New to this forum

Hello. I am new to this forum and desperately need support! My husband and I just gave our 23 year old son the choice of getting help for his drug addiction or having to find somewhere else to live. Ours is a long story with alot of ups, downs, legal issues, mental health issues. Our son chose to leave our house instead of getting help. We are beyond sad about his decision and don't know what to do now!


Well-Known Member
Next thing to do... Click on Parent Emeritus Forum on this site. And near the top of the posts is a wonderful article on detachment. Read it once a day for a while.

Some parents find help thru NAMI, some thru AlAnon or NarAnon, some thru well written books. Counseling with your spouse is a good idea so you can both be on the same page.

I would get info on what help is available, if you have insurance coverage for it, sober houses, etc, so if he changes his mind, you have info ready.

Others will be reading and offering help soon.

This is a great place, even if you just need to vent.


Well-Known Member
Hi Sherrydoc. Sorry you had to find us, but glad you did. In my opinion, even though it was very hard, you and hubs did the best thing for both your son and yourselves.

Your son wouldn't have much reason to see the downside of life on drugs if you continued to take care of his material needs for him.

I am glad you and hubs are united on the position to take regarding your son's drug use. I would say the next steps are to continue to present a united front in how you respond to your son and to have a list of resources available for your son if he asks.


Well-Known Member
Staff member
Sherydoc welcome. I'm so sorry about your son's decision.

Unfortunately, we are powerless to enact any changes in our adult children who for whatever reason, go off the rails.....he is a 23 year old man, your ability to enact change is limited to what your son agrees to.

It may be helpful to read the article on detachment at the bottom of my post here.

You may already be aware of these options for support......If your son has mental health issues, it may be helpful to contact NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. They can be accessed online. They have wonderful courses for parents. Many parents here find solace in the 12 step groups, Al Anon, Narc Anon and Families Anonymous. This is such a challenging path that many of us opt for private therapy, which helps us to navigate this different and difficult road. A good book is Codependent no more by Melodie Beatttie. The best advice I can offer you is to get as much support as you can. This is very hard. Most of us require a great deal of support in order to make the necessary changes we parents must make.

Continue to post. It helps immeasurably to write our stories down and then receive support, guidance, information and empathy......often out there in the real world, we're judged, blamed & criticized......but here, we get it. All of us here have kids of all ages who are challenging......
You're not alone. I'm glad you're here with us.

Hang in there Sherydoc.....take a couple of deep breaths to try to let the fear go.....if it feels right check out some guided meditations on YOUTUBE....there are hundreds, throw on a pair of earphones and can be calming in the midst of these kind of emotional storms.


Long road but the path ahead holds hope.
Oh how I feel your sadness and pain. If nothing changes nothing will change.

Do try to find some support for yourselves.

Detaching and letting go is the only how and chance he has. I know how hard this is. Been there done that. Finally getting Difficult Child AS into a rehab bed.

You are not alone.


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

It sounds like you are already on the right track. We did not have our son leave our home until after I found this forum. I never even thought of doing that!

I have found that a therapist that specializes in addiction has been a great help to me. She helped me create firm boundaries for our son. He needs them as much as we do. I found that groups made me more hopeless and depressed and I got my group fix here on the forum.

Our son would agree to go rehab (over and over again - notice the irony in that) but when he would return home after a few months he would go back to his same habits. This went on for many years but he was a minor so our hands were tied. There have been many, many struggles with him. We now have him in a long term faith based program and we are beginning to see changes in his thinking that I only dreamt about. I was literally like "brainwash him please"!! However it's not like that there at all and it is truly a wonderful program with caring and loving people and I have witnessed several graduation stories of lives that have been turned around. My husband literally left him in the parking lot of the place, backpack in hand and crying when he refused to go in.

I feel it best to treat this when they are young so their life is not wasted on this swirly whirly madness they live in. I did not want to see him waste any more time spinning his wheels and going nowhere. A few men in my son's program are well into their late 40's, some even 50's but the majority seem to be 20 somethings.

There is no one size fits all answer. There is no right or wrong. This is an individual journey for each and every one of us as parents to an addicted young adult. We all do what we can bear.

Take what you need and leave the rest. You will find a lot of wisdom and comfort here with others that truly get it.
Sherrydoc, just checking in to see if your son has made contact. I too have a 23 year old son who suffers from an alcohol problem. His girlfriend of 6 years is planning on leaving him and gave me a heads up. Problem is they live on the other side of the US. We are going to fly out to be there when she leaves but he will be irate that we knew and didn't tell him but I can't for her safety. One never knows how he will react esp if he is drinking. I fear the end result here. He has mental health issues - anxiety and depression and always fought any help we tried to get him. I am beyond scared. He was suicidal twice before and I had to call 911 so I fear it this time as well. He will be crushed and I can't stop crying just thinking of him. I know it due to his actions but never the less he is my son who I was once very close to. I know he is hurting inside and he never accepted help. It has just blown up into a bigger issue now.
Thanks for asking if we have had contact. We have, because of an ongoing legal issue that has not come to a conclusion yet. I just returned home from our sons preliminary hearing. He could not get in contact with the "friend" that he has been staying with, so I said he could come home with me. I don't know if this was the best decision! He just asked if he could borrow my car to go buy cigarettes and I said yes. I'm hoping that wasn't the wrong thing to do! Just waiting now for him to come back. It shouldn't take more that 15 minutes.
Sounds like we have a few things in common with our sons. How do we get them to understand that they need help with their addictions and their depression. My son's lawyer has said that it would be helpful to his case if he was in therapy. Unfortunately, we can't make them get the help, but we keep on trying to talk him into it.


Hi Sherydoc,
When my daughter was 23 she had been struggling with issues for years and turning our home upside down with her behavior, but we didn’t kick her out. I think now that was a HUGE mistake on our part. Though at the time I couldn’t bear the thought of her on the street, it may have been the signal she needed to take responsibility for her life. She has since left on her own, and is not allowed on our property anymore. Twenty-eight and still a mess. You did the only thing there is to do. Hopefully it is a wake up call for you son. Staying in the safety of our home certainly did not help our daughter. Blessings


Well-Known Member
Staff member
When I read your first post, my first thought was that he would be back. By the time I got through the thread, I saw that I was right.

You and your husband are going to have to learn to be strong and set boundaries. He needs to go to inpatient rehab and then sober living after that. He doesn't get a choice. It is either that or he leaves your home.

As long as you let him live with you, nothing will change. Why would it?

I know that sounds easy for me to say but I know how hard it is. It took my husband and me 10 years before we finally started therapy and learned that we couldn't change our daughter's behavior but we could change our reactions to it. Your son will do what he wants to do. You can't control him or his choices. You have to learn how to set boundaries so he can't let his addiction ruin your life.

Once my husband and I finally stopped enabling out daughter, she finally got sober. She will be celebrating her second anniversary of sobriety on March 1st. I never thought I would see this day come and it wouldn't have if we had kept enabling her drug use by supporting her financially and letting her live with us.