Escalating Drug Use


New Member
My son, age 29, has had a drug abuse problem for at least 10 years. He has been in and out of prison and in and out of countless in-patient and out-patient programs. In the fall of 2015 he landed in prison again, and then two more long-term in-patient programs, that he completed. For the first time he seemed to be truly remorseful and desiring to "have a normal life."

So, while waiting to go to a sober house, he asked if he could stay with me for a couple of weeks until a bed was available. I thought I was seeing a lot of growth and agreed with the condition that he had to remain 100% clean. That was in late September 2016. Overall, he seemed to be doing very well and was attending an out-patient program. The weeks turned into months and there was no sign of a bed becoming available.

Then, in mid-December, he began to use again. This has continued since that time, even though I have told him he must leave my home as he has broken the rules over and over. I have spoken with both his counselor and probation officer when this first began. Yet, he remains in my home. On Saturday morning, I discovered messages between another young man and himself discussing all sorts of drug transactions. I printed them out along with a letter, nearly begging the counselor and the probation officer to put him into another long term in-patient program or jail. I felt horrible about having to turn him in, but I know from past experience, the situation is only going to escalate.

Last night, when his step-father and I returned from work, we found weed and a home made pipe in the house. I took away his house keys and told him from now on, he cannot be in the home alone. This is the first day, and of course it is snowing. I have the slightest twinge of guilt over doing this to him, but I am becoming desperate. We are living in fear of what we might come home to if he is so carelessly using drugs in our home. We have received strange phone calls in the middle of the night and early in the morning from people demanding money from him. His own father, whom he lived with for the most part, died of a sudden heart attack just a few years ago. And now I am afraid of the stress he is putting on us might do the same thing.

Any ideas how to get him out of the house permanently? He had an interview with a shelter but is supposedly on their "short list" and his PO has not returned my phone calls. I just don't know where to turn.


Well-Known Member
You will have to evict him unless he is dangerous and the drug use may be enough. Then you can get a restraining order. Someone on meth or cocaine or heroin can act nuts. It has to be that he is doing more than pot. Protect yourself any way you have to.Your son is a grown man. Only he can change his life.
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100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

So sorry that you are going through this. It is all so hard.

Your son is 29 years old. More than a grown man. He is struggling with a demon. Many of us here have felt this struggle and/or continue to be a part of it. As they say, relapse is part of recovery. It doesn't mean it has to be in your home.

You know that there is NOTHING YOU CAN DO to keep him sober. Keeping him in your home is not going to do it. Usually that enables them to go back to their undesirable ways. I tried for many years to keep my son, who is much younger than yours, sober. It almost killed me and ruined my marriage. It didn't work.

We honestly think that sending our son away saved his life. My husband just said that the other day. He isn't one to talk about it much and that was a profound statement for me. I knew that my son would be one of those guys living at home at age 40 doing drugs and letting us take care of him - IF we had not done that. I saw that in our future.

I think you need to have him find another place to live even if that is a homeless shelter. He needs to FEEL uncomfortable and feel the consequences of his choices. We continue to do that with our son. We have also learned to set and maintain firm boundaries. It was much harder for me than my husband. I know that you already know all this and are looking for confirmation. You know that you will get it on this forum.

My son has not been in prison, although I'm sure that is where he was headed, so I don't know the ins and outs of all that but it seems that for most in your shoes, waiting for the authorities to make things change is a long time coming. I don't know the laws in your state but you may have to have him legally evicted which takes 30 days. I know that is how it is in Illinois.

For us we told our son rehab or shelter and he chose rehab. That is ONLY because he had no place else to go. However the struggle continues but he is doing so much better. He is being accountable for his life for the first time ever. If he wants to do drugs, go do it, but not in MY home. He is deciding that he'd rather have a relationship with his family. He had to come to this on his own.

I started seeing a therapist that has helped me tremendously. I would try to get some support in some form for yourself.

Bottom line: my home is peaceful and I have my life back. The only thing I wonder is what were we afraid of and what took us so long.


New Member
Thank you SomewherOutThere and RNO441 for your support. I keep telling myself that throwing him out is for his own good, and for mine. Eviction is going to have be my next move.


Depending on your state, eviction may not take 30 days. You will probably have to serve him with notice or "notice to quit" as it is called in some states (the quit having nothing to do with quitting the drugs!) and then wait a certain period of time. In my state, it is 3 full business days from date of service. Again, in my state, official service by state marshal must occur, I can't just hand my son/tenant a "get out letter", and in fact I have to use a specific form issued by the state. I just offer this as an example that it may not take a long time to evict, if that is the path you want to go down.


Well-Known Member
calls in the middle of the night and early in the morning from people demanding money from him.
I agree with the others who say to get him to leave. I have never had to evict my son. I ask him to leave and he has; or I call the police. I never assumed he has tenants rights. I cannot know what is the case in your state, whether you would suffer repercussions but I do believe it is in your son's interest to be out. Let alone yours.

I believe there is a reasonable chance he will leave without trouble if you tell him directly. He knows that you love him and he knows that he is exposing you to danger. He will stay in your home until you insist he leaves. Whether by insistence or the force of the law.


100% better than I was but not at 100% yet
I just wanted to add that my therapist, who runs addiction groups at the center where I see her, said that the BIGGEST factor of why people quit drugs is relationships. They DO NOT want to lose the relationship with their parents, spouse etc.

I found this very interesting. What that said to me is if I let my son have a relationship with me while he is using, he is getting that fulfillment without seeing a need to change so why do it?


New Member
Thanks Percy, I may very well have to take that step and look into what is required in my state. My husband and I have been asking him, telling him, demanding that he leave, but he is still here Copabanana. It's quite maddening! Where do you start the eviction process? I looked on line but wasn't very sure because most of what I found talked about tenant's rights. He hasn't paid a penny in rent so it's not really a landlord/tenant relationship. I'll have to keep looking and figure it out.

Wish your therapist's advice were true, and it may be in many cases, RNO441. But I had to break ties with my alcoholic mother and we didn't have any contact for 17 years. When we finally reunited, and I helped take care of her during her last 6 years of life, she only added salt to the old wounds by cutting me out of her will - because I had the nerve to confront her alcoholism so many years before. I also have a younger son, nearly 28, who is also an addict and won't speak to me because I won't send him money.