I'm back, and things aren't getting better


Active Member
Hi Everyone,
It's been quite a while since I posted, and things had been better for a while. My older Difficult Child, now age 30, had been moved out and working. But then last summer, he lost his very good job due to missing work, being high, etc. He got on a suboxone program and seemed to be doing well. About a year ago, he was due to have some surgery and had been sleeping in his car, so husband and I decided to let him live with us temporarily. It was getting cold outside and he would be recovering from the surgery. Well, "temporarily" has turned into "forever," and now things are getting worse.

The latest crisis happened about a week ago when he crashed his wife's car at some point in the evening. Then, he went to work and overdosed on heroin in the bathroom. He was taken to the hospital in an ambulance, and we got a frantic call from his wife (who he doesn't live with, long story) since she couldn't locate him. We finally found out which hospital he was in, and we (husband and I) picked him up and took him home. They had stabilized him with Narcan and released him when he was stable. Of course, he was fired from his job.

I talked to him and he said he was going to check on a program that is something like a halfway house where they help with housing, rehab, etc. He isn't in the suboxone program anymore. He claims he talked to them at the halfway house on Saturday, but seemed a little vague about it so I don't think he did.

Last night, he was going to take his kids (our grandkids) back to their mom's house. He called me a few minutes later and said his wife needed money to get a prescription at the pharmacy, and could he get money for that. I gave him $20.

So today, my younger son, who still lives at home, said that his brother was acting weird last night, walking around and banging on things and going in and out of the bathroom. He said he thinks he's been high for a few days. Although I am very aware of the signs, I tend to still give him the benefit of the doubt, but I see that he's probably right.

Just for fun (sorry, dark humor) I texted his wife this morning and asked if he had given her money for a prescription yesterday. She said "no." So I'm thinking his request for money was for heroin.

I know that I should make him move out, and have done so before, but it's just so difficult. It's already cold here again (happens every fall and winter!), and he's so pathetic and has no job, and can't move in with his wife. It's a housing issue, as he's not allowed to live in her Section 8 apartment because of his felonies. Plus, at this point, she likely doesn't even want him there either. It doesn't help that he's a very nice person--helpful, pleasant, and kind. But he's also a drug addict, and I don't see how we can keep housing him when he's still addicted. My younger son (age 20) said he understands that his brother is on a self-medicating cycle, but he hates having to worry all the time whether he's going to discover that he has overdosed or even died. He found him passed out (ODed) once at home, and it wasn't a pleasant experience. I think he's overdosed four times now.

I have a couple of close friends at work who know the situation. One of them said her brother was addicted (he's in his 60s now) and said "You can't put him out on the street," and that he was in and out of their house for years until he finally got clean. My other friend was formerly an addictions counselor, and she says we need to kick him out because he'll have no reason to change as long as he has a safe space in our house. So these two pieces of advice are competing in my head, and I'm very confused. My husband is reasonable, and would probably go along with whatever I think, but I'm in a bad place right now. I wish my son was nasty, mean, and hateful, and it would be an easy decision. Instead, he's like a pathetic, hurt puppy who sleeps a lot and cleans the kitchen when he's awake.

Thanks for reading--


Long road but the path ahead holds hope.
Well Origami
You have succeeded in making me feel better. St least my sons bad behaviour fuels my ability to make him leave our home.
It is neve easy no matter what we or they do. It is truly difficult to find a healthy balance between loving and enabling.
Do you go to Naranon? I do and I find it helps a great deal. I also read and go to private therapy.

There is no right or wrong answer here. We all do what our hearts can bear.

My only question would be. How regretful would it be to have your son OD and not Conde ba k on you’re own home?

Putting a rehab plan into place and setting guidelines and boundaries for a time to meet this goal or leave might be a good idea. The cold may be a good motivator.

You are not alone.


Well-Known Member
I am sorry about your adult sons lack of progress. My own experience and strong belief is that coddling a 30 year old heroin addict encourages the addict to stay one. So what if its cold outside. He can choose to go to rehab or a shelter and he can get a coat from the shelter. I volunteered at a shelter. We offered a warm place to sleep, food, and donated coats/hats/gloes/boots. But tjose eho stayed could not use or be obviously high.

You need to see son as a grown man, who can die one night because of heroin addiction if he wont change. Just.Like.That.

A few things bother me. I give my two cents with concern, not anger. One issue is that you are still giving him cash, apparently not realizing yet that any dollar you give a heroin addict will go to drugs. Your money could be the $$ that buys him a fatal dose. No cash. Ever. At least that is in my opinion.

Another worrying issue you brought up is your other son who should not have to deal with his addict brother. It has to be traumatic. And it's a bad influence for a young man.

Your house should be a sanctuary for all of you.

Thirdly I am appalled that a heroin addict DRIVES his little children anywhere. Why is he even allowed to drive? Why let him drive his babies? Why is he even around them? To me, this is fangerous and a bad omen for the future.

The family dynamics to me seem to be all about the addict's comfort first with you, younger son and son's babies all sacrificing their lives to make sure addict doesnt get his feelings hurt or doesnt feel cold air. And he is 30, not 13. And he is a danger to all. Heroin addicts have unsavory associates. They have to hang with dangerous people to get the drugs. And he could also sell. Most who use also sell.

My opinion? He has no business in your house, exposing all of you to possible retaliation from bad associates, risking younger son or you finding him OD'd again, and setting a gruesome example of a father to his littles. And driving a car. I could be wrong here, but my guess is that shooting up and driving is at least as trecherous as being totally drunk and driving...or even MORE dangerous. And he drives his kids????? Why is he given the keys? He doesnt work. He cant own a car. Please dont give him your keys. He could kill himself and anyone he drives in his car or a stranger he crashes into.

I am sorry. I dont believe others should suffer due to an addict's refusal to quit. This is my opinion, which may not be shared by all, and that is that he should not be around the rest of the family, especially children. I was tough on my daughter and she quit twelve years ago. Coddling her just made her more comfortable while she loaded up with drugs. I didnt want her to die and could see it happening if hub and I did not take a huge risk. So we made her leave at 19...hearbreaking for all. I cried until i couldnt anymore. But we didnt give up and for her it worked.
Plus my littles were scared of her when she was high.

This wont work for all, but enabling never works....ever.

Please protect your younger son and the grands. Tell him to leave, cold or not, until he does the hard work needed to get clean. He is already 30. I feel the age matters. He is now an addict and a grown man. Do you want him to be 40 and an addict or maybe dead?

Please....nothing changes unless tou change it. Your son needs to be cold, hungry, miserable, lonely...or he will never get clean. It is hard to quit. They need tremendous motivation to change things.

You, hon, also need peace.

I do not mean to be harsh. I do tend to speak my mind.

Hugs and so much love to all involved!


Active Member
Thanks for all your replies and common sense, which I seem to lose sight of at times. I told my husband that we need to set up some new boundaries, and we both agreed that we won't house him while he's still using and not seeking help. It's affecting all of us with the stress, etc. On a more hopeful note, my son told me that he is going to the organization today that offers housing, job support, and drug treatment. I now think he might have actually gone there the other day as he said they requested some documentation from his doctor, and he did have some brochures from them.

SWOT, your advice and observations are spot-on, though not always easy to hear. I appreciate your time spent helping me see things more clearly. Crayola and LBL, the support is likewise appreciated. Will keep you all updated.


Well-Known Member
I was afraid to give that feedback!! I dont want to be seen as a biotch and trust me it is easier to see anothers situation than your own! I was a sniffling pile of nothing after I had my daughter leave. I could not eat, sleep, function. But she did it!!!

I just want your family to be safer, and your son motivated to quit. I wish only the best for everyoe here.

Love and hugs and prayers that Son is going to get help.


Active Member
Thought I'd post an update. My husband finally reached his boiling point two evenings ago and had a heart-to-heart talk with son. Since the recent overdose episode, things had gone back to same-old, same-old, with son "watching" his kids at our house by sleeping while the older child (age 9) plays computer games all day and the younger child (age 6) entertains herself. The kids aren't bad, but they can be noisy, and just overall annoying when husband and I can't watch TV, etc. without noise and interruptions. I try to engage the kids at times, but don't feel like I should entertain them all day. So our daughter-in-law had decided that she's not having our son (her husband) staying with her anymore, and somehow the kids had been pretty much living with us, also. Previously, they were at our place maybe once or twice a week. She has a large extended family, and lives a few blocks from a couple of sisters as well as her mom and dad, so it's not like we're the only people who could help out.

Anyway, the discussion was very positive, with my husband telling son that he wasn't kicking him out, but that things needed to progress toward him getting treatment and getting better. He also said that he felt like daughter-in-law was "dumping" her problems at our house, and he felt like she should be taking care of her own kids. He also mentioned that he didn't like the fact that grandson is on the computer literally every waking moment, refuses to interact with the rest of the family, and runs around our place in his underwear all day. It seems silly, but my husband sees it as general disrespect. My husband was very encouraging to our son, said he thinks he's an intelligent man who has a lot to offer, and that we'll support him as long as he's trying to do better, but it won't do anyone any good if he ends up dead.

Throughout this time period (since the OD), daughter-in-law has been texting us that we need to tell our son to get his s*** out of her house, she didn't want his clothes there, etc. It's understandable that she's angry with him, but we honestly don't need to be so involved in their BS. Well, yesterday she texted my husband something like, "Aren't you the grandparents? Tell your son to get his s*** together so you won't have to see your irritating grandchildren any more." I was upset, and husband said he wasn't even going to reply, that we don't need to be in their drama. She came over last night and got some of their clothes and toys, didn't say much to me on the way out.

I mentioned to my husband that maybe I could pick up the kids and keep them one weekend day (their mother works on weekends), and that way we could see them on our terms. He said OK if I really want to, but now I'm thinking I should lay low and see what happens, not try to stay involved right now. I think this will blow over, and we've had a fairly good relationship with daughter-in-law before. But she does tend to hold grudges, so who knows what will happen.

On the bright side, our son said he was accepted into a residential treatment program and is just waiting for a space to open up. He said he's supposed to call them every day to see when he can get started. I have guarded optimism here.

Not sure if I'm looking for advice or commiseration, but will take either!


Active Member
I don't think there is a right answer or else we'd all just do that. Some addicts are kicked out and recover and some are kicked out and never recover. Some addicts live at home and recover and some live at home and never recover. I just do what I feel right doing.

One thing I'm sure of... cold is not a motivator. I also live somewhere cold and my son will break into a garage, etc before he will follow our house rules. I don't try to understand it, I just don't want him to freeze to death.

Another thing that works for me is I never give him cash or even gift cards anymore. I'm happy to buy food and even leave it someplace neutral so he doesn't have to speak to me but that's my comfort zone. I'm sure he could sell the pasta but I can't imagine he's that motivated. :)

I also refuse to participate in anyone else's drama. I don't pass along messages or provide updates to baby mama. I have a direct relationship with her so I can see my Grand on a regular basis.

I wish you luck on this painful journey! I don't have advice but please know you are not alone.


Well-Known Member
And I am on the other side. Heroin addicts need pain to want to recover. He sleeps all day? The kids have no supervision?

He'd be long gone if he were mine. The kids, no. Him, yes. How many years has he been doing this?

He can die in your warm house too.

But we can only do what we can do so I wish you luck and love!


Active Member
Thought I'd post an update. My son checked into a residential rehab center yesterday, and is supposed to be there for at least a month. The last month since his OD has been unfortunately full of drama that led to us banning him from ever driving our car again. He said he's tired of the back-and-forth with his addiction, and is ready to be serious about rehab. It's too early to be very hopeful, but at least he's going in the right direction.

I'm not sure when we'll hear from him, since the center doesn't allow him to have a cell phone, but I assume he'll get to use a phone at some point. Right now I think he just needs to focus on getting better and breaking out of the destructive cycle he's been on for so long.

New Leaf

Well-Known Member
My quote thingee won’t work. Origami you are on a tough road. An in between. It is hard to see our adult kids flailing, especially when they have kids of their own. I am glad to see that your son is attempting to break free. But that is hard too, a breath holding, waiting for the other shoe to drop.
My two, as far as I know, are nowhere near this point. I have my three grands over for winter break, their MIA mother has texted her middle son that she loves him, but is in a bad spot right now.
It is sad.
So, when I read of your son checking in to rehab, it is a spark of hope. I hope he can shake the destructive pattern. I hope one day, my two will do the same.
What I do know, and tell my grands, is that we don’t have to live the consequences of another’s bad choices.
Even if they are our close relations.
I will try to breathe through this time and find peace and joy.
I wish the same for you, and all of us here.
It is all we can do, really.
As our beloveds struggle to find their potential and light, I believe that to be our ultimate goal. No matter what the future holds for them, we can put one foot in front the other, step by step, rebuild our broken hearts and learn to thrive.
Wishing you peace of heart and mind.


Active Member
Thanks for the good thoughts, everyone. I have also been on the "guarded optimism" track many times, but I keep hoping my son's resolve will stick with him at some point. I feel like he was nervous while he was packing his bags the other night, and I'm sure he's feeling the pressure from himself and all of the family to find a positive result. He's been in treatment a couple of times before, but never anything long-term, more like a week-long detox.


100% better than I was but not at 100% yet
Prayers for your peace and that your son is able to stick with it this time.

So many do, there is hope.


Long road but the path ahead holds hope.
I am happy to hear your son is heading to rehab. I wish him all the best. Being nervous is a good sign to me. It means he is really thinking about rehab and taking it seriously.

Big hugs to you.


Roll With It
I am very glad he is getting help at a residential place. This is good for him and for all of you. I want to encourage you, your husband and your other son to go to NarAnon or AlAnon meetings for help. I know you did not use, but you learned patterns of behavior that let you live with an addict. It will take time and work to learn new patterns of behavior, ones that are healthier. This will let you have a much healthier and happier life and it will help you to not enable your son's addiction in the future. It will support him in his efforts to be clean.

Addicts with family members who attend 12 step meetings are 30% more likely to get and stay clean in the long run. So even if this rehab doesn't work, over the long run, you improve your son's chances significantly if you get into recovery.

Think of it like this. If he was in school and had a failing grade, a 55% in each of his classes, and you could help him, you would have thought about it. If you attended regular meetings, more often the first month and then once or twice a week after that, then he would get an 85%, which would raise him from an F to a B, what would you do? I know what my parents would have done. They would have made me study more (lots more!) and they would have attended every one of those meetings.

This is what NarAnon or AlAnon meetings can do for you. I include AlAnon meetings because in some small towns they don't have NarAnon meetings and AlAnon is very similar. These meetings actually will help you and your son, as well as the rest of your family. It might not seem like you should have to go to meetings, after all you are not the addict. It is his problem, not yours. Sadly, addiction is a disease that infects the entire family. The rest of the family just shows different symptoms and needs a different antibiotic. Your antibiotic is NarAnon/AlAnon meetings. Your son's antibiotic is rehab and AA/NA meetings.