Sunday, 10 November 2013

"Mom, I have no place to go"

Those have to be the most heartbreaking words to hear from your addicted child, especially when you know that you have to turn them away. Many of us parents have had this type of conversation. With heavy hearts and great internal conflict, the conversations go something like this:

Addicted Child: Can I stay here tonight?

Mom: No, you know you can’t stay here.

Addicted Child: Why not?

Mom: Because you are using drugs. You know the rules.

Addicted Child: But, I have no place to go.

Mom: You have options. You know what they are.

Addicted Child: Well what do you expect me to do then? Sleep on the sidewalk?

Mom: Try some of your friends. Maybe they’ll let you stay.

Addicted Child: They won’t let me.

Mom: Then go to the homeless shelter. You can’t stay here.

Addicted Child: Why not? It is not fair.

Mom: You are using drugs and we can’t have that around your younger siblings.

Addicted Child: I am not going to be using in front of them mom.

Mom: It doesn’t matter. They can’t be around any of it.

Addicted Child: Please mom. I’ve got no place else to go. Please.

Mom: Do you still have the number to the homeless shelter that I gave you?

Addicted Child: Yes, but I want to stay here. It’s only for tonight.

Mom (ready to burst into tears but staying strong): No. You can’t stay here and that’s final. Our door is always open when you are clean. Get clean and you can come home. We’d love to have you home again. We want our son back. We love you.

Addicted Child: Yeah, whatever mom. I’ll just sleep on the street. Thanks anyway. I love you.

Mom: Bye dear. I love you too.

I pray that we can end this epidemic so that fewer parents will have to endure this type of conversation. Having to turn them away goes against every natural instinct we have to protect them. Addiction is a cold, cruel disease.

TO READ THE IMPORTANT FOLLOW UP TO THIS, AND HOW WE'VE EVOLVED IN THIS JOURNEY, PLEASE click here.   "After a long painful night of crying and worrying, we knew that we could not do that again."


  1. I totally understand what you are going through I have a son also with addiction issues. We had also had to make him leave our house many times with the last time with having been arrested and been in jail ever since for many break and enters needing to pay for his drugs. But I do believe we were right in making him leave. The hardest thing you have to do is turn your own child away. God bless you and your family

    1. I am sorry to hear that your family has been affected too. It is very difficult. Only another parent going through it can truly understand. God bless you and your family as well.

  2. Sorry to hear about these hardships, thanks for sharing though. I just read your post with my 9 year old son. He was really sad and had some questions that we discussed. I hope your son gets clean and will say a prayer for him.

    1. Thank you for your kind words and for sharing this with your son. What a great way to start the conversation. It warms my heart. I believe in the power of prayer. Thank you.

  3. I've been clean for 7 years now and if it wasn't for my parents strength and love I would never had made it. They didn't turn me away they brought me back in they dragged me by my neck to rehab. I wasn't just a casual user of drugs either it was a daily out of control habit that was fed by stealing. My parents never turned their back on me it was a long hard road for them but here I am 7 years later married great job and beautiful children that if are ever faced with the demons of addiction will never be left out in the cold. Addiction is a disease and you are asking someone who no longer has control over their actions to make some pretty hard decisions. Get clean is easier said then done it's a long hard road. But with your parents by your side never giving up you will eventually beat the beast. I wish you the best of luck and I hope that you have exhausted every last Avenue for your son. Just remember this poor boy is no longer in control of his actions or decisions and who would you hope to take control and fix your life? Your parents!! My heart goes out to your son

    1. I absolutely love your comment! Congratulations on finding recovery. As parents, we go through a long, hard road with addicted children. I have learned a lot! This post is about an experience early on in our family's journey. After we had tried everything to get him to want help, we were told by experts that this is what we had to do. We had to use tough love so that he would want help. If we let him use in comfort there would be no motivation. While I do believe a lot of that (you can't enable) and know people who say they got clean because their parents used tough love, it never felt right or good to us. When we began to understand addiction for the disease that it is - a brain disease where they are out of control - the tough love theory became even more confusing to us. He was really sick and unable to think reasonably for himself plus the treatment he needed was not available when he did ask for help. It was hard to keep being tough when he wanted help but it wasn't there. Every family's situation is different and every person with an addiction is different. Some are abusive to their parents or siblings so tough choices have to be made. I would never tell a parent what to do. I can only share our journey. Only they can decide for themselves based on their own unique situations. Turning our son away was so painful that I cried all night and couldn't sleep. We knew that we could never do that again. We made different choices when presented with this problem after that night. I will cover that in a future post. I would really love to chat with you sometime if you are interested. I'd like to hear more about your inspiring story. My email is


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