This is for those parents who have been experiencing ups and downs with their teen/young adult son. You may be just like we were.
Lots of young people experiment with drugs. But, when people are predisposed to the disease of addiction, that experimentation may be just the beginning of a long road of substance abuse and destroyed lives.
When my son experimented with alcohol and pot, I thought it was “normal”. I got mad at him when I smelled weed, but he’d say he’d stop, and for a bit, things would get better. I was worried and upset the time he secretly drank with friends, got alcohol poisoning and had to be rushed to the ER at age 15. I was worried when he appeared to not be able to handle his alcohol at age 18 when we traveled to a foreign country, but again, we thought it was “normal” for his age and inexperience.
He went away to college and failed the first semester. Again, we thought, “well lots of kids go away to college and do poorly the first semester,” until he did just as badly the second, got kicked out of his dorm and ended up in an Arizona jail.
We brought him home, he almost immediately got a job, and he managed to keep a couple different jobs over the course of the next year or so. He was pleasant to be around, had a good demeanor and, while he clearly preferred to stay in his room by himself, he still spent a fair amount of time hanging out with the family—not the type of behavior that one would expect from an addict.
One day he totaled my car. Then the next year, he totaled his car. I once found that he had stolen some medication from me. After discovering that for the second time, I confronted him. A couple of days later, he admitted he had a drug problem and wanted to see a drug counselor. He saw the counselor for a few weeks before telling us that he needed to move into a sober living and recovery house in LA.
Of course, we were shocked. We thought: “Are we really at that point”? “Can’t this get better?” But when we considered all we’d been through with him over the past couple of years, we began to see that something was clearly wrong, and his life was out of control. The future wasn’t looking good. The next car accident could have been fatal. The next “experiment” could have yielded permanent damage. He would probably lie more and more, the stealing would likely get worse as he sought to support his habit, and our family relationships were headed for a place from where repair might be near impossible.
For those parents out there who have a son whose “experimenting” seems out of control, those who are beginning to feel that something really isn’t right, there is a great option for your son that can help him get his life back on track, learn to live sober and move forward in life.
My son moved into New Life House in Los Angeles and began a path towards a life that he can be proud of. He has a job he enjoys, has started attending college again, and best of all, he has a community of people around him that support his success and wellbeing. He now has friends who truly care about him and how he’s doing. The guys he’s surrounding himself with, as result of his time spent at New Life, will help him navigate the ups and downs of life, without depending on substances to numb everything. None of us can do it by ourselves.
The New Life program is simply amazing at addressing the serious issues, teaching young men to take accountability for their choices in life, and helping them learn how to enjoy life without drugs. They do all the things a parent would want to do, but they do it better because, well, they’re not the parent. They have many years of experience working with young men, have seen it all, and work to address individuals as individuals.
It’s not just for those who are court ordered to be there. It’s not just for those who nearly die of an overdose, or those whose parents have had enough and kicked them out. It’s also for those who can’t get their life on track because they suffer from addiction yet seem to be *sort of* holding their life together. Except, they’re not. New Life House is a program for any young man who needs more than a short-term rehab resulting in physical sobriety. It’s a program for any young man struggling with addiction that literally wants a new and better life.