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Dear Confused,

I'm afraid I have to agree with your counselor.  I'm really happy for you (and for him) that your son is doing so well, but three weeks is a short period of time to be in recovery before returning to the "people, places and things" that may trigger him to use again.  

There's a strong correlation between the length of time someone stays in treatment and the likelihood they'll not be using drugs or alcohol a year later:

Patients with longer treatment stays are more likely to recover


According to this, if your son attends outpatient treatment for the next two months, he's almost twice as likely to be doing well a year from now than if he comes home now.  Vista's research also shows that he's much more likely to be doing well a year from now if he finishes all of the treatment his rehab recommends rather than leaving after completing the residential level of care.

Your son is probably quite confident that he can go home and not use again, and I know how badly you want to believe him.  But I am reminded of something the counselors at my daughter's first Family Week kept telling us: "Don't believe your son or daughter knows what's best for them.  Remember, it's their thinking that got them here in the first place!" 

If you let him come home now, you are taking a risk.  If he talks you into it or you can't afford additional treatment, all is not lost.  It would become that much more important to help your son create a strong recovery support network as soon as he gets home.  

I hope this helps.  Please keep me posted on how your son is doing.


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