Monday, February 29, 2016

Reader Question

While answering the questions posed by college students I was hoping it would spur thoughts or questions by readers. One reader posted a question in the comments and I would like to answer it now.

Anonymous Ask:

I have a question, does your son drink alcohol? I know that most programs say that a recovering addict should not drink alcohol and I was wondering what your thoughts on that were. I know when my son stopped using drugs, he did drink alcohol and then became an alcoholic but I'm not sure that is the case for all recovering addicts.

Yes, my son has an occasional beer at family gatherings and at the lake.

I am aware some addicts simply trade one addiction for another. However, my feelings are an individual that has worked their way through recovery has the responsibility to manage their recovery.

It is fair to voice your concerns if you observe behaviors that go against your personal values but nagging and making it a continuous issue I feel is destructive not just to the person in recovery but also in your relationship. I found the most effective way for a person to see the effects of their own actions does not involve another person telling them. My experience taught me that by providing "opportunities for discovery" results in a person internalizing an issue without words.

I go back to what are the most effective ways for a person understand their own behaviors? What got them to the point of entering recovery? That is what will happen if a person substitutes one substance for another.

The long and short of it is my son's recovery is his to manage. Only he truly knows the darkness in which he lived. He must manage his life in a way not to enter that place again.

If anyone else has questions I would be happy to share my thoughts. You can post them in the comments or feel free to email them to I will answer them here on my blog.


Tom Moore said...

I also believe my daughter's recovery is hers alone. I can provide a safe place for her to live and set my boundaries for her to keep her recovery first, but she needs to be in control. She was an IV heroin abuser, and now has 2 years clean from heroin, for which I'm grateful. Recently, for her 21st birthday, she and her boyfriend spent the weekend downtown. Was I concerned she might have had a drink (alcohol was never her drug of choice)...of course I was. Did I come out and ask her if she did? Absolutely not. She wasn't arrested, she came home sober, she went to work on Monday, and did everything she needed to keep heading in the direction of keeping control of her life. If I had asked the question did she drink, what possible good could have come from that? I'm proud of my daughter and her boyfriend that she met in recovery. They keep doing what it takes to be contributing members of society.

богдан ян said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Carrie Van Horn said...

I appreciate your honesty here. That is a tough question to answer, but like so many things each person has a journey that is a different road than someone else may have.

Anonymous said...

I've missed your posts. Thanks for these questions, helps to feel less alone.

karl said...

Hi Ron, A question for you.
As a parent of an addict did you learn things about yourself that led to questions and change within yourself.

John Adam said...

You have got some great posts in your blog. Keep up with the good work.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering the same thing. My son is coming out of a long term faith based program in November and I am truly scared to death. He will be 23. He is moving to a new state with us due to my job transfer. He seems to be different this time and really wanting but I know that every day will be a struggle. Thank you for your blog!