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Is Guardianship of Adult Drug Addicted Son a Good or Bad Idea?
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Is Guardianship of Adult Drug Addicted Son a Good or Bad Idea?

this hasn't been my best last 24 hours I've ever gone through. My own pill addicted son binged again after a month an a half of being sane...ya, here in my home, and making a total mess of the house, spilling, wasting and basically tearing things up, "accidentally"...his new MO.  A real David Hasselhof wannbe.

I am so sick of this, angry, disgusted, repulsed, sad, frustrated. I try to maintain, but my own health is not that great and I now have more financial problems than I had before due to trying to deal with him, compounded by his living here in the home. Just telling him to leave is not only difficult but compounded by the fact that I have no real help, and a large old place that sometimes needs repairs and work I can't do or afford to have hired done and have to depend on him to do these things. Catch 22 bigtime :(

Like the other mom's, I love my son to pieces,but plead guilty of having enabled him and bailing him out. Now, I'm fed up and worn out. He is such a great guy, and loving son when he's straight, but under the influence becomes someone neither one of us knows....or likes. I know he's miserable, but then when he's UTI, he doesn't seem to comprehend why mom gets "grouchy" at him making a mess of himself, the house.. and everything he touches. Then when he comes out from under it, doesn't remember a thing he did. I wish I had a video cam for proof to show him.  

Caught me by surprise..again..when it shouldn''t have. I should have expected the shoe to drop sooner or later with him after years of doing the same ole same ole. After so long, the gut wrenching anger and frustration gets to you and you get hypersensitive.

I'm a newbie here looking for answers myself so my response to "My son has me so worried! Bleeding pure rectal blood" I posted inadvertantly to an old post was probably not the best, but in her case, like mine, when the destructive abusive son is living in the house, there is a real problem about getting them OUT.

My own son has been through drug court, and is now on supervised probation, and another slip can mean prison time. He has neck injuries and a lot of pain, plus depression and serious insomnia, and has applied for disability, so I think he not only has addiction problems but some mental issues as well...but he's in denial about the mental part AND the addiction aspect of his problems because of his "pride" and the stigma associated with these things by the culture we live in.  I would like for him to get this to give him a leg up to start a new life, and also to have finances to take care of himself on his own. He's a college grad but now due to the felonies on his record can't or won't be able to get a job, and couldn't hold it down anyway due to his insomnia problem. ( Rummy from lack of sleep a lot of the time) However, I'm at the place now of letting the ball be in his court, i.e., whatever happens, happens, his choice. I think basically he want's the disability in order to help finance his medical treatment and possibly provide a legal means to get pain pills for his pain. However, he's not "just in pain"...he's an addict as well. If he were "just" in pain, he would have taken pain pills as prescribed, but that's not what he does. He binges on whatever he can get his hands on, and is in denial about his addictions.

Therefore, the only thing filing for guardianship could possibly do is force him into rehab, and possibly prevent him from od'ing and/or hurting himself or someone else while driving under the influence. However, some of the other parents/posters have indicated that forcing a loved one into rehab only pushes them away and deeper into their addiction. Maybe so, but I feel my first priority is for the safety of him and the others who may innocently cross his path. It wouldn't be the first time he's been busted for DUI and wrecked my vehicles. Only be the grace of God he never killed or maimed himself or someone else.

Lady W
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Wow... reading this brought tears to my eyes. I am adult addict (28 yrs old) living at home with my mother. And reading your words made me realize what I have put my mother through.

I have depression, anxiety as well as addiction. I understand the pride issues your son is going through. The first time I went to treatment, in 2006 I didn't truly want it. But I went for my family and to look good for court. As you said, you cannot force him into treatment and he isn't going to get help until he truly admits he is powerless over drugs and/or alcohol. I can only imagine how different my life would have been if I only "got it" my first time through treatment.

I can relate to your son and his side of the situation. Therefore, the only reccomendation I would have is for you to go to an Al-Anon meeting. Have you been to one before? My mother started attending regular meetings after my last relapse. It has truly helped her to understand the disease of addiction, enabling, and how to support a loved one suffering.

I will pray for both you and your son.
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1167108_tn?1328442913
This is a tough one as you are walking the fine line between helping and enabling. If you son really wants to get help and will seek profressional help and/or begin attening NA meetings then if it were me I would allow him top stay otherwise I would not.

As for yourself, I would alos recommend Al-Anon meetings for you. The reasons were well stated in the prior reply to your post.

Good luck and continue to post questions and/or concerns that you may have as there are alot of great people here who will offer yu great suggestions.

I will be praying for you and you son.
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1421075_tn?1282434695
Hi LMB01...Right now, I am feeling victimized by my son. At this point, I do completely understand his so-called disease. The issue is how to deal with the situation here in my home and search for the wisdom to understand what I should do, and decisions I may need to make.  

My supporting him in his efforts to acquire disability depended on his staying clean and off all drugs while here living under my roof. He has not been honest with me, his probation officer...or God. He does go to NA meetings. It's a requirement of his probation. He plays the game because he has to because of the constraints of the law. Left to his own devices, and outside the threat of prison, it's doubtful there would be any constraints to his behavior at all.

As for me going to Al-Anon meetings, even if I had the gas money to travel from the small town where I live to a meeting, (which I do not), right now, I'm not in the mood to learn more about "supporting" him, the nature of his addiction, and/or enabling him. I've "supported" him until it's driven me further into poverty, and nearly broken my spirit and health. I could use HIM going to a meeting where he could learn to support and respect his mother, the only real friend he has.

Sorry,  I fail to see why a parent allowing an adult addicted child living in their home needs to go to meetings to learn how to "understand and support" that addict. He's in pain because of his life choices. I'm in pain because of him. If that sounds bad and like I'm not being supermom, sorry, I've just been put through the wringer again for the umpeenth time.

Lady W

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Hi LadyWatchman,

This is so tough for you and I really do feel for you.

You need a break!

Do you have a friend that you could invite to come and stay for a little while?

This could really help, but just giving you change, and having someone to talk to, confide in, and get a bit of support from.

I can identify with your sons position too, but right now you need to take care of you.
Don't start to think you're not 'Supermum'. You are! You still love him and think he's a great son, despite it all. That says Supermum to me :)

You badly need that break. A little time to recover and refocus. I understand that the money situation probably prevents you from going away anywhere, but inviting a friend to stay might help a lot in providing that break, as well as comfort and support.

There are no easy answers to this one, but I hope you start to feel better really soon.

I'll be thinking of you.

Take care.
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271792_tn?1334983257
Hi,

I am sorry that you are going through this. Loving an addict is hard at best. It is even more difficult when it is a child.

First let me clarify something, Al-Anon is not a place to go so you can learn how to enable someone. It is a support group for you. It is a place where you can share your feelings and gain experience and here suggestions from people who are just like you. You will never hear anyone at Al-Anon suggest that you enable him or even keep him in the house for that matter. I think you would benefit from it and they can suggest ways for you to deal with your frustration and anger.

I am going to be really honest here: You don't want him living with you and I don't blame you one bit. I think a little tough love is in order. On his own he probably would not last a week before he ended up in some sort of treatment, most likely court ordered. On the other hand, you want him around because he helps you out around the house. Hun, you can't have it both ways.

He is not going to get clean until either he wants to or he hits bottom. He obviously does not want to and he won't hit bottom as long as he is under your roof.

No one expects you to be Super Mom and no one will look down on you for tough love.

That is YOUR house and if you decide that he can stay there has to be rules. If he breaks a rule, he is gone. That is one approach. Another is to try and get him into treatment. If you have no insurance you can call around to treatment centers or mental health facilities. Most treatment centers have an indigent program where they will take someone in, free of charge, usually every 3 months. The money comes from Alumni who have successfully completed the program and regularly donate.

BTW, I must have missed it. What drugs is he using? And where is he getting the money to buy them? Is he still bleeding?
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1421075_tn?1282434695
Thanks for your comments. I do realize the dilemma about him staying here..or not, regardless of the consequences to my own life. How much worse could it get?? Not much, IMO.

Treatment? Yes, that's why I posted the question about guardianship, since he's not likely to submit to it on his own accord...(denial ya know). I see it as a viable option at this stage.

His drugs? Klonipin (klonopin) when he can get them from "friends", and/or Lortabs. Also, the so called Mental Health Clinic where the psycho psychiatrist doses ALL patients with a devil's mixture of every brain drug imaginable. He's worse that a street pusher.

Al-Anon for me...I already explained that I can't afford the gas money to and from. Plus, I am all alone here, no family or friends here. The so called friends I "did" have...have been eliminated due to their putting my and his pain into their gossip grapevine...so ya, if I "could" go to Al-Anon, it's unlikely they would be as gossipy or judgemental, but like I said, it's not an option at this point.  I have found, here online, on this forum, that it's only the parents, or the rare sibling or other loving relative going through the same gut wrenching pain and ordeals with their kids have any inkling whatsover.

Lady W.
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PS: Well, late this morning when he finally got up, I had another talk with him about our "options" and his addiction. Basically I told him if his "need" was not for Soc Sec disability, but rather,  it was to deal with his addiction...and...his mental health issues. Also, that if he had such a problem with insomnia and anxiety that he needed to check into Behavorial Sciences at the hospital for some inpatient treatment. And, for his addiction, I felt like it was more mentally addictive, as opposed to physically addictive BECAUSE if he could stay clean for a whole month and a half like he did recently with no withdrawals, he could stay clean FOREVER. I did also tell him I was going to have to make a decision I did NOT want to make, in his and my own best interest, and that was to stand by my promise that I would support him in his effort to obtain the Soc Sec he needed to have insurance for his physical pain and needs, only as long as he would not use drugs and live in my house at the same time. So that if he continued to binge, I would be forced to make him leave the house and me not enable him in his addiction. He listened, but said nothing......

So, what's going on NOW, is that I'm getting conflicting advice, first from here that says kick him out of the house.....and then from another forum that claims withholding aid during an addict son's using is tantamount to being like Cruella DeVine and a mother from hell.

This is a post I'm referring to from another forum, and was about a mom who was monitering her son's UA's. I would like someone's pro's or con's on this. I don't want to make a fatal mistake and gamble with my son's life:

"What qualifies you as a person capable of monitoring his results. I read your first post where your son admitted to you he had a problem with Oxycontin, That in itself is a very addictive drug that is not controlled by willpower, or 100 urine's. I mentioned to you that your son was suffering from a chronic treatable disease of the brain, Your threats of tossing him to the wolves, In my opion is not a mother trying to help her son. You are putting so much pressure on him that I would not be surprised if he does relapse. Due to the mother that has turned herself into a self proclaimed member of a drug task force. Is he under house arrest as well. Why dont you save your money and put him in a 30 day drug detox to learn cognitive therapy to deal with his disease. Where is his father during all this, Let me guess your divorced. No disrespect intended just speaking my mind, I have a tendency of doing that when I a person is making matters worse, If he failed one why not give him three in a row and see what king of results you get.--------"

Just for the record, this poster was referring to another mom, not me. As for me, I'm not divorced, (as if that was a crime), it's not, but I am a widow, and raised my three son's alone since their dad's death at an early age. I have NOT, however, been a perfect mom, and have admitted this to all my son's and asked them to forgive me for my many mistakes. In spite of those mistakes, I have always loved them and have never withheld that love no matter what they did. They just never had the inspiration from me they should have had, or, for that matter a proper male/father role model.

Lady W




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It sounds like you have done the only reasonable thing that you can do. There is a fine line between helping and enabling an addicts behavior. For what it is worth I agree with you very difficult decision.

As for you, I would recommedn that you loook into Nara non meetings.
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725350_tn?1318684068
You just need to set boundaries and stick to them. If you say you don't want him using while he is in our house, you have to back it up. Addicts do not respond much to second, third, fourth, chances etc. Addicts respond to pain. When the pain he experiences due to his using (being kicked out, losing financial support, etc.) becomes bad enough, he will seek help. Untill then, there is not much hope.
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on another post I just read a quote, "love me when I least deserve it, because that is when I need it the most.  thought that was a great quote I won't forget.  You just now need to decide what form that love should take, I guess.  I am the addict putting my sister through something similar to what your son is putting you through.  She is supportive, but I went to her and asked her for help.  I am at a loss, but certainly completely sympathize with your situation.  It makes me want to be clean all the more to hear the perspective of the person on the other side who has to deal with all the ridiculous nonsense.  so thank you, God bless you.  I am sure you will make the best decision for yourself in the end.
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1421075_tn?1282434695
Kiki, Somehow, you don't sound like a person who is deliberately abusing your sister who's trying to help you. And I can't imagine her "helping" you by deliberately kicking you out and causing you pain in order to help/force you make the decision to get off whatever prescription drugs you're on. But if you're overdosing and doing weird things in her home, please do not do that to her dear..or yourself. If you have chronic pain, have you applied for or do you get Soc Sec disability? If not, you should apply for it so you can take financial pressure off your sis, and also get medical and therapeutic help for yourself.
Thanks for saying "God bless you". I need that, and as a matter of fact, I'm one that has been in the position to be on the receiving end of being healed and delivered from clinical depression, panic attacks, valium and antidepressant use due to the depression, as well as an intended suicide, back when. I was one very lost, unhappy and undone person locked in my own world of pain. I ,(now), know God can heal and deliver from addictions. I've also been delivered from nicotine addiction with no withdrawals. Beats any cold turkey tries I ever made, let me tell you. Anyway, I don't care if I get kicked off here for saying that. Some things need to be said. I will believe this is possible for my son as well as you. You just have to believe, and PUSH, i.e.,pray until something happens.

Lady W
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You need to remember to let him know you love him, EVERYDAY if possible, and thats it!!.... as well as let him "hear" how much his addiction hurts you, and is pushing you  away!?  
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Listen, I've had a drug addicted son that finally went into seizure alone in his Apt. & broke both front teeth out. Something told me to go by & check up on him & thank God I used my key to get to him. It was the last bloody mess I wanted to deal with. I had the hospital lock him up as he became a danger to himself. I met with an Attny. & pushed for "Legal Guardianship", It was granted immediately. I didn't mess around with oncoming death, which is what drugs & addictions are all about. It's not easy at first, you may have to have him handcuffed & locked up a few more times, but if you put your foot down & keep it down, you will get your son back in one piece. Don't mess around and play the manipulation drama drug game, be tough about keeping him alive and getting your life back. My son thanks me often for his life & I loved him enough to do what was best. Trust me, I did the Al-Anon, Tough Love Programs but my son was high & he just couldn't think for himself or care for himself, so it can't be the one that's flying high out of their gourd to make the decisions, it has to be someone sensible & that can push emotions aside for the time being. Stay on one track to get him proper help & go for it. You can save his life!
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