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.
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 email@example.com. I will answer them here on my blog.