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My Son’s Drug Addiction: What I Learned About Myself

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

Father and SonWhen I learned my son was addicted to drugs, my focus was on him and his addiction. Like many parents, I felt that his addiction was every bit my problem as it was his. I tirelessly tried to fix his addiction.  After a few years of repeated behaviors and strong reactions, no one got better.

I didn’t know what I was doing wrong.

It wasn’t until I realized that I had so much to learn about myself and how I was reacting to this disease did I begin to feel better. I realized that my son’s sobriety was not within my ability to control. The extent of my authority over this disease ended at the tip of my nose.

“What have I learned?” I think this is the most important question a parent of a teen with an addiction can ask him- or herself. This self-reflective question emphasizes you, the parent, and not the child with the drug problem.

In the midst of crisis and drama, it is difficult to figure out what to do to support a loved one with an addiction. A parent cannot deal successfully with the chaos this disease brings if he or she is feeling fear and anger within.

True education occurs when we can sit quietly and reflect upon the events and look critically at our own role as a loving and supportive parent.

Without quiet contemplation and analysis of my own actions, a parent can fall into the same traps and reactions. After a long period of doing the same thing over and over again, you many begin questioning, ‘who is the crazy one in this picture?’

Working through the layers of actions and experiences to figure out what one has learned may or may not be a solitary exercise. Counselors, therapists, fellow loved ones of addicts can be brought in to help with this deliberation.

However, in the end, the decisions lie with you and how you choose to internalize the learning. Following that, you begin to realize the truism of the saying, “Nothing changes, if nothing changes.”

“What have I learned?” is a recurring theme throughout parenting a loved one with an addiction.

What have I learned through the years? A better question would be what have I learned, unlearned and re-learned? This disease is not one that lends itself to a standardized treatment regimen that guarantees recovery. In fact, recovery is actually a misnomer in that there is a new normal.

To the other parents out there, there will be more learning and unlearning as you go along. This is a fluid disease that changes symptoms and behaviors as it progresses. We must become more flexible in our learning and treatment if we ever hope to live a healthy lifestyle and have a meaningful relationship with our loved one with an addiction.

Parents, what have you learned about yourself?

Related Links:
7 Truths About My Addict That Took 5 Years To Learn
4 Lessons I Learned About Confronting My Substance Abusing Teen
Taking Action Against My Son’s Drug Problem

Posted by  |  Filed under Addiction, Hope, parenting, Recovery, Self-reflection, Taking Care of Yourself

69 Comments on “My Son’s Drug Addiction: What I Learned About Myself”

Jennifer says:
September 12th, 2011 at 3:32 am

I am so lost. My son has been an addict for 6 1/2 years. He has bounced in and out of our house. Gotten two different girls pregnant. Hasnt ever really worked a job, and now is living in the motel from hell….He totaled his car and he has only two more weeks and then nowhere to go. My 18,11 and 9 year old are in my care. Jordan, my son who is addicted has a horrible relationship with his stepfather. He does not know his biological father, but the person who I married took Jordan in as his own at 9 months and loves him greatly. The last straw for me was I always said please no needles in my home, no drugs for that matter, but if I ever find a needle I have to make you go. So one day I say his arms and hands, he had track marks. I was put into a panic attack that was so bad I had to be taken to the hospital to calm me down. He denied they were track marks and I wanted to believe him and gave him a chance because I had no evidence(in my head). I myself have been very sick with three back surgeries and he would startle me at night begging for my back medication, but when his girlfriend asked if Jordan was buying PERCOCETS for me I was shocked. That was July 4th. When he left I went through everything in his room, found needles loaded hidden in a Lion King case and more needles and bottle caps with white substance. I put everything in a bag called the police and they suggested I section him. So I asked my husband to take both little kids to his mothers and my other son was at a friends house. I knew Jordan would be looking for those needles when he came home. I was fully clothed, slept with a bat and my purse along with my rosary beads. Jordan thought I wasnt awake when he came into my room on his hands and knees searching for the needles he woke me up trying to tell me that he thought someone had been in the house and that maybe some of his friends needles may have not been unpacked so he was worried. I acted like nothing was wrong and told him to go to bed. He searched the entire house. The next morning I brushed my teeth left and went to court. We sectioned him he stayed for 30 days and then was kicked out of the halfway house because they thought he was using. He had a seizure the first night he was there. My husband and son will not let him back in this house there is a restraining order against him. The goal was for him to go to long term treatment. He decided it was more important to see his child being born. I have no support. I need help as I am completely physically and mentally broken. Any advice would be helpful. I dont want my son to die,,,,,,

Nancy Joyce says:
September 12th, 2011 at 11:25 pm

You do have support in many ways, you just need to look in the right places to find it. Coming to this site is a step in the right direction. You can also attend Naranon Meetings. You can call or email me. You are not alone. Many of us have experienced the same thing with our children or loved ones. Certainly not an easy battle and one that does effect the whole family. I understand your fears and concerns. Keep reaching out for love and support. Continue to get educated on addiction, that alone will help you tremendously. It is possible to love your son without enabling him.
Stay strong and God Bless,
609-661-2512 EST

Cathy | Treatment Talk says:
September 15th, 2011 at 4:44 am

Hi Ron,

Wonderful post to let other parents know that their struggles and challenges are not unique. Addiction was not something I was prepared for and I was caught off guard when I realized the extent of the disease. We, as parents scramble to try and get help as best we can, and hope for a positive outcome, but it is definitely a daunting task and we learn quickly that we cannot control the addiction. It great to have this site as a wonderful resource for parents in this situation.

susan lea says:
September 16th, 2011 at 12:21 am

Quote: “A better question would be what have I learned, unlearned and re-learned? This disease is not one that lends itself to a standardized treatment regimen that guarantees recovery. In fact, recovery is actually a misnomer in that there is a new normal.”

I think your comment on “learning and re-learning” is one of the biggest lessons I’ve acquired along this journey with my daughter who is an addict and struggles with mental health issues. I’ve tried to commit myself to keeping an open mind to new possibilities. And I try to be kind to myself when I discover that I need to learn things all over again.

When a counselor told me “this is a long slow road” I didn’t want to believe it. I thought I wouldn’t last, I thought I couldn’t last. And it’s not a picnic at times, for sure. But after two years of hoping and wanting and praying for change in my daughter, I’ve discovered the biggest change is in myself.

Judi Roach says:
October 1st, 2011 at 4:34 pm

I have learned that we have to learn to live with hope, we deserve happiness, and that detaching is the only way to live in peace with addiction. Addiction is a disease, it is okay to not know the answers or direction to take. One day at a time.

samira saoud says:
October 2nd, 2011 at 2:03 am

Jennifer you are doing the right thing. I’m praying for you and your son. “Let go and let God”.Don’t go through this alone.Find a church,a support group as it was suggested here. And believe God can rescue your son. Keep loving him and praying for him.You have to believe that the same God that so wonderfully knitted him together in your womb is the same God that is watching over him right now. Please read Psalm 139. It declares that ‘if your son makes his bed in sheol (hell)God is there! Read the word of God and you will find comfort and hope. You will also feed your soul. I want to please read Luke 15:11 and if you can read the book called THE PRODIGAL GOD,by Timothy Keller.Take care of yourself.Blessings,my dear.

Lillian says:
April 23rd, 2012 at 11:52 pm

I could not believe I found this website just by typing my son is a drug addict. I typed it in google because I felt I had to see it in black and white so I could realize it. I am so broken. My beautiful son is a drug addict. We have tried and tried to help him to no avail. What happened yesterday was the last straw. We were cleaning out the garage and found his needles and a burned spoon. Today, he came home and told me that he spent the weekend at his girlfriend’s house “dealing with it” and that he had done it on his own. He then packed somethings and said he was leaving because he was embarrassed and didn’t deserve to be here. He then got angry at me and accused me of always accusing him of drug and alcohol use and of not giving him a good father. My husband and I were married when he was 5 years old. He is the only father my son has ever had. His own died when he was 8 1/2, but had never taken the time to try and be a father to his only child. I’ve never said anything bad about his father and my husband has been the same father to him as he has been to our other two children. I don’t know what to do. I’m scared of what will happen to my son if he leaves our home, but I don’t want my other two children (21, 18) to suffer seeing their brother the way he is. My son is 27 years old. I know this site is for parents of teens addicts, but believe me, to me he will always be my little boy. I pray for all of you and your children. My our great Lord protect them and give you peace.

Jennifer says:
May 24th, 2012 at 5:47 pm

I am a mother of a 17 year old addict. I have set rules boundries and stand behind my word. He is violent and wanted to control my home. (which BTW; he has never seen any of these things from us, his parents) I had him picked up and taken to REHAB on Septemeber 26, 2011. He did 72 days. Came out worst .. Since he new that in my home he can not do as he pleases he did not want to return home after REHAB. He went to live with his Aunt. Of course after 2 months there she did not want him anymore because of his drug use. He went to live with a friend.

He was out of my home for 7 months total. I decided to let him back home because he came crying back and ended up in a hospital and kicked out of school (he too was an honor roll student) He said he was ready for a change. I new he was not ready but my husband and I allowed back inn… giving him the rules. No Drugs – No violence – NA meetings…so on. first day back he had an argument with my husband. Strike 1. A week later had another argument with both of us. (Violent – always threats ** please note he has punched my husband before) I am NOT SCARED OF HIM!!!! This was his Strike 2. On the 29th day I found drugs in my home and I was done. I gave him 2 choices: You can leave my home. Or you can go to a rehab home that I found for him that is Christian based and will help you. He said that I was crazy that he is not an addict that he does not have a problem. He decieded to leave my home. He walked out on a Monday a 12:30AM.. told my husband that he rather live being him with drugs than have to be stuck in house with all these rules. I said ok theres the door. My heart hurts A LOT.

I’m trying to make this story short. There is a lot more that I have not written here that my son has done to all of us in his family. He has burned a lot of bridges because his addiction has taken over his life. I packed his things set them outside my home for him to pick up. In his bag I left him a note: Pretty much saying – I love you with all my heart I will always be here for you when you want to begin to live a sober life. I included the information of the REHAB Home that he can go too. I cant more … I will never give up. But he CAN NOT control my home, my family or ME. I as once an enabler … But I have learned through this journey that we as parents can only do so much. That an addict or a troubled child or person has to WANT to help themselves. My son does not understand this. What teenager does? But I had to let him leave… he needs to learn. I will continue to fight for him. And when he really wants the help I will be there for him. But for now… its one day at a time. God has a plan.

For those of you with troubled Teens — Always remember that you are not alone.


Lori Smith says:
May 30th, 2012 at 7:14 pm

I too am the mother of a substance abuser. My son prefers pot and has always drank to excess. He only believes he has a problem with xanex that he cannot control. (Which he has avoided for 2 years, I THINK) He thinks pot is harmless and that he is not an alcoholic. My husband and I have set boundaries and tried not to be codependant. We have let him be homeless, sit in jail for weeks and sometimes months, and not paid his bills or fines. What I am confused about is how to know they are sincere about changing. I read that this is a disease and that they have so many bad habits and behaviors that go along with drug abuse. I don’t even know how to explain the twisted and confusing mess that my son has made of his life. He is 25, has nothing but debt, no home, no car of his own. He has two felonies. He was on probation in two counties and broke both of them by selling pot and lortabs to an undercover cop three times. So now he is in so much trouble that he is sorry and ready to make a change…. He has no where to live, nothing to drive if it weren’t for his Grandma, no job if it weren’t for his Dad and I. How in the world do we believe him? He really does appear to be clean and trying to change. Should we drug test him ourselves? I cannot follow him around every day and I have no way of knowing if he is sincere or simply appeasing us and manipulating us again. He prayed with me and asked God to help him fill the hole that drugs have occupied. YET still thinks he can manage beer drinking!!!! So I had to tell him that he had to accept that he truly abuses andy substance he touches and that he had to give it all up! He has gone to church every Sunday for 6 weeks, he has found a Christian Celebrate Recovery Program to attend a couple of nights a week. So it seems he is doing the work but I just want him to be a different person NOW! I don’t want to hear a cuss word, I want to see him be kind and selfless and so much more. I feel guilty all the time because without help from our family he will be in the gutter. I just don’t know how to rebuild any kind of trust with him. I want to hate HIM but it’s his drug addiction I hate. It has robbed me of my son for 5 years. I feel so judged by other people that think this is so simple to remedy. I am sick of using tough love on my son. I just want him to change so I CAN LOVE HIM LIKE NORMAL PARENTS LOVE THEIR KIDS. How do we help him while he appears to be in recovery and not punish him for his past mistakes? He could fail again and we look like enabling fools… again!!!

richie says:
July 9th, 2012 at 8:45 am

it’s a lifestyle…will never understand my sons addiction…it’s slowly killing me!

jim says:
July 24th, 2012 at 2:26 am

My son started using drugs at 15. We had him in rehab at 16, and everyone including extended family supported and encouraged him. It did not work. We knew there continued to be a problem but did not know the extent. We had rules that he would verbally agree to and then completely ignore. After 18 he was gone a lot, showed up late if at all for holiday dinners as we waited for his arrival. Drove a medical transport for a short time and began exchanging pot for narcotics assigned to the patients. Was in the hospital for several weeks and almost died with pancreatitis after alcohol binging. Went to jail and rehab after passing out at the wheel while on narcotics. Every time he wanted to come home we would set rules. Counseling, no drugs, etc. After getting into heroin he stole my SS number from a tax return and got a credit card in my name, running up several thousands of dollars before we found out. Broke into sage and stole our jewelry and sold it. All while claiming to be an unwilling victim of the disease. We sent him to a really good private rehab on our own money. He was always nice and loving and repentant when he was around. Then the last time he came back he started stealing stuff from our neighbors and was home one day. We sent him to a relative in Georgia where no heroin was available. He was arrested for dui. After half a year in Georgia we let him come home for Christmas. He seemed better. We told him there would be regular drug tests and counseling required. I found him dead in his bedroom on New Year’s eve, with a needle still in his hand. The last several month’s have been hell. I don’t know what else we could have done. We spent a fortune, showed love, boundaries, consequences, and nothing worked. Nothing. Losing a son like this is really really hard. I wish you all the best of luck that you can find the right answers. I never did.

Julie says:
July 24th, 2012 at 3:56 pm

I am so sorry to here of your loss Jim. I am going throuh a simular time. My son started our at 15 with weed, and now is snorting heroin. We sent him to treatment 4 times. Only one time was he willing to go. He has not been able to stay clean for over 2-3 weeks. He has caused great sadness in our home. He has created tension, stress and resentment. He lies all of the time. I love my son with all of my heart. When I look at him, I see deep inside, the small boy that I felt would really go far in life, due to a wonderful personality. He has detoxed many times on his own. It was hard to see him jerk around and puke for days last time. I now have constant anxiety attacks when I think about it. He does not take the time any more to be with his 4yr old son. Its like the drugs are his only love. I cannot do the tough love thing. I know that one day. I will probably find him dead if he does not stop this self destruction.

Linda says:
August 5th, 2012 at 10:31 pm

I find it so sad that so many parents have the same experience and feel so helpless regarding this generation of children.I also have a son who is a drug addict. I have always done tough love with him, PINS,Out patient drug rehab, counseling. He is now on the verge of turning 19, and has been smoking pot for the past 4 years. I hear that he is now moved onto herion. He moved out when he graduated from high school, (high Honors), quit college in 3 weeks, and has yet to hold a job more than a month. Drugs and lying consume him. He is not my little boy any more. He is a drug addict. I have offered a rehab center but that has been turned down repeatedly, he doesn’t have a problem. I used to meet him once a week, take him out for lunch and then realized that although my part of the conversation was honest and true, his was just made up lies, what he thought I wanted to hear. At this point I have stopped torturing myself about his life, and I have made the concious decision to not see him. I am happier, I don’t build up hope only to have it dashed on a weekly basis. I think of him all the time, wondering if he is well, but there is no phone call from him, no phone call from the police or the hospital. I have turned my fears to God and actually have felt peace for the first time in 4 years. I continue to love him and would love to know him without drugs but until that happens I will not allow myself to be manipulated by him.

Pamela says:
August 12th, 2012 at 6:13 pm

I too am a mother of a drug and alcohol addict. My son started at 14 years old. Started with pot and then moved on from there. Set the rules, came and went in and out of my home for a few years. Finally was accused of raping an older women New Years Eve and I answered my door to 4 police officers yanking my son our of bed to arrest him. He hasn’t lived in my home since he was 18 years old, now he is 22 and still using. He has been violet toward me and blames me for everything. The verbal abuse got so bad that I had to block his phone number on my phone, blocked all communication with him. I finally have patial peace but think and wonder when I will get that phone call that he has killed himself or overdosed. I carry alot of anger and hurt toward him. Addiction and HE has stolen my son from me! I do have hope that one day he will overcome addiction and come back to me to repair our relationship. For now I am at some sort of peace not knowing what he is doing, or where he is at, I don’t ask his brother about him; I just can’t it creates too much heartache and stress for me. Tough love has helped me but man it is not an easy rode! I have come to realize that my son does not need me, does not need my advice or to stand by him to help him through; he has all the tools around him to help him through; he needs to love himself enough to get through this.

Pamela says:
August 12th, 2012 at 6:34 pm

What do you do when you had done intervention for your son and did the couneling and watched all the relapes over and over again? I lost my faith, listened to the last promise. I had to shut him out of my life so I could live with some kind of sanity. I will go for some days and not think about him. I continue on with my life and find myself longing for him to experience life with me. He is missing out; I am missing out all because of his addiction. This is a selfish disease and I see that in my son. He is so selfish, lies, steals, wrecked my cars, sold my things just to get drug money so he can be in that place in his head that makes him feel normal! The last thing I said to him before I would not allow him to hurt me anymore was this: “I will always love you and the son I once knew long ago” Goodbye. No matter what the addict does or says, I will welcome back into my heart oneday when he is done and over addiction.

Christian says:
August 20th, 2012 at 12:18 pm

Wow..I am in the same boat as all of son is 21 and an addict..its definatley consuming myevery thought and affecting my work and relationship.
When we kicked out my son for drug use..(after 2 attemps in rehab) he left for Cali..I live in Texas…and things have gotten really bad from stealing to using dirty needles to jail.(which they let him out on probation) ..I wish I could not let it consume me aas much since I know there is not much I can do…I think thats what hurts the most is that there isnt anything I can do..I have a hard time accepting that..What happened to Jim is our fear as I lost my brother to substance abuse…Prayers to all going through this…UGH

Maureen says:
August 22nd, 2012 at 12:45 am

I am going through the same with my 20 year old daughter. It’s been a year and a half of complete chaos and insanity in my home. She’s my oldest and her younger brother and sister have been hurt so much. My husband has to work in another state so I have been pretty much on my own. Right now she’s out of my house. She chose to go live on the streets and in hotels with her addicted boyfriend rather than follow my rules. She insists what she does is what all kids her age do, but most parents don’t find out because they are not controlling and snooping into their kids business the way I am. I have no advice, nothing I’ve done has ever worked. She lies, steals, manipulates and has nothing like the kind of life she should have. She was very smart, beautiful and popular and now her life is a disaster, she has nothing. I can’t let her back in my home, and my husband (her father) said if I do he’s not coming back. my heart is sick, all day, everyday. I can’t focus on anything. All I do is worry and feel helpless and I don’t know how to move forward. I feel for all of you. This is a special kind of hell I wish I never knew about.

darlene says:
August 23rd, 2012 at 5:11 pm

I am so tired of dealing with my daughters drug addiction! I kick her out of my home,she leaves and still comes back. There’s no more sugar coating how selfish she is. Help from her middle school years to now 28 years old has been given to her. I now have her 4 year old daughter to raise without having her toxic presence in our home. Being in prison twice now hasn’t changed her other than heaing her sob while she’s there. Years back i put an order of protection which is one of numerous reasons she got locked up the first time & that obviously didn’t work. I’m going to die hopefully have raised my granddaughter to adulthood & knowing my granddaughter will then have the drug addiction burden of her mother.

Christian says:
September 2nd, 2012 at 12:47 pm

Hi its me heart goes out to all..and I will say esp for those who have the daughters.. I am so angry and sad all the time like all of you..I never thought I would be the one going through this..I try so hard every day to focus and be the goood ole days..but its really hard. I even find myself hoping that he would get put in jail ..ugh..and as far as jail goes he has been arrested but they just keep letting him out. Well I am going to try harder today to be the wife and mother I need to be to the rest of my family.. its going to be hard but I am going to do my best…Prayers to all of you going through this..I feel other than death this has got to be the hardest thing ever.

Liam says:
September 5th, 2012 at 1:03 am

You have to catch the addiction while your kids are young. Before 20 is preferred. Take time to do something fun with them. Go out of town so they have no connections and take a plane to ensure they dont have drugs. Be gone for at least 2 weeks but a month would be best. Act more like a friend but be a parent when needed. Addicts like to be in control. Let them decide what to do with the day. After a good innocent month they will hopefully at least start to think about quitting. Then you just have to give them that extra push and hopefully theyll get better. I know because I’m an addict. I’m 15 and hooked on crystal meth and heroin. IT ALL STARTED WITH WEED!!!! When you catch your kid smoking weed take it seriously. I smoked weed then took mushrooms then took ecstasy( by this time I didn’t even smoke and was doing random drugs in the mean time) and then started doing cocaine then took one hit of crystal and crystal meth is one of the worst. You feel so good for a few hours and after that you just keep smoking and smoking to catch the same high but you never do. I slept maybe and hour every 3 to 4 days and maybe a full 5 hour when I started hallucinating and I also didn’t eat for days on end. Finally I just wanted to come down so I smoked heroin to help. Now im slamming it(using a needle) and need it every 4 hours or I get deathly sick and I’m still doing crystal. I’m trying to get clean but it’s the hardest thing. Parents once your kids are at my stage, they need at least 6 months in rehab because this is impossible out on the streets. Make sure it’s a rehab where they get to leave once a week under your supervision and maybe let them see one friend. Make sure it’s a good friend who wants the best for them. KICKING YOUR KIDS OUT WILL ONLY MAKE IT WORSE AND UPS THE CHANCE OF THEM DYING!!!!!!!! If you have any questions let me know because I know addicts from being one and growing up with them and all addicts want to be clean. I will look at this site periodically for questions

Good Luck

Christian says:
September 5th, 2012 at 5:45 pm

Hi Liam…sorry you are struggling with such an awful addiction. I have done things with my son when he was younger from vacation in th emtns to camping to playing video games with him..When he was in sports I was at every event..I thought he would never get hooked like he has..ugh. He has been in rehab twice now and we let him come home..only to ur dismay he took my family heirlooms and took off…he wont listen ..he knows it all of course and is living on the streets 1200 miles away from his family.. if an addict is to get help it has to be for themselves…I hope someday you can get into a rehab..for as long as it takes because I can tell you that it will not get better even if you live at home or get kicked out unless you yourself seeks the help…Your parents are going through the hardest thing ever because they have no control over what you do as an addict..I know you also are going through the hardest thing ever..there is help out have to want it bad enough to do whatever..and I mean whatever it takes…I wish you the best..Prayers to you and your family…

kasey says:
September 5th, 2012 at 6:50 pm

I am reading through the article and many comments. I am so lost. I have been crying since the weekend when I saw my 18 year old son for the first time in months. He has lost so much weight and just doesnt look like the same child. He admits to drinking (a lot) and smoking “weed”. I cant help but think that there is something more going on. My son is the most polite, well mannered boy that loves me so much. I blame myself for divorcing my husband many years ago. Would things of been different. I am a mama bear and would kill for my children. I want to protect him but I think I am more of an enabler. It is easy to keep my head in the sand. It has gotten to a point to where his brother and sister are “ratting” him out because they are worried. I am a wreck…I want to help him. He has really pulled away from everyone….I need help. I am not sure that I am strong enough to make it through this. Please somebody, anybody

Karen says:
September 5th, 2012 at 9:49 pm

I have been where most of you have been too. My son is 21 years old and was diagnosed with Leukemia last year. He is now in maintenance getting IV chemo once a month and chemo in pill form everyday. On Fridays he takes a total of 23 pills in addition to other meds.

I thought this diagnosis would change his life for the better and for the most part it has. We have gone through so much together and have built a very close relationship with him. Before he had Leukemia, his life was headed down the road of substance abuse. He admitted to this.

Just recently, I have found little baggies of Adderall so I’m sure he was selling them. I made him empty them in the toilet. He smokes Marijuana and has a Medical MJ Card. 6 months ago he turned 21 and celebrated by drinking and got it okay-ed with the doctor. As a matter of fact the doctor warned him that his liver has taken a major hit so consuming too much alcohol is dangerous.

On Friday night he was picked up for a DUI. Ironically, I am not surprised because he has been going out just about every night. He says he isn’t drinking all the time and has been the DD. I just had this strange feeling as it reminded me of his choices and behavior before he was diagnosed with Leukemia. I really tried not to go ballistic, which I didn’t because after Cancer nothing surprises me or gets me down. BTDT… He feels extremely bad about it. We sat down with a Lawyer last night and its going to cost quite a bit to get him off.

What really concerns and hurts me is that he wasn’t honest with us from the get go. While speaking with the Lawyer we found out his DUI is Extreme–.16, and that instead of 4 drinks he had almost 18-22 drinks.

We were willing to help him but are starting to back track because of the lying, going out, putting his friends first and most of all his remorse turned to disrespect. My husband and I are torn about what to do because of the Cancer and treatment. Most likely he will have to go to do some jail time.

We are financially strapped and have spent alot on the last run-in with the law before he was diagnosed. Rules do not work, contracts, agreements, etc… I’m not sure at this point what to do but I am leaning on letting the courts handle it this time. I feel as though we are enabling him if we help him get off. My fear is once they experience jail or the streets, they get used to it. But what other options are there? I cannot kick him out. BTDT!!

I think my story takes the cake…:-(

Jerry Otero says:
September 6th, 2012 at 8:59 pm


The Mayo Clinic has reported that it can sometimes be difficult to distinguish normal teenage moodiness or angst from signs of drug use.

While this is not a comprehensive list, some possible indications that your teenager is using drugs include: problems at school, physical health issues, lack of energy and motivation, neglected appearance, changes in behavior, and unexplained spending of money.

I recommend that you call me at the Parent Helpline (number listed below) so that I can assist you in making the best use of what The Partnership at has to offer you.

Additionally, I was wondering if you knew that each Monday night at 9PM Eastern/ 6PM Pacific, SMART Recovery® Volunteer Facilitators provide an online meeting to address specific issues encountered by friends or family members who have a loved one affected by addiction.

The meetings share SMART Recovery® tools that can be implemented by family members to help with emotional upsets, effective communication methods when dealing with loved ones, and more. Techniques employed within the CRAFT program are also shared for the benefit of meeting attendees.

To participate in the Family & Friends meetings, registration is required at the SMART Recovery® Online website: Meetings are reached via a pulldown menu at the top left corner of the forum pages.

For more information on SMART Recovery® for Family & Friends, please visit:

Jerry Otero MA
Parent Support Specialist
1-855-DRUGFREE (1-855-378-4373)

Devastated says:
September 9th, 2012 at 4:51 am

I am not sure where to start. I just found out this week that my 20 year old son (the love of my life)is addicted to morphine. I say a message on his facebook. Shortly after I confronted him he started crying and told me he needs help, he cant do it on his own and didnt tell me because he didnt want to hurt me. He has now been in detox for 5 days. He is asking to go to rehab and we are currently trying to get him in. He is also asking them to attend meetings and went to his first na meeting tonight which detox took him to. He phoned me so excited and said he thinks that will really help him to be successful. I cannot find words to explain how I feel, but I am sure you all understand. I have never felt pain like this in my lifetime. I am absolutely terrified he is going to relapse when he gets out. He was snorting 2 24 mg hydromorphine pills a day as well as smoking a 200mg fentiyl (not sure if spelling is correct) patch a day. I will never forgive myself for not seeing this. I have been the mother who is always calling, texting, driving and knowing where my son is. He calls me several times an evening when he is out, and always comes home at night. He still crawls in bed and watches tv with us or just to snuggle. He truly is my baby. I feel utterly helpless and not sure how to help him. I have decided to attend naranon meetings to teach me how to treat him and his addiction. I am terrified that he will get out and see his friends. Does anyone know anyone who has been successful at beating this drug?? I will pray for all of you and your children tonight, pure devestation to say the least.

Maria says:
September 10th, 2012 at 11:34 pm

Liam, and all please help
My son is 25 years old and a addict Heroin he has been to many rehabs and i took him to meetings almost every night, took him to do things while getting clean, movies, hiking, rock climbing, city, all kinds of things well he went back to drugs after a few mnths denies to me using, i am a single mom of4 kids he is my oldest it eats me up all the time. he stole from me for his habbit, he got caught with it on him did time, etc. i sent him to live with him grandma and he was clean there but she wanted to live alone and he came back. i know have had my house broken into and they cleaned me out every electronic we had. i believe he had someting to do with it he has no license no job, just looks a mess, when I look at him it hurts im discusted but i love him to death and i am scared. i told him he has to leave i cant do this with my younger kids no more 20 college student who works 2 jobs and full time student. 22 year old military and 8 year old.where did i go wrong with him? i have asked him to leave he will be moving out tomorrow, he has no where to go he never had a dad or step dad i raised them alone,i am all he has. i am afraid of finding him dead, and hear rock bottom has to come.please god watch over him and guide him to the right direction.
please tell me am i wrong?

stepanie martinez says:
September 12th, 2012 at 12:42 am

My little boy is also an addict. I am so damn stupid for not seeing the signs! And you know what is so weird? My older sister while growing up was a coke person. I never did drugs because I saw what they did and how bad the best parents in the world suffered every night worrying about her. I’m an alcoholic. But a very limited one. Not a heavy drinker, but an every night 2 shooter drinker in my diet cokes over a 4 hour period. I’m not a loser. I’m definitely a go getter. Because of my ex and my sister, I taught my son at dinner time at the age of two with pharmacy booklets about good drugs and bad drugs. I’m a very watchful parent, and definitely concerned and attentive parent, been divorced for 15 years, never had some guy come before my child, in faCt, meet my baby boy, he was very secured, with watchful freedom….. My little boy has been the extreme socialable child ever born. He is so kind hearted and trusting and extremely friendly… yea, it sounds like a good quality.. but it’s not. My son knows too many damn people everywhere we go. I used to think when he was young it was cute, but now it’s become a tragedy. He knows everyone including the good people and the bad people. He will help anyone at anytime. I am very proud of him to be that kind of person, but at the same time he meets the wrong people. He has a drug addicition. He won’t listen to me, I have trusted him so many times, and now I am learning to verify things because I have sadly learnt that I can’t believe everything although I wish I could.

I don’t know exactly what happened last week. He is away out of town trying to earn money while working for his extremely abusive father. I can only guess the truth, but after realizing that I can’t fully believe either one of them, I put two and two together and have come to the realization something really did happen, but I have no idea what to extent. I believe it was extremely life threatening but my ex didnt’ do anything about it. Thank god my son is still here, but I tell you what I need some support on how to deal with this… Because I don’t know how much I can deal with. Looking back, when I beleived him and had no fucking clue of what was going on and made excuses…. Damn, I’m a horrific parent when all I tried to do was give him the best life I could. I know i got weak when my best friends who were my parents died, but I got weak in my professional career, never as being a role model as a parent. Never went out much, never let men come over, only one man met my son and I tossed him out real quick after something he did and said… Very proective over my child. I need counseling to help him and now myself with this issue. I wish I would die, but I would never take my life, because I couldn’t leave my child nor be that selfish to leave him with that kind of pain. But man, I pray god lets me come back home soon, because I will not see my little one do this to himself. He is all I got and I love him more than anything. After looking back and believeing him like an idiot, I shoudl have been there being a real protective parent. What a fucken fool… I had no fricken idea, and all because I never did drugs and never hung around with someone who did them like this. I thought I was always educated about drugs, but I had no idea about these ones… Huh… and I thought I was a good, attentive, not too overbearing parent. What a fool I was….In total denial without education…

empty and hallow inside says:
September 12th, 2012 at 6:15 am

My heart goes out to all of you!! My son has been addicted to heroin for the last 4 1/2 years and he just turned 21. He has been in three rehabs at mom and dad’s request. As soon as he got there he told the staff he will do what they ask but he has no intentions of quitting at all. Once they say that the staff all tell us the same thing, you are just spinning your wheels if he has no desire to stop himself. And believe me, we have tried EVERYTHING possible with him. He graduated H.S. top of his class/in advanced courses full ride (my pocket) to Cal Poly and within 3 weeks dropped out of school. I believe because he couldn’t find the drugs on campus and had to come home to be near them. He faked a breakdown right before he quit college hoping to get meds from the doc that would get him high. Shortly after getting home from dropping out he took over 100 xanax and some other pills and was in a coma for a few days. After he got out of the hospital he tried another rehab for our sake’s once again and it didn’t work. He is now 21, has been offered another 5 year full ride back to college and made a feeble attempt himself to quit for two days and he used each of those two days just this past week. We have found out the few times he has quit for a short period of time it’s only because he was spending too much each day on his habit and if you quit for a few days it lowers the amount of heroin it takes to get you high you pay less each day, never has he tried because he really wants to quit. He is now working full time and living on his own, this is his 2nd month on his own and he had to barrow money to make his rent the 1st month he was there, I gave him the money and told him that was it….I will buy him lunch once or twice a week, but anything beyond putting food right in his stomach in front of me, any cash I give him or any tangible things I buy for him just gets sold for dope so it’s a waste of time. he knows that this is it, I give him one more month and he will be kicked out and back living in a homeless shelter which he has done before, I don’t care what anyone tells you or what anyone says, if the addict does not want to quit besides trying to get him arrested (which I have tried in the past) there is NOTHING AT ALL you can do to force anyone into quitting any drug….Heroin I believe is 1000 time worse then the others, but I don’t care if it’s pot, if the user isn’t in a place in their life where they are ready willing and able to stop, we as parents can do nothing but stop helping them get the drugs by buying them things and/or giving them money. My wife and I are both empty inside now, we have lost a very handsome son that was/is smarter then both of us put together and had such a bright future in front of’s just so sad….I know at this point the only two things that can happen is 1, he gets lucky and gets picked up by the police and they give him mandatory drug testing, or two, we will get a phone call that he Overdosed. The worst part of the entire story is the 17 year old boy who got my son addicted back in the begining died of an overdose while my son was there, and instead of scaring him into quitting, it drove him into such a deep depression it just drove him to use more. Prayer is the only answer at this point…I wish you all the best of luck and with all of my heart I am so sorry anyone else has to go through such a horrible ordeal with someone they love. I will say a prayer for you all tonight…

Patty says:
September 20th, 2012 at 1:39 am

The worst is having no one to turn to. It is the loneliest
place a Parent can be.People dont know what to say so they avoid the subject. My son doesn’t believe he has a problem
So he won’t even discuss getting some help. At 21 he went from doing everything he did very well to now not even trying. Lost a college scholarship,lost the girl he hoped to marry, his church family and a close relationship with his family. I wish I could stop thinking about it all the time and what we should have done different. I don’t want to lose him to this he deserves better! They all do!

Sue says:
September 29th, 2012 at 2:14 am

My daughter is 22 years old. Use to be the most popular and energetic person in the world. Straight A student. Music lessons, dance lessons, trips to all over the world with us. She started hanging with her friends, that took “speed” her friends have all moved on with boyfriends and children etc. but she has not.:( she pulls her hair out, she runs the water in the sink for “ghosts”, she makes fires and had multiple tickets. I have asked for help, they say she has to be dangerous to get help. Isn’t that late? I am the biggest enabler…I buy her food. I did the “tough love” for a month once and when I went to see her she weighed 97 pounds.That just killed me so no for tough love.
I just don’t know what to do anymore. No one will help me. They keep saying she has to hit rock bottom…but after 8 years..she never has:(

Thank you.

Julie says:
September 29th, 2012 at 4:21 am

I feel for all of you. I have problems with my 25 year old son.Drinking is the problem. He is in and out of the hospital more than an 90 year old.In fact, I actually just left the hospital once again. I came to the point, I can no longer have heart felt feelings for my son.I don’t feel bad about saying that. I can support him if he is willing to make the first step and help himself. He will not admit to his drinking problem. He blames it on his medication. HELLO, you can not mix meds with vodka.I tell him stop drinking and he says I need to stop takings meds.I search his room and when I find the vodka pour it down the sink. He knows I take it from his room. He just finds different hiding spots. I find then all. He is in denial. Total denial.Hopefully one day he will wake up. As far as I concerned,I am going to live each day to the fullest. I have a life too.

Connie says:
October 5th, 2012 at 7:32 pm

My son is 26 and a herion addict. I have mostly lost all hope. I will keep praying for him but I don’t think it helps. I just want to quit all of it and give up.

Bell says:
November 25th, 2012 at 2:27 pm

Reading through everyone’s story it sounds about the same. My heart stays sad from my son’s addiction. We tried everything too now I must try to live my life without him. I do think the only way out for him is death. Hard to say but what kind of life is this for him anyway. I ask the LORD to take over and end his pain. So sorry my son.

Wanda says:
November 27th, 2012 at 3:44 am

I am at a loss anymore with my 24 year old son. He has been addicted to snorting oxycotons and coke for at least 3 years now. As his Mother I always want to believe this is the time, because he comes to us over and over after the fact, after he has used, saying he needs help, he wants to get clean, blah, blah, blah. Personally, lately I believe if he didnt run out of money and drugs the phone call to us would never come until the money and drugs are always gone. I know in my head I need to do the tough love, but my heart will never let me turn my back on any of my children. I pray to God every night to give my Son strength and to get into his head anyway he can to get him away from this nasty disease that has taken over his life. When he is clean for a couple days he tells me everything I want to hear, that he is also praying to God for strength, that he watches the secret, that he trys to continue to be positive, then just when I am feeling good that this could be the time, BAM, it happens again.
Of course I have blamed myself many times. I, also struggled with addictions for many years, I left his Dad when he was young and lived with the guilt for years. His Dad I stayed cordual and shared custody. After being divorced for 17 years his Dad and I were reunited,I got clean and learn to forgive myself so now I could focus on my son. Our first goal together was to get our son away and get him clean. It worked for awhile until he came back and started it all over again. 2 years later its been the same cycle over and over again. Right now he is sleeping off the drugs he did for the last two days and I am feeling less than hopeful he will wake up and still want to get help. My husband and I both have good full time jobs but are broke living pay check to pay check. We never give him money as we know it will go towards his addiction but we do spend alot of money on food, gas, cigerettes…I just want to cry but know I am the rock in this family and have to be the one to hold it together, I need the help to do that

Chris says:
December 4th, 2012 at 2:41 am

I have been reading everyone’s comments because I am looking for support too. I have a 25 year old son who is addicted to drugs and alcohol. Three months ago he was admitted to rehab due to suicidal tendencies. I hope he will finally leave the evil life behind and move into a better place. I had my first counseling session last Friday and was advised not to allow him to return to our home. We have endured holes in our walls, ruined furniture, verbal and physical abuse and so much disrespect. The tough love is very hard for me. I have been a loving mother and wife. We have three other children our addicted son is the youngest. He has been to court 4 times and each time we hired lawyers and they managed to keep him out of jail. Each time he was on probation and had counseling too. Nothing has worked. He has been in rehab for 3 months and will be released soon. I am heartbroken that he will not be living with us. I know i have been an enabler and will be getting the help i need to establish and maintain a relationship with my son. I need to move on as well. This is a terrible disease and i desperately want to get past this. I hope and pray my son will get well overcome his addiction and be happy. It has helped me a great deal to read your comments and know in spite of the struggle we are moving forward and helping to support each other with our words.

Sharan says:
December 29th, 2012 at 4:10 am

My 24 year old sister has been a drug addict for several years. She got married when she was sixteen and was married for seven years. About a year ago her husband kicked her out because he found out about her drug use. She has a four year old boy. So she lives with my family dad,grandma,mom, brother(9) and sister (10). BTW I’m 20. She still has joint custody of her son and he lives one week with the dad one week with her. My parents don’t want to kick her out because they think she will become a prostitute on the streets. Also coming from a Indian Culture they think if people find it, it will trash their reputation. My sister steals from us, lies and hurts us all very much. As much as I want to help her I know its not possible until she wants to help herself.
Every day is miserable, every moment I’m scared to see whats going to happen. My younger siblings don’t need to see this, we all don’t need to go through this. We are going through hell. I don’t know what to do. She doesn’t want to be drug free. She is selfish she doesn’t care about anyone not even her son. Rehab centers in Canada don’t even admit the patient unless they are willing to. We can’t take her to another country financial reasons/ she lost her passport. She says she got the drug dealers car insured for him. What rights do we have? I don’t want her in our house. What should I do? Please Help!!!!

Deana says:
February 20th, 2013 at 5:57 am

My son is 18 and an addict. I have tried everything I know to do, even enrolling myself into college to become a chemical dependency counselor. His problem began at 13 with marijuana. He was arrested for burglarly of a habitation. He was placed on probation. He revoked his probation getting arrested at school with marijuana. He was sentenced to TYC for 9 months, stayed for 4 years. He was introduced to many other drugs there. The kids crushed and snorted their “meds”, passed them around etc. He said the guards would get them whatever they wanted for a price. He was sexually molested by a female staff. My son said it was concentual. he did not tell me these things until he was released because it came with severe consequences. He was released at 17. He returned home a much different kid with a much larger habit and emotional problem. We set boundaries and rules. We gave him love, trust and engaged him in family outings and trips. He continued to use and spiral down. 7 months after his release, he stoled a car and went on a high speed chase with police. It ended by the car hitting a tree. He had no seat belt on. He could have been killed. They found a gallon bag of synthetic marijuana in the car. He went to the hospital then to jail. We did not know what had happened until he got to jail. We were heartbroken and in shock. We did not bail him out (tough love) He was released 5 months later. He continued to use. We told him, not in this house any longer (tough love). (Tears) He failed to return to his court date set. He is now running from the police. I saw the wanted bulletin the Police posted tonight. My heart is broken. I feel helpless, hopeless, confused and like I can’t go on. Thanks to this website I will be attending my first Alanon meeting on Thursday. You would think after my second semester of drug counseling classes I would have it all together. I do not. I am praying Alanon will bring me the peace I feel I deserve. It has been a long road and battle, and it’s not over yet. Please keep me in your prayers and also my son. Thank you for all of your stories. May God bless you all.

Ron Grover says:
February 20th, 2013 at 4:10 pm

Dear Deana,

I am so sorry to read your story. We are both a part of a club no one should be a member of, Parent of an Addict.

I would encourage you to go to that Nar-Anon meeting. You are not alone and I know from experience it is very lonely without support. Other options I would suggest is to visit a counselor with experience in dealing with loved ones of addicts, you can also call The Partnership Helpline, 1-855-DRUGFREE. They have professionals that help greatly. Also talk with other parents. It doesn’t have to be a formally organized group. We all need each other.

I would also suggest you read another essay I wrote that seem to have helped many:

Also feel free to visit my personal blog. It is a more personal experience about parenting an addict. Today my son has been clear and sober since July 2010. If you want to read about his active addiction go back in the archives before July 2010. Today I mainly write about recovery.

Feel free to write any time.

Ron Grover

kathleen says:
February 28th, 2013 at 11:20 am

To all you wonderful parents I read your letters with tears coursing down my face. To hear your stories of self blame and heartfelt searching for answers. My son is living homeless because I, his mother, have told him he can’t live in our home until he is clean or truly is seeking to be clean. I have reflected on my parenting, I can see where I could have supported him more, have been a better role model, have put him first when it truly counted for him. The only strength I struggle to maintain is that I too have rights,as does my younger daughter. Whatever mistakes I made as a mother does not mean that I have to live with violence and fear in my own home. I was my son’s enabler and I pray to God that now I have found the strength not to be that he will reach rock bottom and become once again a shadow of the former beautiful boy that he was.
Kia Kaha (stand strong)

Son who wants to make his parents proud says:
March 12th, 2013 at 10:28 am

I tried my best dad,
Look at what I drew for you,
Its you teaching me how to ride
a bike with no training wheels today

I’m sorry I wasn’t going leave the crayons out,
I guess I could have made the drawing look better
I know I have two eyes, two ears and one mouth for a reason
I’m sorry I won’t bother you any more

fifteen years pass as I become so socially inept I throw up with anxiety. One day the warm silky black tar gives me the support I yearned for. I want to make you proud dad, I want you to tell me I’ve done a good job just once. Please.

Maria says:
April 4th, 2013 at 2:41 pm

Hello all I have previously wrote that sept 2012 my son is an addict, well today he is still an addict and I blame myself more and more. He has done nothing right, moved out lived with people and is now in jail, he does not stop, he lies and tells me he is clean, but i know different, My heart is broken, I failed, sometimes I feel it may be easier for me to leave this world then watch him go through this. I pray to god he finds away. as a parent you truly take it hard and i do not know how to deal with this anymore. I will always love him he was my first born and miss that great personality he has when he is not high. he is a wonderful person when it is him, not the addict. love you baby boy.
someone help me, how do I get through this all these years now, like 6.

Ron Grover says:
April 4th, 2013 at 3:48 pm

Dear Maria,

I understand completely about what you feel about your son. My son was in jail, in prison, lived on the street, stole from anyone that he touched, overdosed multiple times where we were called to the hospital. All seemed hopeless and his mother an I gave up on him even though we loved him with all our heart. He was our baby of 3 children.

All is not lost. Where there is life there is hope. Please take the time to read my personal blog about parenting an addict. My son will be 25 years old on his birthday in a few days. He has been clear and sober since July 2010. In July 2010 my wife and I had given up hope. We were just waiting for a body, in our mind our son was walking dead, just a matter of time. He has had a profound experience and been clean since. Today he is a person anyone would be proud and honored to know.

There is hope but do not misplace your hope.

Feel free to write me personally any time.

I know it is hard to imagine but there is more to life than your son’s addiction. This is from one parent to another that has been there. You are not alone.

In hell for 7 years for us.

Ron Grover

Holly says:
April 20th, 2013 at 1:35 am

I had 2 boys. Lovely boys. One was married and had two kids. One was in college. I am still married to their dad after 32 years. They partied. One liked to drink More than the other. Both were so much fun. One night a little too much fun was had and the daddy one died. Fast forward and the college boy can no longer function thinking he killed his brother with too much fun. He starts spiralling out of control. Drugs take his over his life because they numb the pain. It is time for gradation and he is two credits short because of drugs. He cant take this guilt…arrest after arrest happen. He goes to prison. He is out. So much better. Does an after care program has a job…stareted hearing it in his voice again. Did rehab. What now?

Pernilla says:
April 23rd, 2013 at 7:24 pm

Holly, please call the Helpline here at the partnership for to talk to one of our counselors. We usually encourage lengthy rehab with an even longer stay in sober living while attending daily/weekly support groups for the addict. We also strongly recommend support for the parents as this is a disease that effect everyone in the family system. Have you sought out any support for yourself?

You and your son are in my prayers,

Jerry Otero says:
April 23rd, 2013 at 8:03 pm

Hi Holly,

I don’t know that there is anything that anyone can say to you that will be of comfort — I can only imagine your grief. Pernilla’s advice, however, for you to seek out your own support, is spot on. Many people have had to walk this road, painful as it is, and there is much to gained from their experiences, not the least of all — their support.

Also, the value of practicing taking care of yourself cannot be underplayed. Don’t give up on your life, by going into panic mode — this is a long-term tragectory that’ll need to be maintained, so stopping breathing yourself won’t work. We need to keep the oxygen mask on ourselves before we can help anyone else. Even our kids.

If you want to talk to someone who cares about what you are going through, and who might be able to brainstorm with you about next steps, please do not hesitate to call me on the Parent’s Helpline (number below). Here, you will be able to speak to a professional, and sort things out.

The call is free and confidential — so why don’t you do it today?

Until then, I wish you and your family, all the best.

Jerry Otero
Parent Support Specialist
1-855-DRUGFREE (1-855-378-4372)

Shane says:
June 12th, 2013 at 10:55 pm


I will make this long story short. My step-daughter (23 years old), is an addict with a 5 year old child. She has been an addict since she was 13. We do not know what happened to turn her life from a little girl to a hard core, do anything for drugs addict.

Last month, her grandfather who was living with my wife and I, went to get her and her child for a weekend visit at our home. I was not in agreement with this decision, and he shouldn’t have been making the four hour drive because she was crying on the phone for money, or whatever it was today. He always tried to “take care of her”. I believe that he always enabled her. There was an accident and He did not make it through. The young boy suffered broken bones and bruises. She was physically okay, but emotionally charged.

Fast forward to last week, while my wife is still greiving the loss of her father. A gunman enters her daughter’s home, looking for one of the people in her residence and starts sshooting. She jumped out of a window, and broke her pelvis. She will be released this weekend. The hospital is detoxing her, and we are going to bring her to our home, while we await an opening to a resident rehab program. (i failed to mention that social services also took her child last week, so he was not at the home for the shooting).

She is a meth and pharmaceutical addict. I have been very hard about this, but now she has absolutely no where to go. Her landlord moved all of her belongings out to the yard, and her biological father has washed his hands of her. We are going try to help her. We truly hope that she is willing to accept this help. My wife is a mess. All of this is so tragic. these children just do not realize the toll that they take on their families.

This is the first time in my life that I feel so helpless. I want to help everyone get through this. It is not going to be easy.

Let us all pray for our children, and their healthy return to society.

God Bless

Debra says:
June 16th, 2013 at 2:09 am

Please help…I am so heartbroken and feel so utterly helpless..My oldest son was in the Air Force for 4 years, married and had a 2 yr old son when he committed suicide(Hate to say that word) We are a broken family. My other son was 15 at the time, they were so extremely close. We have muddled through life and now we are struggling with our sons drug addiction. I don’t know what to do!!! My heart is shattered in a million pieces. After our oldest son died we tried getting the younger one in therapy, but he wouldn’t talk. He was recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, which is not only horrible, but now that gave him access to syringes. I know we overcompensated after our older son died and let him get away with so much, as we were so caught up in our own grief. I don’t know who to turn to. Our son has been baker acted twice, we have no money for inpatient rehab. I feel so overwhelmed, I don’t know what to do. Looking for rehab that is no cost and came upon this site. What do we do as parents who are torn apart? I have just begun breathing again after finding my son and now my other son is slowly killing himself..I hate myself and feel so guilty. I was a stay at home mom, who devoted myself to my three children, soccer,basketball,skateboardng, you name it. My husband was an atttentive, loving father. My daughter is married with a 3 yr old, expecting a second, is almost done getting her degree in education. How does this happen??? Sorry I have rambled on so much, I just need help for my son and us…Please I want to believe that God can hear all my prayers and wipe all my endless tears. I just feel so hopeless…I can relate to all these other parents heartaches and hope someone out there can tell me what to do.

liz barnes says:
June 23rd, 2013 at 1:32 am

I’m a bad mom to an addict. Please help

Lucy says:
July 22nd, 2013 at 6:20 pm

What most people forget is that they cannot help a drug addict. You need counseling to deal with how it affects you, but you cannot help them, unless you are a professional trained in that area. These are the problems that families of drug addicts face. Until they want help or get help due to an emergency, you need to seek counseling to deal with how it affects your life. Sometimes we have to walk away from them, for them to seek help. We want someone to say “do this and it will work.” Reality is, it won’t unless it is putting them in rehab for six months or more. Sorry for being a hard a&& about it, but these are facts and truths. Save the children of them by taking them away from the drug addicted parent…because you can help the children of the addicts.

Len says:
July 24th, 2013 at 2:18 am

I have a 33 year old son who became addicted to opiates. He lives with me. He has never been arrested. Very nice person worries about everyone. Well he has been on suboxone for the last five years kept a job three years never missing a day. He has colitis or or some type of stomach problem docs don’t really know what he has. He takes a very small dose of suboxone. He also has a very strong social anxiety disorder he has a really hard time leaving the house and going out in public. I feel that he might be able to kick the suboxone if he tried. He is terrified of trying . He says he would never want to live again like he was living when he had to lie cheat and steal to get the drugs he needed everyday. I am still at a loss I feel so bad for him. His mother and i separated a year ago and she really does not want to take any responsibility for him. It took me three years to convince her that he was a drug addict she was in total denial of the situation. He told her he didn’t do drugs and she believed him over me because we did not get along. Well he only has about three weeks of suboxone left and I am terrified what my be ahead. Drives me crazy at times.

AC says:
July 30th, 2013 at 1:14 pm


I have been up all night which seems to be a normal night in my home. Lord, Lord, Lord, I am so burdened with my son (27). He has Bi-polar and some developmental delays, but he is very smart. He was doing well in college, but dropped out when he had only 4 more months before graduating. Last night I had to ask him to leave again because he came to my home again wreaking of alcohol and I do not know what else he was under the influence of. He hit me 2 weeks ago and I had to file charges because I need to start holding him responsible for his actions. He refused to get help after I have called many times to get information to admit him in detox and rehab. He has committed several crimes that I know would be crimes if I would have reported him. He stole my rent money one time, stole my car and got stopped by the police, pawned my DVD player, my stereo, and has stolen my debit card and withdrew money from it. I am disabled and he has to help me sometimes when I need him, but I do not have any other help with him. His father does not have any contact with him. My sister talks him against me and this makes things worse. She does not speak to me because she took from me when I first became ill. I am so hurt. He is my only child, my baby and I can not help him. He will not stop drinking long enough to get medicated for the bi-polar and is very violent and verbally abusive to me. I do not know why he thinks that I am his enemy? I love my son, and it is breaking my heart because I can not get through to him. He is the reason why I am majoring in Psychology. I am a senior now and love school and am looking forward to working with people once I graduate. But I wish that I could afford to send him to a really nice place to get him help so that he can get on with his life. LIFE IS TOO SHORT. If someone knows of any help, please email me. I’m so afraid that he will get killed out the on the streets, but he is so violent here and I am sort of week in my arms and legs since I had the stroke. I’m looking forward to hearing about any help, if anyone knows where I can get it, please?


cap says:
August 25th, 2013 at 4:09 pm

Wow! Reading all these heartbreaking stories of children has really helped me to understand a lot about myself and my son. He is 24 years old and has been incarcerated since June 4th. He is addicted to opiates and the straw that broke the camel’s back so to speak, was when he stole from his grandfather (who by the way, was the one who always, always gave to him). My son would literally wait until no one was home and go down to my dad’s house and just berate, and berate him into giving him money. Saying things like look pop-pop I have this bill to pay (he would make fake bill online. My dad would take him to his bank and get out the money to pay the so-called bill. When I would get home from work, I would call my dad (as I do everyday, since my mom passed 10 years ago) and he would tell me that Andrew was down to his house and to get him to leave him alone he would just give in to him. I finally got him to realize that what he was doing was actually hurting Andrew, not helping him. (my dad is 83 and also in the first stages of Alzheimers). He then FINALLY stopped giving him money, what does Andrew do? he breaks into my dad’s house and steals his Selmer Alto Saxophone and pawns it! We begged and begged to have him arrested and my dad did it! At first, Andrew was very mad at all of us. He wasn’t an addict, he just needed money because he didn’t have a job, etc. Then after a few weeks, I start to notice a change when he would call me, at first I didn’t want to believe it, because who can believe a liar, a cheat, and a thief? Well it is now almost 3 months since he has been in jail and he has been assessed and accepted into the “drug court” program that we have down here. I am “cautiously” optimistic about his success. I want him to be a success story. it is an 18 month program, he has to have random drug tests 3 to 5 times a week, go to Narc-anon meetings, have a sponsor, we were even able to put a curfew on his time to be home. He is not allowed to leave the county we live in and he must report to the court once a week so that they can discuss his progress, both in the program and also his progress at home. He will be released today and last night, I tossed and turned all night, knowing that he will be getting out. Sounds crazy, but at least while he was in jail, he was safe, wasn’t doing drugs. I am petrified that coming home, he will have “triggers” that will remind him of his addiction and he will want to go back there again. He tells me he will never go back to jail again and he will never do drugs again, but I know that this is something that he will have to fight for the rest of his life. He was an honor student in high school, was one of only 4 students throughout our entire county to belong to an organization called “Teen Leadership”, where they went into the community and saw how county leaders worked and what they did for the community. He also is an extremely intelligent young man with an IQ of 132! All of this has taken such a toll on our entire family! I am petrified of him coming home and all of us having to go to work tomorrow. I can only hope that the words he has spoken to me are the truth. My stomach is in knots!!! I see a counselor and discuss this with him and I know that I am not at fault for his drug addiction. He made the choice to try them for the first time and he admits to that. He also says that going to jail was the best thing for him. I pray to God each and every night for his sobriety and I will never give up on getting “my son” back. I will pray for all of us on here. Thank you for letting me “unload” my feelings on here!
Regards, Cap

Melanie says:
October 26th, 2013 at 7:19 am

I am the mother of a 16 yr old who is addicted to weed, meth and now drugs for the anxiety she suffers from the drug use. She has used needles for the last year and a half now and it’s taking a huge toll o her and myself. I saw her today for the first time in a while and it’s devastated me to see how the drugs have changed her completely. She knows this and is trying to get better . We have seen countless councillors, doctors ect ect over the last 2 years but nothing has really changed. I feel very alone and very sad. I have a 6 yr old boy to raise and it’s really hard when you constantly feel sad , depressed and helpless every single day. She cannot live at home as I cant cope with the stress. She doesn’t get along with her stepdad and he refuses to have her back in our home. It’s been a very painful last few years and it all started when she was about 14. She is not the same person anymore and it breaks my heart. Iv even tried to have her arrested as iv thought jail would be better than anywhere else. Her dad believes she must hit rock bottom but I believe she has already done that and seems to like being there. Her father blames me for her self destruction , her drug use ect which is a horrible nasty thing to do. I’m just a human being with faults ect and I’m not perfect who is ? Iv done all I can and the best I can despite being constantly sick and tired all the time from stress. Nobody in my family knows what to do and at times I shut myself off from them all as I get so upset nobody will help me. It feels that way anyway. I tend to blame everyone else and find it very hard to accept what has happened in our lives. I honestly think it’s only a matter of time and I’ll loose her. I then wonder what my family and myself and her dad will do when we all gather together if something bad does happen. Will we all look at each other like idiots ? Blame one another ? I don’t know. Each day my daughter consumes my thoughts and I often think about her little face when she was little and beautiful.

Jerry Otero says:
October 28th, 2013 at 4:46 pm

Thanks joining our online community by posting your comment on the Intervene blog. I am writing you from the Parent Helpline at We are a drug abuse prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery resource, existing to help parents and caregivers effectively address alcohol and drug abuse with their teens and young adults.

As a parent of a young adult myself, I share your many concerns. I can also see how your daughter’s drug use has turned into abuse and dependence and has led to serious trouble and consequences with social, familial, legal, employment and health issues.

That being said, knowing just what to do isn’t always as clear as we’d like it to be. There are no right or wrong answers – just our struggle against the worst of odds. Further complicating matters, is the notion that your daughter’s substance abuse, may be a symptom of deeper problems. Many children begin experimenting with drugs and alcohol out of curiosity, and continue because of a sense of hopelessness, turning to these substances as an escape from daily life.

It is my belief however, that by mobilizing the inherent strengths within families in family therapy and by working with families to understand how substance use has compromised family relationships, families and clinicians can collaborate in designing strategies for reversing the downward spiral of alcoholism and drug abuse.

Although, the integration of family therapy in substance abuse treatment is still relatively rare, the role of the family when dealing with drug abuse can be huge. Family therapy can have a positive impact in helping you to deal with it and the other underlying issues in a healthy and productive way.

By bringing families together to address the previously unrecognized consequences of substance abuse, family therapy offers families the unique opportunity to share perspectives about the impact of alcohol and drugs on their relationships, and to generate new strategies for tackling the unwanted consequences of substance abuse on family life.

Family therapy helps families become aware of their own needs and provides genuine, enduring healing for people. Family therapy works to shift power to the parental figures in a family and to improve communication. As such, it is the most powerful tool you have to counter your teen’s substance abuse and other behaviors.

The above notwithstanding, there are no easy answers – and no quick fix solutions.

Please remember to take care of yourself. You must be in tip-top shape if you are going to be effective.

Call the Parent Helpline (number below) if you would like to talk further to a trained parent support specialist about your particular situation, or if you just don’t know where to start. The call is free and confidential.

Jerry Otero, MA
Parent Support Specialist
1-855-DRUGFREE (1-855-378-4373)

Lisa says:
October 31st, 2013 at 7:15 pm

My son is 23 and a heroion addict. I am not sure how long he has been addicted but I noticed weight loss and strange behavior for the last year and a half.

When he graduated high school with a 4.25 he was already signed up for college with scholarships in place. He tested the highest for the senior SAT’S and was awarded a $1500 scholarship from the high school as well as 3 other scolerships, the biggest one coming from the University. He was going to study medicine.

Instead he accepted an apprenticeship he was offered for locksmithing. He soon moved out into his own apt.

I don’t know why he started using but he claims being on call 24/7 is why.

When my husband and I were on vacation in HI we get a call from our neighbor/friend who is a sheriff that they went into our son’s apt to evict him for not paying rent and found needles everywhere and garbage piled ankle high. He indicated he has a suspicion of him steeling to support his habit too. For lack of evidence he did not get busted. Used needles were everywhere and garbage piled ankle high. How nieve could we be as parents to not have seen this coming. When we returned home we went in to clear out his Apts and it was shocking and appalling. We helped him clean up as best we could and invited him to stay with us until he got back on his feet. We believed him when he said he would never use again.

the next year was pure hell. Lies, stealing, dissapearing for days, kicking in door’s, not paying bills, borrowing money and not paying it back. He would nod off all the time and say he was tired. He was employed and made good money but was in debt always. He would burn through his paycheck in 2 to 3 days.

Finally after a year he lost his job but they did offer it back if he got off the herion.

We finally kicked him out and now he hates us. The disrespect and munipualtion on top of watching his soul being sucked out of him by the money on his back was too much to bare. We offered him rehab but he did not think he needed it. It broke our heart finding needles all over and him not being accountable and to act entitled and like it was not a big deal. This was not the smart,considerate, hard working,focused son we raised.

He lives in another state now and barely talkes to us. I hope he comes around and back into our lives whole again. We miss him so much.

Sharon says:
November 6th, 2013 at 5:39 pm

My 32 year old son Andrew, was found dead Oct 29, 2013, his death certificate reads death by IV Drug Overdose. He has had a long history of drug abuse. He was handsom, he had beautiful big brown eyes. He was 6 ft 4 inches tall and could swallow up my 5 ft 3 inch frame in his embrace. He once loved God with all his heart, he loved people and loved helping peple. However, he could not help himself.
To our knowledge he has had a drug addiction for at least 15 years. We tried everything as well as what I have read on this site. He has been in re-hab, Teen Challenge, substance abuse programs, counseling and the such. He lost a beautiful wife and 4 beautiful children. We have prayed for years. We exercised love and tough love. There were times he would cry many tears wishing he could change… We cried many tears together.
He was homeless for about 9 months last year in another state. He landed in a psyc ward for drug indused psychosis. I caved, and brought him home on a grayhound bus as I believed he would die if I did not.
We set 2 house rules, go to church on Sundays , be in by 10 PM week days and 11PM weekends. He was thin & physically ill. We took him to DR. appointments. Suggested treatment, he said he always failed so why bother…We loved him.
He opted not to come home at night. In spite of the fact he now had a home to come home to. He pulled himself togather long enough to become employed he lived here and there. Then it appeared he started using again.
In May 2013 he broke into our home, he used the home to sleep and eat. He took a few antiques. I was heart broken as this distroyed my/ our trust. I made a police report.
Andrew stays away when he uses. We did not see much of him. In August 2013 he was arrested for a B&E, herion and distruction to police property. He was let out of Jail with out bond…At that point in time our house was being cassed by persons looking for Andrew…We became fearfull. We did the toughest love thing ever. We told him we loved him, hated what he had become, reinstated he was not only a addict but a criminal as well. We told him to stay away from our home, our family, his sibblings and his nephews. We told him either he would die, some one else would die or he would go to prision for a long time is he did not stop.
With tears I hugged him, prayed with him and said good -bye… Two weeks before his death I saw him at the dock. Again I hugged him and told him I loved him. It was Saturday night. I said ,” please come to church tomorrow”. He quietly softly said, “Mom don’t preach at me.” On Sept 29 th at 6 am I recieved a phone call that Andrew was found dead and his body was at the local funeral home. I am broken. We are broken. We tried, he tried. He once said to me, “Mom I don’t want to die of an overdose.”

Kate Nkosi says:
November 18th, 2013 at 8:16 am

My son 21yrs old was a drug addic & my company help me finacial to put him in the rehab for 2months & since he came back from there he is promising to not to use it again & i do believe him.The thing is since he is from the rehab i m always thinking worse & very affraid that he will go back to the old days again especialy if he goes out to visit friends or going to the parties,i know that i need to trust himbecouse i am very affraid that forme been so scared of each move he make i am watching him close,i m very affraid that i will end up pushing him back,please can you help me what must i do to stop been so scared of him going back to the old days.I am always praying so hard to god to keep hin on the good truck,but my securities are not giving me a rest.

Rose says:
December 11th, 2013 at 9:19 pm

I am so glad I found this website! As I read these stories, I know that I am not alone battling this problem. I have a 22 year old son (my only child) who is a drug addict. I will try and make this story short as I possibly can. My son to my knowledge is a weed addict and drinks alcohol almost daily. We share an apartment together (temporarily) until I decide when I am going to relocate. It is his apartment because he works at the complex and they gave him an apartment at a reduced rate. It has been a nightmare living with him. There are people at the house literally every day!! I have no privacy unless I go in my room and close the door. We have fought over the amount of traffic he has coming to the house daily but it doesn’t do any good. My son has been in trouble with the law (twice). He is currently on probation and is seeing two probation officers. He wrecked his car and does not have one. Although, he is currently on probation, he is still doing drugs and drinking alcohol, something that is prohibited while on probation. One thing I noticed is that he has mood swings, and is easily to get upset if I mentioned anything concerning any part of his life. I have had to bail him out of situations from him owing on a payday loan and they threatening to take him to court to him owing the bank for a signature loan. He always pays me back which is good on his part. I don’t know how long I can do this with him. I am in an area where jobs are few and the pay is not that has great. I want to move to another city about 6 hours away but sometimes I feel like because he is my only son I need to stay close and not relocate. I just found out today that he has a handgun…definitely a violation of his probation!! If I say anything to him about it…it will be world war 3 between us. I know I need to move and I plan on making some changes in the New Year. I can’t take his lifestyle any longer. He is in college (for now) Lord I pray it continues…..I also found out he is selling as well. What I can do at this point is pray and stop being an ENABLER!!! The New Year, I am definitely going to make some changes…I do know that I need to move out and let him be on his own. It’s hard because I never thought my son would end up like this and I would be dealing with drug addiction.

Linda says:
January 2nd, 2014 at 3:32 pm

Sadly it appears we all have our own stories of hell. Though I wish what me and my husband have been going through on nobody, it helps so much to know we are not alone. Three days ago, we finally stopped denying that our 28 year old son was not a drug addict and kicked him out of the house after finding a needle next to his bed along with his assortment of pills and vodka. Our son, who graduated with high honors in college is now living god knows where and broke, as he can not hold onto a job. To compound the problem, he managed to put us almost $100K in dept after steeling our identity and asking us to co-sign his student loans which we can’t see him ever paying. What started with our plea to get him help for depression ten years ago and him finally being put on an anti-depressent which in turn made him manic, has been one bad dream after another that we have been unable to wake up from. Despite all this, I feel relieved that we have finally accepted that the problem exists instead of walking around with a fake smile on all day and at the same time laying in bed every night worried sick. We may lose our home due to our son’s addiction and consequences, but we are finally free from brushing the problem under the carpet. Any advice, kind words would mean so much to me right now.. and I promise you will get the same from me.

Unknown says:
January 12th, 2014 at 5:48 am

I’ve read all the stories from you all and my heart is in much pain . If I can ask you something I would ask if someone is stealing, acting violently towards you and disrespecting you on a daily basis what will you do. Put yourself outside the box . Place this child as stranger from you and ask yourself should this be my responsibility …., the answer is not with me is with you you have to make the decision to disown this addict make your heart strong because this addict don’t care nothing about you .

If you want them safe two things you can do put them in a rehab where they lock down the addict or put them in jail through a restraining order or set them up when their loaded

And if all or none of those things work pray to god someone kills them fast
Remember it was never your fault they became drug addict and you don’t have to suffer because of them enjoy your life

Pam says:
January 13th, 2014 at 4:06 pm

To all;

I read each and every story here and it is unbelievable that so many of us parents watch our children be consumed by this horrible addiction. My son is 21 and has been addicted to percs for about 2 years. He turned to heroine about 6 months ago and he smokes pot from the moment he wakes to the moment he goes to bed, if he goes to bed at all. I also have two younger sons 16 and 17. He has stolen so much from all of us and not just in the monetary sense, which money wise and property wise goes well beyond 5k now. Our lives have changed so dramatically. My house has become a toxic seepage mess and we have concluded that instead of continuing to live with this its time to request he move on. He blames me and my husband, he is violent and hurtful, disrespectful. I have accepted to some degree the child I gave birth to is gone, he no longer exists. What this addiction has done has taken my son away a long time ago and it has taken us years to come to grips with this. He has been to rehab numerous times and each time because it was a ultimatum of rehab or leave. He hasnt held a job for longer then 6 weeks he lies to the point you cannot believe a single sentence that leaves his mouth. If anything to all you parents and families out there struggling with the decisions and measures to take to keep your family safe…let go….just let go and let them start taking responsibility for their actions and own lives. If they do end up in jail, OD or pass on, its NOT your fault, each and every choice they made and continue to make is their choice its their decision. Many many addicts make a recovery and live fullfulling lives and strive and survive, its the choices of each and everyone of us that define who we are. As the parent you raised your child to the best of your abilities, your human and probably made mistakes but you didn’t put that needle in their hand, you didn’t give them the pill that started it all, you didn’t say hey get high and lie to everyone, you didn’t say steal to survive with your addiction. My son just takes what he wants and doesn’t think about consequences, and yes he did a stint in jail for theft already once. What now resides inside my sons body is evil and purely selfish, it lives to feed the habit, my son is gone, long gone. He/It has no conscience, there is no voice inside him any longer distiguishing right from wrong, its all about feeding the hunger. Please please so you don’t suffer the length of time my family has, make decisions and yes they will be the most difficult decisions of your life, but make them early on, your brain will tell you when the right time is, your heart, well your heart will never ever fully recover, sorry to say but its the truth, not a day goes by that I don’t miss my child and yet I still live with him. He will be leaving at the end of this month, we gave him time to try to find a place a job etc…do I think he will no of course not, but I thought I gave him that last choice that last chance that last decision to do the right thing…was it for him no probably not, I did it for myself so I can say I did it. Maybe justify to myself I am doing the right thing….who is to say what is right and what is wrong..each and every one of us is suffering in our own way and we all deal with things in our own way. YOU have to decide what is right for you and your family, but don’t let it take you to the point I am at. My family is going to take a long time to recover the damage he has done to all of us and in many ways I feel guilt I let it take this long to boot him out and I definitely reflect and see the enabling behavior I created. We play a part in things and we have to live with it. Don’t live with regret for what you can save and what you should save, your family, yourselves. They are adults and they need to save themselves, not you, you cannot save them. You can offer resources to them, you can offer assistance to them, but in the end its each addicts choice on where they want to end up, healthy and happy or dead.

Joe says:
January 16th, 2014 at 8:45 pm

To Everyone,
I send out sympathy and each night when I lay down, I not only pray for my addicted son, but for all other addicts and their families in this world who are dealing with this demonic epidemic that is undermining our society. Reading through all these posts is like watching the same movie over and over. My 18 year old son started messing with drugs when he was about 12 and has been a heroin addict for about the past year and a half. When we first discovered that he was using heroin, we convinced him to go to a 2 month rehab in Tenn. He had been going to counseling. Though he agreed to go, he always insisted he was going for his family,(not really for himself). So you know how that turned out, came back from rehab, was serious about his recovery for about six weeks, attending NA meeting every night. Then a lady who he had befriended at one of his meetings OD and died one weekend and that sent him over the edge. Started to use again. You would think that would have taken the opposite effect. Anyway, it was a good while before we realized that he was actually back into heroin. When we did back in July, we also discovered that he had stolen form his mother and I. That was it, I hate a thief as bad as drugs, and we told him he had to go. We gave him a choice to either hit the streets or go to a local homeless shelter program we have here that is actually also a resident, addiction rehab facility, (which is free). I have no more money for high priced rehab facilities. He chose the streets, living in and out with his drug buddies etc. This went on for a couple of months, then he called me in the middle of the night and said “Dad, come pick me up, I am sick, I am tired of this and ready for some help. I did, and he went through detox for a couple of weeks at my house, along with a couple of trips to the doctor and the emergency room. Unfortunately we didn’t really have a plan in place following the detox. He’s insistent about not going to anymore resident rehab, thinks he can do it on his own. Anyway, back to square one. He had recently been staying with his mom, but she has thrown him out, sick of all the disrespectful things that drug addicts do to a home. So over the holidays, I had let him stay with me. The same stuff at my house. This past weekend, he wrecked a car his ex-stepfather had just given him a week before. It was a hit and run, but fortunately he hit a phone pole and there were no other people involved. He fled and later reported the car stolen. We have had enough, his mother and I gave him the option to get help or get out. He chose to get out and he may now end up with some jail time. I will not help him this time, it is time for him to start suffering the consequences of his own actions. He has a sweet 17 year old sister who has been greatly affected by all this and I will no longer allow this insanity in my house. It is not fair to her. I cannot change him and as long as he is allowed to lay up in my house he will never change. If he doesn’t stop he is going to die, whether he is in my house or in the street. I have put him in God’s hands. When he decides he wants to help himself I will be there for him to help and support him in whatever way I can. I am tired of the lies, the chaos, and the DENIAL is the absolute worst. I am tired of being a prisoner in my own home. I wake up in the morning almost sick thinking about him and wondering where he is and if he’s still alive, and have I done the right thing. Then I again realize that there is nothing I can do for him until he wants to change, and that I am no longer going to tolerate drugs in my house nor all the insanity that goes with it. I am now trying to focus on myself, my wife and family and all the other things that I love and enjoy in life. If I let him kill me with what he is doing, he will only continue to do what he is doing after I’m gone. I try to focus on the three C’s. Didn’t CAUSE it, can’t CONTROL it, and can’t CURE it. I pray for us all. God Bless.

Linda says:
February 5th, 2014 at 2:26 pm

I think the best advice I have gotten regardin this is that the worst thing you can do is feel sorry for the addict. These are words to live by in your attempt to be strong for yourself and the addict. We ended up taking our son back in, after kicking him out due to use herion due to sub zero temps. outside. We removed the door from his bedroom, took his keys, and watched him like a soon as we let our guard down, he started using again.. A month after letting him back into our home, we found him almost dead on bathroom floor with a needle and spoon next to him. This is the thanks we got for having a heart. Our kindness almost killed him. He is now in a shelter, we think. When I wake up worried that he is hungry or cold, I remember that he chose this dispite our attempts to have him stop, and I also ask myself, if he worried about me right now…

Jennifer says:
February 19th, 2014 at 10:24 pm

The last time I wrote on this website was May 24th 2011. I had just kicked my son out of our home. Here I am today Feb 2014. He came knocking about a week and half ago. The last time we spoke was July 2011. (he always kept in-touch with my husband his stepfather) …. I couldn’t recognize the boy that was standing at my door step. He’s 6 feet tall and weighs 137 lbs. His hair is thinning (he’s only 19) he was beaten up. I was speechless. That’s not my son. He’s been living in and out of the streets for the past 2 years. His grandmother (his fathers mother) has been the person (enabler) who gives him a roof from time to time. He came back to my home because he has no-where else to go. I don’t know why I let him. He hasn’t changed not one bit. He’s even worst than ever. I don’t even know what drugs he’s on. His short term memory is gone. He can’t sleep … He lies and make’s up so many stories.

**Going Forward** He only lasted 2 days at my home till I found some drugs. My reaction was different now. I’m a stronger person today compared to 2 years ago. I sat outside with him and said: Once again you are on drugs and I know you haven’t been clean regardless what you tell us (his step-father and I) I told him I was sorry but he needs to leave. Again I gave him 2 choices. 1. A shelter/the streets or 2. The same Rehab Christian Home. He broke down and said Mom I’m ready… I will go. He laughed with us all the way there. It’s been 10 days since we walked him into Rehab. He signed for 90 but the program is for an entire year. If he call’s us to leave he is not welcomed back home. I leave this in GODS HAND’s. This is his 3rd attempt in getting clean. I hope this time he is serious about his recovery. I just want him to be a self sufficient adult. I love him. But life keeps going.

God Bless each and everyone of you that has to hurt everyday because of this illness. We all suffer one way or another. We can only help an addict if they want the help. I really can relate to you all. I have been battling this since he was 14/15 years old. I always believe that God has a reason for everything and my faith keeps me strong. These are the cards I’m dealt but doesn’t mean that I have to stop living. These are his choices and he needs want to fix them. Doesn’t make us bad parents. It actually makes us GREAT PARENTS to stand up to them! I have a group of moms, wife’s, grandmother’s aunts dads grandparents that get together once a week and talk about our struggles with our loved ones. Its similar to ALNAN meeting but it gears more towards prayer groups. Some of the people that join us have had their loved ones in recovery for a long time. It’s so relieving to hear them. it makes me feel at peace to know that I am not alone. And I hope that that you call know that you’re not alone!

((HUGS)) Jennifer
A mom of a Teen Addict.

Linda says:
February 20th, 2014 at 8:45 pm

Proud of you Jennifer and the rest of you for that matter. On superbowl Sunday, my son found my drug addicted son over dosed on the bathroom floor. We called 911 only to have him come to life as they walked in the door. He denied he was on anything even though the needle and spoon were next to him on the floor. I told them he was a drug addict and to begged them to take him away. I even produced a needle that I found weeks earlier that I had locked away to prove he was using. I knew if they left him, I would find him dead the next morning. They took him to the er for a few hours and released him home because he doesn’t have insurance. It took this incident, however, for me to realize.. yes, kids do die from this, and no, he will not change. We found a rehab, he would not go. We told him he is not ever living in this house again because we have done him no favors by giving him a warm place with food and water to use. He found a shelter, actually apologized for what he put us through and left. It was the best decision we have made since this whole nightmare started. Will get get arrested.. probably. Will he get a wonderful job.. maybe some day, but he will have to earn it. Is our home less stressful… YES! Being a mother means following your heart and making hard decisions most of the time. I worry about him living in filth, but we found out his room was filthy after he left. He has a case worker, food stamps, and a job.. I know it is not over yet, but this house is not a dark and stressful place to be anymore, and he is being forced to grow up and actually seems happier!

Jennifer says:
March 10th, 2014 at 3:06 pm

Linda… That’s great!!! I know that feeling… It’s as if a relief has come over you and a black cloud has been lifted from above your home. It’s so touch and we all know it doesn’t solve the problem but it helps out in OUR OWN RECOVERY.

My son has been in rehab now for 29 days. My husband went to see him yesterday. Spent 3 hours with him and not once did he ask for me. That to many my hurt. But for me it was PURE HAPPINESS. WHY??? Well, because he doesn’t need me or co-dependency. He is working on him. And that is all he talked about to my husband. How this is about HIM and when he can figure Himself out then he will work on his family. He told my husband that this is the first time since he was 14 that he is sober. Which is scary, because we sent him to a recovery teen center at 16 and he confessed that he took pills there. And kids would smuggle things in through others. He’s actually happy for the first time in years. And my husband said not one time did he seem as if he was trying to convince him about anything. I’m not saying this is it… that he’s on the road to a perfect life. However, I’m happy that he’s working on himself. This is a VERY LONG ROAD!!! I was blessed to find this place. They are willing to have him there as long as he needs it. I continue praying and leaving this in GODS HANDS. I trust GODS plan.

and for you Linda… I am very happy you have made that first step. As you read before it took 2 years for my son to actually give in to help. It’s up to them… Because our lives have to keep going.

A mother of a Teen Addict.

another mom says:
April 9th, 2014 at 3:20 am

I wonder how you are doing today. I read your post and felt the same sorrow I felt for my son. Everyone has a “story” or situation. I have my own. I went to naranon, it did not help at all. The only person who can help is the addict themselves. I have been dealing with heroin addition of my son for 15 yrs. In and out of rehab, nothing helps. Tonight I told my son that I am done. If he has to steal for his habit he will end up in jail eventually and I will not be there for him. He must decide on his own what he wants. If the high is the only thing that matters, it’s his decision. He can choose drugs or sobriety, it’s up to himn and only him. It took me a LONG time to come to that reality. I am getting older and need to finally take care of myself. It is sad that so many are addicted. Sad that is is “hidden”. We keep it to ourselves and that is not good for our well being. Don’t believe the addict. They lie. They lie to themselves. I wish I had a positive post, but if a new person reads this – just know that you cannot help an addict. The drug is everything to them, they will do anything to get the drug. Maybe they are better off in jail. It’s better than dead.

Frances Jones says:
April 11th, 2014 at 5:32 am

I am the mother of a 16 year old addict. I moved from the uk to Canada 8 years ago and all his brothers and sisters still live in the uk. I believe this is the main reason he is in the state he is in now.
My son has been using pot since he was 14 as far as i know. I found out today that he has also done coke. I have no idea what else he has done. I talked to his teachers today that is how i found out he was doing other drugs besides pot. He does not think he is an addict and that doing pot is ok. All his friends are addicts too. He has nothing to do with his old friends that are clean any more.
He has the mental health issues that go alongside the drug addiction too.
I have come to realize that i have been his enabler by not saying no when i needed to.
I have also learned not to take his insults to seriously and to ignore his demands and insults when i say no.
He is still a very loving son and i discovered today that he will do the small things that i ask of him. I say i discovered because before today i left him to hang with his palls when he said that is what he wanted to do. I was enabling him to do just what he pleased. Small things like coming home to eat supper with me may well just break a cycle of hanging with his palls and sleeping. Although when he did get home he wouldn’t eat much of his food and was somewhat put out that i had called him away from his palls. But he did stay home for an hour.
I rubbed his feet for him like i used to as a young boy. I gave him a big cuddle just because.
I will not throw my son out because i believe he will just go from one bad situation to another.
I hope and pray i will be able to work with this illness to pull him back from the brink while he is still young. I believe god is on our side. On his side. I will take him home so he can heal in the midst of his loving family.
He may buck and bite about this but i think this is what he really wants although he would never admit to it now in his present condition.
I want to say thank you for this blog. You have all given me the added determination to do what i can from this day forward to save my son.
With thanks and good luck to you all.

for the love of my son says:
April 16th, 2014 at 11:48 pm

I am physically disabled today from all the stress of life. My son, like all of you is an addict. He’s done the same, stolen, lost jobs, wrecked cars, been hospitalized, cut his face up when hallucinating and refuses to get proper help. We have three other children and I have kicked him out once again, should I say he has chosen to leave, due to finding him with needles and drugs in our home. I can no longer keep helping him when it is affecting the other children. I am truly so stressed out today that I cannot do much of anything. I know tomorrow I will put my rally cap on and the solace of Christ will put me at peace once again. I am a nurse and a patient once told me that she was told, unknowing of my situation, that she was praying and God told her that He loved my son more than I ever knew and that he would be healed, sooner than I realized, that he would help thousands some day by going through his hardship. I still have that belief and I know that we are not alone as God loves us and them more than we could ever imagine. Don’t forget the power of prayer, It has helped me sleep when I couldn’t, It has given me wisdom when I knew not what to do, It has given me peace in the midst of the storm. An Eagle spreads his wings when the storm comes and rises up above the storm because he knows he will be able to see the world below much better. I am grief stricken to think I may lose my son also, it is our worst fear. God will not forsake us or them. Peace to you all. I hope I have helped someone.

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