Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by worried sick mother, Mar 13, 2016.

  1. worried sick mother

    worried sick mother Active Member

    Found out today that my son is using heroin. I knew it was bad but this is way worse than I imagined. I feel like I've been hit by a bus, I literally feel like I can't breathe and my arms and legs feel like noodles. I actually saw him for the first time in 2 months. He looks so terrible and nasty. This is not my son. I am in such shock. I don't know what on earth to do. Please give me something more than taking care of myself and detaching. I love my son more than anything in this world.
  2. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    If I could reach through this screen to hold you in my arms, I would.

    The heroin epidemic is so much on people's minds that it became a topic in the Town Hall debate tonight. Anthony Bourdain on CNN covered the epidemic in Western Massachusetts. We are now in national crisis.

    You are not alone. Your son is not alone.

    I do not have experience of a child using heroin but I do have experience of incredible fear and despair because I could not control whether my son lived or died. He has a chronic disease for which he does not take available treatment. I tried and tried to control his getting treatment. I failed.

    I survived.

    There are many threads on CD about children using heroin. I am scanning the titles to the right as I type.

    Read them. Post night and day. Go to therapy. To Al Anon. Decide to survive so that you can help your child when he is amenable. There is no other way through despair other than one day at a time. For me, for you, for him, for anybody.

    Love does not count in this. I wish it did. For all of us. Keep posting. I am glad you are here.

    I am so sorry for the shock and despair of this.

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  3. Roxona

    Roxona Active Member

    I'm sorry for your shock and your pain. Like COPA I wish I could reach through the screen to give you a hug. I didn't know about detaching until after my son had gone through rehab. So, I lived it every day and fought against it every day until he was so out of control I had to kick him out. He was killing himself...he and I both knew it. We gave him the ultimatum of going to rehab in order to come home. He did and has stayed away from meth ever since.

    Keep talking with your son. Keep telling him you love him and his life matters. Try to stay positive and don't let him cross your boundaries. If my son wanted to talk, I would talk, but if it became a negativity fest or if he was trying to verbally attack me, I would stop the conversation. I don't give cash, but will put gas in his car if he does something to earn it. Otherwise, no other money is given.

    After rehab, I learned about lovingly detaching. In this way I can still be there for the positive stuff and show my support, without putting up with the tirades and constant worry. Sometimes it's hard to do, but it's better than being frozen by fear and worry.
  4. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    I am so sorry Worried. I am sending big understanding hugs to you. I know it is not much comfort for this heartache. I am so sorry. I know the shock of seeing an adult child in the throes of addiction. Back when I saw my eldest for the first time in many months, I did not recognize her. It is a shock to the soul. I was mortified and very scared.

    The biggest thing that has helped me is prayer. If that is your way, it is very soothing.
    I like how Copa phrased it "decide to survive." It does no good for your son if you bear the weight of his choices and become ill yourself.
    I am sorry, there is no way to sugar coat this and make it better. It is the deepest grieving we go through. Please take the time you need to feel what you feel. It is good that you are already seeing a counselor. It helped me to see what was going on and to try to figure out ways to cope. Posting really helps, because you are writing out your thoughts and feelings, and receiving responses from caring people who have been in similar situations. This journey we are on with each other is difficult. I think it is one of the hardest things known to mankind.
    Please know that you are not alone.
    One day, one step at a time.
    You have value and you matter. I know you want more for your son, as we all do for our adult children out there. It seems contrary to live well, while our kids flounder and make these terrible choices. The children we raised with so many hopes and dreams are still there, locked up inside this addiction. They will still look to us, to be examples for them. I do believe that as we lift ourselves up above and beyond the devastation of this, we are doing the very best thing for them, we are on the rocky, jagged cliffs, withstanding the pounding surf and roughest weather, shining a beacon of light while our children navigate through the storm. There is always hope, though it may not seem so now, in your sorrow. There is always hope. Hold fast to that hope, keep your light shining. The way you care for yourself stands as a testimony to your son that he can rise above this, the same as you can. Hold on dear, we are all holding on with you.
  5. Eryn

    Eryn New Member

    trust me I know how you don't want to hear about detachment....very early on in my sons addiction to herion I went to an alanon meeting and the first thing a member said was "you've gotta kick him out now" without any explanation why this person was saying this to me I left and haven't gone back in 8 years of my sons addiction.

    Fast forward 8 years and I'm still enabling and logically know I shouldn't but what my heart tells me to do always seems like the right decision (it's not). I am still struggling with my addiction which is fixing my sons addiction. As he is still using, now threatening suicide every other day.....he told me yesterday that I have no choice he either gets to move back home (after ANOTHER rehab and only a month at a sober house) or he's killing himself.

    Now the only advice I can give you is yes help your son.....but first make sure that your help isn't a secret from the rest of your family (been there done that and it creates only issues with your husband) and that if he doesn't want the help or use the help as it was intended that you as his mother (fathers I feel make decisions based on logic more often than a mother who's fear and love MAY hinder decision making (if that sounds sexist I'm sorry but that's my experience)) need to understand that until he actually makes his own choices and deals with the consequences himself will truly never be helped the way that will stick with him the rest of his life.

    I'm still waiting for my 26 year old son, who's fathered 2 beautiful children during his addiction to choose his kids over drugs.
  6. Eryn

    Eryn New Member

    I also want to say that while you are helping your son hopefully get to rehab.....please make sure he makes the calls to find a rehab that HE follows up that HE asks you for a ride to get to where he needs to go for help......

    My point is that you can guide him, but truly HE Needs to do the research and calls, it's a way for you to know if he really wants the help....I did all the calls for my son for most of his addiction and now that I'm telling him to do it he doesn't know how to handle his own life (I know he'll figure it out eventually) but if YOU start now, when you first found out then he'll know no other mother than the strong, not fooling around anymore mom who like when they were 5 learning to ride a bike you didn't hold on forever you wanted to see him ride on his own......start insisting he does for himself even if you are sitting on the couch next to him.....you can support not do for him
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  7. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hi Eryn, welcome to the forum, so sorry for your need to be here.
    I am sorry you had this experience. I think people are all at different places on this journey, and folks hit various stages along the way, and may forget how it feels to be at the start. I remember sitting at the counselors and telling my woeful story. The therapist looked at me and point blank said "You are an enabler." I swallowed those words down hard. It was not what I expected to hear, but she was right. I was just not ready to hear it. I am sorry for the shock of what you heard. When I was first posting here, I hit a stage of anger at what I had gone through with my two. I learned to try and put a filter on my posts after writing a couple of strong ones. I was not meaning to be hurtful, just responding through my own hurt and misery.........
    I know that others have written about suicide threats from their d cs, calling police every time it happens. It is not fair of him to do this to you, or himself. If he continues, please call 911. Some have even said after they did so and police responded, their kids did not try that again.
    Your son is making terrible choices, like my two. It is a hard thing to witness. There are many comments here about the maturation of our brains and how males mature at around 27. Your son is almost there. Hopefully, reason will kick in and he will see his purpose and meaning, and pivot to a new path.
    My eldest is 37, on the streets. I still hold out hope for her. People can change, no matter what the age or circumstance, but they do have to want change.
    I am glad you have posted Eryn, though it is sad that we are here, it is a good place for parents dealing with these issues to be. I hope you stay with us and keep sharing your story. We are all going through similar trials, and try our best to encourage others. When I post or respond, I am writing to myself as well, working through the challenges and pain of this.
    Welcome, and I am so sorry for your aching mommy heart.
  8. Eryn

    Eryn New Member

    Thank you! I thought I was trying to help worried! Wanted her to know that even though you hear advice you're not ready for keep it in the back of your mind because that advice (given heartlessly) but yet still true at some point for every family if their loved 1 doesn't stop using. So I thought I would expand on how to help without the family members doing for the addict....I wish someone had shown me that you can support but not do for them. I truly believe I have helped my son continue to use...(enabling) had I been strong from the beginning his journey may not have been so long....don't get me wrong I don't think it was my fault...just that I didn't recognize being used and manipulated before now
  9. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    When my daughter overdosed on heroin on our couch, my husband found her in the nick of time. Our housekeeper who was there at the time and he did chest compressions until the EMT's could get there to give her Narcan which was a miracle drug. She was up and talking as soon as they gave her the drug. They told him that if he had come home 2 minutes later she would have died.

    At that point, we hired an Interventionist and sent her to a three month rehab in Florida. It was one of the most highly regarded rehabs in the country and cost us over half of our life savings. I wish I could tell you that there was a happy ending but she relapsed almost immediately.

    She is now in her 5th residential treatment program and really seems to want to get sober. We shall see.

    The good news is that she didn't shoot up heroin after we sent her away. Her drug of choice now is pills and alcohol. I do think we saved her life by getting her away from the people she was hanging around who were using heroin.

    I am sorry that you are going through every parents' nightmare. I highly recommend therapy. My husband and I went to a therapist for 2 years and she helped us set boundaries and see that ultimately we had no control over what our daughter chose to do with her life.

  10. Roxona

    Roxona Active Member

    It's just denial. We don't want to believe that our babies are involved in that type of lifestyle. We're also innocent and ignorant of what that all means and what we should be doing. It takes us a while to get over the learning curve. I'm glad you comprehend it now. I'm glad I do too.
  11. Tired Mom

    Tired Mom Member

    What Kathy said is how I feel about my son. I think my son would be dead or in prison if we hadn't sent him away for a year after he overdosed on heroin. I don't think my son is cured. I don't think he has done heroin since coming home but there at least once was evidence of alcohol. I do think it is important to get help for you. I don't about you but for me it is a roller coaster and when it is a bad it a like watching your child die a slow painful death without the sympathy you would have from people if your child was dying from something else. I am beyond sorry that you are going through this.
  12. Roxona

    Roxona Active Member

    Mine too, Tired Mom. J was killing himself, and didn't have the where-with-all to stop himself. I think sometimes they need us to take that hard step and send them away.
  13. lovemyson1

    lovemyson1 Active Member

    Hi worried sick mom. I completely understand your pain. I too felt this pain because my son was using heroin. I was totally shocked and thought he was smoking weed. Boy did I feel dumb. Unfortunately, there's not much you can do unless your son wants to get help. If he does, then wonderful!! Get him in treatment ASAP! Heroin is a very hard drug to quit. But there is hope! My son has been clean since August 26, 202 days! But he has had relapses in the past, you can read my bio below. I've learned so much here and detaching necessary. I know you don't want to hear that. I love my son more than life itself! So, I and the others here aren't saying to detach because you don't love him. It's because if you enable him, he will just keep going and going and going... my son got help because his next step would have been jail. My husband convinced him to go and with resistance he did and he got clean. We are here for you, and we care. Please write, read, pray. Love on him, give him support, tell him you'll take him to treatment, today, now! God bless you dear!
  14. Carri

    Carri Active Member

    My 32 year old son is a homeless heroin addict so unfortunately I can totally relate to your pain. He's currently in jail, so I have piece of mind for the next 60 days that he has a bed, food, and yet another opportunity to start over. I've come to realize that the only one that can save my son, is himself. He's been in jail more times than I can count, all non-violent drug related charges, even done a year in prison; he's been through at least 5 rehabs, sober homes, the list goes on... I've always been there for him. In the beginning I was pretty much enmeshed in his life, trying to save him at all costs. I've learned over time to "surrender" and place my focus on myself, my higher power. My son has his own higher power, and it took me a long time to figure out, it wasn't me! Is it easy? No. I constantly have to check myself, and redirect my thinking. I will always hold on to hope that he'll turn his life around, as long as he's alive. I remind myself to breathe. Really breathe. Deep breaths. As I breathe in I tell myself to let it be. As I breathe out I tell myself to let it go. Hugs, Carri
  15. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Carri. Hi. I learned so much from your post. I wish you would start a new thread. This one is old and will not be seen by people. I am struggling with the very concepts you describe. My son does not use heroin, but he is mentally ill, physically ill and has been homeless.
    After maybe 10 years down this road I still struggle with this. A lot.
    And I struggle with this, too.
    It really requires this kind of remaking of self, I am seeing that. I admire you more than I can say.

    I worked in prisons for the better part of 20 years. I came to know many addicts. They were able to relax and to take care of themselves in prison, to read and play sports and to hang out. They would tell me their mothers were HAPPY they were safe. There comes a time when many do quit. They get tired of going to prison. They get tired of the constant rat race for the drug. But like you say, it is out of your hands.

    You know the famous Chef and now, TV star with many Emmys, Anthony Bourdain was for many years a heroin addict. His mother has reportedly said, she feared he'd go to prison or die, and she did not know which she feared most. (To me, prison is no biggie. There are worse things. Like degradation.) Years and years he used heroin. And then he stopped. His mother says she had never seen him happy before. And now he is. He has a young wife and a daughter about 9. At 60, I think he is. His story makes me feel good.

    I hope you start a new thread. I will look for you.
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  16. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    Sorry about your son. I hope he is willing to go to treatment. The longer he continues, the harder it will be to stop. People start using for a number of reasons, whether it's to relieve anxiety or depression, social anxiety, physical pain, etc. I hope he comes to understand why he felt the need to use heroin. It often starts after getting hooked on pain pills for surgery or an injury. He can be taught alternative ways to manage physical and emotional pain. The problem is that the addicted brain thinks it can't stop, so any attempt to learn alternative coping methods is not given much effort.
  17. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    But the thing is people do stop. They do.