killing, he was acquitted by a jury.

In the cases of your son, my mother, the woman who is no longer there to raise her children and millions of others who live in the darkness of prescription drug addiction, who are we to condemn for their affliction and who are we to acquit? This question is not easily answered.

We do know this with certainty: it is the responsibility of the addict to find recovery for his or herself and no one elses, no matter how they became addicted. I know from my own experience as a recovering alcoholic that this is true. For years I blamed my parents for my addiction which prolonged my self-destructive abuse. However, they may have created an environment that encouraged 3 out of their 6 children to seek chemical relief, the addiction is still mine to overcome and no one elses.

I also know from experience that when my 2nd and 3rd wives quit enabling and allowed me to experience the full consequences of my behavior, sobriety became a lot more attractive. As difficult as it is to leave your son in jail and to look him in the eyes and tell him exactly why you're not bailing him out--I know because I put a daughter in jail twice and returned a friend to prison who was on the lam--the alternative is worse. If you soften the sting of the negative consequences you eliminate the only thing that's keeping him straight--incarceration--and you'll be teaching him once again that he can get away with his drugging because Mom will come to the rescue.

Stand firm on the "non-enabling" principal. Don't cave in and don't blame yourself. Addicts are very adept at exploiting the guilt that parents feel about their addiction so don't go there for his sake as well as your own.

Mar 03, 2010
I don't think you should
by: C-P

Hi Donna ... bailing your son out before hasn't made any difference, so by ensuring the reality of his actions hit home by him sitting in jail for a while, might give him the wake up call he so badly needs. Bailing out effectively means you're enabling. You know that's the worst thing to do for an addict. Of course it won't be easy watching your son sitting in jail, but showing that kind of tough love may in the long-term be the best possible thing for him.

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Drug Alcohol Help Parents Q&A Archive.


FREE E-Course

"10 Essential Steps to Ending a Life of Alcoholism or Drug Addiction ... Permanently!"

This Course is packed full of valuable information and advice for overcoming addiction that you're unlikely to find anywhere else.

And if you subscribe now - we'll throw in a Special eBook that will help immensely in your struggle against addiction.

Don't worry - your e-mail
address is totally secure.
Your details will NEVER be sold and you will NOT be spammed.

What is this?
Add to My Yahoo!
My MSN RSS button
Add to Google

Copyright © 2013 - - All Rights Reserved.