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How do I help my son

Discussion in 'Share Your Story Here' started by Peachtree, May 22, 2017.

  1. Peachtree

    Peachtree Member

    Hello, I am a mother of a 32-year-old who not so long ago, like within the last year, turned to heroin because it was cheaper than the drugs he had been using recreationally on the weekend. He has been smoking Roxies for years here and there and was able to keep it to a weekend thing. Almost immediately after trying heroin he began to escalate. Friday turned to Friday and Saturday. Then Friday thru Sunday and Making it through the work week on Suboxone. within months he has gone from weekend recreational usage to full-blown heroin addiction. He is still employed by his father who is aware of what is going on, so if he loses his job it will most likely because he chooses brown over work. Right now he makes $700-800 a week and gets paid on Fridays, has hardly any bills and after a few minor necessities, he can barely afford a cup of coffee on Monday. I have tried to help when he says he's done, tried to encourage him and we have had the inevitable arguments that are inevitable in this situation. I am looking for advice on how to handle the situation without making it worse. He moved in with me so he didn't have to pay rent where he was before. Ideas?
  2. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    @Peachtree... Welcome to the community and thanks for sharing your story with us. I'm sorry to hear about your son's heroin addiction. As the father of a son who battled heroin in the past, I can totally relate to your circumstances.

    I hope you don't get mad at me for saying this, but the reality is that by letting your son move in with you so he doesn't have to pay rent, you are enabling him. You are making it easier for him to continue his heroin addiction. Not having to pay rent gives him more money to spend on heroin. So even though you may have thought you'd be helping him by letting him live with you, you're actually hurting him. Anything that makes it easier for an addict to continue using drugs is enabling.

    At 32 years of age, your son is plenty old enough to be on his own. I know he's struggled in the past because of his addiction, but as parents we have to allow our kids to experience the natural consequences of their actions. If he spends all his $$ on drugs and doesn't have enough to pay his rent, that's his problem; not yours. To be honest, in his mind your son probably has it made: He's working for his father, who knows about the heroin addiction but still keeps him employed; and he's living with you, so he doesn't have to pay rent (and, I'm guessing, probably doesn't have to buy food, pay utilities, etc.). It's the perfect situation for an addict! And because he's so comfortable, the likelihood that he decides to quit using heroin is very low. Why would he want to change?? He's got everything he wants!

    I know it's hard to hear that, but it's the truth. My son lived with us and used heroin and other drugs. He was younger than your son, but my wife and I finally decided that we'd had enough. We told him he had to go to treatment or leave our home. It was an incredibly difficult decision, because we knew the end result could be tragic. But we were suffering because of our son's behavior and decided that our lives mattered, too. After leaving our home for a few days, our son finally agreed to go to treatment. That's what finally got him on the right path. If we hadn't given him that ultimatum, who knows where we would be right now.

    There's a fabulous book out there called Beyond Addiction: How Science and Kindness Help People Change. It's written specifically for parents and partners of addicts and it's full of incredibly helpful information. I highly recommend that you get the book and read it as soon as possible. I think it will help you immensely.

    Al-Anon and Nar-Anon teach us this about our loved one's addiction: We didn't cause it, we can't control it, and we can't cure it. As parents, we want so much to "fix" our children. But the reality is...we can't. They are the only ones who can decide to change their lives. It doesn't matter how much we want them to stop using drugs. They have to be the ones to take the steps necessary to find recovery.

    My heart goes out to you, my friend. I know what it's like to be in your shoes. My wife and I enabled our son for a long time. But it wasn't until we decided to stop enabling him that things started to change for the better. For everyone.

    We're here to help and support you however we can. It would probably be a good idea for you to seek out a Nar-Anon or Al-Anon meeting in your area, too. Attending those meetings can be very helpful and comforting. There's something about being around a bunch of people who know exactly what you're going through and feeling that makes you feel not so alone.

    I'm sending you lots of positive energy, love, and hope.
  3. beloved

    beloved Member

    I am so sorry to hear about your son,I went to a na meetings that I could I'd like you to know my heart goes out to you I finally am getting education to learn to help my son thank you for your story I feel bad for you and so grateful your post
    Peachtree and deanokat like this.
  4. Peachtree

    Peachtree Member

    Ya, my son is wearing himself thin. I have tried to help and everything I do seems to be another way for him to screw me over. He makes sure he is on the up and up with the dealer tho. I told him tonight, if he so much as looks at me wrong while he is eating my food and living in my house, he is out the door and I don't care where he goes. I am not like that, so for me to get that angry, there's a big problem. If anyone in my life would have used me and my assets like this, they would have been gone lickity split!
  5. craig22

    craig22 Member

    Beyond Addiction is the most incredible book for people dealing with a loved one battling addiction.

    I have it as an audiobook. Every night me, my wife AND my son listen for about 20 minutes and then spend another 20 minutes or so discussing what we heard and how it applies to our situation.

    Get this book!
    deanokat likes this.
  6. Hi there I am a 38 year old male from England I have been a heroin user from the age of 13 and just like your son I have drove my mother up the wall sorry to say that is an understatement I have put her through fiery hell it sounds like your son lives a quite content life exactly like I did because in the heroin world ignorance is Bliss heroin is the most selfish drug of them all it can turn the most generous polite and pleasant into the most ignorant selfish and self centred creature on the planet it's like being possessed by a demon I am the youngest of three my mother is 75 and my dad 79 how they have not got divorced is a miracle I lost my older brother to cocaine addiction in 1999 he took his own life after my mum got him sectioned under the Mental Health Act he broke out of the hospital and he jumped off a motorway Bridge into oncoming traffic my mum and my sister had to witness this truly awful time in all our lives you think something like that would make you think and stop taking drugs seek help no heroin doesn't work that way heroin loves tragedy it feeds on it heroin is designed to mask all kinds of pain physical and mental this is why the user is petrified to start detox because of the torrent of emotions that you experience and the guilt is overwhelmingly complex and extremely hard to explain to an non-user in personal experience this is why I became reclusive shy and retiring .anyway back to your son it sounds like your son has built a lot of walls around himself this is why you are probably finding it harder and harder to get through to him sorry to put it to you Blunt but you are not his first concern right now neither is anything he smoking it or injecting ? The first thing I would put to him is he ready in hisself to stop using because the more comfortable he makes his bubble the further he will go it is only when things start to get very very uncomfortable i e health relationships money hygiene harder to obtain the drug that is when his conscience will reappear but all said and done he has to come to you and ask .because he's not hit rock bottom yet but he will and that is when you have a chance to pull that horrible thing out of him.start bye administering tough love the best of luck to you you are in my prayers god bless
    deanokat likes this.
  7. Peachtree

    Peachtree Member

    Thank you for your insight from the other side of the issue. I know I cannot do this for him. He says often on Friday's or Saturdays, after he has no money left that he is done. I know that it's not true but I always offer love and support. This week when he came to try and get money out of me, I did not bend. He failed to pay me back everything he borrowed that week when he got paid for the hundereth time and I have just had enough. We had an arguement and he is now not coming home. I am scared of what will happen if he doesnt' come home and I am scared of what I will have to continue to endure if he does. This really sucks. I have found an online Narc Anon meeting and hopefully I will learn how not to feel guilty for not putting my finances in jeopardy for his drug habit. That saounds really sad huh? Jee whiz.