What To Do With an Alcoholic Son?
My son went in the Navy in 2007. He recently got out after 4 years of a 5 year term. He went to alcohol treatment twice, including a 30 day treatment program at a very reputable treatment facility in FL. The very weekend he got out he got drunk. As a result, he got kicked out of the Navy and came home.
We told him he could live with us provided he stay sober and get help. He's been home since April (4 months) and just about every 30 days, he binges or gets drunk. He recently got a DUI and totaled his car. We kicked him out of the house and he went to a friend of his house and went on a huge bender.
When I found him and brought him home, 2 days later the person he was staying with killed his girlfriend. Caught up in everything, we brought our son home again hoping for the best. Since, he has gotten drunk several times. He actually went about 40 days at one point without drinking, but we went away overnight (1 night) and again, he got drunk.
We have tried to help, we have threatened to kick him out again, we have tried just about everything. How do you follow through with kicking your son out of the house for continuing to backslide and getting drunk? Do we kick him out? He has nothing, and we don't know what to do?
You're going to have to accept that until your son is totally ready to commit to a life of sobriety, he's simply going to continue doing what he's doing. And the best/fastest way you can help him reach that point is to stop enabling and start holding him accountable for his drinking.
That means if you create a consequence - you have to follow through. Don't create a boundary, i.e. he has to stay sober if he wants to live at home, and then don't follow through on it if it's crossed. Because that sends out the wrong message.
Your son needs to be clear on what the boundaries are, and what the consequences will be for crossing them - and he has to know that you'll follow through, no matter what.
So its about time that you give your son the choice ... stay sober, or find somewhere else to live. Make it clear that you love him, but that he needs to take responsibility for his alcoholism and overcoming it. It takes work, effort and commitment ... and no one can do it for your son, but himself.
That's why there can be no more excuses and 2nd chances. Show your son you're serious, and hopefully if the consequences of his drinking become unpleasant enough, he'll realise its time to commit to a life of sobriety.
P.S. It really is hard having to deal with your son's alcoholism especially considering what he's been through. So to make it that bit easier I've penned a book called Help! My Child Is An Addict
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