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I need help

My son 21 years old and a heroin addict, he has been back in my home for 3 months now, he came to me for help because I am 7 years clean from drugs. I have never used heroin so I don't know the physical affects. Anyway, we got him on the methadone program and NA and he was doing really well. He decided that he wanted to tapper off faster than the doctors at the clinic thought he should, it was supposed to be a 6 month program and he talked them into getting him off in 20 days. Well needless to say he relapsed on day 21, now we got him back on the methadone and I think he is using heroin at the same time! I am frustrated because he won't do anything around the house but lay around and make a mess of the entire house! It is like having a young kid in the house only worse he is ANGRY at life! As an addict myself I cannot help him and I just don't know what to do? I plan on having him drug tested tonight and if he is dirty then I don't want to but I will have to ask him to leave the house! I feel guilty because that is my son but he is harming and risking my recovery by bringing drugs into the house. He doesn't respect my boundaries and rules and it is driving me crazy! I guess my question is am I being too harsh, should I keep trying to help him or do I give him tough love? Help me!
23 Comments Post a Comment
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3225128_tn?1347137598
Hi , 7 years clean is great ,  Be proud of yourself .
Your son needs to read your post . You can not do this for him . He needs to chose , the life he leads now or get clean . No more BS .
At 21 he is young and strong , so many others have quit he can to , all he has to do is want to quit bad , fight hard,  he can do this if he really wants to . Time to Man up ....  Ron  
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Avatar_m_tn
He's in the whirlpool, He must put out effort to overcome it.  You can't just quit, you have to work at it, that means communicate with others who have overcome, go through the week of sickness during withdraws, the month of depression, use anger of the money spent and time wasted to fight the demon during the 1st month, ask questions daily.   Ron is so right on with this.  We are here, don't want to get too far ahead, take it one day at a time.
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Avatar_f_tn
I am so sorry you are going through this with your son. It is awesome that you are 7 months clean and should be an inspiration to your son. I know it is hard but as a mother sometimes you have to know when to say ok enough is enough and make your child grow up. I am not saying cut him off but your son should understand the boundries that you have set.

Next off methadone my uncle was on it til the day he passed away. He used heroine before that. So I understand what you are going through. I think you should maybe look into rehab programs for your son. Methadone is just as bad as heroine and just as hard to get away from.

Have you tried having an intervention to get him motivated to stop? Think about what you did to get clean and what motivated you, use your experience. I doubt that you had someone holding your hand through it. I bet if you did they pushed you to not give up.

Well, either way setting boundries is always good to do. When your son was young you probably told him when he could play outside and what time to be back in. Those are boundries. As your son gets older those boundries are gonna change along with the consequences, but they will always be for the same reason. That reason is to guide your son, keep your home safe, and help your son grow into a great young man.

Not that he isn't already. He is just lost and has to find his way. I will be praying for both of you. I hope this was a bit of help. Keep me and the forum posted. May God bless you,

Kimberly
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Avatar_m_tn
back to your question, ...........  todays 21 year olds are not as mature as us at that age, too many video games, cable tv, etc, we got jobs to buy a car and go on dates at 16.  There was no artificial stimulation or cell phones.   Be tough, keep him around a few more days to decide if he'll change ASAP under YOUR roof.  If you are enabling, push him out.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you guys for your input! I am still very confused and I hate the fact that I cannot TRUST him! I am finding "red flags" all over the house that he is still using heroin! I want to give him the benefit of the doubt but it is so hard! We were not able to drug test him last night but today we are for sure. He has no idea we are going to drop this on him and honestly I just can't take the lies and the household disruption any longer. If he was showing some sort of effort I would gladly help him out. @Kimberly I have 7 YEARS clean and yes it took for me hitting a rock bottom to get clean but I KNEW that I was done and I DID whatever I had to in order to fight the battle and I still do! This is for life! It is very difficult to be MOM and an ADDICT trying to help and steer him in the right direction. I have given him the tools he needs but he just isn't using them! He doesn't work, doesn't go to school, doesn't help out around the house, he disrespects my boundaries and rules I have set forth in my house! I could go on and on. The bottom line is I feel like he is using me and I am allowing him to do it! It will hurt me so much because he is my BABY but tough love is what is going to have to happen because I know that he just isn't done yet, he has not hit his rock bottom yet! I can only pray for him, love him from a distance, and keep showing him by example that there is a better way to live!
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Avatar_f_tn
Well...Im 25 and a recovering heroin addict. And let me tell you how quickly things can get from bad to worse. I have 2 months clean and I will NEVER GO BACK TO THAT LIFE.
I have a wonderful husband and 4 beautiful kids that I knew I would lose if I didnt stop.
First let me tell you that he has to WANT to stop. You cannot help him if he doesnt want to help himself. He has to do the work. DO NOT let his addiciton control you. We as addicts dont realize that the thing about addiction is that it effects everyone around us and were so high all the time we dont realize it. You have to give him tough love. Im not saying throw him out but you have to make him realize that you cant do anything for him until hes ready to help himself. My mom went to rehab 4 times and shes 45yrs old and still an addict.
You cant fight this fight for him. Only he can do this.
Do not let his addiction take you out along with him. If you have rules stick to them. You cant save him until hes ready to save himself. I dont know what else to say. He has to want to change. I finally got tired of living that way. Addicts have to hit rock bottom before they realize they need to do something different. And maybe you throwing him out will be the best thing for him. And if God forbid something were to happen to him you cannot blame yourself. You did not do this to him. This is not your fault. Best of luck to you.
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1697690_tn?1329127238
I think it will help him so much in his path to getting clean because he has you, an addict yourself, and someone in the program. You sound like you have good boundaries and of course understand this disease. I think someone may have asked but has he ever gone to rehab? Done some kind of inpatient work, etc.? The way you describe his behavior off the heroin (on his 20 days of methadone) sounds like someone who has stopped their drugs, but still has no idea how to live life. Assuming he's been on heroin for the past few years at least, or other drugs, then he's probably never really done anything sober before. I know for me, when I got sober from heroin (at his age) it was a longgggg process. Inpatient, therapy, meetings, doing nothing but working on myself and my recovery, then I had the tools and the ability to go out and be an active member of the world. School, work, etc. But I had to learn first. I think he needs to learn how to live life once stopping the drugs, how to STAY sober. So, in any case if it helps, it sounds like its not him lounging around the house acting like a toddler with no job school etc, it sounds like it's his disease, telling him he can't do anything else, he doesn't know how, not worthy, and eventually it will convince him he might as well go back to drugs. Or some other sneaky way back to the using, as we all know that have experienced it. Anyways, message me anytime if you'd like. Ill be thinking the best for you guys and hope he will try to get some help. I have over a year of sobriety now from heroin and I am his age but it has been a lonnggg battle and process, but so worth it, I hope he can do it too!!! And congrats to you on 7 years, that is inspiring!
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3197167_tn?1348972206
7 YEARS!!!!! FABULOUS!
Glad you clarified that cause I caught that too......months vs. years is a BIG diff!
I, too, have many, many loved ones still riding the rollercoaster and actively living their addictions.

As I read your post, I was thinking two things:
1) TOUGH LOVE .....yes, yes, yes  critical here!
2) AL-anon for you......support for YOU

If we enable and provide when we know it only keeps them sick, we are actually interfering with the "consequences of their actions".  The pain of our own choices and then the consequences that follow is exactly what we need to hit our bottom.....and all "bottoms" are different.  (LOL, literally!)

I currently am having to focus on examining my "helpful" actions and saying,
am I EQUIPPING or am I ENABLING?  Am I intervening and lessening the impact that would otherwise be felt?  Is it good for my loved one in the LONG run?  Does this compromise or endanger MY sobriety?  
It would be nice if our loved ones learned from OUR addiction(s), but that's just not reality.  You son has no reason to change if he has all his basic comforts being met and can still use methadone and/or H.  No good being ON the methadone if there isn't a recovery plan in place.  Too many people get off H to stay on methadone for yrs and yrs.  And it's a BEAR to get off of too; HAVE to have a plan in place if that's the route he chooses to be off the H.  
I hope you will stick to your "guns"/ boundaries, protect YOUR clean time, and do what is so hard to do when it's your baby boy........guess that's why they call it "tough" love......cause it sure as heck rips your heart out.

If you get some al-anon or narc-anon support.......it will bless you and reinforce the decisions you are currently being faced with.
Hang in there Momma......sounds like you KNOW what you have to do.
Glad you are posting here!  
Blessing to you~
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3060903_tn?1398568723
You are continuing to help him Mom, with tough love.

Please follow through on the drug testing, but if it were me, i would have a loving intervention in place. This is too much for you to do alone.

Is there any other family members that could be involved in an intervention?

Do you have an addictions therapist that could also be there to coordinate a residential rehab?

I think that the show Intervention is a great tool for us to follow. At the end of a loving intervention, that gives the addict options and i think is the best time to tell him that his use is interfering with your sobriety.

I don't know what you were addicted to , but Congratulations on your sobriety. That in itself, is a huge inspiration for your son.

When i was a heroin addict, and thrown out onto the streets without an intervention that would have allowed me to make the choice of going to rehab, i was infected with the Hepatitis C virus, and am looking at Cirrhosis of the liver now. Though he may not be using needles now, it only takes one person to change all of that, one other addict with an idea of how to high faster and better. Your son is at terrible risk, and needs to be given the opportunity to go to a rehab.

You cannot expect an addict to detox and go to aftercare, without the foundation of sobriety that you get in rehab. If he's been there before, he needs to go again.  

Please consider letting him see your post, because your post says everything that he needs to hear. By letting him see your post, and our answers, and supporting him to get involved here in the community and allowing him to use us as a support, is probably the greatest gift you could give him right now.

God Bless you and your family!!
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Avatar_f_tn
He has not been to rehab, I pray will be the next step?! He uses the withdraws from methadone as the excuse as to why he does not want to go into a program! Because they do not allow him to use methadone in program. So he will have to kick cold turkey! And I understand that getting high is all he knows because that was all I had ever done in my adult life so I know exactly how he is thinking and feeling, the unknown is very scary! For now all I have expected from him is to pick up after himself, he can't do that! But he has plenty of energy to run around all day, go to the gym a couple times a day! I believe that there must be an equal balance to everything we do in life with recovery, with home life, with work, and with leisure time. Like I said in my earlier post he was doing GREAT when he first started the methadone program, he was on fire for recovery. He got a sponsor, he was working the steps, he was going to 2 to 3 meetings a day, he was talking with his councilor, he was even going to group meetings through an outpatient program,  he was going to school, and he was helping out around the house. But since he relapsed he has been a bump on a log, And I believe he is still using. So we will find out today and go from there. All I know is I am enabling him and he is taking advantage and it has to stop!
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Avatar_f_tn
Sorry for getting how long you been clean for wrong early sometimes my mind gets to far ahead of my typing skills, therefore I type the wrong word. I meant 7 years, and that is truly something to proud of.

Also, I pray you stuck to tough love, and had your son take that drug test. As nighthawk said a loving intervention is also a great idea. Your son needs to go to rehab. There they can help him through the withdrawals. Withdrawals can be hard, but I don't need to tell you that. Your son will have to go through them no matter what to get clean. So, where better to do it then somewhere where they know what to do to help you manage them.

You seem like a mother who knows what she has to do. I only pray you stay strong and stick to your boundries. The only advice I have left to give is dont give up on your son. He will be clean one day. You can't live his life, but you can speak life into it. Declare that your son will get clean and believe this statement, and miracles will happen.

I am praying for you and your son. I declare your son will decide enough is enough and get back on track to getting clean. May God bless your family,

Kimberly
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3060903_tn?1398568723
You've asked a question, "Am i being too harsh?"

I believe that your 21 year old son came home uppermost, because you are his mom and he needs your help and not because you are an addict in recovery. I think he needs your help despite your abusing drugs in your life. You have said that you hit your bottom when your son was fourteen, and living at home. I know that if my son was an addict as a result of my using and everything that went with it, i would not be drug testing him and throwing him out because he was caught "dirty". I have heard nothing from you about involving an addictions counselor and having a treatment centre available for him when you test him, and it makes my stomach actually turn to think that this kid is going on the street in the name of "tough love" because he doesn't pick up after himself. A heroin addict on the street at his age equals male prostitution to put a roof over his head, and hepatitis C, if not HIV. I don't know how you can be in long term treatment and not know that YOU do not have all the answers for this young man. You are so concerned about your own recovery, that you are losing sight of protecting your son. I don't know why you would say, that your son was home now, because you're a recovering addict and not because you are his Mom? He's so young. How long has he been out of the house I wonder, and why? Please at least talk to an addictions counselor so that he has someone else's support, after you wash your hands of this. Enjoy your clean home, Mom?
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1697690_tn?1329127238
HI,
Just checking in to see what happened?
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Avatar_m_tn
WHEN IT COMES TO TOUGH LOVE ? JUST KNOW GOD SHOWS AND GIVES THE SAME LOVE TO US ALL. THAT DOES NOT MEAN YOU ARE A BAD MOM. IT MEANS YOU LOVE HIM LIKE THE PRODICAL SON,HE MAY NEED TO GO OUT AND FIND HIS SELF AT THE BOTTOM WITHOUT ANYONE ENABLING HIM WITH THIS ADDICTION.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you all so much for all your advise, help, and concern! Every bit of advise I can get I will take into consideration! I know as an addict I am only as sick as my secrets! So I must speak up and tell someone about my feelings, fears, and concerns!

To answer some of your questions, yes I have help with him. I am not alone with this process, thank goodness! I am very involved with NA and I have many friends that are not only in the program but are employed as counselors and or work in the substance abuse field! My husband (his step father) is also going to school right now getting his BA in pyschology and Mental Health Specialist.

So we tried to have him drug tested and he refused and that gave me the answer right there! My son tried to deny anything but he forgets that I am an addict too. He got mad and we fought, cried, and had a heart to heart! I finally told him he will have to get out if he doesn't make an effort to help himself! He CANNOT be getting high and staying here! I am not giving up on him! I can't! I know what the results will be if he keeps on going the direction he is headed! We have set it up for him to go to an outpatient program twice a week, go to meetings (as many as he wants), work the steps, and talk with his methadone counselor, plus he has myself and my husband whom has 9 years clean to speak with.

As of today he has gotten up and gone to 2 meetings, read some of his literature, and he CLEANED his room! And like I have been telling him these past few months it WILL make him feel better, and it DID! :) I am feeling very hopeful right now at this moment! I do believe last night was a turning point for both of us!

If, God forbid he does relapse again a in patient program will be next. We have conections with a few different ones here in our town. I will take it one minute at a time for now and pray, pray, pray. As I have been learning that heroin is the meanest and ugliest monster out there!

Thank you again for your thoughts! I look forward to hearing from you all again!
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Avatar_f_tn
I am a little bit confused about your comment! You send this message and then send me a private message that was total opposite? It is NOT only about a CLEAN house, it is about boundaries! I have asked over and over for him to at the very least pick up after himself! That is not too much to ask from a herion addict, a meth head, or an alcoholic, or any body else! I have worked very hard to get where I am today and I had to get up every day and do what ever it took to start making changes to better my life. By having him start with the small stuff (picking up after himself) will lead to feeling good about himself and then will lead to better self esteem and so on! I don't believe that I am asking for much! I don't want to throw my son out! That is why I asked in this forum am I being too harsh! What should I do! It is the hardest thing in the world to watch my son die a slow death and there is nothing I can do as his mother to stop it!
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3060903_tn?1398568723
My only thought was what was going to happen to him on the streets, i've lived it and i've seen it. It's a different life living on the streets and shooting heroin, as i'm sure you can imagine. I've seen some pretty terrible things happen to young men your son's age, primarily in the sex trade industry. Please accept my apology if you think that i've made assumptions. I did try to reach out and heard nothing back, at the time of the above message. I've seen young people  you're son's age die with a needle in their arms and foaming at the mouth. I , was , concerned that there was not going to be more than a dirty test and a packed suitcase, and that happened to me when i was using heroin. There was no intervention, and now i am dealing with Hepc and cirrhosis. I'm sorry if i made you feel bad, but i felt compelled to say something other than the standard, You need to look after your own sobriety, because i am a mother , whose got 14 years clean and sober, from the same drugs your son is on, and i know that if i had a good seven years sober, i would be able to do what you and your husband are doing now, what you've told me that you're doing in the personal message, and i think it's just wonderful what you've chosen to do. I did not know the extent of the support that you have to give your son, please forgive me for assuming, all i heard was another young man strung out on heroin hitting the streets, without the support system that i now know you have in place. God bless the young man that land on the street because i know that within a week they are needing to sell themselves to the sex trade. Many times this type of thing is not talked about on this forum, and sending a kid out onto the streets is accepted by people who have not had to endure those immediate concerns that a young person faces. As you can probably tell, i am not a recovering addict that agrees wholeheartedly with "tough love" without a loving and proper "Intervention". One without the other, is simply throwing a person on the streets at the worst time in their lives, and while that may be tough love, i think that Addictions Recovery has forged ahead by leaps and bounds. Thank God you are the type of recovering addict and mother that truly has their child's best interests at heart. God Bless you and your family, and thank you so much for the enlightened and fair post that you sent to me. Peace.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi there, im new to the forum. I also have a son who is activly using. Im clean 15 mths on the 14th. Im not sure if you are in a 12 step program or not. Our 1st step tells us we are powerless over our addiction,also over what anyone says or does. You must treat him like any other addict. Love hi tilll he learns to love himself. However, your recovery must come first. If he is positive,he must leave your home. He needs to have consequences to realize his life is unmanageable. Give him options such as a recovery house, but only until hes reached his bottom, will he truly surrender. Good luck. You are in my prayers.
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Avatar_f_tn
Nighthawk61, I am truly sorry what you had to go through to get to where you are today! It saddens my heart! With my son he is very lucky in many ways not only does he have his MOTHER to support him but his mother an addict too! This is a very tough position to be in though! I have to remember in order for me to be able to help him I must remain clean! If I lose that then he will never have a fighting chance! Thank GOD me finding drugs in the house has not been a problem for me as of yet! I know all too well though that it could! I have seen many things myself in these 7 years! So many of my friends and associates have either died or gone back out and picked right back up from where they left off! Drug addiction is a monster! There never is a positive outcome when drugs are involved! So as of today my son is still doing something positive with himself! He is trying more than ever! We cannot help anyone that does not want to help themselves! And that is what he is showing me these past few days, he WANTS to help himself! Thank you for your prayers and thoughts! God bless you!
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Avatar_f_tn
I just wanted everyone that prayed for my son to know that it is now day 4 and he has picked himself up and brushed himself off and headed in a positive direction! Please keep praying for him as I will do the same! I cannot thank you guys enough for the peace of mind you had given me through those rough couple of days! I am truly blessed and grateful for the concerns, thoughts, advise, and prayers each and every one of you have given me! Thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart!
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Avatar_f_tn
You are a wonderful mother to stick it out with your son. It brought a smile to my face to read that he is starting to head in the right direction. I bet you are proud of him, always let him know this. My prayers will continue to be with ya both. God is truly with ya. Amen

Kimberly
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3197167_tn?1348972206
So great to hear about your son's 4 days!!!

Your GRATITUDE and follow thru to share how this BLESSED you shows what you are made of!!  

Sure would like for you to hang around once in awhile and post some of your wisdom!  (hint....hint)  I know you have a fabulous support system in your life and town, but if you ever have time to add a little somethin' else,
I'd really love to see you posting on other threads!
Thank you back atcha!
Blessings to you~
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3197167_tn?1348972206
I just noticed that they moved your original post and thread to the "Living with an Addict" forum
.  
It's an appropriate place for it for sure.....but when I hinted at you posting again......I was selfishly wishing you'd post in substance abuse forum and share some of your experience, strength and hope with us addicts!!

With a sign on name like yours, I think even MY brain might remember you! LOL!!
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