My adult son is a homeless addict and I'm dying inside

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Dawn Marie, Jul 15, 2017.

  1. Dawn Marie

    Dawn Marie New Member

    I happened upon this site on Google and was strengthened when I read some of the posts.

    My son will be 26 on Monday. On February 23rd he overdosed on heroin and was revived by Narcan. He was living with my husband and me at the time and we had NO IDEA there was a problem. In hindsight his addiction is so obvious but at the time I was so very blind. He started seeing a new girl in Oct whose father overdosed on heroin and died and whose mother is also and opioid addict.

    He refused treatment and went to stay with his father who lives about an hour away. After 6 days he was able to get a hold of a friend to come pick him up and bring him back to Baltimore. There have since been a few back and forth but this is where we stand now:

    In April we allowed my son and his girlfriend to live with us, rent free, for 2 months. There were rules in place like curfews and, of course, no stealing. After 4 days they had broken curfew and stole some money from us. It was not a lot but that's not really the point. I had to tell them they were no longer welcome and they left that day. Since that time the contact that I've had with my son has been minimal. He does not have a cell phone.

    I saw him this past Thursday and was devastated by his state. He is so very thin. He still acts like my son (to a point) but denies needing treatment.

    I went to my first Naranon meeting last week and I'm also in counseling. This situation has shattered my heart and I don't know where to turn or what to do.

    Please help.
  2. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Im so very sad for your broken heart. You took a great step going to Nar Anon and therapy. I think both will help. Twelve step helped me not be so codependent (very hard for me). I thought honestly that if i ever put myself first i was being a selfish person and it took many knocks on my head for me to get it...that it is okay to care about myself.

    As hard as it is, you might already know in your heart that your son has to want help before he will get it. This is very very hard. You cant fix him. If you could love him to wellness, he would be well. But you can learn how to live with a bad situation better.

    Hoping you can love yourself a little this weekend.
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  3. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    Welcome to our little corner of the world. You are way ahead of the game by going to counseling and to Naranon. This will help you see that you are not to blame for his poor choices. We cannot help them get better. It is up to them. It is devastating and painful when our adult children choose to live a drug life style. Keep reading and posting. It helps.
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  4. Dawn Marie

    Dawn Marie New Member

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
  5. Teriobe

    Teriobe Active Member

    Stand your ground
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  6. Blighty

    Blighty Member

    I am so sorry to hear of this and big hugs to you.
  7. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Dawn Marie, welcome. I'm so sorry you are experiencing the pain and suffering that substance abuse creates for the family members.

    You may want to read the article at the bottom of my post here on Detachment. It may offer you some strength and solace.

    It is wonderful that you are in counseling and going to Narc Anon, around here we need a lot of help. This is very, very hard stuff. We get it. In my experience, counseling and 12 step groups offer you a lot of support and guidance and information. You may also benefit from Families Anonymous, many here have found comfort there. A good book if you're interested is Codependent No More by Melodie Beatty.

    Most of us begin this journey in a similar place as you are now. We try everything, over and over until we finally recognize that it is up to the substance abuser to change, no one can make them do it, no amount of money, attention, time or love can make anyone change if they are not ready. Your son is not ready. Seeing him so thin is horrible, I agree, I have been in those shoes too. He seems to have made it clear, he is not ready. Believe him.

    So what is left for you to do is for YOU to change. Continue with your counseling and 12 step groups. Seek support wherever you feel comfortable doing so. Read books. Concentrate on yourself, focus on YOU, make sure you are getting your needs met. Every single day do something kind for yourself. Take small steps. They lead to big changes. Keep posting, it helps. Read our stories. Let go of the guilt, you didn't create it and you can't fix it. It is probably not a good idea for your son to live with you, many substance abusers steal from their family, it should be a deal breaker so I believe you did the right thing.

    Many adult kids on this site have been homeless, including my own daughter and my schizophrenic brother....they find others in the same boat and connect. It is surely not ideal and of course not what we want for our kids.....but for the most part, they find their way on the streets. There are soup kitchens and shelters, there are places they can shower and utilize computers, there are stores that hold food for them daily, there are options they find which you and I are not aware of. Your son can dial 211 which is a national resource for social services and he can find out what the resources in your community are. And if it feels right you can call and share that info with your son.....or not.

    I'm glad you're here. Sending you a big hug, from one mothers heart to another. Hang in there.
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  8. Dawn Marie

    Dawn Marie New Member

    Thank you so much for your kind, encouraging words.
  9. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Hugs to you, Dawn Marie, and welcome. Sorry you had to find us, but we do understand what you are going through.

    I am so sorry you had to see your precious son that way, rail thin and "in there somewhere" but so hard to see past the drug use.

    My son is presently in a year-long residential rehab program because of methamphetamine. We have dealt with his alcohol abuse for many years but had no idea he had ramped things up to possibly facing a prison sentence because of meth.

    How can we miss things like this?

    For me it was in large part because my son knows us and knows what we want to see and hear. Our difficult children can be very cunning and very convincing.

    As parents, we try every way we know how (plus a few we have to make up on the spot!) in efforts to save our children from the consequences of their bad decisions.

    If they don't want what we are offering, none of our efforts will help them.

    I have to remember that sometimes -- that if we could "love" them to wellness, there would be no difficult children.

    Worst of all, perhaps our efforts might be delaying their readiness for making the changes they need to make.

    It sounds like your son is just not ready yet. I am so sorry. It is the hardest thing in the world to stand back while they do things to destroy their precious light inside.

    I hope you will continue to focus on counseling and groups and taking very good care of YOU. Keep reading and posting. It really helps.
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  10. mof

    mof Momdidntsignupforthis


    So sorry for those developments. Glad he is getting help.

  11. pigless in VA

    pigless in VA Well-Known Member

    Welcome, Dawn Marie. At least here you can talk about the issues with your son honestly and receive support and understanding. That is worth a lot when you are experiencing heartache. Please know that there is nothing you did wrong as a parent to cause his addiction. It was his poor choice and it will have to be his choice to drag himself out of that lifestyle.

    I read an article yesterday that said, "Nationally, the number of fatal overdoses from heroin and other opioids - including prescription painkillers such as OxyContin and Vicodin - has now surpassed deaths from automobile accidents." This quote came from an article about a taskforce which has begun to combat these issues in our county. I hate that your son has been sucked into this life. It's horrible that anyone gets sucked in; it's so difficult for them to get out.
  12. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet


    I recently read that addiction is a pre-existing condition for some. I really believe that and our youngest son has been fighting addiction since 15 and is now almost 22. He stole from us too and we did everything under the sun to educate him on addiction and send him to treatment, therapy etc.

    When I finally realized that I could not fix him is when I started letting go and turned it all over to my higher power. I am working on trying to live a happier and healthier life and he is doing better now that he is no longer in our home. I don't want him to be the 30 year old not doing anything with his life but I cannot control it.

    As others have said, you have to take care of yourself. It doesn't mean you don't love your son. It means this is his journey and he has to decide the type of person he wants to be and what kind of life he wants to live. I have told my son this many, many times.

    This is not how we wanted his life to be and he is not happy that he is away from us but he is slowly starting to figure things out so I am hopeful that he will grow emotionally and figure it out for himself.

    Keep posting and reading here. It has given me so much strength. We all get it.

  13. ColleenB

    ColleenB Active Member

    I'm so sorry you are a part of this "club" who loves an addict. I don't know if there is anything quite as painful. When someone has cancer or another fatal disease it didn't carry the same shame that addiction and mental illness do. We blame addicts for their disease, and some do not consider it a disease, I am not here to argue that.

    I guess I'm just trying to let you know that feeling like you do is actually pretty common for those of us here. I often have felt like I was dying inside .... watching my once beautiful son slowly kill himself.

    I feel like I have had to mourne who he once was, and who I thought he would become. I honestly don't hold dreams for him anymore... I know that sounds terrible but him being alive is all I foucus on anymore.

    I have found comfort here and support. These parents/loved ones have a lot of wisdom and advice... but mostly they have empathy. And some soothing words and acceptance has helped me a great deal. At my low times I come here to read and sometimes post.

    This place has been a huge help for me.

    I hope it is for you also..... hugs
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  14. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hello Dawn and welcome. I am so sorry for your aching mommas heart, and your need to be here. It is a difficult journey we are all on, none of us ever imagined any of this as we were raising our children.
    Yet, here we are.
    Drug use has "stolen" two of my adult children. Oh, they are in there somewhere, and I pray daily for them to find their potential but after many, many years of trying, I know that I cannot help them. They don't want my help, they want to live as they please, play the victim, and take me down with them.
    It is heart wrenching and despicable.
    It is also their choice to be where they are.
    Don't know for the life of me how my two can live the way they do.
    Drugs take away everything, the worst part is that it leaves people without conscience.
    Drugs are the focus and goal, and as long as they are using, they will stop at nothing to get what they want.
    As parents, it is the hardest thing to see our adult children make these terrible choices, and reap the consequences of. But, if we keep trying to rescue them, they will never learn.
    I understand the sadness and heartache, and the grief and feeling like we are dying inside. I have to remind myself that allowing myself to go down that path, is two lives lost in the fog and haze addiction brings. Yes, it is depressing to have our adult children living this way.
    We have choices too. We have the choice to live well, stand strong, focus on healing.
    It is good that you are getting help to deal with this. Keep working on YOU, strengthen yourself and build resources to help you cope. That is where your power is with all of this. That is the only control we all have with all of this, over ourselves. You have value and worth, your life is important, and you have a right to find your peace, despite what is happening with your son. I believe strongly that we provide the greatest and truest help to our adult children by lifting ourselves up, standing our ground and living well.
    As I write this to you, I am reminding myself of the work I need to continue to do.
    Please know that you are not alone. Take care of you and build your toolbox to strengthen yourself. Keep reading and posting here, you will find much comfort in letting it out, the wisdom, advice and fellow feeling here is beyond measure. No judgement, just folks who are on similar journeys, at different places on the path.
    Hugs to you, fellow warrior sister.
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  15. Dawn Marie

    Dawn Marie New Member

    Thank you so much for your kind words. I'm so very happy to hear that your son is in rehab. You are right, they know what we want to see and hear and then before we know it we're at crisis level.