input please..


Hi, I have posted previously a couple months ago as a newcomer. Tried very hard to let go, having a hard time. Son, 33, has been sleeping on couch since we made him go to shelter after rehab. We should have paid again for oxford house, instead of saying no?? He said the streets and shelter were full of drugs. We let him back. He has started doing her ion again and stealing. He is going to a detox tomorrow, but wants to come back here after. I need to say no, and not feel the guilt of him being on the street within thus horrid city of herion abuse. It's a no win situation. Without good insurance, he will die. I can't live with the guilt of my past alcohol abuse. I read, we are not responsible, but, my actions are. I drink, I know you will snare at this, I was away and happy for four years. He followed me, and I always tried to help. I came back to people, places, and things to be with my husband and daughters. Nothing changed, but me. I am back to the horrbike me. I am now deeply depressed with no insurance. I had great insurance my whole life, but, am not eligible for Obama care. Insurance will be $989 month for me now at age 60. Please don't ridicule me, addiction is heridity. I just want to get back ton the strong me. I can't afford help.


Well-Known Member
Sending warm thoughts to you. Deeply depressed is such a horrible place to be.

How did you come back from your own dark times of addiction? How did you change? You know your son best, and you know what helped you. Is he like you? Can you draw on your own rich experience and expertise to find the best way to act now?

That horrible feeling of responsibility that if we don't help them they will die is common to many parents here. I thought my son would die last winter. He didn't. He's capable of taking care of himself, even though I thought at the time that he needed his mother. What he and I needed was to face facts and get through it. His choices.

I think you need to get some help for your depression. That seems to be the most important thing here. Your depression may be making you see your son's situation in a worse light than it actually is. It's hard to see clearly when we are looking at everything through our own black veil.

I am sure some wiser women than me will be along to post soon, wise women with knowledge of addiction.
Thinking of you.


Well-Known Member
Hi there. There is always help for people who can't afford it, like county mental health centers. If you are religious you can go for counseling at church too. You really do need to find hellp. YOU do. YOU matter.

As you probably know, you can spend the rest of your life "helping" your son, but it isn't helping him at all. He is still doing drugs. He will do them whether he is on the streets or in your house. You can't protect him because he doesn't want to stop. The only person who can help him is himself. When my daughter used drugs, I did not want to make life comfortable for her so that she felt like she could just come home, take money from us, use drugs, maybe die because we didn't take a tough stance (and, yes, it was hard) that would make her life so miserable she'd want to quit. We didn't want her to have a place to come home to. We made her leave at nineteen. I believe it's better to do it when they are still young and not so used to the drug life so that it becomes all they know. She called her brother, who is very straight and also kind of a not-so-nice person, but he told her she could live in his basement but if she so much as lit up a cigarette in his house, she was gone and she knew he meant it. It wasn't fun for her there. He made her work. She walked to and from because there was no way we were going to give her a car. She was not sober. It was not safe. So she walked back and forth with no friends in a new town. She paid rent from her paycheck from Subway. She cleaned and cooked. She detoxed in the basement with her new boyfriend who she is still with today. She is clean. She just gave me a precious grandchild yesterday.

Does this work for everyone? No. But I think your middle age son is old enough to handle his addiction himself. Could he die? He could. Any of our kids could. Your nicest kid could die in a car accident. We can't stop that. I often say I've been on this board for over a decade and so far (crossing fingers, toes, eyes) none of the difficult children have died due to being thrown out of the house. Drug addicts learn to be resourceful.

It is not your fault your son takes drugs. Many children of alcoholics decide not to drink or do drugs. And my daughter started doing drugs at age twelve (yes, twelve) and my husband and I don't drink or do any drugs. We don't even have alcohol in our house. My daughter never saw us drunk. She never saw adults drinking as we are quiet people who don't host parties or go to parties.

Your son is 33. Closing in on middle age. Every decision he makes, he owns. You should not have to take care of a 33 year old man. My guess is he is very not fun to live with. I'm sixty like you and I want to have a great rest-of-my-life. I can't control what my grown children do.You know, probably more than most of us, that nobody can control his habit except himself. You must have other loved ones who are pleasant, hobbies, things you love to do, etc. that you can start focusing on more. If it were me, I'd tell the 33 year old man to leave. I'm sure he can get Medicaid and Medicaid covers many rehabs. He can get food share. He can find shelters to sleep in. Of course, then he has to be sober. His decision. He doesn't have money? He can work at Subway or McDonalds. Don't make it easy for him to use drugs. Whether he lives with you or is on the streets, he is surrounding himself with drug addicts.

Why did he follow you around? Was he asking for money? That is the usual.

At sixty, you have earned a wonderful rest-of-your-life. I hope you choose to take it.

Big hugs for your hurting mommy heart.
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Well-Known Member
Staff member
Neither my husband or I have ever abused drugs or alcohol and yet our difficult child overdosed on heroin and almost died. She continues to struggle with substance abuse today despite being sent to the best rehabs and aftercare money could buy.

Your past alcohol abuse did not create your son's problems. Yes, genetics can be a factor but your son chose to abuse drugs knowing that he could have that genetic tendency towards addiction.

However, none of this matters now. Only your son can stop using drugs and your feeling guilty is not going to fix anything.

Please find a community health center for you. There will probably be a waiting list but get on it. You need to take care of yourself. Also, support groups are free and can a great source of comfort and support.



Active Member
Hi Shiela I'm sorry you needed us again, it happens that way. Heroin is one of the hardest habits to quit, and it gets really ugly when they are detoxing. Relapse happens more often then any of us want to think about.

It's very unlikely that anyone here will ridicule you, we've all made mistakes and none of us are perfect. We do share our experience and what we have learned, and I have to admit sometimes what we hear is uncomfortable... it isn't meant with any form of malice intention.

That in mind I have to mention that even though alcohol is mild in comparison to heroin, a person trying to kick heroin has to be in a totally clean environment to do so... they can't be trying to get "clean" while in contact around anyone using anything to alter their state of mind. When they are they end up trading one addiction for a different one, then they can't get high enough on whatever they start using, begin using stronger things and eventually end up back at square one again.

It's great that he is going back to detox, I honestly hope he is successful and that when he comes out there is a clean house or halfway house available for him. Chance of relapse at your house, the shelter or on the streets will most likely happen. I'm sorry to not have happy prediction just stating what I've observed over the years.

As far as the Obama care for you, from the website my son was going thru the same thing $800 a month with a $2000 deductible... it took a couple days and about 6 hours on the phone during that time but they managed to come up with $18/mo., no deductible and $10 office calls. It's like trying to nail jello to a tree but they can eventually come up with something affordable. You need to persist and talk to a live human usually to get any of those great "deals" is what I am saying.

Sending hugs and hopes that this all works out for you and your son.


one day at a time

I am sorry you are in such a dark place right now. It's clear that you have to help yourself first. You need to put any energy that you do have on finding all of the available support possible right now for you.

Your son is a grown man who will have to deal with his problems on his own. You can't help him right now, even if you wanted to, because you have your own plate full.

I truly don't know anybody who can live successfully with an active addict. I don't think it's possible. I know I don't want to live in the same house with my son for even one night when he is using any substances. His behavior and his thinking are all way out of whack. And he doesn't "do his part" at all, so that doesn't work either. I end up full of resentment, and slowly I just go nuts.
So that won't be happening again. I am now living by the 51% rule---I am at least 1% more important than he is.

Shiela, you need to get help not only for yourself, but also so you can gain the strength to set boundaries with your son. It's clear that you love him, and by setting boundaries with him about what you will and won't do, you are giving him some space to perhaps take responsibility for his own life. Perhaps not. For sure, as long as you're going to do it for him, he won't.

There are so many services out there for people without resources---please start finding out about them and get as much help as you can as soon as you can.

There is a great life out there to be had by you, Shiela, whether your son continues to abuse heroin or not.

We care. I am very sorry for your pain.


If focused on a single leaf you won't see the tree
Hi Shiela-

First concern is yourself, to get healthy. There is alcoholics anon. for meetings as a start. Churches, United Way, community health centers, another. I think you need to go to social service community place and ask them to help you get that insurance down. It may take a few hours, but they deal with this all the time and may have some great ideas for help for you.

Another place is Salvation Army Rehab program. They take anyone regardless of ability to pay or not. They rely totally on donations (the bell ringers, black kettle and private donations). It is a great program and will you through rehab, counseling, etc. Not sure if you are retired or still working.

Your son is an adult and he needs to help himself and find his own way to get through his addictions. Yes it's true they have to leave the environment and friends of the drug world or they will be temped and relapse. I would suggest Salvation Army Program for him as well.

The past is the past and you need to focus on now not would have, could have, should have. We as parents have all made mistakes, had our own hangups, issues from our parents, childhood, marriages, etc that affect child raising. But we can't beat ourselves up about it.

One day at a time, do one thing to move forward. Insurance calls, counseling, rehab help. Take care of you for now. Point son in direction of Salvation Army. His choice to go or not.