My drug addicted son.


New Member
Good morning to everyone.

I just joined this forum after reading quietly for a long period of time. Like a lot of you here, I have an adult son (23) that just doesn't seem to want to be an adult.
We fought all through his high school years over everything - he wouldn't go to school, did the bare minimum to pass, lots of drugs use which back then I thought was just weed but now I'm wondering if there was anything else. He didn't want to go to college after high school even though he is a smart kid. We told him he can't just live in our basement and get high, he has to either get a job and pay rent or study or enlist, but he has to do something. Eventually he surprised us all and enlisted. The proudest day of my life was when he graduated from basic training. He's been to Iraq, was injured and sent home, and then got medically discharged.

Very soon after getting out of the hospital he met his current girlfriend who made everything worse. She's also a drug user, very problematic, goes to parties and brags about having criminal friends. Son of course is in love and thinks she's an angel. He told me they're using drugs together and I couldn't be more heartbroken. The last few times I saw him, before he decided not to talk to me because I won't enable him, I could tell he was high on something. They used to ask us for money using all kinds of excuses until we decided to stop giving them any.

Nothing we or his Army friends (who are all good kids) do or say seems to have any impact here, and it's killing me. It's impossible to do nothing, but it's like there's nothing to do.


Well-Known Member
Just wanted to say welcome. I'm sure you will find comfort in this forum. I certainly have.

I have a 24 year old son with a personality disorder and some substance abuse issues. It's very hard. I am learning to 'detach with love'. Our sons are adults and we need to allow them to live their lives according to their choices. We can offer help but it's up to them to take it. We can't control what they do. There's an article on detachment pinned to the top of this forum that I and many others have found helpful, which you might like to look at.

Of course detaching is easier said than done. I'm still struggling with it.


Face the Sun
Welcome AnotherMom. I strongly recommend the Detachment article Miss LuLu suggests. I keep it close by and do a periodic assessment of what I still need to work on or revisit. I think it seems difficult to detach because our situation is constantly evolving. What I can say for certain is I am better, I feel empowered because I see the boundaries work. I see it as emotional detachment. When I see things logically, rather than emotionally, I can make changes necessary for me.

The hardest part is letting go of all the what ifs, but we must. It is out of our control. Someone shared this with me when I first joined here. It has stuck with me like glue. The 3 C's from Out of the Fog.

1. I didn't Cause it.
2. I can't Cure it.
3. I can't Control it.

Learning the difference between helping and enabling has given me emotional freedom and ability to communicate with logic.

I sought professional help, but it wasnt until I came here that I understood my therapist was trying to get me to detach. I was too resistant at the time. There are several here who go to Alanon and what they share has been very helpful.

We can only control ourselves and try to be as healthy as possible for all those who want us to be whole.

Again, welcome. Keep us posted. In healing


Well-Known Member
Dear AM, there really is nothing else to do or be done. You have raised this child, he is an adult, and his adult choices are his to make and learn from (or not). I know this hurts like hell and is so very scary with substance abuse.

You have stopped giving him money or enabling him. That is excellent because it will force him to live the consequences of his choices when they come.

Now you can take care of yourself, and get the focus off him. And by doing that, you will actually contribute positively to your son's life as you model behaviors that are serving an individual. I would strongly suggest Al-Anon or Nar-Anon to you. They have excellent online meetings during Covid and when everything opens back up, you can probably find local meetings in your area. This will be the biggest support and help you can find for yourself.

There is no unhappiness to big to be bettered. You can learn to smile regardless of what your son is doing or not doing.

Much love to you.


Sending good vibes...
Welcome AM,

If you've been reading quietly on this forum for a while, I'm betting you've experienced some healing already. I have two sons, 27 and 31. The 31 yr. old is currently living with someone right now but with COVID his off again on again employment is uncertain and at any moment I could find him living in his car again too. Younger son, in 2009 graduated from the Marine Corp. Just as you, it was the proudest day of my life. However, similar to your son was discharged. He had tons of friends when he first got out because he had a back stash of pay from the time in the Marine Corp. Most all of that was spent on drugs and alcohol and partying. He lived with us for several more years not doing much of anything. In 2017 I got divorced after 30 yrs. of marriage and our family dynamics changed. I refused to take him or the older son who never worked with me. Since then they have both been living in their cars mostly. It's been difficult to watch them spin their wheels. Don't get me wrong, I spent thousands and thousands of dollars trying to save them both until I was just about sunk. They didn't change a bit.

Through Al anon, counseling, good books and this forum I have gotten better and have learned I have to be the change. I can and will always continue to pray for them and communicate with them "with boundaries" but I try very very hard not to get sucked in emotionally and make irrational decisions for myself.

Glad you've begun posting. You will find healing, no doubt in doing so.


New Member
Thank you all.
You are all right - there's nothing that I can do. He's an adult making his own choices and I have to figure out how to detach or I'll spend my life agonizing over him throwing his life away.
It's simple to understand logically. But I feel like my heart doesn't get it, if that makes any sense.
I printed out the article on detachment. But preparing to read it makes me hope that maybe me fully detaching and busy with my own life if what would change things for my son. Like I'm still trying to figure out how to fix him.
It's hard. I'm going to sign up for an online Al-Anon meeting and see how it goes.


Well-Known Member
Welcome Another. I can't add anything to what the others have said. You said it yourself when you said, "Its like there's nothing to do." You're right; there is nothing else to do. And I agree with the post that said it's good that you've stopped enabling with financial help. That in itself is a huge step, so it's good you've accomplished that. Keep posting; it really helps, and there is nothing but compassion here.


New Member
Welcome, I have taken advise from most of these folks that have commented to your post. They and I have been it a lot of situations that your going thru. My son is 32, still lives on property with me and my wife. He is a addict for half of his life. We keep a roof over his head because he doesn't seem to want to. My wife's sister feeds him and so do we. He never keeps a job for very long because he has a lazy bone or 2. We pray that some day he will see for himself that he is living the wrong life and stop using. My wife doesn't want him on the street if there is a chance he will come around. The other reason is if he happens to O.D. she doesn't want him on the streets. She puts herself in the line of fire with him all the time. He lies so much you cant tell if he is telling the truth. He has stolen money form his on grand parents when they where still alive. We have to lock up pills, money and valuables in a safe. I can go on and on. If from what I read he doesn't live with you. I would keep it that way. You can beg, plead, roof over there head and feed them but until they want to change You have no control over there actions. I have learned here that I cant do any thing for him. I don't want to miss treat him either but some times your emotions will take over and I have a hard time controlling them when it comes to miss treating my wife. We all love or kids. We all want to fix them. Advise I have is If the addict doesn't live with you then don't let them move in. It will cause chaos.


100% better than I was but not at 100% yet
Welcome. So sorry for your pain. We went through a lot also as you can see below.

My son is doing much better now thank GOD.

No one mentioned to pray for your son and yourself if you believe in a higher power. That is what got me through IN ADDITION to everything mentioned above.

Someone said here that we fret and worry and make ourselves SICK to death and to them it's just another Tuesday, Wednesday or whatever. How true that is!!

I am sure that your son is doing more than smoking weed based on your story. It hurts and it is hard.

One of my childhood friends lost her 26 year old son to a heroin overdose in July. He died in her home. She could not protect him from himself.

The reason why I am telling you this is because her son went off the rails after my son started to. I acted quickly. Looking for answers, solutions, then help. She buried her head in the sand. She could not deal with any of it. She didn't like it when I told her that he should leave her home because she was enabling him - as I learned here and from my therapist. She actually later said that she got mad at me. She came to me because she didn't know anyone else that was dealing with it. Don't get me wrong, I don't blame her at all. We are all different. Her son lived there for a good year holed up in his room moving from harder drug to harder drug. She continued to just let him be and paying his car payment after he lost his job when his boss called her to say he was "doing pills" and he was worried about him.

She finally did make him leave. He finally did get sober after many tries. After his last 7 months sober and working he came home again. He was doing pretty good. Loved his job and up for a raise. Then he went to a party after she begged him to stay home with her that night to watch a movie. He said "it's fine Mom, don't worry". She now blames herself for not knowing that he was overdosing one floor beneath her. She will never be the same. I try to comfort her as much as I can but we all know that losing a child is not something that we can overcome but have to learn to live with.

She wants to move because she can't even go into that room anymore because she will forever see him there the way she found him. But she can't. Her credit is ruined by trying to help him stay afloat. What good did any of it do?

I am just thankful that the people here told me what I needed to hear. I needed to get tough and get tough fast. I needed to learn how to parent 100% differently than I had parented our older boys and I needed to do it fast. It went against every grain of my being but I now know that is what changed our son and gave him a chance. It doesn't mean you don't love him.

Stay strong.


Well-Known Member
Hi AM and welcome. I am so glad that you are here. You've cut him off and that's often the hardest part. When we let our NO mean no, it models good, strong morals and behavior for them. It allows natural consequences to give him choices to change. If the consequences are worth it to him then you just have to watch it unfold. I agree with the others. You can detach with love.


New Member
Thank you. I read and reread the messages here to remid myself that I am doing everything I can (which, other than not giving him any money, is not much).
It's just so hard to side aside and not try to fix this. Wait for him to do it on his own and watch him destroy everything he has. I keep thinking about things that I could have done different, like back when he was in high school and we considered sending him to a school for troubled teens. We ended up not doing that because of the costs, but it's a "what if".
Sigh. At least he's not using my money to buy drugs. This is hard.