Kicked out of Rehab, now What!!?


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My son is definitely not going with the program. The residential treatment home he was in, took his cell phone and my son stole it back so they kicked him out. He called last night saying he was on the porch with his bags packed. Bawled to my husband begging to come home and that he was at his bottom and doesn't want this life, making tons of promises. He had no where to go, no car, no money. Husband picked him up and right away son tries to negotiate other options. Wanting to live with us and go to day treatment. Admits he even had someone bring him heroin to the residential home and used there!! I am so angry and disappointed!! Currently he is at the chemical dependency center asking for help. His counselor is suggesting another SLE (didn't work last time). My son just wants a place to live and probably use. We are completely against it. I don't trust him at all. So, we are hoping he will get into ANOTHER residential treatment home. But honestly, if he doesn't want to get clean, he won't. I just don't know what we're going to do with him.


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LMS this is going to sound very harsh but it's not your problem. As long as you and your husband keeps picking him up he will continue to expect you to. This is where you need to put your hard hat on and walk away. I KNOW how hard that is, it rips your heart out. But this is not the first or second or third time he has done this. His tears are manipulation. I wish there was something you could do I truly do.

But having said that I am here for you, whatever you do.


Active Member
Oh dear, I'm so sorry to hear this, as I fully understand the glimmer of hope you had that this would be the time he "gets it" and stays clean. I think addiction is definitely the smasher of hope, and we just have to get used to that unfortunate fact. I was so proud of my son when he'd been clean for 8 months (was on house arrest), and he swore he wasn't going to use again. We found out later he'd started using again, and we stopped letting him drive our car since we assumed he was driving it to get drugs. He said we should continue to let him drive since his so-called friend had been delivering the drugs straight to the house! (We didn't buy into that logic.)

It's so hard to know what to do, but I think the other advice is probably the wisest. If you can stay strong to resist the manipulation, he'll be forced to deal with his own problems and their consequences. I know this is easier said than done, and I'm actually not a great example of this, but am still working on learning to detach in love.



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But honestly, if he doesn't want to get clean, he won't. I just don't know what we're going to do with him.
Until he wants to be clean, there really isn't anything you can do. I think that you must insist that he go through treatment and tell him that he can never live in your house again. The reason being, if he thinks he can return home whenever he fails a drug test, he will keep failing the tests. You don't have to mean it when you say he can never live with you again. You only have to mean that you will not live with an addict again. In other words the point of saying "never again" is to send a message that the rescuing is OVER!


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I agree with all of you. I am really done this time and I told my husband that. He completely agrees. The counselor at the chemical dependency department offered our son to go to a 6 month work residential home but our son refused. So my husband gave him his packed bags, phone and broken car and kicked him out. Told him he may never live here. Then, the last rehab called and said they were going to press charges because my son broke in the directors office to get his phone and he took his medical records. He could go back to jail. We are using this as leverage and told our son, you better go to the 6 month rehab so they don't press charges. I believe he is back with the couselor right now. I'm praying he goes.. and I'm praying he WANTS change, I totally get it that without his own desire to want to get clean we can go absolutley no where. Thank you all for the support. The drama continues...


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Oh LMS1 I so so feel for you and know what you are going through. My son has been in so many programs and rehabs and sober houses and been kicked out so many times I have lost count! I do think every time he did learn something but man it has been one heck of a road. Where we got to is that we will help him if he is doing the next right thing and helping himself and we wont if he is not. He knows he cant live here. So his pattern was to get kicked out, then be on his own somehow (including spending several months on the street) until he finally was willing to get help and then he would end up in a progam do well for a while to then get kicked out again. I have finally really gotten to the point this is his journey, not my journey. He has to de decide what is best for him and I have to let go and not try to convince him of anything... but of course being clear with my boundaries and when and how I am willing to help. He is now living across the country, has a job and seems to be doing better than he has in a long time. He is not in a program and I am pretty sure he is not completely sober.... but I think he is losing less than he has in the past. I dont really know but he is working full time nad overall seems like he is in a better place. He has not gotten into any real trouble (that I am aware of since he has been out there which is huge).

So I think you are doing the right thing.... he needs to find his way. If he comes to for real help to find treatment you can help him do that but I wouldnt have him live with you, or give him cash.

I know how heartbreaking this is and I am sorry you are going through this.


one day at a time
LMS1, I am so sorry. Regardless of the actual situation---and you already know the drill---it hurts badly and keeps you tied up in knots when this happens. I don't think we ever get used to it, although we have been through it over and over and over again.

It's impossible to understand, because we are not addicts. I doubt they understand themselves either. I believe they actually want a different life, many times, but they won't/don't/can't do the sustainable daily practice of hard work and change to make it happen. The lure of the drugs is too great.

In Al-Anon, there is a brochure about the Merry-Go-Round. See the link here to the text:

I remember the first time I read this brochure. It was the first time I was in Al-Anon for about 18 months when my ex-husband and I were in the throes of his disease. I felt like I had come home. My ex-husband had been blaming and denying and victimizing and changing the subject----we were going round and round and round. This brochure---this simple thing---helped me more than I can ever tell you. I knew then I wasn't crazy, as he kept telling me I was. I was living in the middle of crazy, because addiction is a family disease, and we are all affected deeply.

Where we got to is that we will help him if he is doing the next right thing and helping himself and we wont if he is not.

I like the way TL said this. What is the next right thing? If that is what my difficult child is asking for, I may help with that, but if not, no.

Sometimes it is very hard to even know or figure out what the next right thing is. We get so caught up in their drama and we react, because we love them.

Setting very clear boundaries with him about your communication is one way to begin. Because being always available via phone or text or email or FB, and always responding, just keeps the merry go round turning.

We have to get off the merry go round, and stop reacting, and start deciding what we will do and what we won't do, regardless of what they do. We have to disconnect. That is where the detachment with love comes in.

We love, we encourage, we are kind, but we don't "dance the dance." They can't dance if they don't have a partner.

And that is where there is a space for something new to happen, maybe. Maybe.

We have to be the ones to change. For most of us, that takes such a long time to understand, and then even longer to start to do it.

That's okay, LMS1. That is okay. We get it when we get it, and we can't get it before we can get it.

Neither can they.

Today, just for today, write down a few small things you would like to start to practice. Whatever those are. Let writing a gratitude list be on that list...just take five minutes to write down a few things you are grateful for. It will change your view for the day and then, you might be able to take a few steps forward in setting those boundaries that will be so healing for you....and we hope, for him one day.

Warm hugs. We are here for you. We so understand.


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Ahhh, such wisdom and support here. It is comforting I must tell you all. In fact, my daughter and husband both told me I have changed and I'm much tougher. It used to be my husband who was always the tough one and I was always the compassionate, softy. It's due to the knowledge you all have given me. Even my son calls my husband instead of me now. Anyway, my son did decide to go to rehab. It's a 6 month, faith based, work program, lock down. He was gonna go yesterday but wanted to detox with his girlfriend. I was against it but as we all know, I don't have control. We had an impromtu intervention with my daughter, his girlfriend and me yesterday. We all laid it out there, got emotional and in the end, after he resisted, he too broke and gave me his cell phone and car keys and promised all of us that he would go in today. Now, I wait. My hope is there, but I'm afraid. I will let you all know if he goes. But again, even if he does go, will he stay? This is such a roller coaster of emotions. I printed the Merry-go-Round from Al-Anon, thank you Child of mine I will read it and share with my family. Thank you all, I read every word and appreciate the hugs.


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I think figuring out the next right thing requires some flexibility on our part. In fact I think being a parent of an addict means you have to learn to move with the shifting sands under our feet! So there was a time where the next right thing for us meant getting into some kind of treatment. We were always willing to help him get into treatment... although how much we were willing to pay for diminshed over time. At this point my son is not in treatment but he is working, living across the country. And things have happened and come up for him where he needs a bit of financial help.

I feel like the absolute best thing for him right now is to keep working, to keep learning to be responsible. And that will be much much harder if he cant pay his rent.... I think being evicted would really set back the progress he has made. Plus I really really dont want to go through him being on the streets again because that was absolutely the hardest time for me. So for me right now the next right thing is to keep working and to keep being responsible as much as he can for himself. I am not even discussiong substance abuse or treatment with him. This is a new place for him and a new place for me.

Now we may get to thtat place again where the bottom line is treatment....

So I guess what I am saying is helping them do the next right thing depends a lot on where they are at. I think it means looking at the here and now and not thinking too far ahead in the future./

LMS1 I am so so glad your son decided to go to the 6 month residential program. That is probably the best thing for him right now.


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Thanks comatheart! He is! We saw him today and he has changed so much in 10 days! God is working in his heart! I'm super happy! He said he will stay until God lets him know what he wants him to do next. The program he's in has been so good for him and I'm grateful! I love my son!


I'm happy to read things are going well so far. I really hope he's reached a point where he's sick and tired of the addiction and is ready to make an effort to change. Best of luck.


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Thank you Rina! It's a huge relief that's for sure.. But time will truly tell. I'm trusting God. And Rina, do everything in your power to stop your son, he's only 16.. There is hope!


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Late to the party!!! Glad he made this rehab choice. I have learned not to get overly excited/optimistic too early as the night is young and the work immense and attitudes change. This is from my daughter. However, yes, today he is safe and in a good frame of mind. And he has another chance to try to fight an ugly demon of a drug. Hoping with all my heart and soul that he can make it this time. Relapsing is common. It does not mean defeat. Nor does early compliance mean he can stay on the right road. Or will want to. But I sure pray he's tired enough of the sad ride that he is ready to do all he can to kick addiction's tail and win! He can do it. My daughter was on meth. If she can kick it's butt, your son can kick his demon's butt too!!!!