What Can I Do to Help my Son Stay Clean On His Return Home from Drug Rehab?
(Rosman, NC, USA)
My 19 yr old son will be coming home from his first (and hopefully only) drug rehab program. He sounds wonderful and is hopeful he will be successful in staying clean. He has been there for 90 days.
He has been studying his Bible and has written me lots of letters saying how sorry he is for hurting the family and for making us worry about him so much. He was addicted to Oxycontin for about 2 years.
He has been in trouble with the law and has to deal with all of that when he gets out. I want to support him without being too pushy. The last thing I want to do is hover over him and drive him into relapse.
Has anyone been through this and can you help me with what to expect when he gets home, or what I can do to help him get back into society as a sober individual? My biggest worry is the fact that we live in a two red light town and there is very little to do around here.
The drug problem is HUGE among kids around his age as well as adults. Several have died due to overdose or murders related to drugs. I am praying for him daily, but what else should I do? (There are no NA groups in our area.) I would appreciate any help and advice.
You hit the nail on head when you said you don't want to be too pushy or hover over him to make sure he's staying clean.
Your son needs to be given freedom to find his way and figure out how to go about building a successful life in recovery for himself. Let him know you're there for him and that you'll support him to stay clean however you can, but apart from that there isn't a lot you can do.
The biggest challenge for your son is going to be to do the things he needs to be doing in an environment where this is very little support ... because there is no 12 step program like NA in town.
Successfully staying clean from drug addiction involves actively working an addiction recovery program
like the 12 steps taught at NA and AA. So maybe you can help your son find alternatives or ways to get to meetings, even if it means travelling to neighbouring towns and having to spend a bit of time driving?
Your son staying clean needs to be his absolute priority - so it's definitely worth having a chat to him about what his plan is for achieving that, bearing in mind the additional challenges he faces by living in a small town where there won't be much support and temptations are considerable. But the bottom line is, where there is a will there is a way, so if your son is determined enough, he will figure out how to make it happen.
Something that is important for you to do is establish healthy boundaries so that your son learns to start living with the concept of responsibility and living with the consequences of exceeding those boundaries. But other than that it's about you having to learn to let go and let your son figure out to build a successful life for himself.
He's obviously very determined to leave a life of drug addiction behind him, but only he can make that happen, so you simply have to trust that everything will work out how its meant to in the long run.
Best of Luck.