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I’ve Thrown Him Out—What Are the Next Steps?

woman getting up from table angry at man

1delapisa has thrown her son out. What are the next steps, following a CRAFT framework?

"Dominique has given good advice. I have finally locked my son out of my house. Its taken quite sometime for this to happen. The past 9 days have been very bad. No more texting, talking on the phone, no more thoughts how I can get him to get help. He is so smart and can figure this out on his own, he has to feel the consequences as Dominique has said. Now I have to make it happen for my son.I sadly do believe jail is safer than the streets. And let me say this is so hard! My 30 yr old son likes meth, suboxone, pot, adderall to snort.

The last week has done it. I CAN'T HELP HIM.Hes also 4 yrs newly diagnosed with type1 diabetes.

I don't know where he's sleeping, eating, NOTHING. With prayer, commitment, this site, NarAnon, my therapist, my few close friends, my other son, I'm going to take it a day at a time.

After breaking door in half, trashing everything in his path to leave i realized I. WANT. MY. LIFE.BACK!I want him to want his life back."

You had enough and made your son leave your home. It wasn’t easy for you or for him. He didn’t leave quietly. You don’t know where he is sleeping or what he is living on.

A day at a time sounds like the right idea. I understand feeling exhausted and fed up. Perhaps you take some time to clean up your house, make his room yours, and get your strength back.

With CRAFT, we talk about building and maintaining a bridge between you. I hope things will quiet down and that you can step back in when you’re ready.

Stepping back in is what you can do. You do it only when and to the degree that it doesn’t zap your spirit and energy.

Now that he is not hiding out in your house, refusing all help, your son will be more likely to look for help. Perhaps it’s not medical or substance-abuse related right away. Housing and food probably feel more urgent to him.

When you hear from him, it will be hard, but hold your ground.

Your son occasionally takes Suboxone. When he does, he seems normal and is easier to get along with. Suboxone is where you may want to start to best protect him. Provide him with a clinic, with openings, and how to access the service. We’ve not been clear whether he gets his suboxone on the street or whether he attends a clinic and then abuses his prescription.

He has also agreed to a mental health evaluation in the past. Can you provide him with details of how to access a clinic?

Write down what you find in terms of services. Put it in your pocket and wait. You’ll undoubtedly hear from him. When he has calmed down, perhaps you meet for coffee. Providing him ideas for help is also what you can do. You’ll want to look at Learning Module 8 for tips on how and when to do this. Ideally, your son is hurting and asks for your help (a dip), or wants help to get on his feet (a wish). They sound alike but the motive for each is a little different.

Your son has stayed away for days before. He probably has friends whose couches he can crash on. Is he still driving for Uber? If he’s sleeping in his car, that will get old.

Importantly, you are now able to find a little peace. For parents it’s also hard when they are out of sight. Let Learning Module 7 help you observe your thoughts better. Annie and I recorded a podcast recently that may help.

Stay close. Keep writing in. We are glad to know you are getting lots of help.



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. Hello Everyone,
    I dont know what my next move should be so Im asking for advice. Its been 5 weeks since I changed locks and my son left.I heard from him after his 3rd week gone, very short phone call. Not sure where he is living. Last week he did come join us at Thanksgiving day/dinner. After driving me home, w/o any serious talk he went to his brothers house and had a great evening playing with his niece and nephew! Next day they surprised me and all came to do a bit of yard word. I seriously said it numerous times that life could not be any better than both my sons and grandkids being at my house for a short while.
    Well today is Monday, everyone is back to their life. I recv’d this text from my unstable son – not sure what to address him as anymore. I love him so much.

    I’m just a nobody. Feel worthless like a loser. Have had no life to speak of in years now. have wasted the last 6 months. Got nothing to my name. Just ignoring all bills. No credit. No money. No girlfriend. I have nothing to offer anyone. Have no idea what job to get. Resume is horrible. No computer. No home of my own. 30 years old. I do nothing. I have no friends. I just exist. This is how I feel today. And it’s all so true. It’s no body’s fault but my own. Of course we have heard this before —
    What do I say or do I say nothing? Dear God why cant this stop? Think he might be losing his car soon. Im not even sure what/if drug is involved except suboxone. Where does one start to unravel all the mess??? Think he has more money issues than anything – where would one go to start?

  2. I certainly can understand how you are feeling. I went through a similar situation a little over a year ago. My son was on probation and then violated his probation by failing his drug test. He was at my house and then went on the run when he found out there was a warrant. It was during one of the horrible cold spells we had last year and he was on foot. He had no where to go but I would not let him here. I kept encouraging him to turn himself in. We had communication by cell phone. I had no idea where he was. He kept telling me he couldn’t walk because his foot was so swollen and painful. I figured it was because he was shooting up in his foot. Late one night when we were already in bed, my other son said he thought he heard something. I went to check and found my son in my house. He had snuck in while we were at work. I still don’t know how he got in. I told him to turn himself in, but he wouldn’t. His foot was definitely infected and he could hardly walk.

    I took it upon myself and turned him in. It was very hard, but I feel I saved his life. His foot was so badly infected that he ended up in the hospital for a week. He was told that if he hadn’t gone in the hospital then he would have either lost his foot or died of sepsis. Of course he was arrested and he had been in jail since then. He will be getting out in a week and I’m frantic. I’m hoping he has learned something over the past year. he has certainly gone to another programs and he has also applied for a job.

    I have learned over the years through this program to be strong and he knows that if he does the right thing when he comes here I won’t hesitate to either throw him out or even turn him in. This past year has been so calm I actually felt like I was living again. No I’m getting so anxious but I hope and pray that he has learned something and he will stay off the drugs. I fully understand how you were feeling and what you’re going through . Making certain decisions as to what to do are some of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I hope your son can make a good decision and go and get some help. Like your son, mine is also very intelligent, never have anything below an A. Unfortunately he was not smart about decisions that he made. I will be praying for you and wish you all the luck

    1. Thank you for writing.
      I wish/dont wish we could look in the crystal ball to see what your son getting out/coming home will look like. I pray so hard YOUR SON will be the one to say I’ve had enough!
      My sister only lived 49 short years with her addiction, which took up half her life. I want this journey to end better for my 30 yr old son. I want your son to live as well. I want everyone to find a “high” that will not kill you. My son dabbled in drugs , mainly pot – whatever since middle school. This current part of his life started almost 4 years ago. After his dx of T1D, probably sooner, and his break up with girlfriend of 3 years. Slowly till this day, losing everything – great jobs, apartments, friends, his beloved guitar that sits in a pawn shop or sold. This time he is estranged from me and his dad. We are divorced.
      I called my Naranon “sponsor” to tell him I finally locked my son out. This is a slow process. I have been guilty for sending my son one line texts this past sun – wed, just once a day. He text wed to say I dont need to check on him, he is fine. Maybe one time a week will be my new goal.
      I am accepting any opportunity to get out of my house. Driving for me is also a bad place to think too much! Hopefully it will get better day by day.
      I always remember the story my Naranon leader shared. After his one of two sons died of heroin od, he would sit on his deck every morning to reflect, read sesh book from naranon, just everything peaceful. Day after day. That takes effort and worth doing.
      Half of me dreads the holidays coming. But last year my son fell apart, drugs, t1d, mental illness, hospital stay and there I was giving up my holidays to be soaked up in his drama. NOT THIS YEAR. NOT THIS YEAR!!! I will enjoy this year and hopefully have good thoughts in my head and heart,
      God Bless each and every one of us

      1. All:

        Reading through these posts shows the degree to which addiction takes its toll not only on those who suffer from the malady, but for those who do all they can as much as they can, to try and be of help. I stumbled across this article, and found it to be bitter-sweet. It perhaps brings some kind of solace to everyone who goes to the lengths that seem incomprehensible to many. I hope it helps here:

    2. My son has been home since Thursday the 15th and I am embarrassed to say that he has gone through one case of 12 and one case of 18 beers, has smoked marijuana and used klonopin. I am so disappointed. I guess I’m not surprised about that and I’m also not surprised that he didn’t take anything seriously that he was taught or learned in the jail. I guess he has no desire to be clean. I don’t even want to be near him. I just can’t stand that he is right back onto the same road to destruction. He says that I don’t understand, tomorrow he is going to call about the job he is supposed to get and this was just for the weekend. Does he really think I believe that?

      1. It is so hard to believe, I guess I should say it is so hard to accept, that after a year in jail and away from everything, he has gone back to using. I feel like he has never left. Less than a week back home and I have found syringes and spoons. I guess my anxiety that was building up before he came home was for real. I guess I was hoping maybe this time. For the first time ever he actually admitted to me that he used. I am so stressed, here it is Thanksgiving and I am trying to tell myself to enjoy with the rest of the family. It has been too many years, I have called the police on him, section 35’d him, kicked him out of the house and last year he almost died when he got the foot infection from shooting up. What is it going to take?

        1. I am so sorry mlb2t. Your son needs more intensive treatment…not in your home. Detox to clinical stabilization to residential to 3/4 house.