Should I Keep Paying for my Relapsing Son’s Treatment?
We get a lot of questions from concerned parents who are shelling out a lot of money to help pay for their adult or teenage child’s rehab treatment. One of the more persistent themes with this demographic is about the chronic relapsing. If your mid-twenties son keeps relapsing but he’s asking for more help, do you continue to send him to expensive drug treatment programs only to see him backslide again? Or do you adopt a “tough love” policy and cut him off as a way of communicating a message that he can’t keep relying on your support to get him through this?
While there may be plenty of instances where an addict is taking advantage of a free ride or when a person needs “tough love” to shake them out of the rut, when you’re dealing with addiction treatment you have to accept that it’s a long process of periodic backsliding just to get further up the mountain. It’s a tough climb and no matter how strong or committed a person is, there will be difficulties and relapses. The real question is about how committed they are to continued betterment.
Someone who isn’t interested in quitting the substance abuse is a candidate for getting cut off from pricey cash flows for rehab programs. However, if your loved one is actively working toward sobriety, it’s very important to continue treatment. Each time he goes to a meeting, talks to a counselor, or even talks to you the parent, little seeds of recovery are being planted. You may not see the fruits of those seeds for years but every little (or big) nudge you give gets the person a little further up the road toward recovery.
An abusive relationship where someone relies on your sympathy to get money for more drugs is a dangerous and toxic situation that really shouldn’t be supported. But continued support for someone who is struggling is never a bad thing. Get your loved one as much therapy and treatment as possible within your means and the results will show over time.