No denial now. What's the best course of action?

Well, there's no denying it now. One of our customers gave us a check that we thought we misplaced so I called her and she said it was cashed but it bounced. We didn't get notified of any check bouncing so I asked her to send us a copy of the back of the check to see who cashed it, and it was my 28 yr. old oxy addicted son. I can't deny it any longer. Before we had suspicions but this is in my face now. I have proof and I can't avoid it.

I'm not sure what to do. Do I give him a choice of rehab or jail? What he did is a felony. I called rehab places that his insurance accepts and there is one that could possibly take him on Monday so I'd have to wait to confront him on this.

or do I just pack up some of his stuff, leave it on the porch with a note saying I love you, I'll support your recovery, but you can't live here anymore and show him a copy of the check he signed for and give him the number for the rehab place? Thanks.


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Hmmmm its a hard choice I think. You dont actually have the option of jail..... that will be up to the court system. You do have the option of going to the police and having them file charges. I say this because whatever you decide to do you need to be clear and be able to follow through. You cant follow through with jail as that will be out of your hands, but you can follow up by reporting it to the police.

So I am trying to think this through with your choices are:

1) Go to the police without warning him and let them charge him. Hopefully they would. Then it is out of your hands. He will probably be angry with you for doing it but it does give him a very clear message that you will not tolerate that kind of behavior. Generally as a victim of a crime the DA will consult with you about consequences and you could let them know you want him to get treatment. One problem though with the court system is it moves very very slowly.

2) You can talk to him and give him the choice of going to rehab or your reporting it to the police. This might get him to go to rehab..... and it might not. If it doesnt you have to be willing to follow through and go to the police and not buy into all his pleas of how he will stop on his own etc etc.

3)You can tell him he has to leave, that you are not willing to have him live there. You can do this as you say by leaving him a note.... personally I would do this in person, but be willing to call the police if he refuses to go or really acts up. In a way this is a pretty natural consequence of him stealing from you and his drug use.
I will say from experience having your son be homeless is really really hard and things might get worse before it gets better.

My sense after writing all this out is that you should have a conversation with him, making it clear that you are no longer in denial. Show him the check. Let him know you know what he did and then give him his options which I think basically are to move out or to go to rehab.Ultimately he will make the choice. Good luck and keep posting, we understand.
I appreciate you for helping me think this through. Thank you. It's exactly what I need.

You're right about the jail part. He might not get jail. It was the check cashing place that told me it was a felony, but now that I think about it... I don't know whether they meant it was a felony for my son to cash it, the check was made to cash... or for the customer to write the check with not enough funds in her account. I don't want to get my customer in trouble either especially since she made good on the check. Okay.. so I'll skip the jail part. I could threaten to turn him in to the police although I really hate the thought of him in jail and what might happen to him there. So, I think i'll leave out the threats of jail, or calling the police because I don't think I could follow through with them. I'm going to have to go to the check cashing place and make good on that check though to protect my customer.

He does have to leave the house though. I guess I'll wait til my husband is home from work tomorrow and we'll sit down and talk to him and tell him he's got to leave the house and why, and I'll give him the rehab places phone number. I'm not going to do it today because I want to change the locks first and I'd like to have my husband here in case it doesn't go well. I wouldn't hesitate to call the cops if he gives us a problem.


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I think waiting until your husband is home is a good plan....shows a united front and is just safer. You are sounding like you have a clear plan which is great.


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Toughlovin has pretty much covered it so I wont rehash the whole thing. I will point out one thing though. Until an addict goes to rehab on their own and with the sincere desire to beat their addiction it wont work. Even then they will backslide from time to time.

When any of us talks about manipulating our children into rehab, I think about where I work. Offenders take self help classes all the time. Some do it just to kill time. Many are forced to do it. Some do it from a sincere desire to change. Of the voluntary programs, the vast majority of those participating are doing it simply to scam the system, to look good for the Parole Board. They know exactly what to say, how to act, and how not to act. They wont change because they don't want to, its that simple.

And make no mistake about it, offering either rehab or arrest is a manipulation. Not saying that its underhanded or dirty, but when we do that we are implying that not going to rehab means jail time. Some buy that or are afraid of the possibility so will grudgingly comply but the will fail more often than not because it isn't what they wanted.

Im not berating anyone for trying this, just pointing out that you aren't offering either a carrot or the stick, just two different sticks where one may or may not hurt more than the other.

Good luck on your decision to remove your son from your house. My wife and I were forced to do that as well. I can tell you from personal experience that it wont be easy after the fact. Read the article on detachment and practice it. Then read the article on detachment and practice it. Rinse and repeat over and over until he finally gets it that your home is YOURS, not his. You are his parent, NOT his keeper or personal maid. Instead of Location, Location, Location think Detachment, Detachment, Detachment. He is a grown man. Remember that.


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I would call the police and report it. Everything else is up to him. Even if he doesn't receive severe consequences he should face whatever they are. Rehab is on him, he is an adult and I agree you can't force him into anything, but ignoring this check thing will just make him think he can do it again.


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Hi S&F,

Glad you are back.

One thing is for certain--he needs to be out of your house SOON, along with his friend (who is probably no better).

What does your husband want to do about this?
I'm not going to call the police and report the check stolen. I don't want to be the one to send him to jail if he would even get jail time which I doubt and as the others pointed out, the wheels of justice are slow. I think he'd get off anyway because the check was made out to cash and it would be his first offense.
If he ends up in jail for something else that he's done or does in the future, well, then that's on him. We are making him leave the house though. Hubby is still sleeping because he worked last night so I have to wait til he wakes up to do anything. I'm not even going to offer my son an either or situation. I'll just give him the info on the rehab places, and a number to call if he needs to find a shelter. I even started getting out the winter clothes and I started packing a bag for him. As his mom, I feel better doing it that way.
But the bottom line is he definitely can't live here anymore. I don't even want him here. He's a thief and a liar and I won't put up with that. Where he goes or what he does once he's gone is up to him.

I am concerned about what he'll do once we make him leave though and if he'll try to break into the house. I bought new locks for the outside doors.. alarms for the windows and I found out how to change the entry code for the garage door so that has to be changed before we make him go.

Am I forgetting anything? My husband works nights so I'm here alone in this huge house and I'm a little afraid.

edited to add.. I read the article on detachment. .. after I called the rehab places and started packing his bag. I know I'm making that part easier on him but I really do feel better having done that. I'l just pass along the info to him and if he chooses to use it, well, then good. If not, that's his choice. Thanks for posting that article.
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Hi Apple, I just saw your post. Hubby wants him gone out of the house but is willing to drive him to rehab if he chooses to go.. which I doubt. I thought the friend was a decent guy, but now I'm beginning to suspect that he knew what was going on all along.

What kills me is that they're both so funny, polite, charming, personable, helpful. Everything you'd want in a son and house guest. But, it's all an act and I'm not falling for it anymore.


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It might make you feel better if you gave him info on local shelters and 'soup kitchens'. He an his friend might know these options better than you do, but they might not, I don't know.

Are you and hubby going to confront him (them) together? A united front may be best, letting them know that they can't pit you against each other.

I would acquaint myself in my mind with the arguments and justifications that they might present, and be ready with your response. You don't have to explain yourself, and "NO" is a complete sentence, but they may come up with something creative to try and throw you off your game, buy them some time. Don't fall for it. In the end, your son stole from you and your customer, putting your business and family at risk. Don't let that happen again.

The last time my step-son lived with us, (he was an adult when this happened) when we were putting him out after repeated and flagrant violations of the rules, he dropped a bomb on us. He claimed he had been molested as a child by a male babysitter. This threw a wrench into everything, but ultimately changed nothing.

We will never know if it was the truth or a stalling tactic, but I do have my suspicions.

Anyway, stay strong. Let us know how it goes.

It sounds terrible to admit but a situation like this check being stolen is what I was looking for actually. Before when things went missing there were always other possible explanations. But when we got this check from our customer she asked us to hold it for a week so she'd have enough in her account to cover it.. So, I stuck it on the fridge and then my husband put it in his pocket and then we couldn't find it. There was always the question in the back of our minds.. Did hubby deposit it? Did hubby accidentally throw it out? Did he put it somewhere else and forget? Even my husband wasn't sure what happened to it. We all searched high and low for it.. even my son and his friend searched which should have been a clue right there but anyway, It was only when I called the customer to asked if it was cashed she then told me she got notified that it bounced. So, I asked her to send me a copy of the back of the check because we knew our bank never notified us that it bounced. So, I have the back of this check with my son's signature and phone number on it. There's no way he can worm his way out of this one.


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I wanted to respond a little to what Jabberwockey said. On the one hand I agree with him.... real change comes when the motivation is internal to the person rather than external (ie parents or the legal system). But I think when you are talking about a teen there are benefits to giving them the option of rehab even though they might not take it as seriously as you want them to. My son has been to many programs, we have been doing this gig for years and clearly most of the time it was to get out of trouble, get out of jail, to stop being homeless etc. etc. Until this last time and now it is coming from within him, and his attitude is totally different.

But those times in program did give him some clean time and did give him some time not using drugs.... and especially in his early teen years I think this was important in terms of his brain development..... and I also think our recognition of the problem may have saved him from going much deeper much faster. He is still alive after all..... and I also think letting him know we would be there for him when he wants help made a difference to him when he spent time in jail and other times because I think at some level he knew he was loved. There was a time when I thought all that was keeping him from becoming a hardened criminal was the love of his mother.

And it was interesting because in talking to the therapist at the last treatment place, he was ahead of others of his age group (and older) in terms of how he handled treatment. He knows the ropes, he knows a lot of fhe stuff, he knows what works and now that he is actually serious about recovery that gave him some insight.

This is all to say that dont have high expectations for rehab if he doesnt really want it, but I still think it is worth pushing him off his current track. And I do think there are some who once they get into treatment, stop using drugs they reevaluate and decide they do really want help.
Toughlovin, my son is 28 yrs. old. We'll offer to drive him to rehab but I doubt he'll go. It's his choice. At the moment I don't really care as long as he's out of the house. Maybe being homeless for a while will change his mind. I sound so hardened, don't I? I love the young person he used to be, but this man who he's become has hurt me so much that I feel disconnected from him. I think of the laughter we used to share and wonder if that was real or was he just playing me. Is it the drugs that allow him to steal, lie and manipulate me and others's or is it his personality? and that question scares me because I don't know the answer to that.


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Sorry about that... it is hard for me to keep track of whose kids are younger and whose are older. My son is younger as he just turned 24 but has been doing this stuff for years.

So I think what you are doing is exactly right. You may sound hardened but you have to be for yourself and also for him.

It is hard when they are actively using to tell what is what and who is who. Drug addicts will do anything to get their drugs and that includes lying, stealing and major manipulation. So certainly drugs will do that.... only when he is clean and sober will you be able to tell what is really his personality. I must say I like my son a lot better right now that he is clean and he seems less manipulative than he was.
Apple, We both want him gone and out of the house. That we agree on. It's the approach that we have to work on. I thought hubby and I were on the same page last night but obviously we weren't.

My plan was to sit my son down when he got home, show him the check with his signature proving that he's a thief so he can't worm his way out of it, give him the list of rehabs that take his insurance and tell him to leave. Nicely and calmly.. But hubby is angry and just lit into him the minute he came home about not paying him back the $20.00 that he borrowed the day before. (before we had proof the check was cashed by son) Son got angry. There was a lot of yelling and bellowing and then everybody went to bed. So, son is still here. My husband has to leave for work this afternoon and won't be home til tomorrow morning so I may have to put this off until Monday. I don't really want to tell my son to leave when I'm here alone.

A dad

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By the way when it was said that the justice system moves very slowly it means years again years. Is that a option?
Also its kinda tricky so how can you prove you did not gave him the check without dragging the process way to much. The thing is it becomes your word against him and in my experience these things end with no resolution.
Better just kick him out you get out way cheaper.
Help.. I just told him he had to go and told him about the check he stole and cashed. He admitted he stole it. He cried, he promised, he's got nowhere to go, he claims he paid the check cashing place, he swears he'll never do it again. He swears he's not on oxy anymore, swears he'll go on suboxen. He cried some more, admit's he's a screw up and wants to change, hugged me and cried some more. I told him we'll talk more when his dad wakes up. My resolve is weakening. I saw my real son I think, but maybe it was all just bullshit.


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been there done that sad. I can't tell you what to do I can only tell you that those times pulled at my heartstrings also. We knew from previous experience that she may have been serious at the time but her addiction to alcohol and pot trumped her resolve. If he is really serious he will agree to go to drug assessment with follow up to rehab if required.


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My resolve is weakening. I saw my real son I think, but maybe it was all just bull:censored2:.

What you saw was your son manipulating you. As long as he's on the Oxy, he will do this. Until you see positive change for a long time, its probably just more manipulation. We went through this time and time again with our son and despite the promises to change, his negative behavior continued. Oh, he would behave for a few days but would always go right back to his old habits.