What is the right thing to do for my Son addicted to heroin

Terry - posted on 06/29/2013 ( 22 moms have responded )

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I need advice on how I can help my son who is addicted to heroin. He is in our home says he wants to quit. My husband has him working at his company and my son is doing very well. He agreed to get out patient help and is seeing a psychiatrist who treats heroin addicts with seboxin. He has had two relaps and tells us he will get help but he wants to do it his way. We have our 14 year old daughter who is at the house as well. I am not sure what to do. If I force him I'm sure he will leave and I worry he will OD . But I feel like I am enabeiling him if I let him continue to tell us he is going to get help but doesn't. Any advice on what to do as a parent.

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Danielle - posted on 08/07/2013

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I know it's a hard situation but I am a recovering addict (I'm 23) and have been clean for over a year. There is rehab but unfortunately if your son doesn't want help he will relapse. You can force him into rehab, he'll never stay clean. I realized I needed help when I had no where to go. It does sound like you are enabling him, enablers give "us" ( I say us from being an addict) am excuse because we see there is no consequences. The best thing to do is sit down with him and give him an ultimatum. Either he gets serious and wants a better life or he can no longer stay with you. I know it will be one of the hardest things you ever have to do, but bc my family did that I'm clean and have no desire to use. I hope it works out for your family. God bless

Dave - posted on 08/28/2013

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Like Danielle, I too am in Recovery. I did the suboxone thing, lived with my parents and held down a job for a while but all led back to relapse. He needs to go in a facility, and the Right Facility. There are too many rehabs that don't engage us younger addicts correctly, I went through 2 rehabs in my early 20's and when I was 26 went to a rehab where I actually learned, got the proper support, motivation and reality check. I now strive to help as many people as I can I work with several different resources to help families in any situation. We also help families with Presenting the Ultimatum as well as a full professional intervention! The difference is we make sure you not only get into the best suited rehab but stay with our people every step of the way including into after care, keeping them engaged helping them get back into life and stay on the right path. Anyone who chooses to reach out to help, we grab on and don't let go. I'm a miracle and so is every other addict that was able to recover. If your interested in speaking with me personally please visit my website at RealTalkAddiction.com .... Take the first step!

Dave - posted on 10/13/2014

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I hope this helps, my mom was on this site for support a while back. I've been clean for a little over 3 years now. I went to 3 Rehabs and finally in the 4th I actually stuck with it. The thing is, I didn't want to go- I actually planned and failed an escape. It wasn't until Day 10 of detox that I started realizing the reality of my life and felt that I actually had the option to stay clean. I caused my family, specifically parents a lot of pain and it all hit me at once. I broke down. If my parents didn't look through the BS guilt I put on them when they were trying to help me, I may not be here right now. I understand that it's difficult but my best advice is to realize that your son/daughter is lost in that addiction somewhere and some how be able to not react, remove yourself emotionally and DO NOTHING TO help them continue in that lifestyle. I went to my 4th and final rehab because I was given an ultimatum. Understanding is key. Love the child underneath the addict, not the addict. Do what is NEEDED for the child, NOT the addict. Cut the addict off to bring out the child, force them to that bottom. They will re-grow. I've created a website to provide help to parents and family of individuals struggling with addiction. Please contact through there for help RealTalkAddiction.com

I'm grateful. My heart goes out to ALL OF YOU! STAY STRONG! MUCH LOVE!
------------------GET SUPPORT------------------ no need to do this alone, STRENGTH

Darlene - posted on 10/09/2014

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I have a 25 year old son who is addicted to heroin & to my knowledge had started out drinking/partying at age of 18, had a good job in plumbing field for 5 years, then I was told he was on "thirties" & I'm like what is that? Turns out it is Percocet painkillers then progressed into other drugs I'm assuming, about 2 years ago he had taken money out of my wallet then started asking for small amounts of money & of course I gave it to him not knowing what it was for, this went on until he went into rehab for 3 weeks, got out & all hell broke loose, it was like letting an animal out of a cage, everything from stealing, arrested for drugs, spent one night in jail, we paid in pound fees to get truck back, then a month later totals truck, going on these disappearing acts for a few days at a time, running with homeless people then crawling back home to rest up & shower, last 2 jobs he had his performance was poor but showed up because he needed drug money which he was broke in 2 days & stealing from garage to get drugs, it's at a point where if u blink, one minute I do something nice like feed him & he's behind garage stealing every bit of scrap metal to cash in even if it means storming out with his work van to get it, he has went as far as taking our vehicles to do it & sneaking out late at night, corrupting our lives with kaos, confusion, arguing, shouting, I want to stick to my rules & be firm but husband is more calm, gives in more, doesn't like confrontation unless he's at a breaking point to actually shove or grab him by arm to scare him into stopping, my life is not my own anymore from dealing with this, I'm consumed with getting him help & putting my life on hold sometimes, husband & I are at a point of "we've had enough ", he's a grown man who needs to suffer thru pain of withdrawals & consequences, like everyone here has said, we don't want to give up hope but be strong & firm but let them know we love & care about what happens to them, he's never really been on his own to find his way in "The real world", hope someone has some ideas that we have not tried so far, it's comforting to know that I'm not alone dealing with this, would be grateful for suggestions, thanks for reading my story.

Michelle - posted on 06/29/2013

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You can't force someone to do something they don't want to do. You have answered your own question though, you have to make him leave and hope he makes the right choices.
Letting him dictate how he's going to do it doesn't work, you've said that he's already had 2 relapses. He will have many more if you don't show him some tough love. I know it's the hardest thing to do as a parent but we have to let them make their own mistakes in life so they will (hopefully) learn from them.

22 Comments

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Lee - posted on 06/25/2014

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terry my son was on subox for a long time. it didn't help him and he ultimately went back to using heroin. my son didn't want help and still doesn't, subox is just another drug for them to wean off of and if it is not taken correctly will not help the cravings.

Cathy - posted on 06/18/2014

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Well you can go to www.intervention.com you need to tell them your story they can help you.Its a struggle but you will get through it he will thank you later on for it

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 06/18/2014

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Cathy, the reality of the situation is that THE ADDICT has to admit defeat, THE ADDICT has to be the one to sign up for rehab, and THE ADDICT has to be the one who completes it.

Any rehab counselor will tell you the same thing. THE PARENT CAN DO NOTHING BUT STOP GIVING FINANCIAL SUPPORT AND STOP ALLOWING THE ADDICT TO LIVE OFF OF THEM. The addict MUST HIT ROCK BOTTOM and admit that they are beyond being able to do it themselves.

My husband is a 25 YEAR RECOVERED ADDICT. He's a rehab mentor for addicts in our area. I KNOW EXACTLY WHAT IT TAKES.

My condolences for your loss. However, your loss, while drug related, was not a heroin loss. Your son had abused his body to the point that it could not handle operating any more. That is not YOUR fault, unless you were the one skin popping him to begin with, which I doubt you were. HE MADE THE CHOICES to do the drugs and continue, and if he succumbed to a secondary infection after rehab, that's a different story all together.

And the message your friend received from her adult son is another gambit used by addicts to get more enabling help. He assumed that someone would find him in time, cut him down, take him in, and he could keep fixing.

IT IS A BRUTAL REALITY WITH ADDICTION ISSUES. I can't help what it is. Currently, my husband is mentoring a 12 week sober young man who admitted that his parents enabled his habit, and that his rock bottom was them not only cutting him off, but calling Dept of Criminal investigations in our state and turning him in.

Cathy - posted on 06/18/2014

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My son went to 4 rehabs. He lived on his own, worked and purchased a Condo by himself. He and I were very close. The follow up care in these rehabs in NOTHING.
They were all 'qualified' - that means nothing. What is really needed is a 3 month program.
The words 'stop enabling your addict' is so overused when I see it I want to throw up.
Do you want someone to get a call that their child is dead - that happened to my friend who's son was thrown out and got a call her son hung himself with the drugs in his pocket. His mother was at work and he left her a message on her phone that he felt he had no where to go and this was best for everyone.
My son passed away at 27 less than a week after coming out of a 30 day rehab because he was sick, he called me to meet him at the dr. He was prescribed a strong antibiotics and passed away the next day from this being too much for his heart.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 06/18/2014

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You can do nothing but STOP enabling your addict.

STOP allowing them into your home and life until THEY commit themselves to and complete a full rehab at a qualified facility.

The thing about addicts is that THEY have to be the ones to hit rock bottom, and yes this could mean an overdose for them. THEY have to be desparate to get off the drug, because if they are not, they will relapse, as many parents who have admitted their relatives to rehab.

Cathy - posted on 06/18/2014

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I lost my son less than 1 week after going to his 4th rehab. He was 27. Every rehab was a 30 day rehab and at one point he was in a mental facility - the rehab put him there. He NEEDS to go somewhere where he stays longer than 30 days and not just NAR-ANON and not a list of previous addicts that he can call when he feels down. I wish I had this advice but every rehab was different and we were believers. We tried to help, but I think if your son won't go into a rehab himself take him to a mental facility and sometimes you need to exaggerate and say he was going to kill himself, which he is doing. Heroin is the worst drug that is out there and the easiest and cheapest for them.PLEASE get him in somewhere as soon as you can. I did everything I could and blame myself everyday for him not being here.

Michelle - posted on 06/03/2014

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Sadly, Terry, you are enabling him. An addict will tell you anything (and usually what they know you want to hear) in order to continue using. I know from experience. They are the world's best liars and con artists. And he can't do it "his own way". My son tried that approach with me, but all he really meant was that he wanted to continue using. He just wanted to be left alone to do it. To your son, the addiction is the most important thing in his life. The only thing. My son also went to a psychiatrist, a doctor, a psychologist, took all sorts of anti-depressants, even went to rehab once to satisfy me. But in the end, his addiction was more important to him than anything else and he went back to it. I now know that no matter what I say to him or do for him, NOTHING will make him change. He has to make the decision himself that his life can be better than this. He has to take the steps himself to make it so. It's damned hard to stand by and watch them ruin their lives, but seriously, the more you help him in ANY way, be it with a roof over his head, or money, or food, or even emotional support, he will remain an addict because you're making it easier for him. Sorry to sound so negative, but that's the harsh reality we parents of addicts have to face. I'm still working on it myself and trying to muster the courage to tell him he has to go out on his own. I also fear he will kill himself, but if I let him continue on the path he's on, he will probably wind up dead anyway.

Kimberley - posted on 07/03/2013

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I suggest putting him in a facility where they address these issues. YOU cannot do this alone! Know this please! Dr. Phil usually addresses the issue and puts the drug addicts in a facility. I am sure it is expensive though but maybe you can email him and ask him to help you out. I wish you the best. Keep hopeing, keep praying for him. good luck.

Amy Nicole - posted on 07/03/2013

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Thats serious because he's trashing his life too a drug. Have you accutly consetered rehab? Rehab would help him out alot through prosses and let him know alternitves too use when he might feel upset or sad about something. Also with your daughter in the house? She might feel that that's okay too do too her body and herself.
You and your son need too have a talk together about it and let him know that he can kill himself with that drug.If he's doing Heroin then he might start other drugs. They say they will stop so you get off there ass about quiting. Don't give him the choice too quit. Make him quit talk too him and tell him you love him and you don't want too see him like that and it's best for him. Don't let him trash his life too a drug!

Kristi - posted on 07/02/2013

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Knowing something is right and feeling something is right can sometimes be two entirely differently things.

Just because you "know" forcing your son to get help or kicking him out is the "right" thing to do, doesn't mean in your heart it feels like the right thing to do. It can be really difficult to bridge that gap. It can definitely be overwhelming. Don't be afraid to ask for help or support for yourself.

Terry - posted on 07/02/2013

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Thanks
For your advice. It seems everyone agrees that I am enabling. It's so hard to know what the right thing is to do. But I think I know now

Kristi - posted on 07/02/2013

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I'm sorry for your situation. It must be so painful. My oldest friend went through this with her oldest daughter. She struggled with what to do just like you are. Her daughter didn't live with her nor did she work. My friend "helped" her daughter hide from the police, from CPS and she gave her her food stamps and such when her daughter said she didn't have anything to eat, making her other 7 kids go without.

She lied to and avoided CPS more times than I can count because she thought if her daughter lost her kids she would OD and kill herself for sure. Unfortunately, it took my friend until the 3rd baby was born, in a row addicted to meth, before she decided she had to choose between her grandkids and her daughter. Sadly, there is 4th on the way, sure to be born an addict. Silver lining..."they" found a wonderful couple with the desire and means to adopt all 4 siblings.

The first 3 were subjected to violence and neglect, the kind you find yourself crying about when you hear it on TV or read it in the paper. My friend's choice should have been obvious much, much sooner that it was. Although you're not making the choice between those living conditions for your daughter vs your son's possible OD, you still have to choose who you can protect now.

The fact is, your son can OD in your home just as easily as he can on the street. How well do you think your 14 year old would respond to finding her brother's dead body in the den or the bathroom or his bedroom? How well will you respond when you find her about to shoot up for the first time because there has to be a good reason her big brother keeps going back to this stuff?

This is a website for families with members that are addicts and I pasted the opening paragraph on the home page. There is a search engine to help you find groups in your area.

http://www.nar-anon.org/naranon/About_Na...

What is Nar-Anon?

The Nar-Anon Family Groups are a worldwide fellowship for those affected by someone else’s addiction. As a Twelve-Step Program, we offer our help by sharing our experience, strength, and hope. The only requirement for membership is that there be a problem of addiction in a relative or friend.

Nar-Anon members are relatives and friends who are concerned about the addiction or drug problem of another. Nar-Anon's program of recovery is adapted from Narcotics Anonymous and uses Nar-Anon's Twelve Steps, Twelve Traditions, and Twelve Concepts of Service.

This is another website with resources for families that have an addict in them. It's called Project Know.

http://www.projectknow.com/research/supp...

I hope some of this helps. I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers.

edit--add website address

Carrie - posted on 07/02/2013

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Hard and tuff love. Do not enable him any longer. Addicts steal cheat and lie to get the next high. Done there been there. My mom cut me off and now she is my main support to keep me cl3an. There is a place called allon. It is for parents of drug users. Check it out

Carrie - posted on 07/02/2013

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Hi therr. My heart goes out to y9u. I am a recovering addict of meth l. 6 years clean. I have got my license to help addicts. I have not used it but can help u with both sides.
Although he is your son and u love h8m. Y9u must do the rivht thing. Tell him to leave or go to rehab. That is the only way he can get through it. There is no other way......believe me I was there. Explain t9 him he has a sister who looks up to him and make him see what it does to her and your family. The struugle with addictiin is making the right choic3s. I went to serenity house in abline tx and it was a great program.if h3 doesnt stop it will kill him. I hope and pray for u and ur family and him

Terry - posted on 06/29/2013

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Has anyone had a success story from tuff love with there son or daughters heroin addiction.

Terry - posted on 06/29/2013

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I agree but how do I get him there. He is 24 and has to go on his own. And if he is doing it for me and not for himself it will never work. I guess I just make him leave and hope he decides to get treatment.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 06/29/2013

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You ARE enabling him by keeping him in your home, potentially with drugs in the house with your 14 year old. This man probably needs to GO to rehab, not just out patient. Heroin is extremely addictive, and he needs full time professional help until he is successful.

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