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I’m worried he may never recover

Joe Herzanek, Author, Addiction Counselor and Interventionist

Joe Herzanek, Author, Addiction Counselor and Interventionist


Hi Joe:
I purchased your book in Jan. I read it from front to back several times for more than one reason. It was so full of information I wanted to make sure I absorbed it all.

My 20 year old son has just entered rehab for the 3rd time. We have tried to send him to the best places and so far have spent $30,000.00. He is addicted to Oxycontin. I had so much hope the first few times and now I am starting to realize what a stronghold this drug has on him. I am worried that he may never recover.

I am also feeling so much guilt and keep looking back to try and figure out what I could have done differently when he was growing up. I’m constantly convincing myself that if we had only been more firm with him, had more rules, if I hadn’t been a working mom and put him in so many daycares, things would have ended up differently (he wouldn’t be addicted to Oxycontin). I know that I’m just trying to find a way to ease my pain and guilt. Do you have any suggestions?

–Guilt-ridden in Minneapolis

Sorry to hear about your son who is addicted to Oxycontin. I’ll get right to the point. He doesn’t need another rehab to go to; he can completely stop using pain meds if he wants to–and you didn’t cause his addiction.

His age is a big issue. Most treatment places won’t even take him because he’s an adolescent. They have learned over the years that the success rate for treating adolescents is abysmal. He needs to feel the pain and consequences of his use.

I would use the tough love approach if it were me. Foster Kline’s book, “Parenting Teens with Love and Logic” is a book you should also read.

If the “want to” is there, your son will be able to quit. Your job is to make it crystal clear to him that you love him and will help him on the journey to recovery. And you will not do anything that keeps him from growing up and becoming a mature adult.

This is a process that will take some time but needs to begin now! The longer you wait the harder it will become. He will fight this in the beginning, that’s just the way it is. “Do you love your son enough to let him be mad at you?” I hope you do because that too is part of the process.

Seek some wise counsel for yourself as well.

Best regards,

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