Title says it, he is 17 and threatened he "could kill all of us right now". A week later we found a loaded gun in his room. This is now the 3rd gun he has been caught with. He has lived a privileged life and has now gone gangsta and made up some fairy tale in his head about how rough his life has been. We called the cops, he is in jail for a month now. He also has been busted for drugs. This is his 3rd arrest, the system keeps letting him go with a slap on the hand if that. He continuously failed his drug tests and the system literally did not care. This is the first time he is actually serving any time.

We are afraid to have him home but we are also deeply saddened he is ruining his life. Not sure what to do at this point, is our son gone for good? Did we do the right thing? How can we help him? He refuses to go to therapy.

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    One of the few things more important than your son is the safety of the rest of your family. What you did sounds right. Apr 14, 2020 at 17:06
  • Regarding the gun, please read The Gift of Fear and/or Protecting the Gift. Regarding the drugs, please see these resources plus this guide. I wonder how he's doing now, especially regarding the drugs. I also wonder if he's still living in your home. Sep 5, 2022 at 21:50

2 Answers 2


I concur with @AskAboutMonica: your first priority must be to keep yourself and the rest of your family safe. In addition to your own safety a murder conviction is not going to do your son much good.

You need to engage with the mental health authorities where you live. You don't say where that is, but I'm guessing the USA. There must be some process for getting involuntary treatment for someone who is a danger to themselves and others, but you may have to make a lot of noise before it happens, and I suspect the police are not the people to talk to initially.

This must be a terrible thing to face. Whether your son can recover remains to be seen. Some people do. In the meantime just remember that the safe thing is the right thing. Good luck. I hope he gets better.

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    I'd recommend talking to mental health professionals or lawyers. They might know what legal options you have for forcing treatment. The fact that he's been caught with 3 guns and has made threats should be sufficient to get something done.
    – Becuzz
    Apr 15, 2020 at 14:48

Get a restraining order against him immediately. If it’s safe, inform against his friends and associates. Set up cameras in your house. Then give him a deal for exactly what he needs to do to rejoin the family. Make it hard, something he would be impressed with himself for achieving. Offer money. Let him choose.

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    I down voted because getting a restraining order in a domestic violence situation is at least ineffective (it’s just a piece of paper) or at worst, a trigger for escalated violence. Advising someone to get a restraining order should only be done with personal knowledge of the offender and the situation, bc they are only effective for certain people in certain circumstances. It’s not a one size fits all solution, and seeing as this kid is unconcerned with the law or consequences, I doubt it’s gonna do a lick of good.
    – Jax
    Apr 21, 2020 at 14:10

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