My son is a heroin addict


New Member
And it's killing me. I've been reading these forums for a very long time. It's hard to fall asleep when I'm bracing myself for that phone call.
We don't give him any money anymore, and he thankfully doesn't pester us about that. He lives on the other side of the country doing god knows what to get money for drugs.
During high school, he was not much of a rebellious kid, other than the usual teen stuff. He wasn't part of the druggie crowd. Joined the army after graduation and completed his service without any problems.
And now he's 22 years old, not working or studying, just busy destroying himself. I know there's nothing I can do. But the lost potential, the destruction, and the pain he's obviously in... I don't buy the whole "I'm fine" charade, he's very far from fine. If he were any younger I could force him into treatment.
How do you get through this?


Long road but the path ahead holds hope.
Welcome Southern

Please know that you are not alone in this struggle. So you have any supports in place for yourself? There is a great article here on detachment.

The most important thing I learned coming to this board is that I did not cause my sons illness of addiction, I can't control it nor can I cure it.

I can love him and learn not to enable him. I can find resources and help for myself. It doesn't make it go away but I think helps us survive the battle.

Try to find Naranon on line or in your community. Be good to yourself and keep posting.


Well-Known Member
You cant force him to go to rehab even younger. At a ridiculously early age, they have a right to refuse treatment. In these parts, I believe it is 13. Crazy.

All you can do is be there if he decides to quit, not enable him, and try your best to live your life. You have likely gone over and beyond.

My hubby was in the military ten years. There are drugs. He didnt use them but they are there. The military is not often a happy place and many see killing and have to kill.

I was glad my kids did not chose to go.


Well-Known Member
Staff member
Hello and welcome. I am glad that you came out of lurkdom to find us. My daughter also used heroin along with other drugs.

This sounds harsh but there is nothing you can do. He lives far from you and is an adult. There is a saying in AA/NA to let go and let God. That is all your really can do at this point. As long as he is not being abusive, stay in touch and be supportive if he expresses the desire to change.

I would suggest therapy or a support group to help deal with your anxiety.




New Member
Thank you for the replies. I don't think anything that happened in the army is the reason he started using drugs, even though he's been through deployments. We talked a lot about what happened over there and he seemed to be able to process it in a healthy way. He started using after he got out. Why, god only knows. Not having any way to help is driving me crazy. I tried several times to talk to him about it (never gets anywhere), made lists of rehab programs, made phone calls and plans and nothing comes of it because he's just not willing to cooperate. I even flew there a few times because I thought talking to him face to face would help, but that didn't work either.
I am absolutely stunned by the parents here who manage to get through it for as long as 5 years or more and stay sane. It's like watching a deadly car crash in slow motion. I know what's coming, but I can't stop it.
I've decided I'm going to try and look for a therapist on Monday. Take care everybody.


Long road but the path ahead holds hope.
Looking for a therapist is a good decision. This was posted by another member. I thought it may help you.

  1. Your actions and parenting are not what caused your child to become an addict. Perhaps there are things that you would do differently if you had it to do over. But keep in mind, at the time you made what you thought were the right decisions. Don’t waste your energy and affect your own morale by going over and over the past and endlessly second-guessing yourself.
  2. You can’t fix your child’s addiction. Only your child can find the answers to their sobriety. You may provide your child with self-help books, spend every dime you have sending them to rehab, find support groups for them within your community or much more. But none of that will get them clean and sober and on the path to recovery, until they have hit their own personal rock bottom and are ready to recover.
  3. What you believe your child’s rock bottom to be and what they believe their rock bottom to be can be very different. For you, their dropping out of school or college may seem a tragedy. For them, especially when they are actively using, it may be but a blip on the radar. For you, one trip to the hospital due to an OD may seem a nightmare that you never want to endure again. For them, it may take even more severe consequences for them to reach bottom.
  4. Telling a child that “if they loved you” they would get clean and sober “for you” will never, ever work. It’s not that they don’t love you, it’s that they are an addict.
  5. And along those lines, don’t for a moment believe that your child, who surely does love you, is not capable of lying to you, stealing from you and more when in the grips of their addiction.
  6. Bailing your child out of trouble caused by their addiction is not protecting them. It is enabling them to continue their addiction without consequences. Facing consequences for their addictive behavior early in their addictive behavior, for example, the loss of a job, an eviction, or a bad credit score, could be an effective lesson for them, and help them face that they have a problem. Yes, they eventually will have a mess to clean up. Let them learn that.
  7. Bailing your child out of jail if they should be arrested is not always the right thing to do, even if every fiber of your being is in torment at the thought of them being incarcerated. Chances are very strong they will survive the experience, even if you leave them there for quite a long time, and the reality of spending days or even weeks in jail may be just the hard slap they need. Likewise, hiring expensive lawyers may or may not minimize the impact of criminal charges but it will not increase your child’s likelihood of recovering from their addiction.
  8. Telling your child you love them unconditionally is always right. Telling them you don’t like and won’t condone or support their behavior when they are actively using is also right. Addicts can be more manipulative and cunning in their drug seeking behavior than you would like to believe your child capable of. It’s OK and appropriate to tell your child that they cannot use your car, take your money, or jeopardize your home, health, or well being in any way. You may even reach a point when you need to tell your addict child they are not allowed or welcome in your home any longer. Protect yourself, your health, your finances, and your assets.
  9. Loving your child isn’t always enough. Your addict child will hurt themselves, harm themselves, and cause themselves more pain that you can imagine, and all the love you have for them can’t prevent it or stop it. They may lose friendships and relationships with other family members and with you and alienate everybody. They may lose everything they have and cause irreparable havoc from their drug use. You will still love them, even when they are at their worst. In their own guilt and shame they may have a hard time believing that you love them and they may push you away. Always let them know you believe they have the ability to recover.
  10. There is always hope. In your child’s darkest hour, they may find what they need. Never give up on your child.