View Full Version : advice about my son's addiction

03-24-2014, 03:21 PM
Hi everyone. Any advice would be welcome. My son has been using for approximately eight years on and off (although this use appears to have escalated over the past few months) and it has taken me almost as long to realise that it is not mine or our families fault he is an addict and that whatever I do or say will not make him stop unless he wants to. For years my husband and I paid his debts, his court fines, speed and alcohol awareness courses, had him back home after throwing him out because he said he'd changed, let him live with us board free because he said he was trying to sort himself out. In essence as I now know we basically enabled his drug use. He has not lived at home now for over a year although we continue to have his son (our grandson whom we love very much) staying at our house every weekend as we have done for the past five and a half years. He does come and visit his son at our house or takes him out although, this has caused rows when he has let him down because of his lifestyle. My problem now is that after years of worrying about my son ie sleepless nights every night, constantly wondering where he is and what he is doing, to the point where I was becoming obsessive I have now got to the point where I feel I no longer care and if it wasn't for the fact we have his son I would say I don't want to see you again! I feel we are now finally moving forward as a family but, conversely my son last weekend decided to admit he has a coke habit and needs help and has been to the house and contacted me on a daily basis since then. I did make an appointment for him (with his agreement) with a drug clinic for next week and I have cooked him a couple of meals, however I really don't know if I can put myself through all this again. I have made appointments for him before, been supportive when he started counselling sessions etc but then we have gone back to square one and I don't know if this time will be any different. I could really do with some advice as I have to protect myself emotionally but he is my son and I feel I should support him, if only for the sake of his son. My son was at our house tonight sniffing and sneezing everywhere and feeling very tired but coming out with stupid things for example, asking where his inhaler was which he hasn't had for nearly two years and then saying 'perhaps I'll have a heart attack you know just a minor one' And I just looked at him and thought I can't be doing with this and I'm so glad he doesn't live at home anymore, yet for months after he left the last time I missed him and wanted him back. Anyway what are others thought on this any advice would be really welcome thankyou

03-31-2014, 11:49 PM
Thanks for letting me know the disease is still alive out there. The more reminders I can get the better. Now as for advice. My names Bill and I'm an addict. I've been clean this time for 10 months and 5 days. And something that I've grown to embrace this time around is that, for myself, getting off of drugs is not a matter of if I wanted to stop, or If I needed to stop, nor is a matter of whether or not I admit that I'm an addict. (although admitting it is an important part of the first step)
For me it comes down to something much more simple. "Am I willing to go to any lengths for my recovery today?"
I came to find out that using drugs was a symptom of the disease of addiction. today I frequently say that drugs was never my problem, it was my solution to my problem.
My addiction exists in me whether I use drugs or not. It is a three part disease. part one being a mental obsession, part two being a physical allergy, and part three being a spiritual malady (or as I like to say part three is as if my instincts have been hijacked)
part one the mental obsession we can't control, nobody can control the thoughts that enter their mind. but we can choose how we react to those thoughts!
in the past whenever getting high crossed my mind i always acted upon that thought. today I just shrug it off.
part two the physical allergy will never go away, the allergy exists in addicts in our brains, whenever I put a mind or mood altering substance into my body an allergic reaction happens, it manifests as a physical craving for more of whatever started the reaction. This part blew my mind when i first heard it! i didn't want to believe it. but someone explained it this way.
A normal reaction to cocaine or methamphetamines (which were my drugs of choice) is numbing of the jaw, a rapid heart rate, paranoia, dry mouth, sensitivity to lights and smells. not to mention usually people start grinding their teeth or chewing on there tongue until it causes pain.
Now any normal person upon feeling any of these things would probably react the way they should react to a numb face a rapid heart and a dry mouth! by getting scared and never doing that again!
now the abnormal (addict) response to feeling those things is to disregard any discomfort and put more of the substance that caused those feelings into our body. This is important because an allergy is an exaggerated or abnormal response to a substance which is otherwise harmless to other people.
And I don't think I need to explain how abnormal it is to want to feel that way...
the only part of the disease that we can recover from is part three, the spiritual malady, (the word spiritual in this case is defined as "the relationship to whatever is most important in your life")
I said earlier that a spiritual malady is the same as saying that my instincts were hijacked. Thats the way another person explained it to me, and for myself it makes the most sense.
The point that they were making that opened my eyes to the idea was this one
"You say that you love your family, but when you go to sleep at night what do you dream about? or during the day whenever you're alone what do you think about?" Now for me and most other people i run into at narcotics anonymous meetings or on this website even, the answer to those questions is not "my family" not that its always drugs, but drugs do tend to cross my mind a lot more frequently than my family does. which is sickening but Its true.
and I said all of this because I wanted to say this!
Every time I said that I wanted to quit drugs I meant it.
Every time I said I wanted to change I meant it.
Every time I failed it was because I wasn't willing to go to any lengths for my recovery.
and what that meant for me was following suggestions mainly. Every day I physically write down a list of five things in my life that I'm grateful for. and I carry it with me.
even if its the same five things from the day before i write them down again each day. along with that gratitude list i also write down a couple sentences about how I feel physically, emotionally, and spiritually (which again just means whats my relationship to the most important thing in my life)
For myself family is never number one on my list of most important things.
My recovery is the most important thing in my life. without it I wouldn't have anything.
I don't really know if this helps at all. sometimes its good to know you're heard

04-01-2014, 07:45 AM
Hi, thanks for your comments and without meaning to be patronising well done on your continuing recovery. I get what you mean when you say you have to be willing to go to any lengths for your recovery and I think this is what my son doesn't get that it is only him who can do this and there is no easy fix.
We did attend his appt with drug counsellor (the fact he went surprised me to be fair) however, he still appeared to be making excuses for his habit (which the drug counsellor picked up on) and then he (my son) said he thought I should have counselling! I agreed to one session because I thought it might encourage him however, despite past family issues which I have dealt with, my only issue now is my son and how his behaviour affects his son and our immediate family so this is all I would be discussing in any session. Anyway he has used twice since then to my knowledge and possibly more and I am back to being the big bad wolf. So I say to myself why did I even bother trying to help? All I've done is put myself back to where I was and he is just carrying on with his dysfunctional lifestyle. Did anyone support you in your recovery or did you just make your mind up this is what you were going to do and then just get on with it. Should an addict be helped (I mean by family) or are we just prolonging the addiction? Anyway thanks again for your reply and like you said it is just good to be heard.

04-01-2014, 12:06 PM
As for your question on whether you should help.

It took me going through 3 treatment center episodes and one psych ward stay, along with a lot of time spent in jail over the course of 10 years to push my mother to the point where she wouldn't have anything to do with me. I wasn't allowed to enter the home, and the only things we discussed on the phone were related to my recovery.

At the time I felt as though she had given up trying to help me.But today I can see that by eliminating our relationship (which was completely unhealthy) and sticking to her rules which consisted of only helping me by getting me to an appointment if I didn't have a ride and nothing else. and not communicating with me unless it related to my recovery. and by cutting me out of all areas of my family's life, except for the part that involved me actually getting help, not just saying I would. She was helping me more than I can even explain.

I guess by letting only that one aspect of our relationship survive, she made it harder to ignore. I really don't know all the psychology behind it but I love her for it. today I have a completely new relationship with my family... we don't get along well, but all the years I spent lying, and pretty much exhibiting all the nasty behavior that would most likely ruin relationships, Its very understandable why they don't trust me or have any faith that I'll stay clean. I've had clean time before. never this long though. oh well, they say instead of counting the days, I should make the days count.

The more I pay attention to the recovery community the more I notice that its filled with people that answer questions very carefully to make sure they're not telling anyone what to do, instead they tell people what they did so as not to seem like an authority figure I guess. Us addicts will rebel against anything!

04-07-2014, 02:22 AM
Hi, Thanks again for advice. I can see how your mother putting you out of her life would work and it is something I really feel I need to do until my son is serious about facing his addiction and problems. My difficulty is though we have had his son every weekend for over four years now, (initially my son was living at home until our relationship broke down) but after he left we continued having his son and he would come to see him over the weekend, although haphazardly.
Anyway, this weekend after he finally arrived to see his son but did nothing but tease him in an inappropriate manner I spoke to him quite strongly saying first of all he was a role model to his son and should be acting accordingly and suggested he looked at hobbies or something he and his son could do together. This was pooh pooed. I then asked him why he thought I carried on having his son every weekend, his reply to that was because he is your grandson and that I have my other grandchildren. I said to him I don't have them every weekend to the extent where me and his step-dad have no weekend life and if we wanted to go out we would have to get a babysitter, that we never get a lie-in etc. I said to him we have him so you can see him however, over the past few months your average time of seeing your son from Friday evening to Sunday evening has been less than 6hrs. I then told him if he didn't sort himself out I would be speaking to his son's mother and see if she would agree to us having our grandson just a couple of weekends a month and my son could make his own arrangements. His reaction to that was a load of abuse and the usual blame game that it's my fault I won't help him blah blah! and he walked out.
My dilemna in stopping contact with my grandson every weekend is that firstly, it would be quite an upheaval in my grandson's life and secondly I'm not sure how his mother would take it, whether she would stop contact altogether if she thought his dad wasn't seeing him (what could I say anyway, your son's dad is a coke head?). The day after I spoke to my son he came round, he was pleasant, although no apology for the day before, and spent proper time with his son and paid for some milk we needed from the shop, although he also had his dinner and fixed his car on our drive. Now what do I do? If his attitude changed because of what I said the day before that is good isn't it? Do I leave it and see if he keeps it up or do I do what I said anyway. To me now the most important person in all of this is his son, our grandson and if his drug taking didn't affect him I would be able to put my son out of my life until he made his own decision to clean up. What do you think your mom would do? Thanx for advice