Rehab friends

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by comatheart, Feb 4, 2014.

  1. comatheart

    comatheart Active Member

    When my son was in treatment I remember them talking about how unhealthy it was to continue friendships with those you were in treatment with.

    My son also had some serious setbacks while there when he developed a crush on a girl who was on another team. He broke many rules to talk to her, or walk with her, and didn't care about the consequences. His counselors were shocked at his behavior. Basically, he was obsessed with her, kind of like he gets when he wants to use drugs. I do not know her doctor, but a relationship with someone like her could be detrimental to his recovery, no?

    He has been home now for nearly 2 months. We have a home contract and hes been doing well. He recently earned the right to have a cell phone again. (We continue to retain all passwords and it has no internet access) I had done well to not go snooping....thanks to Alanon, I know that will do me no good. UNTIL yesterday, he got his phone taken away for the night because he was on it after he was supposed to shut down for the night.

    All his texts had been erased but there are 3 contacts I am pretty worried about...
    1. A boy from his team in rehab that hes talked about quite a bit.
    2. Someone named "Emergency contact" that he calls a LOT.
    3. A girl, M with an out of state number. 97% sure its the girl from rehab!

    Should I get worried??
  2. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    This was always a big concern of mine also. My difficult child was told in rehab that she had to break contact with all her old using friends. She did not and she relapsed quickly. She also broke all the rules in rehab regarding male/female contact and we know she was able to have some sexual contact with a few of the guys. It was an awful situation, she was 19, young and really cute and as soon as she walked in the door the guys just felll all over themselves trying to get to her and she loved it. When she got out she maintained contact with several of them. All but one either wanted sex or to use again with her. The one that didn't really liked her for her and I was so hoping they would develop a relationship. He was committed to staying clean and I was hoping they would help each other in that regard. She didn't like him that way, he has been clean for almost three years now.

    The problem is when they get out they are suppose to surround themselves with others in recovery. I had to come to terms with that and finally realized that it was safer to be with those who were in recovery than those who weren't. My difficult child's substance of choice was alcohol, just about everyone in the outside world drinks so it would be hard for her to stay sober.

    I know many of the girls my difficult child was in the sober house with are now in relationships with men in recovery and doing well. They keep each other clean/sober and go to meeting stogether. It al depends on whether the people he is in contact with are in serious recovery or not. My difficult child also made more drug contacts in rehab and I was very glad when she finally cut off contact with them.
    I knew from snooping through difficult child's phone and facebook which contact were good and which weren't.

    How is your difficult child acting? Is he going to meetings and does he sound like he is serious about recovery?
  3. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Thats interesting.... I dont think my son has ever been told not to be in touch with people he has met in treatment. My sense is that friends made in treatment can be either positive or negative depending on whether or not they stay in recovery. Certainly they are people that our difficult children can relate to and that can be positive.

    The issue of women though is a whole other ball game.... that is an issue for my son too.... attraction and trouble but as an adult I have no say in the matter and always hope the girls are a good influence (and someimes they are.... and sometimes they are a disaster).

    I think all good coed programs do not allow sexual relationships while they are in treatment.

    I think in this day and age with social media it is unrealistic to think that people will not stay in touch..... and so maybe instead of just saying no there needs to be more focus on how to go with good influences and not bad ones.

    I have no idea if you should be worried or not.....because we dont know anything about the people he is in touch with. I think it is natural for him to want to stay in touch with people he connected with, especially in this day of super internet connections.

    So I would base my worries or joys on how he seems to be doing in general. Is he keeping to your rules? How is school? Other interests? Sleep patterns etc.


    Sent from my iPad using ConductDisorders
  4. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I don't remember ever being told that difficult child should stay away from others that she was in treatment with. In fact, they have an alumni group that meets monthly although my difficult child doesn't go.

    I do remember that they were told to stay away from having romantic relationships for the first year. I don't think any one of them kept that rule. I don't know how you can keep 20 somethings from romantic entanglements. Sadly, when the relationships go bad, it is often a trigger for relapse.

    My difficult child got in trouble for spending too much time with a guy while she was in residential. I don't know if it became physical or more of just a preference for spending time with each other but it was considered a breach of the rules. She went to visit him a few months later against our wishes and hasn't mentioned him again. I guess the reunion did not go as well as she expected.

    As Nancy said, they are encouraged to spend time with others in recovery. It is a two edged sword, though. When one relapses, it can adversely affect the others.
  5. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I don't want to be misunderstood. I was referring to their old friends back home that they were encouraged to stay away from. They were encouraged to make friends and support with others in recovery, however they needed to distinguish between those who were serious about recovery and those that weren't.

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  6. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    Hi there,
    Yes, I think being romantically at this early time in recovery with a fellow "sick person" can trigger a relapse. I have even heard it referred to as "step 13" or "13 steppin".

    It's so easy though to have deep, powerful, relationships while in rehab or AA circles because of all of the personal information that gets shared between people.

    Unfortunately, alot of young people in "recovery" seem to be there in beauty contests or trying to entertain one another...not in taking copious notes and learning the tools and new thinking to help navigate through life.

    I would not be worried if your son has otherwise been doing well. Maybe ask him about some of the relationships he has and what they are doing to stay sober? I think I would want to know what they are learning together and how they are helping one another.

    All in all, it sounds like your son is doing well for the most part. Mine relapsed pretty soon after rehab and continued on a destructive path. It doesn't sound like this is the case for your son...I'm so glad.

  7. comatheart

    comatheart Active Member

    Thanks guys! He is doing well, so I'm going to hold onto that. ( I'm also going to be very thankful this girl lives 100's of miles away!) I'm going to bring it up with his counselor and see how he thinks we should approach the subject with him, if at all.
  8. comatheart

    comatheart Active Member

    We had a counseling session yesterday and brought it all out during that time. difficult child seemed caught off guard, but didn't get defensive and answered our questions. He claims the girl is the one from rehab and is doing well in her recovery. She attends an Alternative Peer Group in TX. It sounds pretty likely she attends the same group that his school's APG joins up with for quarterly retreats. OH BOY!! Thankfully, the counselor said for their next retreat in March, they won't be able to join them because of the logistics. (BIG sigh of relief from mom and dad here!!)

    The boy from his team he's kept in contact with has relapsed. I wish he would just delete his number from his phone. I don't know why he kept it. I'll ask him when the best time presents itself.

    The "Emergency Contact" , he claims happened the other day he was messing with his phone in his pocket at school and ended up accidentally calling 911 several times. It might explain why that name appears in his call log several times. Wouldn't 911 show up if they were called several times like that? I'm not sure I buy the story but the Counselor said Alec had previously mentioned that happening.

    Overall, it went well. The topic of having a relationship so early in recovery was discussed and hopefully he paid attention!

    I guess it's good that he knows we're still watching him so close.
  9. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I can remember going through difficult child's phone and deleting certain contacts I felt were bad influences when she got out of rehab. Crazy huh? I was possessed. The 911 calls, hmmmm I thought they always showed up but if it's from a cell phone maybe they can't tell where it is so it's possible. Do you have Verizon? I know with them you can look up online and see all the calls he makes and check out the numbers. But I'm not sure I suggest that since I drove myself crazy.

    I like the family sessions, gives you a chance to air things out.