He admitted he's been smoking Heroin

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by lovemyson1, Aug 19, 2014.

  1. lovemyson1

    lovemyson1 Active Member

    We always thought that marijuana was the problem and maybe pills. But after 3 years our son has admitted to us yesterday that he's been smoking heroine at least everyother day. I am devastated. He's been throwing up often which I guess is a side affect when you don't use it? My question is, can he stop? Is it so addciting that he will just keep using? He went to a treatment center and they prescribed him severeral things to help with the side affects. He claims he wants to stop, but he has said that before. I just want advice on what to do to help him quit for good. Is that even possible? Thank you for reading and with any help. I'm so worried.
  2. Scott_G

    Scott_G Member

    Unfortunately there is absolutely nothing you can do to help an addict get clean. He will only stop when he wants to stop and typically he will need to hit rock bottom before he deided he wants to stop. If he's been smoking every other day for several years now it is very likely that he is addicted and it is going to be difficult for him to quit even if he wants to. The only thing you can really do is to not enable his addiction. I would also be concerned that he is injecting it. My son went from snorting to shooting up in less than a year. That is typical. As the addiction progreses snorting or smoking just doesn't deliver a strong enough high fast enough. I feel sorry for you that you have to deal with this. Is he a minor or an adult? If he's a minor you might be able to force him to participate in some kind of program (this is a guess on my part), but if he is an adult, there is very little you can do besides not being an enabler.
  3. lovemyson1

    lovemyson1 Active Member

    I just realized I spelled heroin wrong. Never really typed it out :-(
  4. lovemyson1

    lovemyson1 Active Member

    Thank you for your reply Scott_G. He is 20 years old. Do treatment programs/rehab work? My husband wants to take him to the mountans for a month and let him completely detox. But I've heard people who say they spend thousands of dollars on rehabs and they just go back to it. I believe you when you say HE has to want to stop.
  5. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Hi. I didn't want you to think nobody is listening. I am so sorry you are going thru this and for your hurting mommy heart. It is amazing what our adult kids take when we believe it's just pot. I think we are too lax about pot, but that is for a different thread.

    Can you tell us more about your son's story so we can help YOU? We are here for you to try to help you get through this. As for heroin, I din't know much about it. My daughter's drug of choice was meth and she did quit, so there is always hope...

    Anyway, you can't stop your son until he wants to do it himself, but you can learn how to take care of yourself during these times.
  6. Scott_G

    Scott_G Member

    Don't give him money. Don't loan him money. Our son used to ask us to borrow money. It was usually $100 or more. He always made up some legitimate sounding reason why he needed the money (well not really legitimate since he had a job and should have had money to cover the things he claimed to need to borrow money for) but ultimately it was for drugs.
  7. lovemyson1

    lovemyson1 Active Member

    Thank you MidwestMom. We always hated pot and kicked him out at 18 because he refused to stop. He then stole from us and went down hill. Little did we know, he was smoking heroin at that time too. We would find hallowed out pens and foil with a substance on it. We have let him move back 3 times with his promise to go to rehab and quit but he always falls back to the drugs. Now he's living with his sister and her family and she has the same rules as us and drug tested him and he failed. She is going to make him leave if he doesn't stay in rehab. He hasn't paid her full rent or food and it's a hardship on them. Obviously because he is wasting his money on the heroin. He has 2 jobs and car but has been unreliable for the jobs because he ends up losing his phone or car breaks down, pretty normal for drug addicts I believe. I want my son back. I want him healthy, in college and motivated. I just want to do whatever I can to make this happen. He has so much potential and I can't give up.
  8. Scott_G

    Scott_G Member

    Unfortunately relapse is a part of addiction. I am sure not everone does, but many do. My uncle is an alcoholic. When I was a teenager I remember him going into rehab. He was clean for a number of years and then started drinking again. I have a good friend who is a terrible alcoholic. He was sober for the entire 8 years I have known him until he went through a messy divorce recently and started drinking again. He ended up getting fired from his job for showing up drunk. I actually never even knew he was a drunk. In the whole time I knew him I never saw him with a drink in his hand and he never discussed it. I was shocked when I learned what happened to him and it was only after talking to people that have known him longer that I became aware of his drinking problem.
  9. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    What do you think you can do to stop him? Only he can stop him. You have no control over him, only yourself and your reaction to him. Try to relax. He obviously isn't go to be what YOU want him to be. He will be what HE wants himself to be. The ONLY thing you can do is to not make being a heroine addict fun. No money. No toys. I'd make him leave the house, even if he becomes homeless. Wouldn't want those drugs and the way they make one act in my house nor would I want his criminal "friends" in my house. There is nothing you can do to stop him/them from stealing to sell things or to take money for drugs when you aren't home. His sister is not going to put up with him. Nobody will. Not while he is still a drug addict. I wish there was something we parents COULD do to stop a loved one from drowning in drugland, but you can try everything. In the end it is up to him. Nagging won't help, although he'll gladly make glib promises to you for favors, but he won't keep those promises. Crying won't help. Writing him letters about what his drug abuse is doing to you won't help. NOT UNTIL HE IS READY TO QUIT.

    If your husband takes him to the mountains, he'll find a way to use heroine. Addicts are clever. We used to think my daughter was sleeping. She put her radio on and that old trick...clothes under her bedding to make it look like a person....and she ran around the streets by taking out her window. We put bars on the window. She still got out when we were asleep. I was a stay at home mom and homeschooled her the last two years to keep her out of trouble. Those things didn't work either. The only thing that worked was her finally getting tired of being chased down by drug dealers and deciding she was fed up with herself and the life she had chosen. She quit on her own and didn't even tell us she was doing it. She never did go to a rehab.

    Have you ever gone to an Al-Anon or Nar-Anon meeting? I highly recommend it. It is very useful to try to find ways to live a great life in spite of your son and his issues. You are not him. You must have other loved ones who need you and want you healthy and strong. These adult kids tend to suck so much of the life out of us that we spend all our time worrying about them, although it doesn't help them, and neglecting everyone else, including our own selves. Twelve step is a great organization. If you don't want to try that, then at least get a therapist for yourself who will help YOU, not focus on your son, but focus on YOU and how you can deal with this and detach from his drama with love.There is a good article on detachment on the Parent Emeritus forum. And we MUST detach or become as crazy as they are. And that's not fair to our other loved ones or ourselves, whom we should also love. We matter as much as our adult children matter.
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    Last edited: Aug 19, 2014
  10. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    I am sorry that you are dealing with this. You are getting good advice.

    Your son will need detox and rehab of at least 30 days to start learning how to live without drugs. I would be very careful about detoxing him myself---he will likely need medical care as detox can be very dangerous.

    Relapse is a part of addiction. It is extremely rare to never that a person who is addicted to drugs and alcohol will stop and never do it again. Having said that, I believe any time in rehab can be beneficial, if not in the short term, over the long term.

    There are state rehab programs and private rehab programs.

    But first: Does he want to stop? Does he want to change? Does he want to go to rehab? If so, you might ask him to start at your local hospital and get help there as a starting point. They have social workers and other professionals to help him and guide you.


    Now to you: At the same time you are dealing with this---your son's addiction---and what role, if any, you will have in his next steps in life, you need to start focusing on yourself.

    Please seek out and go to Al-Anon or Nar-Anon. The meetings are free, and there is tremendous help and support there.

    You will need to start working hard on yourself, in order to cope with this all and to stay on level ground.

    Loving an adult addicted child is very hard. Please add a signature so we can better understand your situation.

    Warm Hugs. We are here for you and we understand. The first time my son went to rehab was four years ago. I paid $6K on a credit card for a 30-day stay. He did not stay clean but I am glad I did that, still.

    This is a one day at a time journey.
  11. lovemyson1

    lovemyson1 Active Member

    Great info and I so appreciate it. No I've never been to Al-Anon or Nar-Anon. I have spoken to a therapist a few times. I may look into reading some books too. My heart goes out to all of you that are going through this. Really. It's so painful and as parents we love our children so much, it hurts. I will read the article on detachment, it just feels like abandonment when I do that but I understand why it needs to happen. You nailed it MidwestMom, he always cries and manipulates and promises.. and we always give in.. God help me..
  12. amelia d

    amelia d Hope outweighs experience

    So sorry you are learning to live with one more disappointment...it really is unfair when you just want the best for your son. I have had 2 friends with different experiences with rehab for their daughters. One spent thousands of dollars, had her escorted to the treatment center in Utah, and she ran away from it. That was 7 years ago, and she still struggles with addictive behavior. The second experience is a friend of my daughter. She had been in multiple short term programs with no success (except to find new places to buy drugs and educate my daughter in the process..nice, huh?). She was finally sent out to Oregon for a program that lasted 10 months. She did come back clean and went off to college. She said she didn't like the process, but seemed to understand the necessity. So I guess like most things, you get out of it what you put in it. There are also huge variables in treatment centers so, research, research, research. Here is a link to give you some info on heroin: www.howtoquitheroin.com. The site title sounds very cliche, but know your enemy!
    One other thing..I always think that Childofmine gives great advice..this time is no different. Luck and prayers to you and your family.
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  13. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    lovemyson1, you aren't abandoning your son if you don't give him money or make him leave because he refuses to follow your simple rules such as...no illegal activities, get a job, do chores, etc. Would your parents let you live at home if you had been doing what he does? Also, did your parents support you when you were twenty, unless you were in college, and do you think they would have given you money that will only go to drugs? You can see and talk to your son, for what it's worth. It is difficult if not impossible to have a meaningful relationship with an addict. But you can let him know you still love him, but you don't like what he is doing and you don't want to be a part of him and will not help him out while he is risking his life. It does not help him if you give in to him and help him self-destruct by making his life easier. In my own opinion, they should hate their life...or they won't change. That doesn't mean we don't send them our love. But it isn't our love they want, is it? When they are addicts, it is our money they want...for drugs....and they are morally empty when they are in the throes of addiction. You can abandon a six year old, not a twenty year old who is acting like a six year old.

    Many of us have trouble thinking of our adult children as adults. We see the cute baby they were and the cute little boy/girl. They are, in fact, legally adults and the world will not see them as you do nor treat them with any youthful lenience you get if you break the law at, say, thirteen years old. Addicts are the best of manipulators and know just what buttons to push to get you to throw money at them. NEVER GIVE MONEY TO A DRUG ADDICT. If they claim they are starving, you can buy some peanut butter and bread for them. A starving person will eat anything. If they say they need a place to stay because they become homelss, direct them to shelters. The secret is, out on the streets, there is a whole community of street people and everyone knows where shelters and food are. The problem is, there are rules you must follow to utilize those programs, such as not using drugs there. They will usually feed you regardless. I volunteered at a homeless shelter once and most of our clients were drug addicts. We set up social services, housing, and employment opportunities for them, but they didn't go. THEY WERE ADDICTS. Addicts are sick, but it is a controllable disease that takes hard work. Only the person who is addicted can take care of his disorder and learn how to cope without drugs. Many of our adult children who still use simply don't want to quit yet. When/if they do...that is up to them. We don't make it better by coddling them.When they quit, we can then be their biggest cheerleaders.

    Lovemyson1, I thought my daughter was going to end up in jail or dead. She weighed so little. Her eyes were sunken in. She used cocaine and meth. I didn't know it at the time. Like you, I believed it was just pot. I was concerned about the pot, but had no idea it had morphed into what it had. THEY DO NOT TELL US WHAT THEY USE. I knew, at a certain point, that there was nothing I could do and that she could no longer live in our house due to my two younger kids, even if s he had nowhere to go. That's when she got her walking papers. She got her straight arrow brother to let her stay with him, but only under rigid rules and only in his basement and it was there that she got clean. She did not share that with us. She did not have a relapse. She does drink maybe twice a year and every time she does, I cringe, expecting her to turn into an alcoholic, but it has been ten years now and it hasn't happened.

    When the time is right, your son will come to you sincerely asking for help. He won't be asking for money, or say he's starving, or make up some excuse to get money from you. He will ask you for help with rehab or he will, like my daughter, just do it himself and surprise you. That was the best surprise I ever got and, trust me, I did not believe her for at least a year. It's not like she didn't lie to us while she was using...that's all she did was lie.

    My daughter started using drugs at the tender age of 12 in sixth grade. I foolishly didn't even know kids started using drugs that young. I mean, hub and I didn't even drink!!! She had great role models...lol :) (jokes on me). She quit at age 19, so she was young. But it was hello while she was doing it and I do understand how you feel. I was as helpless as you even though she was younger. Any time we tried to get power over her, it didn't work.

    When I made Daughter leave, although she was going to a safe environment, I cried for three weeks. The last thing she said to me before slamming out of the house was, "I WILL HATE YOU FOREVER!"

    We are close now. Don't give up hope, but in my opinion also do not enable because you are afraid you aren't being a good mom. You are a Mother now, to an adult. You are no longer a mommy. There is a difference. I hope you do try a twelve step group because without it, I am not sure I would have not cracked up during my daughter's drug years. It was a lifesaver for me. I still go sometimes because the philosophy helps me in many areas of my life.

    Wishing you a little peace and serenity tonight. Some of us use meditation and mindfulness to keep us grounded. Maybe you want to look up mindfulness. It is just another coping mechanism which is a Godsend.
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    Last edited: Aug 19, 2014
  14. lovemyson1

    lovemyson1 Active Member

    Bless you! Your wisdom gives me hope & strength! I really, really appreciate you taking the time to fill me in!
  15. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Never give up. I truly did not believe that my daughter was going to change. I had given up. It made me sick inside, but I did not know what was going on in her head. Distance helped me and her. She actually moved to another state, away from all the criminals in her life and had no car so, per her brother, she had to get work and walk to and from. She had to pay rent. If she so much as lit up a cigarette in his house, she'd be out. He can be one big a*****e and very self-righteous and she knew it so she believed he'd follow through on his threats, although she did not believe that we (parents) would. So she decided to listen to him and without a car, and knowing she'd be on the streets if she snuck out at night, she did what he told her to do and sometime detoxed in his basement with her new and straight boyfriend helping her. She didn't tell anyone except boyfriend, who is still with her.

    It was a miracle she isn't dead. Now that she is clean she told us all about it. She lived at home most of the time and, when she was finally tossed, she lived with her brother, so she never really experienced street life, yet the mishaps that she experienced were the same as if she had been homeless. She had a safe place to live, yet she tempted fate and played dangerous games in the streets at night. Living with us did not shield or protect her one bit. When you rub elbows with drug addicts (and she claims all users also sell) you are rubbing elbows with a bunch of people who NEED money for drugs and have no morals because of their habits. Her life was threatened many times over. There was nothing we could have done for her to change that as long as she kept on running on the streets. The short times she spent at home did not shield her. The police frequented our house and each time they came by, my little ones were terrorized. My youngest was so influenced by her sister that she has never yet taken a drink or tried any drugs at all...in fact, she is an athlete and is very hard on anyone who "misbehaves." She is going into Criminal Justice and is just beginning college.My older daughter is glad that her sister learned. "I would kick her b*** if she did drugs," she says.

    Anything can happen...that is why it's so pointless to try to control another person, even a beloved adult child. I never saw this sudden change coming. I was heavy into Twelve Step by then and had detached as much as I could from the drama. I still had two really small children to raise. I had a loving husband. I owed them all I could give them. I gave my daughter to God, as I understand God, and I asked my higher power to please watch over her and guide her and to give me peace.

    This prayer is my motto. I even had a necklace with this prayer etched on it when Daughter was such a mess:

    "God grant me the SERENITY to accept the things I can not change,
    The COURAGE to change the things I can,
    And the WISDOM to know the difference."

    I still have this prayer on my refrigerator as a magnet and I say this out loud every morning and night.

    Peace to you tonight. May you know you did all you could for your son, he knows right from wrong, and until the time is right, you can only hand him over to God or fate or whatever your beliefs are. But it is out of our hands as parents, as hard as that is to face. (((Hugs to you)))
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  16. lovemyson1

    lovemyson1 Active Member

    Thank you again MidwestMom! Thank you for sharing your story with me. It's nice to read some positive words. I am so so sooooo happy that your daughter got clean and your other children are doing so well! I have 2 daughters also and they are doing fantastic also! I really don't understand why my son turned out this way. He got more attention than the girls, because he is very athletic and my husband spoiled him as his only son. It doesn't make sense. As of today, he's been throwing up a lot which I believe is a sign of withdrawals. He got medications to help with the withdrawals and he accidentally pocket dialed me yesterday and I got to listen to him at work. He sounded so professional, charming and great! It's like you would never know he is addicted to heroin! We are trying to make him accountable to go to treatment and so far so good. He says he doesn't want this life. I'm hoping this illness he is experiencing will make him stop for good. But I know it's difficult. I have turned it over to God, I believe God is able. Your words are comforting, everyone here is so supportive and honest, I really appreciate the support. ((hugs to you too))
  17. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Hi, I do believe it is possible to get clean and stay clean. I have met some people in my life who were addicted to heroin.... one was the son of a family friend and I grew up hearing about his problems with drug addiction and what he put his mother through. He was a heroin addict for 27 years!!! and finally got clean and made his mother proud.... I got to know him and he helped my son and many other young addicts.

    So yes it is possible and like MWM dont lose hope even when it feels hopeless.

    I have no idea if my son will ever stay clean but bit by bit I see progress.... but who really knows.


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  18. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Actually, vomiting can be a sign of current opiate abuse (which include heroin). My difficult child often threw up and the interventionist we used told us that a side effect of opiate use is vomiting.

    As far as rehabs, my husband and I spent over $80,000 sending our daughter to a 3-month program in another state. It was highly recommended by many experts in the addiction field. Our daughter did relapse after completing the program successfully.

    However, I do not consider it as having thrown the money down the drain. I believe that she learned a lot in the program and that relapses are part of recovery. I have been told that it takes an average of 7 relapses before continued sobriety.

    My difficult child is back in a treatment program and is currently doing well. She has relapsed twice since she has been there but luckily this program recognizes that it is part of the process and has allowed her to stay. The last time we saw her, she told me that people that get sober for good have usually had multiple rehab stays. I told her that she was on number 3 and that I thought it was high time that she stays sober. She laughed and said she was working on it.

    People often say that you have to let them hit bottom but I have also heard experts say that you can bring the bottom up to them. We refused to let our difficult child stay here and told her that we would cut off all financial support if she didn't go to rehab. Even now, we only help her on the condition that she is in treatment.

    For the sake of argument, here is an expert with a different point of view from those that say the addict has to "want help" in order to be helped.

    Here is the link in case you want to read more:

    Dr. Leshner is the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

    I have no doubt in my heart that if we had not intervened after our difficult child's heroin overdose and forced her into rehab, she would not be alive today.


    P.S. Don't worry about the typo in the title of the thread. I fixed it for you. It is sad how much we get to learn about drugs when we have a loved one with substance abuse issues.
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    Last edited: Aug 21, 2014
  19. lovemyson1

    lovemyson1 Active Member

    Thank you! Every one of you have been so extremely honest and helpful. I feel for us all of us.. none of us held our children after giving birth and ever thought this would be what we would go through. It's a crying shame.. but again, thank you..
  20. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    One thing I found out when looking at rehabs in my area is that there is more help out there for heroin and opiate addiction than for anything else. Supposedly my son -idiot that he is - let some so called friends when he was working texas convince him that heroin would help his pain. He really has legitimate pain. Of course that was stupid and no one could ever con me like that but he is stupid. So he got hooked on heroin for maybe a month or two before he came home. Supposedly when he got home, he couldnt find heroin so he turned to coke. I sorta doubt there is no heroin here but maybe not. When I found all this out I demanded he seek help. we looked all over my county and all but one place turned him down because he didnt test positive for heroin. I thought that was stupid. He also has an issue because he is pretty much the custodial parent of his youngest daughter and only one place would allow him to bring her with him but that place was a joke. They were only open 2 days a week. We do have an an inpatient rehab for mothers with addiction problems and the kids can go too. I think that is sexism.