Son is heroin addict but needs psychiatric help too

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Tired of this crap, Oct 29, 2016.

  1. Tired of this crap

    Tired of this crap New Member

    My son is 22 and started having behavior trouble since middle school. We tried counseling and eventually rehabs once we found out that he was using drugs. After several rehab attempts, we sent him to be home schooled and live with his grandmother during his senior year after finding drugs in my house and discovering that he was smoking crack around his toddler brother. I think he felt that I chose his brother over him, but that's neither here nor there now I guess. He has now been in and out of 19 drug treatment programs, has been shooting heroin and going into treatment as a ticket into various halfway houses in between drug binges. My parents kicked him out, and he has burned just about every bridge and crapped on every opportunity he has been given to get it together. I'm really frustrated because due to the serious drug addiction no one can see that mental illness is a major factor that led to the addiction and was made worse by it like a vicious circle. I did not understand the difference between therapy and psychiatrists when he was under 18, so despite all the therapy and counseling he was never diagnosed with mental illness and the addiction then took over. Dual diagnosis rehabs didn't do anything for him. I am at a loss for what to do to help him. I realize that he is grown, and do not enable him, but I'm his mother so here I am, desperate on an internet post, praying that someone has an idea for me to try. Thanks .
  2. Tiredof33

    Tiredof33 Active Member

    I have been struggling with the same issue for many years as many of the members here have. I wish their was a magical answer, sadly, there is not.

    My child has also been in and out of rehab and many other problems from an early age. Many of the problems with trying to diagnose their mental problems is getting them off the drugs, alcohol, or both.

    I have seen my child clean and sober and he is completely different than when he is using. I know the drugs make his mental issues much worse.

    Read the many posts on the forum, they are full of valuable advice. There are lots of books on the subjects in library's and online for free if you are short of funds. And who isn't when they have adult children with our issues?

    Learn to set boundaries, learn to detach, find a hobby, exercise, mediate. Take care of you. Anything that works to get him clean and sober will have to come from him. He is an adult and there is no way you can force him to change his life, it's his choice alone.

    (((hugs and blessings)))
  3. Tired of this crap

    Tired of this crap New Member

    Thanks so much for your reply .
  4. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately you did all you can. Your child or not, he is a man now and will only get better if he decides to do it. Part of helping to motivate them is very hard to is to refuse to coddle them. I had to toss out my drug addict daughter at 19 and contribute no car and no money. I thought she was mentally ill too. And I felt like a horrible person but I had two young kids too. And nothing we did was doing any good so we went to Al anon and did very tough love.

    She quit twelve years ago and is not mentally ill. The drugs made her act crazy. She started at age twelve. I couldn't stop it even that young. She had to want to do it.

    When asked why she quit she always says, "it was too hard to use drugs." She is a happy normal mom now with a house, career and boyfriend of eleven years. Sometimes our help holds them back.

    We didn't cause it, we can't control it and we can't cure it. This is 100% up to them.
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    Last edited: Oct 29, 2016
  5. Tired of this crap

    Tired of this crap New Member

    That gives me hope for him. Thank you for sharing your story. I pray that someday he can lead a better life too. I just hope he lives long enough to come to some kind of epiphany and make the changes he needs to.
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  6. mof

    mof Momdidntsignupforthis

    My son suffers from mental illness we weren't aware of...he turned to drugs, many drugs...then clinically died on heroine...for was a jolt.

    He did except help...he is medication more heavy drugs...I don't believe any... it it's a road...a long one...and only they can walk it. You can keep him company, but I realize...that's it.

    Hugs for your hurting heart
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  7. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Welcome Tired, I'm so sorry for what you are going through. I'm glad you found us here.

    You have done all you can for your son, all that is left is your love and prayers. It is heartbreaking to watch our adult children spiral out of control into a dark abyss. While it is heartbreaking we cannot allow their behavior to break us. We spend so much time worrying about them and trying to help them that we lose who we are. We lost sight that our life matters too.

    Have you been to an Al-Anon meeting? If not I suggest you try one. You might also reach out to NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness)

    Most of all, please take time for yourself. Be good to yourself, do something you enjoy. Some people find this hard to do as they say they feel guilty. While those feeling may be "normal" they are not healthy. It's so important to for us to live our own lives.

    Please let us know how things are going.

    ((HUGS)) to you.....................
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  8. Tired of this crap

    Tired of this crap New Member

    I know that it sounds rediculus, but sometimes I wish I could go off to one of the rehabs he's been to and take a month off to self reflect and pick my bellybutton poolside. You are so right about us needing to take care of ourselves and it's really hard to do with all that's going on on top of the normal stuff that we have to deal with. By the end of the day, I'm too tired to even enjoy a glass of wine, so it doesn't look like addiction is in my future lol, but I think I'll just start with taking the time to shower daily (anyone with a toddler will understand) and maybe start up my nightly walks that I used to enjoy. My depression over my situation steals as much of my energy and time as me actually trying to stay involved in my son's life. He's grown, I can't turn back the clock, I can't control him and his choices, and I can't make him get help. All I can do is love him and keep hope that he will remember what I tried to teach him and turn it around. Thanks you for your support and understanding. It helps to get it out and I needed a dose of perspective.
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  9. jetsam

    jetsam Active Member

    hi tired, sorry for your pain. My son is 29. back at home again (long story ) also has a drug problem. He works, then loses job or quits (for whatever stupid reason works for him at the time) anyway I have worked very hard at learning to detach on an emotional level.. much more difficult to do since he is at home. But we can detach! The more i find my own life ,doing things for me, and the less i focus on him the better i feel! also, my son feels the change and seems to be adjusting to it. He asks for less of my help, and seems to be clumsily trying to find a way to get it together. He is nowhere near being self sufficient (and won't till he is out of my home) but he knows the day is coming...we are moving in june and he knows we will not let him come with us. I hope he sees that homelessness is in his future if he doesn't get his $#&* together, but I know i can't do anything to make him get it. I ,like you, pray he does get it before the drugs take away his choice. He had troubles since grade school. Psychiatrists diagnosed ADHD, but that was it! My husband and i told them we felt there was more going on (mental illness) but my son was a masterful manipulator already at an early age (very bright) so the doctors. would just blow us off! and we went to several over the years! We did therapy as well. so don't beat urself up...sometimes no matter what you do you cannot change the outcome. The only thing that seems to be helping both my son and myself , is my detaching. Forcing him to take responsibility for his actions, and my not accepting his unacceptable behaviors
  10. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    So sorry to hear of your situation. Welcome to the group. We are all going through our own crap as you can see by our signatures. It was good for me to find this forum because when we are going through this we feel so very alone. It seems like everyone around us isn't dealing with this so they don't have a clue!

    I remember when I found out that HE was the only one that could fix it, I was shocked. Yet it was so simple.

    It's hard to watch and hard to let go when you are a parent and love them so much. Why do they have to make everything so hard? It's impossible to understand for me even to this day and we have been going through this for five years ourselves. Our son has been in denial all the while tearing our lives apart. And his own.

    I do hope you take care of yourself and your other family members, let your son know you love him and you'll help him when HE IS READY to change and keep posting and reading. It has given me so much strength and hope.
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