Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, a 850-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992 when he had a year sober. He's in his 27th year of recovery.

In these posts, he views life mostly through the lenses of recovery. While the blog is factual, he sometimes disguises events and people to protect anonymity.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Defending the Children

At times the parents of young addicts are as hard to deal with as the addicts themselves.

And this usually happens when when we discharge someone.

The client rarely tells the the parents what happened.

"They're picking on me."

"They're lying about me."

"Other people were doing the same thing I did. But nothing happened to them."

"I got in trouble for something someone else did."

It could be threats, drug use, or sexual behavior. Whatever the infraction, the former client won't admit responsibility. And the parent will take up the cause.

When they go on the defense they sound like a bunch of lawyers.

Why are we being unfair? They want to hear details. They want to talk about what other clients did. The focus is seldom on their loved one.

The conversation usually ends with them being unhappy along with their child.

With older clients - 35 and up - the story's different. By this time the addict has worn the family out. They've put up bail. They've loaned money. They've heard all the lies. They realize there's not much they can do.

And when they hear the stories of mistreatment they have their doubts.