I am the mother of a currently incarcerated crack addict.

by Karen

I am the mother of a currently incarcerated crack addict. He has been living with this addiction for many years. During this jail sentence, I want to supply him with the tools he needs to be prepared when he is free to make his own decisions again.

That’s the problem. If the temptation is not around, he’s fine. But if it presents itself, he can’t say no. Trying to find him a pen pal that has been through the addiction and daily struggles.

Some one who can relate to where he is in his life, and prepare him for when he gets out, a realistic look is my goal. I want him to be prepared to be successful. Do you know any such groups/organizations? Do you have any ideas? Thank you for any guidance you can provide.

You Can Take Action

by: Ned Wicker

Dear Karen,

Rather than a pen pal, why not encourage him to make new friends and have people around to offer help and support. Your son sits in jail, but is he getting treatment?

Probably not, so when he gets out, he will still be an addict and will likely go back to using as soon as he is given the opportunity. The very least you can do is to call Al-anon and tell them your story. Their members are there to help you and offer support.

Meanwhile, your son can attend Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meetings and surround himself with caring, understanding people. Both of you need to learn how to fight this disease. He must also get a sponsor for moral support. A sponsor is like a pen pal but they are actually there in person.

I am sure he is going to tell you that he wants to stay clean and you are going to want to believe him. The trouble is you already know what he’s going to do, so don’t fall into that trap.

If he is at all serious about staying clean and living a healthy, productive life, he is going to have to take the necessary steps to ensure his well being.

If he puts you off about going into treatment, or attending meetings, or doing anything about his disease, you will know you’re going to lose the battle.

You need to set rules, boundaries and limitations for your son when he returns. He is going to need structure and you need to be committed to maintaining that structure.

You talk of him making his own decisions, but he needs to earn the right to make those decisions. He needs to establish a good track record first. I know you expect your son to act responsibly, but you need to inspect what you expect.

Make the call to Al-anon and learn what you can do to help him.

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