View Full Version : To tell or not to tell an addict adult child that I used in the past

03-29-2006, 01:39 PM
My son is an addict. He knows I tried drugs when I was younger (I think everyone does). What he doesn't know is that when I tried coke, I liked it way too much and for months when I used it I was up all night, sometimes for days. It wasn't until I started losing weight and calling in sick or leaving early from my job that I realized I had a problem and quit. Actually it wasn't until people started quizzing me about being so skinny and my job started questioning me that I decided to quit. I was lucky, I was able to walk away with a bit of a struggle but I did it, never looking back.

Anyway, what my son doesn't know that I KNOW, is that you cannot hang out with or even put yourself in a situation where you will be tempted.

So my question is should I be totally honest with him? Or will it bite me in the ***?

Thank you.

03-29-2006, 01:54 PM
my ex-wife decided it was in her best interset not tell our daughter about her drug usage because that was 25 or something years ago....im takin all the honors on informing my daughter about everything......sounds to me like opiates are his drug of choice,though....and i still beleive he should open up to you and say yes to having the clinic devulge all pertant info regarding his recovery,ie. urine tests...that would clear your mind on the coke issue and not possibly open a can of worms about your past....i think a way to look at it too,is your here right now to save him from the path,not vice a verse....chef

03-29-2006, 01:55 PM
ps...coke stays in the system for 5-7 days i beleive.....chef

03-29-2006, 03:27 PM
hi,we all have our demon pasts but they are just that been and gone,no i dont think you should tell all you are supposed to be a role model someone to look up to but you have an added advantage of been there done that so can understand better than most,use this experience to help your child,get him away from the influences,even if it means putting your life on hold believe me it will save you both a great deal of heartache,good luck and keep posting,sad mum

03-29-2006, 05:05 PM
UGhh, I am so ******. When he comes home and I say to him you sound stuffed up, I mean it sounds like you snorted something. And he always says "he is tired of me accusing him" UGHHHH!

UGhhhh, he just ate dinner, so he isn't doing coke. UGHHHHH! Do you know why I am so freaking upset! What the hell is he snorting? Sorry! So sorry for losing my mind.

He went out to the meth clinic, comes home and sounds like he snorted something! Of course I cannot prove anything. Can't drug test him everytime he leaves the house!

I am asking that he sign a permission slip at the clinic tomorrow otherwise I will not front him the money for the clinics between pay days.

Then I will insist they drug test him.

Question, if he fails the drug test what do they do?

03-29-2006, 10:43 PM
Sounds like he needs to be in rehab. The earlier the better. I agree with Sad Mum- you should share SOME information about the what happens to your brain when you take drugs if you are a childs of an addict or alcoholic- it was on CNN this week- Tuesday's program I believe. Interesting and itI have already prepared myself for the talk with y kids. Myself and my ex husband are both addicts so the chances of passing it to yong.. 60 % predisposed ONLY IF YOU TAKE THAT FIRTH PILL OR TAKE THAT FIRST SIP... beter to be honsest without losing respect ..

03-30-2006, 05:38 AM
when i entered the clinic setting back in 84 before they let you start the methadone they want to be sure opiates were in my system....then weekly at the clinic when i would go to dose,they would randomly test us....if we had a dirty test,our counselor at the clinic would become involved...we were not allowed take home methadone except if we had clean urine for x-amount of time...then we would go to the clinic only once a week and they would give us a weeks supply to "take home"...problem with that protocal is people began to sell/trade and then they would produce a dirty urine...now this was in michigan...many years ago....im not sure what the protocal is today....but you are right...since you are maintaining your son in a program and are doing it for his recovery,then he should comply with your wishes...down here in florida at the outpatient rehab facilities,they check your urine randomly also......im willing to bet that they have checked his all along....if he gets defensive about it,he may/may not be totally honest with you....accusing a recovering addict can be a tough proposition....especially if the addict is right.....but/however/ect..the only way a recovering addict can produce his case,is by summiting to a random drug test...and at the clinic,there tests are usually 99.9999999 correct...as long as the sample has not been tampered with...they have disciplinary measures,such as having the patient removed from the program...not allowing take homes,ect...ask about their protocal..you dont need his permission to call/not identify yourself/state,ask questions about their program..drug testing,ect..without disclosing who you are..you could be a potential patient...however,you are paying the bill....a recovering addicts chance of relapse are greatest at the beginng of recovery...or they can sporadically relapse..once again ill offer sometype of program.....addicts need to know we can go farther deep than rock bottom....and have to deal with our disease on a daily basis..(at the beginning its a hourly basis if not minute/by minute)...at n/a or a/a they say 90 meetings in 90 days...have to change the behavior pattern...chef

03-30-2006, 05:46 PM
At the meth clinic, don't they follow the person in to do a pee test?

He REFUSES to go to inpatient rehab, states he "Doesn't have a problem".

Right now I don't know where he is, he was supposed to be home by 6:30 and if he went out he was supposed to drop off his car. His cell is off and he was seen earlier with a guy whose girlfriend is an addict. None of his addict friends has a car but him. (He has a good group of friends and a bad group.)

He didn't sign permission for me to access his meth records at the clinic. That's ok, I cash and control his money and I will not give him a red cent till he does.

Found him, he doesn't know we took his car yet. He is hanging out with the biggest slime she-bucket in the neighborhood, (he doesn't know we know she moved back into her father's house). I was ready to knock on the door and tell her father the "truth" about her but decided just to take the car, disable it and lock him out.

Thank God for these boards because I can't talk to anyone honestly like I talk here.

Thanks for the support, you keep me sane.

03-31-2006, 04:32 AM
they usually dont stand there and look over your shoulder as you go....they make it hard for you to contaminate your specimen...they add blue dye to the toilet water so you cant dilute without them knowing and you are not allowed to run water while you are in there....they check the urine for natural chemical called creatine....only way is to bring in someone elses sample and then they also check for proper body temperature(urine bottle has temp gauge on side of it)must fall in between 90 and 100 degrees, i beleive....he most likely/possibly is still using..thats why hes defensive about a in-patient program...i refused also...looking back its just cause we dont want to stop(just yet) or are not prepared to stop......chances are also,he may have become knowledgable that the methadone is not easy to w/d from...alot of folks find it hardertto get off of than other opiates/pain pills/heroin....it must be a controlled detox slowly off of the methadone......you never stated how many mg's he was on either......i think you did the right thing in not confronting the girls dad....if she is a adult over 18,legally she can do what she wants...she is obviously aware of her boyfriends drug usage.....these are the kind of folks your son has to take the step of seperating himself from....he needs to hang out with people who have used opiates and are in recovery for a good period of time,theyve got some sobriety time....they can help explain his addiction problem to him face/face.....thats why a/a or n/a works...he has to be willing to make some life changing decisions...as long as he is using/even if its a maintance drug,hell never be thinking rationally....he may think today that you pulled some stumps on hinm yesterday by taking his car/following him around/spying on him,ect...be observant to the decisions you make and the confrontations with him...try to make something positive out of it...i know he doesnt realize that you are looking out for his best interest...he has stuff goin round in his mind right now that he has to let go..hes the one that has to recover from his abuse(he has to realize and will some day,about all the damage he has done at home/family,ect)...hopefully he will realize and come to terms with his addiction before any more hurt gets done.....step#1 in a twelve step program...realize we have no self control over our addiction.......once he can be honest with himself and can complete step one its time to move on to the second step........ps...i bet if he wont go to in-patient and his defensive about his addiction..his clinic urine tests dont look great..sounds to me like to that he knows what info he is hiding from you..opiate addicts are good manipulators/decievors....chef

03-31-2006, 05:37 AM
Hi Cram,

So sorry to hear what you are dealing with...it must be so frustrating for you knowing your motivation is your love for him yet he sees it as something almost negative.

I just wanted to pop in and share my experience with the methadone clinic I go to. I'm 48 and have been a pain pill abuser for a very, very long time. I started at the clinic about a year and a half ago, and the way chef describes it is pretty much the way it is for me also. I meet with my counselor one on one every two weeks, and they administer a UA once a month, and I've never had a dirty one :) yea! I have talked to plenty of patients though who have failed their UAs, and it does cost them in loss of take-home privileges. When you have to give them a UA, you can't take anything in the bathroom with you like your coat, purse, backpack, etc. There is also a time limit for producing one, and they immediately check the temperature of it. I think it would be very difficult to "trip them up" on these tests...believe me, they've seen everything a person can try.

My clinic also offers group meetings of all types...a co-ed one on Saturdays, a men's group and a separate women's group on other days, and they're just starting a methadone anonymous group one day a week as well. By going to the meetings, having clean UAs, and not missing your appts. with your counselor (unless it's work-related), you go up in phases...phase one being one take-home a week (along with the Sunday take home as the clinic is closed on Sundays), phase two adds another day, phase three you go in on Monday, Weds., and Friday (weird, but I think it's to avoid the pitfalls of selling it or whatever), and next you go in once a week--that's where I'm at.

Also, if you don't have your payment on time, they put you on a "fee-tox," which means they reduce your dose by 10 percent until you get current with your payments. I don't think your son would jeopardize a dose reduction by using the money for something else, but each state has different rules so that might not be a concern for him.

I hear your concern and I hear your frustration. I hope things work out for all of you, and I'm glad you are getting comfort from this board--it certainly was a lifesaver for me. Methadone maintenance therapy has been the only transition that worked for me as I was never able to go c/t or taper down. My life is so different now but the time away from drugs that the methadone gives you has to be used to gain coping skills and to find ways to live life on life's terms--not on drug's terms, and that's why the meetings and the counselors are so important. Because I used for over 20 years, I expect I'll be on MMT for awhile, but it's still a better way of living than the craziness I was doing before.

I agree also that you did the right thing in not confronting the girl's parents. Your son has to find his way, too. He is very fortunate to have a support system in his life, even if he doesn't fully recognize it right now, but the hardest thing is to not become codependent in his recovery...he really is the one who has to do it and to want to do it.

Good luck,

03-31-2006, 01:33 PM
Thank you! I have good news. He is going into in-patient rehab Monday. They had to wait till Monday because he has to reduce his meth dose for three days before he is accepted, something about he has to be on 25 (Mg?) to work with thier medication. I am posting another post because I have rehab questions.

If it wasn't for all the support here, I would never have gotten to this "rehab" point.


03-31-2006, 01:44 PM
I would have to agree with Chefob1 about opening up and telling your son that when you were younger you had a problem with a drug and tell him what you learned from it, then he would trust you and maybe you help him through this, because you have been there even though it was a while ago. I wish my mom did the same, she had her fun with drugs in her day and stopped, but instead she used to deny it and make me feel like a drug crazed animal and she was perfect. Now she is honest and I respect her, I mean no one is perfect. Even though it was the past you can teach your children from your own mistakes you made and how you got through it. Good luck with your son, I think thats a good idea about the drug test. :) Kelley

03-31-2006, 01:45 PM
thats awesome congrats on the him going to rehab, all my luck. :) Kelley

03-31-2006, 04:50 PM
:) I am on the fence about telling him, my son when he is mad, throws everything in my face to hurt me....his tongue is a sharp as a knife. On the flip side he will understand why I am so adament about him changing his friends and not being around users. I don't know how many times I have told that people who get high, only hang out with the same.

How many times I told him the story of meeting two couples, we went out together, went to dinner together and then we were dropped. Why? I found out years later, because I didn't party and when the women went into another room together, I was oblivious to what they were doing.

I have to give this serious thought, so it comes out right. The good thing is, with him going to rehab, I am sure they will in time have family counselling where this can be discussed with a third party who is experienced and will know how to handle the information.

04-12-2006, 10:28 AM
I don't see the need to tell him, it really isn't necessary in my opinion, how would you benefit from it, its not like you were doing it for very long and had that big of a problem with it, I think at this point its not really important to share it with him, he has enough problems right now.

04-12-2006, 11:07 AM
I'm going to slide in here real quick with my opinion. I think it is just plain wrong to burden our children with things like this. I have found it ends up causing a bigger wedge in any relationship that already is challenging. I think many think it will draw them closer to their children but I have yet to see that happen, I have only seen the wedge grow deeper and it dangled over the parents head.

04-14-2006, 07:28 AM
I told my kids about my alcoholism and their dads because they have a good chance of becoming alcholics themselves if they drink. I was alky from very first. Almost everyone in my family and extended family have a history of alcoholism. The difference between this and telling him you used coke is that coke is an addicting substance. Alcohol is only addicting to alcoholics. I wouldn't tell him. And i would get counseling for yourself to help you detach in a healthy way and take care of yourself. What you are going through is pretty traumatic. I see a therapist every 2 weeks and i wouldn't trade her for the world.

04-14-2006, 01:14 PM
To tell or not to tell, I don't think there is an answer. But my son is so far deep and thanks to my ex who bad mouthed me my son had strong suspisions so I told him yes, I tried coke after much pushing from my ex and his friend (explaining to son that friends/family don't always look out for your best interest they just want you to get high/drink with them to justify what they are doing.).

I told him much to my surprise I really liked it and there were nights I would stay up all night. I told him this because I wanted to explain to him that when I realized it was effecting my job and I had children to support (my ex wasn't a worker) and I knew I had a potential problem with the stuff getting in the way of my job, I stopped. I explained to him I could NOT be around people who were getting high on coke because I would be tempted. So I became anti drug. So far he hasn't thrown it in my face. But I wanted him to understand why I was so adament in him NOT hanging out with his friends who do drugs.

I was lucky, I was able to stop. Don't get me wrong I thought about it for years and years.

04-14-2006, 02:08 PM
My son is a few weeks away from turning ten, and I just recently told him that I used to smoke alot of weed and drink like a fish, and that I started abusing at the ripe old age of 14. That's only four years older than he is, so I figured that now's a great time to come clean about my past, before he reaches the age where I took a major wrong turn.

I explained to him that I was telling him in order to warn him not to make the same mistakes I did, and that if he ever faced a situation where he's tempted to try drugs, he can come to me openly and talk about it without being judged.

I also told him how detrimental it was overall in my own life, and that I wanted to do everything I possibly can to help him avoid getting caught up in drugs. I also told him that it was FUN many times, but that lots of bad things are really fun , which is one of the reasons that so many people do so many bad things. He understood that the "fun" factor is one of the dangers of getting on the wrong path.

When he asked me why I was telling him, I just told him that I couldn't pretend I was some kind of saint who never did any wrong, and that letting him believe that would be hypocritical on my part, and possibly detrimental to him at some point. I have also never lied to him, and hopefully, I never will.

I think honesty is usually the best way to go. Not every time, but most of the time. If we can be honest and tell our kids the bad things we've done (or at least MOST of them), I believe that they'll respect us more, and we become more "real" to them, as opposed to some idealistic or false views they may have about us. They may also realize that were not as dumb as they think we are, and maybe we're even a bit cooler than they may have thought.

I'm on two narcotic meds myself, one time released and one for breakthrough pain, and have been for almost 4 years for a variety of physical problems. I explained dependence, tolerance and addction to him, and told him how careful I need to be with my meds, that I can easily abuse them, and that he could also be predisposed to abuse himself.

Anyhow, I'm glad your son's going into rehab, and I hope he can stay clean when he gets out. That's the tough part. I think that sharing your own experience could be really beneficial to him. You can warn him of the pitfalls before they show up, and you can also "kindly" warn him that you know tha signs of abuse, and that if he uses, you'll be able to tell because you knew all about it long ago.

If you play it right, this situation could actually improve your realtionship with one another in the long run, because you have a common bond. Drug abuse may not be the bond that anyone would pick as their first choice, but we have to work with what we have at hand.

I don't know a thing about meth. I've never seen it, nor do I know anyone who uses it, but from what i have read, it's really bad. I do have one lady friend who eventually left her husband because of it, and the stories she has told me are awful.

I've seen some before and after photos of people who got hooked on it, and in less than a year, some of them look like completely different people from the damage that the drug did to them.

I think another really tough thing for him will be cultivating some new friends who don't use. I remember when I quit years ago, it was one of the loneliest times of my life. That's tough, especially for young people.

Hopefully, he can break the habit soon, and I think you could wind up being a great asset in his battle, simply because of your own experience. You can use what was really bad at a point in your own life, and the lessons you learned from it, to do something really good in his, and yours as well.

I'll say an extra prayer or two for both of you.

Hang in there, and good luck.