I don't know what to do

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Tired12, Jan 5, 2013.

  1. Tired12

    Tired12 New Member

    I have a 18 year old son who I know is doing lots of different drugs. We were aware of the pot smoking when he was in high school but it is so much more now. We sent him to an out of state college hoping for a fresh start and hoping this will get him away from some of his "friends". Well, that backfired big time. Things seemed to be going alright until after midterms when he got a job at a fast food restaurant. He had B's at midterm but it seemed that every time I called him after that he was always sleeping. He also starting complaining how much he didn't like it there. We agreed to finish the semester and he could transfer somewhere else. A couple more weeks go by and he quits going to class. He later explains that he got behind so he just quit. We now know that he was working to earn money for his drugs....pot, perc, cocaine, etc. He is now home. We had to take his keys because he was sneaking out after we were going to sleep. He's sleeping all day and constantly complaining about how unfair we are and how we don't trust anything he says. We had enough of this last week and decided to take him to a psychologist for some help but since he is 18 and doesn't see a problem, we couldn't force the issue. During this session, he admitted to all of the different drugs he has used, including heroin. He still doesn't see this as a problem. We worry constantly that he will get some bad drugs, get arrested or get hurt. We thought we raised him better than this. We both work and live a normal life. He starts at the nearby branch next week but I really can't see things getting better. We can barely afford this but what are our options?
  2. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    I'm so sorry. I know too well how you feel. The only thing you can do (depending on if where you live, 18 is legal adulthood) is not tolerate his drug use while he is living there. You set the rules in your home. If he doesn't see a problem flunking out of school, and working to support drug use, perhaps he may need a serious wake up call. Make drugs HIS problem - not yours. Something like fully supporting himself - rent and all, outside your home - if he chooses to live with drugs as the major pursuit in his life. One semester of school and the tuition that goes along with it is just the first of many things he will throw away as long as drugs and that lifestyle is his primary concern. It's so sad, but true.
    I'd suggest also that you attend support groups for yourself to help you through these difficult steps. Come here for a reality check, too - you are always welcome, though I'm sorry you are going through this.
  3. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    So sorry for your pain. It is hard to find out that your child is using and throwing away good opportunities. I am not clear what you ment when you said he is starting a another branch. did you mean School, work or psychiatric? _rm
  4. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    There are several of us here whose difficult child's were in college and eventually flunked out or quit because of drug use. In my case our daughter lasted only one semester before she was arrested for drugs/alcohol and not invited back. We then tried community college to no success. We gave her an ultimatum to go for treatment or move out. She spent 60 days in a treatment center and two months in aftercare. She relapsed, we kicked her out of the house, she used 24/7 for the next couple months and finally entered a sober house where she stayed for 6 months. She relapsed, left there and is now living on her own in an apartment and works as a server in a sports bar, not a good atmosphere for an addict.

    You do not have to allow drug use in your home. I agree that it would be a good idea to find a support group. At some point you may have to draw the line in the sand, either go to rehab or move out.

    I'm very sorry, I know what you are going through.

  5. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    I too know too well the pain of what you are going through. I have been there. I have no answers for you except that I agree find a good support group such as an alanon parents group. It is a huge help to meet other good parents who have kids who are addicts..... it helped me to remember my sons addiction was not my fault and i cannot cure it and I cannot control it.

    I wish I had an answer for you but what I have discovered is there are no good answers. Until they want to get sober there is not a whole lot you can do. You can try doing some kind of intervention. If you have other kids, especially younger kids in the home, make sure you take care of them and especially keep drugs out of your home.

    My 21 year old son is currently on his own living across the country and is homeless after walking out of a great treatment program. He knows we will support him going into treatment but after many treatment programs he really needs to do this his own... we cant do it for him.

  6. Tired12

    Tired12 New Member

    thanks for yur support. I meant a local college branch. He just came home tonight higher than a kite. It breaks my heart
  7. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    My advice is if nothing changes, nothing changes. He has a roof over his head, all the comforts of home provided to him and he gets to do drugs and sleep all day. What motivation does he have to change anything?

    My daughter is a crystal meth addict. We had to give her the ultimatum of rehab or living on her own and she chose living on her own. She is still homeless after a couple of years now. Yeah, I tried to get her to go to college, too. It was like putting lipstick on a pig. Pointless when they are living this kind of life style.

    While I am continually heartbroken that my daughter doesn't want a better life (she was in rehab and made almost 30 days before she left and relapsed late last year), the rest of the house is not suffering because of her choices. Her addiction caused constant turmoil and chaos in our home and I will be honest when I say I do not miss that at all. My home is now peaceful. I even feel the change in energy when my daughter comes by to visit. I love her dearly, I pray for her daily and I will never give up hope. But I will be danged if I keep enabling her to live that life. The only thing I give her is a cellphone and that is only so I have a way of knowing she is alive.

    The more you save him and provide a cushion for his fall, you are pushing bottom further down. He needs to hit bottom to want change and change will only come when they want it. Wise words from my brother who has been clean for years now. Hard on us and hard to hear, but it is the truth.

    I recommend a support group and perhaps watch the show Intervention and Rehab with Dr. Drew. I really learned a lot from those two shows...and keep coming here. This site has been my source of strength since I found it! :)

  8. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    As long as he is using, you will be throwing away your money for college classes. I am speaking from experience. Sadly, my difficult child has started and stopped college many times. She still expresses a desire for going back to college but until she has shown us that she is serious about recovery, we are not spending another dime on her education. She even took out FAFSA and Pell grants and lived on them for a year but didn't finish a class either semester. Now she owes the government $20,000 with nothing to show for it.

    If you are going to spend money, spend it on rehab. Of course, he will not agree to go as long as he gets a roof over his head and food to eat while he is using. I am not a big fan of throwing them out of the house but that is sometimes what is needed for them to realize that they need help.

    One word of caution, in some states (like mine), you cannot simply kick them out. If they are considered a legal resident (whether paying rent or not), you have to go through the eviction process. Check the laws in your state so you are prepared. When we tried to kick our daughter out of the house, she knew the law and laughed in our faces. The police came and confirmed that she was right. However, if he is bringing illegal drugs into your home or you are in fear, then you can probably get a temporary protection order which will force him to leave that day. That is what we had to do recently and now our daughter is in rehab.

    Good luck and we are are for support.

  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Your son sounds a lot like my daughter but, of course, drug addicts live similar lives. If he has tried heroin, like my daughter did, he is hardcore. My daughter slept all day too until we finally told her she was out. She went to another state to live with her brother, a straight-arrow and she got her act together slowly, but she had to follow her brother's extremely strict rules or be out on the street and what worked is that I'm sure s he knew he meant it. She couldn't even smoke cigarettes.

    She found herself walking to a two bit job at Subway and did a good job, was elevated to manager. She had to give 1/4th of her check to her brother for rent. She had no car so she did not "hang out." She mostly had to stay home and had a lot of time to think. She quit everything, even cigarettes. Then she met her boyfriend at work. Today they own a house together, she has gone back to school and gotten a degree (on her own dime) in her chosen field, has a good job and is a responsible member of society. But she tells me that she never would have changed if we hadn't thrown her out.

    You can get your son all the help in the world and if he doesn't want to quit, he won't quit and you're out money. I recolmmend you start going to Al-Anon or Narc-Anon groups for real life face-to-face support and help. You can't change him, but you can help yourself. I would tell son that he either goes into rehab or has to find another place to live. You most certainly CAN force the issue and you should. You are making it very comfortable for him to practice his self-destructive addiction in the comfort of your home. And if you pay for his cell phone, car, car insurance, anything...you are even making it kind of fun for him. We cut our daughter off from any money as soon as we found out she was using drugs and we bought her what she needed, and it wasn't the internet, a cell phone, a car, etc.
  10. Tired12

    Tired12 New Member

    Thanks for all of your support. It does help to vent. I'm no longer searching for that elusive reason why or how this happened to my son. I dread coming home each day to find out how he can further shock me. Today I came home to find out that he has sold his pain medications from getting his wisdom teeth out. He seems almost proud of the $85 he "made" and sees nothing wrong with this. I can't look at him right now. Our only consolation is that he sold them and didn't keep them for himself.
  11. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Tired.... I so sympathize. It is hard just dreading the next shoe dropping. You are definitely not alone. When my son was 18 and had his wisdome teeth out and living at home... I kept control of his pain medications. He wanted them more often than he was supposed to get them (of course). I would not give them to him. He actually called the police and asked him if I was allowed to withhold his medications!!! They came to our house and talked to him and us. I told the cops my son had a drug problem (which they already knew since he had overdosed on his 18th birthday) and there was no way I was handing him a bottle of vicodin!!! They were very sympathetic, took him outside and basically told him if he was living at home he had to follow our rules and if eh didnt want to he should move out. Boy he was mad!! I too really recommend finding an alanon group for parents, it can be so helpful to know you are not alone and to have a place that encourages you to focus on you!!

  12. Tired12

    Tired12 New Member

    Spent most of last night in the emergency room with my son. His pot was laced with bathsalts and he couldn't breathe & was freaking out. It just goes on and on...It just seems so unreal. I'm sure the denials will continue. It scares me to think where he is getting his supply and how he is paying for it.
  13. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Tired I am so sorry. Bath salts is a very serious problem and can be deadly. Have you checked into treatment centers in your area? Do you have insurance coverage for substance abuse? I am also in Ohio and if you are in the NE Ohio area I can give you some suggestions on treatment centers. It may be time to tell your son that unless he agrees to enter treatment he needs to find alternative living arrangements. He can't deny the emergency room experience, this is a good time to do this.
  14. Wakegirl

    Wakegirl Member

    My heart goes out to you!!! This is such a scary time for us, as parents. I agree with Nancy...if he's not ready to commit to residential treatment, he needs to find a new place to live. You can't condone this, or continue providing a cushy place for him to live, giving him no incentive to change. I'm going through just that with my difficult child. I kicked him out almost 2 weeks ago. Hardest thing ever. But, he knows that I'm willing to support him, 200%, when he is ready to commit to treatment. All he has to do is say the word. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers...and hoping your difficult child sees the light, soon!!
  15. Tired12

    Tired12 New Member

    he's still in denial. I was hoping this would scare him (at least!) but he says that he won't buy this stuff again. "This wasn't what I paid for." Unbelievable! No apology, no remorse for what it does to me, ---can't stand to look at him.
  16. Wakegirl

    Wakegirl Member

    Tired12, his only real choice (and yours too) is to kick him out of your house. Now. I'm learning this as we speak. Mine has been kicked out...and I'm getting texts from him now saying that he had a relapse, and that he's learned his lesson...blah, blah, blah. I don't believe it. He's burned too many bridges, and his words mean nothing to me. I need to see proof, such as commitment to treatment!! He's 20 years old, and I've been going through this with him for 5 years. I'm tired of the drugs, lies, excuses, laziness, and lack of any type of responsibility. I've had him arrested, put him in counseling...and he STILL doesn't get it. SO, until he's ready for treatment, my house is NOT his house. I highly recommend that you do the same. It's hard. So very hard. But enabling our difficult child's will only make matters worse. Life is not going to get any better, for you or for him. STAND YOUR GROUND, but let him know the offer is still there, and that you will back him all of the way, if he wants treatment.

    P.S. My son just up and quite going to classes his freshman year of college, as well. If he wants any type of college education, he will have to get a student loan and pay for one year at a local community college in town. Once we see that he is done with drugs, and is excelling in school, we will gladly help send him back to the college of his dreams. But for now, it's a waste of money.
  17. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    It is so scary when they end up in the ER... hopefully the ER realized he has a drug issue and at least talked to him about treatment. It is hard to stand by and watch the self destruct. The main thing is not to do anything that will help them along in the process of self destruction.... which means not enabling their drug use in any way. It is hard sometimes to know where to draw the line.. Feeling for you and just know you are not alone in this awful journey.

  18. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    I am so sorry Tired. I hope the ER is the wake up call he needs and it leads to getting him some help.

    WG-my son did not do well his freshman year- low C's. We planed to send him back for his sophomore year with a stern warning to shape up or we're pulling the plug - only to catch him in a ton of lies about 2 weeks before he left. He rented an apartment without our knowledge (think he planned to leave us on the hook for the dorm) and I found an enormous online order of pot paraphernalia that was going to be shipped to his new apartment just days before he was due to leave. That's when we pulled the financial plug. He went anyway. Enrolled in school, paid half his tuition and stopped going to class about a month in, and he got F's in every class.. That was over a year ago, he never paid the remaining balance and I am so glad we are not on the hook for it. I can't understand not attending classes that cost THOUSANDS of dollars. WITHDRAW or finish up and don't enroll!!

    He claims he wants to attend school locally in the fall - we shall see how that goes...
  19. Zardo

    Zardo Member

    I am so sorry for what you're going through. I think that you should not have to live with his use under your nose. Lay the rules for living in your home - that means NO DRUGS. Since he has already proven that he is not willing or able to do that, I would highly reccomend that IF you give him a chance to stay it is ONLY under the terms that he starts by either going to Rehab or IOP and submits to regular drug tests, starting today. He must demonstrate that he is complying. If he is not willing to comply (which will probably be the case) - he must leave - and set a date which is ASAP. One of the best lines I have heard form my support group is "If nothing changes then nothing changes". I live with my 17 year old son who has been up and down for the past 2 years. Any time we see him struggle, we make IOP mandatory - truthfully, he will also come to us and say he needs to go again. We will continue with this plan, BUT when he turns 18 and is done with HS (if he's able to get through) - the terms will get tougher. I choose not to live with someone who is actively abusing drugs. If he lives that lifestyle - he's out.