Tough Love: Local Family Copes With Son's Addiction - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Tough Love: Local Family Copes With Son's Addiction

SPOKANE, Wash. - When it comes to their live-in son Jared Stefan, parents Terry and Debbie Stefan are at a crossroads. After years of watching their oldest child battle a drug addiction, they're now left to wonder how to help Jared after he was arrested for alleged robbery. 

Spokane police arrested Jared, and another man, on Friday when investigators said he robbed a woman to take her purse outside of Bed, Bath and Beyond on Division Street.

"We've tried everything in our power and nothing's helped," Debbie said. "God, I love him so much, I'll do anything to help him out, and it's just, it's destroying us."

The Stefan's said the well-rounded older brother who loves to draw, is an athlete, and is "so smart it's ridiculous", has also been caught in the throws of an OxyContin addiction for ten years. "When he's on drugs, he's totally a demon," his mom said. "It's like an alien swooped down and grabbed him and he's not my kid no more."

At its worst moment, they said Jared pawned his mom's wedding ring for drugs. His parents also said he went through two stints in rehab but the power of addiction proved too strong.

"He explained last week that he just can't get off the 'oxy's," Terry said. "He's can't get off of him, he doesn't know how."

This latest incident made the Stefan's feel helpless.

"I can't fix it, I cannot keep enabling him anymore," Terry said.

The private family crisis played out for the world to see in court on Monday, during Jared's court appearance. the Stefan's asked a judge for tougher penalties for Jared including a higher bond and longer drug-treatment program in that hopes that he will understand the devastating repercussions of his drug addiction. The judge agreed.

It's a tough-love approach the couple can only hope will help the son they love.

"I want you back in my life but until you can come clean and be a sober person - a drug free person - I don't want that person back. I want my son back," Terry said.

Jared remained in the Spokane County Jail on $125,000 for two robbery charges and $10,000 bond for an unrelated burglary and stolen property case from last year.

For now, the Stefan's feel Jared needs a solid year in a rehabilitation program to learn the skills to get a new life and get on the right path. They're also looking to connect with other parents who coping with children who have addiction problems.

The Stefan's can be contacted at Stefan6005@comcast.net.

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