My 20 year old son started using heroin about a year ago, when friends offered him a smoke. He eventually began thinking about the hit he would get after work, and finally that ruled everything else. He was involved with friends from a small private school where they all had ADD and had tried multiple high schools. It was a great school but all of his friends from there had experience with drugs, and some of them were stealing things and selling them. Earlier this year (2015) I invited a homeless friend of his to stay with us for a month while helping me with yard work. At the end of the month he stole my debit card and before I knew he was even using it he had spent $6,000. The bank replaced the money as they are reinsured like credit cards are against theft. My son and I were both devastated by the betrayal and that friend is about to go to trial; he has been in jail for several months now; he use to brag that he never got caught selling marijuana or stealing things.
Then, my son suddenly used my credit card to get about $200 during the summer; he was using then. He started driving people who would pay him for a ride when they wanted to go steal something. Three weeks ago he moved out of my house unpredictably (he used to stay with friends for several days at a time and just come home for clean clothes and maybe a meal). He stole my debit card and credit cards and charged up $3000 - much like his friend had done several months before. I didn't understand it then but began to realize that he thought it was less bad to steal from me than from a store and he didn't think I would press charges because I had let the $200 go earlier in the summer. But I pressed charges and I'm waiting to hear if the prosecutor will file charges. Some things around the house disappeared also, my TV and some small things. I didn't know where he was living after the first few days nor whether he was alive and uninjured. I finally got all the doors blocked or secured so he couldn't get in the house or my car and it seemed to stop. I went to an NA meeting, talked to people at my church and in my book group and other mothers began to tell me their stories.
Last night he knocked on the door and wanted to talk (and was hungry, of course). He apologized and said he was sorry, that he was trying to make it on his own and stealing from me was easy. He spent it on things he could sell for drug money, gas and cigarettes.
I was so relieved to know he was basically okay physically. He said that he stopped the drugs on the night the county sheriff came to talk to him and told him he would get about a year in jail.
I know this is not over by any means. He has been clean twice in the past two months and doesn't want treatment because he said that NA and inpatient make him want to use because of all the drugs available. He is not ready.
I'm learning fast, especially now that I called the sheriff. Taking that horrible step has allowed me some freedom to not keep hiding what is going on from others, and is teaching me more about what to expect. I've met some great people who are in the same arena and it's so great when they share their stories with me. At church today, I lit a candle and said a little "concern" during that part of our church service, and afterwards four people came up to me whom I didn't know to talk about it - one was a visitor for the first time today and had been a heroin addict for years, estranged from family and friends. Now he works at a treatment facility and offered his help and resources when my son is ready.
I'm glad to have found this community. Before I really told anyone very much I found this place and was so relieved. It's a hard road as a mother when your job has been to be an advocate, to comfort and love your child. I'm invoking lots of family members who have died to help my son - don't know that this is "kosher" but it helps me to feel as if I'm not the only one thinking about him and sending up prayers.