Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, an 850-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992, when he had a year sober. He's in his 28th year of recovery.

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

Friday, December 12, 2014

Doing Nothing

Once in a while I talk to parents who spent their life savings putting their child in treatment programs. Some have sent them to treatment more than once.

While I feel the love that drives them to mortgage their future, I tell them it's a waste of money to keep helping.

While my advice may seem blunt, sometimes parents need a jolt of reality.

If we keep giving and giving to an addict child who continues to use, then we're foolish. I don't give this advice out of inexperience. I have addicts in my family who get nothing from me when they're using except maybe directions to a detox center.

Most of the addicts and alcoholics I know finally got sober when things got bad enough. They were in physical or emotional pain. They'd gone to jail. Divorced. Ended up in the hospital or on the streets.

When they realized people were done rescuing them they began to change.

Sometimes doing nothing is the best help we can give an addict - particularly one who's not ready.