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Should I Hold His Money for Him?

Counting cash

twowheels549’s son asked for help holding his money now that he’s got a full time job. He’s working on his recovery and access to this income feels risky right now. But she doesn’t want to have to monitor all of the in's and out's… How would CRAFT approach this situation?

Money question for helping a recovering addict. My 31 YO son is a heroin addict working on his recovery. He has started a new job and is working 40 hours per week. He asked me recently if I would help him with his money. I 1st thought he was asking for money, then he said no, he wanted me help him by holding some of his money. I certainly don't want to hold cash for him, but was considering setting up another saving account in my name that he could put money into but not have immediate access for withdrawal. I really don't want to be a money monitor, but also don't really see the harm if it helps him save for some bigger ticket items. I'm also willing to help him define a budget if he really wants to. What would CRAFT tell me to do here?


How fantastic that your son is addressing the drug use and has found a job. It is a great question you pose about applying CRAFT to your situation. You are wondering if collecting and holding some part of his paycheck a good idea.

Your son asked to have his money held, since he knows that cash in his pocket is risky. He could open an account and start putting money in himself, but he knows this may lead to a relapse if the money can be easily withdrawn in a low moment.

CRAFT asks family members to partner with their Loved One. The question is “what can I do to help you stay drug free?”

So you tell him:

“Yes, I will help you guard your money. However, I am not responsible for the money. This puts me in a tough spot. Let’s figure out, if and when you decide you do want your money, under what conditions I can let you have it. You tell me. I’m happy to help with this, but I can’t be the police.”

Sort out the logistics together. If he wants to use it for a car, maybe: “Mom, I want to put money on a car, can you sign the withdrawal form?” Offer to talk this through so you can plan for how this will work when the time comes.

CRAFT wants the family to put the responsibility on the Loved One for the actions they take to prevent relapse. You are close by, and are willing to help where you can, which is fantastic. But it is key that this help doesn’t require you to be policing him. Stay open to talking it through with him. Just stick with the model of staying supportive while helping to shift responsibility onto him. No shift is instantaneous, so keep emphasizing and offering your partnership in this process.

It’s great to hear from you and know that your son is pursuing his recovery. He is lucky you are there for him. Keep up the great work!

Thanks for writing in. This is an important question to consider, and it’s a question others will have as well.



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. If this is a request from your son I cannot see how you could withhold your help. This sounds like a person who desires sobriety and knows that he will need “a village”.
    I would have jumped at “YES, of course” but reading the response, I do realize that it is important to set some rules down and talk about how to deal with what you may encounter from here.
    Congratulations to your son and I am SO happy that you are thoughtful in your support.
    Good luck.
    Mom 101