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jrc1963 posted 9/11/2013 16:06 PM

Do you think that 12 is too young to witness a grown man going thru drug addiction withdraw?

Here's the backstory:
DS12's dad has a live-in girlfriend who has a grown son (30's). The grown son was living in Utah and he is addicted to pain killers. The son wants to get off the pain killers, and his mom wants to help him, so they brought the son here to Florida to live with them during his detox.

DS goes to his dad's on alternating weekends, and this weekend he would be at his dad.

His dad emailed me to let me know what was happening and gave me all the info and left the decision up to me.

So... Do you think a 12 year old should be allowed to witness a 30 year old man going thru the DT's?


GabyBaby posted 9/11/2013 16:09 PM

It depends on the 12yr old.
It'd also depend on how much you trust your ex to keep your DS safe in that situation.

Some kids would benefit from seeing the harsh realities of making poor choices.
Others would be freaked by it.

jrc1963 posted 9/11/2013 16:13 PM

My son is very empathetic and I think it would freak him out a lot.

ThoughtIKnewYa posted 9/11/2013 16:14 PM

Wow. I don't know...

I think it would be a good lesson on addiction, but what if the guy goes nuts??

I think I would have to say no to visitation right now. Maybe let DS watch an episode of 'Intervention' so he can get a picture of what's going on without being directly involved.

Tough decision, (((Jrc))).

ETA: Just saw your post about him being an empath. Don't let him see that. It will do far more harm than good.

[This message edited by ThoughtIKnewYa at 4:16 PM, September 11th (Wednesday)]

jrc1963 posted 9/11/2013 16:17 PM

What I don't know... couldn't know... is the unpredictability of detoxing from pain killers.

All I know about the DT's is what I've seen in movies and tv shows.

Ex seems to think 30 year old will just be throwing up a lot.

But I can envision unpredictable or violent behavior. At the very least I think this guy will probably be in a lot of pain and misery.

Also, is it fair to 30 year old to have a 12 year old watching him be sick?

ajsmom posted 9/11/2013 16:19 PM

He'll never be able to unsee/unhear what he witnesses.

I would say no.

FWIW, kudos to your X. Not too many would even let the other parent have a voice.


ThoughtIKnewYa posted 9/11/2013 16:21 PM

In the words of Nancy, just say "No". Drugs and drug withdrawal DO introduce the possibility of psychosis and violence. It probably WON'T happen, but what if it did?? It's not worth the risk, IMO.

jrc1963 posted 9/11/2013 16:21 PM

AJ's mom... My ex and I have a decent relationship and I'm glad he did tell me ahead of time for sure.

nowiknow23 posted 9/11/2013 16:28 PM

I wouldn't advise it, jrc.

LosferWords posted 9/11/2013 16:30 PM

I don't have any direct experience with this, but I would lean towards no. Doesn't hurt to err on the side of safety and caution.

Amazonia posted 9/11/2013 16:39 PM

Not your 12 year old with just his dad to walk him through, no. Maybe if you were there to help him process, but you won't be. His dad isn't as conscientious, if I recall correctly.

jrc1963 posted 9/11/2013 16:52 PM

Ama! You are correct.

And I certainly don't want to subject myself to that nightmare.

HFSSC posted 9/11/2013 17:04 PM

JRC, I have detoxed from prescription painkillers. Several times. It. Was. Not. Pretty.

It was awful. I threw up. I shook. I cried. I felt like my skin was on fire and there were bugs crawling under it. I am so very thankful that my kids never witnessed me like that. I cannot imagine a 12 year old witnessing it.

Just, no.

jrc1963 posted 9/11/2013 17:27 PM


Thank you for sharing that. I appreciate you sharing something that I am sure was painful.

Do you mind if I copy it and forward it to the ex? I doubt he has any idea what's about to happen in his house.

I did suggest that if he wanted to see DS this weekend we could work it out where he took him out on Saturday for golf or something and then bring him back here so he doesn't have to witness this.

Waiting to hear back.

metamorphisis posted 9/11/2013 17:30 PM

Since you've gotten good advice I will simply add my "Not a chance in hell" opinion. While I have compassion for the young man, that would be incredibly awkward and potentially frightening for your son. Talk about an elephant in the room. I would suspend visits until it was better. And I think his dad was good to inform you.

hurtbs posted 9/11/2013 17:47 PM

Getting off of opiates should be done in a facility. It will be emotionally painful for all of those involved.

completeshock posted 9/11/2013 18:03 PM

No kids here so take this with a grain of salt, but I say don't let him see it. I witnessed a friend detox this summer, it was a tough thing to watch and I am a lot older than 12. Maybe his dad can pick him up and they can go out somewhere, maybe he and his dad can discuss it if he has questions. I think at 12 he is old enough to know and not be left in the dark, but he shouldn't see it.

HFSSC posted 9/11/2013 18:16 PM

JRC, no problem at all. I am an open book when it comes to my recovery. It's ugly, but it's the truth. Please share if it will help.

JustDone posted 9/11/2013 18:21 PM

Do you think a 12 year old should be allowed to witness a 30 year old man going thru the DT's?

As a mother and as a former Social Worker my answer is no.

jrc1963 posted 9/11/2013 18:23 PM

Thanks HFSSC

Thanks everyone for the advice.

His dad agreed to just taking him out for the day on Saturday and not doing any overnight this weekend.

You all confirmed my gut instincts of it not being a good idea.

Thanks again!

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