February 8, 2024

My Son Is on Drugs, How Can I Help Him?

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Dealing with a drug addict son is an incredibly tough situation for any parent. We all hope for our children to have the best possible lives, but these hopes can feel shattered when faced with substance abuse issues in the family.

The difficulty doesn’t end with just discovering the addiction, though. In fact, this is often the starting point. It continues until your child decides to seek treatment. But what if your son denies having a problem or actively rebels against the idea of getting help? As a parent, what can you do? 

If you are confronting substance use issues in the family, read on to discover how you can help a drug addict son connect with evidence-based addiction treatment near you.

Helping an Addict in Your Family

Supporting a family member who is struggling with addiction involves a mix of compassion, understanding, and setting boundaries. 

Perhaps the most important starting point is to learn as much as you can about addiction, recognizing it as a chronic brain disorder rather than a choice. The more you know about addiction, the more effectively you can help your son unpack substance use issues and recalibrate his life. 

Open and honest communication is key. Approach a family member who is abusing substances with empathy, being mindful to avoid judgment or blame. Encourage them to seek professional help but understand that they should decide for themselves to engage with professional treatment. 

Offer your ongoing support for their recovery journey, but make sure to set clear boundaries that protect the well-being of yourself and other family members. Remember that taking care of yourself and seeking support for your own emotions is just as important as getting your son the help he needs.

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My Son Is an Addict, What Can I Do?

Finding out that your son is struggling with addiction can be heart-wrenching and overwhelming. It’s a situation that needs careful, compassionate handling. 

Understanding addiction

Educate yourself about the nature of addiction and its effects. Understand that addiction is a chronic brain disorder, not a choice or a moral failing. This knowledge can help you empathize and respond more effectively.

Opening lines of communication

Initiate conversations with understanding and concern, not anger or accusation. Give your son the space to share his feelings and experiences without judgment. Let him know that your efforts stem from love and concern for his well-being.

Seeking professional help

Gently suggest professional help and offer to help in finding appropriate rehabs. Consider speaking with addiction counselors or therapists for guidance on handling the situation if you are unsure what to do next.

Setting healthy boundaries

Define which behaviors you can accept in your son and which behaviors you will not tolerate. This helps protect your well-being while not enabling his addiction. Consistently uphold the boundaries you set. This consistency will help your son to understand the gravity of the situation. Supporting means helping your son in ways that encourage recovery, not actions that streamline his addiction (like giving money that could be used for drugs). Promote activities and habits that support sobriety and overall well-being.

Taking care of yourself

Look for support groups for families of addicts. Sharing your experiences with others in similar situations can provide comfort and advice. Also, take care of your physical and mental health – you can’t pour from an empty cup.

Preparing for the long journey

Recovery is a long and non-linear process due to the relapsing nature of addiction. Prepare yourself for the ups and downs. Acknowledge and celebrate the progress your son makes, no matter how small.

Dealing with a son’s addiction is a difficult and emotional journey, but remember that there is hope. Through understanding, compassionate support, and professional help, you can guide your son toward a path of recovery. Your unwavering love and support, combined with the expertise of addiction professionals, can make a significant difference in his life.

How Do I Set Boundaries with My Addicted Son?

Setting boundaries with a loved one struggling with addiction can be remarkably challenging, but it’s essential for the well-being of all family members. Here’s how to approach this sensitive situation:

  • Educate yourself about addiction: Recognize that addiction is a chronic condition that affects behavior and decision-making. This understanding can help shape the way you set and enforce boundaries.
  • Communicate clearly and calmly: Use “I” statements. This means that you frame your concerns from your perspective rather than directly accusing your son – “ I feel worried when you drive after a party”, for instance, is more effective than, “I’m sure you drove home after drinking!” 
  • Set appropriate boundaries: Clearly state which behaviors are acceptable and which are not. Consistency is key to maintaining these boundaries.
  • Establish consequences: Make sure that the consequences of crossing boundaries are known, realistic, and enforceable. Follow through with these consequences if boundaries are crossed.
  • Seek support: Consider speaking to a therapist or counselor for advice tailored to your specific situation. Engage with groups of people who are in similar situations, such as Al-Anon or other family support groups.
  • Practice self-care: Engage in activities that promote your own mental and physical health. Don’t feel guilty if you need to step back and take time for yourself now and again.
  • Encourage professional help: Gently encourage your son to seek professional help, emphasizing the benefits of rehab and therapy for recovery and teh drawbacks of failing to treat a progressive condition like substance use disorder.
  • Know your limits: Understand that you can provide support, but you cannot control your son’s actions or force him to change.

Setting boundaries is not about controlling your son but about taking care of your well-being and creating a healthy environment. It’s a delicate balance of showing love and support while not enabling destructive behaviors. Remember, while you can play a useful role in your son’s recovery journey, professional help from rehab and mental health facilities often provides the most effective path to long-term recovery. For more guidance and support, consider reaching out to local mental health or addiction recovery centers, which can provide resources and support for both you and your son – here’s how you can achieve this.

Getting Treatment for Drug Addicted Son

Here is a framework that may help you to get treatment for a son addicted to drugs.

Starting the conversation

  • Choose the right time and place: Find a calm, private setting to discuss your concerns without distractions or interruptions.
  • Express your concerns lovingly: Use empathetic language and express your worries from a place of love and concern.
  • Avoid judgment and blame: Approach the conversation without judgment, focusing on your son’s well-being rather than casting blame.

Exploring treatment options

  • Research treatment facilities: Explore a range of treatment centers, focusing on those that specialize in drug addiction. Your choice should be informed by the type of addiction, the philosophy of the treatment program, and its success rate, as well as other factors like cost.
  • Consider the level of care needed: Different levels of care, such as inpatient, outpatient, or intensive outpatient treatment, cater to varying degrees of addiction severity. 
  • Involve professionals: Engage addiction specialists or therapists to help determine the most suitable treatment approach for your son.

Providing support during treatment

  • Encourage commitment to treatment: Reinforce the importance of sticking with the treatment plan.
  • Stay involved: Participate in family therapy sessions if available. Your involvement can significantly impact his recovery journey.
  • Educate yourself and your family: Understanding addiction and the recovery process can help you provide better support.

Post-treatment support

  • Plan for aftercare: Recovery is an ongoing process. Discuss aftercare options like support groups, continued therapy, or sober living environments.
  • Encourage healthy lifestyle changes: Support your son in adopting a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise, a balanced diet, and positive social interactions.

Maintaining hope and patience

  • Be patient: Recovery is often a long process with potential setbacks. Patience and continuous support are vital.
  • Stay hopeful: Celebrate small victories and progress. Maintaining a positive outlook can help both you and your son move beyond this challenging phase of life.

Confronting drug addiction in a family member is a profound challenge, but with the right support and treatment, recovery is possible. Remember, professional help from rehab centers and mental health professionals will increases the chances of sustained recovery for your son. As a parent, your support, understanding, and encouragement can make a significant difference in your son’s path to recovery. Call 800-994-2184 for immediate assistance.


My son is on drugs, how can I help him?

If your son is using drugs, approach the situation with compassion and support. Effective drug addiction parenting begins with educating yourself about education, initiating ongoing communication, and helping your son engage with evidence-based treatment.

How can you help someone get off drugs?

To help someone with addiction get off drugs, offer your unconditional support, encourage them to seek professional treatment, and connect them with rehab or counseling resources. Remember that recovery is a challenging journey, so be patient and supportive.

When do I give up on my drug addict son?

Rather than giving up on a drug-addicted son, stage an intervention to help him receive the care he needs to initiate a full recovery from substance use disorder.

group of friends celebrating representing Dealing with a drug addict

Get Help for Your Addicted Son at Gratitude Lodge

If you require help for a son who is addicted to drugs, reach out to Gratitude Lodge in Southern California.

Your son can engage with our supervised detox program to help him withdraw from drugs safely and comfortably. Continuous clinical and emotional care helps streamline the intensity of drug withdrawal.

Following detox, your son can spend a month or so participating in immersive inpatient treatment at one of our beachside rehabs in Long Beach or Newport Beach, CA. All addictions are unique, so your son will enjoy a personalized blend of therapies that may include:

  • Talk therapies
  • Holistic treatments
  • Family therapy
  • MAT (medication-assisted treatment)
  • Group therapy
  • Individual counseling
  • Aftercare planning

Get immediate assistance for a son addicted to drugs by calling 800-994-2184.

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Joe Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore has been working in the addiction industry for half a decade and has been writing about addiction and substance abuse treatment during that time. He has experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.
Jenni Bussi

Jenni Busse MS, LPCC

Jenni Busse MS, LPSS is the Clinical Director at Gratitude Lodge. Jenni oversees the clinical program and the clinical team at Gratitude Lodge as a whole. Jenni has worked in treatment for almost 14 years. Her background as a licensed therapist and her passion for helping others intersected with addiction recovery when she started working primarily in detox residential treatment.

Drug detox can vary according to the patient’s addiction factors, including the substance abused, how long the addiction has lasted, the patient’s medical condition, if any other disorders are present, and more. Our skilled and credentialed team at Gratitude Lodge work closely with every patient going through drug detox, facilitating the beginnings of a successful recovery at our rehab addiction centers in Orange County, CA.

Drug detox can vary according to the patient’s addiction factors, including the substance abused, how long the addiction has lasted, the patient’s medical condition, if any other disorders are present, and more. Our skilled and credentialed team at Gratitude Lodge work closely with every patient going through drug detox.

Many patients don’t realize the toxicity of prolonged alcohol abuse and how it affects the body. Alcohol detox at the luxurious rehab addiction centers at Gratitude Lodge leeches your body of these toxins in preparation for successful treatment for drugs and alcohol abuse. Alcohol detox may not take as long or produce severe withdrawal symptoms, but it is still an essential beginning to your recovery.

Many patients don’t realize the toxicity of prolonged alcohol abuse and how it affects the body. Alcohol detox at the luxurious rehab addiction centers at Gratitude Lodge leeches your body of these toxins in preparation for successful treatment for drugs and alcohol abuse.
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Holistic Therapy

Our holistic therapy treatments offer a full-scope approach to recovery, addressing your mind, body, and emotions as part of a comprehensive treatment plan. This therapy is designed to help address underlying issues and integrate alternative therapies to promote overall health and well-being.
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An essential part of your treatment experience, we offer individual (CBT and DBT talk therapy) and group addiction treatment counseling to help you explore and address the emotional component of addiction, providing you with the tools, self-awareness, and empowerment you need to maintain recovery.
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Dual Diagnosis

Dual Diagnosis is a highly effective addiction treatment that addresses substance use and mental health disorders simultaneously. Often co-occurring, these disorders are best managed when treated together with specific and targeted therapy.
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Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

Medication-Assisted Treatment provides you with FDA-approved medications to help ease the symptoms of withdrawal while you’re in treatment. This makes the detox process easier and safer, as well as increasing the chances of a successful recovery.
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Sober Living

Sober living provides a supportive and substance-free living environment for your ongoing recovery. We partner with a number of upscale and carefully vetted sober living homes that are available to our clients after inpatient alcohol and drug addiction treatment.
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Outpatient Treatment

Once detox and inpatient are complete, we provide an easy transition to outpatient care through our hand-selected partners. This program offers a more flexible approach, allowing you to ease back in to daily life while still receiving frequent & effective care.
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Inpatient treatment provides an intensive and comprehensive addiction treatment program in a structured environment. You will receive 24/7 expert care, therapy, and support as you build your foundation for long-term recovery.
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Drug & Alcohol Detox

A crucial first step in the recovery process, our detox program provides a comfortable, medically supervised environment that addresses the physical aspect of addiction and eliminates substances from your body.

Use Our 24 Hour text line. You can ask questions about our program, the admissions process, and more.