How long do I continue to try to help?

March 9, 2016   Jon Wells

Dear Jon,

How many chances do I give my 24-year old son? He keeps relapsing and always comes to me for help afterwards. He has been to treatment three times and each time he finishes treatment his sober time increases. The treatment center keeps telling me to stick by my son, but it doesn’t seem to be working. I’m not sure what to do anymore and looking for guidance.


Lost in my son’s cycle of addiction

Dear Lost,

I’m cheerful that you reached out to me, I know it can be scary to open up sometimes. This is a question I hear frequently from other mom’s with addicted sons, so rest assured that you and your son are not alone. I want to be upfront and honest, I am and always will be a huge advocate of treatment centers. I went to treatment in early 2011 and it taught me the basics of the 12 step program. It taught me how to work with others while sober and helped me work out many of the mentally exhausting problems I had.

After I left treatment, I relapsed three times. Each one of my relapses were contributed to finance and romance. I could never see that it was those two things keeping me from getting sober because I didn’t want to see them. Once I did, I saw it shine so brightly above my head that I thought someone had cast a thousand overhead lamps at me at once.

The tricky part is knowing if you should put him back in treatment time after time. I would go with what you’re comfortable with. Just because your son relapses does not mean he is a failure, it just means he needs more tools than he learned prior to his relapse to fight his addiction. Just because he failed the test doesn’t mean he’ll fail the class. Eventually and hopefully it will ‘click’ and when it does Lost, it will be a glorious.

Stay the course, Lost, love your son unconditionally and never give up the good fight while making sure you are taking care of yourself as well.

You’ve got this,


Loading Conversation
Recent Posts
Dear Jon, My youngest son, 22 years old, has been sober for 6 months. He wants to go back to college…
Dear Jon, How many chances do I give my 24-year old son? He keeps relapsing and always comes to me…
Dear Jon, I have been sober for almost 3 years from alcohol and drugs. My ex from 13 years ago…
Hi Jon, I am the mother of three children, one of whom is an alcoholic. Sandy is 22 and has been…
Dear Jon, I am a single mom with a 42 year old son who is an alcoholic. I’ve been going to Al-anon…