New to this forum...19 year old son, 3 months drug free...ready to relapse.

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Cheryl1, May 27, 2011.

  1. Cheryl1

    Cheryl1 New Member

    I am new to this forum. My name is Cheryl and I have two sons, 21 and 19. My 19 year old has been battling drug addiction for 5 years. I only became aware of this 1-1/2 years ago. Put him in Detox and Rehab three times. This last bout even involved a 1/2 way house for one month.

    We are supportive and try our best to be good parents and make our sons lives as best as it could be. I just don't get it at all. This bout he came home great and I really started believing this was gonna all be a part of our past. Tonight he confessed to me he has taken a "few hits of pot" since he has been home!!! I have tried it all, punishment, take every thing away, ground him, cut off all money, took his truck amongst many other things. Needless to say, I wigged out, grounded him told him how disappointed I was. Does not even seem to phase him!!!!! I think I need some tough love help/advice. I just can't go backwards with this, I am spent to say the least.

    Any advice is greatly appreciated!!

  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome Cheryl! Sorry you had to find us.

    I am guessing from your post that your 19 year old is probably out of high school by now. Is he only abusing pot or are other drugs involved or have they been involved in the past? This backwards slide sure isnt good is it?

    Because of his age you are somewhat limited in your ability force him to get help however you can say what will be allowed to go on in your home and with your property. Such as no drugs in your house or in your car or no driving your vehicle under the influence.

    Does your son have any mental health issues that might influence him to turn to substance abuse? Could he be depressed? Is he seeing a psychiatrist or a therapist? Would he be willing to see one?

    I suggest reading some of our posts here and see if anything rings true to you. Also check out our teens and substance abuse forum. That may provide some info. We have some archive posts too that have a wealth of information that is worth reading that can give you info that past members have left behind. Just click on the archive link.
  3. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My 19 yo daughter is currently in a sober house right now. She was in rehab last summer for 60 days and outpatient aftercare for 45 days and relapsed shortly afterward. We finally kicked her out of the house in February and she lived with drug friends for two months and begged to come home. We said no and told her she needed to find treatment. She has been in the sober house for two months now and is doing very well.

    HOWEVER, I am very concerned that she may not be able to maintain sobriety once she moves to the halfway part of the house where she can have more freedom. And I am not at all sure she she maintain sobriety in the real world. She committed to staying int he sober hosue for at leats six months and is required to find and maintain a job, so we are hopeful she can move from there into her own apartment and be responsible for herself.

    If your son is not working the program it will be very difficult to stay clean. I'm sure you know the signs to look for, and you already have seen them. It's a slippery slope as you know. You will have to determine what you are willing to accept and what you aren't and draw the line in the sand. Our daughter knows she can never come back home if she is using/drinking. She finally admitted yto us the other day that she is also a drug addict. Her words' "I smoked pot everyday. Pot is a drug."

    I'm glad you found us. There are members on this board who have been and still are exactly where you are and can offer tremendous support.

  4. Cheryl1

    Cheryl1 New Member

    Wow, thanks for the quick responses. I am so happy I finally found anyone who can relate to my situation. To answer some questions;

    A. He has been thru rehab, sober living and 1/2 way house out of state.

    B. He is home now for a month or so, is in the process of getting a job and seems to have been doing really well.

    C. He told me last night, he took a couple of "hits" of pot 9 days ago and was remorseful. Said he was guilty so he could not bear the whole lying again to us, so he confessed.

    D. He is in an intense outpatient program and he told them as well. (had no choice, he is tested weekly) and is now on contract with them for 30 days.

    E. No mental illness involved.

    He does know he can not live here if he goes down that road again. I am confused as to why he did tell us last night, so I think I need to believe it was the whole trust thing. Ughhhhhhhh...not sure where to go from here or how to handle this. I actually punished him and took his car and phone away. I have to laugh because he did say to me, "Ma, you know i am a man and your punishing me?" Although, he did not get angry he just went to bed! Today we drove him to his outpatient and he said he is happy he got it off his chest and we need to do what we feel necessary. He is taking his punishment but in reality, can I actually ground him for the rest of his life?

    Well, thanks for listening and any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!

  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hon, been there and it reeks.

    I found that my daughter confessed to doing a lot less drugs than she was doing. She only told us the whole of it after she quit (which she did herself, with no rehab). My feeling is that no matter how somebody quits (many need supports, a few don't), they have to be 100% ready to say no to ALL their friends and pretty much start over. My daughter was fortunate because we sent her to live with a straight-arrow brother out of town so the peer pressure stopped and so did she. If this is not possible, the decision to quit and stay clean is NOT easy, and has to be up to the person. I don't believe punishment will help. I do believe in natural consequences so that they can actually hit rock bottom and see how bad it can get.

    This is a horrible journey that I don't wish on anybody. Sending you good thoughts and all my support.
  6. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Welcome. Glad you found us. Sorry you had to seek us out. Sadly I have no "answers" to share with you. Our teen was diagnosed as an alcoholic at the age of 13. He did drugs as well. It has been a long ten years. Like you we started off with outpatient treatment added two private pay programs and then at 16 he attended a Department of Juvenile Justice program for substance abusers. I could share the whole decade of stories that includes a three story fall resulting in brain surgery and lifelong syptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) etc....but the only way it would be of help to you is to know that you are not alone.

    On the Board we use the term difficult child (Gift From God) to describe our troubled children. Unlike many of the using difficult child's we never had flagrant disrespect at home, physical violence, vulgarity etc. so I have remained hopeful and call him easy child/difficult child. He loves us and expresses his affection. He, just like your son, is more likely to share the truth with us rather than lie. I think that is a hopeful sign. To me that shows that he wants to remain part of the family team.

    Will that prevent a reoccurence? Hope, I don't think so. But there is reason to hope that the future can improve. In our case we are (to the best of my knowledge) past drug use. We are not past the alcoholism but it is far more under control now than it was ten, five or even one year ago. It's a long painful road. Around here we often say "hope for the best but stay prepared for the worst". Not an ideal way to live, lol, but a valid reminder that "cure" is rarely seen in addiction. Slips happen. Sometimes terrible consequences follow but sometimes the addict jumps back on the wagon. I hope that is the case for your son. Hugs. DDD
  7. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    For whatever it's worth, we were told in family day at rehab not to ground them, they are adults and in charge of their own recovery. If we go back to grounding them we are going back to making this our issue. My difficult child was kicked out of intensive outpatient because she relapsed three times even after being put on contract. If he relapses he will be found out and kicked out. I think the real issue comes when IOP is finished, can he maintain. I know my difficult child was very remourseful when she first relapsed too, but that wore off. I am very hopeful that your difficult child is in recovery for the long haul, however we were told to expect relapses as part of the recovery process, as long as they get back on track. He learned the tool, now he just has to use them.

  8. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Nancy, you're response is right on target. Mine may have been a little "off". Addictive behaviors vary but addiction doesn't.
  9. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Welcome to the board Cheryl.

    How does one ground an adult child? lol

    Just teasing you, since evidently he's decided to go along with it.

    I don't know if anyone suggested it but you might want to consider (if you haven't already) attending Al-anon meetings or seeing a counselor to help you with this.