Son in jail awaiting sentencing?

by Jennifer

My son has been an addict for many years and is now in jail waiting for his sentence. December 19th is his sentencing. He wants me to support him.

The problem he is not a willing to be a participant in his recovery and needs mandatory rehab. I feel like jail is the only option for keeping him alive. I find it hard to support him.

What do I do?

Comments for Son in jail awaiting sentencing?

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Jail is often the best place for an addict because they can't use drugs.
by: Debbie Wicker

Dear Jennifer,

I'm so very sorry that you and your son are in this terrible situation. It sounds like his addiction has been a huge problem in both of your lives for a long time.

Addiction attacks the brain and changes people so that they make terrible choices just to get their drug of choice. Addiction is also often a fatal disease if left untreated.

I'm not sure what support your son is asking for from you, but if he is still unwilling to go to rehab then jail is likely the only way to save his life. This is such a hard choice but your son is the one who is making the choice not you.

You MUST avoid enabling his addiction in anyway. Getting him out of jail will likely enable his addiction and he will begin using the minute he gets out.

I think you need to fully support your son but do nothing to support his addiction. This is often very hard to do, but your son must know that you love him and that you are supporting him but not supporting his drug use in any way.

I also recommend that you immediately begin attending Al-anon meetings and working the 12 steps. Find two or three Al-anon meetings a week in your area and start attending them.

Once you begin working the 12 steps and finding a sponsor, encourage your son to also start a 12 step program too.

Al-anon will help you learn to make the difficult choices needed to help your son but to avoid enabling his addiction in any way.

Good Luck,


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