Hello – I just found your blog and I am thankful for it. Does POA stand for Parent Of an Addict? I feel so lost – my son is very young and I can’t help but feel that there is something I can do to encourage him to live a sober life. The previous blog posts you mention are very helpful. My son is still in high school and has put us through so much pain and heartache the past year. He has had several bouts of 3 months of sobriety in the past year, and has tried AA, but is not committed to continuing the program. We have been looking at Practical Recovery as an alternative. He of course does not want to do anything, but my husband and I can’t sit back and continue like this. He just wants to be a “normal teenager” and he pretty much has been coming and going and doing as he pleases. Mostly it pleases him to come home during the week, but come the weekend it pleases him to be obstinate and difficult. He is prone to run away and has even told us that he is fine with living homeless. All because he can’t follow our house rules. We have drawn a line in the sand and are insisting that he abstain from smoking pot and drinking. His dad has said it’s a zero tolerance policy. I just want him to finish high school. I am so lost. Your post on How Not To Help an Addict really resonated with me. I ordered your book on Saturday and look forward to reading it. Thank you for your blog posts.
God bless you and thank you for reading and reaching out about your son. POA does indeed stand for Parent Of [an] Addict. I can’t tell you what to do but I do believe that ultimately there is nothing anybody can do to stop an addict. He will only change when he becomes willing to change. However, I have seen some stubborn types reluctantly go to treatment and get hit by something along the way, so anything is possible.
That said, what I would do is simply tell him that you love him and that what he is doing is killing you and breaking your heart, and also that if he continues using, he will experience indescribable suffering and depression down the road. Life will get tougher and tougher and he will begin to lose all things precious in life.
Many of us, when we are young, have no idea what we are bringing upon ourselves by using drugs and drinking alcohol. We have no idea of the long-term damage we are committing to ourselves. Sadly, when we are young, we haven’t suffered properly yet, but one thing parents can do to help their child suffer (counter-instinctual, I know, but necessary) is to remove things that help them not to suffer, remove things that make them comfortable and help keep them deluded about the effectiveness of using drugs. Remove all sources of comfort, be it time, love, money, etc. Keeping an addict comfortable is keeping him or her sick and therefore passively helping to kill them. Hate to be so blunt, but that’s the truth.
I will certainly pray hard for your son today, and I am very grateful to you for coming here and reading and sharing.