Heroin is an epidemic in the suburbs of New Jersey where my 16 old son resides with his Dad

Constance - posted on 04/11/2015 ( 1 mom has responded )

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My ex husband has physcial custody of our 16 old son. I live in Califonia and they live in New Jersey. My son has been away from me for seven years. He visits 3 times out of the year, Christmas, Spring break and for the summer. When he was younger his visits out here were simple. I would plan fun things for us to do. A couple of years ago when he started ninth grade things changed. It is so dificult for me to be involved in his daily life because he is so far away. However, my son confides in me much more than he does in his Dad. Christmas 2014 I was waiting for the day to come to pick him up from the airport. His father called and told me Ricky wanted to go to a mental hospital because he wanted to kill himself. He spent the prior three years in couseling. I believe he suffered from seperation disorder. Being away from me. During his stay at the hospital he was drug tested and he was positive for marijuana. He chose to go to an impatient program for 90 days. This recovery foundation focuses on drug use as well as coping with problems. He also attends school. About a month ago my ex husband told me that our son was very upset and he was not going to call me . He wrote me a letter. The letter I recieved basically said it. He let out all his anger and then he told me that he was a heroin addict. It breaks my heart that my baby is using such a horrible drug. His Dad took him away from me because i was using meth but I am a recovering addict and am doing well. His Dad also took him to the suburbs of New Jesery claiming it would be a better place to raise our son. WRONG, the suburbs of New Jesery may not have meth but it is overflowing with heroin dealers who sell to all the kids. I read some articles on line and it has become an epidemic. It didn't surprise me because ten years ago I resided in the suburbs of Chicago and the teens there were using heroin as well. It must be an east coast thing. Regardless, my son is in rehab. It's been about 90 days and he is unsure when he will get released. I feel so helpless here unable to visit him. The phone calls are once a week for 15 minutes. I wroted to him and explained that if he comes here when he is released I will help him stay clean. His Dad has no idea what Ricky's drug of choice is. I feel Ricky should tell his Dad. His Dad and I are not on great terms but we do communicate via email. I spoke to Ricky today and he said he wants to come to California when he gets out but not sure when. I don't know what he is thinking because i can't talk to him face to face. I fear that when he gets out he will go straight to drug dealer and use. If that happens all this clean time and rehab would be for nothing. His Dad never used any illegal drugs. i don't think his Dad understands the "addiction" part. He probaly thinks that once Ricky is released that he will be cured. How can I help my son being so far away. I want to encourage him to come here but do not want to force him. Even though his Dad has physical custody I have parental rights. Ricky is 16 he can talk to the judge hisself and tell him where he wants to live. I just don't think Ricky is ready to give up that drug. it's one of the hardest drugs to get off of and very addicting due to the way it makes you feel. I never used heroin in my life. However my son blames me for him using. I am so worried . I haven't told anyone in my family about his drug problem, just my Mother. Any suggestions on how I can help my one and only son?

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Manda - posted on 04/11/2015

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Well,unfortunately u r in a very tough situation..I know u don't want to break ur sons confidence, but herion is a seriously addictive drug,and if he's living with his dad,and his dad doesn't know,then he either isn't parenting very well,or ur son hasn't gotten to the point where his addiction is taking over his life,which would b a really good thing! If ur not in a position to b there for him ursrlf,and u can't convince him to come stay with u,then u absolutely have to tell his father! Keeping ur sons secret isn't doing him any favors,in the long run,it could b what destroys him. If his dad can handle it the right way,then there is still a chance he can b saved! But keeping it quiet is not the answer..of course that is what ur son wants,but he has no idea what's best for him,he is a child,ur child,and u have to b the one to care about him,cuz he won't do it for himself! His father needs to b told,so he can do something about it..if it were my son,I'd lock him up at home,I wouldnt allow him to leave to b able to have the chance to go out and get any,I wouldn't allow friends over who could bring it to him. If I couldn't b there every second of every day,I would make sure somebody I trust could fill in for me while I was gone. I would give him 24 hour support..be there for him, encourage him to talk to u,about how he is feeling,make sure he has things to do,to occupy his time..then after a while,I would bring in a counselor he could talk to,or some kind of moral supporter,who can also educate him on the addiction,and how life ruining it can b...he is still so young,and his parents are still in control..now is the time to take care of this..not wait till he's older and see how it plays out,cuz I garuntee it will end with him having arms that are infected and covered in scars,yellow decaying teeth,and just over all poor health..not to mention living on the street...which by the way,kicking him out for his addiction is the worste thing his dad could do..this young boy needs love,and a whole lot of attention! Trying to scare him straight won't work..it will only speed up his dessent into depravity! But please,I urge u to tell those things to his father...its ur responsibility as his mother to look out for him,and not just trying to get him to finally b able to come stay with you.. If he can,and u can help him,then that is great! But if he's not gonna come to live with u,then the parent he is living with absolutely needs to know what is going on!

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