My step-son (28) is coming home from a detox center in the next couple of days, and I'm looking for advice. Although we will be getting him into a residential facililty, there may be a "lag time" where he's home for a few days to a couple of weeks and will need to stay with either us or his mother and step-dad. We're very nervous about it. We don't know what he will be like (now that he will be drug free). We have his cell phone which has countless messages to and from the people he purchased from - who he owes money to (we can tell by the context of the messages). The phone is in our name and we're thinking about just canceling it, because we don't want him to be tempted to talk with these people. Do we impose rules that he can't leave the house? He's lied to us about everything for the past year and obviously feel that we can't trust him. I hope that trust will come in time. We are looking into Alanon meetings and I'm sure we'll get helpful info. there, but in the meantime, can anyone help??
Hello K, sorry to hear about your stepson but glad to hear he's made the first step (detox) and is willing to go to inpatient treatment. I have a similar story. My son is 30 and, earlier this year, informed me he was hooked on heroin. He had been living on his own, so I had NO CLUE that he was doing anything more serious than smoking pot. I was devastated. He had no medical insurance, but I was able to help him get on temporary Medicaid and get into detox. Unfortunately, he didn't respond well to the "therapy" aspect of detox -- at one point, he apparently was demonstrating to the other patients how to shoot up. (He's very immature.) So, when he said he didn't want to stay after detox for rehab, I just let him come home.
He's still with me. He has his own car and a job (not a great job, but a job nonetheless). I haven't seen any evidence that he's using again, but it's not like I'm taking drug tests on him. He spends his time usually at work or at home. I don't hound him or grill him. I try to keep things peaceful and supportive. I can only hope that he's learned his lesson. He's got some personality issues, which make things very complicated....for example, I am not encouraging NA meetings because I think he's too immature to handle them. He'd probably share drug stories. But regardless, he knows that I will not put up with drug use again. I just pray he meant it when he said he never wanted to go through withdrawal again.
Anyway, back to your situation, I would definitely NOT give him back the cell-phone. Tell him you cancelled the service....and maybe you should do that. I would want him to stick pretty closely around the house while he is waiting to get into rehab. It's not a time to be going out....he can't be trusted not to want "one last high". Especially if he's been through detox (the high will be better now) and knows he's going into rehab. Believe me, I know, 'cause I did it myself back in the day. So that would be my suggestion....keep him under close watch and don't let him manipulate you.
I hope things work out for you and your family! Please keep us posted..?
Hi NP - Thank you so much for your reply. This is all so new to us and it's very overwhelming. We, too, had no clue about the extent of his addiction. I hear a lot of talk about enabling, which obviously we've done in the past (I need some extra money, etc., etc.). But for the present situation (when he'll be home after detox), what do you (or anyone else who'd like to give an opinion) consider enabling? We brought him to us from his apartment 200 miles away when he agreed to get help (Sunday). He was a student with a part-time job. We have found out that he has sold everything he owned to buy drugs. He has nothing. It's devestating. He even needs clothes.
We intend to tell him that he needs to understand that right now, we do not trust him at all. He'll need to earn that (and boy, does that seem like a LONG time from now).
I'm thinking that when he's here for that in between time, we act as though this is a rehab facility. No car, no phone, do chores, no leaving unaccompanied, etc. I hate to have him cut off from everyone (he does have some friends here from high school), but I just don't know who to trust. Even having a friend come to visit at our house - how do I know someone's not going to sneak him a pill or a joint? What's even worse is I know that this is just the beginning...
Yep, I hear ya....my son had given up his little efficiency apt. (that I helped him find) and moved in with a friend....then the friend threw him out because of the shooting drugs (of course he didn't tell me he was doing it intravenously, I found that out later)....anyway, he wanted to stay with me a few days and "chill out"....then I find out he's on heroin, homeless and living in his car.
Anyway, there's a fine line between enabling and being supportive, I guess. I think you're on the right path with the "rehab" idea....he can stay with you while he's waiting to get into rehab, but no money, friends, going out, etc. He needs to earn that trust back. He may not feel good physically after detox (if it's a fast detox) so maybe you could cut him some slack on the chores, IF and only if he seems still under-the-weather. But I still would make sure he understands (before he comes home) that this is not a vacation; this is a serious issue and he needs to just be pretty much house-bound until rehab. Addicts are very manipulative, so just be on your guard.