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Discussion in 'Helping an Addicted Child' started by coral, Aug 11, 2015.

  1. coral

    coral Member

    Hi I'm new to this forum. I have a son who is a heroin addict. Some days are good and some are bad. Nice to know there are others who can relate to what is going on in my life. Thanks for the add
    deanokat, hoverman and Rainman like this.
  2. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    Sorry to hear about your son's addiction.

    But you've come to the right place. Here you'll find people who've faced similar challenges. People who can offer practical advice which you'll find useful.

    Welcome to the forum, @coral. We are here to help each other.
    coral likes this.
  3. coral

    coral Member

    Thank you. I appreciate it.
    Rainman likes this.
  4. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    @coral... My 25-year-old son started using drugs when he was 15. He eventually ended up addicted to heroin, but finally got clean three years ago. I don't know how old your son is, or what his background is, but if there's any way I can help you out, please let me know. My wife and I went through 7 years or so of hell with our son, so I can probably relate to anything you're going through now. Feel free to reach out to me, either via a comment here or through a private message.

    Keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. Welcome to the forum and thanks for sharing.

  5. Winterybella

    Winterybella Community Champion

    Welcome Coral. To say I know what you are going through, I would be lying as I don't know what it is like to have a son addicted to heroin. That said, I believe there are others here who can identify with you and provide you with practical advice going forward.

    I am happy you have joined us. One parent to the other, continue to do the best you can for your son. Change can come and I am hopeful that soon there will be much more good days than bad.
  6. harold

    harold Community Champion

    Welcome. I can understand what you are going through. It must be very difficult for you. The only solution for your son is that he needs to seek help. He needs to accept that he needs help and genuinely seek it. Let him know the negative effects of the addiction on his life. Point out the bad moments of the addiction to him. Let him know the negative effects of the addiction on his life, on your life and on your entire family. Let him know that your desire is not to control him, but to help him. Do not shout down on him. Talk softly and use strong words. I believe that if you do, even if he does not express it, he will think carefully over your words. I just hope he decides to seek help. That is the best solution for him. This most be very difficult for you, but you have to be strong, bold and wise. I wish you the best on this.
  7. hoverman

    hoverman Active Contributor

    Welcome Coral! Sorry to hear that your son is struggling through an addiction, and undoubtedly I imagine there's a huge effect on not only himself, but those around him too.

    I'd encourage him to attempt to identify something as a motivation for him to aim, and beat, his addiction - and unfortunately as hard as it might be, the decision to change can really only come from within himself. Nevertheless, we are all here to try and help support you as you help, guide and support him until he makes that journey back to freedom from dependence. You have our thoughts and we're behind you 100%!!
  8. MrsJones

    MrsJones Community Listener Community Listener

    Hi @coral. I love it when new members join this forum! You can see already the abundance of support has already begun. Welcome and I look forward to hearing more about your journey.
  9. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    @coral... I hope you're doing alright. We are here for you!
  10. addictsmom

    addictsmom Member

    Hi all, I am a new member as well and desperately seeking guidance. My adult son lives with me...long story...he went to rehab for alcohol and heroin addiction, did really well. Came home and did really well for a while...he has now relapsed and I don't know what I can do to help him. I'm not nagging at him, not begging him to stop, but rather trying to make positive statements about past success such as you seemed to do so well when you attended daily meetings, etc. I am not giving him money, etc. I am so worn down right now and feel so fragile as far as my own state of takes nothing for me to get overwhelmed and cry... I just don't know how to proceed from other two kids are super critical about the whole situation and that just makes me feel worse...where do I go from here
  11. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    @addictsmom... If you don't mind me asking, how old is your son?

    Without knowing the specifics about your situation, one thing I notice is that your son went to rehab and then came home. With my son, who was addicted to heroin, I found that coming home right after rehab was a bad thing for him. It put him back in familiar surroundings and he soon fell back into bad habits. What worked for him was going to residential treatment and then moving into a sober living house immediately afterwards. The sober living house allowed him to better transition from rehab to "normal society." The structure, responsibility, and community that comes with sober living are the keys, in my opinion. My son spent a total of 15 months in sober living after his last rehab stay. I believe it was one of the biggest factors in his staying clean.

    It's good that you're giving your son some positive reinforcement and not giving him money. But maybe setting some boundaries for him would be the best thing. Given that he's an adult who is living with you in your home, you have every right to tell him he can't use drugs if he wants to continue living with you. If it's your house, you hold all the cards. Although it may be difficult to do, telling him that he has to quit using--either on his own or via treatment--or move out of your house is an option open to you. My wife and I struggled with doing this with our own son, but when we finally did, things started to change for the better...for all of us.

    You have to remember that YOU are the most important person in your life. You deserve to live a happy, enjoyable life and not be overwhelmed by what's going on with your son. Your happiness shouldn't be dependent on how your son's addiction is going. So I would suggest you stop enabling--which you are doing by allowing your son to live with you while he's actively using drugs--and start practicing self-care. There's an old saying that's frequently used in conjunction with addiction: If nothing changes, nothing changes. From my own experience, I can tell you that your son probably has no desire to change because he's got it made. A free place to stay (assuming he's not paying rent), and he's able to keep using drugs. Why would he want to change?

    I'm sorry if anything I've said sounds harsh. That's not my intent. But my wife and I struggled in a similar situation for several years before we finally decided to start living OUR lives...and not our son's. We had become addicted to his addiction, and it was ruining us. And that just wasn't fair.

    Feel free to reach out to me, either via the forums or through a direct message. I'm a parent who has been in your shoes, and found my way back to sanity. You can do it, too, if you're willing to do what you have to.

    Sending you peace and hugs. Thanks for sharing with us.
  12. addictsmom

    addictsmom Member

  13. addictsmom

    addictsmom Member

    Hi deanokat, I appreciate the response. My son is 37... he has been on his own since he has been around 17. He just moved in with me about 2 years ago. He was a successful home builder with married had two step children and two children of his own moved across country to be closer to family just when the home building market crashed. Could not find work here and things started to slowly go downhill. His Wife was very demanding and not supportive his ego took a bad hit he started drinking and using and her cousin came out and introduced him to shooting up heroin. When she caught him she left town took the kids 12 hours away and moved in with another man. He dove further into drug abuse and drinking, became suicidal, depressed and no Will to live. He was unable to hold a job, had no money to see his children and did not see them for over a year. He is still deeply in love with his wife, she has no use for him, has lived with at least two different men and in the meantime the children are being dragged through the middle of her trying to find a man. My son is her third marriage, first for him. They are still married. He is so overwhelmed with all of it. His father and I are divorced then his father died unexpectedly this January. There is a history of mental and some physical abuse toward him from his father. This all sounds so terrible written out. My sister and mother died in April, within two weeks of each other....My son was close to all of them. I have told him his sobriety is his choice, not mine but if he chose to remain using he was no longer welcome to live in my home. If he chooses to be sober he is welcome until he can get on his feet. The problem is when you see them making that choice, how do you make them leave....that is the part that is wrenching my heart right now....I have set my limits, he has made his choice and now how do I get the courage to do what I know I have to do???? I'm grieving the loss of my mother and sister, and trying to deal with all of the pain I see my son going through and just don't know if I can bear losing him to the streets which is where he will be if I kick him out. I'm suffering so much already right now....
  14. LindaSuzanne

    LindaSuzanne Active Contributor

    I have just joined this forum and also have a son who is a heroin addict. Isn't it nice to find a place where people understand your pain and what you are talking about? Living with an addict is very hard indeed because it doesn't just affect him but the whole family. I could write a book about what he has put us through over the years but people with ordinary lives don't really understand. They take you to hell and back.
  15. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener


    Getting to the point where you have the strength to tell your son to leave is not easy. In fact, my wife and I didn't think we could ever do it. But things got so bad with our son that the entire family was falling apart. Me, my wife, and our younger son were all being consumed by our older son's addiction. It was madness, and it just couldn't go on. We were letting something we had no control over control us. And making the decision to give our son an ultimatum--and sticking to it--was the best decision we ever made.

    I can't tell you how to get to that point. I think you just have to arrive there on your own and realize that it's time. I will say this again, though: If nothing changes, nothing changes. So if you are unhappy with how things are in your life, maybe some change is in order.

    More peace and hugs coming your way.
  16. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    Welcome to the forum, @LindaSuzanne. I'm so glad you found us!

    Addiction is definitely a family disease. A family member's addiction is like the stone thrown into a pond, and the ripples that it causes touch everyone connected to that loved one. That's why everyone in the family--not just the addict--needs to work on their own recovery.

    Peace and hugs to you. I hope you find the forum helpful.
    LindaSuzanne likes this.
  17. SarahWorksAtHome

    SarahWorksAtHome Community Champion

    Welcome to the community!
    I saw what my addictions and problems did to my family and it helped me to stop but some addicts cannot see it.
    I hope you find the support you need here. I'm sure you will, it's a great place here.
    deanokat likes this.