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.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Adult Children

We get another call from a parent about a middle-aged son. She wonders if we can help him with his drug problem. She says she's no longer able to care for him.

And we tell her that of course we will. So she says she'll talk to him and see if he's willing - then get back to us.

This happens more than one would think. Parents at retirement age who are still caring for their children. Children whose handicap is addiction. Something that's treatable.

My advice is that it's okay to confront an addict. Many of them think the son or daughter will no longer love them. That they'll take the confrontation the wrong way. Then maybe not talk to them anymore.

But reality is that a parent gets little love from an addict. They're too busy taking care of their addiction to offer much more than lip service to anyone else.

My experience is that when parents tell an adult child to get clean or go somewhere else, the problem is solved.

Sure, there might be sore feelings for a while. But an addict who has no one to care for him has a couple of choices: homelessness or recovery.

And if he makes the right choice his whole world could change.