I need strength to stop enabling and kick my drug addicted son out

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by skippy, Apr 21, 2012.

  1. skippy

    skippy New Member

    My life turned upside down 3 years ago when my son, then 18 was arrested at school for selling drugs. He had just turned 18 and was months from graduating high school. Long story short, things have not gotten better. Another arrest... still on drugs. We have paid for him to go to an outpatient rehab, but he said that he is "screwed up" and that rehab does nothing for him. We have also paid for him to see a psychiatrist, but I think he mostly used him to score ativan. I have attended some Naranon meetings in the past, but my husband refuses to go. Kicking your child out of the house seems so drastic, but he is not getting better. He does not go to school, and sleeps til noon. I work at 5:45 in the am, and he wakes me up with his walking around the house til all hours of the morning. My husband is not willing to support me. He thinks that we need to keep him safe. I think we are keeping him sick.
  2. keista

    keista New Member

    Welcome. (((HUGS))) I'm with you. Time for your son to go and figure it out on his own. Does he even pay you rent? Does he pay for any of his own expenses? Drastic is allowing you adult child to continue shirking adult responsibilities. Ask your husband what he thinks will happen to your son if you both died, and he still had not learned to function on his own?
  3. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    Welcome, Skippy,
    My husband was also reluctant to take a hard line with our son, and our son was clever enough to exploit that, which drove a wedge between my husband and me. Fortunately, my husband now sees the light, although somewhat dimmer than I do!
    Your son is sick in at least one way: he is a slave to his drug use. He may also be depressed, etc., but without some kind of intervention, you son will have no reason to change. Think about it - you get up at 5:30 to go to work, he is able-bodied but doesn't work, doesn't go to school?? C'mon! He's got it good there, why change? I understand that your husband wants to keep him safe, but enabling him to stay on drugs and a non-productive lifestyle isn't keeping your son safe at all. It's giving up due to being worn out, and it is indeed keeping him sick. Believe me, I know the feeling.
    You have a right to boundaries in your home - your son is an adult and you can enforce rules. Perhaps you and hubby can go to counseling together to get the tools you need to be strong and do the right thing?
    Keep checking in here...lots of good advice to come.
  4. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hello and welcome to the CD community.

    Your son needs to suffer the consequences of drug use. He will not suffer those consequences if you continue to let him live at home with no conditions. Many of us have had to reach the point of kicking out our adult drug-addicted child and let them fall. In many cases, they hit bottom and then were willing to seek drug treatment.

    I would love to say that they all got better but that is not the truth. Many, mine included, seem to be on a vicious cycle of relapse and recovery. However, it is safe to say that your son will definitely not get better the way things are now.

    It is also not unusual for the parents to be in different places concerning the best path to take to help their child. My husband and I took turns with detachment and enabling. We still struggle with that. I have found an addiction counselor for us that I hope will be able to help us with that.

    We understand what you are going through and will offer support and advice. There is no one right answer for any of us or our substance abusing loved one. Just remember this:

    You didn't cause it, you can't control it, and you can't cure it.

    We call that the three C's. That gave me comfort when I first heard it. Keep posting!

    Last edited: Apr 22, 2012
  5. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Skippy I hope that by reading some of our stories you will get enough information to convince your husband that he is not helpin gyou son by allowing him to continue using drugs and living in your home. All of the members here have gone thorugh what you are going through and more. Many of us have had to kick our difficult child's out of the house. We had to do that a year and a half ago and it was by far the hardest thing we ever did. Even though she has since been through rehab and sober houses she is still using and just lost her job and will probably be kicked out of her apartment soon.

    Your son will not get help until he hits his bottom, until things become so bad for him that the pain of staying the same is worse than the pain of changing.

    I agree that counseling may help bring you and your husband on the same page. Your son knows you are divided and he will exploit that. His drug use will not get better without help. He will lie, steal, break laws, do unthinkable things to get the drugs he needs. We had to lock everything up in the house and still she managed to steal from us. It will escalate and if you allow him to use your cars you will be vulnerable.

    You will receive many replies from our members here who are my inspiration and my support. I hope you and your husband will find the courage to draw the line in the sand with your difficult child. The first step can be that he either has to get treatment or leave. It will be his choice.

  6. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    It is common for parents to have differences when it comes to raising their kids. Our kids with emotional problems and addictions really know how to work the wedge in. Your son needs treatment. Letting him hit rock bottom is one way. Another way is to hire an interventionist. You may have to be willing to find an inpatient treatment. I just finished reading the book Love First. The website is http://lovefirst.net/wpt/ I am preparing for the day when our daughter hits 18 and may still need intensive treatment. (Ours has told us she is a monster and nothing works to help her as well) While the authors believe in 12 steps and have a strong belief in not enabling, they also believe that we need to raise the bottom for our addicted children before they make the kind of mistakes that make recovery and a decent life impossible. Maybe with counseling together, with an interventionist, you and your husband can come to a place where you can help your boy. Keep us posted. This is a long and tough road. We all know the pain. ((Hugs))
  7. FlowerGarden

    FlowerGarden Active Member

    Welcome to the CD group. It is filled with wonderful people with great advice and support. I can't help out with how to get your husband on board other than to try to get him to realize he is actually hurting your son. He is not keeping him safe by allowing him to do drugs, sleep all day, and not work. How is he getting the drugs, selling or stealing to get them? Either way isn't safe.
  8. Tiredof33

    Tiredof33 Active Member

    I have family members that think the same way as your hubby. One relative has an only son, 29, in prison for armed robery (drugs) and back in for parole violation (drugs). Now he is living back with his mother after spending the money his father's death left him.

    He tells her he can't work and she is supporting him, and in my opinion will be for the rest of her life. He doesn't come to family get togethers and her brother told me she gets angry if anyone tries to tell her she isn't helping him.

    From my own experience with my son, unless he gets help (which may or may not get him off drugs) he is going to make the situation at home much worse.

    I was put in danger many times by my drug using out of control son. He gave my cars keys to two new 'friends' so they could steal my car. It was found wrecked and the officer told me I had 'big problems at home I needed to deal with' DUH!!!!! The two were robbing people at gun point, and one of them had been in my home dinner several times.

    Good luck in this nightmare! (((blessings for us all)))
  9. mrsammler

    mrsammler Guest

    Your son's story is very, very similar to my nephew's at 18, but for a few details. My nephew has been using & dealing (off and on) since he was 13. He parties almost every night and sleeps in until the late afternoon--often until dinnertime. My sister has never pressed him to leave (despite much violence and destruction of property and theft and lying), nor to go to rehab, nor to work. Your son is now identical to my nephew at 18. Let me describe my nephew now, at 20: he has 6 criminal offenses on his adult record. In two years he has made zero progress in the community colleges he has attended at her expense. Pressed to take a job recently, he held a fast food job briefly and then lost it. He lives at home and continues to be a colossal nuisance and embarrassment for her and his easy child younger brother. He is grossly immature and seemingly incorrigibly parasitic. He still sleeps in every day and parties every night and makes no contribution to the household or to his progress into adulthood. He frequently drives drunk and/or drugged. He is a menace to his mother's neighborhood and his extended family members--uncles, aunts, cousins, grandparents--have all turned away from him (and his mother, sadly) due to the menace and constant annoyance that he brings to all occasions and gatherings. He is a manchild at 20.

    While I certainly understand the protective impulse, refusing to put him out of the house and let him fend for himself is NOT helping your son.
  10. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

    Mrsammler, a touch of gentleness would be greatly appreciated when you deal with a brokenhearted mom.
  11. Skippy,
    I am new here myself and do not have any experience with drug addiction but for what I saw with my brother when I was 15 and he was 17. He did, fortunately, turn his life around and is now married with 4 children. His life did have to get hard for him in order to change, unfortunately. He ended up in jail and thankfully took advantage of every life skills class they had to offer. I hope that your son does not have to go too hard of a route to find his way out of this.

    Would your husband consider an intervention? Maybe the offer of an inpatient treatment facility - where your son would truly be safe - from the world and from the drugs? I love the idea of raising the bottom for your son.
    I wonder if he had the choice between leaving the home or going to treatment if he would take it.
    I wish I could offer something more but I will send you a big hug and my thoughts today.
  12. lupylisa

    lupylisa New Member

    Skippy, I am new here also but in one day see that this is the place to come for the strength that we need to do this. This is bigger than we are but we can grow to match what's being thrown at us. Just know that you have put more worry and thought into your son than he ever has for himself. Know that despite everything you will always love him and throwing him out is a form of love. I am having to play all kinds of mind games with myself to maintain the boundary with our son, who just this week we asked to leave, or not come back. I keep thinking about the kids when they were babies and how strongly I believed in the "sleep chamber method" at a certain age....you know the deal where you were teaching them to go to sleep without rocking or in your bed. You let them cry it out the first night and only slightly make brief interruptions to "check on them", each night these intervals to check on them get longer and longer and usually within the week (or less) they are putting themselves to sleep without crying. This is what I keep imagining when my heart wants to run out the door and go find him and bring him back. Im letting him cry it out on his own and just pray nothing happens to him while he is doing this.

    Take care of yourself and prepare by changing the locks, possibly getting a security system. Im heeding my own advice and starting all this tomorrow. Like I said, this is a new point for us to be at too!!

    Keep posting.