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If We Kick Him Out Will Drug Use Worsen?

Beanie Night on the street

Member mama read something that indicated asking your Loved One to leave would increase their drug use…

"I have read that sending kids out of the home, increases their drug usage by 30%. I am worried that my son will go from adderall addiction to something worse. How do I live with the decision to stick to my boundaries (of no drugs in my home) when I know that usage could become much worse?"

I am not aware of a study that follows adult children out of the home and finds increased drug use. I could see where it could lead to more drug use if the only choice of where to go once out of the house is into the arms of gangs, peers who use, and/or the streets.

When we talk about asking a Loved One to leave the house, we frame it in two important ways:

  1. Leaving the house is conditional on continued use. The Loved One is told they are loved and would be welcomed back once they commit to addressing their addiction. Taken to its extreme, we suggest a day bed and a locker in a common space, where the Loved One can come FOR EVEN ONE NIGHT when they are not using. The day bed can be considered figurative and literal, as a way to manifest what the family is impressing on the Loved One. Turn up sober and you can stay the night. When you're high, find someplace else to land. The day bed space is by definition conditional, not particularly cozy and not a place to 'hide out'.


  1. A request to leave the house is coupled with a list of where the Loved One can go. This includes detox, inpatient, stabilization unit, dry or wet (they allow people in who are not sober) shelters, perhaps a few rooms available to rent, perhaps help paying the first month. These destinations include transport by you and other practical help where needed.

The message is: We are still here to help. You can't stay here because you are using and by allowing you to stay under our roof, we are enabling your use.

Whether or not your Loved One is living at home is unlikely to affect which drugs your Loved One has access to and which drug(s) (s)he ends up liking the best. You probably don't have sufficient influence to affect which drugs your son chooses to use.

So much of what we say on this site sounds like it has to be taken on faith. Please remember though that this framework, called CRAFT, is very well studied. It is a template for how families can break through, regain peace in their lives, and shepherd a Loved One towards help. It is my hope that these blog posts are helping our families to see how to apply the principles of CRAFT to many different situations.



In your comments, please show respect for each other and do not give advice. Please consider that your choice of words has the power to reduce stigma and change opinions (ie, "person struggling with substance use" vs. "addict", "use" vs. "abuse"...)

  1. As I read this response I am completely torn. My own son has been getting increasingly aggressive towards my wife and I. This has to end. Our local area has very limited shelter options that we can send him to. Getting him an apartment, no matter how bare bones it is, necessitates giving him the financial freedom he wants to do even more drugs and sets him up for being evicted for non payment of rent once our initial outlay is used up. That puts him back at my door, banging on it to let him in. All I can see are bad options and it is making us even more scared.