I have two nephews in their 20s who are getting out of jail in the next month or two. Alcohol and drug abuse put them there. They have had help in the past, but nothing sticks. Their problem started in High School. Is there some way that I could connect them with a mentor who has 'been there , done that' that is a boy in his 20s. I have their address in prison and can connect them. They are in Boise, ID.
I live in CA.
Doing a little digging, this is what I have managed to find:
There is a lot of resources out there and I know that you would like to have a specific person, however I do not have anyone in particular that would fit this criteria.
I would suggest AA/NA or Al-Anon for sure as a good source. They typically have all ranges of ages that can talk to people, and they also have a ton of branches in California (I don’t know which part you are from) so that if you would like to attend a few sessions then you could understand the things that you want to help with. People who are not alcoholics or drug users have a huge difficulty with understanding what a person has to go through when they go into rehab, so it is highly beneficial to you if you would attend a few sessions (or even remain in the group if it proves to be helpful) because Al-Anon is a support network for people who have loved ones who are substance abusers.
Also, if you wanted to try and make things a little narrower in the search, you might want to call 1-800-559-9503. It is a free 24 hour national (to the
Now, a word of warning.
I know that you have these two boys best interest at heart, and all you want is to try and do something to help them. But there are two factors in this that I want to address and would like you to consider:
- These are your nephews. Have you discussed the issues with the parents? I only ask because if you over step your boundaries from the Aunt/Parent/ Child side of things, you can be looking for a world of hurt because you were “meddling”. Don’t get me wrong, I think that it is wonderful that you care so much for these two boys. But If experience has taught me anything, it’s that you don’t meddle in the affairs of a family unless you truly expect some recourse and are prepared to deal with the backlash. If this doesn’t apply to you (ie/ there are no parents involved, or have cut ties) then I don’t think there would be much of a problem. Just that if there are parents and they are involved with their children’s lives, I would run all this through them. It is much better to have a family of support when dealing with substance abuse, and if you go out on a limb you may be headed for trouble.
- These boys are not boys. They are men. And although they may still behave like children for whatever life has brought down on them, they ultimately have to deal with the consequences of their actions. Maybe they will be okay this time around and not wind up back in the cycle of abuse. But they have to be willing to accept your offer of help for it to truly “work”. Make sure that you have talked to the two and that you are not causing yourself more pain in that regard. The two aren’t going to listen to some stranger because their aunt said so. So it is much better to be prepared and have talked with the boys before hand.
I really do wish you the best of luck, and hope that some of this has done some help. Please let us know if we have helped you at all, and let us know how the two boys make out.