Addiction: Living with an Addict Community
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16127331 tn?1445534994

Mother of a heroin addict

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.
1 Responses
3060903 tn?1398565123
Hi Helen, I'm a recovering addict and it warms my heart to hear of family members who care enough to do what is necessary to try to help an addict on the path of destruction. I believe your boy would be using your car  today for a get away vehicle for a home invasion had you not intervened.

I think that the best thing that could happen to your son, is for the judge to offer him the option of going to a 90 day rehab followed by a 9 month clean and sober facility rather than jail time. I truly think that this would be the best way to help him.  I would not give too much credibility to your son saying that inpatient rehab and NA is where to get drugs. The fact is that you can get drugs anywhere, and there is a percentage of those that will, and a percentage of those that won't. Much like the kids in school today. There are those that will experiment with hard drugs, and those that won't. I believe that you son is being manipulative trying to say that he will not by any means go to rehab when so many are able to get and stay sober.  Being pragmatic with him on this point, imo, is essential. The fact is that there are drugs everywhere, if you allow taking them to be an option. I've been clean 16 years and see the dealers nod from the street corner to this day, and i'm a 54 year old women.   Being an addict means that you will always see that nod, being in recovery means that you can laugh and walk away. Your son needs time stay clean and i think that you should try to see if the courts will work with you to get him into long term (one year) of sober living. (and maybe even have his record expunged if he completes the year).

I applaud your efforts and your strength, and am so glad that you have found support. I can't wait to hear that your son has found his support. He doesn't know it yet, but it is the support of other recovering addicts that he needs in his life. He may have to be forced to be around us, in the beginning, but all's well that ends well!!!!  
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