Need advice fast

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by worried sick mother, Aug 8, 2015.

  1. worried sick mother

    worried sick mother Active Member

    My mother and I went to see a drug and alcohol counselor together. He gave us advice and we have a meeting scheduled with my son today. The problem is that I am having a disagreement with my mother about what the counselor told us to do. It was a lot of information in a short time , I wanted to write it down because I knew we would forget and get mixed up. I want to do this right and not end up back to square one. I thought the counselor said for us to meet with my son and tell him that he needs to make an appointment with a drug and alcohol counselor that we have a business card to give him, tell him that he will sign medical releases over to me and my mother so his counselor can talk to our counselor about his treatment, that he will have to take drug test as requested or we will shut off all finances to him and to give him one week to comply. My mom thinks the counselor said for us to only tell him he goes to see a counselor not a drug and alcohol counselor and not to mention anything about drug test or releasing medical information to us or we will cut off all finances. She says its just important to get him there. He already sees a normal counselor and when she ask him to take a drug test he took both my mother and I off the medical release and he did not take the drug test as requested. I know that he will go see a regular counselor for us to keep helping him financially. If we don't tell him that it's a drug and alcohol counselor and about the drug test or releasing medical information to us then when he is hit with all this he will just quit and we will be back to square one . I have had a complete fight with my mother as to what the counselor told us to do. I don't know how two people can be advised at the same time by the same person and have two totally different views as to what he said to do. There's no way to call the counselor it's Saturday and can't get back in to see him for 2 weeks. The meeting is already set up with my son , my husband(my sons stepdad) is going also to keep us strong because we are both so weak. My son is so very convincing that he is not on drugs and that he will commit suicide. Which approach sounds the best for those with experience?
  2. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Obviously I dont know what the counselor said but I think the strategy you heard sounds best for a couple of reasons.

    1. Getting him there is not enough and he already has a counselor so why would he go to another one? I think your being clear and up front about your conditions is better because then at least you are being honest and clear and are not playing games. He is manipulative, and your trying to get him to a counselor without telling him the requirements is also manipulative .... he will see right through it and then turn on you and say you are bieng manipulative.

    2. Getting him there is not enough....he will say what he thinks they want to hear and if he is not being drug tested then who knows?

    3. The counselor wont be able to tell you anything without medical releases... they probably wont tell you a lot anyways because they want to keep a relationship going with your son.

    Be prepared, given that your son is not really interested in help this is going to be a tough road. I have been on this road and it is hard.... I think given the age of your son it is worth trying but just be prepared it may not work....

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  3. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Why not call the drug abuse counselor on his after hours number and his office number and ask him to call you back to clarify the directions he gave you.?

    This is not a problem and the counselor will be glad to do it, given the importance that the direction be followed. The counselor does not want a failed intervention. They have interests at stake too.
  4. worried sick mother

    worried sick mother Active Member

    Well we went ahead with meeting with my son before I got these responses . We told my son that he complied with the treatment plan or everything was cut off. I actually wrote it out on paper and also said that we will call 911 every single time he threatens suicide. He ask what the counselor was for and we told him that she deals with everything. That we love him and just want him to be happy again. He already said that's fine but if they mention drugs then he's done and we said we would be done too with finances. Had a major disagreement with my mother because I just decided to not go today until we could talk to the counselor but she insisted. She thinks this is so wonderful that he agreed to go, he will just stop when anything about drugs is mentioned and we will be right back where we started from. It's never ending! I know I'm negative but it's just the same thing over and over, I wanted this time to be right but my enabling mother just wants to delay it a little longer. I will clarify with the counselor if we did this right , I will take notes from now on at our visits and I'm going to ask if I can even record the meetings. I had my son when I was 17 so my mother is very involved, she did not raise him but she has always helped me and been a big part of his life. He is closer to her now than he is me and that's because I don't buy his lies or put up with it the way she does. This is just tearing us completely apart.
  5. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Worried, you are doing fine. Great exactly. You are being very powerful, even though it may not feel such.

    You are beginning the process of finding your power with your mother. And doing what you need to do to assert it.

    Does your mother have to go to the appointments? Is she paying?

    You know that your son is triangulating with your mother and you. Cutting you out, because she is the easier one to deal with. All of our kids do it, or most of them. You will get a handle on it but your Mom will not like losing her power. You will probably need your own support system.

    Have you thought about Al Anon? On your own.

    You are very brave. I admire your strength. You are doing this.

    There seems a lot of love here, with you guys. And commitment. You will work it out.

    Stay with us. I hope you do. It really helps. This is a great group of people, of parents.

    Take care. Keep posting.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Right off the bat, I would say KEEP MOTHER OUT OF IT. She is not the parent, even if she helped you. That does entitle her to make important decisions regarding her grandson. Legally, she has no rights to him. You are a lady and can make decisions on your own. Having two grown women bickering over the best treatment is just asking for lots of conflict and trouble and you and your son don't need that.

    I would try to distance myself from Mom. Eventually, if you don't intercede she will probably figure out herself wat he is like.

    Until then do only what YOU feel is best. If she decides to enable him, you can't stop her,but you don't have to talk to her about it and you don't have to advise her w hen she has problems with him, and she will.

    Be very mindful that you are not seventeen years old anymore and that your mother should not be trying to micro-manage your own child's treatment. It is wrong of her and if I were you I would not engage with her when she tries to talk about what to do with your son. The choice is yours, the mature woman, who is at least in her 30s and can do this on her own or with a cooperative stepfather.

    Hugs for your hurting heart.
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  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I would keep mom out of this, even if she has a hissy fit. He is your son and you need to step up to the plate and make the final decisions and tell her you are going to do so without her input. Otherwise you are going to be fighting with your mom and, if she is like mine, she will make you feel like a little girl who can't handle your own child and she's wrong. Your husband should man up too and take his place as your son's father model.

    If Son runs to Grandma because you're "mean" let him. Grandma will get tired of him too, but then it's on her.

    You may have been 17 when you had your son but you are a mature woman of 30 something now. You are strong and competent and don't need her input. It's hurting him AND you. Tell her nicely that you are hereafter making all decisions for your son's care yourself. If she throws a fit, let her and walk away until she is more reasonable.

    Don't trust a counselor 100% either. TRUST YOURSELF. You will have a gut feeling when you hear or know what is right for your son.l Mothers can be wrong. Therapists can be wrong. Do what is best for your son and, because you are just as important as he is, for you too. Don't let your mother make you feel like a little girl. You speak up. You are no longer her baby. She should not be involved in this even though she helped you raise hiim. Only one person can have the final say, and it should be YOU.

  8. worried sick mother

    worried sick mother Active Member

    Thanks for all the advice and encouragement. I need my mother on board or I'm positive my son will not get help or get better. It's already a fight against his biological father who believes every word my son says but thankfully he doesn't have the finances to keep enabling my son. My mother does have the finances on the other hand. She truly loves my son and wants him to get better. I'm very close with my mother too. She does mean well and she knows that we can't enable, she just really struggles with enabling because she has a big heart. Now we just wait to see what will happen. If this backfires I will definitely take the lead.
  9. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    One of the things I have learned over the years is that you cant control how someone else enables or not either. So be very clear with your mother about your limits and what you are willing to do or not do.She might continue to enable your son for awhile but after a while she will also see that her enabling him is not helping...especially if you continue to stand your ground. If you can find an alanon group for parents i would really encourage you to go and to take your mother with you.
  10. comatheart

    comatheart Active Member

    I relate to you on many levels. I had my son at 17 too, so my mom is very close to him as she was basically his 2nd mom for his first 18mos. I agree with everything already said regarding her co-dependency in this.

    How old is your son? Has he been to treatment?

    A drug & alcohol counselor is best for your son. And just going to counseling is not likely to fix him, so prepare yourselves now. Don't be nieve (I was)

    Go to Alanon and take your mom with you. Find one you like and keep going. It will be important for you both to learn you can't control or cure this for him.

  11. worried sick mother

    worried sick mother Active Member

    My son will be 23 soon, he has never been to treatment for drugs. He has been getting treatment for bipolar 2 disorder which I really don't think he has nor does he take the prescribed medication. They diagnosed him with bipolar 2 and never ruled out drugs. Up until the past few weeks and him wrecking his car and getting a DUI not for alcohol we didn't know if it's really bipolar or drugs, now we know for sure he uses drugs. Just don't know the extent of his addiction . I shouldn't have been so naive , if drugs are mentioned he goes completely off, that should have been a big red flag that it's drugs. He uses this bipolar diagnosis as a crutch and says that he just takes a Xanax (not prescribed to him) occasionally to calm himself down. The only reason he is even telling that is because they did a blood test when he got the DUI and I'm sure he knows it will show up in his system. He seemed completely normal yesterday. He slipped up and said something about a Xanax bar in a text to me. I had never heard of this so I googled it and it sounds like Xanax bars are very abused and addicting, it's compared to heroin. The counselor said he may have bipolar and may be treating himself but we can't know until the drugs are ruled out. My sons girlfriends mother sent me a message and told me that they are both messed up on something every time she sees them. She is not very involved or helps with anything with my sons girlfriend the way I am.
    Alanon in my town is not very organized or have a leader but that's been about a year ago, I will try again and hopefully it's improved.
  12. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    In general alanon does not have a leader, or the leader changes from week to you may have to try other alanon groups if that one doesnt work for you.

    My son has had a variety of diagnosis over the years but since he was always using drugs it is really hard to tell what is what mental health wise. I do believe my son struggles with depression and anxiety and does best when he is treated properly for that. Xanax is an anti anxiety medication and is an addictive drug.
  13. comatheart

    comatheart Active Member

    Check out "In The Rooms" online of you cant find a group near you.
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  14. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Why is your son so against the mention of drugs? This would be a big red flag to me. If he didn't have a drug problem I don't think he would be so sensitive about this. I think it's very important for him to have a drug test to see just what he is taking. Does he live with you? This is so hard when they are over 18 and you have so little leverage. Is he working?
  15. lovemyson1

    lovemyson1 Active Member

    I've read through this post and for what it's worth, I think you're doing a good job. However, your son has no reason to blow up when you mention drugs. An open conversation should be acceptable. Hopefully your mom won't interfere with your smart decision not to enable. Best of luck to you all!
  16. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    A lot of our sons have Mood diagnosis/Bipolar and Anxiety.

    People throw around the idea--self medicating--I think it is just a nice word for drug use and addictive behavior. Self-medicating is like lipstick on a pig. It is still a pig.

    I agree with the drug testing. I would use any leverage I had to get him to test. And I would set this up as a ground rule, if I could.

    Your son seems very tied in with you and your Mom. You may have leverage a lot of us do not. Start strong and go from there.

    You are lucky you have the support of your Mom. At the same time, you have very good sense. You need to take leadership. Tell her we said so.

    Keep posting. There is a huge amount of wisdom and experience here on this forum. You will be supported every step of the way.

    Maybe there is a hospital near you that has groups for parents in your situation. Or perhaps the Drug Counselor will have a recommendation.

    You are doing great.
  17. worried sick mother

    worried sick mother Active Member

    Thanks so much everyone. My son doesn't live with me , he lives about 45 minutes away in an apartment with his girlfriend, we help pay the rent and other bills is our leverage. However my son said the other day that he didn't care, that he would just go be homeless because he wants to be left alone. I couldn't see my son doing that but who knows he has changed a lot. He is 22.
    I totally agree about the self medicating. My son says we should trust him and that we have been screaming drugs at him for 4 years. He says he passed random drug test 4 months in a roll for me which is totally not true. I drug tested him 3 times and all three times he tested positive for marjuana, two of those times he tested positive for amphetamines. Told some story about taking adderall to be able to study for test, the 4th drug test request he refused. That has been over a year ago. I Was so gullible that I believed he just tried it. I truly trusted my son, he was always a good student and he is the most convincing person you could ever meet. I should have known, shame on me!
    I'm trying to stay strong!
  18. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Unless you had previous experience with addicts, you had no way to know. There is no shame in not knowing.
    Now that you know better, you are doing better. It's all any of us can do.