The fear and the desperate acts that parents will resort to in order to rescue their addicted child would make an incredible reality TV show. A father shared this story with me several years ago.
His son was in his early 20s and was working at a used car lot in south Oklahoma City. The father knew his son was addicted to drugs. There had been a long history of serious consequences directly related to his addiction, including several arrests that led to lengthy times in jail.
At this time, the father lost contact with his son. When he called the car lot to speak to his boy, he was given vague reasons his son was not available. The father’s suspicions grew.
He drove to the car lot and, upon his arrival, was told by a salesman that his son had not been seen in more than two weeks.
It was very unusual that the son had not called in that length of time. The father was terrified and knew he had to find out if his son was alive.
The father was once in law enforcement and called his contacts. However, another week went by and there was no new information.
The father, in desperation, hired a private investigator, who was was experienced in law enforcement and who knew the area drug culture.
Within four days, the PI learned that the son was living in a drug house. They developed a plan that the father and the PI would meet with a contact and give this person $300. The contact said that the son owed that amount of money to the drug dealer. Once this transaction was completed, the father would be given a location and a time to meet his son.
The father decided to trap his son and force him into a treatment program. The father’s van was rigged so that when he entered through the rear doors, they could not be opened from the inside.
The father and the PI waited patiently at a gas station. The father was standing outside the van, looking in every direction in anticipation of the arrival of his son. Off in the distance, he saw his son walking in his direction and he went to greet him. They hugged each other and walked back toward the van.
The son entered the van through the rear doors and the trap was set. The father explained to his son that he was taking him to a treatment program out of state.
As the van began to move toward the interstate, the son went into a rage and began kicking the van doors, screaming that he wanted out. The situation was escalating toward a violent ending, so the father pulled to the side of the road.
He went to the rear of the van and opened the doors. His son jumped out and stood there, looking at his father. Neither one spoke, but rather just stared at one another.
Finally, the son said: “I love you, Dad. I have to go now.”
The father responded: “I love you, too, Son, and I will always be here for you.”
They hugged one another and the father watched helplessly as his son walked out of sight.
Parents will go to any length to save their child from the disease of addiction. This is understandable, but at some point in the journey, parents will need to understand Step One of the 12 Steps: “We admitted we were powerless over drugs and other people’s lives — that our lives had become unmanageable.”