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Metering Out Rewards

Woman gardening boy in doorway

I've gone back to watch Modules 6 & 8 again and I'm reminded of what you suggest here. There's a lot to take in, so re-watching the modules helps me to digest more each time.

Although I am clear on what stepping away looks like, what I heard from Module 6 this time, that I didn't before, it's okay to remind him that he can use things like the TV when he doesn't use. For example, when my son comes home after using, would I be applying CRAFT appropriately if I were to say, "I'm glad you're home safely. Feel free to use the TV when you haven't used."

We aren't ready to take away his phone because we want to be able to track where he is, especially since this new kid came into his life. Also, I'm able to communicate with him more through text since I don't see much of him. Read the full comment here.

You’re asking about items, such as the phone, internet access, or the tv, that can be useful as a reward for when your son isn’t high. These are rewards, absolutely. However, I wouldn’t get too tangled up in taking away things so that you can give them back in small doses.

I agree the phone is too important in your communication with him. You can think of the tv and internet as going with the house. As such they can be worked into the same lines you draw for the house, as in: “don’t come home if you’re stoned.”

Your son isn’t interested in looking at his drug use. Just remember that this can change in an instant. Keep doing what you’re doing.

I sense that an easygoing, light time, with you paying attention to him when he isn’t high, is an important reward that you can keep giving him.

It does sound like things are complicated, in part, because his drug use is a moving target. He has a new bad influence in his life, and this emboldens your son to shrug off school and perhaps increase or change up the drugs.

The family has put in place the principles of CRAFT….keep it up. The prepared talk we outlined in an earlier post may still may need to happen, but give it another solid month or so first.

It’s hard to imagine suggesting to your son that he move out. Several of our members  have had to ask a Loved One to leave, and you may find it helpful to read of their experiences with this in the meantime. Either way, if and when it comes to that, you can still give him time to work on a plan. He needs to know (if nothing changes at the end of 6 weeks or so) that this is the direction things are headed in. Don’t say this explicitly for now, just behave and communicate in a CRAFTy way. We’ll revisit the planned talk and the options that go along with those next steps in the near future.



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. I don’t know how to thank you. I am more than grateful for your guidance and support. I don’t feel alone in this anymore.

    What you say makes sense. I will heed your advice. CRAFT has made the biggest difference in so many areas, but especially in helping us to avoid confrontations where we would have had them before. We told him we pulled him out of the basketball tournament. We feel this was the right thing to do and are relieved he is not going. It was becoming increasingly clear he wasn’t going with any intention of playing basketball. He’s very angry with us. We just listen for the most part.

    Unfortunately, my son has opted to be with friends instead of join us for family things like decorating our Christmas tree, which we do every year together. I miss him. I miss who I know him to be and I keep reminding myself to distinguish between my real son and the person my son is when he’s using. His sister is hurt and confused.

    I feel relieved knowing AIR is here. You have done an incredible thing in creating AIR and offering your support. Thank you.