Addiction Forum Question

Forum Question
HopetrackerA3 A Mom From FL

Am I enabling by paying for my son's lawyer?

After being arrested for possession of marijuana with the intent to sell, instead of going with the public defender my son decided to hire a lawyer and now, the dollar signs just keep adding up. My son said he’d find a way to get the money, but I’m worried that to him, that means selling drugs and risking jail time again. It would be an endless cycle. I'll have to dig into my retirement fund but, if I pay for the lawyer, then my hope is that my son won’t have to revert back to that life. I feel like he needs me but am I enabling him? I honestly don’t know what to do.
Olivia K There is a fine line between helping and enabling. If you chose to help him with a lawyer, more than likely he will be free of any charges and get away with a slap on the wrist. You should make it clear that if you help with a lawyer, he should commit to helping himself as well by following through with treatment, whether inpatient treatment or intensive outpatient (based on the extent of his addiction). He must feel the consequences of his addiction.
Julie S When I was going to family meetings for my husband, I heard a therapist say, "Enabling is doing for them what they could be doing for themselves." While it may be scary leaving your son’s fate in his own hands, it sounds like a grown man who can make his own decisions (for better or for worse).