The family has booted them out. They might have health problems. Maybe they're on parole. Have hepatitis C. No job or money.
After a few months they leave clean. They leave successful. Some have started college; others may have restored family relationships. Most have jobs. Life is brighter.
Then I get sad news today. I hear of a man in his early twenties who left more than a year ago - against program advice. His mother missed him. Mailed him a plane ticket home. She thought he'd "learned his lesson." Was sure he'd no longer return to heroin. But he did and was recently found dead of an overdose.
He made great progress while with us. Was beginning to understand the challenges he was facing. Yet, he accepted advice from his mother, a woman who had some idea that he should come home because he'd "learned his lesson."
There's no doubt she loved him. But sometimes we love our kids to death.