What do you do when you put adult son in rehab with their bills?


Well-Known Member
Hi TTBS, and welcome. You will find some great support here, from parents who have been or are in your situation. More will probably be along shortly to share their perspective.

I totally understand your exhaustion. Six years is a long time for you to be carrying this burden. Maybe it's time to put it down. We want to help our children so badly, but we can't carry their burdens for them, especially not when they are adults. It's not good for them, and it's not good for us.

Much of your son's anxiety and depression may very well be linked to his alcohol use. Treatment of those conditions really won't be as effective until he gets sober, and once he does get sober he might find that those conditions are much more manageable.

Maybe you are projecting a lot of "what ifs" into a situation that isn't definite yet? IF he agrees to go to rehab, then the apartment situation can be figured out, but I think that's not really high on the list of priorities if he is borderline suicidal and needs rehab.

IF he goes to rehab and completes the program, he likely will be given some options on housing, perhaps even through a sober living arrangement. In my opinion, it will be best for his recovery if he is the one to take responsibility for figuring out those things on his own. He might want to make many changes in his life.
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Well-Known Member

Welcome to the forum.

It sounds like you may be a co-signer on your son’s lease. If so, you are probably want to protect your credit.

Most apartments allow the tenants to break the lease by paying two months rent. The laws probably vary by state, so I would check to see what it is in the state where he resides. You could also clandestinely make a call to the apartment complex and ask them about their policy.

If you aren’t on the lease, I wouldn’t worry about it.

Someone will have to clean out the apartment or pay a moving company to do it. If he doesn’t have much of value, maybe he would consider donating what he doesn’t need, especially if he is in a long-term program, to save on storage.

I would make sure the utilities, cable, internet, etc. is turned off. This all an be done after he is in the hospital or rehab and stabilized.

Your son would need to find out what kind of benefits he is entitled to from his company’s HR department. You can inform them if need be. He may be cover by FMLA. The job may or may not be there when he comes back. Right now, his recovery is more important.

I wouldn’t worry about your son’s credit card bills. I’m sure he isn’t the only person in rehab who has bills to pay every month. If he has money, I’m sure he will either pay them himself or give someone access to his account. If he doesn’t have any money, they won’t get paid for a while. He won’t be the first person this has happened to. It isn’t the worst thing in the world.

I would want to have as much information as possible, if it were me. It will make things less scary if you know what is ahead.

Keep us informed on the situation.



100% better than I was but not at 100% yet
YOU nor his girlfriend can stop him from drinking. You are trying to control the situation from 1300 miles away. That is literally impossible.

We are mothers but we cannot live our children's lives for them. I know you are very worried, I would be too but in reality he has to figure this out for himself.

I had to accept at some point that my son could die from his addiction before he got help. That was a very hard thing for me to accept but once I did accept it, it made me stronger. My son still could die from his addiction although he has been sober for five months and is in a long term faith based program.

Most people that abuse substances have to hit rock bottom or close to it before they can decide to change their lives which means that things have to get worse before they can get better. Maybe his girlfriend leaving him will be what he needs to truly get sober for good.

By you making yourself sick with worry it will not help him at all, and will certainly not help you.

I realize you need to do what you need to do to be okay with all of this. I just wanted to offer my support and give you a few things to think about that helped me.

We are here for you and we do get it.

Tanya M

Living with an attitude of gratitude
Staff member
I'm so sorry for the anguish you are feeling. It's the worst kind of pain to watch our adult children spiral out of control but please understand, you cannot rescue him. At 23 he has a really good chance of turning things around. Nothing for him will change until he chooses to change it.
You have to do what you are comfortable doing but really think about it before you act. Take some time to step back, do some slow deep breathing and once your spirit is calm, then look at what you are wanting to do for him.
One of the hardest lessons to learn is that "helping isn't always helping" Of course we don't want to see our children suffer or struggle but it's through the suffering and struggling that they grow.
Don't be too quick to swoop in and take care of things for him. Offer him suggestions of what he needs to do and go from there. It can be too easy for us as parents to go in and take control without realizing that we are not allowing our children to suffer natural consequences of the choices they have made.
It is a delicate balancing act for sure.
I know you are scared but there are many of us who have been where you are and our children have managed to get through their trials.
Hang in there and let us know how things are going.


Roll With It
Rather than worry about the bills before he is even thinking about rehab, why not start going to Alanon yourself? Addiction is a disease that makes the entire family sick. The whole family ends up needing treatment, not just the alcoholic. One of the absolute best things you can do for your son is to start dealing with your codependence as soon as possible. That is the name for the part of the sickness that the family gets, codependence. It means you take on a lot more responsibility for his life than you really need to, and you have to learn to give that back to him, to let him be independent again.

You can read Codependent No More, which is a truly wonderful book. Seeing a therapist who is experienced in addiction and codependence is a good thing. Just make sure you are comfortable. It can take a few tries to find the right therapist, so don't feel bad if after a couple or three sessions you decide to find a different therapist because one said something absolutely stupid to you. You might double check that what they said was ridiculous, that it isn't your codependence talking, but it can take a few tries to find the right therapist.

Alanon is also a wonderful resource. Meetings are held at different times and places in most communities. You should try several different meetings so you find one that you are comfortable with. Each meeting has a different dynamic. It is a resource that will help you as you help your son. In fact, if you go to Alanon, it will increase the chances that your son will eventually reach long term sobriety by a great deal.

All of these things will be helpful so that you will be able to respond in a healthy way when the time comes that your son actually has to deal with his girlfriend leaving and any other crisis in his life. You will also have other people you can bounce ideas off of to see what is reasonable and what isn't. Of course we will be here and will always help, but having more resources is never a bad thing!