I know I'm doing the right thing but I am BROKEN


New Member
My oldest son is 22 and has been battling with anxiety and drug abuse for the past two years. I'm not sure what drug he is abusing - I think it is some sort of Xanax or benzo or something. He becomes a different person. He lies to me - everything that comes out of his mouth is a lie. He steals from his younger brothers. In February, I sent him to a different state to live with my sister....hoping to get him away from his "friends" and his lifestyle. He did good for a few months, but then started the same old habits out there. She kicked him out and he came back. After staying with "friends" for a few weeks, he begged to come home. I relented and let him back & had him sign a contract - no drugs, curfew, etc. - it laid out everything. He was good for 2 1/2 days before money went missing, he broke into my bedroom searching the prescription drugs, he "borrowed" money from one of his brothers who did manual labor to earn the money, flat out lied to both myself and his brother. I just had to kick him out again. He says he wants to kill himself, that he has nowhere to go but the street. I have given him a million chances, he will get a job and get fired after 2-3 months every single time. He's had so many jobs that his options are limited at this point because there's no place else for him to work. I know he has to suffer natural consequences of his decisions and hit rock bottom before he will accept responsibility. I know that I've enabled him in the past. I know that I have to protect my other children. I'm afraid that he will turn to something harder, like meth or heroin (if he hasn't already). I'm broken and terrified.
His bio father stopped talking to him over 4 years ago, and my husband gave up on him long ago. Neither one of them have any advice or help for me. I am dealing with this on my own. He just texted me that he has nowhere to go.


Well-Known Member
Hi and welcome, keb

He can go to a shelter or go into a drug rehab. These are his best options.

Once when my step-son had no place to go, he went to the ER and told them something that got him held involuntarily for a couple of weeks. Our addicts are very resourceful when they have to be.


Well-Known Member
Welcome. It is very hard to force them out but necessary. They are more resourceful than you think. Mommy has always been there and they count on that. He will and is trying to manipulate you. Look up local shelters and rehabs and text him the info. There is an article on detachment under parent emeritus please read it. Another thing that helped me was a story about a boy and a butterfly given to me by my counselor i will try to attach a link. It is a long hard road. Welcome others will reply shortly.

The link to butterfly story
The Boy and the Butterfly -An Inspirational Story about Life (Must watch )

Also seek help for you to deal with your feelings.
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100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

I'm so sorry for your pain and feeling of helplessness. I truly understand it and I have lived it. Like many of us here.

You have found a great place with many people that have walked this journey before you (and me) and they can give you guidelines to follow that can help you tremendously.

There is no quick fix. There is no easy way out. We all have enabled our children because that is what moms do. My son, like yours, would do good for 3-4 months and stay sober and then he'd go down the tubes again. It was so painful to watch.

What I did was find a therapist that specializes in addiction to help me navigate this and set up healthy boundaries for myself and also for my son. Some prefer to go to Alanon meetings. But whatever you decide, do something for yourself. For me, I wanted to focus on MY issue and how to resolve that rather than hearing others' stories which were often worse than mine. It brought me down farther. I was able to get others' opinions from this forum.

At times I thought my son was possessed by the Devil himself. His addiction was so strong and it had such a hold on him. He could not escape. I could not help him.

My son never understood that his life was a mess because of his choices. That is part of the addiction. They don't think they need help. How crazy is that?

I don't know if you are spiritual but I finally turned my son over to my higher power. I couldn't do it anymore. He always knew that we love him and will do anything for him as long as he stays on track.

He was never the type to couch surf or be homeless. He likes the finer things in life which actually worked in our favor. He would choose rehab over the streets every time but I didn't care how he got to rehab, just that he spent time sober always hoping THIS TIME it would make a difference.

We finally found hope in a long term faith based program. He is doing very well now and has been sober long enough to reflect back on the road he was taking. He sees older addicts and he doesn't want to be like them. He is so happy to be sober and he realizes how skewed his thinking has been. He will move home with us in November once he is done with the program. We are moving out of state due to my job transfer but this will be good for him too. I am very scared but I am hopeful and he has to work hard to earn our trust.

In the end I am glad that I got help for myself so I didn't lose my sanity through all of this. It is not selfish to do this. The change may have to start with you.


Well-Known Member
Benzos are hard core and harder to get off of than heroin. You need a medical hospital to rehab. He IS on hardcore drugs. Benzo abuse is horrible. He should never drive. Benzos make you way too tired to drive if you take too much of them. You plain fall asleep and can't help it.

I am not trying to scare you, just tell you the facts. You need to stay safe with a benzo abuser. With that he may be abusing other downer medications like painkillers. Hide your money. Protect yourself until he is truly clean

I take a benzo for anxiety PRN. If I have a panic attack I take 1 mg. I will not drive even on that amount. I get too sleepy. And that is one pill.


100% better than I was but not at 100% yet
My son passed out on benzos and totaled his car. Luckily he walked away and no one was hurt. They are bad news.


New Member
I am new here but would like to offer support. Know that you are not alone and it’s not your fault. As moms, we will do anything for our children. BUT there comes a time when it’s not helpful to your son or yourself. It doesn’t “serve” us anymore. You have to try and let it go to a higher power and really believe it.

Peace to us all,


kebdal23, Sorry you are going through this, and on your own without the support of his dad or your husband. It's different as a Mom, we get it. You are not on your own here. It's so hard when he reaches out to you, but if he can text, he can also find food and find shelter or a rehab. They know whose heart strings to pull on. Your contract with him seems like the logical thing to you and me, but unfortunately, they aren't thinking logically, drugs won't let them. Text back and tell him you love him and even send locations of shelters. It's hard.


Long road but the path ahead holds hope.
Welcome K23. You are not alone here as you can see. My sons favourite was benzodiazepines. Nasty stuff especially street grade as it is full of garbage and fentanyl or carfentanyl.


Well-Known Member
Staff member
My daughter's choice of drugs is/was benzos. She is sober now and told me if given a choice between benzos or heroin while she was still in active addiction, she would take benzos hands down.

My daughter did it all. She drank, abused benzos, and mainlined heroin. She overdosed several times. If you changed the pronouns in your post, it could have been something I wrote ten years ago when I joined this board.

Therapy is what saved me (and my daughter). Two years of private therapy taught me how to set firm boundaries. My therapist told my husband and me that our daughter would use whatever scared us the most to manipulate us into enabling her druggie lifestyle. So she told us she was hungry (she wasn't), that she was sick (she wasn't), and that she was homeless (she wasn't). And every penny we gave her for food or shelter actually went straight to drugs.

My therapist told me once that I was my daughter's drug supplier. I was taken aback until she pointed out that every penny we gave her for things that functioning adults pay for themselves made it possible for her to buy drugs instead.

I don't know if you son has health insurance but if he does, look up residential treatment centers and give him a list. Or if he doesn't, give him a list of sober living facilities. Tell him it is his choice whether he wants to go into treatment or live on the streets. If he tells you that he doesn't have a problem or need treatment, then tell him that he should be able to find a job and take care of himself just like other adults do.

We had a poster here long ago that kept a picture of young soldiers next to her phone to remind herself that 18-year-olds have fought and died for our country. 22 is not too young to take care of himself.