Falling Apart

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Phoebe3141, Jan 30, 2014.

  1. Phoebe3141

    Phoebe3141 New Member

    My 18 yr old son went to Rehab 3 months ago. He spent 28 days & then went to Sober Living Home. He has been there the last few months & doing great. For the first time I actually saw my son, not the addict in I don't know how long. I savored every conversation. He went right from Rehab to Sober Home & I have not seen him, but see pictures of his return to a healthy person, & in our talks my son had returned. I let my guard down too soon in believing we were on the right path. He relapsed 2 wks ago & was taken to another sober home. In a room search they found drugs in his suitcase but he tested clean. He swore he wasn't using. Then on Monday the second sober home called & found paraphernalia & he left before taking a test. He admitted he relapsed, said he felt terrible & he wanted to get sober again & go forward. Sober house said he couldn't return until he tested clean. He asked if I could pay for a hotel. He was in the lobby of the hotel & I asked to talk to the desk clerk. A man came on the phone & said due to identity theft credit cards can't be taken over the phone, but my son was standing in front of him waiting to check in. So, I transferred $ to my son's account for him to pay. I look in his account & it shows a cash withdraw at an ATM! I called him back & could tell he was high. I didn't hear from him for 3 days. Worried, I called him today. He didn't sound high, but he sounded terrible. He said he got high last night but he now has no $ or drugs left & slept under a bridge last night & it is raining & he is still under the bridge. He said he felt terrible, but could I please get him a hotel until he could test clean & get back in the sober living. I told him no, he could have had a hotel but he decided to buy drugs instead after telling me he wanted to be sober. Now I don't believe he wants to be sober. He will have to make due until he can pass the test as I will not give him any $ while he is relapsing that could be used for drugs. I need to know he is clean & only then will I pay the sober home. I am falling apart. My beautiful baby is a drug addict in the rain under a bridge with no food begging for a hotel & I said no. My heart is crushed. I found out for the first time from the sober home that he is shooting the drugs. This is very serious & I absolutely cannot enable him. Every time the phone rings I fear he has OD by himself under a bridge alone, cold. He said if I leave him on the streets he will not be strong enough to not use. I told him to get off the streets he has to be strong enough to not use as that was his ticket off the street. I haven't slept or eaten & my anxiety is out of control. I am so very afraid. I am questioning my decision. Should I call until I find a hotel that will take the credit card over the phone? If I do that & make him comfortable will that keep him from reaching his bottom & wanting to stop using? How in the world am I going to get threw the next few days/nights when it is raining & cold knowing he is on the streets alone? Am I doing the right thing? I feel like I am loosing him again :(
  2. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    Oh Phoebe I am so very sorry you and your son are going through this. I can "hear" the pain and panic in your "voice".

    First things first...are there area shelters that you can call? Would your son go to one? I think that is a start so that you are not continuing to worry yourself sick over his well-being.

    I have a son in State psychiatric hospital at the moment. He too will be homeless upon release and I just hope that I will be able to get through that time as bravely as you are being required to do so right now.

    I think you will feel better if you know that your son has a warm bed to sleep in tonight. I hope he will go to a shelter if that is an option.

    I wish I could give you a warm hug in person and tell you everything is going to be okay. I know how scared you must be right now.

    Thinking of you,
    ps...Ultimately though...try and remember you are NOT responsible for your son's sobriety. It is up to him.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    When he lived at home he was comfortable but not strong enough not to use. You can get him a hotel for a year, but it won't stop him from using unless he wants to stop. Remember, he just chose drugs over comfort. If he is shooting up, he has a very serious problem and needs rehab. And the desire to quit.

  4. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I am so sorry you are goign through this but your story happens over and over again in so many homes. I would not get him a hotel, he has shown he has no intention of getting clean. He can't do that on his own anyway. I don't know where you live but where I am we have several different options for detoxing. Please start calling the local hospitals and treatment centers to find out what is available in your area. There are also treatment centers and sober hoiuses here who have contacts in the detox centers that can help you get in and detoxed and then take you right to treatment. Get the phone book out, google substance abuse treatment centers where he is, make as many calls as you can. Remember that recovered addicts help other addicts. That is what helps then stay clean. There is a community out there who wants him to get help, you just have to tap into it.

    Please let us know what happens.
  5. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Phoebe I am so sorry you are going through this. Your post brought me back to where I was last year when my son was homeless in Denver in winter. It is an absolutely awful feeling and I totally get the anxiety you are feeling. However you cant do this for him and you know if you get him a hotel room he will find a way to use there where he is comfortable! The one thing I would offer is to help him find and get to treatment if he wants.

    My son learned to survive on the streets where he was for 4 months....he is now in a long term tx place that was court ordered.


    Sent from my iPad using ConductDisorders
  6. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I am truly sorry that you are in this painful situation. Honestly I have not been there done that (although I've had different anxieties, stress and pain due to substance abuse issues with my easy child/difficult child). Since I have not been in your shoes I'll offer advice on what I believe is your best choice. Get a notebook, a phone book or the internet and call every possible resource...AND...make notes of where you called, who you spoke with AND VERY IMPRTANT ask each person if they can refer you to some agency or person who may help your difficult child. That is how I found the people who could help with our specific issues and I think it could lead to help for your family. Usually you can just "feel" who is knowledgeable and caring on the phone. Sometimes more than one person will refer to THE person who is considered the expert or THE agency that has the best reputation. It may not lead you to an answer but at the absolute least you will have a notebook of info that might become helpful at a later date.

    Many caring and understanding hugs are coming your way. Personally I survived by repeating The Serenity Prayer over and over and over.
  7. BackintheSaddle

    BackintheSaddle Active Member

    Such a scary thing to have your son on the streets...I'm so sorry for your pain...but I have a question...aren't we supposed to encourage each other to detach ourselves from the one who is controlling our lives? why is it the mom's responsibility to call the shelters, treatment center, and so on...take all those notes and stress herself out about finding just the right place for him?...he's resourceful enough to find the drugs when he wants them (even when he's in a sober house), I'm certain he can figure out where to get help if he really wants it...I know with him being 18 that's so hard to do but like MWM points out, he has to want to quit....I've worked with substance abusers for years...if he's on the streets, finding people to buy drugs from, everyone he's talking to also knows the local resources-- many of them will have used every one of them and still be on the streets...it's very easy for him to find out where the shelters are, just like he's obviously finding where the drugs are...in my humble opinion, this is a great time for you to work on letting go....as many messages say...detach...detach.....detach...god bless you though...as some of us were talking earlier today, it's a very hard thing TO DO...but you can do it...even if it's 'minute by minute' like I've been living today...the day will still go by and hopefully you'll find some peace...
  8. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hmmm well backinthesaddle I have a different take on this. Detaching from their behavior is not the same as detaching from them. Eighteen is very young. I could no more expect my difficult child in the middle of her addiction to find the help she needed at 18 than I could ignore her when she called for help to get sober. Irregardless of what Phoebe's son is doing he has also asked for help. Pointing him in the right direction to get sober is not enabling them.

    I belong to an active support group connected with one of our most successful sober houses in our city. We never turn away an addict when they ask for help. They may not get the help they want, i.e., money for a hotel, but they will always get help in finding a detox or sober house.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is there is a point where we have to make the addict responsible for their own recovery but that doesn't mean we can't help them find a place to detox and the rest is up to them. When my daughter called us after she relapsed after treatment and went to live with a neighbor heroin addict and she wanted to come home we told her no but we gave her a list of places to call for detox/treatment that we had researched for her. She made those calls and set up an appointment and called to ask us to drive her there and we jumped right on it. We even let her come home for two days before she went in because she had no place else to go and the place she was staying at was not a good place to be. Everyone has to do what they feel is right for their family.
  9. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    I think the important thing is to have options ready when he is ready....for us we have been through this many times....and when my son got down and out enough he would call us for help and we always found him help in the form of treatment. He may not have always been serious but at least it slowed down the level of drug use for awhile. So yes it's important to detach enough so we don't enable them and find ways to go on with our own lives...but it doesn't mean giving up or them or not helping them get treatment,


    Sent from my iPad using ConductDisorders
  10. BackintheSaddle

    BackintheSaddle Active Member

    I'm sorry...I must have misunderstood...I thought he was getting help, in treatment and left against their advice...apologies for my confusion and all the best
  11. BackintheSaddle

    BackintheSaddle Active Member

    I was understanding from this quote that a lot had been done to get and keep him in treatment but he hasn't stuck to the rules--even gave him cash to stay in a hotel and he spent it on drugs...to me, this story sounds like someone who says what he knows his mom wants to hear but his behavior doesn't follow it-- I mean, he was standing in the hotel lobby, she sent him money, and he left immediately to get the cash and use it for drugs? that's a full blown addict not looking to be clean...at least not in my experience...but whatever he's feeling like, the Mom needs to be the focus and take care of herself...

    He relapsed 2 wks ago & was taken to another sober home. In a room search they found drugs in his suitcase but he tested clean. He swore he wasn't using. Then on Monday the second sober home called & found paraphernalia & he left before taking a test. He admitted he relapsed, said he felt terrible & he wanted to get sober again & go forward. Sober house said he couldn't return until he tested clean. He asked if I could pay for a hotel. He was in the lobby of the hotel & I asked to talk to the desk clerk. A man came on the phone & said due to identity theft credit cards can't be taken over the phone, but my son was standing in front of him waiting to check in. So, I transferred $ to my son's account for him to pay. I look in his account & it shows a cash withdraw at an ATM!

    Read more: http://www.conductdisorders.com/community/threads/falling-apart.56359/#ixzz2rwPKj833
  12. Childofmine

    Childofmine trying to do this thing one day at a time Staff Member

    My son has been homeless three times, one time for a month, this last time 10 days over this past Christmas. The first time was for a week and I thought I would die. I was sure he would.

    I didn't. He didn't.

    This is going to sound harsh, but drug addicts are the most resilient and resourceful people in the world. They are survivors.

    The last time my son was homeless, he was in a city four hours away from me. His uncle lives there. My best friend from h.s. lives there. I went to college there. I know the city.

    I looked up and sent him multiple resources, including his uncle's cell number, a list of shelters and missions, the AA house that was open 24 hours a day, etc.

    Not interested.

    He lived at a McDonald's restaurant and by the end of it all, was sitting inside with the staff, had lots of employee buddies, smoking cigarettes and talking on their cell phones.

    I had painted a picture in my heart of freezing cold winds, huddled against the heating unit outside, starving, freezing, sad, lonely.


    I would text him or email him the resources and then work hard to do nothing else.

    No money. The first thing we have to do is stop the flow of money.

    If he wants to get clean, he can tell you that. You can get him to detox and let them take it from there.

    Relapse is part of the disease. It is going to happen. But it crushes us every time it does.

    I am praying for your son tonight. I am praying that he gets so sick and tired of what he is doing right now that he chooses a different way to live. That is what has to happen. He has to let go of his pride and admit he needs help. He can't do this alone.

    We can't either. We have to have support, guidance and help. Please, take what you like here that I have written and leave the rest. I would love to be wrong about all of this, but sadly, I believe I am not.

    May blessings rain down on you tonight. Please read this site; the stories are the same. The scenarios are the same.
  13. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Well-Known Member

    My daughter was homeless from age 17 through age 20. I wll also say right now that she lived in hotels/motels for the last year - they did their drugs in those rooms. It certainly did not make her want to be clean. In fact, it made getting high more comfortable.

    The ONLY thing that changed my daughter was a traumatic experience of having a baby and then being in jail away from him right after. Changed her to the core. She is the first to tell you that nothing I said or did made any difference at all except cause ME pain.

    I completely agree with Backinthesaddle - they are survivors, resilient and manipulative - they know how to get what the want...I would not pay for the hotel room. I would suggest shelters until he can get back in to treatment...
  14. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I understand that not everyone agrees with my suggestions. We all know that "addicts and addicts" and they need to take ownership of the problems they have caused. on the other hand, lol, just each of us has different strengths and weaknesses so do the difficult children. Each of us has to draw our own line in the sand. Most agree that giving money is not a healthy choice, opening our homes again is not usually motivating, and violence is a total deal breaker.

    BUT an 18 year old who made good progress and then relapsed is not the same as a 30 year old who has never tried. in my humble opinion providing a list of specific choices passes the ball back to the user. Some of our difficult children are not blessed with executive functioning. Where I live there really are few public phones and even fewer telephone books. It takes alot of patience and note taking to identify the programs and/or organizations who are worthwhile. If a sober adult calls for information (and the patience to be put on hold, transferred, etc) the info gathered will be more comprehensive than if a young man on drugs tries to get valuable leads.

    Like the old saying goes "you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink", I think a parent can spend a day gathering info so the difficult child has available reliable leads "to the water" and not be considered an enabler. Heck we all contribute time to friends and neighbors who are sick with-o a second thought. In this teens case I am genuinely hoping he will soon be ready to give it a try again and "maybe" drink in the lessons of sober living. DDD
  15. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    PG I think we all agree that she should not pay for a hotel room but the real question is should she help him find a place to detox. When your daughter was going through this I remember you did everything you could go get her into treatment and were willing to pay whatever you had to. That's all we are saying.

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    Last edited: Jan 31, 2014
  16. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    I'm gonna sound wishy washy but I both agree and disagree with the statement in quotes at the bottom of this post. "He (we) were on the right path" and he was doing so good, but in my opinion there is never going to be a point where either of you can "let your guard down" in regards to his addiction.

    I am a 50yo addict since the age of 9 years old (starting with cigarettes) tried many different drugs the one that almost destroyed my life and I will fight that addiction till the day I die is Cocaine. Doesn't matter that I haven't touched it in almost 20 years I can't be around it or people using it or constantly talking about it. I had 8 years off it before that last relapse, I have to fight "triggers" even after 20 years. One of the biggest triggers for me is in the anti-drug commercials on TV where they show smoke in a glass pipe.

    An addict has to be determined to get clean then when they relapse (and most do) be so angry with themselves that they use that anger to get clean & stay clean. My friend who I only have phone contact with for the above reason has repeatedly thanked me for saying "don't use falling in today as an excuse to use again tomorrow, tomorrow is the first day of the rest of your life"... she had been so proud of that 60 day chip from NA and was borderline suicidal from a weekend binge. She has been totally clean (even coffee & cigarettes) for 8 years now and has 2 kids.

    As long as your son has a desire to break free from the "demon drug" that has got a hold of him I would put information about every resource I could find to help him get clean and stay clean. Inject-able drugs need detox with professionals this is more then just need to be determined to get clean, withdrawals are often severe and need medical support.

    He got clean once he can do it again but if allowed to be too comfortable most likely won't make the effort, for that reason even if motel would take a paper check sent by mail I wouldn't put him in a motel room where others will share their drugs just to have warm place to use.


    "I let my guard down too soon in believing we were on the right path."

    Read more: http://www.conductdisorders.com/community/threads/falling-apart.56359/#ixzz2s0rEXHGL

  17. Childofmine

    Childofmine trying to do this thing one day at a time Staff Member

    Here is my take on the difference in providing resource info, getting someone to treatment and enabling:

    1. Has the person asked me for help?
    2. What kind of help?
    3. If they want rehab, yes of course I would help them access rehab with information, a ride there, etc. and yes I would pay for it/help pay for it if I could and wanted to.
    4. If they are asking for help to continue the same behavior, no.
    5. If they are asking for information about shelters, food kitchens, etc. and have no way to access that info themselves, yes I would help with that.

    I always ask myself this clarifying question: am I about to do something for him he can do for himself?

    All of that said, I still make decisions that I Later define as mistakes. I am trying but I am human. And I have to live with myself.

    No one can unequivocally tell another person the one right thing to do.

    We all get that. We all can take what we like and leave the rest without recrimination.
  18. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I was told over and over to not help my difficult child unless it was rehab or sober living. But the second she takes the right step into that direction I am willing to help. If it means finding rehabs or checking on insurance, I am happy to do that. Dr. Phil was on the View yesterday saying the same thing. Don't give up on your substance abusing loved one. Do anything you can to get them away from the drugs/alcohol.

    One of the interventionists that I talked to said that he didn't believe in letting your loved one hit bottom but instead to bring the bottom up to them. In our case, it was using an interventionist to get our difficult child out of our house by getting an temporary restraining order so she had to leave. Since she had nowhere to go she agreed to go to a three month residential program in another state. We brought the bottom up to her.

    I do agree with the others not to get him a hotel room at this point. You are just providing him with a place to do drugs. However, for future reference, we did have to pay for a hotel room for our difficult child recently and the hotel refused the credit card over the phone but did let us fax the credit card information with a picture of my husband's license.

  19. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Well-Known Member

    I have done the same regarding faxing my info...

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  20. Ephchap

    Ephchap Active Member

    I don't know your whole story or your son's, Phoebe, but my heart broke reading your post. It brings back some (very painful) memories. My son was just turning 17, so was a little younger than your son, but 17, 18 - I agree with what others have said about him being so young. I wholeheartedly agree with some of the advice and wisdom offered above. In my head and in my heart, I knew our son would die or be in prison for life if we didn't help him get into a program. No, we couldn't make him "work" the program, but even getting him there at that point was a start. As Kathy mentioned, so long as our son wanted help, we did everything we could to get him he help he needed. That's not to say it was smooth sailing getting there. We called the police on our own son and had him arrested for stealing my car and taking off while high as a kite. It broke my heart to call the police on our own son, but we did what had to be done. Drugging in our home was my line in the sand.

    I guess that's my long winded way of saying that I also agree in helping your son with contact list, phone numbers, help on insurance etc. I also would not give him cash. If he's still drugging, it will be used for drugs. That being said, if/when he truly wants to get help and is doing the right things, then absolutely as a parent, I would do what I could to help him. That was our rule with our son as he got older. So long as he was doing the right things, we would help.

    Sending you many hugs and strength. It's heartbreaking to watch your child self-destruct with substance abuse.