A Mother’s Love and Hate for Her Addicted Son

My son, in his late 20’s, is a wonderful young man. He is the kind of son every mother dreams of — caring, loving, always doing the right thing. He would do everything and anything to help you.

Then, without any type of warning, he misuses drugs and alcohol. When he is under the influence, there are no boundaries. He becomes a person I don’t even know. Sometimes, even his facial expression changes and I barely recognize who he is at that moment.

My son will work his head off to help out. He’ll always go that extra mile just to find that one item on your wish list. He enjoys a lot sports but his favorite is NASCAR. He could watch it from morning until night. He adores his nieces and nephews and can make you laugh when you’re down or sit and hold your hand when things get rough. He would love to have a family to call his own, but just can’t seem to find that one special person to love him.

I watched a beautiful child grow from a sweet innocent bundle of joy to a mischievous little boy. Doing all the things that little boys do. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that one day a horrible disease would strike this child and turn him in to a monster.

As a teenager, I saw changes but thought that it was just typical teenage behavior. But as days and weeks progressed, the typical turned into worry, and worry to fear, and fear into desperation.

It began with small things, until the addiction enveloped his entire life. Then it was all about how to get the money for the drugs, where to get the drugs and then how to do the drugs without anyone finding out.

My son has an addiction to cocaine and alcohol. He has no job, no insurance and feels so worthless.

He has become a liar, a thief, and a full-blown drug addict. His cocaine addiction began back when he was only 17 and his alcohol addiction did not start until he was almost 22. He had 5 years clean at the time and was doing really well. But that legal drug, alcohol — and thinking that just one wouldn’t hurt — took him right back to his drug of choice. It all hits the same part of the brain. Addiction is a brain disease.

Parents: Believe me when I tell you that the rollercoaster ride is unbelievable. The pain you endure is unimaginable, yet the world expects you to go on like nothing has happened. Families are destroyed and those who have no clue about the devastation of this disease are always quick to put you down or become blameful.

I am and always was a good parent, even without a handbook. I prayed and did all the right things. I was guided by specialists and really believed in them. I made sure I knew about all the childhood diseases, but no one ever told me about the one that is more silent then others. The one that can take a child’s life from you without you even knowing it — the disease of addiction. It creeps into your life and destroys your entire family and leaves you with pain and loss.

The pushers and dealers get richer and richer. They get your hard-earned cash, your laptops, your digital cameras, your jewelry, your family heirlooms — nothing is beyond them. They have no conscience. They don’t care what their junkie brings to them as long as it’s worth something. The person addicted will bring the dealer a thousand dollar laptop and the dealer will give him two $10 bags in return. And when that person walks away, the dealer laughs and thinks, what a fool.

Each and every one of these “addicts” deserves the chance at recovery. There are great people in recovery out there working very hard every day to make this world a better place.

I will continue to my fight for my child. I will swallow the pain and turn him in, see him in jail if that’s what it takes. But I DO NOT want to bury my child.

I know today how it really feels to have a broken heart.

Help Your Teen (through Someone Else)

If your child hears the same information you’re trying to give him from someone of authority other than you, he may be more inclined to listen.

clip art of teacher nurse and cop

415 Responses

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    Ryan

    May 5, 2018 at 6:07 AM

    My son is 33 years old, living in a bad situation, asking for a place to stay with me for a few days. He has been dealing with drug issues for the past 5 years and has lost his job, his apartment and came to stay with me a few years ago, bringing his druggie roomie with him when they got evicted. He also brought alot of his stuff. He was abusive and I came home from work to find no food left in my house. I told him his buddy had to go, and he freaked out! Screaming at me telling me I owed him. I believe that he is mentally ill and needs help. But I can not do it for him. I have never done drugs and he was always a bit abusive while growing up, but now I am actually afraid of what he could do to me. I am more than happy to help him, but he is not allowed in my home if he is using and needs to go to rehab first. I had not even heard from him for the past 8 months. The furniture he left with me has to go, and I live by myself. so things have to be done. I work full time and he does have food stamps he gives to his friends parents to live in a trailer on their property. Even without a job, he seems to be getting drugs. I never imagined my son would end up like this. My sister died of a drug overdose and I know it is a horrible disease that the end result without help will be death. It is painful and I can not enable him to tear my life down as he destroys his own. I offer him a place to sleep and regroup, but he has not shown up. I did say, if he was using, he can not come here. What gets me is that it seems to be everyone else’s fault that he is a addict. There is help out there, and people who care. But I need to know as a mom if putting my foot down is the right thing? But I can not cope with what he has become and I have to take care of myself.

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      Josie Feliz

      May 7, 2018 at 12:18 PM

      Thanks for your message Ryan We have forwarded your message to one of of our helpline specialists who can help better answer your question, and she will be reaching out to you shortly. Please do not hesitate to call our helpline at 855-DRUGFREE in the future. Thank you. -The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids

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      Pat

      May 8, 2018 at 8:58 AM

      Hi Ryan,
      I can’t imagine how difficult your son’s situation is for you and the conflict that you are feeling. It’s often difficult to set limits and as a parent, you’re allowed to do that, not only for your own sake, but your son needs them too. Saying that you want your home to be free of drugs and a safe place is your right.

      Your self-care is important for so many reasons. If you implode, you won’t be able to help your son, your health will decline and you will be more reactive rather than thoughtful about what you want to do. Self-care on your part also shows your son what healthy behavior looks like and he will benefit from this modeling.

      You mentioned that there is help out there if he is willing. You might find a book called “Beyond Addiction” by Dr. Jeffrey Foote helpful in finding ways to encourage pro-healthy behaviors and to engage him in treatment. You can always call our helpline for assistance as well – 855-DRUGFREE. There’s no charge and the staff is warm, caring and will help you develop a plan.

      Wishing you and your son all the best,
      Pat

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    Mickelle Little

    November 23, 2017 at 10:06 PM

    Please help my daughter 224 334 6610

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    R.T

    October 2, 2017 at 1:41 AM

    I have a thirty four year old abusive, bully, drug using son who I really don’t even know these days. He is subject to explode at anytime. We have tried to get him in drug programs everyday but him with no insurance and us with very little money it’s a real task at hand. State funded programs is just about a joke because it takes a really long time to get him in. So we are left at this time with no help for him. We don’t know where to turn and we are running out of time I think for him.

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      Pat

      October 8, 2017 at 10:45 AM

      Hi R.T.
      I can only imagine how challenging it is to find treatment when money/insurance is limited to non-existent. That said, there are some other resources that might be helpful:

      A national resource is the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) website, which provides a directory for treatment facilities. You can search this by location to find providers who offer payment assistance or treatment on a sliding scale. To do this, click on https://findtreatment.samhsa.gov. Then, click on your state and enter your zip code to find providers near your area. Find and click on the select services button and then narrow down your search by looking for providers offering a sliding fee scale or payment assistance. Then you will need to contact each provider by phone to inquire about services.

      Most states, cities and even counties offer inpatient and outpatient alcohol and drug treatment centers that are tax supported and free of charge. These programs range from short-term detox centers, long term inpatient treatment centers to individual outpatient counseling. SAMHSA also maintains a Directory of Single State Agencies (SSA) for substance abuse services that makes it easier for people to determine who to contact. You can access this at https://www.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/ssadirectory.pdf

      Faith-based drug abuse treatment has been around longer than any professional treatment centers or 12 step programs. Examples of drug addiction treatment centers offered by religious organizations include The Salvation Army (http://www.salvationarmyusa.org/usn/adult-rehabilitation), Goodwill (http://www.goodwill.org), YMCA’s, (http://www.ymca.int) and dozens of Christian recovery programs, like Catholic Charities (https://catholiccharitiesusa.org). Almost every community offers a faith-based drug addiction treatment center. These programs are almost always free.

      Rehab scholarships are very similar to an educational scholarship in that they are a third-party program that provides funding for individuals seeking help from free residential centers. Scholarship organizations typically work on helping three main groups of people: Individuals without medical insurance, those who are not able to pay for rehab out of pocket and people who are unable to qualify for a loan because of bad credit. There are many organizations in the U.S. offering rehab scholarships right now, from Second Chance (http://www.freerehabcenters.org/details/gasedonddhanderedoveryhomeind) to the SAMHSA.

      I hope this helps.
      Wishing you and your son the best,
      Pat

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