You Asked, We Answered

Addiction Questions

We have a 42 year old son who drinks too much. As his parents, how can we support his recovery and hold him accountable to follow through on his sobriety?

There are three facets to this answer. The first is that your son needs the correct information to move forward productively. He will not get this from treatment or the current recovery society disease propaganda. This propaganda will keep him immersed in his habitual drinking. So the first step would be to provide him a copy of The Freedom Model for Addictions so he can learn that he is capable of moving past this stage of his lifestyle. Secondly, because he is not diseased (there is no addiction disease) there is nothing to recover from (although he may need detox). Because there is nothing to recover from, he can simply make new choices once he knows that is actually a real possibility. Lastly, you will have little to no role in his decision making process. This is difficult for parents to understand. Your son needs to be presented the right information, and then make his choices from that informed position. That is an inside job, and only he can make that decision and act on it. The Freedom Model for Addictions discusses scenarios such as this throughout the text:

“Because of mental autonomy, strategies based on other people “holding you accountable” or “supporting your recovery” are doomed to fail because they rely only on other people making judgments of the appropriateness of your behaviors in their minds and then, accordingly, heaping shame, disappointment, praise, or pep talks on you as external motivators.

The question is then, where will a change in your mind come from? All external forms of motivation are inferior to an internal change of mind. To the degree that external motivators seem to have any effect, the effect usually disappears when you aren’t staring that external motivator directly in the face. Furthermore, external motivators make you feel artificially constrained and deprived, leading to dissatisfaction with whatever reduction of substance use you make in response to them.

Lasting personal change really is an inside job. Only you can do it. What we can offer to help are new ideas and information that you might choose to consider and use in your own thinking. However, it’s entirely up to you to choose to think differently. Are you ready to do that? If so, here’s a perfect place to start.”


*In cases of physical withdrawal, medical treatment and/or medical detoxification services may be necessary. Consult with a licensed physician..
The Freedom Model and the Saint Jude Retreats, divisions of Baldwin Research Institute, Inc., do not provide any services that require certification by New York State’s Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services. The information in this book is designed to provide information and education on the subject of substance use and human behavior. This book is not meant to be used, nor should it be used, to diagnose or treat any associated condition. The publisher and authors are not responsible for any consequences from any treatment, action, application, or preparation, by any person or to any person reading or following the information in this book. The publisher has put forth its best efforts in preparing and arranging this. The information provided herein is provided “as is” and you read and use this information at your own risk. The publisher and authors disclaim any liabilities for any loss of profit or commercial or personal damages resulting from the use of the information contained in this book.