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Heroin
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WELCOME TO THE ADDICTION: LIVING WITH AN ADDICT COMMUNITY. This patient support community is for family members and loved ones of people who are substance abuse addicts. Discussions cover how to help your loved one, enabling, coping with the emotional impact of addiction, intervention, and when to seek medical help. If you are not a family member of a substance abuse addict and instead need help with your addiction, please visit our Addiction: Substance Abuse Community to get the support you need.

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Heroin

What can we do for this problem.  As a father of a son addicted to heroin, how do we combat the problem.  Unfortunately, not enough is being done today because the addicts usually have one relapse after another.  Being clean brings new hope to the parents and families but it seems to be a very temporary ordeal.  Soon, they'll be lying, cheating, stealing, you name it.  All these programs and rehabilitation centers are just money makers for ex-addicts that have found another way to milk the loving arms of parents and families.  Like if you didn't do enough as an addict to your own families now you need to infiltrate the lives of others.  They don't truly care about your child - it's all a business.  My son didn't have insurance and he was too old to be covered under mine.  So, everything came from my pocket.  It's disgusting to see how little care is given to a person who is addicted.  I've come to believe these programs, 12 step and any others are all a crock for heroin.  This has not worked for MOST!  Proof is when you go through continued recovery programs, AA programs you name it, you'll find people who've been battling this for many many years and continually relapsing.  Very few have what is deemed total recovery.  Why?  This is a business only it the harshest most inhumane business there is.  Giving false hope to families in exchange for money is not considered on the up and up to me.  Listen, I failed my child (obviously) and no-one can make me feel any worse and no-one can convince me any different.  I'm the father and I was negligent at some point to notice what was taking place.  You can put lipstick on a pig but it's still a pig.  I'll carry this guilt to my grave and I live with that pain daily.  Just don't milk me out of every dime I have with promises of success when all you really care about is the initials or signature on the dotted line.  You end up putting families in similar positions as the afflicted individual because the can no longer afford to pay attention.  What is the answer.  Please advise..          
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271792_tn?1334983257
You are very much generalizing here and knocking the very places and fellowships that saved my life.

The treatment centers, therapists and members at the fellowships of NA and AA can make suggestions and give him the tools. They cannot do the foot work for him. He needs to want to get clean and stay that way.

Each time he relapses he has made a conscious choice to do so.

I don't know what the answer is for your son but I was an IV Heroin user for 20 years. I am here today because I had the above mentioned to help me and because I was just sick and tired of being sick and tired.

When, and if, your son gets to that place he may get clean. I certainly pray that he does.
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Avatar_f_tn
Corky, your post brought tears to my eyes! I've been reading and posting here for a week or so..and I have to say, I have no idea how to tell you to even start a plan. There a lots of people on here that may be able to offer that kind of advice. But, (and this might not help either), I don't have kids, and I got addicted to pain pills on my own! It was my own doing...and I lied to my doctor, my family, and what got me on the road to quit, is I stole pain pills from my boyfriend and lied to him when he asked me. The one person that should trust me in the whole world and I lied! My mom had nothing to do with it! My mom didn't fail me, I failed me! And I know I can't even imagine your pain, but you are trying to find help for your son, and that is STRENGTH! Not failure! I don't know if this makes any sense at all, but this whole site is here for you and your son! Its a loving, helpful place! You are a wonderful father for posting and trying to help! I wish my dad was still alive so that he could help me...my prayers are with you! Much love
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm so sorry to hear that you and your family r in this position.  Herion is a NASTY drug, it actually alters your brain and is SOOO tough to get clean from.  One thing you didn't mention is, does your son REALLY want to get clean?  I think that an addicts want and 100% devotion to getting clean is essential to staying clean.  I know that you look at these detox houses as money makers but from what i know about herion the withdraws can almost kill you without medical help.  tell us a little bit about your son's story.  He did get clean while in there right?  Well they can only control the habit when the person is in their hands, once the addict leaves is when the hard part begins and the addict has to step up to the plate.

I hate that you feel responsible for your son's addiction.  I was abusing hydrocodone something awful,and am clean for 4 weeks, and no one in my whole family knew, and i come from what most would consider to be the perfect family, but i know that my addiction is no one's fault but my own.  I lied, manipulated and stole pills from my family but addicts are pretty dang smart and they do whatever they have to to get their drug of choice.  But i OWN what i did to myself and I knew I HAD TO QUIT or eventually I'd end up killing myself.  This attitude is what is going to keep me clean.  I HATE THOSE PILLS for stealing my life and i hate a part of myself for being so weak that i let it happen.  See what i'm saying?  The addict had to be the strong one to quit along with family support but at the end of the day the addict has to make the choice.  

Now herion is totally different from pills but i think the needed attitude has to be there, also did your son destroy all his suppliers?  Turn them into the police if he has to, but the temptation has to be gotten rid of.  Did he do a methadone detox?  What did he do?  When he went home did he go right back to the drugs?  How did he end up going back to the drugs?  After he left detox did he go home or back with you?  

And i just have to say this, every addict made the first choice to use this is a choice that is 100% on the addict.  No one opened my mouth and shoved the pills down, same with your son, no one held him down and shot him up.  This choice is on us and us alone.  My understanding is that herion is so strong and that one use can be all that is needed to get hooked.  SO how can you be responsible for a drug that is that strong?  you can't be.  Nor could my family, its my head and my head alone.  No family goes thru everyday looking for signs of drug abuse and by the time the notice that something is up its WAY TOO LATE.  So please think about that.

Hope to hear more from you!
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Avatar_m_tn
I do appreciate the replies.  I'm from upstate NY and when this was discovered by me we checked every thing I could imagine and spoke to as many people I could reach out to.  It was recommended that we send him away for treatment.  I checked with about 5 highly recommended facilities across the country and confronted my son.  When he said he needed help I offered the 5 facilities to him.  He choice a place in Florida.  Obviously, once we got him there, he was directed straight to detox.  I understand from all the research how painful and hard this is but he made it through and successfully completed the recovery program.  Then, he decided since he had so many people he owed money to back home he needed to stay in Florida.  We put him up in a halfway house.  Seemed to work great for about a month then supposedly somewhere along the way, he sold his vehicle we sent down to him - at my expense.  He hooked up with a girl who was in the program and in a halfway house but got caught using so she was thrown out.  My son joined her and they incurred several expenses, housing (they couldn't pay, car rental they couldn't pay etc..)  Then my son got arrested.  We got in touch with the facility and basically they said this was a business - it's not for charity.  I've exhausted everything especially since my wife had provided my son with credit cards that are max'd out and I'm paying for his car and I'm paying for the rehab facility that wasn't cheap.  I make very good money but I'm broke!  We make 6 figure and yet every paycheck the money comes in and goes out almost the same day.  We have very little to live on.  My son was released from jail, not by me because I couldn't afford the bail and is now back in the halfway house.  Will he make it?  Who knows.  The success rate for heroin addicts is not good.  They can be clean for a month, 6 months, a year and then the dreaded relapse.  My concern is simple, we just don't do enough to correct the real problem.  I admire someone such as IBKleen that these programs helped you but in all honesty, I hear more stories of short term recovery rather than long term within these programs.  That's not to say they don't work for some but I'm looking for something more than a 25% success rate.  That's unacceptable by any measure.  Any business that had a 25% success rate would be OUT OF BUSINESS.  I know!  This is not a solution yet the general consensus suggest that it is.  I'm truly grateful for anyone who benefits but if you're part of that 25% there was something you have that others don't.  I know my son wants to be clean, we've talked about it while he was using and while he was clean.  He wants to feel good instead of tired and run down and having the chills and stomach aches until he can locate another fix.  He wants it badly yet he goes back to it.  I'm a father who loves his son (my children)  unconditionally but I can't trust my son.  I can't dream big for him and I can't allow myself to help him anymore for fear I'm hurting him.  Even when he calls crying to get him out of jail - I can't help.  I'd prefer to lay down my life so my son to experience life again and have promise and a future to look forward to.  He had so much going for him and he was a good worker and a good employee until he got involved.  Now he hasn't worked in over 2 years.  My hopes and wishes are gone.  All I pray for and hope for is for common sense to step in but it hasn't.  If you are any kind of parent - any kind at all, you cannot accept the fact that you couldn't prevent it!  You cannot justify that in between the ears.  All the visits to church and continued recovery and AA meetings will not diminish this feeling.  I will go to my grave trying to understand where I could have made a difference.  Life is hard and it's hard without drugs and alcohol.  It's almost unbearable when you include them in the mix.  There is another answer but it hasn't been tapped into yet.  It can't be more drugs it's got to be something else.  My son was a darn good kid, he use to help the homeless and help people in the neighborhood.  He loved animals and had such passion and sympathy for all animals.  We're not talking about a troubled teenager or a problem child.  Praying helps but it doesn't resolve the issue.  I believe in God, I believe in the holy spirit and I believe there are such things as miracles.  You can't remedy a father with prayer and going through the 12 step programs because I've forgiven the entire world for everything already.  Nothing and I mean nothing can allow me to forgive myself completely.  
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271792_tn?1334983257
My heart breaks for you as a parent but it is NOT your fault. I know that is falling on deaf ears as you will probably always have guilt.

Like I said, he was given the tools in treatment. the choice to begin using again was his. He has a disease that talks to him--often screams at him to use.

Getting involved in a relationship newly in recovery is a big non-no and it is strongly suggested that it not be done, especially if the other person is in recovery as well. Odds are they will both use before one of them stays clean. It is very sad but the reason for the suggestion is for the addict to work on themselves. Relationships are a great way to get the focus off your recovery, your problems or anything else. Newly recovering addicts have no business being in a relationship when they are not well themselves yet.

What I don't think your son is getting is that he IS an addict and he cannot control his use. He CANNOT use on Tuesdays or the weekends or every now and again. It doesn't work like that. He will be an addict for the rest of his life. He can choose to be an addict in recovery or an active addict.

Dad, as hard as it is...sometimes you just have to let go. By that I mean, don't support his addiction-support his recovery. If he comes to you for money, say no, etc. You will drive yourself crazy wondering what he will be spending it on and what he will be doing.

There is a fine line between supporting someone and enabling them. It is hard but you need to find that balance for YOU. For him, he may hit another bottom and that is where you will come in.

You are in my prayers. I hope you stick around.
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Avatar_f_tn
Ok think of this.  If your a god fearing person as you say, you know that god gave man freewill.  How can you be responsible for your son abusing a gift god gave him?  i fear the man above beleive me but he gave us life and freewill to make our own way and NO ONE not even the man above can be held responsible for what we do with his gift and the choices we make.    

It's got to be horrible to watch your own flesh and blood go thru this but you said something that clicked with me, your son agreed to go to detox because YOU confronted him, maybe he wasnt really ready.  Maybe he needs to hit complete rock bottom before its his choice to get and stay clean.  I know that this is hard to accept but it MUST be his choice and nothing you say or do will change that fact.  You cannot keep putting yourself and your family into fianancial straights.  Sometimes our want to help just doesnt matter because the decision has to come from your son.  The hardest thing for a parent to do is let go and let your child make their own decisions, good and bad, but for myself, i had to go to the school of hard knox for EVERY lesson in life, and my parents who are truly the best parents in the ENTIRE world, no matter how hard they tried to help me i bucked them and had to learn the lesson the hard way.

So addressing the problem of the drugs, i totally agree, our society needs to go after the source.  I just watched a program on trying to get crystal meth off the streets and they're solution was to eliminate and regulate the ingredients the make the drugs up.  I don't know what the answer is but seems to me the best way to stop the problem is to stop the drugs from getting on the streets, again don't know the answer to that one.  

Please think about what i've said because you say that you've forgiven the world but thats not true.  You haven't forgiven yourself.

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Avatar_m_tn
HI.....i  feel your pain we had 5 kids all dabbled in a little booze and pot but out grew it all except 1 my youngest daughter Sara at the incest young age of 13 she hit the streets as a crack/methamphetamine addict....as a parent you feel helpless Sara choose to live on the street rather then live by the house rules we weren't unusually strict with our kids the other 4 found them acceptable  but Sara was an addict she took after me im also an addict but I live in recovery ,,,we tryed everything to save our daughter from herself including going to the courts for her to be put under supervision this turned out to be a biger mess then it was worth although they tryed 3 rehabs with her she went back to using every time she finely hit rock bottom when she got into a serious auto acadent and had to be cut out of the car the fire dept thought they where doing a body extraction they dident think anyone could survive where she was pined in the car she was badly ingered she crushed a vertebra in her back broke an ankle but the back ingery was serious she had bone chips in her spinal cord it was crushed flat and there was a massive bruise the size of a grapefruit preventing them from getting to it to even work on it....they gave us little hope she would ever walk again....as a father I did everything possible to stop her from living this way I would go to the crack houses and pull her out in the middle of the night Im really saprized I never got shot or had to shoot somebody there some pritty horable places each time I would bring her home it would last a week or 2 then she was gone again when the law cought up to her she would use her sisters name ad ss number to keep from getting pulled in  it dident always work she spent plenty of time locked up
this went on untill the acsedent the judge said for your own protection I am sending you to juvi till your 18 it was a harsh sence but a blessing in discize she found recovery there with a 12 step program today she is 23 been clean since 16 still sits in on n/a meetings when she can find the time she has given us 2 grand children and works to provide for them....as an addict myself I was a poor example for my daughter I always worked and had good jobs I was highly fuchanel ...I know the guilt you cary I have let it burden me also but after talking with my daughter there was nothing anyone in the family could do to have changed a thing... we are also believers in God go to church bible study's and are active in our church they help support us threw my daughters addiction then my own
you cant walk threw life with this guilt it will eventual kill you but your already dead inside I know I have been there ....right now until you let this go you will continue to rob your family of yourself....my oldest son wrote a poem on how his sister turned his father into a gost it really set home when I read it I was so raped up in Saras problems the rest of my family suffered...I was eating pills to make the emotional pain go away just imagin yout 13yr old little girl selling herself for dope on the street I know guilt at levels people cannot fathom but I also  know Christ....Jesus has healed our family of this and much more
you need to take the guilt and shame you feel and nail it to the cross and accept his forgiveness b/4 it destroys you and your wife by not leting go of it your saying the cross wasn't enough.....we all make mistakes as parents but in the end we do our best to raise our kids the best we can but in the end it is left up to them what choices they will make
you need to stick around the forum for a wile and learn about addiction learn you cant make someone get clean they got to want it and want it bad when your son has had enough he will quit nothing your going to do is going to change that it just a fact you have to accept just know its possible to get clean and stay that way with the help of some of the very programs you are doubting I got 6yr 1 mo on alcohol pot and everything else recreational this month with the help of N/A and A/A I also got 20mo coming up in 3 day from methadone addiction that was given for back pain if you choose sobriety you can do it IBK has years clean we have a member ''freebird'' that has over 20 yrs clean but you need to work a program those that do usually find they can live in sobriety those that dont embrace the program and emerge them slfs in it  usually fail...its time to give up the guilt and shame your robing whats left of your family of you I will keep your family in my prayers as long as he is still breathing there is hope....just keep bringing it to God and trust he is working on the problem sometimes when we dont see God working he is really doing more then we think you have no other choice but to trust him with your son....he trusted uyou to bring him up sounds like you did a good job...just dont loose faith I did for a wile and it only got worst.....good luck with all this may God bless your family abundantly......Gnarly      
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Avatar_m_tn
Plz do not blame yourself for your son,s addiction. Heroin was my doc.
Unlike your son i went to rehab here in Scotland for 6 weeks came out clean. But it was much harder when i got home as the drugs were so close. But as i had relapsed countless times. I had great aftercare in place. Im now happy to say i am now 6 months clean.
Your son can also get clean but he must do the hard work. I looked in the mirror one day and could not see me, just another person. Who looked like i had been in a concentration camp. It was then i thought get clean or im going to die. I wish you and your son the very best of luck coz it can be done. Plz get your son into a program it really does help ,,,,,James
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