Where did you send your son?

Where did you send your son?

A question I often am asked is, “Where did Jacob go?”

The rest of the question is…for treatment? To get well? To stop using?

Regardless, the real question is always the same.
Does it matter?

Ten years into my son’s recovery, I cannot recall the names of the places in Florida where his last treatment ended and his recovery began.

For the record, Jacob had three inpatient stays, two in Maryland and one in Florida, and three outpatient stints, one in Maryland and two in Florida.

When I ask Jacob if it matters where someone with an addiction goes for treatment, he responds “It really doesn’t matter. You can get clean anywhere – if you want it.”

Of course there are some guidelines. Today there are even experienced professionals who match families with treatment facilities. They consider the individual’s age, gender, medical and family history, family support, professional or educational background and – most importantly – a full willingness to enter the program – as well as other factors.

But overall, a treatment facility should be:*

 Accredited by an organization like The Joint Commission or the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitant Facilities (known as CARF)
 Staffed with credentialed and licensed counselors and therapists
 Operated by a multi-disciplinary care team, including physicians, nurses and therapists
 Supportive of families and offer family programs
 Able to provide a discharge plan
 Open to various insurance plans or provide financial counseling

For some people, getting “clean and sober” can happen without formal treatment. Strict adherence to AA and similar programs may be all they need.

But for all the parents and spouses who ask me where my son went, I repeat the most important element….

He didn’t get clean because of where I sent him.
He got clean because he was ready.


* Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

6 Replies to “Where did you send your son?”

  1. Happy Mothers’ Day, Lisa! I’m sure it means more to you than most.May all your Mothers’ Days be happy.