Addiction: Living with an Addict Community
When to help
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WELCOME TO THE ADDICTION: LIVING WITH AN ADDICT COMMUNITY. This patient support community is for family members and loved ones of people who are substance abuse addicts. Discussions cover how to help your loved one, enabling, coping with the emotional impact of addiction, intervention, and when to seek medical help. If you are not a family member of a substance abuse addict and instead need help with your addiction, please visit our Addiction: Substance Abuse Community to get the support you need.

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When to help

My son is 23 and a heroin addict for 4 years. His addiction has taken him through multiple rehab admissions, sober living arrangements and county jail twice. He has not stayed clean for more than a few months at a time and also has not used for more than a few months at a time without being either jailed or admitted to another rehab. This last time he was clean for a month and using for a month before he was arrested again.  He is in county jail after being arrested today and is again telling me if I post bail he will go directly into a rehab. I will have to get a bail bondsman and arrange for him to go to rehab again,I have never paid bail but always agreed to help him if he wanted to get clean. Now I am not sure if helping him get out of jail and into rehab is the right thing to do. I want to help him if he wants to get clean, but don't want to enable him to avoid the consequences of his actions. Every issue he has had is directly related to his addiction.  I'm hearing my family and friends telling me to do this or do that and I am trying to get down to what is best for him despite how I feel. I'm deeply conflicted and reading your posts is enlightening. Thank you
9 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_m_tn
Jail is no place for a sick person. It is for criminals. Addiction is a disease. He belongs in the care of medical professionals - not cops. Get him out.
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1235186_tn?1339127464
hello and welcome. wait not so fast with bail him out, it depends.
did he complete the other rehabs?
how long were the rehabs?
is he facing jail time?
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi  well I went threw this with one of my kids she hit the street at 13 and was a meth/crack addict she had several run in with the law at first I would do everything to keep her out of jail but after a few weeks home she was right back out there my wife wrote a letter to the judge to throw the book at her and he did he told her. ''im placing you in Juvenal dentition till your 18 that 2yrs for probation violations but mainly to keep you alive and so your parents can sleep at night it was the best decision we ever made they must hit rock bottom if we continue to rescue them they will only get worst with time  this very well may keep your son alive....Gnarly
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Avatar_m_tn
I have been to prison and I ama 26 year old addict. My opinion is that this addiction makes us pull our loved ones in until we create more than one victim. You remind me of my mom. The mother who will help with any issue and take any phonecall from her kids. This quality makes you an excellent mother but also an excellent meal ticket for an addict. If you let your son stay in county I believe it will be for the best. It took him 4 years to walk this far into the woods and its going to take some time to walk back. Let him sit and withdraw. They gave librium to help with withdrawal and if it gets too bad they have a medical unit most likely.
Im sorry for your familys struggle. I will pray for your son.
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8976007_tn?1400955760
jail is best because right now he will say anything to get out so he can get his next fix. you know where he is, you know he won't overdose on heroin tonight, you know he is safe.  
rehab only works when THEY want it.  he doesn't want it, he wants out of jail. i went through this with my son as well.  i really feel for you.  to this day, i still cannot watch any shows like locked up or scared straight.  it brings me right back to where you are.  
my son is alive and well. don't know if he would be had i bailed him out
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you for the responses. My son does well in rehabs but when he gets out he can't stay clean. Today they raised his bail to 50,000 and his charge is robbery. He is accused of stealing a drink from CVS and when the employee tried to restrain him he pushed the employee. He is telling me to use the public defender because he states that once they see the video they will drop the case. I'm so afraid as this crime carries a possible 5 to  10 year jail term. A lawyer is $7500.00 and the bail bondsman is now $5000.00. I will not get any of that money back. Such a dilemma. Enabling or assisting his recovery. He is begging me to get him out and send him to a rehab.
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1235186_tn?1339127464
Let him sit there til his court date. Ask the judge to mandate him to a rehab.
They will try anything to get out is right. Don't put up any money that you won't get back.
Yes they do well in rehab. The real test is when they leave and are responsible for their own recovery.
He needs a long term program. Did you get my message?
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8976007_tn?1400955760
my son was high on drugs, with his girlfriend (who i hated) at a party.  he said he went to the bathroom and when he came back their 'friend' was kissing his gf.  he said he thought he was trying to rape her.  he punched the kid one time in the eye.  my son is 6'7" and 190 lbs.  
he crushed the kids eye socket.  i got a call in the middle of the night from the homicide department.  i am still not over that shock.
anyway, they charged him at first with attempted murder.  he was 17, but they were charging him as an adult.  i did not get him a lawyer, nor did i bail him out.  he was possibly facing life.  they later reduced the charges to 1st degree assault and he served a year in prison (juvenile prison).  
he is VERY scared to get in trouble now.  he see's a cop and goes the other way.  
i understand your fear and i have been in your shoes.  
do NOT bail him out.  let the system do what it is meant to and if what he say's is true, that he tried to steal a drink, then he surely will NOT be facing robbery charges.  the employee had no right to restrain him over a drink, to be honest.  
they are putting the fear of such serious charges to scare your son straight.  
there is NO WAY that is going to trial.  should be a shoplifting charge, he will get time served and then he can go to rehab.
the reason rehab has not stuck in the past is HE HAS TO WANT TO GET CLEAN.  nobody can force anyone to stay clean.  
he has to get sick and tired of being sick and tired.
my heart really breaks for you though and you will be throwing your money away trying to help him right now.  
our prisons are FULL right now.  they are not going to give someone 15 yrs for stealing a drink at cvs.
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8976007_tn?1400955760
now had he tried to rob the pharmacy for drugs, i would believe he would face the robbery charges.
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