Its very normal for addicts to relapse unfortunately. Also many addicts want to try and do it all on their own without the help of groups or 12 step programs. Its not that it cant be done, but the chances for being clean for the long term are much higher if the addict has support from people who have been there done that and can help hold him accountable. Also, groups and addition programs such as rehab, therapy or NA, really push the addict to address the inner issues that caused them to become someone who needs to numb out in order to get through day to day life and they tend to pull away from that because it is so painful. I would suggest that you continue talking to your son about reconsidering going to meetings or at the very least joining an online support group that could help him walk through the 12 steps to recovery. Sadly there is not much more you can do. If you live near him pop in regularly to get the vibe of his living situation, don't send/lend him any $$ and just let him know he can be honest with you and that you love him. .
I agree with kkrampage about suggesting that he at least try to go online for NA support and 12 step work. It certainly can't hurt right? Maybe try to challenge him to do this work at it unfolds in online NA, and Keep An Open Mind. It is a life and death challenge. His life and his death. So, he may still go for it.
I agree, don't send him any $$, and let him know he can be honest with you without your judgement (even if you secretly do sometimes) and that you love him more than words could say....
Tell him how proud you are that he is clean , this day. One Day At A Time.
If you wanted to , you could go to an "open" NA meeting and buy the Big Book, and the 12 Step Book, and maybe a book of Inspirational Quotes, and send them to him. It would be a nice "Care Package" and maybe after he reads the material , he might have a change of heart.
In the interim, you could read them yourself, so that you know what the program is about, and you can help to keep him accountable, in NA english. There's another thing that might help. Him getting to talk to an Addictions Therapist. Maybe even access one online. In fact, as a mother I can relate) you might even find one, and buy him some sessions online. The topic can be Relapse Prevention.
When you go to Rehab, you have access to An Addictions Therapist, and many who do not go to Rehab, don't have any idea they even exist outside of treatment, but of course they do. (Even on line I imagine)
Talking to him often, will help let him know he's not alone, and doesn't have to be lonely.
Suggesting he get involved in a gym, exercise program , starting a new hobby etc,
If he's not super happy with his job, suggesting that he take an online course, to upgrade his skills,,
or think about part time studies at the local college.
Addicts get very bored with the thought of so much time (missing their high). I'm an addict and i think what i missed most (because i had no one in my corner) was not having anyone around that pushed me into moving forward in my life.
I'm so glad you posted. Your son is a lucky man to have you in his corner. I've got a 26 year old son myself. We are lucky women. Blessed to be sure. I pray that your son holds on and keeps on keeping on with the sobriety. Maybe even suggest that he access Medhelp himself, and find some answers here for himself.
Don't worry if he figures out you posted. That's okay. He''ll know it's anonymous and you've said nothing here that should hold you back from suggesting Medhelp.
Keep on posting and please let us know how things are going.
My son already did rehab twice therapy etc. He says that he knows what has to be done and that one day he will go to AA. He is not working right now is looking for a job. He was working as a bouncer and the place closed. I didnt want him to go to another bar. He has been applying at other places hopefully they will call him back.He saved enough to get an older car. I helped him with insurance the first month and to register the car.When you say dont give him money if he works he will have money anyways. Should I ask him to hold on to the checks and just give him some money for the week. He said I could do that for him. I live in connecticut and he lives in florida.Thanks
Hello and thanks for all your advise. I am a lucky woman. He did have a relapse and it lasted a few months. My son is a wonderful boy and when he is clean he is a pleasure to have around. When people say dont give him money what happens when he works? I pray he can find his way in life and get back on track he misses his life the way it was in the past.Did you ever hear of a shot called Vivatrol? Thanks
Hi gabby...great advice given to you above !!
Just wanted to add my 2 cents :)
Relapse is very common, but with that said I believe each relapse is one step closer. My son is a recovering iv heroin addict, 2 1/2 years clean, he had many relapses but each one brought him closer to where he is now. His last relapse 2 1/2 years ago lasted about 3 months after 1 clean year...so keep faith in your son !!
Your son says he can do it on his own...mine use to tell me the same. He refused meeting ...his reason ...too much drug talk, made him want to use. On one hand it made sense to me, but on the other I wondered if it was only another excuse. When I saw he was serious about recovery...I followed his lead. Listen to your gut...it will not lie to you.
My son did it with suboxone ( was our only option at the time ).
Instead of trying rehab drug recovery for I don't know how many failed attempts the final time we went the mental health way. He started with a psychiatrist, diagnosed with ADHD and extreme anxiety. He was treated with the proper meds, instead of self medicating. He was immediately started on suboxone under a doctors care...making him accountable. He did one on one counseling, followed up with self help groups...which today he will still attends if he feels the need. Suboxone gave him the chance to heal his mind/ life but can be miss used or often sold...so it isn't the best choice unless they are fully comminted. You asked about the vivitrol shot. ..while I don't have the experience with it....I know several that have had success with it, if we had that option that would have been the way we would have gone. It can not be sold or misused. It's a once a month shot, blocks cravings giving them a clearer mind, but I do believe it is extremely important to have follow up care, as the addicted mind is still there....they need to learn a life without drugs.
www.vivitrol.Com has alot of information and a number to call if you have additional questions. ...also a search to find a doctor to offer the shot in your area.
as for the money issue, if you give him money, he has no reason to find work, it makes his life too open to going into a bad spot again. He needs to be responsible for himself to rebuild his life. Believe it or not they need that sense of accomplishment, to know they can do it. If he were an active user you wouldn't give him money for obvious reasons...it's almost the same mind set that you need with his recovery, giving him money now could very easily send him back into active use. He needs to be busy, work...counsel. as said above. .. boredom is not good for his recovery.
good luck...it sounds like he is on the right track, you can push him in the right direction...but the choice will be his alone.
Thanks and you are right I can advise him but it is up yo him to really work on getting better. He told me the other day that every-time in the past when he told me he wanted to stay clean he was only telling me what I wanted to hear, He said this time it was him that wants to get better. He has a job interview tomorrow and he has a record all small things. He has been going to the gym and working out. I hope he gets a job.He weighs 289 pounds and wants to get a lap band. I hope he is strong enough for this surgery. Is it normal for him to call me 20 times a day?
Yes they will tell us anything we want to hear to stay active BUT honesty seems to be peeking through...he admitted what he "use" to tell you and why...now he says he wants it for him this time.
do you feel a difference in his attitude ?
we get to the point of second guessing our every thought, but if we're able to step back and feel from our gut, we can get a pretty good grip. If you feel he's using and your heart tells you no, but your gut tells you yes...he probably is.
when they are truly commited..you will know
I would be very skeptical about surgery right now (pain meds ), I understand him wanting to feel good and a new beginning...but ?
Has he shown any interest in the shot ?
as for 20 calls a day, I think he needs you :)
If he were using there would be very few calls a week...many calls I believe is a good sign !!
good luck on the job interview...let us know how it goesfor him !!!
maybe you could suggest that he get on to Medhelp and get some support here? might be a great thing that you are both here reaching out.
the 20 calls sounds like he's lonely in his program, and he'd benefit greatly if a man with good sobriety from his doc (drug of choice) were to befriend him and sponsor him, again, he could do this on line.
If he came online here, he could make friends, that have long term sobriety form his doc. and they would try to push him into the arms of the angels. in NA.
Keep being the great mom you are. and let us know how things are going. We're here fo r the long run, neither of you need ever be alone with this problem again. There are many blessings in fellowship.
Hi Angela, last night I read all of your earlier posts, about what you went through the last few years with your son, and ruminated the rest of the evening and then again today.as to what I think should be your next move and your son's next priority. As an addict, and as a mother it became clear to me that your son is purposefully putting up a wall about NA in order to allow himself the luxury of relapsing, or using regularly when the mood hits him, or when he has money, like he did when he came back to town from Florida and met up with his old buddies and used.
I don't know what happened exactly with your Addiction's Therapist, but that is where you should be concentrating your efforts. I think that your family should write your letters. The problem with your son's sobriety, is that he has no aftercare whatsoever. Aftercare being NA.
In the next box, i'm going to copy and paste a short consensus of what it is that NA can do for your son. The reason why it's so critical for you son to adopt these principles and build a program, is that he MUST not only admit that he's powerless over narcotics, and that his life had become unmanageable (which is step one). He must also do the ensuing work in order to maintain his sobriety.
Without this kind of humility , you and your family will be looking forward only to a see sawing action on your son's part. Being "good" and then relapsing. But really he's not relapsing at all, because what i think that's he's doing, is simply making a choice to "use" less and keep up appearances in order that he maintain a relationship with his family. BUT, the relationship from his skewered addict's perspective will give him half a life, maybe. He'll not ever be able to make any kind of money, and keep it, He'll not be able to have a girlfriend in his life, and if he does it will be someone that is sick in her own right, if she jumps into a relationship with a heroine addict without a program of any kind of long term sobriety. It would be carnage for him to get a girl involved, who would be naive and uneducated as to addiction, or maybe her family are addicts and she grew up with addiction. Anyway, it's either going to be a lonely life for your son, or he's going to damage the next generation simply because he is being too stubborn or is feeling enabled enough in his family, to continue as he is. and all that is, is trying to stay under the radar and keep people from expecting any more from him. Your son is a very willful immature kid acting out in a way that has his family still over compensating for him, because he is currently doing "better" than he did before.
This is the "program" that he is unable to consider , at this time. it's a relatively simply affair. I think that you should keep your "program" strong. Learn what you should in NarcAnon, as well as your family. And expect your son to build his "program", This is where the Intervention come in. I'm sorry if you've lost money from the last Addiction's Therapist. That's not right, and you should be able to get her to give back your money so that you can find an Addictions Therapist that will work with the family.
Please read the following. and think about Why you son doesn't want to become involved. In my opinion, he is refusing essentially to recognize the damages that he incurred in his family of origin. Yet he wants everything to continue like it never happened.? That's crazy and a very one sided, immature relationship that he's trying to maintain. It's up to you, to say NO, I expect you to work on your Program, like I am working on my Program in NarcAnon (or Alanon).. Your family deserves you to be honorable and humble enough to not only admit that you are "powerless" but also to make amends for your disgusting treatment of all members of this family. "
Why not your son? That's what I mean by over compensating, and allowing him continue to make the rules as to how and what the Terms of Engagement are for your family with him included, moving forward.
Here it is, this is what stands between him becoming a man, or continuing to act like a head strong, willful, child that continues to rub your families noses in the fact that he will "treat" you however he wants to. now and in the future. By his being allowed to use his family, while continuing to dance with this devil, is enabling, and it's sabotaging his recovery and your own (your family's recovery). I would say, start to write your Intervention Letters, keeping in mind that the bottom line that you are expecting from him, for him to continue as a member of your family, is for him to get into "recovery" trough NA, with a sponsor. No if's ands or buts.
He's calling you 20x a day, to control you. in my opinion. I think under the circumstances that he continues to use, (albeit less) you need to back off and let him know that you know he is still playing games.
If you want what we have to offer, and are willing to make the effort to get it, then you are ready to take certain steps. These are the principles that made our recovery possible.
We admitted that we were powerless over our addiction, that our lives had become unmanageable.
We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
We humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
We made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
This sounds like a big order, and we can’t do it all at once. We didn’t become addicted in one day, so remember—easy does it.
There is one thing more than anything else that will defeat us in our recovery; this is an attitude of indifference or intolerance toward spiritual principles. Three of these that are indispensable are honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness. With these we are well on our way.
We feel that our approach to the disease of addiction is completely realistic, for the therapeutic value of one addict helping another is without parallel. We feel that our way is practical, for one addict can best understand and help another addict. We believe that the sooner we face our problems within our society, in everyday living, just that much faster do we become acceptable, responsible, and productive members of that society.
The only way to keep from returning to active addiction is not to take that first drug. If you are like us you know that one is too many and a thousand never enough. We put great emphasis on this, for we know that when we use drugs in any form, or substitute one for another, we release our addiction all over again.
Thinking of alcohol as different from other drugs has caused a great many addicts to relapse. Before we came to NA, many of us viewed alcohol separately, but we cannot afford to be confused about this. Alcohol is a drug. We are people with the disease of addiction who must abstain from all drugs in order to recover.
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions reprinted for adaptation by permission of AA World Services, Inc.
I had a problem with the "God" concept when I joined AA. I had been abused, where was God then? I asked myself.
There are many ways to get around this, in rehab I learned to replace "god" with Good Orderly Direction.
Anything Angela, that your boy comes up with to stop his program, can and will be managed, within the program. He desperately needs clean and sober friends, NA is the place for him.
He needs to be totally honest. And by the family allowing him to stop at Step One, when so many are in solid recovery would be silly and juvenile. And enabling, if you accept his refusal to "work smarter"
I think at this time , it might be a good place to start to let him see where you're head its at, and what tools you are using in your quest to manage his addiction within your family. You could let him see your work here, It would shed some light on how his using has affected his family, and what it is that he has done to his family, with his continued use. He'll see that in the program he'll not be able to simply demand that other bend to his will. That's not the way of the program. It is not the nature of recovery. Recovery is about everyone and how it affects Everyone. It is a family disease, His use affected your family to the greatest extent, and he needs to know that. Only by his really knowing all the facts, will he be able to see the true extent of the damages if he continues to "use. No he may not be in the position to steal, but as he is currently, can he be trusted in any real relationship? I don't think so. He's simply not put he work in. Your son is still acting like a teenager, that can skip doing his homework, and expect that he'll be in the same position as those who have actually put the work in to get the good marks.
He needs your help to get to the next stage.
!) your families continued work in Narcanon principles.
2) your knowing what his program of NA is all about
3) your insistence that he fully avail himself to a program with no more excuses (or family backs off)
4) him getting a sponsor so that he calls them when he thinks about using, instead of him calling you 20 x a day trying to stay sober
(what happens when you're not around anymore?)
(what if you have a falling out? he's got no one to talk to then?)
Supporting his Program is supporting his sobriety Angela.