I was a few blocks from the house when my son called. “Mom, you need to get home quick! My probation officer is here and they want to search my room. Please get here.”
As I raced home my mind was going in a thousand different directions but by the time I pulled into the driveway, I knew what I had to do.
My son greeted me at the car door as his probation officer waited for me on the porch, flanked by two police officers.
My son’s attorney was on the cell phone. “She said even though I am an adult, because I don't pay rent it is not my domicile, so all you have to do is tell them they cannot search YOUR house. I am not violating probation by refusing a search because it's not up to me,” he said. “Mom, please do this for me and I will explain everything after they leave. I am begging you!”
I didn't have to ask why he didn't want them to search. The look of panic in his eyes told me what I needed to know. I stepped out of the car, gave him a hug, told him I loved him and that we would get through this together. Then, I took a deep breath and opened my door inviting them in. “His room is at the top of the stairs, it's my house and I give you permission to search,” I remember saying.
It was one of the hardest things I have ever done. Needless to say, they found what they were looking for, drugs. One of his ex-girlfriends had called the probation officer and tipped her off that there were drugs in my son's room. This brought them and the police to my door.
I knew by my son's face and that look of defeat and what they were going to find. I went into my room, closed the door, put on the headphones and blasted my music while fighting not to cry.
When the search was over, they called me into the room, thanked me for cooperating and said he was going to be arrested. They allowed him to have a few days to withdraw from college, let his job know, and then turn himself in. He was sentenced to six months in jail.
About halfway through my son's sentence he called me and told me to say that I had saved his life. “I was pissed off at you, I couldn't believe you caused me to go to jail, but now I know that I caused me to go to jail, not you, and you were scared if I didn't go, I was gonna die. You saved my life mom. Had I not come in here, I might be dead of an overdose by now. Thank you, not for putting me in jail, no son is going to be happy about that, but thanks for doing what you believed was right. It saved my life.”
Sometimes you have to make the hard choice. Loving an addict is like walking through a minefield and each situation is different but in the end, what ever you can do to stop the chaos, the drug cycle, the assault on your own peace and dignity, do it. You will send the message that you will not enable drug use and you might just save a life.