Parenting Adult Children Struggling with Alcohol or Drug AddictionApril 9, 2010 • Contributed by Mary Ellen Barnes, PhD and Ed Wilson, PhD, MAC
Editor’s Note: The following article was written solely by the authors listed above. The views and opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of GoodTherapy.org. Questions and concerns regarding the article’s content can be directed to the authors or posted as a comment below.
One of the most popular articles we have ever written here was an article titled Freeing the Parents of Adult Alcoholics and Addicts. This lead us to an obvious conclusion: there are a lot of parents out there searching for ways to extricate themselves from the manipulative clutches of their addicted, adult children.
The situation is a difficult one. How do parents who dearly loves their addicted sons or daughters best help their children? Do you continue to meet their unending demands for money or do you go to the other extreme and follow a “tough-love” approach, cutting off all contact with them until they straighten up? Neither works well, and the tough-love approach is difficult to maintain, especially because you love them, and because there may be grandchildren in the mix, too. So what do you do?
Following a middle path is usually best. Offering to pay for treatment, when they are ready, is a good start—assuming the treatment is one of the more effective options, rather than the standard, in our opinion, ineffectual, offerings of the AA/12-step/Minnesota Model.
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Not protecting them from their choices is also a good practice, because they have been protected for a long, long time if you are currently supporting them. Reassuring yourself that this lifestyle is their choice, not some mythical “disease,” also helps you feel less guilty about ramping down financial support.
I watched my own parents go through this same thing with one of my brothers. He was bleeding them dry but they kept supporting him, and I mean really supporting him, to the tune of $5000 a month. They just didn’t seem to understand why he wouldn’t straighten up, stop doing drugs, and get a job. Well, why should he? Heck, if you want to give me $60,000 a year, tax-free, for doing nothing, I might not work either.
Finally, they decided to listen to us (Ed and me), and we put Ed in the middle between my parents and my brother, and he had to do certain things each month in order to get his money, which he had to get from Ed, not my parents. And he was given a schedule showing how the money was going to be decreased each month until it was no longer available. This infuriated my brother. But slowly it started to work and today he is self-supporting and not doing drugs. Because he is working again, not being supported by my parents, he has regained his self-respect and that is an important component in keeping him from going back to abusing drugs.
Obviously, this is not the only way out of this mess, it is just what we came up with at the time and it worked. It worked because my parents had a lot of support from us to stay strong and not cave in the face of my brother’s anger over his perceived mistreatment.
Since then, we have performed similar services for several other families in our area and those have turned out well. If you have a situation with your addicted adult child and need help, please know there is help. You can work your way out of it.
© Copyright 2010 by Edward Wilson, Ph.D., MAC, therapist in Rolling Hills Estates, CA. All Rights Reserved.
Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org. The preceding article was solely written by the author name above. The view and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.
dennisApril 9th, 2010 at 6:10 PM
as a parent I think the best approach would be to follow a middle path…neither too free nor too strict…you should keep a tab on your child';s activities and if you find there is something fishy and that your child may be an addict or something then you need to talk to them and ask them about it.this talk should not e a confrontation or anything but should instead be of a helping nature…like finding out why he/she is an addict and so on.this would help the child in opening up in front of you and telling things that they would normally not speak out to a parent.
BDEApril 10th, 2010 at 4:12 AM
It is often a nightmare for parents because they are struck in a situation where either of the choices is going to cause harm…if they do give in to the demands of the addict child it will cause harm in an obvious manner and if they don’t then it may lead to the child getting into illegal activities to fund the addiction…this is a very difficult predicament to be in and I’d say prevention is better than cure and that it is always better educated your children about drugs and to take stern action in the initial stages if your child is getting into drugs.
savannahApril 10th, 2010 at 7:39 AM
The best advice I ever thought that I could give was to stop enabling but now that I see my own parents going through this with my adult brother I realize that this is definitely easier said than done.
They have tried everything- rehab, counseling, and I know they want him to get better but something in them makes it so hard to tell him no. They continue to give him money to support his drinking habit and this makes it better for no one. But in some ways I think this eases their conscience because they do not want to see him in the pain that rehab and stuff brings. But what they don’t realize is that the drinking brings him pain too.
GeorgiaApril 11th, 2010 at 4:32 AM
any time an adult parent has to continue to take care of a grown child it is sad, no matter the circumstances whoch cause it
TeachApril 11th, 2010 at 7:54 PM
“Reassuring yourself that this lifestyle is their choice, not some mythical “disease”, also helps you feel less guilty about ramping down financial support.”
What’s this? A therapist that doesn’t claim alcoholism is a disease? How refreshingly novel. I’m genuinely surprised.
Jeff DApril 12th, 2010 at 3:18 AM
What a shame that there are adults out there with addictions who still have to depend on their parents to clean up their messes. I am not saying that I would not do this for my own kids if they ever get into this kind of trouble but I sure do hope that I never have to put my own parents through that. What a jerk I would feel like. Do these addicts feel this way too? Probably not as they all get so wrapped up in their own little worlds of abuse coupled with their version of pleasure.
JasmineApril 12th, 2010 at 5:47 AM
My ex was a drunk ten years ago and still is. He now lives with his mom at nearly 50 years old with no job and she’ll tell anyone that listens that he’s getting better and dealing with it. He’s not getting better. And until she kicks him out, I don’t think he ever will. He was always a mommy’s boy and she panders to his every whim. Sometimes it’s the addict that needs freed of the parents rather than vice versa before they’ll make something of their life and get on the road to recovery.
DylanApril 12th, 2010 at 3:04 PM
Alcoholism is a disease. It’s been proven to be so. Read up on the connection between the A1 allele of the DRD2 gene and alcoholism. Don’t make it any tougher on alcoholics to deal with than it needs to be by rubbishing scientific research.
JamieApril 12th, 2010 at 9:38 PM
I’ve always suspected it was a lifestyle choice too, nothing to do with your genes or some physical ailment. Hogwash. As if a parent couldn’t feel worse about having an addict for a child! Let’s load the blame on them saying it’s their DNA’s fault.
Craig H.April 12th, 2010 at 11:10 PM
And why parents do that anyway is beyond my comprehension. Is it loving to spend all your retirement savings on them and not make them deal with it? Is it loving for the child to take it without caring that this is their parent’s hard earned cash built up over a lifetime? I don’t think so.
Annie BApril 14th, 2010 at 6:59 PM
My 20 year old son who lives at home is addicted to marijuana and mole rips (tobacco & marijuana combined) smoked in bong hits. He also drinks but not excessively but has a very bad temper. He does have a steady job but spends most of his money on pot & tobacco. I am a single mother working two jobs to make ends meet. We were evicted from our last home because he became extremely aggresive with our neighbor over his dog. Since we had to move into a more expensive house to keep his dog and his live-in girlfriend (who does nothing to help), I asked him to pitch in $300 for rent, utilities & dog food. He comes up short about $100 every month. He also seems to come up short for his car payment every month-which i cover because he bullied me into acquiring an auto loan for him. He shows me know respect verbally, refuses to have conversations with me, refuses to help with the chores and becomes agitated when I try to talk to him. He punches holes in the walls, breaks furniture, and threatens to kill himself whenever he becomes angry or if I try to address his behavior. When I ask him to move on his own, he says he will just be homeless and live at the beach, quit his job and drives off in a rage. I have become fearful of him and afraid to talk to him. I leave him notes but he just tears them up. I can’t sleep or eat and have lost a lot of weight. When I hear him come home late at night, I have anxiety attacks because I am afraid he will be angry and bust up the house. His girlfriend is just as bad. I have asked her to move out many times, but she refuses to go. They fight and tear up the place. I love my son, I don’t know how it got like this. I don’t know what to do.
KeithApril 18th, 2010 at 3:09 PM
Annie, I’d be calling the police next time he does that. You don’t owe him a place to live, especially one he cannot respect, nor you. Get support from social services and let other family members know what’s going on. You shouldn’t need to handle that alone nor be afraid in your own home. Let your doctor know about and what’s causing the anxiety attacks if you haven’t told him already and see what he suggests. There are groups and support systems out there but you need to take the first step towards them. They can’t help if they don’t know what’s going on. Let him go live on the beach if he must! He’s a big boy now.
ElliotApril 18th, 2010 at 3:43 PM
What happens when the parents die? These adults have to find a way to support themselves then, do they not? If they can do it then, they can do it before that and not bleed their parents dry. Shame on them.
dianeMay 21st, 2010 at 2:15 PM
Your life sounds a lot like mine (minus the parasite girlfriend). My 23 year old son acts the same way. Mine is an alcoholic but the behavior is the same. I have 3 other kids in this house and his rage and addiction is affecting everyone.
My husband works long hours (like any guy with four kids) so he just can’t handle all this anymore. I am so afraid he is going to have a stroke or heart attack. His own brother committed suicide at 20, he just can’t handle this again. Home should be a haven after a stressful day at work – not what our house has become. I can’t begin to tell you about the thousands of dollars he has cost us because we have to replace carpet, furniture, walls, cabinets etc. that he has destroyed in one of his rages.
He has already made one suicide attempt and was hospitalized for a week. This just made everything worse. He was seeing a doctor for a while but decided it was all “crap” and he threw away his meds and just keeps downing fifths and spending hours at the bar. He does not work but lies to us that he is going to a job, even dresses for it, but we found out that nobody in these places had ever heard of him. His whole life he has only had one job – and I gave him that one. He laid on his butt and surfed his laptop the whole time (pool attendant).
He has had so many opportunities – his grandfather set up a college trust for all the kids but he has wasted so much of this money. He is still 40 credits short of a degree (or so he tells us) and he has spent so much of that money on cars, bars and trips.
He took off today because “he couldn’t live in this house where we think so little of him.” This because I told him he has to work and get dry to stay here. He told me on the way out that he is going to spend what is left in his fund and then kill himself. I have probably heard 7-8 of these suicide threats a day for the last year. I don’t know what to do anymore. The other kids have goals, plans, jobs and they contribute around here. How can just this one have gotten so lost?
This man-baby has a 160 IQ by the way – we’ve had him tested several times and they tested him in the hospital after his attempt. He has a lot of social problems though and he sites his lonliness and isolation for all this angst. He had friends at one time but they told us he just seemed to fall off the map and wanted nothing to do with him. Again, it was his choices that led to the loneliness. He gets angry when I point that out and says that it doesn’t matter how he got there. He also told me that I should have used a coat hangar when I was pregnant with him – it’s like a horror movie every day.
CathleenJuly 13th, 2010 at 1:54 PM
I have a son that is 28yrs.old I have been dealing with his drug problems for 10yrs. now. He has been in and out of jail, I have taken him to a in house rehalb (court order) nothing seems to help.Before now he use to have what I called good days. But in the past 6 months there hasn’t been many good days. He comes to our house gets mad if he don’t get what he asks for then calls us bad names. He talks to his self says we have put chips in his ears and we are the cause of his problems. I have tried to get him to agree to get help,but he refuses. I have tried to get him help on my own,but when you have a adult child on drugs the Law says he has to ask for the help. That Law should be changed because there are not many adult addicts out there that are going to ask for help. If anyone knows something different I can do please let me know. I have refused to help him in any way unless he agrees to get professional help. I love him with all my heart but he is destroying his life and mine. I starting teaching my children about drugs at an early age, I told them how drugs would ruin thier lifes and thier family and friends life also. So the old saying teach your children about drugs at a early age does not always work.
anonymousJuly 27th, 2010 at 8:55 AM
Your daily life sounds just like mine. No parasite girlfriend here either. Just a 26 year old son whom I absolutely do not recognize anymore..
Violent outbursts verbal abuse …It is all about him …Just last week he threw a chair across the garage…That was the final act…What do I do …you ask…Call the police? What for ? so he can be out again in less than 24 hours…What does a police dept. care about a drug addict for…So I offered to buy him a one way ticket out of the state He can choose destination …And when he falls on his feet next time he will be all alone far away no harm to anyone but himself.. Maybe then he will be able to pick up himself and pull himself out of his misery…Either way His drug addicted self will be out of my daily life.. I have already cried so many tears…Im finished crying long ago …When someone affects your life to the point where you yourself are fragile because your son’s dependancy on drugs …Then someone has to do some life altering process or it will continue with both people (the drug addict and all family members affected by drug addict) are always in a vicious cycle.Yes he might die because of HIS problem But that is just that It is his problem now I have tried everything to help him,,,counseling,,,everything….Now it is time for him to hit absolute rock bottom far away so he and only he can create a solution if he can…May God help him. and May God help you as well..
dianeJuly 28th, 2010 at 10:41 AM
Thank you so much – it helps to know I am not in this alone. Where we live – everybody plays the “I have perfect children” card. Nobody ever talks about things like this so I feel alone and isolated. You are right about making him go somewhere where he can only hurt himself and then he has to make a decision about what he wants for his own life.
My son went into a rehab facility because we told him to either go to rehab or he had to pack up and leave. I gave him the deadline and he was packing and screaming at everybody and said he was gone. Lots of threats. I didn’t give in at all – didn’t cry. By now, I have detached myself but it took years. Anyway, right at the deadline he asked to speak to me and agreed to go the hospital. He is out of money, no job and no real options for a living situation.
We were encouraged – but he went in telling us he wanted help for his “insomnia” not really admitting he is an alcoholic. The whole time he’s been in there I have been getting abusive phone calls. He hates us, we have never helped him, we loved the other kids more, he doesn’t need to be in that place, he will die if we make him stay there…… and so on. They are trying him on different medications and he claims they are “dangerous.” He has talked to psychiatrists and now has a definitive diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder. I went on the net and he fits 9/9 of the criterion and it makes perfect sense. I told him he needs to come out and comply with the aftercare program which addresses not only his addiction but this diagnosis. He told me he hates me and as soon as he gets out he is leaving for good, never looking back. Either way, it will be relief. If he complies, he has a chance to get better. If he doesn’t he’s out of here and we can get on with our lives.
Borderlines have depression, anxiety, insomnia, suicidal tendencies and sometimes phychosis as part of the package. It’s been so hard. He was loved, spoiled and even doted on in his life. Now, everyone just wants peace. I pray for you as well – I hope we both have brighter tomorrows.
PattyJuly 28th, 2010 at 1:48 PM
I have a 18 year old daughter addicted to herion… She lives with a guy that also has a problem.. My daughter has not lived with me since she was 17. she was with her dad then turned 18 and moved in with this guy.. Before that I had her in rehab and counceling it was hard she didn’t want to go..She has been in trouble with the law ,but still doesn’t change her life style. I will not let her at my house before when she lived with me she stole money and things to sell from me and her brother. I still talk to her because I love her but she is not welcome in my home till she changes her lifestyle and shows me she can do good in life .. I pray for her everyday. Also when she lived with me she was very abusive to me .. So It is hard but I cannot be drug down by her lifestyle anymore..
anonymousJuly 29th, 2010 at 9:12 AM
I was quite surprised when you responded to my comments…and relieved…You see that was the first time I have ever posted a comment in regards to my son’s addiction problem.
I too, feel all alone..You see, my husband doesn’t get involved..They have not spoken to each other in 2 years even though they both live under the same roof…Imagine that if only you can. My son said some verbal accusations toward his father and his father has held a grudge ever since not budging toward a solution.
My son lost his license…so I drove him to work and back a situation that my son was not grateful for…Eventually he lost that job…but found another one conviently located to the house.By this time his younger sister obtained her driving license and she helped take him to work.
He lost his job a couple of weeks ago and trapped me in the garage stating he didn’t want to get another job and have sister and mom taking him to work…I reminded him that through HIS choices were what created his dilema in first place…Oh I forgot to mention this conversation on his behalf was not a quiet one he was yelling at the top of his voice wouldn’t let me back in house saying i wasn’t fit to be alive He wanted to kill someone, maybe even himself…It was at that very moment just so I could get out of the volatile situation and get back inside to my younger child that I offered the one way ticket out of state.
I feel as if I can’t go on anymore sometimes..the abuse comes from a drug not from the person.The child and person I once knew has been long gone. The drug addiction has created a careless, souless monster..Tears are rolling down my face right now I have no more solutions There are ACTS you can use to commit someone to get help but I have been told if that adult doesn’t want to commit then he is released as soon as it is requested..I can’t live like this anymore. I can’t let my younger children be exposed to something they shouldn’t witness and let them watch their brother be so disprectful to me and cussing every second blaming everyone but himself for his situation.
They say if you are living with a drug addict you have to grab the bull by the horns or be gored.
Its time to let go I don’t want to be gored anymore.
I’ll always cherish those pre addict days when the real person was there, the caring, funny, and helpful person.
I am buying that plane ticket tomorrow morning as tomorrow is payday.
I will pray for him and you and myself.
It is a living nighmare isn’t it?
You will never know how much it meant to me that you, a person in the same situation responded..Thank you
dianeJuly 29th, 2010 at 10:49 AM
It seems some days that all that is left is pain – doesn’t it? Like Ed pointed out to me though, that is not something we can ever surrender to. We have husbands and other children that need us, we also have an obligation to ourselves. I think you are doing the right thing – a lot of people have told me that when they were finally at the end of this long rope, when they finally followed through on the ultimatum, is when something more positive started to happen.
Like you, I told my son to either go into an inpatient hospital program or get out. I knew he didn’t have any real options but I stuck to it. It was at the eleventh hour, while he was packing, that he came to the conclusion that he had to go in. He could see my resolve and it took me many years to get to this point. I finally could muster the courage and the conviction that as a family, we couldn’t live this way anymore. My husband and other children had begged me to do this for a long time.
As mothers, it is so much harder for us. My husband also has a very distant relationship with him. He has already prepared himself for the worst, I think that’s probably what your husband is doing. They just think differently and they have to keep everybody together. My husband is terrified I will fall apart if something happens to this one. His own mother became an alcoholic and prescription drug abuser after his brother committed suicide. She died ten years to the day her son did, and it was a horrible ten years for the whole family. He does not want history to repeat itself and I understand that.
I want a future with him and my whole family. My son is coming home tomorrow after ten days in treatment. During this time he has said he hated us and he would just leave our home and never look back. But, the last couple of days, they put him on some medications and gave him a good treatment plan. He talked to someone that seemed to get through to him. He is borderline personality with a genius level IQ. They told him that this is a very difficult situation to treat but they told him he has such potential if he complies with treatment and is willing to work on himself. He always rejected these things in outpatient but I think he is relieved now. He was finally sober and really at rock bottom. So now, I have a glimmer of hope.
I know I have to be prepared though, in case he goes back to his old self. Only time will tell. He will only be allowed here if he is sober and complying with treatment. He needs to get some sort of job and come up with a plan for his future. We will see how he does with all this. He has been so hard his whole life. He bounced from school to school, nothing worked for him. He also went through friends like socks. He is so unstable and impulsive. I hope we get back a person we can at least work with and talk to.
I hope it works for you and your family as well. Your son is not leaving you any option other than to remove him. Maybe this is the jolt he needs. Maybe he will be back willing to work on things. Maybe he will make a life somewhere else. I’ve heard so many stories like this and most of them ended up ok. Sometimes it takes time and space but a lot of the time it’s when we are at the end of our journey with our troubled children that their journey to recovery really begins. I will pray for you and thank you for your thoughts and prayers for our situation. I will continue to post about how it is going – good or bad.
PattyJuly 30th, 2010 at 6:05 AM
Does anyone believe in methadone clinics. I was just told my daughter is going to a methadone clinic and is in counceling for her drug addiction. has anyone had to deal with this? comments please. I too feel alone in this my husband will not let my daughter near our home, because of the type of people she hangs with I support that decision also because she has put me through alot in the past. just recently she told me she is going to this clinic. I sure could use some advice. she has no respect for me . am I doing the right thing not being there for her through this? I guess that is the mom in me. I know I can’t help her and I know I can’t put up with her abuse. I too have another son and a husband who need me. I am the one who commented #18 I also commented on the freeing parents from adult child addition page.
pjAugust 23rd, 2010 at 4:54 PM
OK I AM A PROFESSIONAL AND THIS IS THE FIRST TIME I HAVE EVER POSTED ANYTHING ON A BLOG I FEEL SO STUNNED FOR I HAVE ALWAYS HANDLED ANY ISSUE THAT WOULD COME MY WAY
I HAVE BEEN DEALING WITH MY DAUGHTER, A RHODES SCHOLAR, HOMECOMING QUEEN DRUG ADDICT FOR 8 YRS I KEEP THINKING SHE WILL HIT ROCK BOTTOM BUT HER ROCK BOTTOM AND EVERYONES ELSE IS DIFFERENT SHE HAS STOLEN QUITE A BIT OF MONEY FROM ME AND HAS ALMOST DRAINED MY ACCOUNTS SHE HAS BEEN IN 2 DIFFERENT VERY EXPENSIVE REHABS AND IS PRESENTLY IN CUSTODY IN ONE OF THE WORST JAILS IN THE COUNTRY FOR ONLY DRIVING WITH A SUPPENEDED LISCENCE SHE ALSO IS THE PAST MONTH HAS FAILED TO APPEAR IN COURT FOR A PROBATION OF A SIMPLE POSSESSION SHE HAS BEEN ON HEROIN FOR 2 MONTHS BUT HAS BEEN DOING DRUGS FOR YEARS I HAVE REFUSED TO BAIL HER OUT EVEN THOUGH IT IS ONLY 136.00 I MUST HAVE SPENT AT LEAST 80,000 ON HER IN THE LAST 6 YRS I WAKE UP HAVING NIGHTMARES ABOUT WHAT IS HAPPENING TO HER IN THIS HORRIBLE JAIL I HAVE REFUSED TO TAKE HER CALLS FROM JAIL MY QUESTION IS HOW I CAN STOP THINKING ABOUT THIS I GO TO WORK AND FUNCTION LIKE I AM THE HAPPIEST PERSON IN THE WORLD I SPEAK TO NO ONE AT WORK ABOUT THIS SITUATION I AM HER ONLY SUPPORT SYSTEM AND I FORGOT TO TELL YOU I AM IN THE PSY PROFESSION SHE HAS HAD 2 SUCIDE ATTEMPTS IN THE LAST YEAR I SOMETIMES WISH SHE WOULD DISSAPEAR AND THEN I WISH I HAD MY DAUGHTER BACK SHE NOW HAS NO MEANS OF SUPPORT PLEASE GIVE ME SOME SUPPORT I AM FINALLY AT THE END BUT I DONT KNOW HOW TO STOP FEELING SICK I KNOW I CAN NOT RE INVENT THIS WHEEL AND I HAVE NO MORE FINANCIAL FUNDS FOR HER
dianeAugust 24th, 2010 at 9:57 AM
First off, I’m so sorry. My son is also extremely high IQ and I swear they are the most self-destructive people ever. He always tells me that he can’t accept the world for what it is. That’s why he drinks, that’s why he has attempted suicide and why he keeps threatening us that he is going to do it successfully next time.
We started playing hardball – just like you the last couple of months. I have three other children and could never spend what you did – but we did spent money we didn’t have to try to help him. I am also “in the profession” with a degree in Social Work and work experience in same. It sure doesn’t help when this is happening to your own family. I keep feeling that I’m handling everything so badly. He is certainly smart enough to exploit this insecurity in me.
We forced him to go to rehab as he had run out of money, friends and options. We knew he was going to either kill himself, comply with treatment or disappear. He did comply – though very belligerently with the treatment and we all got a two week respite from his tearing up our home. He got out and started drinking again the first night ( usually a fifth a night upstairs in his room).
He tells us now that he has a new job – and it sounds very good. It is great money, great benefits and it will help him finish school. We pray that this job is real because up until now he has lied about every one. He is sticking to this story so we told him he needs to move out. He found an apartment, we paid the security deposit and he is out in less than a month. By then, he will have shown us a couple of checks. Regardless, we know he can’t stay here. He has to start being responsible for himself, his choices, his life. He is going on 24 and really has never worked before. But, he is brilliant and very articulate.
We worry he won’t keep this job because of the drinking. But, he is on his own now, I won’t bring him back here because of all the misery he has caused all these years. He stands his best chance if he knows he has to rely on himself. I was and still am terrified he will kill himself but this board and others in my life have helped me see that we have done everything we can. This person is really not my son. Not the person who has been walking in his shoes the last 4 years or so.
He has always been difficult. He has a Borderline Personality disorder diagnosis and it is difficult to even find a therapist that is willing to put up with him. He is a master manipulator, uncooperative, self-destructive and frankly just downright derisive and nasty. He feels he has been wronged in life but he has had every opportunity and lots of love and support and it is his own choices and behaviors that have brought him to his knees.
I know this is hard but I think you have to just keep playing hardball with your daughter. Everyone here told me that if I stuck to my guns he would be forced to take over his own life. So far, it’s working. It could all go south again, but at least we reclaimed our lives and did all we could to help him reclaim his own. As long as we keep providing for them, propping them up, they will never stand on their own two feet. They need to change, not us. I know this is scary, I am scared to death. But, it is equally scary to continue the way we were. God Bless and I hope things get better for you very soon.
pjAugust 26th, 2010 at 6:28 PM
THANKS SO MUCH FOR THE SUPPORT MY DAUGHTER IS OUT OF JAIL WITH NO WHERE TO GO I AM AFRAID TO HELP HER I FEAR OF REINVENTING THE WHEEL I DO NOT TRUST THAT SHE IS NOT BACK TO HER OLD WAYS SHE CALLED STATING SHE WAS HOMELESS AND HAD NO WHERE TO GO THIS HAS HAPPEND TWO TIMES IN THE LAST 3 MONTHS AND WE ALWAYS TOOK HER BACK BUT SHE NEVER STAYED OR WAS SINCERE WITH HER ACTIONS I AM HOLDING STRONG I TOLD HER TO GO TO A SHELTER I STILL WAKE UP AND WANT TO RESCUE HER AND LET HER KNOW SHE ALWAYS HAS A HOME BUT AFTER 8 YEARS NOTHING SEEMS TO CHANGE HOLDING STRONG AND HOPING THE PHONE DOES NOT RING AND SHE IS DEAD I LOVE HER WITH ALL MY HEART MY THOUGHTS ARE NEVER WITHOUT HER
paulaSeptember 13th, 2010 at 5:29 AM
It really helped to read that I am not the only one who feels as though the baby that I carried inside me has disappeared and that some stranger has moved into our home instead.
I love my son so much, and sometimes I have actually thought that it would be easier to deal with the grief of him dying than to look at what the immediate future holds for him- or even long-term future. I am so afraid for him. I now see that I’ve got to stop “enabling” him and stop supporting him and thereby, his habit.
kfSeptember 23rd, 2010 at 3:03 PM
Your story is so similar to mine. I have a son who has been
addicted to heroin for 3 plus years. He is in jail now and will be for some time. He has been in and out of jail for the past 3 years. I am financially drained also. I now work 2 jobs and pinch pennies even with the two jobs.
I really feel that you can not continue to do what does not
work. You must change how you deal with your child. This has been so tough for me. I also did not pay bail $250. and he is waiting for trial. I know he is shocked but I feel he has got to learn that he is going to have to suffer the consequences of his actions. It’s not my job to shelter him from his decisions. I really believe that he needs to feel this to make a change. I have had to realize that I could loose him – he could die at any time on the streets but I feel I have lost him anyway if he doesn’t make a change. I hope this time he will be determined to change.
pjOctober 6th, 2010 at 4:42 AM
WOW HOW NICE TO HEAR FROM YOU OUR STORIES ARE A LOT A LIKE IT IS COMFORTING TO KNOW SOMEONE ELSE FEELS LIKE THEY SHOULD NOT HAVE TO LIVE LIKE WE DO WHEN WE ARE OLDER I REALLY KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DEALING WITH YOUR SON SURELY DOES NOT UNDERSTAND WHY YOU WON’T BAIL HIM OUT ESP SINCE IT IS ONLY 250 I AM AT THE POINT I WANT MY DAUGHTER TO GO TO JAIL SHE CALLED LAST NIGHT HOMELESS IN A LARGE CITY AS A LADY OF THE NIGHT AND ASK ME WHY I WOULDN’T HELP HER SHE ASKED IF I REALLY WANTED HER TO HAVE TO DO WHAT SHE IS DOING SHE HAS NOT SHOWN UP FOR PROBATION AND SURLY HAS SEVERAL WARRANTS THEY CAN REALLY PUT THE GUILT TRIP ON US FOR ME THE WORST TIME IS WHEN I WAKE UP AT 4AM AND MY MIND AND HEART FEEL LIKE PANIC I KNOW YOUR ARE HOPING FOR CHANGE IN YOUR SON BUT IF NOT YOU HAVE TO BE STRONG OR YOU OR I WILL NEVER HAVE EVEN A SMALL AMT OF HAPPINESS WE DESERVE TO LOOK FORWARD TO SOMETHING IN OUR LIVES YOUR RESPONSE REALLY HELPED ME TODAY
pjJanuary 12th, 2011 at 11:14 PM
MY DAUGHTER IS PRESENTLY A HEROIN ADDICT AND A PROSTITUE WITHIN THE ATLANTA AREA I HAVE TRIED SO MUCH SPENDING AT LEAT 200.000 ON REHAB SHE HAS CONTACTED ME WITHIN THE LAST MONTH SHE IS HOMELESS I SENT HER A ONE DAY STAY AT A DAYS INN THE LAST TIME I SPOKE WITH HER I TOLD HER TO NOT CALL ME AGAIN THAT I COULD NOT HANDLE THIS SHE SAID CAN I CALL YOU AND WISH YOU A HAPPY NEW YEAR I SAID NO NOW SHE IS NO WHERE TO BE FOUND SHE HAS A WARRANT AND I HAVE AN 8000 BOND I MUST HAVE HER ARRESTED I DO NOT HAVE THE BOND MONEY SHE IS DEAD TO ME BUT I LOVE HER
SuzMarch 25th, 2011 at 5:34 PM
My heart goes out to everyone facing the problems of grown children with addictions. My son is 30, he was 11 when he first started showing signs of serious trouble. I too have done everything I know to help him. In house rehab several times, I let him suffer the consequences when he would go to jail and not bail him out, and each time it was due to something he did while on drugs and alcohol. I have given him chance after chance. After a few weeks his old destructive behavior returns. Goes back to the same so called friends. He has threatened suicide so many times, cut up his arms, destroy doors, walls,steal,lie, and always blames others for his problems. I’m so worn out with it, all I know to do is pray for him. I had to make him leave again and this time have refused to allow him to come back. There are options to help him , but if it’s not what he want he won’t take them. He upsets the others who live at home and some times frightens my daughter who lives here with her small children.
We as parents who have done all that we can do and then some have to come to a point and say NO MORE. We too deserve some peace of mind and a safe and restful home. I know I did the best I could for my son. Loved him, taught him right from wrong, tried to get him involved in healthy activities growing up, always had a nice home, clothes, and food. I have released him to God, because the problem is more than I can handle anymore. I refuse to feel responsible for his self destruction anymore. I pray he will be healed from the battle field in his mind, but I have exhausted all my attempts to help. I will always love him, but I don’t miss the monster within. Hopefully, God willing, the monster will be gone and my son will be back. Prayers for strength to everyone.
ChristineMay 17th, 2011 at 12:33 PM
It feels thoughtless to write this, but I’m so relieved to read my thoughts in your comments. Our son is 20 and a drug addict. We’re out of our element here, neither my husband nor I ever did drugs. We don’t know anyone who’s dealt with this. Our son was brought home after failing freshman year college. We payed all his debts and got him enrolled in the local college. He lied, stole from us, and when we found out he ran away. I cannot believe I raised this person. His lifestyle is so opposite of our values, I don’t know him at all. Reading all your comments breaks my heart. I’m so afraid we’re headed for much harder times.
AnitaJune 8th, 2011 at 10:02 PM
Dear christine, when I read some post I read the comment to and I fond your problem. Iam sorry to hear that. But as a parents you must strong. Your son is a drug addict because their society in their live not because you and your husband. Everything always have a limit so be patience and don’t give up to direct your child to a good thing
JimJune 23rd, 2011 at 6:47 PM
I’d never be able to explain all that has gone on in my home with my two drug addicted sons nore my enabling wife. It’s nice to find this site to know I’m not the only one suffering. I WANT OUT but can’t leave financially or I would. This life and what is going on here in my home and a wife who won’t back me up sucks!!!
JJ ArcherSeptember 18th, 2011 at 1:21 PM
I have to disagree that addiction isn’t a physical illness; it is. Or, at least, it is brought on by underlying physiological issues. Rather than taking our son to a traditional rehab or AA where they try to talk away the problem,(which isn’t possible, since it’s physiological in nature) we sent him to a place that, through medical testing, attempts to find the underlying physical problems and correct them, along with providing some psychological counseling for the depression addictions bring with them. Hypoglycemia is a common underlying issue w/addicts, especially if alcohol is the problem. So are food allergies, most often to grains. (Again, if alchohol is the issue.) My son had both of these problems, it turns out, as well as others. He completely changed his diet, and began dealing with his other medical issues and he is now healthy, happy, and no longer addicted. Please do yourself and your children a favor: do an internet search for a ‘biochemical alcohol revovery program.’
bettiJanuary 10th, 2012 at 5:37 PM
my 2 daughters are heroion addicts and im lost, dont know what to do anymore. im lossing them help.
martha andersonJanuary 18th, 2012 at 7:35 AM
I sympathize and feel for all of u that r going thru this. I myself has and adult daughter that his a drug addict on meth and i do not know how to help her anymore. She is homeless, my grandchildren are in foster care due to her addiction and i am 1000 miles away from her and i’ve tried to get her to go admit herslf into rehab or the psych unit and she comes up with reasons not to do it. I have given up everything to help her my job, home, vehicle and money now i have nothing i’m trying to start over but i feel paralyzed because i am so afraid for her she gets beat up because of her mouth she has no support system there she hasn’t talked to her worker for 4 months because of the drugs and i’m going to lose my grandchidren because of this and the only way i can force her into rehab is i have to go there and file papers but i don’t have the money to go there to do this and i am so scared for her. I have tried to do the tough love thing but it doesn’t seem to be working because shes as far down as she can get and her children r not enough to get her to see she needs help. She has never lived this way and I have always bailed her out but now I can’t do anything i feel helpless and very much alone. I need help before i lose my grandkids and my daughter permanently. I believe she also underlying mental issues also she is extremely nasty to me and the people around her when she doesn’t get her way or she doesn’t like what someone says and she takes no responsibility for anything its everybody else’s fault.
LouiseApril 4th, 2012 at 5:59 AM
Martha, your daughter sounds like my daughter.
My daughter is 21, and has 2 babies, 8 months, and 2 yrs. Both babies are in foster care. My daughter is an alcoholic. I have done everything I could to help her, but nothing is enough for her. She acts like I owe her something, and her problems are my fault.
I can’t tell you how many times I have had to ask her to leave my house, she has no respect for anyone, and not even herself.
Just last night I had to tell her to leave my house. I had offered her to come stay the night in order for her to be up in the morning to go have a visit with her babies. (She hasn’t seen the youngest in 3 months now). She showed up with a bag of beer, and for 5 hours continued to drink, and get more obnoxious as time went on.
I keep telling myself, I am cutting her off.
I have an 8 yr old still at home, and a 16 yr old son as well, at home, and I can’t keep exposing them to her behavior.
It’s so sad to watch a young adult waste their life. and know these 2 sweet babies are losing their mother.
wandaMay 10th, 2012 at 3:38 PM
my son is an alcoholic and a drug addict. He is 23 and i have been dealing with this for 9 years. I have done everything i could for him. He has been to Rehab many times. The older he gets the worse it is.He has been in and out of jail,and as soon as he gets out he goes right back to his old ways.He has robbed me many times,stole my credit cards. I have called the police on him but they don’t help.I have had to move many times because of his stealing.He does not live with me anymore because i couldn’t take it.It was affecting my work i couldn’t sleep. He calls me everyday wanting money.All the crime he has done and all the people he owes,I am afraid all the time. He always says he wants help, but when the time comes he wont do it.He hasn’t been to a Rehab in 3 years. I feel so alone, i have 2 other sons and they are at the point that they want nothing to do with there brother. I don’t know where to turn,i feel so hopeless and alone
maryJuly 4th, 2012 at 5:19 AM
I was amazed reading your story felt like you were talking about my son – my therapist suggested alanon have you tried that ? Maybe we could support each other if youre interested please respond we could email – mary
SharonJuly 9th, 2012 at 7:55 AM
I need help, I have no where to turn, trying to be strong & not give in to my daughter’s plea for help, the stories are getting so unbelievable, but there is always that 1% in the back of my mind to help her.
She is in TX & I am in PA, my family is tired of listening to me, but she is my daughter & I love her – but she is not the same person I raised.
I’ve gone to a therapist but what I need is a support group who is going thru the same thing or has been there. Anyone who has time to respond, I would truly appreciate hearing from you.
maryJuly 9th, 2012 at 9:39 AM
sharon – i too need support and maybe we could write back & forth to at least share our storys so that we’re not alone – i desperately need someone who understands – this goes for anyone else out there who can be of help we could talk & support ? thank you…
SharonJuly 9th, 2012 at 3:23 PM
Hi Mary, my daughter will be 26 in August,She is living in TX & I haven’t seen her in about 2 years. But she is constantly txting me for money. She has had so many addresses & the stories are unbievable but yet I can’t find the strength to say no. I do good for a few days but then end up giving in. I’m afraid to block my # in case something serious would happen to her. Life as I knew it is over.
maryJuly 10th, 2012 at 3:32 AM
Hi sharon – my son will be 28 in august – he lives here in town & now has a 6 month old son but he & his mom live with her parents becuz she is as afraid of him as we are – i never planned on one of my children turning out this way he just lost his job & comes asking for help & acts like a child having a tantrum when he doesnt get his way – my therapist says not to help he has to hit rock bottom & suggested alanon which i am going to try – he has a genius iq & can talk circles around anyone – my xanax was disappearing & he talked & twisted his way around me thinking he stole it so well that i now doubt he took it even tho i “know” he did – he spent all his inheritance & my mom now wont even ask about him tho i try to tell her hes sick & needs help – shes a jerk for thinking he should be able to grow up & raise his son yet i too go back & forth between gut wrenching fear of what he’ll do next & anger so intense i wana kill him myself…
KarenJuly 10th, 2012 at 1:32 PM
My family is going thru this also but God is bigger than any problems we have and your prayers are more effective than we know!! God is in control – thank goodness
SharonJuly 10th, 2012 at 3:53 PM
I know it’s hard not to give in to them. But we need to start thinking of our own well being, this depressed state is taking hold of my phisical health. It’s easier said than done, especially when my daughter is a master of manipulation. Like you said, you know what they are doing but start to 2nd guess yourself. Please Mary call a hotline when you are thinking suicide,it’s not the answer. I’ve thought about it too but my older daughter does not deserve to live with that. All we cando is try to stay strong no matter how hard,one minute at a time.
maryJuly 10th, 2012 at 5:31 PM
sharon i am not thinking suicide you misunderstood me – what i said was i go back and forth between fear of him killing himself & then i get so angry with him & how he acts i wanna kill him myself
karen – yes God is in control but in the meantime us parents have to be able to vent our feelings they too are real
CarlaJuly 12th, 2012 at 8:57 AM
I am so sorry you have had such a hard time. I am in the same boat. Except my son is 37 and manic depressant. He until three years ago had a great company and walked away from it sold everything and now lives off our support .We have given him in the last two years $50,000 of our retirement. He demands, cuses us out and predicts bad things happening.He has no job and has lost everything but his house that is $1500.00 a month…He says he needs $3500 from us a month until he gets back on his feet. (when)?
He was on meds and said he had to come off of them because they were causing him other problems.
How can we resolve this without so much anger comming from him. My husband says he is thru….but i know when he comes back all sweet i will give in… I hate money.
SharonJuly 12th, 2012 at 3:28 PM
I received a txt message today from my daughter telling me she is now in a group home for help with her depression caused by me accusing her of drug use. I am in PA & she has been in TX for almost 3 years now. She had at least 5 different addresses in the last year & as many jobs.. It is so hard to be strong when I feel like the blame is on my shoulders.
maryJuly 14th, 2012 at 1:48 AM
Blow off anything she says blaming you – its the disease talking – i’m waiting for my son to blame the air he breathes…
Dr. Ed WilsonJuly 14th, 2012 at 12:49 PM
As long as you keep falling for the myth that it’s a disease rather than a choice you will keep be exploited and abused.
Once you understand that it’s a choice, then you can stop supporting and rewarding terrible choices.
As we note with clients, you only get to blame your parents until you are 18, after that you’re responsible for your choices and the consequences.
mgJuly 14th, 2012 at 3:36 PM
I am so relieved and saddened by what I have just read. Relieved that I am not alone in this and saddened by the destruction that addiction creates to all involved.My 20 year old son in on a flight right now to a sober living facility. He was in a 28 day treatment center,then transferred to a sober living facility thousands of miles from home to continue his recovery. He claims he was suicidal yesterday(something I do not take lightly) the facility transported to a hospital where he was discharged in less than an hour. The facility refused to take him back due to his liability and they feel he was just looking for a way out anyway. They were gonna drop him off at a homeless shelter,but compiled when I asked to take him to a hotel. I found another sober living willing to take him today. I feel this is the last time I can financially support him.
He too has a very high IQ and many of the behavior traits that have been described above. I pray he now turns his will over to God! Praying for all of you! Thanks for listening!
maryJuly 15th, 2012 at 9:42 AM
Unbelievable that you claim this is a choice…
Dr. Ed WilsonJuly 15th, 2012 at 11:40 AM
Hardly unbelievable given that there’s over 50 years of research supporting the “choice” rather than the “disease” option, or even 1000s of years if you include the story of the prodigal son who cleaned up before coming home for the celebration.
Even AA belies its first step – if one were truly “powerless’ then the “Steps” wouldn’t work for even the 3-5% for whom they are a viable option.
It’s a choice, albeit a bad one, and frequently a manipulative, passive aggressive, and aggressive one, but it’s still a choice.
maryJuly 15th, 2012 at 3:42 PM
Changes brain chemistry – its a disease
SharonJuly 15th, 2012 at 4:27 PM
That is what my husband has been telling me “She chose this path now she has to live with her choice” However,when I was in therapy. my therapist told me “You are not dealing with your daughter but with the addiction”. Either way I now know she needs to WANT help. And I need to stop enabling her,which is why I need support from anyone who has or is currently going thru this horrible ordeal.
maryJuly 15th, 2012 at 5:32 PM
Yes sharon my therapist says we’re dealing with my sons addiction & that is his disease & he has to be the one to acknowledge it to get help – she suggested alanon which i intend to try have you ? I get relief from the daily struggle knowing others know going thru this with a family member understand…
Dr Ed WilsonJuly 16th, 2012 at 7:12 AM
Exercise changes brain chemistry – is exercise a disease?
maryJuly 16th, 2012 at 7:42 PM
has nothing to do with this subject – i am here for support & to give it to others if i’m able – thats it
Dr Ed WilsonJuly 16th, 2012 at 10:49 PM
“Giving support” does not mean reaffirming myths, lies, and dead end streets… nor does it include pretending that adults, including our children, aren’t responsible for their choices or “powerless” to change.
Like all of us, they prefer short term fixes to long term solutions, but if we reward the fixes then we are to blame too. We too have choices to make.
maryJuly 17th, 2012 at 7:30 AM
didnt say any of that – your remarks are empty – i’m done but since youre so inclined to continue have at it…
maryJuly 17th, 2012 at 7:53 AM
Hi sharon hows it going ? We havnt seen our son for a while now which is a relief cuz i want a xanax iv after hes left – God only knows what hes doing & partly i feel relief i dont know but of course then comes the.worry – he could have a job but isnt taking it or so the story goes…any word from your daughter ?
SharonJuly 17th, 2012 at 10:31 AM
Hi Mary, Yes, she txt me Saturday for “food” money, then yesterday for gas $$ for a dr. appt, I told her I could not send. So she tried again today, but I did not reply to her. She never calls or txt just to talk, how I miss the person she was before this terrible addiction. With her being so far away, I think that is the hard part because I remember the daughter she was. However, I know it would be a disaster if she were to come home. Seems there is no good side to this story. God Bless
maryJuly 17th, 2012 at 2:52 PM
Yes sharon i understand your feelings of loss – my son used to come over & cook & eat & talk – thats been so long ago – now when he does come its also for money & hes gone – well he also unloads his usual lies all over us as well – its sooo disappointing & lonely & i tell my therapist i go between sorrow & anger & she reminds me its the addiction talking – we also feel he has other mental issues & i’ve wondered as his mom how could i not of known ?
SharonJuly 17th, 2012 at 3:55 PM
Mary, the same with my daughter, she was always the one to make everyone laugh, but I wonder now if she was hiding her true feelings. It wasn’t until she graduated high school when I noticed she seemed angry. She went to college but then joined the Army & received a medical discharge but never told me what happened.I’m stuck with her student loans because I co-signed. I don’t know if I should take a trip to TX to find her I feel I;m not doing enough. It’s so hard.
maryJuly 18th, 2012 at 1:10 PM
I wonder when my son began his addiction sharon – we just moved & i have been going thru pictures & many of my son – they are from his high school grauation & he certainly was acting healthy then & i too stare at them wondering if he was sick or an addict then & hiding it…what is your goal for going to find your daughter ? You know how she will want from you i wish u wouldnt go…
SharonJuly 19th, 2012 at 7:52 AM
It’s not likely I would go to TX, she moves around so much I could never plan ahead,also, I’m not being realistic, I think I have visions of finding the girl I once new.
maryJuly 19th, 2012 at 12:04 PM
oh boy do i know that feeling sharon – the boy we once knew who wanted to be a part of our family has disappeared tho my therapist says he’s in there – hard to find him tho when his addiction takes over – there’s nothing wrong with having unrealistic expectations i dont think as long as we dont really expect them to come true – we are after all mothers…
LauraJuly 26th, 2012 at 12:33 PM
I have a 30 year old daughter she is pretty and usually smart she had a good job then got a DUI quit her job went to jail had probation and court costs and restitution to pay for destruction of property that was 2 years ago she still isn’t working and her and her boyfriend (also non-working) live in my home and neither look for work am tired of slamming doors and fowl rants at her boyfriend or anyone else for that matter she seems very selfish and self absorbed with her and her boyfriend. I was just told by my boss that my daughter asked one of his contract laborers if they knew where she could get some dope, well needless to say that explained to me the weight loss not sleeping and extreme agitation and constant complaining about everything and anything however she never seems to see where she has done anything wrong makes it sound like she is doing everything and everyone is just too hard on her and expects to much from her. Her younger brother and his girlfriend moved down here with us to get a job and a fresh start hasn’t been here 2 weeks and already has a job and wants his own place while his sister and her boyfriend mooch off me and anybody else that will let them. I don’t know what to do have thought about taking home a drug test and if she refuses to take it tell her she has to leave with her boyfriend and everything else she has in the house and if she does take it and fails it I would have to make her leave anyway and where would she go and who would look out for her I worry all the time about her she is bi-polar with violent tendencies and she has attacked me on many occasions and I am 50 and have fibromyalgia and do not want to fight with her, so please what should I do
Dr Ed WilsonJuly 26th, 2012 at 1:55 PM
It’s hard to imagine why parents are surprised when “children” continue the behaviors they are rewarding. If you pay you daughter to lay around, be nasty and violent, and you support her and her boyfriend, why would you expect her or him to get a job?
SharonJuly 28th, 2012 at 7:22 AM
Dr. Wilson you make it sound so cut & dry, but these are our children we are talking about. I came to this site for support,not to be scolded. I realize the $50 sent to my daughter is only adding fuel to the fire, but when your child is telling you she has no food or needs gas $ for a dr appt it’s hard to say no. It doesn’t help that she lives in TX & I’m in PA, so there is always doubt inmy mind that she may be telling the truth. At this moment she is txting me saying she was in the VA hospital for 2 days this week & needs $50 for a sleep apnea machine & has a blocked heart valve. I can’t talk to her doctors due to HIPPA but once again I’m torn between tough love & giving in.
maryJuly 28th, 2012 at 7:28 PM
Thank you sharon – took the words right out of my mouth…
noyAugust 1st, 2012 at 12:31 AM
Dr. Wilson has very “good” logical points. It’s a choice and enabling suck the life out of us. Everyone stories is great for support. I understand how many feel about not being able to say “no.” My brother is an addict for @ least 30 years, it has become a life style choice. He has burn all the bridges from our family, I Am 7th child out of 8 and we all tried to help him. He had his life together many times but “ChOSE” to go back to abusing drugs/alcohols. He has stole from family and is always “blaming” his issue on others or “bad” luck. He recently got out of jail and say he’ll stay with me. Its was very very hard to say “no”, even though we aren’t close. I’m sad and heartbroken for his situation be chose and I feel guilty. Sadly he WILL NEVER change. All he did is ask for money which he use for alcohol. I drop him off not knowing if he has a place to really stay, but he’s been living that life for about 30yrs that I know he WILL survive. Sadly he better off in jail with a place to sleep And 3 meals a day. Knowing that doesn’t make it any easier saying “no” but I have to. I understand what everyone saying about support because these stories are helping me and I understand what Dr.Wilson is saying also. I don’t have much so I can’t afford to lose what little I have. I have to live my life. Thanks everyone
SharonAugust 1st, 2012 at 3:29 PM
I do not disagree with Dr Wilson, It’s just so hard to follow his advise. My daughter also has burned bridges with family & friends who loved her & did the best they could. But as her mother I just cannot seem to close the door. It’s a daily struggle financially & emotionally. But I know I’m the only one who can make the change & I’m doing my best to stay strong.
maryAugust 2nd, 2012 at 12:01 PM
my son was just arrested for aggravated dui & of course we didnt find out from him & when i asked him if he’s now going to get some help he started in on me with his usual insults & talking about everything else but him & his problem – i have had it with his sickening response to driving drunk & am not playing his game any more – i will not avoid the elephant in the room – i have no idea where he’ll end up but right now am so sickened by what he did & how he responded i told him to stay away from us
silviaAugust 10th, 2012 at 7:20 AM
I have never written in a blog but for some reason I woke up this morning and yet again felt like I did not do enough to help my son with his addiction to pain killers (roxicet and oxycodone). My heart goes out to EVERYONE who has a child or adult child with an addiction and the addict too. My son’s boss told me in August of 2009 that my son was doing drugs. I asked my son about it and he told me he “tried” some stuff. I reminded him how dangerous drugs were and of all the conversations we had about drugs. He was 21 at the time and told me not to worry. Well I did worry but trusted that he was smarter than that. My son had never given me a reason not to trust him. We were also so close that I felt that he would tell me he was in trouble. Well, that day came at the end of October 2009. He had been making some bad choices..girlfriend…buying a luxury car he could not afford and his attitude towards me was awful. He told me he was in trouble and he was crying. I was in complete shock. I told him I would get him into therapy right away and he suggested suboxone to wean off the drugs. I have never dealt with a situation like this but I felt we were “nipping it in the bud”. Therapy went well for a couple of weeks and then his anger towards me made me so angry. What was he talking about??? He was raised with so much love, kindness and respect. I am not perfect by any means but I love my children and treasure being a Mom. So, he stopped going to therapy and was told he needed rehab….He said he would go but had certain conditions….I told him he would go and get evaluated and the doctor would decide what the next step was. He refused. As far as the suboxone goes…I went with him to the doctor ( he did not want me to go in with him) when he came out we filled his script and then I told him I would give him his pills as prescibed. He refused and said he had it under control and would not take them unless he took them himself. I felt like he was trying to deal with this himself and be responsible….. what an idiot I am!!! His behavior and choices continued to be askew. Life became hell for everyone in our home. His little sister was 7 at the time. His step dad, who had been so close to him barely spoke to him. He was disgusted with his behavior and drug use. I became depressed and didn’t know what to do. I really feel I didn’t have ANY support. I have always been a very strong person but this was kicking my butt. I did see snippets of my son here and there but mostly not. I was angry and in denial at times and I feel I missed the “windows of opportunity” to help him. Finally after many conversations and “planting seeds” as I call it I felt he came around. He broke up with his girlfriend who was very toxic. She went nuts and without getting into too much detail fabricated a story that she was raped leaving my home in the middle of the night and went to the police. My son was devastated and felt guilty even though he had offered to give her a ride home. No one in my town believed that story and my son kept reading things on line about it. He came to me Thursday, October 14th 2010 so upset and depleted about it. He told me he needed to get away and go live in a vacation home we owned. I told him I would support him 100% but not financially ( as he had been stealing from us for months). I was happy he wanted to get away from all these bad influences and start fresh. The next day he told me he wasn’t feeling well and I thought he was still upset about his girlfiend and thought he should go to work and keep his job until he had enough money to go away. I told him I would cut him some slack and he could miss classes but he should go to work if he could. He said ok. He sounded so down before he went and my heart went out to him. I told him I would make dinner that night and for him to come home. he never did. He left work before his shift was over and never came home. I was so upset and angry. Here we go again! He was missing and no one knew where he was. I filed a missing person report the next day. The cops in my town ( I don’t live there any more) kept telling me he was out on a binge even though he had never been in trouble with the police. I really felt something was wrong. I called so many of his friends and drug dealers. As the days went by I was sick to my stomache. My son would always call….where was he??? I was out of my mind!!! The police hung up on me and ignored my pleas for help. Tuesday morning one of my son’s friends that I hadn’t seen in a year or so showed up at my door…..I hadn’t thought of calling him…..he told me my son had been at his house and he was in the hospital. I rushed to the hospital and it was TOO LATE….my son was gone…he died. It was so surreal that I can’t even put it in to words. HORRIFIC. I found out later that he was detoxing on his own and when he became very very sick his friends ( who never did drugs) got so nervous and did not know what to do. They were scared to call 911 because they thought they would get in trouble. What???!!!!! I don’t know how I survived this …truly. I was put on meds immediately and went to therapy twice a week for 7 months. I was in bed most of the time. I did get up to take my daughter to school and luckily had amazing friends that helped so much. I since have gone through cognitive therapy which has helped deal with the guilt and “what ifs” which are awful. I highly recommend that form of therapy to help anyone to think differently and more positively about a bad situation in their life. Again, my heart aches so much for people going through what I went through or the people who”s children are still here but not if you know what I mean. I start school in September and I hope to help young people who are addicted. My son is truly a beautiful person inside and out and his death will not be in vain. He had over 500 people at his memorial service who were so shocked and upset over his death. He was trying to change his life and never got the chance. Peace and love to all.
CathySeptember 8th, 2012 at 5:43 AM
I cannot find my comment or any follow ups
lisaSeptember 18th, 2012 at 9:00 PM
I would love to talk to you. My son is 23 and been addicted to drugs for a few years and been to every rehab i found and even the most expensive that promise you things that are not true. Ive seen my son go through withdrawals plenty of times. How in the world did your son pass fron withdrawals and how are you still here to talk about it. That is my worst fear and i do not enjoy anything in my life at all anymore i cry everyday. Are there ANY success stories with these addicts.
I am so sorry for you, help me to live again and understand please!
Dr Ed WilsonSeptember 19th, 2012 at 8:32 AM
It’s important to learn what actually works when people want to leave the drugs and alcohol behind and for most people traditional treatment doesn’t and research based treatment has far better outcomes.
There are about a dozen programs in the U.S. that are based on CBT, motivational interviewing, short term intensive therapy, assertiveness trainig, diet, exercise, and other things that actually work.
Look for them and educate youself so you can resist the hucksters.
MarySeptember 19th, 2012 at 12:45 PM
I have a 21 year old son, who we forced to move out last year due to the constant arguing and drug abuse (pills and pot). He has got a full time job starting this year in March 2012. He was living with a family near his office, and continued to use drugs. He then moved in with a “friend” and was kicked out 2 weeks later, due to him using drugs. He then was able to get a loan for a car (we were letting him borrow my husbands vehicle). But then, we find out that he was taking out cash advances (not paying them back), and not paying for his car loan, had a speeding ticket and did not pay it, wrote some bad checks (did not pay the state attorney for the fines). We then get this call from our son, totally under the influence of drugs, begging us for help. He admitted to all of the above (he has been a habitual liar, so we never know what to believe from him). He said he needs help. So we allowed him to move back home and said we will help him with his drug addiction and help get his finances in order (we were not going to pay for any of this out of our pockets, but with his paychecks). We said we wanted control of his money and paychecks, so not only will he not spend it, we will be able to assist him with getting his life back on track. We took him to a rehab place, where they found out he had “insurance” and said the cost was going to be more than someone without insurance. Well my sons health insurance does not cover behavior health), so what is the difference???? My husband handed my son some cash (to pay off the loan amount for his Cash Advance) (I thought BIG MISTAKE!) He was living at our house for 2 weeks, when we learned that he did not pay off the loan, rather, he spent some of that money on his drugs. My husband got angry, then my son demanded that he get back his debit card (that his paychecks are deposited on) and said if we don’t give him back his card, then he is calling the police. Well, he did call the police, and they showed up. We told the police what we are dealing with, and he recommended our son move out before someone goes to jail. Well, my son is the one that called US for help. He is the one that wanted help with his finances and agreed just 2 weeks prior for us to help him. What the heck! He stormed out of the house with all his stuff (duffle bag, and laundry in a bag) and drove away. Then 2 days later, he calls my husband and appologizes. And now today, he is crying on the phone, stating he spent the rest of his paycheck on drugs and is broke now, and has no place to live, because the lady he was staying with does not want him living there anymore. He told me that he tried to commit suicide last night. He said he is so tired of disappointing us and he wants to end it all and this will put us out of our misery to constantly have to worry about him. He also said he wants to end it all to put himself out of his misery because he can’t stop the drugs. HELP! I don’t know what to do, I don’t know where to turn for help!
MarySeptember 19th, 2012 at 12:52 PM
Forgot to mention, that my younger son as stolen from us many times (goes into the garage and pawns off power tools, stole some of my jewelry, and clothing items), just so he could get cash for his drug addiction.
We also have an older son, age 22, who is completely opposite, going to school part time, and working part time, pays for his car insurance, and pays for his car. He lives at home, and cannot stand what his younger brother is doing and has begged us not to let our younger son move back in again.
KarenSeptember 19th, 2012 at 7:14 PM
My heart goes out to all. Today I fired my daughter from my salon! I’ve been telling her I was done with her drug use, and if she came to work messed up one more time that would be her last. I did it! I also took her truck away that i had in my name. She Ran off the road with it today. I cant let her hurt someone else or herself with My car. It’s been one of the hardest day. I can’t cry anymore. Im scared because I know one of three things will happen now. She will get help, die, or go to jail. I’ve been helping to keep her life going for way to long. Shell be my wonderful daughter for a couple of weeks, and then the bottom drops out. I can’t ride the ride anymore. It’s killing me. I know I’ve done the right thing but it hurts so much. I feel a deep pain inside my soul. Two rehabs later, one overdose, and six car accidents and she still hasnt hit rock bottom. I’m hoping with me no longer enabling her she will get help sooner. God here my prays!!!!!!!!!!
LouiseSeptember 21st, 2012 at 8:01 AM
Wow, I found this site, and read through, realizing I had found this blog before and commented above.
My daughter is still in a spiral, her babies still in foster care. She called me last night, saying she had left a shelter she was in for a few days.
Since I last posted here in April, I have found out, not only my daughter is an alcoholic, but she is also a prositute, and may have contracted hiv, at the beginning of this year. Her first test came back negative, and she was supposed to repeat it, but she is afraid, to get the tests, and feels she does have it, and says our family will be better off is she kills herself. She has made a few attempts this year, of taking her life, the most recent, was a few weeks ago.
I almost want to bring her into my home, telling myself, I could “fix her”. I know this would not help, but the mother in me, wants to fix her.
I feel this downward spiral, will never stop, or it may, with her killing herself.
AnnaSeptember 26th, 2012 at 11:03 PM
My child is 30 and I worrie about her 24/7 she is on drugs and I cant get anyone to help as far as police or drug rehabs I believe she is a danger to herself. I have two of her babies 3 of the other are with there father. Can someone PLEASE help me to help her. Im a nervous wreck.
DebOctober 8th, 2012 at 9:37 PM
Adult daughter addicted to prescrption drugs and alcohol. Comes to us for help. Says she us ready to fav he demons and get treatment. Benn there before and she’s screwed us over. This time we think she’s sincere but her adult brothers are removing themselves from our family unit as they feel she is amusing us and we are once again allowing her to manipulate us. Very confused where our loyalties lay. I respect and agree with the boys…they have tried and she has screwed them over too. Yet as parents, we keep thinking maybe this time is the time. My gut tells me we would tell her to seek the help she says she’s ready for, without our assistance and support.nbmaybe if she proves her intentions and succeeds, our family can once again trust nd peace. Interested to hear comments??? Thank you
EdOctober 9th, 2012 at 6:51 AM
Brothers are likely right and in any case the question you need to ask is,”Why are we rewarding her behaviors which we disdapprove of and not their’s which we do?”
Should you still opt to support treatment remember that there are only about 3 research based programs in the country that have posative outcomes: Reuniuon San Diego, St Judes in NY, and St Greegory’s in Iowa. All the rest are just paying to go to AA which has about a 2% “success” rate with women.
CRAIGOctober 13th, 2012 at 8:51 AM
I am going through the same thing as all of you My daughter has been manipulating me for over 9 years. She called today and wanted to see me I said what for and what do you need she stated nothing and I new she wanted something because last night she wanted 200 dollars and she I said no. She told me fuck you! Today I told her untill she goes to rehab I do not want to see her. I heard from friend of hers that she looks terrible and has sores all over it make me want to cry but I am sticking to my guns for now. Craig
Dr. Ed WilsonOctober 13th, 2012 at 11:24 AM
The stories are always, sad, difficult, and similar. Even when they agree to “rehab” it is often only to placate and mostly, in rehab, they only learn to manipulate even more skillfully.
Please remember that most rehab programs have less than a 5% “success” rate.
There are programs which do better, perhaps 2 dozen across the country, but you will need to look carefully and listen with a very skeptical ear.
Any programs that will not guarentee, in writing, that they are not based on AA or the 12 Steps is unlikely to provide long term solutions.
Be careful out there…
NaeveroOctober 19th, 2012 at 10:06 PM
My screen name is a composite of my own first name, and my daughters’ first names. My lovely older daughter is alcoholic, and her symptoms have become increasingly worse in the past year. Her father (my ex-husband) died of heard failure in August of last year, after decades of bad decisions (drugs and alcohol). The last year of HIS life was almost unbearable. Both of my daughters tried to set limits with him (so had I), but if they went to his apartment and found him in a bad way, they would bring him to my house, where we would feed him and care for him for a few days. Then he would go back to his apartment and start the cycle all over again.
I’m providing that background to say that my daughters both know that the end game looks like. Their dad, who at his core was a wonderful, funny person, gradually wasted away and destroyed his body and his life. And yet, my older daughter drinks until she is wasted, every time she drinks. She has the illusion that she can control the amount she drinks. And then she gets sloppy drunk, and somehow, some way, she has not hurt anyone or herself she gets behind the wheel.
Yes, all familiar territory to readers of this blog, I know, but so painful to a parent. She was drinking today (the excuse was that her younger sister and a friend had left her all alone for hours). As a result, her sister and the friend declined to drive her to a celebration tonight (which will involve alcohol; they are both responsible, and know that my older daughter will drink until she passes out).
My daughter went into a rage when she realized she was not going with them. The idea of spending Friday night with her mom was soooo unattractive! She said she was going to f— something up, and she threw the covers off of her sister’s bed, stomped on a home-made bagel (this was rage directed at her sister, who made the bagels), and screamed at me about how messed up I am. Then she demanded money, and a ride to the restaurant where the others were gathering. When I declined, she screamed some more, and then demanded bus fare. When I declined to give her THAT, she said she would walk , and stalked out the front door.
Two seconds later, she was back, demanding money or a ride. This went on for an hour or so. Eventually, she called someone, who agreed to pick her up. Then she went back to demanding money again. Angry again when I said no. I have given her money over the years, $20 here, $40 there, and trying not to know that it goes chiefly for alcohol. Tonight, I thought it was important to take a stand. I should mention that she also demanded her car keys, but I put the “club” on her steering wheel today. This is something that I have done periodically over the past 6 months, but since her drinking has accelerated, along with her inability to make rational decisions, I put the club on today for an indefinite period. She is not currently working, and although she “chums” me by submitting applications here and there (which I am convinced she does so that I will give her some money), she is neither working nor exploring sobriety.
I don’t know for sure how I feel about Al Anon. I do know that the people who come to Al Anon meetings are at their wits’ end, like me, and generally well-intentioned, and desperately hoping that SOMETHING will give them some relief. Well, me, too.
I also go to a support group once a week, that allows cross-talk, thank god. One of the frustrating things to me about Al Anon is that they forbid cross-talk. Of course, since anyone can attend, I have also witnessed some really weird “shares,” and have come to understand the REASON for the no cross-talk rule. My support group, by contrast, encourages members to contribute opinions, and I have been impressed by the wisdom of some of these people.
This is the first time I have ever contributed to any blog, except my own a couple of years ago (and that one had nothing to do with addiction). I love my daughters so much, and I think I would do anything to free my older daughter from her pain. I have taken to telling her that I love her, since I can’t think of anything useful to say (or anything that she would listen to). I know that there is so much self-loathing associated with alcoholism/addiction, and as one very nice man that I met at Al Anon said, I would so hate for the last words that I had with my child to be ones of anger. I am so happy to have found this site, because I cannot only talk to my friends about the fears and anxieties I have around my older daughter. I need other options. Thank you for being there.
Leslie H.October 29th, 2012 at 7:48 PM
To Ed and Mary Ann;
I like this blog site. Since Eons went away there is no one to talk to about adult children who are drug addicts and what we as parents can do to save ourselves financially , emotionally, etc.
What I don’t like about this blog site is the put-down towards aa and al-anon . These programs have helped thousands of addicts and their families. I’m not sure where you are getting your statistics from but I know quite a few people who have maintained their sobriety by going to “meetings” and working the aa program. If you don’t recommend the most widely available program what do you recommend ? Private counseling for the parent? I saw a suggestion to offer to pay for your childs rehab when they are ready ? Really?! What if you have already paid for 3 programs and you are fresh out of money? What if that is just another form of enabling the addict?
EdOctober 30th, 2012 at 7:28 AM
We recommend programs that actually work at rates far higher than AA’s less than 5% (and those are AA’s numbers or see the Orange Papers for the research links). For young adults that would be Practical Recovery in San Diego, St Jude’s in New York, and St Grgory’s in Iowa. For support Smart Recovery is available.
AA is fine for those who are very very immature and those who want to keep on drinking/using and Alanon is great for who don’t want to change their own behaviors or lose the benefits they get from a family members drinking/drugging.
Most of all, however, we object to AA’s long debunked myth that drinking and drugging are diseases, rather than choices. Yes, AA has helped thousands end their abuse, but it’s also preventing tens of thousands of others by implanting their cult mentality where it has no place.
Leslie H.October 31st, 2012 at 5:04 PM
Silvia; I am so very sorry about your son. He sounds like he was a wonderful boy for many years and you were close. My heart goes out to you.
I too lost my son Alan to an accidental drug overdose when he was 23. nov 4th will mark three years since my precious boy left this earth. He too was working towards sobriety . He had been clean for a year and a half before he died. He took a bunch Of his dads persription drugs and did not wake up the next day. He had gone to jail for 8 months a few years before he died and he got clean and stayed clean until this terrible tragedy. he lived in Alaska with his dad so I didn’t even see the wonderful young man he had grown into until he was in a coffin. I talked to him on the phone all the time though . I can still hear him saying “hi mom”:)
GeeNovember 9th, 2012 at 8:11 PM
I am relieved in a horrible way that I am not the only one dealing with an adult addict. My 33 year old son has been using prescription drugs for over 15 years. I stay on edge all of the time afraid the phone will ring and what the message may be or if it is the police at the door. It is constant fear on my part each and every day. I have tried over and over to help him, bailing him out of jail, giving him money, buying him food, gas and etc. I am so very tired of everything. He is a good person, soft hearted and will do anything for anybody. He is a skilled worker and is capable of making really good money and does work most of the time. Again, he is always broke. He has recently bought a vehicle on his own but really wasn’t thinking right when he did it. Now he has a payment that has him in a financial bind. He does live on his own with his girlfriend but is behind on his rent and other bills. He just started a new job and has the opportunity to climb out of the hole. His drug use has taken its toll on him in so many ways it is unreal. I simply can’t bear for him to come over and have to see him in that condition. I told him just today to not come over if he was on pills, do not text me with his problems and I loved him. I have screamed at the Dr’s that just hand out pills, I actually thanked God when one of them had a stroke and was left bedridden. One lost her license, again I thank God. There are too many pill mills available and they will say I can only give you two, which two do you want. My son weighs 125 soaking wet and they gave him hydrocodone 300mg and xanax bars and told him to take as needed. That is enough to put down a horse. I am getting better about dealing with him but still am scared to death he will overdose. Thank you all for letting me ramble. All I can do is pray and hope for the best. I will never give up hope that he will change.
RobinNovember 12th, 2012 at 7:26 PM
I am in desperate need of advice. My 35 year old son has been addicted to drugs and has had job upon jobs over the years lived in and out of our hone and finally over a year and a half ago he left our house on bad terns and we have not heard from him and now he is trying to get our attention by facebook i am afraid to reply as i know he is so darn manipulating his sisters are very clise to me and tell me you kbow what he is doing and they love me and dont want to see us go through all his drama only to turn away again we dont trust him and cant open our door up again. Is this horrible. I love him dearly and we have paid for counseling before but clearly it didnt work. He needs to want to help himself first
VickiNovember 25th, 2012 at 2:11 PM
My stepdaughter is in a relationship with a man that is addicted to prescription drugs. She is in total denial about him. She is very close to her stepsisters and they are calling me and her dad regularly about his abuse. My stepdaughter is a lovely person that is trying to finish college. After living with him for almost 2 years she is behind on her rent, calls for power bill money, cant pay her car insurance, and is now in debt over $10,000. She has always been the thrifty one but now is being harassed by bill collectors. The guy is real smooth and had my husband convinced until just recently that the stories my kids were telling about him were untrue. We have heard some doozies…trips to the emergency room with rotator cuff pain, trips about abdominal pain, stories about getting cancer pain control patches & going into convulsions, suspicion of theft of $100 from my other daughter, other stories of theft and the most recent- using food stamps to get pain pills. He seems to be a functioning addict for now and he is working and supposedly catching them up on their rent and then tackling the huge credit card debt next. I think it’s BS but there is no way to know if that’s true or not.
The Christmas holiday is coming and all the daughters (3) come home the night before, we have a nice dinner and the rest of the family comes in the am and we all open gifts. My 2 daughters are refusing to come if he is there. If we tell our our other daughter this she won’t come without him. My husband will be heartbroken. It is causing problems between us. This whole experience has been an emotional rollercoaster since this relationship began. I have finally convinced my husband to talk to our daughter and let her know we are aware of the addiction and that we are not going to ignore it any longer. We love her and want her there but as long as the addiction continues, we cannot have him in our home. Is that wrong of me to say he can’t come?
My husband is going to hear a lot of denial when he talks to his daughter and I am afraid that he is going to cave.
Is there anything he must say to her to let her know that we are serious and she cannot deny this any longer? Is there any drug test that we could make him take to prove he is off drugs? I hear the stories on this blog and I worry that if we don’t do everything in our power to either get her away from him or help him get into treatment we are in for years of heartache! I would love to hear some advice.
DCGDecember 2nd, 2012 at 1:53 PM
We have a 31 year old addict daughter living with us. She also has her 11 year old son, and have been living with us since he was 5. We are at the point ot asking her to leave, and contacting CSD to ensure that her son is in a safe place before we confront her and ask her to leave. Otherwise, she might just leave with him and I worry so about him and what living on the street would mean for him.
She has resorted to stealing from us. I am not sure what exactly the addiction is to exactly, but she fits the profile. We did find evidence of pot but I think it may be more. She is difficult to talk to, manipulative, lies when she doesn’t need to, verbally abusive to everyone around her for the slightest offense, has no respect for our home and presonal possessions. She is constantly asking for money, can’t seem to get a job, and my husband and I are both sick at heart.
She is not truly interested in her son or his education though if you say that to her, then she explodes and maintains she does care. Then for 2 days she’ll make a half hearted effort to change. But it doesn’t last long.
We can’t afford to send her to rehab. We barely make enough to cover our expenses, and I no longer have funds in savings thanks to her theft. I have even considered calling the police and turning her in and I may still do so.
Has anyone else had that problem with the added mix of a grandchild in the situation? I would love to konw how you handled it and if there are things you would recommend.
Dr. Ed WilsonDecember 2nd, 2012 at 3:31 PM
Grandchildren are abouyt the most common lever “children” use to extort money from parents and making it difficult to turn them in to the police or Child Protective Services and so on.
But the only person being protected is the abuser. Please remember that their behavior is a choice and why should they change it when you conmtinue to reward it with money, shelter, child care, and everything else?
It’s past time to shift your prioities to your grandson and yourselves and permit the consequences she has earned to fall on her instead of the three of you. No, the results are not predictable, but continuing as you have is – harming you, your husband and your grandson and, eventually, your daughter as well.
Mark SullivanDecember 6th, 2012 at 8:45 PM
@Leslie H – Leslie, I was involved with AA for several years, even became a sponsor. You exhibit the exact sort of tone every true AA believer I’ve ever encountered has when their belief is challenged. It reminds me of the same indignation the war on Christmas crowd has. I entered the program desperate, frazzled and a mess. I left the program feeling like I had led many people to the wrong conclusions about themselves and the choices they were making for themselves and have to say I ultimately damaged athem and took valuable time away from their recovery to feed my own idea of doing service to the Fellowship.
What you have to understand is that AA really doesn’t do what it says it will do. It claims that it strips away the biggest problem of the alcoholic, the ego, and replaces it with a self-effacing servant doing the work of saving other alcoholics. High minded, yes, also a bunch of crap. It really just reinforces ego and creates a dangerous mix of junk psychology and a perpetual stasis which no one can escape. As a sponsor, I had two people commit suicide because the miracle of enlightenment didn’t happen. If you ever recommend that another person go to AA, be prepared to accept their blood on your hands. It’s not even good faith healing.
One way to challenge the bizarre and unverifiable claim that AA has helped ‘thousands’ or more is ask how come chapters only order a very small amount of long time chips? With the over-inflated success rates, shouldn’t the hucksters (and I was one) be placing orders for 70 to 80% of the same chip denominations for people who will surely be saved from their alleged disease? But they don’t. I was placed in charge of ordering chips for several groups in three different states and it was always the same. We’d order around a thousand red chips (30 days) and around 50 gold (60 days) and even less of the others. I did give out a 10 year chip once and it was a pretty emotional moment. I don’t know if I was reacting to his sobriety or the fact that he had been going to that basement every Sunday for 10 years retelling the same story and never moving on.
I could get into a bunch of other stuff that’s been said ad nauseum, but you really need to stop reacting to any admonishment of AA like someone just dropped a bomb. This is why people think it’s a religion or a cult because the true believers all say the same thing with the same fervor. Imagine if someone said ‘how dare you besmirch amoxicillin!, it’s helped thousands!’. Always with the exclamation points with you people.
Worst thing I did in AA and the very thing that got me out? I started dating a sponsee and realized it was just the world’s lousiest pick up joint.
Mark SullivanDecember 6th, 2012 at 8:58 PM
And one last thing about the AA chip system: always question the validity of a therapy that has to use shiny objects to chart progress. Different color stars were a great symbol of acheivement in 3rd grade, but to perpetuate that sort of mentality with an adult truly will result in arrested development, which is exactly how AA operates. If it were a valid way of dealing with a substance problem or a brain ‘disease’ then therapists would be rewarding people with bipolar disorder chips for taking their lithium every day.
EdDecember 6th, 2012 at 10:03 PM
Mark’s comments are excellent and verified by 50 years of research. AA harms far more people than it helps. And those it does help have to agree to remain in Peter Pan’s 11 year old’s never never land forever.
LeslieJanuary 6th, 2013 at 11:43 PM
Hi – I am afraid for my friend. She has a son who is 43 years old and has a lot of problems – he writes her horrible messages saying he is going to kill her when she doesn’t agree to give him money. My friend and her husband have been enabling their son for all these years, that now that they no longer can nor want to, his behavior has become very violent towards them. Their son lives in another part of the Country, but I am fearful for my friend’s safety — who in their right mind would every write their mother “I am going to come home and kill you” when she says she won’t give him any more money? What do you think she should do? I think she should call the police of the FBI or someone who can at least document these threats and offer some kind of protection … do you think that’s a possibility?
Cathy C.January 11th, 2013 at 9:42 PM
Oh my gosh, your situation sounds so much like ours! Our 26 yr old daughter and her two kids (6 & 8) have lived with us for 2 years. W knew she was on something, but we didn.t find out until a few weeks ago she’s been using heroin for about a year. We found her drug kit in her room & called Child Protective Services. They came to the house the same day with 2 police officers, who we gave the paraphernalia to. Our daughter confessed to them, but nothing really happened. The police left, and we don’t know if they’re going to press charges. We wish they would, because then at least she might be court ordered to get help. CPS came back and interviewed the kids to see if they had been exposed. They hadn’t, but now CPS won’t even talk to me. I don’t know if they’re going to follow up or not. We are scared to death our daughter is going to use her tax return to take the kids and run. They’ve lived with us 2 years, the longest they’ve ever been in one place. Our daughter has a history of broken relationships and evictions. We feel like we’re on our own, and our poor grandkids are at the mercy of their addict mother. We’d kick her out if we weren’t afraid of what she’d put the kids through.
Marguerite NorbyJanuary 15th, 2013 at 9:37 PM
My issue is that my 38 year old is in a drug induced stupor. She is getting her drugs from social services. The nurse hands them out per the psychiatrist she sees for a half hour every two months. She is not required to have counseling and the drugs are free. Why is this legal? My daughter was once able to function. She laughed, worked, smiled, was active in family life. Now, she stares into space and can hardly talk. Help!
MargaretJanuary 16th, 2013 at 9:37 PM
My stepson is 22 years old, has two children that he can’t see, has no where to live, no job, high school drop out, drug addict, etc. My husband and I are DONE. Done being held hostage by his threats, his guilt trips, his abuse, his lies, everything. There will be no more support, no more bailing him out of jail only to have him do NOTHING to help himself or take responsibility for his life. He is going to have to be responsible for his choices, choices to no work, choices to steal, lie, do drugs, drop out, not see his children, not be an adult. I found the following to be of some comfort to me today: “As of today, I will no longer be…
•an enabler to someone who has no self-respect or respect for me
•a rescuer to someone who has no desire to be rescued
•a caregiver to someone who is capable of caring for himself or herself
I can hear you asking, “But what will happen if I stop doing all these things I’ve done all these years to ‘help’?”
I don’t know, but let me ask you a question:
Has what you’ve been doing all this time been helping — really?”
I know how hard it is to let your adult children be homeless, to worry about what is happening to them. The point I’m trying to make is; they are ADULTS, they are responsible for themselves. I don’t believe, in my heart of hearts, that caving in to them out of guilty love helps them at all.
CathyJanuary 17th, 2013 at 5:39 PM
I am so sorry that we have to go through this. I am just keeping my fingers crossed and praying non stop that this time my son will change. I have to hope. It is easier for me to know I’m not along. Thanks to everyone for their comments. I will pray for all of our children.
IsabelaJanuary 23rd, 2013 at 5:35 AM
I am here, reading all of the histories at this blog and besides of being reconforting I also found that all are the same. Master manipulatives young adults who live at home or used to live at home and perhaps now are homeless. My history is simmilar. I am here not for the support but for the ideas. Perhaps I also need the support but I became so strong. I know there are people who are actually praying for our children like we do. I started to became more and more strong to say no. My son is 25 with similar situations, high IQ and all. The only diference is that at least he does not ask me for money. He works for little money and who knows, perhaps to buy the drugs. Crystal Meth. I feel he was getting better because peace returned to our house for about 6 months now, but there is a couple of times that I enter his locked room. I know how to open the lock and he knows I am very resourful to find my ways to open the lock. I found as I said before two times the pipes with the white residue that is left from the meth. He things I am this mother who doesn’t know but I do my research and always find my way to know. His caracter is good and tomorrow he will have an interview for a job. I hope he get it. But when I asked him about those pipes he says that is not his but of his friends. So I told him that his friends are not allowed at the house anymore until I find out who ownes those pipes. I dont believe are his friends. I believe they belong to him. He was court order in rehab and he did changed back to the nice man he was and he is still nice and that is why I am not sure. But I cannot believe in him anymore. Tomorrow before he goes to his interview I am going to ask him to be home tested for Meth because I cannot trust him anymore, and if he wants to continue living at home besides that I gave him one month to start working and contribute at the house as if it was renting. If he does not accept to be tested, them I am going to ask him to move out. That is my tough love. Enough is enough. I dont cry anymore. My tears are all gone. He knows that I love him but I am divorced to many years and I know how to be alone too. I am strong and I feel that if I want my son back completely them I need to apply the tough love. Its hard but not impossible. If this is the only way to recuperate my son them I will do it for him because I know is not too late yet. I only have him. He is my only son. I dont have more children and I am 56 years old. Too old for this. I dont deserve it and I am not going to let this drug to take my son away from his own happiness. God help us all here. This is a cry for help I know and I simpatize with every one of you there. God be with you. Lets pray for wisdom.
DiJanuary 25th, 2013 at 4:55 PM
HMy 24yr old daughter, her partner and my 2 grandchildren moved in with me about 6 months ago. They are both smoking dope. I have asked them to stop. Tonight, smell of joss stick to cover the smell. My son has told me that he suspects they are dealing as well. No large amounts of dope, but small scales. I wani,t to deal with this, but am so worried about my grandchildren. Have thought about getting evidence and confronting them with a threat to call police. I am so worried, I don’t know what to do.
JDJanuary 28th, 2013 at 3:24 AM
These stories are heart breaking. Thanks to Dr Ed Wilson. I have always believed the positions you have presented. But when researching addiction etc, very little can be found to support your position. I am not buying into the disease theory. My heart breaks for our beautiful 5 month old granddaughter so prayer is all that is left. We sent an email/letter to our son/girlfriend and have given them 60 days to make other living arrangements. We pay all living expenses for them in another state. They are both “recovering” addicts. We provided a common definition of love and asked them to recognize that what they have is not love. The lifestyle they are living is not acceptable and good for the baby. We told them are hearts are broken and we need this time to decompress, rest, re-energize, and pray. We have not heard from them. For those of you dealing with this situation if you have BILY (Because I Love You) in your area call immediately. You will regain some of your life and sanity back. If not, go to the website there are a lot of resources. Stay strong and sometimes know that loving your child is done so by letting the go. Some people cannot be in the front row of you life, you must love them from distance. All the best.
CathyFebruary 4th, 2013 at 8:07 PM
Here’s a question for you. Both my adult sons are addicts…recovering addicts. Was it me? Did I cause this? Could I have stopped it?
mary gomersallFebruary 16th, 2013 at 9:04 PM
Hi, My daughter is 32 and a alcoholic she has been for quite a few years unknown to myself, but more so this last 5.1/2 years due to her now having two children Molly who`s 6 and Gabriel who 1 year,I step in when shes having a problem to give the children a safe house till she can stop usually after being admitted to hospital as a desperate measure, this can be quite difficult for me and my husband (he is not her father) and he can be moody, and sometime does not speak! we And there always seem to be a do good who think they can sort her and help her stop, but they are being to soft and she will take advantage of them to carry on drinking, she is such a lovely girl and a brilliant mum whens sober, I have taken part custody with Molly`s dad, and been to court a few time to help her keep her child… but now there Gabriel to think of poor love! sometime I feel like I could just run away on my own for awhile. sorry to go on, but its helped to get it off my chest!
rosemaryFebruary 21st, 2013 at 8:26 PM
it’s amazing how many families have problems with adult children with drug problems…we are one of them…..finally, we have come to peace with “letting go” and “letting God”……and no we don’t belong to Al-anon either…looking back, we cannot believe how foolish we have been for years, giving money, lots of money and not seeing things for what they were, that is, being totally manipulated by adult daughter, now 43 with a child/5 and a loser partner, also a druggie….they have been to jail, lived in a truck, not being responsible with trying to make a home for their child, selling and using drugs, lies all along the way….finally we have woken up and we have stopped giving them any money and we have also told them our will has been changed in case they believed there would be money coming their way if we passed away. Actually we have been concerned of being murdered along the way, since there is quite a bit of money in our estate…..We have made peace with our situation, we have let go..daughter is choosing her life, she uses drugs, she lives a horrible life, she very likely will lose their son and go back to jail…and all of this is a realization to us and we also know we can do nothing to stop it…we are letting go of this attachment to her….she has her life to live and will probably continue living way past when we are gone…no money in our will to her because she then will be taken advantaged of if she had money, she was willed a lot of money from a relative some time ago and she and her partner blew the money in a very short time….anyways, we have gone through years of grieving, anxiety and guilt and you name it but the bottom line is, we were good parents, brought her up the same as her “normal” sister who is doing fine…it is not our fault our daughter has chosen this way of life, actually she showed signs of problems quite early on, we tried to help her, even got her interviewed for a drug treatment place but was told she wasn’t bad enough for their facility…her present partner is scary, he looks good, is good looking/preppy type and speaks well, and could fool anyone but he is trouble big time and it is scary…we don’t want anything to do with them now, both husband and myself are quite old and the rest of our lives we will concentrate on our lives and we are feeling quite okay having come to this point…good luck everyone out there with drug addicted adults….take care!
sarahMarch 12th, 2013 at 1:59 PM
it’s great to read all the comments. i am a recovering addict and mother of a 17 year old son who is also an addict. i have lived with the same kind of behavior other parents here describe- my son has been let go from school and courses (he also has add), he has stolen from us, been aggressive, brought the police to the door and basically made life at home impossible. yesterday i put him on a boat to go and live with his dad in a different country. my heart is broken, i love my son, he has loads of lovely qualities but i can’t live with him anymore.
we tried so many things over the years, therapy, add medication, youth workers etc. my son does not want to stop using. to dr ed i would like to say i have been sober a long time through the 12 step programmes and i know many others who have long clean time through aa and na. i don’t know all the scientific or medical research about addiction but different things work for different people. i don’t believe addiction is a choice, people use for all kinds of reasons. who would choose to live that way? it is torture to be a slave to a substance, to be alienating yourself from everyone who loves you. it is a compulsion.
getting sober and clean on the other hand is a choice any addict can make when they are ready. alanon has helped me to deal with my sons’s addiction. they do not promote any kind of enabling, in fact i don’t think they really peomote anything except learning to love and look after ourselves and detachment with love from the alcoholic/addict. it’s so good to talk with people who understand. best wishes and prayers for all who struggle with this problem. sarah.
K KennedyMarch 15th, 2013 at 11:09 AM
In my angst today over the abusive words from my adult alcoholic son, I found your site and read most all the blogs. I want to say a couple of things perhaps. It’s amazingly helpful to know that you are not alone in this and that so many other parents and grandparents are going through what you are going through. My son is 32 now and has spiraled out of control the past 4 years due to an ugly divorce. I would like to prepare you for the worst feeling ever….he was dying just last week in the hospital, I live 1000 miles away. That particular night, I had my cell phone charging (only way to reach me) and it happened to be turned off for the night. Nothing really was going on and when I awoke, I, like anyone else, turned on my phone to a brief message from my son saying he was in the hospital dying. Well, I called and called and called and finally (because of hippa laws) convinced a nurse to talk to me regarding his health. HE WOULDN’T ANSWER HIS PHONE OR THE HOSPITAL PHONE. Variceal Hemoraging with liver failure. He was literally bleeding to death and his body rejected the platelet transfusion. I was frantic but because I DID NOT ANSWER THE PHONE….my little master manipulator/passive aggressive little s o b would not take my calls. SAD! Sickening too. His estranged family (father, grandmother, etc) all came to his dying bedside. I was happy at first to know that they were going to be with him. They haven’t been around for years, never contributed to the support or enabled for that matter (maybe small amounts once in a blue moon) I’ll add here that my son’s father is an alcoholic too. Not one member of the family called me either. As I scrambled to get out of town and to his dying bedside, my car broke down, and I was unable to fly out……divine intervention????? I think so and I’ll tell you why…..As a mother, we are always here to pick up the pieces….I quit enabling him several years ago to which he hates me for. He’ll call me on his terms which is so unfair. I too provided a loving single parent home with all the amenities a young man could want for. It was after this madness and many tears and emotions that I was finally able to speak with his doctor because I was frantic I couldn’t get there…just in case….HIS DOCTOR TOLD ME TO STAY HOME AND WAIT….couldn’t believe what I was hearing but decided that perhaps there was a reason I couldn’t get a flight or that my car was broke. He did pull through, last week. We had a passive/aggressive conversation last night on the phone and he reduced me in his manner to a no good louse for a human being and that I should stay out of his life. It was so gut wrenching! Where was the beautiful man I knew from years ago? I rescued him last year and had to leave him….tough love. I mourned then and several other times. I agree now with the Doctor and am glad I have waited, as hard as it is, the fact that the addict is dying doesn’t even affect them because they are not thinking normally. They don’t really realize that death is final. I’m saying that I have resolved myself to wait until he has exhausted all the others in the estranged family as he has needed them for years…when I do pick up the pieces, I will fight to get a court ordered program and work on getting him committed to a place with “no conditions” on his part. These stories are so similar and I see him draining my parents who love him so dearly as do I. Not that I want him to die but his behavior and the mourning we do in our souls does not help the addict. The best help is to dis engage or dis associate…..The most loving memory I have of my son so far (sad to say) is when he held my hand when he was in rehab….no love before or since. Save your heartache, your sanity and yourself because they will continue until they are ready to quit. Now that the Dr. has told him he cannot drink or he will die….his reply was…it is my body. God Bless us all as we work through life or death….sad to say but I cannot take the abuse anymore, he has cost me my home, my work and almost my own life….we have to preserve ourselves. Long winded as this is, this was as close to him dying as ever and I have resolved that God knows what will happen and there is nothing, NOTHING, I can do about it…..It’s hateful to think that death means nothing to them as life doesn’t either. I am re energizing my soul to prepare for the worse, although it sounds easy….the truth is, it’s not but the enabling kills us faster than their own addiction. Don’t kid yourself, be true to thine own self….selfish as it sounds….I think it best. I only have one child…he means the world to me, but not in a negative manner….With the abuse from the addict, what’s the point of the last words you hear from them, whether by their side looking in their face or on the phone a thousand miles away if they are going to be of abuse…Love you a thousand times falls on deaf ears….I’m preparing for the worse and hanging on to the best memories…that’s all I have left, the rest is up to him and God. God help us all!
Dr. Ed WilsonMarch 16th, 2013 at 11:25 AM
On those rare occasions when someone actually agrees to treatment, it’s helpful to know what program components actually work. You can find a review of the research at:
which is a sunopsis of Dr. Miller’s review of all of the approaches and their oiutcomes. Note that AA and 12 SAtep based approaches don’t even make the top 30…
Dr. Ed WilsonMarch 16th, 2013 at 2:56 PM
Geez – I should wait to write on Saturday mornings until I’m fully awake and I’m doing better with my spelling – sorry about sunopsis/synopsis and SAtep/Step…
HolliMay 8th, 2013 at 1:53 PM
I suspect that my stepson manipulates his father by getting angry if his dad doesn’t give him money and pay his bills. My husbands mother had died, and unfortunately it was on right around his son’s birthday (his son turned 30). His son guilted him for not taking him out or reaching him on the day and my husband had to remind him that his (my husband’s) mother just died. His son was in the process of addiction to painkillers and didn’t bother to go to his grandmother’s wake or funeral because he was sick from the painkillers.
His son has struggled for all five years I have been married and my husband keeps paying his son’s bills. His son gets a job and ends up losing it because he blows up and threatens people. I think my husband takes his frustrations out on me at times and the whole thing has made the marriage distant and sour. I cannot say anything about his son or his son’s situation without my husband becoming extremely defensive.
Unfortunately, my husband’s son seems very sick. It’s not just addiction issues but seems like a more serious mental illness. He gets depressed and has anxiety but I think there’s more to it. Son won’t get help though his father has suggested counseling several times.
I used to think that addiction was more of a moral failing but there is literature out there proving that it’s more of a disease. I think my husband feels that his lack of attention during his divorce caused his son’s problems and he uses the guilt as motivation for encouraging bad behavior. The kids mother has cut him off and I don’t think that’s the answer either. Perhaps some limits and not giving the kid money unless he gets into treatment and psychological counseling.
RenatoMay 10th, 2013 at 11:12 PM
Going through the same problems with my son, it has taken years to realize the decision and answers are with him and him alone.Most if not all parents blame themselves in the beginning and try fix the problem themselves, don’t! if they are young seek help.Sometimes one wonders if it is not better for him to commit suicide,the stress, tension and fear of whats is coming next is unbearable.Cracks are starting to show everywhere, it is a cancer that eats away a family.So much effort time and energy is draining the life out of us.95% of conversations are about him and what can be one to help.It just seems not worth it anymore, ultimately he must decide.
If your child is old enough send him away,you will worry about him but at least you wont be subjecting the rest of the family to violent,drug induced behavior, hiding your possessions away and having a fake smile on your face for a another child in the house.My wife turned to religion for strength and answers,i was thinking the other day if God resides in hell as it feels like my home is hell,maybe that is why prayers are not getting answered.
After having tried everything the answers once again are with him.He must decide when he has had enough.
HopelessMay 12th, 2013 at 1:39 PM
Omg I am going through this as well I typed in search about wondering if my 32 yo daughter would be better off dead. She has stolen from me. Lied. N is a drug addict n alcoholic last straw was today when I found out the money I gave her for a court ordered dd program she took n gave it to some people she owed drug money too. We dropped her off at the program watched her walk in n we left n she left the past three years I have been consumed with worry I’m tired of pretending everything is ok n like u said I’m sick of my fake smiles. I am starting to hate her
Shawn GregoryMay 31st, 2013 at 7:12 AM
My daughter has a drug problem and lives at home she is thirty. I also have my son in law who is actually missing work today to stay home and take care of my 14 month old beautiful grandson because she is on a binder and never came home last night. We don’t know what to do. We t.alk to her and all we get is its our fault , screamed at, threatened and threatend she will just leave with my grandson. We don’t give her money so she has stolen from us but can’t prove it or we would have sent her to jail. I have a deadbolt on my closet now. I have tried to baker act her but she sweet talks her way out of it with the cops. I am a correctional officer. Isearched her room and found all kinds of paraphernalia so I called cops. Ha lot of good it did me I was told while living in my house she has a right to privacy so all they could dowas dispose of it. But if they had a search warrant and searched my house and found it I would have been takin to jail because its my property. Marchman act is useless if you read the whole law. Plus when they inform her she will run. And there goes my grandson in more danger because I have had to leave work because she is to unresponsive to even know he is awake I have woke up when Isiah was out of town working and had a bad feeling went into room baby asleep and her not there then she showed back up 20 minutes later. Oh I was just outside smoking cigarette oh really I screamed out the door for you no answer and who knows how long you were gone before I noticed. All I got was blown off. I finally had to see a psychiatrist because I am so stressed, angry, worried.
Dr. Ed WilsonMay 31st, 2013 at 2:15 PM
Why on earth haven’t you called child protection? You get assigned as the guardian and she gets tossed out?
DianeJune 17th, 2013 at 1:49 PM
I related 1000% to your story..Mine is 26…has never held a job & has almost killed me..my BP is sky-high and instead of going on more drugs..I embarked on an agressive healthy eating/exercise program and I will join a gym with some of the money I have been funneling to him. There are five of us left in my house and we don’t have grocery money til the end of the month because of him…and what did he do? Partied at bars & strip clubs..bought bottles & played cards…he is missing now…I have to forget him…he has been in and out of hospitals & programs for 4 years but only because “we” reduced him to it- not that he wants help..so it never works …
He is also hugely passive-agressive- diagnosed with Borderline personality disorder, Sociopathy & Narcissistic personality- quite a pain cocktail. I am trying…what hurts the most is that he ruined my memories of my young family…I can’t look at pictures of the kids when they were little without sobbing … It’s like he’s already dead… I have to say in all honesty I hope I never hear from him again- unless he’s sober & has a job/stable living situation…Hugs to you..thanks for sharing
DianeJune 20th, 2013 at 7:21 AM
Thank you…needed to read this right now…I am so sick of my husband, myself, his siblings, my parents and my sisters being his “prey”….
MelodyJune 25th, 2013 at 1:34 PM
Hate to disagree with the comments against AA, but those little shiny objects (chips) gave me a broken person alot to look forward to. By the time I entered AA I was a broken person. No, I had not lost my job, family but I was broken inside. AA has helped millions of people overcome their addiction by holding a mirror to our faces and accepting that it is we who much change, not those around us. If more people lived their lives according to the 12 steps (even those without addictions) you would find much happier people in this world. Accepting responsibility for one’s actions, admitting we are powerless of the substance and making ammends. I wouldn’t say these are horrible attributes for any program. Because until someone is willing to look inside themselves and face their issues and unwillingness to live life without some sort of intoxicant then they will never ever be substance free. I thank God for AA and the people that keep going week after week to help other alcholics. I came on this site because my step son is a crack addict and thought perhaps I could find some strength and words of wisdom from those that are dealing with this horrible addiction. I wish everyone the best of luck on here. Remember, it isn’t until the person feels true inner remorse for their addiction and actions that change will begin. I will say emphatically not to enable a drug user or alchoholic by means of money. You will hear lie after lie about why they need the money and what happened to them, blah blah blah. Don’t give in, it is not in your control to fix them.
ReneeJuly 1st, 2013 at 6:54 AM
My son is 30 and to say it has been a long road, up the side of a mountain, battling driving winds and rain, really wouldn’t do the journey much justice. It has been way worse. In the past 12 years of his life we have had snapshots or brief moments of happiness. Never for more than a couple of days and then the downhill slide will start. He will drink and do drugs until the point that he has no control and he is violent. Some incident happens and then the police are involved. He will then spend the next 8ish months in jail. All the while promising me it will be different. It is compounded by the fact that he has 3 beautiful children and they are my life.
He is now on a bender and I do not know what to do for him. He has threatened to kill himself and will not listen. I don’t understand any of this and have tried desperately to get him help. We have paid for in patient extended rehab, out patient, supported him in going to AA meetings, bought is Bi-Polar medication when he didn’t have the money to buy it.
I love him and am ill-equipped to help him.
He is broken and I can not see the light in how he or anyone can fix him.
JeffJuly 2nd, 2013 at 7:23 PM
She is on drugs, also….
AnnetteJuly 6th, 2013 at 2:00 AM
I cannot believe how many parents are dealing with adult children who are addicted to drugs. Everyone claims that marijuana isn’t addictive. Well, my 27 year old son has used it since he was 14. He is definitely addicted. It’s torn our lives apart. What makes it ok for them is that they get together with other people who are also addicted to it and tell themselves that it is ok. “There is nothing wrong with it.” it’s so HARMLESS, that it began changing is personality almost immediately. His grades fell, he began associating with the most awful “friends”, breaking curfew, missing for long periods. I tried to get help for him. All to no avail. At 22, he had his first child with a girl who is also an addict, she started with alcohol and marijuana and graduated to Xanax and cocaine. I ended up with custody of my granddaughter. I have had her since birth, I eventually went to Legal Aid, secured and attorney and got temporary custody of her. She is now six and will be going to first grade in August. He has had a succession of relationships which did not work out. Last year, he became involved with a young woman, they currently have a 4 month old, who was born with marijuana in his system because the mother is also addicted to marijuana. I am taking care of my son, his girlfriend, the baby and now her brother who I came home from work and found sleeping in the living room chair. He was supposed to be here temporarily. He has been here for 2 months. All are marijuana smokers. CPS came out to investigate when the hospital found marijuana in the babys system. They quit smoking while the case with CPS was open. They went to a few drug classes. The minute CPS closed the case, they are right back to smoking again. This has seriously derailed my life. I have trouble with employment because of child care issues. CPS will not help me because although the custody of my granddaughter is court ordered, CPS didn’t take her away from the parents, I noticed that she was being neglected and went after temporary to keep her safe. Then there is the financial stress of taking care of so many people. I realize that I am enabling him. Even though he works part time. He is always broke and needing to borrow money. He is always pawning his things. One thing that resonates from reading these blogs is, “This is the life he chose.” He has thrown away so many opportunites. He was an academic student. I sent him to a private school, martial arts lessons, piano lessons. He has partied and smoked and drank his life away. He has gone from being the most beautiful child to being a disaster. He doesn’t comb his hair or brush his hair, he has these bags under his eyes from smoking marijuana. He looks terrible, I worry about his health. I plan to take my granddaughter and leave. As for my poor grandson. I will not get involved unless it looks like he may go into foster care. That I cannot allow to happen. May God bless all the wonderful parents out there who are dealing with troubled, addicted, adult children. Stay strong and stick to your resolve not to enable them even though we adore them. Start taking care of yourselves, you deserve it so much. You didn’t do anything wrong. These children simply got sucked in my the drug culture which is so prevalent. Please keep me in your prayers.
CathyAugust 9th, 2013 at 6:38 PM
Just found this site and have spent a few hours reading some very sad and troubling stories. The pain parents are experiencing seem far worse than my own although I feel like I have lost my son. One year ago I had a police raid on my home because of my son. It was to do with illegal internet activities involving fraud and hacking and the police removed all of our electronics. He was 17 at the time and had concocted a very elaborate story that we all believed. I won’t get into all of this, but to make it short, at 18 he refused to follow simple rules, smoked pot in his room and disrespected me. It was on the verge of getting violent. He blames me for his life and his actions and does not take responsibility for anything. He started smoking pot at 13 and continued behind my back. I took him to see social workers, addiction counsellors, pediatricians specializing in ADHD and our local Mental Health Clinic where he was assessed by a psychiatrist. I did everything I could to make sure he did not have a mental health issue that was making him act this way. In April I kicked him out and he went on welfare and kept going to school so he could graduate. He did not graduate this year and is off welfare because he didn’t like their rules either. He is making money somehow and tells me it is not illegal but won’t tell me what it is. His response is “Don’t pry into my shit” Because I believe he is lying I managed to get his phone transferred into his name and out of mine and he can now pay his own bill. I removed him from skype and facebook and will not have any contact with him until he can be honest about what he is doing. I am renting to students and he will not be allowed in my house as I am afraid the police could come back and confiscate everything again. I told him that his father, his sister and I would not have any more contact with him until he could show us that he is not doing anything illegal. We are all in it together as we don’t want to stand by and ignore what he is doing as I believe that is the same as supporting him in his bad choices and watching him throw his life away. I am hoping that losing his family because of his bad choices will have an effect eventually. I am thinking when Christmas rolls around and he is not invited that it will make him think about what is important in life. I am so so afraid that he will end up in jail and I have run out of options now that he is legally an adult. My last text to him was to say that I hoped that one day he could show us that he wasn’t doing illegal activities and that we loved him and were very sad that this is what he chose and then I said goodbye to my 18 year old son.
SueOctober 18th, 2013 at 6:06 PM
I feel your pain! My son has been a problem child since my divorce… He was 14. I have saved him way too many times…
He graduated from college on Deans list, turned his life around , but sadly got back into drugs and pain killers….
Became an addict… I was in denial at first, but then I kicked him out… He ended up using his grandma to help him, until she had it with him… Then he tried rehab, but got out and back into drugs….
Now he is jail for warrants that I’m not aware of because he is an adult—-26 years old… He was arrested last week and put in jail..
It’s awful of me to say , but I feel he is safer in jail than out…at least no drugs…
I’m hating life right now…..
PamelaOctober 20th, 2013 at 12:57 PM
Well I spent an hour writing out my story only to have lost it all when trying to submit it. I will have to work up the energy to try and re write the whole thing at a later time.
MariaOctober 24th, 2013 at 3:19 PM
It is irresponsible to say 12 step programs are ineffective. The programs are aboutt getting honest and i have seen many people get clean and stay clean for years, it is a self help group, emphasis on SELF getting clean. Rehabs work and so does abstinence. Dont bag what works, dude, going to AA helps relieve the families of the burden of addiction. Some people do get clean on their own but if you are truly addicted then no amount of willpower will work.
cindy mcgowanOctober 25th, 2013 at 9:48 AM
Hello I am a mother dealing with an adult son almost 30 who is dealing with drug addiction and in rehab many times, he swears he is clean but thrown out of his girlfriends home for steeling, we have spent thousands of dollars on him beleiving him everytime r wee stupid he has now told us he is living on the streets near toronto my usband told him to get his life together and call us then i just need to talk to someone who knows how i am feeling he is my baby although he is 29 need a suport group can u help me please cindy
TonyOctober 30th, 2013 at 3:13 PM
I’m going through the same situation as you posted last year and have been doing this off and on for 4 our 5 years we just within the last week had to ask him to leave after stealing from us again then wrecked our spare car we let him use because he was forced to sell his to pay debts so I’m curious how your family is doing.
CatherineNovember 3rd, 2013 at 5:36 AM
Diane, are you still visiting this site? I’ve read through all these posts and your son’s situation sounds so much like my son’s. (Extremely high IQ, highly manipulative, very verbally aggressive, has never held a job for more than a few weeks.) I was hoping after reading about his diagnosis in 2010, that he would work towards a healthy life and you and your family would find some peace. Unfortunately it doesn’t sound like that happened.
We have kicked our 19 1/2 year old son out of the house for the third time in the past three months. After years of mental health treatment–which he fought tooth and nail–drug abuse, drug court, failed rehab, constant lying, manipulating, and threats we just couldn’t take it anymore. He blames everything that he does on everyone else around him. I am afraid of him at this point and afraid for him. He keeps threatening suicide, tells me he has no food (though he applied for food benefits and has received them), sends me barrages of alternating nasty or pleading texts, and I am a nervous wreck. He has a two-year-old who lives with his mother (my son’s “girlfriend”). The girlfriend, who comes from a very dysfunctional family, has been trying to break off their relationship for months. My son is totally obsessed with her and isn’t able to do anything other than position himself so he is near her. I am worried for her and our little grandson.
My husband is able to disconnect from all this craziness. He says our son will have to work things out on his own now and he isn’t going to sacrifice our health or lives further. Our older son concurs. He has had to live with his attention-seeking, angry, obsessive younger brother for years.
I am so tired, when I read Diane’s idea to give her son a plane ticket to somewhere else so he could figure life out, I was tempted to do the same. I feel guilty because I know he is mentally ill. (Long back story but we adopted him at 8-months and learned later his birth mother is also very mentally ill. ) But he REFUSES to take any medication or to be treated. I’ve tried to have him committed for observation and treatment before when he was 16, but they allowed him to leave after 24 hours, and he became VERY angry. I don’t want to agitate him further because I don’t want him to do something crazy to hurt someone or himself.
I guess I’m just spilling my guts hoping I’ll have some peace tonight instead of worrying.
J PulliamNovember 8th, 2013 at 10:54 AM
Were do I begin? Well, everything I’ve read seems to be my life. My daughter steals, lies, whatever it takes to do for herself. Right now the two grandbabies need winter coats and she has spent all but about $100 dollars out of $470 dollars of the food stamp money. They all live with us. It’s the only place I want them to be because of the safety of the children. My poor husband had four strokes after his knee surgery in March. And know the insurance company does not want to pay for a procedure to close a hole in his heart. Our daughter does not care one bit about the children or our problems. I have even tried to commit suicide. That didn’t phase her either. Every month I think we will get out of this money problem, but she always finds a way to steal from us. We have changed out checking account and every thing the bank has recommended, but she still finds a way to get into our account. The worst part about this is she says she is not on drugs. I really do not know to do. She is killing us.
GT SupportNovember 8th, 2013 at 12:24 PM
Thank you for your comment, J. We wanted to provide links to some resources that may be relevant to you here. We have more information about what to do in a crisis at http://www.goodtherapy.org/in-crisis.html
The GoodTherapy.org Team
CindyNovember 23rd, 2013 at 3:47 PM
Thank- you I agree
CindyNovember 23rd, 2013 at 4:11 PM
That’s about the point I have finally gotten to , but not without everything that goes with it Heartbreak worry Etc etc , thanks
HannahDecember 24th, 2013 at 9:41 AM
It is so helpful to read these posts.
My older brother is practically a senior citizen, 58 years old, and my parents are in their late 80s and are still dealing with him. It’s not a financial issue, since he lives with someone who “takes care of him” and he has somehow avoided getting fired from his job. But the emotional burden, manipulation and abusiveness has taken a severe toll on my Mom and Dad and on me too. My parents have had serious illnesses and my brother is missing in action. We all live in the same city but he has not been willing to see any of us for over a year, but calls and texts frequently, usually when he’s drunk or high. He acts like everything is just fine and if he’s challenged on anything, like you’re slurring or I’m not understanding what you’re saying, he becomes enraged or starts crying. He sometimes promises to get help, I have repeatedly offered to pay for it, but he usually lies about it and nothing changes. He was in rehab before and maintained sobriety for about 5 or 6 years.
I have had it. My question is, is it ok to tell him I love him dearly (which I do) but I can’t stand by and watch him self-destruct and don’t want to have any further communication until he agrees to go into treatment? I can’t stand pretending that all is ok. I am waiting for the cheerful Christmas text, followed by 9 or 10 more about how much he loves me, which should be coming at any moment now. It’s constant and affecting my health and my marriage. I would like to encourage my parents to do the same thing. Too harsh or unrealistic? I have been to several al anon meetings but my experience hasn’t been very helpful. I understand the loving detachment idea and totally get that this is a disease and he’s suffering too, but no real help or advice on how to effectively detach and stop enabling his addiction. Any advice from this group would be very much appreciated.
ronDecember 25th, 2013 at 12:57 PM
After reading several of these comments it is painfully obvious that most of these folks are merely surmising what they may or may not do or say. Let me tell you this I am the parent of an addict and there is nothing more painful than to watch your child suffer through the loss of everything in their life. You are damned if you do and damned if you don’t,if I help, I am, (in some way), enabling or accepting the problem if I don’t help I have to live with the guilt of allowing my loved one to suffer alone. Sometimes I really believe telling these addicts they have a disease is a terrible mistake since this in some way legitimizes their actions.I have cut off contact for periods as long as a year only t have him call and tell me it’s okay now and then to suffer through another relapse and see him lose all he’s worked for (again) and living in a small town I get all the looks like I was a terrible parent. There are no answers as every case has its own set of circumstances. I wonder every day what I may have done differently that might have changed these circumstances or what it was that I may have done that caused them.For me, this has gone on for 20 years and it wears on me,every day, wondering what today will bring.
Dr. Ed WilsonDecember 25th, 2013 at 4:10 PM
It is painful, and it’s true that there is no escaping the doubts and fears. It’s also hard to imagine that the drug and alcohol use are choices since they aren’t ones we’d make. But that doesn’t change anything.
It’s also pointless to wonder what we did or didn’t do that caused this – it rarely has anything to do with us as parents.
People make choices, some of them incomprehensible to others, including living homeless, preferring self-medication to living, joining gangs, and so on through a long list of life destroying actions. But those are still choices and somehow make sense to the person making them.
But choices are not diseases and the result is we are stuck – support the behaviors you approve of, don’t reward the ones you don’t.
Then join the rerst of us, quietly wringing our hands, and hoping that a different choice will someday be made.
Cheryl FJanuary 1st, 2014 at 6:04 PM
I am struggling once again with my 35 year old son. Currently, he can’t hold a job and is living in a bad neighborhood. My husband (step-dad) and I took him in for 4 years, (during which he was addicted to heroin, arrested, jailed, lost his job, found another job, etc. etc. etc) we finally forced him to leave. That was 2 years ago, and he has not found a way to make it. Now he calls us and other family members regularly for money. He also tells us that his girlfriend is pregnant. He will be 36 yrs. old in February. We are not in a financial position to help him, and after 4 years in our home and having to FORCE him to leave, we cannot help him any longer. WHAT CAN WE DO?
Dr. Ed WilsonJanuary 1st, 2014 at 7:35 PM
All you can do is to quietly wring your hands and wish he would make different choices – because his behaviors are choices.
And as we frequently note, from both professionally and from sad personal experience, no one can force another to make different choices, no matter how incomprehensible those choices as may be to us.
SueJanuary 2nd, 2014 at 6:36 PM
I have dealt with my son’s addictions for over 30 years. Beginning with THC , cocaine and alcohol. He is 50, homeless and alcohol is the substance he abuses now. I kept hoping for 27 years and at least 15 rehab programs that he would be a recovery addict. The last 3 years I have given up hope. As you said this path we take with our alcoholic child is devastating to say the least and your statement in regarding being an enabler is so truth in how you feel. I am trying with Al-Anon but I am new at this program and still have a long way to go.
SueJanuary 2nd, 2014 at 6:43 PM
It is okay you feel when he is in jail he is safe. I know the circumstance very well.
JaneJanuary 5th, 2014 at 7:02 AM
I am sorry for what everyone is going through. Mine is not as bad, thankfully, at least not yet. I will post more details later but would like to know what you would do if you believed your 30 year old son was an addict (pot and alcohol) yet holds a steady job and owns a home. Doesn’t drink in public, drinks alone or with live in girlfriend at home. I know there really is no answer but I worry so much. There is a LOT of history to back up my concerns. Sorry, don’t want to sound like I have it bad compared to a lot of stories here, just wanting a support forum I guess.
DebbieJanuary 9th, 2014 at 8:02 AM
My 28 year old daughter and 6 and 3 year old grandchildren live in half of our duplex home. She currently is awaiting trial for a charge of possession and selling drugs from last February. She has not always been a good mother and we try to do everything we can to make the children’s lives happy. They both love their Mommy of course. The fathers of the children are not the best although I do not believe they use drugs. They have regular visitation with the kids.
In October she moved in a man without our knowledge. We asked her several times to get him out of the house. We found out he was a heroin addict and they were using drugs in our home with the children there. Our daughter stole over $800 in two months by stealing some of our personal checks. We are in our mid 60’s and have only my income to live on so we were left with bills we could not pay.
We finally got the man out of the house and we gave our daughter an ultimatum to go to rehab or we would report all of this to the police. She agreed and spent several days in a rehab facility and has been following up with counseling several times a week. We thought she might be on the road to recovery but then last week I found another $400 in checks had been written on our account. She claims she had to pay off a drug debt incurred by the guy she had been living with. I didn’t believe her and came very close to calling the police.
The thought of losing our grandchildren and the heartache they would feel not seeing their Mother again was more than I could bear. While she was in jail for the February drug possession charge our 6 year old granddaughter cried every day not understanding where her mother was and why she could not call her on the phone. It was heart wrenching.
Not sure where we are headed next.
KimJanuary 12th, 2014 at 4:52 PM
Our daughter is 26. She and our 8 year old grandson live with us. She is bipolar and currently using meth. She does not take care of our grandson and her room looks like an episode of hoarders. We are at the end of our rope and do not know where to go from here. We feel trapped in this because of our grandchild. Our daughter spends her days sleeping and rarely comes out of her room except at night. We took back our car keys because she was taking off all day and night to wherever. My husband just found meth pipes in her room. We have gotten private insurance for her and she will not go to her appointments or take her meds. She won’t try to get her bipolar under order at all. She went to school and did her internship but has now not worked in over a year. We can’t live this way anymore and don’t know what to do. We want her out of our home but worry about our grandchild. I contacted a lawyer about temporary custody but it is not cheap and we are not rich. Where do we go from here? This is tearing our family a part.
DavidJanuary 14th, 2014 at 7:38 AM
Hi, I am not sure if reading all these stories has been helpful or more saddening. I found this site by typing “how to best help a young adult addict”, which by reading all the stories I know is the same story for every parent out there. There seems to be no clear consensus of what works and what doesn’t, and understandably every case is different.
My son is now 22, I was a single father raising 4 young children for 6 years after my wife of 15 years left for another man. My son then about 11 suffered the most through the divorce and separation. At around 16 he went to live with his mother who made promises of having more freedom. By 18 he was addicted to drugs and once he reached the age where no more child support was received his mother put him on the street.
Since he did not have any meaningful skills he roamed homeless for about 4 weeks until he got into a fight and was arrested for the first time. He came to live with me after that and for two years I put a roof over his head, found him a job, then when he lost that I found him another job, I provided for all his needs and even bought him a scooter to get to work BUT… the addiction continued, he would steal from me, from his siblings and it was like living in a jail, everything had to be locked away. Rehab program after program failed to work until more recently I lost my job and decided to move in with my girlfriend.
He has been homeless now for several months and from time to time I allow him to come to our house, shower, I feed him, buy him gift cards to fast food places and has to leave. Any money I give him is a total waste, I cut his hair and give him personal hygiene items, but it is soooo sad to know he basically lives behind a trash can of a grocery store. Around Christmas he called and asked for help to get into another rehab program, possibly charged with emotions about the holidays. I spent another $700 for the co-payment and after only a week there he broke the surveillance camera and the facility asked him to leave. (I suppose he had managed to get some drugs and wanted to consume without being seen)
Shortly after his discharge he called me and I was upset because the hospital had already called me to let me know. I told him I was celebrating my 50th birthday and I was not about to cancel to drive two hours to pick him up, we hung up, about two hours later my ex-wife called me to tell me that the Florida State Troopers had contacted her to let her know that he had tried to commit suicide running into the traffic and they had Baker Acted him.
While my ex-wife was telling me this I was sure she was going to tell me he had died… The knot in the pit of my stomach that every parent dreads. He is still in the hospital but will probably get out today
* Is death almost inevitable in most cases?
* Is the idea of renting a small room for him to live in where I pay for a couple of months a good/bad idea?
* Is cutting all contact/support and letting him sink to gutter level the only way he will realize he has to make a change in his life?
* Are there any stories of recovery where any combination of ideas or treatment saved a live here?
* I am now 50, divorced 10 years and trying to make a new family and live some type of normal life, will I spend the rest of my life wondering where he is, what I should have done different or somehow feeling that I didn’t do enough???????
* What form of help can I give him when he calls me that is not enabling him and places the responsibility to change back on his shoulders???
Thanks for listening, this is the first time that I actually share his/my story.
JillJanuary 14th, 2014 at 6:58 PM
Seems like everyone has a story…we all do but no one has a solution. If someone has a success story let me know. I don’t need to rehash the same stories we all do but someone out there has to have a success story to help us…let me know.
LauraJanuary 23rd, 2014 at 8:08 PM
Kim,I situation with our daughter was similar to yours. To make a long story short we went to juvenile court and filed for tempory custody of our granddaughter based on child deprivation even though she was living with us at the time, she was not taking care of her child , sleeping all day out all night , drugs . If we tried to force her to get up and be a parent she threatened we would never see our grandchild again. Our daughter is out if our home , we have had custody for the past 4 years. It was the best thing we ever did don’t be afraid to do what you have to for your grandchild. I love my daughter but my grandchild needs me to protect her. The only way to help your daughter is to make her go, she will take everything from you emotionally and financially. Be strong for yourself and your grandchild
PaulaJanuary 31st, 2014 at 10:25 AM
I’m so depressed with the way my 20 year old makes me feel. He sometimes stays away at so called friends houses for a week at a time, with no change of clothes and comes home smelling if cannabis which he constantly smokes every day. We can never get a hold of him by call or text, he never replies and may turn up like nothing has happened looking like a hobo! He has 3 younger brothers who want a relationship with him but he’s not interested and it breaks my heart. I don’t know what we did as parents to raise such a disrespectful, heartless human being. He has recently lost his job which we fought hard to keeping him going over the last 18 months. I can’t see the future without this heavy heart that I carry around on a daily basis. He has gone out again today and he won’t return my calls or texts and all the feelings of despise, hurt, anger and sickness have surfaced again as I get ready to face another sleepless night wondering if he is ok.
MarianFebruary 1st, 2014 at 4:36 PM
I am going through much of the same with my 28 yo daughter. I too have been a single parent. She has been through a lot of trauma but still no excuse for the drug and heroin use. She is working but I have made her move out. No mater which road you take it is an extremely painful one. I find myself feeling guilty for what I have or haven’t done which is what I think she wants. I feel I must “buy” a relationship with her. I’m at my wits end and don’t know which way to turn. I pray about this a lot. Not to sound selfish but I have had my life on hold for the past few years in hopes of “saving” her. I too don’t know where to turn or a solution……
Wendy PerryFebruary 2nd, 2014 at 3:41 PM
I am very over my daughter and her self destructive behavior. I get you being done. I have a question though. What about your grandchild? Not judging, just curious. My daughter is strung out and has 3 children. CPS hasn’t removed them and probably won’t until something horrible happens. I can’t sleep at night because I worry so much about the children.
tjFebruary 3rd, 2014 at 7:27 AM
My son is veteran, they do not acknowledge his brain injury happened while serving his country..the accident was in a different country, on base, but no record is found. He cannot recall names of those ho served beside him…no witnesses can be found. I care for him now. His addiction is marijuana..it could be worse. He suffers seizures. I have gotten him as much help as I can. I deal mostly with the extreme attitudes..up and down…way down when out of his drug. The threats the verbal abuse, the excuses…all of it. His dad died suddenly while he was serving and the army let him come home for 8 days, he was discharged a year later. His injury to his brain has changed his life, mine and all those around him. He’s selfish and entitled one day, loving and helpful the next..when he has mari he’s ok..ice even. He runs out and he hates everyone and everything. He cannot work due to extreme attitudes and cognitive impairment. I cannot find anything to help (he sees 2 different therapist s…he lies to them, then comes home and brags about how good a liar he is. Social security says he can’t live on his own due mostly to his unpredictable seizures (he is on meds for them), and his cognitive impairment, but he is much too “ok” to. Be eligible for a care facility. I am in my 60s and not healthy. His siblings do not understand the amount of care he needs so I fear what will happen to him when I too am gone. Are there any resources from any of you maybe? Thank you
JenniferFebruary 13th, 2014 at 4:36 PM
I, too, am experiencing this struggle. I was a single mom from the time my son turned 14, and after finding out he was skipping school to smoke weed and drink every day at the end of his freshman year, I tried to go to battle. Sadly, we are all losing. He became a veritable snowball of drugs, alcohol, self-loathing, entitlement, constant juvenile and prison time, homelessness and poverty, and nearly three times last year alone: death. I have reached out to help him more times than I can count, and we have spent thousands of dollars trying to “help” him. I feel tremendous guilt and anxiety about all of it. Just two days ago, he left the rehab he was staying at in Florida to go and use. He is currently in an ER at Del Ray Beach threatening suicide. He has called me and cussed me out all day long, as he is hyped up on what is likely heroin or coke and liquor. I have been crying all day. I have no idea what to do anymore or how to feel, except depressed. We have tried everything from total cut-off to providing a small apartment to letting him live here. Nothing has worked. Nothing. Today I asked my mom what we would do if he died and she replied, “Feel a sense of relief–for HIM. Tragic, but true. Dr. Phil says cut all ties on his shows, but he makes it easy for parents to do that when he provides very expensive treatment and counseling for their kids!! :(
DebbieFebruary 17th, 2014 at 8:51 AM
Since I last wrote in January we thought maybe our daughter was doing better, of course she wasn’t. She attended drug rehab classes, she enrolled in college and spent more time with the kids. Things were looking up. Then she started coming home from school at 2:00am or not at all. She got a student loan and was supposed to buy a computer with some of the money but always had an excuse why she did not buy one. We now suspect she enrolled in school just to get a student loan to use for drugs. We started to lock up all of our money, checks etc. back in Januray, so she needed a new money source. Her half of our house is not liveable. It is so filthy I will no longer let the grandkids go over there. I have tried to clean it but it never lasts for long. This morning my husband and I decided it is time to have a meeting with the childrens fathers and let them go after custody, then we are having our daughter evicted. I can’t stand the thought of the pain my grandchildren will go through losing their mother but it is better than the life they will have living with a drug addict. I sometimes wish God would just take her and stop the suffering for her and for our family.
Sharon M.February 20th, 2014 at 5:14 PM
My 26-yr-old daughter is on the verge of being evicted. Her husband (of just two months) called CPS on her when she was drunk out of her mind and going to walk out in the middle of the night one day last year. I ended up taking the eldest grandchild (then 7 yrs old). Because I’ve withdrawn my financial support of her, she and her husband spend their days posting on Facebook how I am a horrible person, etc. Neither of them work, and now my daughter is reportedly pregnant again – she needs more kids to be in the pipeline to get back on welfare. Her husband says she drinks, won’t accept that she has a problem, all she cares about is popping pills. The child has asked (several times) for me to please adopt her. I’ve spent all my retirement money over the past few years helping her and now owe over $20k in credit cards from helping her too much and have two loans over $50k that I am stuck with for her (she had already ruined her credit). It’s a mess. At this point, I can do no more for her and must focus on keeping myself afloat and taking care of her child. I have no hope she will ever really get herself together and neither does her child.
DonnaFebruary 22nd, 2014 at 10:13 PM
Jane, I have been stuggling with a now 36 yr male with two precious children, my grandchildren, a great guy, great father hugh heart when wife left him for best friend and he lost having his children everyday and night he lost it turned to alcohol then drugs. I never knew a heart could hurt so bad and as a mother, we want to heal our children’s problem could be so lost as to what to do. He has stolen for us from others done things I never in all my life thought he was capable of doing but this drug controls him. So please dont take your situation as lightly or not as bad as ours because so quick you can be where we are. I don’t any advice to tell you because I dont have a clue what to do. He is so very depressed as turned to so many of his old friends and our family members he wants help but undoubtedly wants the drug more. HE has been in two rehabs we moved him in with us because he can not deal with being alone he really messes up then. We will think he is better not great just better anything send him swirling back to the bottom. I dont understand with kids he loves him so much so why can he keep doing this I am told over and over it is not him but the drug but I also agree he has choices how can he keep destroying him self and eventually effecting his children they are so young and his son adores him my heart is ripped outofme. I never thought at this age in his life this happening to him. No I dont know how to deal with it. I am a strong christian I finally could pray God’s will but I pray so hard for deliverance from this addiction. I have listen to so many different views on what to do but I can not now and don’t know if I will ever be able to tell him to leave this home I love him so much don’t think I have it in me. I know in so many ways according so many we are enabling him and I know this but I keep praying and God keeps telling me and small quiet voice that he is the answer not people to listen to him and LOVE is the greatest answer. But I get so angry at my son for abusing our help and all the manipulating and lies just to get money from us. I can hardly bear to look at my grandchildren or their pictures knowing if daddy can’t defeat this in his life how devastating this will effect their life forever. I keep saying over and over what do we do. I adore my son and can’t believe this has happened but oh it has no one should have to live with this it is the worst thing outside of death. You live in fear constantly. If I don’t help him financially I fear he will steal to get the money in be in prison I can’t bear the thought of my grandchilden dealing with this. I dont think my son could he cannot except that this is actually him doing all this. I pray constantly for people who are dealing with this in their lives and if you believe in Jesus Christ and are a Christian would you please pray daily with me for my family and all others lives being taken from them because of a loved one’s addiction. My husband was in denial and still is always thinks he is better but in reality he is still and addict and seems to be getting worse again I DONT UNDERSTAND WITH KIDS HOW HE COULD DO THIS
All I do know is I won’t give up on him I can’t he is my son whom I love so much. My heart breaks for all of you having to live this lets pray together in faith for each other’s loved one
MarieMarch 1st, 2014 at 9:14 AM
finding this site and reading some stories made me realize I am not alone. My son is 50 and has been doing drugs for years. Crack then onto pain killers, then went through methodaone clinic which is a farce. I have sold retirement annuities to put him through detox he then came to live with me for one month to keep him away from his old friends, well during this month he stole all my precious jewelry pieces from my mother and grandmother. I reported to police and he went to jail. he was released to rehab and probation, I helped him again but he did not come to live with me. He came out of rehab did ok for about a month then I noticed the change, sure enough he failed drug test and arrested. He was reinstated onto probation, swore he had learned his lesson,( I bailed him out of his debts overdrawn acct, overdue car insurance, and other ). He wanted a normal life drug free, I forgave him. Forgot to mention he is on SS disability, he gave his debit card to his sister to pay bills well out of jail one wk and he has depleted his bank acct, probably going to Amscott for an advance on SS, noticing change in behavior. When I question him he tries to put the guilt trip on me Well his sister is totally disgusted with him to the point she has called his probation officer. I have warned him if he goes back to jail I am done cannot enable him any longer, there will be no jailpay so he can buy eats and no prepaid phonecalls. I just cannot do this anymore. I don’t sleep and its time for me to let go. Am I a terrible mother?
Stars PhotographyMarch 9th, 2014 at 7:52 PM
Omg exact same here!! Would love to find out how things are going! Need support also
Salt WithsavorMarch 10th, 2014 at 8:55 AM
How do I let my adult child know I found out from a hair follicle test they were positive. They don’t want us to know ex told us. Two children, our precious grands know ex told them…we want to protect these children..
Robert EMarch 18th, 2014 at 4:48 PM
I’ve been struggling for many years now with a thief, lier, manipulator and addict son and I will tell you… I hate what drugs have done to our kids. All these stories sound so familiar and I’ve experienced so many of the same heartbreaks and let downs as most of you. Why can’t this scourge be stopped? I grew up in the 70’s where drugs were rampant but these days drug use seems so vile and dangerous and ruthless. Kids are dying everyday, the prisons have exploded and drug related crime is out of control. We’re losing a generation. I feel for all of you who are going through so many of the same things I have been through. If your kid is just starting to show signs, please take action and be vigilant. Addiction has no mercy. It steals, destroys, lies, deceives and manipulates at a mastery level. Do not take it lightly or underestimate it’s destructive power. As I said before..I hate drugs with a passion. God bless you all and your children also.
GabbyMarch 19th, 2014 at 2:33 AM
My daughter is 32 years old with two beautiful boys…. The nightmare seemed to start when she went away for college.. After her first year , I moved her back home… Due to drugs, alcohol and poor grades…. She has continued off and on this path for over 10 years…using meth, prescription drugs, etc. She was once a scholar and very popular…. She chooses to be around drug addicts and cons…. She does not work and dropped out of college with a year and a half left until graduation …. This was due to meth…. She had been in rehab three times… I had her placed on a mental health unit for suicidal thoughts…. She had threatened to commit suicide many time, when things don’t go her way ….she blames everyone and goes into rages against me and other people that do not support her life style….I have hurt so bad inside that I am calloused and cold to her…. I still want to protect my grandchildren…. She had told the 8 year old so many dramatic things… She has gotten him involved with her paranoid delusions and made him believe someone was in the attic… He had a butcher knife to protect them…. My daughter creates so much drama in the family and it is hard to believe anything she says…. She has moved in and out of homes and when she isn’t high…. She is sleeping…..she is so entitled and lacks insight … When she has gotten out of rehab,,, it feels so great because my real daughter is back…. She is a Christian…. She is always in my prayers…. I know this situation is out of my control…. No matter what I do…. I have learned that it will not work until my daughter is ready to surrender…. It truly is a living hell!
CarolMarch 23rd, 2014 at 3:42 AM
Our 22 year old daughter is hanging out with a junkie and now lives with him and her friends.
She doesn’t work and asks us constantly for money. We have decided to not give her money. But instead fill her gas tank and offer to take her grocery shopping. This has made me physically sick every day to think of the path she is heading.
I have gone from wanting to call the police and have them pay them a visit even if it means jail for her to taking her keys the next time she comes over for the car ( car is in our name)
Don’t know what to do next.
Does anyone have any ideas?
Anne GMarch 31st, 2014 at 1:18 AM
Get right in her face and tell her she needs help because she’s a drug addict. And she will die. Give her nothing. Help her find rehab. Then live your life. Refuse to allow the “addiction” to run your life. Make the decision and dont think about it. Move on. It’s the hardest, most heartbreaking, frightening experience in my entire life. 21 year old son currently in rehab 30 days + 45 days sleeping in a house near the place but spends all day at the rehab. He’s doing great. Cause he’s in rehab. It’s after that that we cant think about. That one day at a time mantra is very helpful. I pray for all of these kids of ours. wtf. They need to see us moving on with our lives. It’s the only sane way to go
Anne GMarch 31st, 2014 at 1:33 AM
I know this post is 3 weeks old, but i hope you told him!!
Also people, if your “mommy radar” is telling you your kid is up to something, they are. Get very direct. You are the parent. I’m so sick of “addiction” having all the power. We have to fight it. If we can catch it early on, i think the success rate has to be better for our children :-)
GinaApril 6th, 2014 at 8:25 PM
I’m dealing with all the issues you have mentioned. I am in desperate need of help. I am scared about what is next to come. My son is out of control and on a path of serious self destruction. No one understands, no one listens, or helps. I have tried to get him help for years. Please help me I’m feeling so lost & scared : ( Any suggestions are welcomed.
GinaApril 6th, 2014 at 8:37 PM
My heart breaks for everyone here on this blog. I can relate on so many levels with everyone. My son is on a serious road of self destruction. He lies, manipulates me, divides our family, and is extremely vindictive. He is a criminal and continues criminal activity. I can’t for the life of me understand why our family is continuously put through this pain. I am here for anyone who wants to talk or just vent. I’m glad to have found a place that people understand the pain.
Jane SApril 6th, 2014 at 9:19 PM
Would you be willing to specify a few of the programs that you believe are the most effective? One of my daughters recently informed me of her drug relapse and plan to enter a 30 day program in Stephenville TX. I am glad that she is going for treatment, but as a healthcare professional, I also know the long term success rate of some programs are dismal at best. I don’t buy the “disease” theory of addiction, as it excuses the user of responsibility and gives the “power” to the booze or drug. The addict chooses to use and can choose NOT to use. Please share your top five programs recommendations? Thank you!
RichApril 17th, 2014 at 1:54 AM
I am dealing with same issues you are,watching my son slowly kill himself. After 6yrs of fighting and kicking it a couple of times,I have no idea where he is. He walked out of rehab he asked for….all I can say is I will be there whenever he shows up. As a parent that is all we can do,love them,support them,offer any and all help you can. But always understand you are dealing with a master at manipulation to get what they want. This is not your fault,that is the first thing I have learned. I beat myself up for years,must’ve been something I didn’t do because I raised him as a single parent. Its no you or me it’s the addict our loved ones have become. You need to live your life,and not feel guilty about finding happiness in spite of what your adult addict choses to do. You have a right to happiness,all you can do is be there when they show up,and not give up on them.
KjApril 19th, 2014 at 5:04 AM
I’m reading your post and I am sorry you are going through this. I have a 19 year old daughter who is currently in rehab. She starting dating a guy when she was 17. At the time, I didn’t realize he was addicted to pain pills, neither did my daughter. As time went on, She started using. Then it lead to a heroin addiction. If I would have known then, what I know now… I would have called the police. Which I recently did, and here I am writing this post. There is more to this story but really don’t need to go there. I’m reading these post and see all the similarities. I feel all the pain everyone is experiencing.
From my experience, if your daughter is hanging out with an addict, she is probably using. I did the same as you, once I found out, I quit giving money. I filled her gas tank, bought her food. Later found out that this just helped enable them. It gave them the means to go pick up their drugs. Also transportation to sell drugs and to steal. They are great manipulators, con artists, and have become people that you can’t imagine that you helped give life to. When you see them, all you want is to help them and take their pain. But what I am learning is I have no control over another person. This journey is one she has to take on her own. I do not own this. I have set boundaries. She is not the same little girl that used to come to me in her pink ballet slippers, twirling around the room, singing sweet songs of how much she loved me. She is an adult that has made bad choices, and I can’t save her :'(
I have taken away the car, the cell phone but not the hugs. I tell her she needs help and I love her. I tell her to find strength, because she is strong. I tell her she has choices.
So.. Here I sit, writing this blog and telling you to go find strength. “Co-dependent No More” is a good book. Find support groups like Al-Anon. Find your peace and this will eventually help her. Once you quit enabling, (not give up hope) you have the tools to not live in the “Crazy” then when she decides she’s tired of her life the way it is, then you’ll be able to think clearly and give her options that may save her life.
It’s hard… Because we have chosen to love an addict. Sending good thoughts your way.
Brenda CMay 1st, 2014 at 8:32 AM
I didn’t have to tell my 18 yr old grandson to leave. He and his pregnant girlfriend and dog left on their on.Like everyone says “where did I go wrong! He lies,steals,does drugs, is violent, has awarrant,is a dropout,and sooooo disrepectful. He can come home but not his girlfriend or their dog.This kid had it all-the best of everything, but no mother or father so me and grandpa tried to make up for his lacking by buying him everything.Right now I don’t know if he’s safe. Rumor has it that he has a GUN!!! HE sold all his electronics plus any thing that wasn’t nailed down. I don’t know how he eats, washes his clothes, brushes his teeth-and survives. I guess there is nothing I can do unless he wants helps. I’m all alone now since he left and his grandpa is a nursing home. I should be looking forward to being a great grandma,but I am not.I wait for the police to come to my door or to get that dreadful phone call. So I wait and and wait and wait………..
AileenMay 2nd, 2014 at 7:28 AM
That’s very difficult. Parents in that situation will surely test their strength and how tough they are. But what important is, you help and love them.
blue xxMay 3rd, 2014 at 2:31 PM
Hi everyone, I uh dont know if I am in the right place or have a right to leave a comment, but I am so desperate I don’t know who to turn to.
I haven’t spoken to anybody about what is happening in my home or with my family, but I cannot be silent anymore, my brother is a alcoholic and has been drinking heavily since the age of 14 he is now 21 years old. He has anger issues but uses me as a target, hes volotile cruel and has disturbing thoughts, he trwats me like his withdrawl instead of his big sister. my parents have told me to stay quite only because they are afraid of him, but someone needs to make a stand and the only person who can i have no choice, my life has come to dramatic standstill, I suffer mental and physical abuse from my brother and I cant cope anymore. I need something not a miracle or a magic wand, I know there are others out there who are suffering in silence, I feel so lost and afraid, if there is anyone please leave me a message.. time has stopped and im struggling alone. I have recently moved back to my parents where my brother resides I came back due to leaving a long relationship with a secret drug addict… in which my ex partner kept it all hidden..please anyone I need help badly I have nowhere else to go. Xx
AnnieMay 7th, 2014 at 9:26 PM
I saw my daughter today. She will be 39 in June. I understand how much pain you are in.She is an advanced drug addict. She started with smoking dope then crack and heartbreakingly began using opiates with needles. She was on the methadone program which was a joke. She got off of that during one of her many stints in jail and as soon as she was released started using speed. She has been to Rehab and detox 3 times. We live in Canada so there are medically covered Rehabs but she will not go. Her condition is worse than ever. She is shockingly thin, homeless (she has lived here and just about everywhere else but now there is only shelters) dirty, abusive and has been hospitalized several times for suicide attempts and overdoses. I tried (like I always do) to talk to her today about getting help. She immediately became enraged and almost violent. She called me several disgusting names as she stomped out my door. I felt the familiar shaking, guilty feeling I always do and my heart is breaking. I am bracing myself for what I feel is her imminent death. She has become sick from the drugs and is malnourished and has hepatitis from sharing needles.
Where did my little blonde curly haired girl go? Why does she hate herself so much? I despise drugs but I love her. She does not feel my love. She has 2 grown kids and a 12 year old girl. They are so torn up. This has been going on all their lives. Please God! Help all of us here:…….
MalorieMay 19th, 2014 at 1:14 AM
I agree with your advice , it’s not easy though . My son who is almost 21 was clean for 8 months after the 2 years of tough love. Without going into much detail he is now using again . The relief I felt for him when he finally had went into rehab was so unexplainable & it was like I myself had life back . Now that he relapsed & does not care & I’m watching him destroy his future & life I myself feel so completely out of control .
JulieMay 21st, 2014 at 9:52 AM
My son is 21 and a depressed alcoholic. I include “depressed” because he is dual diagnosis, which seems to make this whole situation even harder to deal with. In order to keep my comment short, I’ll just say that we have also tried 2 expensive rehabs (including one residential), counseling, tough love, etc, etc. He has relapsed yet again. He is an excellent student and is working part-time this summer. However, I feel that we are still enabling by supporting him for the most part. All I can say is that Al-Anon is saving MY life, if not his. I encourage any and all of you to try it if you have not!!!!!
Good luck to us all………….
marinaMay 29th, 2014 at 10:59 PM
I feel for you Brenda. I’m in a similar situation only that my son is only 17 has gotten charged with several offences whilst he has been gone from home he has been staying at an undesirable woman’s place in where she buys him and other under age kids alcohol and also buys them drugs Marijuana he gas breached his bail as he should be living with me but chose to run away again not caring if the consequences. Ihave rrequested to police that he be picked up and put into custody until his court case I’m scared he going to hurt himself hurt someone else or re offend. I wait every day for police to come and tell me that he us safe in custody but still nothing. I hope they get him soon he is out of control and the woman that is harbouring him and helping him not be home should be burnt to the stake in the public square u am at a loss but pray they fund him sooner than later.
AllieJune 6th, 2014 at 1:53 AM
I know exactly how you feel. I’m 8 years younger than my brother and he has also caused me much physical and mental abuse. I believe, that they are the ones that psychologically messed up. They do not know how to handle a normal situation so they do everything in their power to avoid it. I.e. Drinking
You should deffenetly not live with your brother. Put your foot down and do not tolerate it neither. Personally, I feel that young men like this should just be thrown into the world. Left to fend for themselves.
No rehab. You could maybe have him march man acted.
I really admire that you came on here to ask for help in your situation. That in itself takes care of the first step. Keep your head up. I’m here if you should need to talk. 😀
GloJune 10th, 2014 at 7:57 AM
Marie I am going to tell you what you hopefully already know but also seem to need to hear because you asked. No you are not a horrible mother. You are a loving mother who will do anything to save the life of a child even if it means the only option remaining is to do nothing but continue to love that child. I am also a mother of a chemically diseased adult son and I have been caught up in years of the shame and blame game and pity parties. He was released from prison last year and is currently on probation in two states for multiple dui’s. He no longer drinks and drives but his drinking is progressing from beer to hard liquor resulting in violence and blackouts. His last night out he woke up in the hospital with another blow to the same side of the face as the last two times. The ER nurse told him they had to restrain him to the bed. He doesn’t remember anything and of course was definitely going to stop drinking now. And he did not drink again (for several hours at least). But he has drank almost every day since then and has been for the past few months. I have done research on how to do an intervention but there are two states that would have to agree on this rather than sending him back to prison. Sometimes all we can do is absolutely nothing but love them and trust GOD. When we don’t know what to do…HE does. My son is also HIS son and HE will tell me if HE needs my help. Otherwise I will do nothing to interfere. I have read many of your stories and my heart goes out to each of you and I pray for GOD to guide and strengthen you all. God bless us all.
soloJune 14th, 2014 at 11:38 AM
He’s always had anger issues and abandonment he’s never been right. All your drug usage had an effect on him and Marika. That’s in your body chemistry it’s not what just the mother has taken an drugs alcohol etc.
chinJune 26th, 2014 at 12:31 PM
I have a younger brother who’s out of control maybe because of the influence of drugs (marijuana) in his body i think that he is already an addict because of his actions, the way he talks, he’s always agressive. Me and my youngest brother are struggling because we don’t know what to do with him and our parents are working abroad – we can’t tell them that our brother is an addict because they will get upset and I have to protect their feelings because my mama has a heart problem and I don’t want her to be so emotional. And not just that because I read that he is planning to make it as a business, like a pusher, or I don’t know the other term, and here in our country if you’re caught with illegal drugs you’ll be imprisoned forever – like there’s no bail . I am having trouble on how to solve all of his problems, I don’t know what to do anymore. I am thinking of moving out because it’s so stressful and disappointing, we want to give up on him. I need advice – I don’t want to leave my youngest brother to him but I have no choice. I really am clueless, confused, afraid and traumatize.
GoodTherapy.org Support TeamJune 26th, 2014 at 2:25 PM
Thank you for your comment, chin. We wanted to provide links to some resources that may be relevant to you here. We have more information about what to do in a crisis at http://www.goodtherapy.org/in-crisis.html
The GoodTherapy.org Team
LeJune 27th, 2014 at 7:26 PM
An internet search led me to this site. Reading the postings from so many others helps knowing that I am not alone. What a heartbreaking experience to watch our loved ones struggle with addictions. My story is similar to most, with one added thing; my son is a quadriplegic as a result of an automobile accident 5 years ago. I suspected before the accident that he was smoking pot. He was living with his dad which he chose to do because his dad didn’t have rules or structure. Now my son is paralyzed, addiction to prescription pills and had several charges of theft against him. His father and I have shared caring for him but I’m to the point that I’m scared to answer my phone for fear that he’s hurt, in jail or worse yet, dead. I’ve begged, pleaded and done all I can to get him into rehab. Now he faces jail time and he still refuses rehab. I am truly heartbroken that every piece of advice I give, he’s hell bent and determined to do the complete opposite. I only recently decided that it was time to give it completely to God. Not surprisingly, I’ve found a sense of peace that I’ve never had before. I would move heaven and earth for my son, but I couldn’t continue to worry myself to death, literally, any longer. I’ve explained that choices have consequences or rewards. It’s up to him which one he chooses, but to prepare for outcome.
Done ThatJune 29th, 2014 at 10:26 PM
Have an adult son who suffered with marijuana addiction as a teenager and young adult and before that alcohol. In addition, he has social problems and has never acted appropriately. He had a horrible time ceasing the marijuana and thru a series of miserable events and people has struggled with his life. Now he threatens us by saying he will smoke marijuana again because he is so alone. Can’t stand the maniupulations
MaryJuly 5th, 2014 at 8:28 PM
I need my 57 yr old sister understand that her 33 yr old daughter who has been on rehab 7 yrs ago has not changed. She’s up all night sleeps all day no job for 11 years. My sister has also allowed drug addicts to move in because they her they are not and she believes them. They don’t pay rent or give her &30 $50 or $100 a month when they get there welfare checks. Rent is 650. Now we are concern with my sister safety. One guy has fought in her house with another guy and has also fought with the neighbor and most recent hit my niece. Police were called and one guy taken in jail for having drugs (served10 days only) and the other was told to leave for the night. Police recommend a restraining order. We tried. Can NOT get a restraining order for someone who lives there. Now a different court to get a evocation. This is ridiculous. One guy arrested for drugs and my sister has to allow him go come back the other fighting g to get house and she has to allow him to come back too. What the hell! My sister is going robe hurt if we don’t get all of them including my niece out. Even tbe evocation is not a sure thing by the courts. Along process and expensive. Where do we go for help currently in hacienda heights calif. Also counseling is needed for my sister so she can understand that she can not help these drug addicts
Getting helpJuly 6th, 2014 at 5:23 AM
We had our adult son arrested recently. He was on a binge of pot, alcohol and LSD, which had him acting psychotic, saying and doing bizarre things and being very aggressive towards us. We barred him from our home.
This has been the hardest thing I have ever done. He is a loving person, when not intoxicated. He needs help and putting him out is our way of making him aware that he is making a choice between use, his future and drug use. Make no mistake, we love him and hope that we will have a relationship with him someday.
My wife and I cry, mourning the loss of our son, as we knew him. We pray that he will receive the help he needs, as police involvement will likely mandate some sort of care.
You are not alone…we are here with you, and getting help for yourselves is the only thing you can do. We have another child to finish raising, and he needs a stable, safe environment. We need that too.
LizJuly 7th, 2014 at 2:52 PM
I guess my comment is more of a plea for advice. My husband is an addict (will use anything but lately is on a run with meth – his drug of choice – & heroin. After 12 years of marriage, I’ve finally decided to leave him because we were having to live with & off of his mother. We have a 5 year old daughter, & I am 4 months pregnant with our 2nd. He has been arrested several times for drug related offenses & went to prison for long-term alcohol & drug treatment (what a joke!). When he gets strung out on meth, he rarely stops or sees the need to until the arrests happen. Everything wrong with his life & our marriage is my fault. He only would listen to his father, who kept him somewhat in line being an ex-military man. Now that he died several years back, my husband is completely out of control. Here’s my problem: I’ve tried to talk to his mother about his problem, but she is in severe denial & is enabling him terribly. He lives with her. She pays all the bills, buys food, bought him a truck, etc. She will actually side with his delusional accusations & say “well you did do this or that”. She knows her son is abusive (formerly physical & now primarily verbal/emotional). He bullies her as a matter of fact. This is her only child. I’m concerned that if she continues to enable him, he will end up dead soon. Jail would probably save his life at this point. I will be seeking divorce now but still don’t want him to die like that. He is actually a good person when not on drugs like this. How can I help her see that what she’s doing is hurting him more than helping him???
lostlynneJuly 7th, 2014 at 6:32 PM
Something happened to my daughter between her Junior and Senior year in high school. She had a terrible break up with her first love and then started drinking (no drugs that I know of). She went from being kind, loving and considerate to angry, sad and confused. She started cutting herself. I took her to the Dr. and they found out she had hyperthyroidism. She had the iodine radiation treatment to throw it into hypothyroidism because it would be easier to treat. We thought this why she was acting the way she was and she would be fixed. She is now 22 and has never been able to stay in school or hold a job. She has told so many lies that I hardly believe anything she says. She will go on drinking binges for 2-3 days at a time. She gets aggressive/angry when drinking and has gotten in fights. She has been let go from jobs due to her being a no show. Her Dad and I are on different pages. He enables and has always given in to her. I can see right through her and have tried to lay ground rules and be tough with her. I ended up being the bad guy and hence, the reason behind why she’s the way she is. The only thing my husband and I fight about it our daughter. He will not stand up to her and acts like its okay for her to act like this. We have another daughter who is 18. She is a hard worker, goes to school and follows rules. She has seen and has been through a lot dealing with her sister. I am curious to see if anyone is in a similar situation.
OveritJuly 11th, 2014 at 9:37 PM
I am going through a very similar situation with our 22 year old daughter. Today she walked out of a mental health treatment center after a day and a half of treatment (there have been multiple visits to the ER over the last 2 years). She has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and went off her medication and started drinking and using marijuana and other heavy drugs. We made her leave our house a year ago after these behaviors continued and multiple promises to change. Unfortunately she moved in with her grandma against our advise to them both. My mom felt that at least my daughter would be safe while she was at her home. It’s been a year of ups and downs and earlier this year it appeared she was making progress and was taking her medication. About a month ago I began seeing signs of delusional thinking in my daughter and after confronting her she admitted to being off her medication and drinking and using. About 2-3 weeks ago she had a break down and asked my mom to take her to the ER. They wouldn’t admit her to the hospital but had her start seeing a therapist twice a week. We had to twist her arm to go to the appointments and her behaviors became worse and worse. Her therapist made her go to the ER AGAIN after I left three messages detailing her psychotic and dangerous behaviors. They admitted her and we all thought FINALLY she will get help. After being there for one day she decided she was ready to go home and promised to take her meds and stay off all substances and do out patient treatment. We’ve all heard this story from her before and even at this point her grandma agreed that unless she agrees to inpatient treatment she can’t go back to her house. I called and left messages begging for a 72 hour mental health hold but her therapist wouldn’t call me back because my daughter wouldn’t sign a release. Well she’s out and we have all washed our hands of her at this point because of all her verbal abuse she unleashes on everyone who really cares about her. The bottom line is that all the “help” we gave her has not kept her from this end because she isn’t willing to do what it takes to get help. God help us and her and our broken mental health system.
Getting helpJuly 15th, 2014 at 7:55 AM
Over it, had the same issue. It was not until he assaulted us that we was admitted on a 72 hour stay, via the police. This was his 3rd ER admission in two days when on a binge. Once they are 18, things change and you cannot advocate for them, and they usually do not want you to. Our son is still out of the house. I have heard he has a job and is doing reasonably well. We have a court date in a few weeks and that is scary.
Keep your spirits up. Children need to be self-sufficient at this age, and if they will not take direction from you and respect your rules, then the world needs to teach them. it hurts…but they are making decisions for themselves and they need to live with those decisions instead of parents bailing them out.
Nancy C.July 19th, 2014 at 9:20 AM
What do we do when our son withdraws from all friends and family? He’s just at the beginning of this and is still employed. We found out he’s started hanging out with a woman who’s been convicted of possession/trafficking meth. We we told him we knew about her and her past, he sided with her and will now not speak with us.
I’ve never been around this and feel so helpless watching him take his life in a downward spiral. He’s 25 and a good guy. What can I do??
And we’re located in Florida.
Tara KJuly 20th, 2014 at 7:46 PM
I live in “crazy” everyday of my life.bith my sons age 21 and 23 are unfortunately the 2 biggest losers I know. They come from an upper middle class family that gave them every opportunity in life to be successful. They have sold drugs used drugs dont work and have been in trouble with the law so many times I cant count. They are both on the brink of jail again and my oldest son is attending an outpatient drug program only because it will look better to the judge. He collects welfare and doesn’t want to work andmy other son cant keep a minimum wage job and tells me to not bother him he knows what he has to do yet he does nothing. All I do I think about them and wonder how they will live and how will they ever be normal functioning adults in society. They have destroyed me and I honestly dont know how to not consume my life with worry. I wish I knew how to not care and let go…the situation is beyond hopeless.
missyJuly 24th, 2014 at 7:02 PM
I share some of your feelings. I have a drug addicted daughter. She is 23yrs old. I am raising her beautiful 2 yr old boy. She is so dramatic she will do ANYTHING for attention and ultimately to get drugs. Lie..cheat..steal..prostitue..fight..probably kill if she had the opportunity. I have been so abused by her actions that i have no feelings for her anymore. I still feel anher ay times but for the first tome ever i feel no desire towards jer cause at all. At times i even feel hatred to the point it makes me wonder if she damaged me beyond repair. There realy is a thin line between love and hate.
missyJuly 24th, 2014 at 7:07 PM
Everyone has their weaknesses. How about some accountability.
missyJuly 24th, 2014 at 7:08 PM
Agreed. No reason to change if you dont have to.
missyJuly 24th, 2014 at 7:19 PM
I hope that you reach the point of no longer caring sooner than later. I am just now arriving at this point after 10 years of hell. I still have anger over the issue at times but for the most part i am done with it. I NEVER thought i could let go of one of my children but i have and it is liberating. She is an adult and she knows what she is doing. She does not care for her son or anyone else. She has hurt those that loved her beyond repair. Yes i do believe some people were born defective and my daughter is one of them. Probably could be classified as a sociopath.
missyJuly 24th, 2014 at 7:34 PM
I feel your pain. I would hate to give bad advice because every situation is different. I can tell you that most addicts opperate the same way. My daughter is one. She is only 23 but had a son whom now is mine to raise. That being said, i guess i would advise you to let him kmow that YOU know what is going on and that you want NO part of aiding him on the path of self destruction. He will certainly deny everything and may even acuse you of being the problem. Stand firm in your resolve. If you give in one single inch it will only prolong his fate and increase the severity. The hardest part is realizing that the best thing you can do is leave hom to his own devices.
missyJuly 24th, 2014 at 7:46 PM
Very similar situation here. My eldest daughter is the addict ( now 23yrs). The next child is her brother ( now 21 yrs). She was so cruel to him. He had alot of issues because of it. He has never had a girlfriend. He went to alot of therapy. She had also impacted our other 3 children. I have just recently been able to see the damage she has done with clarity and i am disgusted with the things she has done. I want no part of her anymore. It is not right to let other children (or anyone)be her victim because of my weakness.
Elizabeth DJuly 24th, 2014 at 7:46 PM
Hello all, I have a grown son that is an addict. He steals my pills, takes all the money and blows it. I’m disabled. I understand all of you! One thing I have been thinking about is last summer. I have a travel trailer. I basically moved out for a couple months as I could no longer take the stress! He would call me on the cell phone half crazy and I’d say not again to myself and come up with an excuse to hang up quick! Sometimes, I didn’t even bother to answer the phone when I saw it was him. He wanted me to transfer money as he was out of food or etc. Actually, He might have been close but never out! I left food. He blew all the money he had on drugs. Now, I need surgery, etc. Right now I just can’t as the surgeries I need are horribly painful. And he steals all my pain medicines! So, I’m planning in the morning to load up the travel trailer without mentioning what I’m doing. It’s not stored here. Then I’m going to take off and let him know later! I’m taking my dogs as that’s all I have now. Is it possible for any of you to be the one that leaves? Yes, I see where some of you wouldn’t have a home left! So far, my son doesn’t destroy things and it’s been many years. However, he steals and steals and steals. No job, no license, no car. Nothing! He needs a surgery to get a job. He now has the insurance. I think it’s past time I let him take over his life! Please wish me luck as I’m going to need it!
dcdJuly 25th, 2014 at 12:27 PM
Does anyone have advice for me? My son is in his third week of a four week in patient program. I want him to go to a sober living facility when he is finished. He is adamant about NOT going. I cannot let him go back to my house. It is isolated, in the country, no public transportation. He has no car, but is getting ready to lose his license due to an accident he had while he shot heroin into his arm. I want him to be set up for success when he leaves there and I feel a sober living facility with structure, rules and responsibility is best. He said he has heard terrible things about those places…easy to get drugs, etc. He is absolutely refusing to go. I have terrible headaches and cannot sleep worrying about him getting released.
MomJuly 25th, 2014 at 7:44 PM
Our 29 yr old daughter is a good time party girl. She has been arrested for DUI, handcuffed and taken to jail. She lost her license for several months and when she did get it back she had to pay for a bade to be hooked up to her car to drive. The night she was arrested was icy and she slid through a stop sign, hit a taxi cab that sent her airborne and crashing into someone’s fence and yard. All we heard was “I’ve learned my lesson!” She is a beautiful girl and when she dressed up and went for alcohol couseling the man told her as soon as she walked in his door, he could tell she wasn’t an alcoholic! Her tune changed immediately after that and she proclaimed she wasn’t going to let what happen define who she was. It didn’t take her long to get back to partying and going to the taverns…the only place she knows how to socialize. She surrounds herself with friends who only tell her what she wants to hear and are party people too. I tell her what she doesn’t want to hear. She visited her sister in college when she was just about 16 and we got called in the middle of the night…she was in the hospital with alcohol poisoning. I HAVE had it with her and NO longer am speaking to her. She can choose between her partying ways or she can have her parents…but she can’t have both…anymore! I am tired of riding that train bound for disaster!
DebraJuly 25th, 2014 at 8:52 PM
David, as hard as it is I think you have to let him go and let him do what he chooses to do. Keep in touch and let him know always that you love him and always will. This is what I’ve been doing for the past 3 years – is it working? No, but you never know if today will be the day he says ‘I need help.’ It’s not your fault – it’s no one’s fault, so don’t feel guilty that it was something you did or didn’t do. For years this is how I thought too, but remember that they’re going to do what they’re going to do. I am also a single parent and I keep reading the same scenario over and over. Most kids were treated very well and loved, but still chose drugs over reality. I think our kids have the capacity to make us feel guilty for their bad choices. I know we all had loftier goals for our kids! Good luck David, and all the best to you and your family.
SandraJuly 28th, 2014 at 8:13 PM
We are in the same situation as you are. I’ve been doing this for nine years. I’m done, but this will be the most difficult thing I have ever had to do.
KarenJuly 31st, 2014 at 3:37 PM
I have a 22 yr old daughter that suffers from depression,social anxiety and drug abuse. She was clean for a yr then relapsed in April, and twice in June. She lives with us with her 1 yr old daughter. She does absolutely nothing to help us around the house and I take care of my grand daughter almost all day. I can not stand my daughter and want her out. I called CFS on her because she threatened to move out with her baby and I wouldn’t let her because she doesn’t want to get help. I am at my wits end. I almost actually hate my daughter. She calls me names, tells me to get off my “high horse”. I told her she will relapse again and then you won’t be allowed to come back. Anybody have any advice?
StrugglingJuly 31st, 2014 at 5:00 PM
I fear for my son. He is 22 and just graduated from college. In the pasttwoyears he has been arrested four times for DUI. He has already served 6 days in a county jail after a 3 week stay in a center failed to keep him out. This was the first two incidents. Now he is facing two more in the state he attended college. We told him he can come home and try to turn his life around. And he had to seek help. Since he’s been home I’ve had three occurrences that were paragliding to me. My husband seems to be enabling him by allowing him to fly around the country to hook up with friends. The flights are minimal costs as we both work for airlines. I am to the point that I can not watch this any more My husband told him he could not go away this weekend unless he gets two sessions in. So my son surfed the web and made an appointment today. He is just filling the squares. I’m against the trip. If he wants to go I say he should have to buy a ticket.
The counselor specializes in marriage and couples counseling. That was strike one. She will deal w alcohol but isn’t licensed to diagnose. She did say there is a problem (4 DUIs at the age of 22) A given. But she is more in tune w how we interacted. He was upset when he found out I was going. I’m too irrational- yes I’m guilty, I’m afraid I may have to bury my son before he lives life. My husband told the counselor today when she said he tends to cover for him, that it’s because he doesn’t agree w my views. Also said this may be the end of our marriage. And to think we are recovering from his (at least double) affair.
So he will go this weekend, and next weekend for a concert. And I will continue to lose sleep and weight because this behavior has engulfed me we are to set rules and abide by them but when you are giving a ticket to play elsewhere what good are you doing.
As for now I will pray and tomorrow I will start counseling for myself to cope w this roller coaster ride. His court date is next month. No idea how it will end up but our $15000 and if he is somehow released of charges I feel it will just escalate
F. AlexisAugust 2nd, 2014 at 4:14 PM
I am in a similar situation, I have a 23 year old who have attempted suicide before. He refuses to get help, and he stays home all day. He constantly plays games and watches TV. He won’t work, and he doesn’t any help. He kept saying there’s nothing wrong with. He will still pain med from or over dose on tylenol. I am going to have surgery this month, and my wife does not want to him in the house because he does care about anything including himself.
Dee DeeAugust 9th, 2014 at 11:07 AM
It’s a hopeless situation. Everything parents do to help our kids is useless until they say YES I want help. Unless God steps in my 23 yr old son will end his life on his 24th birthday (8/14). He tried rehab but the money hungry facilities and Ins Co only allow 30 day stay.. That is not enough for a kid who has been depressed, ADHD and on drugs for years. His brain is probably fried. There are holes on walls, broken window, food on ceiling from his violent outbursts. We are torn and helpless. No one can help unless you have lots of money. The programs and facilites are there for the money not for the poor suffering souls. God help us!
KaranAugust 9th, 2014 at 7:15 PM
I too am in the same position. I am at my wits end. I have told him he needs to move out, or I will call police and tell them what he is doing. He doesn’t care, he comes home anyway. I donot know what to do. I can’t stand to see him killing himself. We have done everything possible.
LisaAugust 20th, 2014 at 10:15 AM
I gave my 24 year old son lots of chances to get treatment, work a steady job, go to school, etc. I finally just booted him out a week ago and I’ve never felt better. I should have done this a year or two ago. Sorry, I just can’t be responsible for an adult who keeps putting my entire household in danger by doing drugs. Now he’s forced to look at what he’s done to his life. He will grow up, one way or another. And I love him, of course I do, but I told him I don’t want to see him again until he’s been off drugs for at least 6 months.
For those with adult children 21 or over: KICK THEM OUT. No question. If they are not following your rules and doing drugs/drinking anyway, have some self-respect and tell them to leave. And if they won’t leave on their own, either go through the process of evicting them or use some leverage against them. I took pics of my son’s stash (the 4th one I found in the last year) and threatened to call the police and turn him in. He packed up and left withing 2 hours.
I’m sorry to be blunt, but there is no good that comes from babying an adult. They will NEVER grow up and get clean. It took me this past year to realize that he would never get clean in this house, it’s way too easy for him to just do whatever he wants to do. I’m not playing that game anymore. I suggest you stop playing it, too.
heartbrokenAugust 21st, 2014 at 6:59 PM
Help I have a 22 year son who is using drugs again he was clean for one. And has a one year old daughter and a girlfriend that has no clue how to be a mother she has never bonded with the baby. I watch my granddaughter twice a week and help them with things they need. But I told my son if he uses again am done… Well I just found out he using I know what I need to do but how do I walk away from my grand baby she Cry’s when her mom picks her up from me and doesn’t want to go home am so lost any ideas
John DAugust 26th, 2014 at 2:51 PM
Hello, my name is john I am 23 and have over one year sober from drugs and alcohol. I went through a drug rehab and it changed my life. My mother found help for me through a site just like this. I work in the field of intervention now. And just wanted to extend a helping hand. I have been through this. There is a better life for your child.
kelliAugust 28th, 2014 at 3:15 PM
i have a 45r old brother who lives with my mom. he has pancreatitis from drinking and is tremendous amount of pain each day. dr gave him pain meds and he abused them so they cut him back. he is an alcoholic and will drink to kill the pain then call 911 to get to the hospital for drugs. he got a dui and is suppose to spend some time in jail i think to get out of jail he is drinking and calling 911 daily to take him to er. his counselor told him to drink every day until they can get him into treatment. I THINK THIS IS A HORRIBLE set up by the dr and counselor to have him call 911 every day for er trip. i knowe him stopping could put him into shock but really???? im wondering if this is a ploy to get out of going to jail because these episodes just started after dui. Why would he all the sudden be drinking more than usual and going to er? my mom will go along with what ever it takes to keep him out of jail. unfortunately this has caused problems in our relationship. she told me she would do the same for me if i needed it. I guess my main question is why would they be wanting him to continually go to er or call 911?
JosieAugust 29th, 2014 at 3:20 PM
My 33 yr old son is using again – on and off for 15 years – rehabs, jail for 30 days turned him around once. He has a daughter now, but is spiraling quickly. What are my options? I’m tough loving it and have been. He tells me what he thinks I want to hear. Told me he knows he has a problem and is going to rehab that was 2weeks ago. His drug of choice are opiates. He has friends – clean addicts – who want to get him help but of course he avoids them. Can I make him go into rehab? Legally what can we do. Not supporting him, he will be either on the streets or dead soon if he does not get help.
StacyAugust 30th, 2014 at 12:03 AM
Oh how I feel you pain. I sent my 23 year old to a inpatient facility for 45 day across the country. We had insurance but it was considered out of network. We had to put 6000 down and put him on a plane. The final bill was over 50 thousand. The average person does not have the resources for this kind of treatment. We were fortunate to have money in our health savings account to pay this. My son in a week away from 23 and relapsed. This is a freaking nightmare. These kids today lack coping mechanisms. He is not willing to go to rehab at this point so I too have the same fears as you.
StacyAugust 30th, 2014 at 12:05 AM
The interventional people would tell you that you are aiding her. Kick her butt out the door.
StacyAugust 30th, 2014 at 12:10 AM
My son completed inpatient 45 day treatment at a better today. He was offered sober living and refused like your son. He came home on May and refused meetings and has not been in contact with his sponsor. He lasted until July when he started using heroin again but I just found out today. If our kids don’t start out at ground zero and work throug the steps and use the resources, they will fail as mine did. I’m curious to know did your son end up going? It’s proven to have better outcomes
CeeAugust 30th, 2014 at 6:24 PM
People will says what they will say, remember 3 things
You did not cause it
You can not change it
You can not cure it
My heart goes out to you, I have a son same situation.
SusanAugust 30th, 2014 at 8:04 PM
I have a 29 year old son who is an alcoholic. Last week he got an impaired charge along with a few other charges and has been trying to get his father and I to bail him out. My story is a little different than most because he has always been polite to me and helpful in so many ways. He has worked with his Dad at times and my husband has very high standards as far as work ethics etc. and he says my son is the hardest worker he has ever met. About a year ago, my son moved in with a single mother of two boys who as far as I am concerned is an absolute nutcase. My son has come over on a few occasions and stayed for one to two weeks at a time just to get away from her. He knows that he is not allowed to drink alcohol at our house and for the most part respects that. When he gets the urge to drink, he goes back to her. My son also works to drink and therefore cannot hold a job for long. It is so frustrating and much harder to say no to bail to somebody that would do anything for us when asked, however, I now realize that I have gone the enabling route, the backing off route and every other way I thought might have helped which obviously haven’t. I am hoping that however long he gets for his charges is long enough to dry him out and give him a chance to think clearly instead of in a fog. I am just worried that it might be more than a year. This is my last chance to help him so I hope it is worth it and he doesn’t come out a full fledged convict. Please share any thoughts on this… Thanks!
SandyAugust 31st, 2014 at 9:42 AM
Hi john, my son is 23 and sitting in jail over relapsing after being out of treatment for 10 days. It’s been a roller coaster ride for the last 6 years. What we thought would be an overnight stay has turned into a nightmare and I fear how he is going to survive it.
karenAugust 31st, 2014 at 7:20 PM
Dennis, this sounds just like my son. He was always the outcast in school and was bullied severely in middle school. He has been diagnosed ADHD and bipolar disorder. Uses marijuana regularly and used heroine for about a year he tells me. Now he has been drinking regularly. His friend is here visiting and he got so drunk tonight that he passed out. I am very concerned and not sure how to help him. My husband and I have discussed making the final ultimatum to him that either he goes to rehab or we kick him out. Many of his friends have been through rehab but as soon as they come back they relapse so I’m not sure this would even help my son. I feel like I am losing my mind over this. My husband and I are afraid to leave the house or even have friends over for fear of his state of mind. My younger son who is 16 is the only one he will listen to. He is always watching over his brother but makes me feel bad because he shouldn’t have that burden in his shoulders. The 16 year old has also started using marijuana to cope with the stress. I need advice on how I can convince my son to get help. He refuses outpatient treatment for fear that they will institutionalize him.
SusanAugust 31st, 2014 at 8:13 PM
Is there anybody out there with a happy ending? Well I actually have one myself. My husband drank way too much for way too many years. I always stayed home and took care of the kids while he partied most of his young adult life away. I’m not sure what happened but one day he just said, that’s it, I’m not drinking anymore and I’m sorry for what I have put you through. He had said this on and off for many years so of course I kept waiting for him to drink again. He didn’t touch a drop for 10 years or more. He stopped at 40. He is now 58 and he can now have a couple of beers and that’s it. He has been doing that for the last 8 and never has been drunk again..now I just have to hope my son will follow in his footsteps and stop his drinking. My heart goes out to all of you that are going through this hell. Thank God we can support each other through this post.
KrisSeptember 1st, 2014 at 5:54 AM
My 22 year old daughter is in college 200 miles away. She is addicted to alcohol and marijuana. She has gotten blackout drunk several times and twice was raped. She had a breakdown and we brought her home for 6 months. Now, we tried to let her go back to school but within 2 weeks she has gotten blackout drunk and still smokes pot. I got her home this labor day weekend and i don’t want to let her go back to school. My husband has washed his hands of her and says she has to hit bottom. Well I’m afraid her bottom is death. She is trying to kill herself with the same friends and drugs. What can I do!!!! Please she is soo young that I can’t just let her go like this. I feel I need her away from the people and drugs that she knows, to give her a chance to want to change. Her next black out drunk may be her last. When she gets drunk like that which is every weekend, she has tried several times to jump into traffic. I DON’T WANT MY DAUGHTER TO DIE. Please help…
RICKSeptember 1st, 2014 at 7:17 PM
My son is 26. i have sent him to the best rehabs in the country. Problems still exist going on 10 years. My ex wife committed suicide four years ago and he was emmeshed with her. She was bipolar/depression and had a bad neck which led to painkiller pill addiction. We were divorced when he was a baby.
Like so many stories on here I have been through hell and back.
What i have done now is have him take Vivitrol shots in his buttocks to stop the cravings fro alcohol. I even voluntarily put a breathalizer with a camera in his car. It has helped but then he falls off the wagon (usually due to getting involved with girls or ex girlfriends) and soes something really stupid. Ex girlfriend snuck into town without me knowing and he went on a drinking spree. He decided to drive her vehicle and totaled it. Yes I think the things I did to reduce the possibilities of him drinking but if he wants to he can find his way around it. I have hope but between his Mother’s suicide and his addiction I am thoroughly beaten down with no feeling. I have three other children all doing well. My oldest daughter from my first marriage (his sister) has come through this finally after four years. He turned to alcohol & drugs and she became anorexic but is now doing well.
Lisa G.September 6th, 2014 at 3:39 PM
Hi my name is Lisa and I’m the mother of a drug addict he has been addicted to opiates for 10 years. He has been in rehab three times. we live in Florida. his first rehab visit he came home clean within days he relapsed. I called my parents they came down to Florida and picked him up and took him home to have a new start to get away from the people he was hanging out with. He was doing really well my father got him a job with the city everything was going good and he relapsed stealing 1200 from his job it was all over the local news my son admitted to stealing to support his habit, they paid for his rehab 6 mth program and dropped charges because of the reputation my fathers has in our hometown. They did fire him. He’s once again clean, my father gets him another job is doing great promoted to Supervisor making 50,000 at 28. They had random drug test my son always being called up for one because of his past. Always past until this last one he failed losing his job. Going back in to rehab. Now meanwhile my dads friend rents him a house and now he’s freaking out on how he’s going to pay for it and keep up with his bills so landlord helps him get a job a lowe’s and once again my dad helps him get another part time temp summer job, they liked him he was hard working so they hired him full time. He had to take a drug test and failed it. He has let my father down for the 3rd time. Destroying his reputation. Then come to find out my dads friend who’s renting the house to my son calls and says my son owes 2000 in rent he’s going to file an eviction. My dad devestated but understands. Meanwhile my son will not talk to any of us . Won’t return any calls. We know he’s still in house with now another drug addict/ drug dealer leaving there…and if thats not enough my brother received a phone call from somebody who thought my brother was my sons dad and said that my son had beat a girl and stole her purse and that there is a warrant for his arrest. My parents and I are devestated, hurt, angry, worried and ashamed . My heart goes out to the young lady. I don’t know him anymore drugs have destroyed him..My sweet boy is gone. We are done. There is nothing more we can do. My parents have changed their locks on the house and now we go day by day with sleepness nights worrying if he’s going overdose, get killed or hurt somebody else. The right thing for me to do is turn him . Its been along road he’s been in and out of jail since he was 19 all started when introduced to Roxy….These pills are destroying lives and killing people everyday.
DianeSeptember 6th, 2014 at 9:26 PM
I am so with you Lisa..I have been playing this in and out game with my son for years (he’s almost 28). He has almost destroyed my health, my marriage and my relationship with my other kids. On every level I realize that there is nothing I can do to change this situation, only he can do that. I finally stopped taking his calls, responding to his horrible messages, his constant pleas for money. I finally stopped accepting his blame and guilt. I am reclaiming my life and choosing peace over chaos. It is so hard but I felt I would be dead from stress in a few years if I didn’t. Thanks for posting this..I needed to hear it tonight..
SusanSeptember 7th, 2014 at 6:46 PM
About 2 years ago, I joined the online Al-Anon. I didn’t really post on it, but read about other people’s situations, etc. Because there is no cross-talk you couldn’t really respond to anyone else’s posts, however, I did learn a lot from it, specifically, I did not cause it and I cannot cure it. These comments lifted a lot of guilt from my heart as I felt as though I had not been a good enough Mother. I have now learnt how to say NO. I did not bail him out but the girl he lives with did so he wasn’t in long enough to dry out and think about why he landed in jail. He is mad at everyone except me, blaming everyone for his problems. All I can do now is sit back and watch him self-destruct. It really hurts. I feel the same as Lisa, my sweet boy is gone, I don’t know who he is when he drinks, he is like a stranger. Diane I know what you mean when you say he has almost destroyed your health, marriage and your relationship with the other children. It is so hard to find a happy medium in all this chaos. My thoughts are with both of you and everyone else that is going through this horrible ordeal.
tabathaSeptember 12th, 2014 at 11:04 AM
Hello John..any advice would be great. My son is 22 and has an addiction to weed.. countless times I have come home to the house smelling of pot.. my husband and I have talked talked talked to him about not smoking in the house or anywhere around the house..sometimes he goes on the back porch to do it.. I have never seen him smoke ever just smell it..every time he agrees with our rules but a week or two later it’s like he forgets and I will come home and it smells of weed..we have 3 sons..20, 22 and 11.. I don’t want my 11 yr old smelling this but can’t seem to make my 22 yr old understand..I’m tired and frustrated.
CynthiaSeptember 14th, 2014 at 11:30 PM
I ran across this site while searching on the topic, “Adult Children Who Steal From Their Parents…because yes, like all the rest of you, my 24 year old son is a drug addict. He has an identical twin, who is currently in jail for breaking and entering (to look for drugs, of course), who is also an addict.
Why am I still sitting here at a computer tonight searching for answers as to WHY he steals? He steals because he WANTS TO….I tell myself this each time we catch him, and yet it never sinks into my brain. And I’m not a stupid woman. Maybe I should do a search on Adult Parents of Addicted Children Who Are Emotionally Paralyzed, or something.
Like the rest of you here, I have no answers or solutions. I used to think I had solutions and answers, but now at 60 years old, I realize I was delusional. Still am in many ways obviously…maybe I’ll blame it on Emotional Burnout.
I admit it, I’m burnt-out. My husband is,too. And yet we still feel this urge to TRY and…and…what? Help him? Understand him? Cure him?
I read and read and read and then catch myself readreadreading, sitting here with my head in my hands and just staring at all of your words of pain, despair, hopelessness. They’re my words, too, all of them, even from the stories that don’t quite match mine.
I have addicted sons, not daughters…but I feel my heart clenching when reading about the babies that your addicted daughters birth…oh, the horrific worry for all of you, that an innocent baby is in danger…I am sorrowful with you.
My sons aren’t teenagers anymore, but I read your words about your teenaged addicts and my heart clenches again…I was there once, with two of them, wondering where my smart, funny, sweet boys had gone to, so desperate to get them back…I am sorrowful with you, as well.
I read the words from the parents with addicted children who are now middle aged or even older, and my heart still clenches because I know it’s a time that’s coming for me…and there will be more sorrow.
We can match every horror story written here–the lying, stealing, jail sentences, rehab, suicide attempts, overdoses, stolen credit cards and personal belongings, bank accounts siphoned off, holes punched in walls, cars destroyed, police with tasers, handcuffs, mental institutions, death threats to us…since the one twin (who is locked up) also has paranoid schizophrenia thrown into this (they’re adopted, it ran in their family), it increases the nightmare tenfold.
I cannot tell any parent to give up on their child.
I cannot tell any parent you’re wasting your time and money with rehab, therapists, counseling and AA/NA.
I cannot claim that every young addict will, for certain, continue their addiction until they are a grown addict, then just an old addict.
I can tell you that as their health suffers from whatever drug they abuse, your health will also deteriorate from the stress of watching it all.
I can tell you that the moodiness,anger, and depression from their addiction which replaces their true personality, will soon describe your personality, too.
I can tell you that your addicts addiction will become, in a sick, twisted way, your addiction as well.
You and whatever non-addict family members are involved will become Addicted To Your Addict. You didn’t try to be…you won’t realize you are for awhile…but if I know anything after battling my sons addiction for 11 years, it’s that we are ALL going to end up as addicts to their addictions.
I’ve read about tough love, enabling, co-dependency…pick any currently popular label you want for the desperate attempts we all make to try and cope with an addict who will stop at nothing to get drunk, high, or both.
I’ve read about addiction being caused by disease, DNA, lousy parenting, or even karmic payback for a seriously bad former life.
You can read about all these subjects and many more until your eyeballs explode. You can literally spend hundreds of thousands of dollars trying out new methods to Fix The Addict.
The famed Hazeldon Rehab Centers are over $32,000 per month, and insurance doesn’t cover but a few days… maybe three or four, if you’re lucky. Passages Malibu, that you see the fancy ads for on tv, is over $80,000 a month. And nearly all rehabs want your addict for at least a month.
We did rehab once for one of my sons, when he was 15 and had been caught breaking into the local junior high school to steal laptops, so he could sell them for drug money. It was an El Cheapo rehab, all we could afford at the time…he spent three months there at a cost of over $35,000…was released and we brought him home. He was high within 24 hours. It took us 5 years to pay off the $35,000 loan.
We have 11 years of stories, all of them bad, some of them horrible. Drug addicts can become abusive and violent when they can’t get their drugs. They break things. Smash them, punch them. They also smash and punch family members. Our son who is currently in jail is eligible for parole in 3 months. He becomes agitated, aggressive, or downright violent when drunk or high. We’ve been threatened, shoved, punched…we slept with our bedroom door dead bolted, and with a small dresser shoved in front of it, so if he broke it down, we’d hear the noise and at least have a chance.
Police do nothing much when you call them, unless the person is deemed a threat to themselves or others. Sometimes he is, sometimes he isn’t, to their eyes. We rarely called the police this past year, as his retaliation simply wasn’t worth it. We knew it was a matter of time before they locked him up, and then we were safe for awhile.
The remaining son is never violent, no matter what drug he takes…he’s a very nice, intelligent guy that will do anything for you…and steal anything that isn’t tied down. He’s an addict and a thief, but he’s a polite addict and thief…it sort of lulls me into thinking, this isn’t so bad, really…as long as he’s quiet, it’s okay, right? Better than being smacked in the face or chased out of the house or having the wires on my car engine sliced in two…and then you have a night like tonight, where he’s stolen another credit card out of the mail and the reality suddenly hits you again…no, its NOT okay,nothing is okay. My husband and I are ANYTHING but “okay.”
We’re emotionally and physically sick with whatever it is our sons have. If anyone deserves (and needs) to spend a month at the splendid rehab center in Passages Malibu, its my husband and me…to detox and recover from an 11 year battle with our sons addictions.
Please believe me when I tell you that ultimately, almost nothing you try is going to work. It won’t fix them, it won’t cure them, it won’t do anything except make you a nervous, twitchy wreck that jumps every time a phone rings in the night or you hear a police or an ambulance siren go off. Plus, you’ll be poor. Trying to save an addict costs a lot of money.
You also won’t have a life. Well, you’ll be ALIVE, but you won’t be living a life, you’ll be sort of existing around their addicted life. All of you will be orbiting in your own private hell, going around in dizzy circles; you watching helplessly while they try like mad to hit every obstacle they possibly can that will hurt them (drugs/alcohol), while you try desperately to deflect the damage.
Eventually they escape from your attempts to keep them sober and alive, and get hit/injured. End up in jail, an ICU, an ER, or in a morgue. You and your family didn’t take the drugs or drink the alcohol, but you’re injured too. Everybody bleeds in some fashion.
I’m so tired of bleeding from wounds that my sons inflict. I’m tired of watching my husband bleed. I’m tired of the really stupid, insane conversations that are all he and I have now.
Pick a subject, any subject…like vacation:
Me: “How about a few days in Florida? Disney World is always fun, and we could see my sister.”
Husband: “No, not Florida. If he gets into trouble the jails are really bad there, I’ve heard.”
Me: “I forgot that. How about Texas? We could see our daughter, see the sights in Houston.”
Husband: “Texas is even worse! The jails are terrible, and its a major city! He’d be able to get his hands on god only knows what drugs!”
Me: “Let’s just stay home this year.”
Me: “Don’t forget and tell your mom to take ALL the meds out of the bathroom cabinets.”
Husband: “I did, and remind your sister not to leave her pocketbook lying around.”
Walmart, drug store, grocery store:
Me: ” Have you seen him? Where did he go?”
Husband: “He was here a second ago. We better check the pharmacy section.”
Cash, Checks, Credit Cards
Me: “He has my MasterCard, but I canceled it.”
Husband:” Again? How did he get it this time? I thought you had all those cards in your pocket now!”
Me: “I do! But I was taking a shower and left the wallet on the counter.”
Husband: “You can’t DO that! You know how easy those bathroom door locks are to pop open! You’ll have to take your wallet in the shower with you from now on.”
You can’t go on vacation and leave them alone in the house, because they’ll steal even more than they do when you’re home. You can’t take them with you, for fear of what they’ll steal from relatives or hotel guests.
It’s Russian Roulette taking them into a store with you, because when you see security approach, you stand a chance of getting arrested as an accomplice to whatever they’ve done, unless its local cops who know you well and understand what you’re going through.
Oh, the time I have wasted crying, begging, spying, going through their dresser drawers, checking under mattresses…but to what end? They get caught, sober up in jail, get released,swallow 12 cans of beer or pop street drugs and once again start speeding towards that Brick Wall at top speed, trying like crazy to hit it as hard as they can…as my husband and I run after them, trying to pull them back…only as we get older, we can’t run as fast or pull as hard. Age slows you down, so does constant stress and heartache. At 60, I have to wonder how many years we have left, you know?
My three older children ask me a lot now, “What happens when you and Dad get REALLY old, Mom?” Which is a good question. We don’t have an answer for it. Yet.
Before I die, there’s a few things I’d like to do…like sleep through the night without listening for someone creeping into my room. I haven’t slept through the night in 11 years.
I’d like to be able to wear a skirt or a dress once in awhile, instead of jeans every damn day with enough pockets to hold my credit cards, checkbook, cash, and car keys so my son doesn’t steal them.
I’d like to enjoy a visit with my relatives, without worrying if my sons are going through everyone’s coat pockets or handbags in the downstairs closet, looking for cash, credit cards or prescription bottles they can steal.
I’d actually like to have some friends again…people don’t visit with you much when there’s an addict in the house, and don’t want you at their house, either.
I’d like to just be able to take a walk around the block with my husband, holding hands,without both of us worrying if we’ve been gone too long, which means our sons have had time to pick the lock on the upstairs office door and go through all the papers trying to find credit car or ID numbers they can use.
I’d buy my son a ticket to go anywhere he wants to go, but unfortunately, he likes it fine right here, and even if I drove him to the other end of town and told him to get out, he’d just hitchhike back home, pick the lock and let himself back in. He won’t budge without his twin, and his twin is a prisoner…once he makes parole, they can go elsewhere in the state.
Our plan for freedom is a simple one…we’re going to spend money again, but for a small apartment in a city 90 miles north of here, and move them there. Neither has a license, from DUI’s, but there’s a bus system. It’s a university town, so if they so choose, they could actually try school. There are temp agencies for odd jobs to keep them in cigarette money, beer, or drugs, if they choose to be drunk or high, rather than eat. They have no car and no friends, so they can’t get back to this town easily.
I can actually ignore them if they call my cell phone. I don’t have to sleep with my keys and wallet making an uncomfortable lump in my pillowcase at night. I could go to the movies with my husband or out to dinner. We could actually try to find pleasant subjects to talk about with one another, besides what bad thing happened that day with the twins.
He and I could maybe, just maybe…have a sort of life together again. At this point, I’d settle for a reasonable facsimile of a life.
If you’re reading the stories on this site for the first time, and wondering if we’re exaggerating the stories? I promise you faithfully, we are not.
If you’re here looking for answers? You might find a few, but really, all most of us can do is suggest POSSIBLE ways of coping or surviving…there are no answers that always successfully work when dealing with addicts, there are no instruction manuals guaranteeing a satisfactory outcome.
Addicts of any kind, are a mess. You can try to “fix” them, we ALL have tried to fix them…but your reality is going to be tied in with theirs…a mess. All you can do is come to sites like this, vent, try to take a breath, and realize you’re not alone.
MichaelSeptember 14th, 2014 at 11:37 PM
I’m 34 years old and I live in Utah. In May I was introduced to meth. In four months I managed to lose my house (thank god I was only renting), my job. I had worked there for almost 8 years and made terrific money. I’ve tried to stop but I keep turning back to it. I know that there are options our there for me but I feel like I can’t get away from it unless get away from this place where I can find it so easily. Even with a support group and a spinsir5 and all of that, I can see that I don’t have the will power to keep from calling a friend and having them come get me high.
My question is this. My father and stepmother live in Pennsylvania. My father is a doctor and she is a nurse. Would it be innapropriate of me to ask them to take me in and help me fight this? I know that I can and I don’t know anyone but my family there. Is this a good idea? I’m struggling with it because I’m an adult admit,but it seems like the best way to me. But then again using meth hadn’t seemed so bad when I started
jennySeptember 16th, 2014 at 4:54 PM
I have 2 older brothers that have been addicted to drugs since they were teenagers and are still living with my parents. We, my parents and I, have been through it all from lying to stealing and from pawning to doing time in prison. And, yes, we’ve done intervention. The results were short-lived. Next year, they will turn 46 and 45. It doesn’t make sense. Their drug of choice was PCP and now heroin. They were lucky because they could have easily been deported to our country of origin like several of their friends but, oh, they are the lucky ones who managed to remain in the states. Thankfully, neither of them have children but one of them married and, sadly, divorced because of his addiction. They are not typical jerks. Ironically, they are charming but they do have a problem and they have hid it well as of late as they hold down their jobs. Why exactly does it bug me that they live at home? They are grown adults but live like they are eternal children as long as they live under their parents’ roof. As a result, my parents are at odds with each other. To make matters worse, my mom has a heart condition; she has a defibrillator and a pacemaker. My dad is all about tough love and mom doesn’t feel it is right to thrown them out on the street. Um, they don’t have to live on the street if they were to save up their money for rent. I really don’t know what they do with their money and from what I hear – they barely pay rent. It’s been a catch up game for years.
My thing is how will they ever learn how to cope and grow some self-esteem if they are coddled and generally enabled to live regressed lives? I want them to live a fulfilled life and believe in themselves. I don’t think this form of love is empowering. It is damaging and perpetuates neediness and dependence on drugs. It’s a vicious cycle and would never wish it on anyone.
Recently, a little packet/envelope was found in the bathroom by my mom. My eldest brother admitted it was his but that didn’t seem to really provoke my mom to change the situation. I told her when it comes to heroin you just can’t be without it for a long time. What I am trying to say is that he has been regularly using heroin.
It saddens me to see how helpless everyone is in this situation. Experts say the only person who can help themselves is the addict. Isn’t there an alternative? At this rate, it seems like the chances for improvement is never.
I just want them to live happy independent lives. I pray they do.
LeahSeptember 16th, 2014 at 7:31 PM
I’m not a parent of a addict but a sister to one. Both of my parents have passed away & my older 35 yr. old brother has been in & out of jail for doing stupid things while high. Right now, he’s sitting in jail for a awful crime that is too heinous for me to even mention. Prior to his arrest, I was just thinking about how great he was doing & I was proud of him for finally turning his life around. That very same week, I got a phone call from a friend asking me if I heard what happened. Anyway, this time I haven’t mailed him any $ nor a letter. I have been really struggling with this lately. His trial just started I heard. I feel guilty!! Why? I’ve helped him out a ton & I just can’t do it anymore. Besides that, I have a family to worry about with small children. I’m already a nervous wreck thinking about what the future holds when he’s released from prison. (assuming that’s where he’s going after this jail he’s at now) What if he gets into this bad crap that made him go crazy & flip out like he did & comes to my house!? Then I feel guilty b/c He has no one! Just me & I’ve done nothing this go around. Just felt like venting & any advice would be much appreciated. I’m really stressed.
ColletteSeptember 17th, 2014 at 10:03 PM
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SusanSeptember 18th, 2014 at 11:25 AM
This reply is to Cynthia. You should write a book, looks like you may have already written the first chapter here. I am dead serious. You had me captivated in everything that you wrote here. I too am a female of 60 years old and I can totally relate to everything you have mentioned. I have stepped back from my son and I don’t give him anything anymore. I have done it with love, no yelling, no b****ing, no griping and he seems to have accepted it. He now just drops by to see me to give me a hug, tell me he loves me and once in a while we have lunch together. He doesn’t ask for anything and doesn’t try to take anything. He is 28 now and he knows that he is not allowed in our house if he has been drinking, in fact I don’t want to see him unless he is in a completely sober state and neither does my husband. So far he seems to respect our wishes and I just hope it stays that way.
Anyway, even if you don’t write a book, you must find that writing on this site is very therapeutic. Glad we all have each other to vent to. Take care!
CeeSeptember 19th, 2014 at 4:29 PM
I feel for you!!! I have a 23 yr old son for past 4 years in and out of hospitals with over .50 blood alcohol levels He is killings himself. Has been state committed 2 times by hospitals after over 10 stays in ICUs this year again. I pray every day every minute, God save my son, take me, My heart too is broken my family has disowned me because I care for my son?? I do not enable I love and listen. May God give you the courage and stress to make it through each day. Keep praying and talking to God. He has a plan for each of us. It’s really hard to know why some of us have these difficulty in our life. I believe we are being tested. Our rewards are in heaven. Hold on.
StephaniSeptember 19th, 2014 at 9:08 PM
It’s good to know that there are others out there. Until June I had no idea that my youngest daughter was using drugs. She was stopped downtown one night and written a ticket for drug paraphernalia. I found out then that she was using but had no idea. The next call was from her husband letting me know that they were separating. The third call was from him, she had been arrested and he bailed her out, then the call came that she was back in jail. All in all over less than a months time she racked up 2 felony possession charges, 2 marijuana charges and one criminal mischief. This was her first arrest. She had made a plea deal that made everything but one felony charge go away as was to do a program for drug abuse. She is also schizophrenic and was to go into a in-patient treatment. We were very happy with the deal as she would be tied down during the treatment process for about a year before any release. The day of sentencing we were told that she was no longer eligible for the treatment programs because of a suicide attempt. ( I had no idea that a treatment program for mental illness would not take you if you were suicidal, so stupid)Anyway, we thought ok, they will go ahead and sentence you to however long and then we can seek counseling. Well, we blinked and they had released her to our care pending counseling and drug abuse programs. These charges were in a county we did not live in so her probation is being transferred to the county we do live in. This is taking so much time and of course, she is right no getting either counsel. Her dad and I have a home and we take care of my parents in our home too. We turned the office into a bedroom for her and she has moved in, her along with a bunch of cockroaches that were infested in her things. He home was a drug house and destroyed. We salvaged what we could but it would have been better if the place had just burned down. Since then she talks as though she wants her life back, but she has done nothing but lie to us about everything and anything. She does not see where the “rules” are fair and is more worried about her so called friends and what they think than looking out for her own wellbeing. I was able to get her on medication for the schizophrenia and that helps more than anything, but I can’t trust her to keep her nose clean. I feel so stupid for continuing to try to help believing that at some point something will click in her brain and I will see the same child I raised. My heart aches and I know that I might as well just let her fall. She will end up back in jail/prison and she is not equipped to handle either. It’s like having a 8 year old in a 24 year old body. As a parent you feel torn between the adult she is and the mentality that does not match the age. She’s not crazy, she is smart, but has no ability to reason or make good decisions. Maybe she does and I’m just kidding myself. It’s just the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with. Tonight she was suppose to be spending the weekend with her husband as they are trying to work on repairing the marriage and I just sent him a text to find out how she was. I found out that she lied to us and was out with her friends. I don’t understand why she would take the risks. I don’t know whether to let it go, tell her to get out or call the police and let them pick her up. It’s torment.
Thanks for letting me vent. I will figure this out somehow. Maybe I should be the one to go get some counseling.
JulieSeptember 20th, 2014 at 6:19 PM
I am a parent of an addict he lives in Oregon and I live in Florida. Right now he is homeless, penniless and will not take my phone calls. The grief I feel is an bearing at times… I do not know where he sleeps, how he eat or anything about his life really, just that he cannot break the addiction. He has tried detoxing six times since January and has been in an intense rehab program for 30 days. i’m lost I do not know how to help him anymore, please somebody tell me there’s a miracle out there waiting.
Debbie F.September 23rd, 2014 at 12:44 PM
Only if you truly want help and not just a place to crash. If you aren’t serious, don’t cause undue stress to your father and your step mother.
LoriSeptember 24th, 2014 at 4:51 PM
John my son is also 24 and a addict. He has only been out of rehab 2 days & he used. He went right to a meeting. Do you think it will help if I take away his phone & car and tell him he has to earn everything back.
TonyaSeptember 24th, 2014 at 11:12 PM
My Son is 22yrs old. He’s on probation for 2yrs for stealing a bottle of my pain pills and taking them and running his car into a house. Now he’s drinking so much and the probation officer does not know. He’s abusive at times. But mostly verbally. Tonight however he grabbed both my wrists and I think my right is broke. I took his keys and will not give them back. He left the house drunk and walked off. I know he needs help but I don’t know what to do for him. He’s got a BABY boy coming in 4 weeks..I’m just lost and confused.
GoodTherapyAdminSeptember 25th, 2014 at 10:02 AM
Thank you for your comment, Tonya. We wanted to provide links to some resources that may be relevant to you here. We have more information about domestic violence at http://www.goodtherapy.org/therapy-for-domestic-violence.html and additional information about what to do in a crisis at http://www.goodtherapy.org/in-crisis.html
The GoodTherapy.org Team
CelesteSeptember 26th, 2014 at 11:57 AM
This site has been so helpful, I no longer feel alone. Our son is 34 years old, WE HAVE BEEN struggling with his addictions and alcohol abuse for many years. Its been a down hill slide, he has lost so many good paying jobs, finally ended up in Prison for a year, rehab seemed to help for awhile. Then last month he got very drunk, took off in his truck and totaled it. He was thrown out of the window and by the grace of God had only minor bumps and bruises. He was very aggressive toward the State Trooper and hospital personal. He went to county jail for six weeks and then a friend of his bailed him out. He has lost everything but a few pieces of furniture and his clothes. My husband has put him up in a motel, I will not have him living here. We’re all back to square one, what do to with an adult 34 year old child!!! I refuse to go through this same cycle again and again. I’m too old and already taking anxiety medication. I feel the best course of action would be to allow him to stand on his own two feet for once in his life.
CelesteSeptember 26th, 2014 at 2:20 PM
Sometimes we have to let go of what is killing us, even if its killing us to let go
ReneeSeptember 26th, 2014 at 6:18 PM
My husband and I have a son who is addicted to many types of drugs. You cannot enable him, you need to stop that asap. If he is violent to you then being that he is not in the right state of mind, he could possibly lash out at the baby after he or she is born. When he gets violent you need to call the police and you need to tell him how much you love him but his behavior is unacceptable. Our son knows we love him but he also knows that we cannot allow his destructive behavior in our home. It was hard for my husband to tell our son that he needed to leave but we need to feel safe in our home. We hope and pray that one day he will have his ah ha moment especially before its too late but all we can do right now is to let him know that we love him.
HollySeptember 26th, 2014 at 9:37 PM
Please help my son is 20 I don’t know where to turn he has a problem. That will ruin his life or mine or both :(
DebbieSeptember 27th, 2014 at 8:34 PM
I read and agree with everything you said. My heart goes out to you. I will add one thing I do for myself. I attend Celebrate Recovery. I am a codependent and enabler. This program is helping me and strengthens me. I am able to help others from what I have been through. Look up celebrate recovery.com and see if there is a group near you.
cjOctober 3rd, 2014 at 12:05 AM
Let go let God it’s hard but God will give you a peace my daughter has been abusing drugs and alcohol for years all you can do is keep standing on God word the seed of the righteous shall be delivered thank you Jesus
LynneOctober 3rd, 2014 at 9:04 PM
Your writing was amazing and totally accurate. I have two sons – addicts. One violent, angry, mentally ill – the other a nice person whose is the best liar ever and steals everything. Been at it 6 years now – I am tired of always caving and giving them money – I am the broke one. I don’t allow them in my home and I seriously doubt we will ever have a family get together. I hate the holidays as that is when the BS amps up. Crazy. Thanks for your words.
Joe DOctober 4th, 2014 at 9:52 PM
You should lay off your son. Weed is the least worrisome drug a parent should be concerned with and it’s not likely to lead to stealing and robbing to support a habit, unlike the many other more damaging illegal drugs or alcohol. He’s also 22…and going to make his own decisions, just ask him to respect you guys and the younger child by agreeing to keep it hidden from the 11 year old. You might be surprised that if you treat him like an adult he will be more likely to act like one, and even become respectful loving son.
LizOctober 7th, 2014 at 6:42 PM
My heart feels for you and I understand my daughter is 28 has been in and out of rehab. Sober for two months and now spilling. We lost our 15 yr old son 8 years ago and she has never recovered but when is it our time
LizOctober 7th, 2014 at 6:46 PM
Been there it’s there life we cannot create it cure it or control. It’s like being hit with a freight. It’s about tough love and I’m gods hands.
Live your life one step at a time I know it hurts but it’s an illness that will take everyone down
PJOctober 10th, 2014 at 6:46 PM
Hi Julie I am a Father of a 28 year old alcoholic. My wife and I give him a spot in our garage to stay. He was kicked out a month ago and a week later was at our door sober and agreeing to at least go to AA…..well he went to one meeting and now is back drinking he’s pay check away. I know for our own sanity in going to have to show him the door.
I found this site as I sit in my room praying for a miracle or an answer from God.
And then I saw your post…and I wanted you to know your not alone…but I feel that the miracle we all want has to come from within the person that has the addiction….we. Can’t make it ir force it to happen…we can just pray it does and do what we can to keep ourselves sane and safe.
It is agony to say the least…but I pray for his miracle and my strength to stay somewhat compassionate and strong…..its very hard for me…my Dad was killed by a drunk driver. And I spent a career in Law Enforcement trying to save as many as I could…..stay strong your not alone
VicOctober 12th, 2014 at 5:24 AM
What you just said is exactly what I would have wrote. 8 year rollercoaster and it hasn’t changed. I cannot have him back to our house anymore, he is almost 25, had a great job, his own place and just lost everything, his work van, cellphone and probably his apartment. He has relapsed and got a DUI this weekend. He cannot last 6 months to a year without an arrest and relapse, i am so sad and stressed and I cannot let this be my life anymore. It still really hurts though to turn my back and say no more.
He still has his life, i hope he does something to help himself.
MaureenOctober 19th, 2014 at 6:48 AM
Why don’t you and your husband go to Alanon to help yourselves, it’s not your boys that need help its yous. Those boys are doing what they choose to do, if I had parents like yous are would be a alcoholic, drug addict myself.
WendyOctober 19th, 2014 at 10:50 PM
It’s 1:30 in the morning and I can’t sleep. I have 2 sons addicted to opiates. One, 30 is in a suboxone program (which is working really well), the other who is 26 is on suboxone, but still doing other drugs. I am so tired of the drugs, lying, disrespect and the $ I’ve had to put out for one thing or another. I’ve kicked him out before and I thought he hit rock bottom…I guess he didn’t. I’ve lost a brother, nephew and sister all drug related. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life like this. I just don’t know how to kick him out this time. I moved from the south all the way to Ohio. He moved up here too and doesn’t know anyone. If I kick him out, I’m literally throwing him in the street. How does a mother do that? I just don’t know what to do. I used to go to support groups with family’s who are going thru similar things. I need to go back, I guess I’m angry…tired if spending my time getting help, because if his problem. Thanks for letting me vent. I’m a single mom who left their alcoholic father when they were little cause I thought if I got them out of that environment they’d have a chance, it didn’t work:(
RaniNovember 2nd, 2014 at 12:58 AM
I am so stressed and just felt the compulsion to write about my son. He is 22 years old, extremely intelligent and really hard working. However he has the strangest addiction and I don’t even know how to help him even though he has rung me up asking for help. He lives in Long Beach, California, and I live in another Country. He is addicted to wanting to drive when he has drunk. He is not an alcoholic or even even on drugs, finished his Masters in college at a young age and is now working in a good company. He very rarely drinks more than a beer, however he says whenevr he drinks he feels the compulsion to drive. . I don’t even know what sort of a group would be able to help him. I’m so terribly worried and feel so incredibly helpless.
AnonymousNovember 2nd, 2014 at 2:50 PM
I am trying to walk the middle road and stop enabling but also let our daughter know we love her. It is hard. I am feeling so sad, hurt and afraid after a visit with our 24 year old daughter yesterday. After an intervention last year in Oct., inpatient rehab for addiction to heroin, and sober living for 4 months – we were excited to once again see the daughter we knew. Connection, openness, accountability, and her desire to stay clean were such a blessing. Well, this road turned dark after she left sober living. We let her decide on job search and putting finding a place to live before work. She left sober living with a nice apartment, but no job. Fast forward through a few months of rejection from sincere job search and she slipped. She crashed her car (for the 3rd time) and thankfully, noone was hurt. However, she is now very resistant to therapy or treatment and is displaying the same behaviors – lying, secrecy, lack of follow through and isolation. It was so painful to see her yesterday. She is very thin and although she smiles and hugs us, there is almost a palpable wall around her. We stopped helping her financially in Oct. since she had not kept her word to our agreement to stay in IOP and find part time work. What kills me is that when she is in treatment and working on herself, she is the daughter we remember. Now, it’s hard to see her again. She is working retail sales (she is a college grad with incredible abilities sober) and living day to day. All the good skills and tools we had taught her like money management and healthy eating, exercise, balance are out the window. I feel so deeply sad and afraid. I realize that there is nothing I can do, and still, watching my child self destruct is so painful. Her best friend’s 23 year old sister died of overdose 2 weeks ago. I worry about getting that call. I am trying hard to take care of myself and find answers and hope. I’m always the hopeful one in our family. Now, I am struggling to keep hope and faith alive.
LarryNovember 3rd, 2014 at 10:16 AM
If your son has the intention to drink when he gets drunk, my advice would be to contact the California Highway Patrol and to speak with a supervisor.
It sounds as if your son may need to watch a few videos about drunk drivers and the destruction that they can cause.
He needs to see some of the videos that show people tgat have died, mangled bodies and if he loves children, maybe he should see a few that are still inside a car that were found dead that was caused by a drunk driver.
His intentions of driving drunk should be dealt with “Head On” just as what his mind is set on. I take this very personal, because I’ve lost a couple friends who died in a car accident from drunk drivers.
A Canadian momNovember 10th, 2014 at 10:46 AM
Reading your post is a mirror of the hell my husband and I have gone through over the past 7 years with our 19 year old borderline personality disorder daughter. She is on the verge of going to jail over an 80 dollar theft, addicted to cocaine and pot and no matter how much we try and help (we have exhausted virtually every option out there) she just continues on her self destructive path. She ended up moving out and we will not allow her home to sit around and do drugs all day long. We no longer allow ourselves to enable her in any way and have had to learn to live our lives again with a different kind of “normal” if there is even such a thing. We try to push the fear and uncertainty over our daughter out of our lives. Disconnecting while maintaing an armslength approach is the hardest thing we have ever done. It is a miracle our marriage has survived this. Your post really hit home with me. My heart breaks for you, the others on here and ourselves. There are no easy answers – only ways for us to cope without losing our sanity. I wish you the peacefulness in life. At some point I pray it comes for all of us.
Samara H.November 12th, 2014 at 6:39 AM
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McGinnisNovember 16th, 2014 at 8:19 PM
You have just spoke about us all! My heart bleeds for us all! I have 2 addicts a 25 year old son in prison now and a 30 year old daughter with a granddaughter in rehab as we speak! How can I commit to tuff Love? It’s been about 10 years now.I want to but my heart just can’t! My husband there stepfather just don’t get it, he has never had children of his own, we have grown so far apart , our marriage is on the verge of ending for he can not support me on anything I do, as well I can’t support him, so we’re does that leave us? I need some answers! It would be so much easier to leave and deal with it all on my own, I do anyway! At least then I wouldn’t be hurting him anymore! right, just myself? Any suggestions?
BillieNovember 18th, 2014 at 5:21 PM
I think Alanon is not for everyone. I tried it and found it joyless. I am also tired of the alkie shenanigans in my family.
DebNovember 19th, 2014 at 11:19 AM
I feel your pain…please let me know if you found any direction or received any advice..I feel so crippled.
RedeemedNovember 30th, 2014 at 5:41 AM
I’m so sorry this is happening to you and your family. Devastating!
There is always Hope!
I was in your position .. My don is in jail now.. Safe but locked away
Still lying to himself and others
But God is moving
Now i fear my middle son is an alcoholic at 28.! I hear pain
And I will pray like she’s mine.. If you don’t mind.
Father God I pray your hand touches this young lady who is lost searching and so lonely in this dark world. I pray she finds you and is rescued from the pit and restored in mind body and spirit to you and her family.
That those who Love You Abba father will cross her path and guide her to the healing relationship with YOU and her family of true repentance and forgiveness .. You are the great restorer of our soul and healer of our pasts.
Remove from her the desire for drugs and replace with a desire for seeking You and sharing your goodness with others.
We praise you and give you glory and honor for what you are doing in her life right now for the kingdom ( no matter how small it seems it will grow)
We ask a hedge of protection to be placed around her., keep her and others out of harms ways!
We thank you for being our comforter
We place her in your hands.. We know how much you love her. You gave your son over to death on a cross , his life for hers and mine!! Lord we ask you to pour out your Grace and Mercy in her life and her family. Remove the burden of guilt they suffer from.. Keep their eyes on you, give them a support system to lean on and go to when times are rough.
Give them the strength to carry on , in Jesus Holy Name we pray
Blessings to you and yours.. I understand
DeniseDecember 15th, 2014 at 3:05 PM
So glad I found this site. I have a 22 y.o. son who started smoking pot at the age of 13. He is very intelligent but dropped out of school in the 10th grade. About a year ago he started using crystal meth. My husband and I kicked him out of the house. After about a month on the streets he came back swearing he was clean. (His fiance and 2 children were living here also). I just found out yesterday that he is now using heroin. We asked him to leave and he refused. I talked to a police officer and he said there is not a legal way to force him to leave. His fiance now lives with her alcoholic parents and cannot move back here because cps is involved. I am at a loss as what to do. I have tried to talking to friends and family but they just dont understand. HELP please.
December 15th, 2014 at
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Spoken NotesJanuary 6th, 2015 at 11:05 PM
This is the story of a friend of mine who went through something similar vinovenitas.com/2014/06/13/secrets-unveiled/
siddaJanuary 10th, 2015 at 12:11 AM
There is a legal way to make him leave all you have to do is serve him with a 30 day eviction notice.
SandyJanuary 15th, 2015 at 4:02 PM
This site has been very helpful. Thank you everyone for sharing. My life has also been a roller coaster. When I have a good day, I really can’t enjoy it because I know something bad will be happening again soon. My 34 yr old son has been addicted to opioids for years. He did do methadone for several years, weaned off and I really did have my son back. Then he had a serious car accident, was hospitalized, and was given narcotics. He had been drinking, and with the stress of a trial and jail he went back on. Financially he has almost ruined us. He had been taking out payday loans and with the high interest (they really should be illegal) so we paid them off. Then we found out he had taken out charge cards with my husbands name and ss number and used the money for his drugs. Like other parents, you have to keep your valuables locked up. He has stolen from his girlfriend also. He is a sweet man, and we are trying methadone again. I am hopeful. I know I have read others notes that methadone did not help their children but it really did last time. It did take years though and it is another expense. I finally believe it is ok for me to be angry with him, he did this to himself. I am trying hard to BELIEVE I did not cause this. I gave him a good life, he made bad choices. Thanks for letting me ramble. I hope we someday will get back our sons and our daughters.
CatladyJanuary 20th, 2015 at 6:25 AM
What a beautiful prayer! I also recieve that prayer for my 30 year old son who has had a long standing addiction to drugs and alcohol. He is with a lady and they have a little boy almost two years.
He overdosed a few months back and ‘died’ in the hospital but God bought him back. No matter what happens I’m believing that God will free him. When He goes to work He means business and the bible does say that the fervent prayer of a righteous man ( or woman, my emphasis) is powerful and effective. Praise be to Him who does more than we ask or imagine!
CatladyJanuary 20th, 2015 at 6:30 AM
Thankyou cj, I really needed to hear that. Praise God and bless you!
CatladyJanuary 20th, 2015 at 6:59 AM
Of course there’s nothing wrong with loving your son and listening to him. That’s what a mother does like I have and praise God, although my 30 year old son has a challenge, what is impossible with man is possible with God. Like the book of Ecclesiastes says there is a time and a season for everything under Heaven. His word also says in Isaiah 40 that they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles. They shall run and not grow weary. They shall walk and not faint. He will never leave you nor forsake you. God bless.
TraceyJanuary 21st, 2015 at 5:59 AM
Hey John maybe you can help me with finding a program for my 28 year old heroin addicted son. He is clean at the moment but he and I both know he needs long term treatment. He has no insurance so finding a free program is impossible. Someone please help me !
KathyJanuary 28th, 2015 at 6:45 PM
wow i wondered where all of the parents go to talk about their adult kids addicted..its so hard because youcant talk to anybody about this as its overwhelming for others but we live the life… its a great support my son is 27 and admitted today to using speed. he also has disabilities asd.. glad i found this .. im trying to not enable him… although i still do his laundry…
deeFebruary 8th, 2015 at 7:46 AM
I am looking for advice my youngest son has been on drugs for 10 years. In and out of facilities. Juvenile jails treatment centers. Juvenile prison. Adult prison twice. He is now married 2 children she was on drugs after the 1st child. Children services involved now not. They have lived with me more on than not over the last 4 years. When he was under age I used to lock my bedroom door in fear he would stage things. Like my death. I know that sounds bizarre but that’s how I felt and feel now. He has staged my home being broke in. He’s done things over the years Un unimaginable. He got out of prison about 8 months ago back on drugs. Can’t hold a job. Tells his wife things are better. There not. She knows he’s had several girlfriends. Even moved in with one when I kicked him out. I only want the best for him. She left for the day with the kids. She found texts again. Another girlfriend. He slept on the bathroom floor last night. He says he’s only smoking pot. I feel and have felt something bad is going to happen. I wish there were meetings or groups of people who go or have been through similar situations
SusanApril 15th, 2015 at 5:05 PM
My 29 year old son is back on a downward spiral, my husband and I are exhausted, we have health issues of our own (not addictions). This is a horrible thing to say, but I’m just waiting for a Police Car to roll up to our door and tell me my son is dead. If the alcohol doesn’t kill him, something else will. Sometimes I think that is the only way my son will have any peace. He told me he can’t help it, that is all he wants to do is drink. There is nothing else we can do to help him, he has to do it on his own.
DoreenApril 18th, 2015 at 10:28 AM
I would suggest you go to Alanon…you could be enabling him without knowing it. My husband was an Alcoholic..I went to Alanon for ten years ( a lot of times because I loved to go) it brought me so much peace and serenity..Talking it out with people who understand, would help you so much! It was the best thing I have ever done in my life!
If I can help, please let me know! Good Luck!
SusanApril 18th, 2015 at 11:18 AM
Thanks Doreen for the kind words. Alcoholism isn’t new to me. My husband was a huge drinker for many years. He had not had a happy childhood and had been sent from one foster home to another and all the anger and hurt stayed with him for many years afterwards. He finally did stop drinking at about 40 years old and our marriage has been wonderful ever since (we are now 60). There are some happy endings as I have lived it. He comes from a long line of alcoholics and unfortunately, my son has inherited the bad gene. Thank God my husband had the strength one day to just say “that’s it”. My husband will have a couple of beer once in a blue moon now and that is it (he never has more than 3 light beer and maybe once every 6 months or so). Life is wonderful with him, now what to do with my son? My son is just a lost soul. Thanks for listening.
DeeApril 22nd, 2015 at 2:43 PM
I was just looking on the Internet for some resources to help me find out what I could do about my son who is addicted to marijauna and alcohol only God knows what else is being ingested into his body. He’s been going strong for the past 4 years. I’ve tried to get him to go to counseling with a physiologist for depression and at least some type of therapy. This is all new to me posting my personal business on any social media and I don’t know if it’ll helps at all. I pray every day and I send him prayers via text daily
SusanApril 22nd, 2015 at 5:05 PM
All we can do is pray for all of our loved ones that are in distress. Maybe the power of group prayer will help. My heart goes out to you and everyone else that is going through this. God Bless!
CelesteApril 22nd, 2015 at 10:47 PM
I am at my wit’s end. My 30 year old son is a vodka alcoholic. He has been to rehab 4 or 5 times, has had seizures when detoxing, was told the last time he was in ICU to detox that he will be dead in 5 years if he doesn’t stop drinking (that was a year ago- so I guess he has 4 years left) and he is so drunk right now that I can’t stand to see him. He is living in an apartment that my husband and I own, that we are paying utilities, and he is driving us to the point of insanity. He doesn’t believe in anything, refuses to get help until he is so sick he has to go to ICU. He needs to be locked away, but apparently slow suicide is not against the law. Where do I go? Who do I turn to? What do I do????
DeeApril 23rd, 2015 at 7:03 AM
Thanks Susan I appreciate your reply and I know there are a lot of people that have similar situation. Group prayer is awesome and the more we prayer together the stronger the force. I welcome all comments and support as I am struggling daily to not stress however hope is powerful and faith is within. I will never lose that and I’ll never give up on my son. He will be 26 in a couple of months and God will carry him through these trails and every day in JESUS name I pray. Amen
DeeApril 29th, 2015 at 10:42 AM
I haven’t had much conversation lately with my son because I am trying to not be an enabler. I want to show him that if he continues this behavior I refuse to interact with him. When I give him attention and allow him to manipulate me I feel so let down and weak. Of course I love my son with all my heart but I can’t allow him to control my life. The choices he has made were his choices and not my battle to fight. I’ve been sending him prayers daily of addiction release and of encouragement and faith. What ever is placed upon my heart whether it be a scripture from the bible or quotes of encouragement that is all I have to say.
I think he’s reading them and actually seeing that I will not support the beast within him that is trying to consume his life with drugs and alcohol. God is fighting your battles arranging things in your favor, and making a way even when you don’t see a way. It may not happen when you want it to happen but it will happen. Victory, Faith, Healing and Restoration is the mind set!
loisApril 30th, 2015 at 7:56 AM
It is very hard to deal with, if hes too out of control you can do a marchman act or baker act through the courts.You can do that at local court house,he probably needs in house treatment.My Son was able to do it but it was hard and my daughter also dont give up even if it makes him furious forcing the help on him at least you did everything possible.I got to the point I would not help them anymore.No money and no living with me I felt bad but I couldnt keep it going on God Bless your Son and family.
HollyApril 30th, 2015 at 9:32 AM
This has been very helpful, my cousin was caught with drugs last year and my aunt has been trying to figure out how to deal with him. So far nothing has worked, we are debating on sending him to a rehab facility. From what we have read, this seems like the only option we have left.
DeeApril 30th, 2015 at 3:19 PM
I have never heard of the marchman act. According to criminal defense attorney on line there is no such act in CA. But thanks for the info and your prayers.
lost and soul brokenMay 5th, 2015 at 9:33 PM
Thank you. I am currently in A battle with my sons addiction…he doesn’t think he has a problem but his demeanor and character has changed…I’m lost and confused how to be a parent to this 19 1/2 year old person. He works goes to school but…very distant form us and doesn’t interact anymore.
I’m scared for him.
deeMay 17th, 2015 at 6:34 PM
My 24 year old daughter is addicted to opiates, xanex, heroine and every post has the same characteristics of my daughter and unfortunately the same actions. I never want to let go because her and my grandson are my only family. It’s a sad unfair road for those of us who do everything right and love unconditionally and yet we are their ultimate victim. The fact there are no laws for parents of adult addicts to at least put them in a lock down facility as they are a danger to themselves and society blows my mind. If someone is incapable of controlling themselves we should have the right to do it for them. I truly belive addicts are incapable of getting themselves help on their own. At least if the law allowed us to lock them down in a mental facility for 3 to 6 months and clear their mind and get over the cravings they may change. At least they would have a chance. I will say my daughter recently relapsed after a year of sobriety, I asked her one night about 7 months into her recovery what I should do to help her if she ever relapsed. She herself told me…mom you let me loose everything, turn off my cell phone, give my baby to his dad, kick me out. If I don’t suffer I will never get clean. You protect me out of love but in this case you will love me to my death….I’m having trouble doing that at the moment but I am getting stronger and doing things differently. I just can’t get myself to put her on the street yet. Good luck to each and every one of you, stay strong.
SusanMay 17th, 2015 at 7:36 PM
My son was convicted last week with his second impaired. He got 45 days less time served (from when he was caught doing this and my husband and I would not bail him out). He ends up doing about 25 days. I’m hoping that is long enough for him to go through his withdrawals and at least have a week or two to think with a clear head. Did I mention the trial Judge lost his daughter to a drunk driver?? You would have thought he would have given him a bit more time. I have become much stronger over time and have learnt to say NO to him but it still hurts. We all have to stay as strong as we can in order to help our adult children addicts. If we don’t do it now it will be too late after all they are already adults.
LoriMay 26th, 2015 at 8:54 PM
I also have a 20 year old daughter who is addicted to drugs. She says she doesn’t have a problem. Her mind set was if she works and pays bills she’s okay… Well recently she has lost her job . And went to jail for a few days. She still says she has no problem. She just enjoys using.. This is so hard to deal with. Admitting you have a problem is the first step. And I don’t see that happening. I have never felt so useless in my life.. It’s like watching your child dieing from a disease slowly and there is nothing you can do to stop it!
kimMay 28th, 2015 at 3:10 PM
If my son who has a drinking problem live with me. Should I say no more drinking in my home and risk he will then go drink else where and who knows what else could happen or if I let him drink in house then at least I know where he is. What is the line I should draw
JudyJune 1st, 2015 at 8:31 AM
I am thrilled to find a site that helps me know that I am not alone. I am a Christian and do belive in prayer. Our son is in his 40’s and has been having troubles for years. I am sure I am a coenabler, even though I knwo better as a professional in health care. It is paralyzing to see him do well and then it all falls apart. He did drugs for some time; that it seems behind him for now; however, he started drinking. Now,it is trouble with parole. When does it ever stop. How on earth can I deal with it?
suesyxJune 2nd, 2015 at 3:00 AM
Be glad he works and goes to school.
PaulJune 3rd, 2015 at 3:15 AM
I think many of society suffer from all sorts of addictions. Some youth and adults are addicted to cigarettes or alcohol. Some to harder types of drugs or addictive behavior. Every single individual’s situation on planet earth is unique and yes we are all interwoven together in society, howbeit segregated into various sects and belief groups. Some literally are so far gone in there addiction that they remain alone, although their poison comforts them until they need their next fix and then they eventually die from their disease-
we all do really-in the end. So
how to deal with them when taking
advantage of you. Tough tough tough
love. I’m afraid, for me I’ve exhausted
all other resources. I sometimes blame
myself – like what did I do to cause them pain, and then as I’m addicted to sweets, I’ll make myself feel better w/donut and coffee. Remember the songs. “Smile on your brother now-reach out and touch one another now?”
“what the world needs now is love sweet love.”
We need to make a change in ourselves, so that our children do not find us to be phony. We need patience, love and understanding. We must give our children structure and loving discipline. The laws must allow the parents to have it enforced that if their child is using-they go into treatment.
SofiaJune 10th, 2015 at 2:06 PM
How is your son now??? I have the same situation and don’t know where to turn
DeeJune 10th, 2015 at 11:21 PM
My soon to be 26 years old son works and to just be glad he works is an under statement. He may make his own money but also to support his terrible habit. Sometimes being a functional addict is worse than non functional because you have the means to continue this life threatening disease. Tough love works to some degree but I could never turn my back on my child no matter how old he is. We as parents have a commitment to our loved ones to never leave them in dark times. I’m here for mine but will not support his negative decisions. They make the choice they will endure the consequences of their actions. Prayer is powerful and I do that daily.
cowhaulerJune 11th, 2015 at 4:06 PM
My advice. My son died in march. He had become a alchicafter a drug addiction. He left a hear broke 12 yr old boy without a dad. He is now life king with mom and the 12 yr old is using drugs. My advice tough love don’t enable kick him out take to rehab what’s et you needto do oor you WILL be me putting in the final hole and never saying I live you again
MichelleJune 17th, 2015 at 9:39 AM
It sounds like children are grown adults, everyone over 18? Well I say kick them out ! Why should we put up with them? I’m not . I tell my daughter come in take hot shower get cleaned up ,,eat something and relax for a bit ,,,,couple of hours then hit the road . Look for a job get out . It’s not my problem , if you don’t want to help your self
evelynJune 18th, 2015 at 8:35 AM
Hello everyone: I am in the same situation with one off my sons; (oldest one) ;his not a child or a teenager his an adult (39) I have tried everything in d book and some at no avail. Although he stop using drugs due too a mal formation in his brain (AVM) he continues drinking ; yes he holds a part time job: but it does not pay enough; my problem is he will do nothing too change his situation; his facing homelessness ; he will not ask for child support modification, will not look for a different kind of work for a while ( I suggested too him) he refuses authority ; when I ask how are u planning too correct things he will get offensive and ugly mad: its my fault, so and so faults. Never his fault : I get the heat from my other kids u enable him; u r always looking after him. No winning situation here.I just had one more confrontation with him, I just exploded I told him I have done everything too help you ; counseling, have help you monetary, been here too hold you when you have fallen, pray,0when you are happy and in return all I have gotten is resentment and ungratefulness: He just feeds off the bad things that happen too him.
Sweet chicJune 20th, 2015 at 8:39 AM
St. Jude’s retreat, there is no such thing as inherited gene. He learned to use he can learn to quit. It’s . true.. Good luck look up st. Judes retreat
MirandaJuly 2nd, 2015 at 6:21 AM
My son i s 19. I knew At age of 10 the odds of him becoming an addict were unfortunately Very likely. He was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 5. His father refused to believe anything was wrong with his boy but supported me during his treatment which included 20 mg. Of Adderall everyday. I hated that I gave him those meds. The guilt still plagues me to this very day. I for whatever reason decided after around 5th grade when his dosage had been increased quite significantly that I wanted to take just one of his pills to see what he felt like, as I myself have adult add, and I was beginning to notice he looked unhealthy gloomy… poisoned. By age 12 I asked him if he wanted to discontinue taking the meds because every morning was a huge fight to get him to take Them. He said let’s flush em. So we did exactly that. When it came time for another script I began taking them. I felt more normal than I’d ever felt in my life. So I basically started taking what I now refer to as meth in pill form. By 13 he stared smoking pot. I was not Condone this in any way as I said earlier, I knew deep down he had just as an addictive personality as I did. He continued and at 14 his father and I separated.when I look back it’s hard to think of someone smoking pot or treating it as though it was Crack cocain. He had to have it or he made everyone around him miserable. So i played the enabling role. By the time he was 16 he was smoking meth on a regular basis… I didn’t notice because he was affected by it just the same as the meds…stimulants. I always knew he was up to something. About a year ago he admitted to trying it. A month ago i found out he’s been smoking black tar heroin. My nightmare finally came true. Meth was bad enough but now heroin? He told me recently that he could get dope easier than he can find pot. It’s alaska. It’s legal! He decided that because he was going to live with his best friend since 5th grade. But this never follows through with anything so I really didn’t think this could be a reality and he was going to move away not that I wasn’t ready for him to go because he’s caused so much anguish and the week before he left he confessed to me that he had been using black tar heroin every day for two straight months ask him if he was aware this he would within the next 24 hours he’s very sick 24 hours past and he was absolutely unbearable to be around his mood swings keeping his sister who is 15 and myself in tears on a daily basis I just seek out someone who had access to suboxone to treat him 3 days before put him on a plane to Mexico he has regret he knows that I always preach to him with a monster destroyed could be two friends to overdose since the kids knew and they watched me more than this I pray for this boy every day but it’s God’s will I hope that he stays clean well down therebut from this point forward his addiction is his own I can no longer on it blame myself for it or enable it I love him with all my heart other do still have one other child to Finish raising. I’ve only got three more years left with her she’s a good kid he’s got good grades the two of them are polar opposites my husband and I after step down often disagree on simple unconditional love although I know enabling is one thing is unconditional love is something at apparent house for a child but apparent must earn it I love him but his refusal to understand or accept my unconditional love Is very much a guaranteed argumentfor the last 4 years has come and gone as he’s pleased he quit school in 10th grade still has not obtained a GED or highschool diplomamy struggle right now is simply letting go he’s wonderful after Mulan his addiction his behavioural difficulties of cost creature s jumped off and oppression and even stress on my marriage and the relationship with my daughter
MirandaJuly 2nd, 2015 at 6:28 AM
Sorry auto correct made that a Lil Confusing. All in all he’s made it to new mexico and is happy. Been clean 1 week today.
Doting mumJuly 7th, 2015 at 12:30 AM
My friends. Your experiences are all mine n shared. First step in helping u n your siblings is by realising u r powerless!! Very very important. U still want t control n fix like what I did. Turn to 12 step recovery. U are sick too and need help. So much to learn start there. N tough love! Ditch the emotion. There are no guarantees so u must accept the situation and learn to live your life for u n the rest if your family. U matter n u r valuable xx
TinaJuly 8th, 2015 at 9:39 AM
I know exactly how you feel. You have described my 20 year old daughter to a tee. After reading several posts I now know I’m not the only parent out there dealing with this. Tough love is the only thing we have come up with to do. I am so scared this is only pushing her closer to the druggy friends of hers. 😢 I hope and pray for both our daughters to snap out of this reckless behavior. God bless
DeeJuly 8th, 2015 at 8:59 PM
He has now turned 26 and has confessed to trying other drugs than marijuana. Snorting cocaine and crystal meth. I feared that he would go beyond the alcohol and marijuana. The mood swings and the anger and short temper has gotten worse. But he seems to think he’s in control. He’s still working but doesn’t have much of anything to show for the last two months of employment. He was saving a nice little stash but has depleted that. I’m at my wits end and really want to let it go but it’s hard. I’m stressed tired and just down right sick of carrying this burden. I’m praying day and night that he wakes up and listens to his common sense and sees all the harm he’s doing to himself and his family. All prayers of strength and wisdom and destruction of addition are welcome. Sad situation
TotallyheartbrokenandindispareJuly 15th, 2015 at 2:18 PM
So happy to find this site. Our home was raided by just about every government agency around one sunny and particularly beautiful day in April. Our drug addicted 23 year old Son and I were the only family members at home besides our two geriatric dogs. They stayed for almost 8 hours, and went through every square inch of our home including the attic and crawl space, add yes even the garbage. I can’t say what they found, but I can say that I now have severe PTSD and other emotional amd physical problems due to this raid. Do I blame our Son, absolutely! BUT I am terrified that he will die. I have been since this nightmare started 4 plus years ago. Now, 4 top notch rehabs and countless trips to er’s and detox facilities later, he is most likely headed to prison.
We lost or at the very least had to postpone our plans to move part time to a warmer location due to a chronic health condition that I was born with. We no longer have normal conversations with our Daughter or any other family member. Visitors ? Neighbors? No and no. As one poster said; no one wants to visit an addict’s home or the parents of an addict and no one wants to have visitors who are to their home. Our neighbors now turn their heads or leave nasty notes in our mailbox. We live in an upscale nice and established neighborhood. It is clear that we aren’t wanted anymore, and quite honestly, I so wish we could move ASAP. With indictments and other associated things coming up we can’t afford to, and we need a ” home base” so to speak. Our son is remorseful and has again gone to detox but still refuses even after this to get completely clean. He is relying on his sub doc. He is 6’2″ tall and now weighs 124lbs, and he is malnourished. After the raid he proceeded to go ahead with his plans to move, mainly because we just couldn’t have him at our house any longer. He is alone wih strict orders not to talk to friends, in a city far away, with no money and no car..they took his car along with other things. Thank God they didnt take the house. They found nothing as far as I know, but then I don’t really want to know. my husband and I have worked for 30 years to save and build for retirement. A good chunk of it is gone due to his addiction. Yes, I love him unconditionally, but I’m beginning to wonder what exactly that means. We are still supporting him because of prior commitments; ie lease already co signed etc, but it will end when he goes to prison. Then it’s a completely new set of embarrassments. The press, the neighbors, etc… Small southern town + gossip = alot of heartache. When does it end? He spent over one year living in a homeless camp leaving us to cry and anguish every day wondering if he was alive or dead. When he was found he was almost dead. The docs said only a slim chance of him making it. He did, and he got clean again. That was one year ago. Now, here we are again. I welcome replies, but please no bashing. We have taken every approach known to us. I can’t cut him out of my heart.
Deanne BrunoldJuly 17th, 2015 at 12:03 PM
First and foremost I suggest that you attend a Naranon meeting. It is a meeting for family and friends of those addicted loved ones. Please try this!
1. Remember you didn’t cause it and you can’t cure it or change it.
2. Addiction is a disease of the attitudes .
3. Getting on with your life and taking care of your needs will set the example for your son of what he should do for himself.
4. Pray to God for the strength encourage to follow through on these three items .
We are going through this with our 20 year old adopted son who’s at the beginning of the addiction.
We are going through this with our 20 year old adopted son who’s at the beginning of the addiction. Pot and alcohol and who knows!
My daughter at 45 is a clean 19 years from heroin addiction.
We have felt sorry for our sons early neglected life with his heroin addicted mother. After 10 years of our daughters addiction, we decided to HELP another so we did foster care. The mother died of an Overdose and we adopted him. I am 71, my husband is recovering cancer patient, I am Soooooo over it with addiction. Save your self, your marriage and let your son have this OPPORTUNITY to experience the consequences of HIS CHOICES. Life is too short. May God bless you all.
DeeJuly 21st, 2015 at 8:40 PM
Now the addition has compounded with this female he has been seeing which is a broken young lady herself. He claims he’s in love but all they do is argue. It sickens me to hear him profess his feelings to her and knowing that she has no clue how to love and appreciate anything good in her life. She drinks and smokes marijuana and cigarettes. She also has a four year old son. She has hurt my son so much playing games with his heart and also going between her sons father and lying to the both of them. I pray to God he wakes up and realizes that she is no good for him. I don’t feel a good positive spirit from her at all. He’s so screwed up in the head behind this girl and his substance abuse that he is no longer working right now. He has stressed out his grandmother and myself and I have to get him some help. He has to want to help himself before anyone else can. He talks a good one and he’s cunning and manipulative with his words. My son needs to face his demons and stop playing. He needs deliverance from many things and it’s not only drugs and alcohol. God help us!!! I’m continuing to pray and will never lose faith
TotallyheartbrokenandondispareJuly 22nd, 2015 at 1:00 PM
Thank you Dee for your replies. I really appreciate your thoughts and advice. Alcohol and cigaretts are terribly addictive amd can ruin lives and break families apart. I realize this, but I do feel like its a completely different experience when dealing with someone who has “graduated” to or just chose opiiates and heroin as their drug of choice. My feelings are that marajuana can and is a gateway drug for some who have addictive tendencies and/or genetic traits which are addictive.
With that said, I appreciate your situation and wish only the best for you and our family. Our son is in his first serious relationship, and I don’t understand it, but she is sticking with him even with the threat of jail time looming over him. Thank goodness there are no kids involved. Re: narc anon, I have been to too many meetings to count. Narc anon, al anon, and aa to name just a few . I cannot go to meetings at this time due to this being such a small community, and the fact that there were some that I recognized at my home that day in April whom I saw frequently at these same meetings. When one has the amount of firepower and sheer representation of so many government agencies at your home for so long, and now knows ALL of your personal thoughts, feelings, ad inner most secrets, it becomes difficult at best, impossible at worst to walk among the community again. Anonymity is the cornerstone of any 12 step program, yet in so many meetings across this country that very anonymity is broken on a daily basis. People who attend these meetings are not therapists and therefore not qualified to make some of the life changing and altering decisions that they do. Nor are they qualified to give some of the advice that they do routinely. The premise of these programs is to share your experience strength and hope with others who may benedit from hearing your sorry. Tis seems to have gone astray now days.
Addicts and families of addicts need to feel comfortable someday taking openly and honestly about their addiction or loved one’s addiction in general in order for more widespread healing and sobriety to occur. As I said…I think in my first post: ” There are no bake sales, billboards, news reports, except for reporting on crime as a result of the addiction and mug shots, etc, visits at the hospital when a problem arises due to addiction, visitors in general, calls from clergy or other community leaders, etc”. This is a disease of isolation, loneliness, ignorance, and riddled with hypocrisy. When someone succumbs to this disease, there are no obits that say: ” Johnny fought a valiant battle for which he lost today”. Most just say Johnny died suddenly.
I pray every night that the stigma continues to chip away, and that the citizens of this country try not to judge too harshly but rather have compassion and educate themselves about this horrible disease.
Thanks again for your reply. Many Blessings
BethJuly 24th, 2015 at 3:37 PM
My 44 alcoholic son has been in at least 5 treatment centers. He holds a job for a few months and the drinking takes over. He was put in jail for stealing, and I hired a lawyer to get him out because of his promise to remain sober. The lawyer suggested that my son stay in an in house sober living program for a year. Unfortunately, I did not listen to the lawyer. He has lived with me on and off. I finally gave him more money to move out, because he is constantly stealing from me. Now, I am so worried that something will happen to him. I am also trying to take care of my mother who has dementia. My husband just died 4 months ago after a long illness. He was in an out of 7 hospitals over the last 2 years. The stress is so overwhelming. I have rescued my son for over 25 years. This is the first time that I have told him I will no longer help him. He has put a mental and monetary drain on me. When he is free of alcohol, he can be very caring. I feel hopeless. Any comments would be helpful. P.S. His dad was an alcoholic.
TotallyheartbrokenandindispairJuly 25th, 2015 at 8:45 AM
I am so sorry Beth for all the you are going through. It’s so easy for others to say that things will get better, but not so easy for us to realy believe that and be proactive in that process. I know intellectually that over time, things will get better. In my heart, I am broken, have lost even more trust; not that there was much to lose left, and the thought of our Son in prison is excruciatingly painful, but I see a tiny bit of hope that he will persevere. This has made myself, my husband of 30 years, and our 24 year old daughter physically sick and emotionally drained. One doesn’t get married and have a famiy and say to each other: ” I hope our Son grows up to be a heroin addict, and I hope our home is raided causing unbelievable problems from which we will never fully recover”. As well as I remember we said things like :” How will we handle college ?, what sports will he play?, wonder how in the world we will handle the teen years and girls?.” these questions never came up in actuality. Instead, calls were made and came in to see our Son before he passed on, there would be no college, and sports went by the wayside when drugs entered the picture in late high school. He got his GED somehow. I have no idea how he passed to this day.
I hope that your Son reaches his bottom and reaches out for help soon, and i pray that he doesn’t graduate to the harder stuff. Not to demean alcoholism . It’s horrible and it kills. If you are able to get to a support group… ANY support group, run don’t walk, run! They say the addict eventually kills families. I never beleleved this, until that day in April from which I will never be the same. I spent all night last night at the er with my husband who is obviously being physically affected by this. It was not serious, but it got my attention. They can and DO drag us down with them. Not because they don’t love us, but because they are addicts. Until they reach out of their own accord, and have the willingness to do whatever it takes, we are just pawns in their games to continue being active in their addictions. many Blessings to you and so sorry again for the loss of your husband.
StaceyJuly 28th, 2015 at 12:35 AM
I have a 21 year old daughter that is a heroin addict for 4 and a half years. I don’t have the money to get her into a good rehabilitation center long term she doesn’t know what it’s like to be normal anymore and I can’t live her nightmare any longer. Am the only family member that has anything to do with her.i love her but I don’t have it in me anymore to watch my beautiful daughter that is smart creative and cares for people and animals. Am not asking for a hand out but am afraid she will end up in prison or dead if she doesn’t get proper help. Can someone please help us. If you have ever had addiction or loved someone else with a addiction you know how I am feeling. No insurance I can’t afford a dual treatment center for her because she needs both. All I want is for her to be happy and healthy and be productive individual in society. I would do anything for holidays with both of my children like before. This has effective our lives. It’s horrible to watch you daughter killing herself. Please someone help us.
The GoodTherapy.org TeamJuly 28th, 2015 at 9:56 AM
Thank you for your comment. It may be helpful to contact a therapist (or several), if only for a referral to a treatment center that could work for your daughter and your situation. Some therapists do work on a sliding scale to meet your income level and/or do a free initial consultation. You can look for a therapist in your area by searching the GoodTherapy.org directory here: http://www.goodtherapy.org/find-therapist.html
Wishing you and your daughter the very best ♥
The GoodTherapy.org Team
TotallyheartbrokenandindispairJuly 28th, 2015 at 10:27 AM
Hi Stacy, I hope your Daughter gets the help that she needs. In addition to therapists that do sometimes work on a sliding scale, there are other resources out there for her. She must be willing to get the help. We were once told by someone in recovery that our Son just needed to be willing to be willing if that makes any sense. To me it meant that if he just had a tad bit left that was willing to entertain the thought of recovery, there was hope. Sometimes it takes multiple times for ESP a heroin addict to get clean and stay clean. It doesn’t matter if family can afford top notch expensive rehabs or must rely on other more affordable and/or “free” resources. The addict must come to the point of finally reaching out for themselves. It’s a very selfish disease. I am not an expert, but I am the mother of a heroin addict, so I know exactly one you feel. It’s so hard to hold on to that little glimmer of hope instead of thinking the worst once this level of addiction and drug of choice is abused/used.
Our Son is most likely headed to prison. We are fairly well off, and we have the resources to help him. With that said, we HAVE helped him almost to the point of losing all that we have worked so hard to save for 30 years. Now, it’s up to him to reach out to the resources available to him which don’t cost anything. 12 step groups are everywhere, as well as various non profits. They do work if the addict is willing. Sometimes the best thing we can do for our children is to let go. It’s so painful, but it may just be what saves their lives. We can’t control the addiction, but we can control our lives and how it impacts us. After over four years, countless rehabs and detox efforts, complete anguish every time the phone or door bell ring, and a raid on our home, we have finally realized that we were exasperating the problem. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.
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