How long has your Difficult Child been using?

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by RN0441, Sep 14, 2017.

  1. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    I thought it would be interesting to find out how long each of our Difficult Child ren have been using. It will help us get to know each other better AND show newbies how important self-care is >> this is a marathon and not a sprint.

    If your Difficult Child is sober (will be the happiest day of my life if it ever comes), how long using and sober and if you can give one bit of advice on what you think brought them to sobriety, please do.

    Personally we have been on this journey since age 15 and my son just turned 22. I never in my wildest dreams saw this coming and cannot believe it's been going on so long....
     
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  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Daughter started using st 12 until about 20. As you know she quit without telling us, and didnt let us know until afterward.

    The only advice I have ever had is to detach the best you can from the drama, stop thinking you can control them and to look for true signs that they have changed when they inevitably claim they have. The changes happen quickly once they are out of the gutter. Here are a few changes to look for that may indicate true change.

    1. Dumping of drug friends. If they dont dump them, thay are probably still using.Druggies want nothing to do with sober people...their commanality is drugs. Sober people know its best to stay away and do, if they are serious.

    2. A desire to thrive, work, catch up, go to school etc. Like they woke up from a drug coma. It was very fast with our daughter.

    3. No longer in legal trouble.

    4. Start talking about how stupid it is to use drugs. And mean it.

    5. New, quick maturity. May be active in AA, NA or some other group of recovery.

    6. Improved hygiene. There was an amazing change here with Daughter. She also started looking healthy.

    As for what helped, this is my .02 and also from what I learned by talking to daughter.

    I feel that no money, no toys, no shelter did help my daughter get tired of drug life. She has said we made it "too hard."

    I feel nurturing and supporting a drug user just keeps them unmotivated to quit, which is hard to do if one is addicted. I feel they need to be desperate. In no way does this mean we cut them off or stop expressing love for them. We never cut off communication with daughter nor did we stop telling her we loved her. Love however did not include giving her toys or money or a car as long as she was using.

    Take what you need and leave the rest. I have faith in your son. He isnt there yet...that doesnt mean he wont get there. You have done your very best. He has a great foundation and lots of knowledge. When ready, he has MUCH to draw on.That matters!
     
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    Last edited: Sep 14, 2017
  3. pigless in VA

    pigless in VA Well-Known Member

    Ferb has been drinking alcohol and smoking weed for about the past year. His "substance" of choice is the Xbox. He started playing at age 8. His therapist actually advised me to allow him to continue to play to help him "cope."

    I now feel that was the complete wrong thing to do. He is addicted to gaming. It rules his life and any threat of removal of his precious Xbox has resulted in violence or suicidal threats or actions. I mistakenly thought that since he was not ingesting a substance that the gaming wouldn't harm him. I now think that excessive gaming is just as harmful as the substances. The kids who play get completely absorbed in their fictitious worlds. They fail to connect with their families and friends or even see a need for it. He's been addicted to gaming for 11 years.
     
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  4. PiscesMom

    PiscesMom Active Member

    Son started marijuana at 12. I didn't know then. He had older friends. He still does at 18 and a half. Has psychosis, probably it is from weed.
     
  5. Nessie

    Nessie Member

    Son has had addiction problems since 16, still controls him and he is going to be 21 in a couple of weeks. Appears to be addicted to multiple substances -cannabis, diazepam, pharmaceuticals and anything available .
     
  6. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    Neither is my son there yet, by a long shot. He ISS such obvious MH issues and even when he isn't using heavy drugs his affect is so poor. At this rate he won't be stable enough for in patient long term rehab; short term or psychiatric are voluntary. As I clearly see my son is a harm to himself, the medical system disagrees. And out he goes. It is heart breaking and beyond. It has been 2 full days with no sleep for me.

    Son stared experimenting at 14, was using pot heavily by the age of 15. Tried everything in our power to help him help himself. It doesn't work. Knowing thins does not make it any less painful.
     
  7. ColleenB

    ColleenB Active Member

    Our oldest son tried pot in grade nine and we immediately responded. He didn't do alcohol or drugs again until 19, and he is now 23. The worst years have been 20-23. He seems to be doing better at the moment. Cautiously optimistic.
     
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  8. StillStanding

    StillStanding Active Member

    My 22 year old has been using since 14.

    He's also addicted to gaming Pigless. I think this a very underestimated and understood problem.
     
  9. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    That is an interesting question. I would say 16 but my daughter says she started seriously drinking and using at 18. So I guess we will go with 18 to 30. A marathon is a perfect way to describe it. Or maybe a roller coaster that seems like it will never end.

    SWOT's list is excellent. When my daughter finally got sober, she hit every one of the items on the list. I remember other members on the board used to say that you would know when your child is actually sober because they are a different person. Now I see exactly what they meant.

    What helped her become sober? I think it was a combination of things. Inpatient treatment was part of it. I think the intervention that we did and her stay in the first three-month inpatient program made her finally realize she had a problem. Subsequent stays in treatment helped her develop the skills she needed to become sober. But the biggest factor was that my husband and I went through two years of therapy to learn how to stop enabling her behavior and force her to figure out that living a life of drugs is harder than leading a sober life. We had to get to the point where we were willing to let her be homeless and accept the fact that she might die. We also let her know that we loved her but that she couldn't be part of our lives if she was using drugs.

    I think she just got tired of living like that and wanted her family back. I truly didn't think I would ever see the day she got and stayed sober but it has been 18 months now so I am cautiously optimistic.

    ~Kathy
     
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  10. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    Mine for sure has psychosis from weed.
     
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  11. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    Mine started at 10. I didn't find out until he was 14. Graduated to party drugs at 16. He is now iq challenged from his heavy use. Has been psychotic from the drug abuse. Refuses to try to get help.
     
  12. Sue C

    Sue C Active Member

    My difficult daughter started drinking at 13 and moved on to pot at 14 and then onto harder drugs--LSD, ecstacy, etc. There was really nothing we did that was able to get her off drugs. We tried grounding her, inpatient rehab, and outpatient counseling. Nothing helped. We kicked her out of the house at 19 years old. We didn't have much contact with her at all 'cuz she was so angry at us. At 20, she met a nice guy. At 21, she married and went back to college and got her degree. She's happily married for 16 years, has a great career as a fashion designer, and a cute, smart 5-year-old daughter and a new baby boy. She has never said, but I would think she stopped using somewhere around age 20. It had to be her decision in her own timing on when she wanted to turn her life around.
     
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