Not sure what to do

or even if there is anything I can do. 20yo still living at home (though most of the time lives with his druggie friends and sponges off of them). I am not sure why they haven't gotten tired of him yet. He has no job. We do not support him. He is regressing. He is either addicted to marijuana or doing something else besides that. Wondering if he is stealing - he told me they just "share" with him. I don't think he has stolen anything here. He gets gas money sometimes by mowing a lawn or something. He has had bad problems with depression. We had some good talks about a week ago and I tried to tell him the marijuana is causing the depression. He denies that, of course. He doesn't even have a working cell phone. His girlfriend is getting tired of him not talking to him or spending time with her and this is someone he had planned to marry. So I really think there is a serious drug issue with this. Because he had told me a few months ago, about how bad his depression was and that she was the only reason he wanted to live.


Well-Known Member
Welcome. Has your son battled with depression in the past? Is he willing to see a professional and consider medication? He may be self medicating, which many people with depression and other mental disorders do with drugs and alcohol. Does he have a job? Where is he getting money for his drugs?


one day at a time
Hi Christian Mom, and Welcome.

What do you want to do? This is a key question.

in my opinion, young men that age need to be either in college or working a full time job. I allowed my son to live here for a time while he was in college, until his behavior and lifestyle became intolerable to me. We had multiple contracts which he did not honor and for a period of months he left and came back a couple of times. When his problems began escalating, he could no longer live here. We also paid for an apartment for a period of time, until his grades were unacceptable.

And then he lived with his dad until he exhausted that option as well. Today he is going to be 25 years old at the end of July. He bounces between rehab and jail and homelessness. He makes these choices himself.

I would set firm limits and deadlines and present your son with some clear choices. And then, be prepared to stick to your boundaries and whatever you decide. As long as he has a place to stay and he doesn't have to do anything to keep that place to stay, he won't do anything.

Quite frankly, the details are irrelevant. I have learned that my son is a drug addict and drug addicts take drugs. Figuring out who and how and when and how he gets them are all irrelevant.

I don't try to tell him anything anymore. It doesn't do any good.

My son has been depressed for a number of years. Who knows what came first, the drugs or the depression? Whatever came first, he will have to quit using before anybody can sort it all out.

Christian Mom, I hope you are reading this site. If you do, you will learn a lot. Things will start to become clearer. And then you can start to make decisions for yourself.

Hugs and good thoughts going out from me to you. Keep coming back. We've likely been there and done that, and are always available to listen and offer ideas and support.


Well-Known Member
I agree with COM. Whatever the reason he is using drugs, he is using drugs and that is his first problem right now. No medication for depression will work if the good effects are blotted out by illegal drug use or alcohol. You can't have your cake and eat it too with depression. Since he is twenty years old, you can't make him do anything. You can set up new boundaries for him that make it harder for him to live a comfy life while he uses drugs. That's all you have control over...yourself.
As for the girlfriend, your son is very young and immature and not in a good place. I would personally, if this were my son, be appalled that he was planning on marrying anyone in his state of mind. After marriage (sometimes before) come children and he is n Occupational Therapist (OT) ready to be a husband or father so if it were me the last thing I'd care about is if he is alienating said fiance. If she is smart, she will not marry him. If they do get married, expect a divorce, maybe with kids...if this were me, I would not be encouraging either of them to tie the knot at this point in time.

Depression is a horrible feeling. I have suffered from cycles of excruciating depression for a good slice of my life, but I wanted to get better and I kn ew that any drugs or even alcohol would make me even worse (which at times was hard to imagine). I had a long pathway to the right medication and therapy, but I believe the success was also because I did not use anything but my prescribed medication. You are impaired enough with severe depression...hard to concentrate, hard to enjoy anything, hard to even get out of bed, hard to sleep, hard to eat, hard to deal with any pressure....I can't imagine being able to hold any sort of job, even an easy one, if you are severely depressed then pour extra substances on top of that problem.Being married will not make him happy or quit using drugs. It will only make it worse and more glaring, especially if there is a child.

Your son has to decide to quit using drugs before he can really address the depression. The drugs are making THAT (his drug use) his primary problem and his depression will not go away even with treatment until he is clean. But he is an adult and getting clean is 100% his own decision now. Maybe you can try a Nar-Anon meeting to see if you can learn loving detachment and get on with your own life and happiness. Yes, we can be happy even if our adult children struggle. You can't control him, but you can control YOU and YOU deserve and worked hard for a happy rest-of-your-life!!

What I read every day before I leave the house:

God grant me the SERENITY to accept the things I can not change,
The COURAGE to change the things I can,
And the WISDOM to know the difference.

I once had a necklace with these words on it. Look at what this says and try to live it!!! Hugs for your hurting mommy heart.
I was kind of asking for help on how to help him. I do realize he has to realize he needs help. As for now, I do not mind him living at home. We do not support him. He is not even engaged and is not planning to get married for a long time. I told him he will never get over depression until he quits marijuana. He is adamant it is not causing the depression. He only does odd jobs. He said his friends "share" their marijuana, but I am starting to wonder if he is stealing. As far as I know he is not stealing from us - he knows if he did, we would kick him out. I doubt he would go for help. He took Xanax (illegally) before and does not like it at all.
Thank you everyone for your help. He has been at his friends for almost a week now, no toothbrush, etc. He has done things like this in the past but he didn't have his "serious" girlfriend at the time and for him to just go off and forget about her, plus not filing his income taxes even when he is getting a refund, etc. things like this, make me concerned. She is getting fed up with him, I think. Her mom and I are friends so are able to talk about some of this.


one day at a time
Christian, Hugs to you today. I believe pot is a gateway drug for people who are prone to addiction. I don't believe it is an "okay" drug, especially for certain people like my difficult child. I am dismayed at how pot is becoming more mainstream. I can see nothing good coming from this, myself.

It sounds to me like your son is teetering on the edge. Which way will he go?

In terms of helping him, the best way you can do that is to set firm boundaries and stick to them. If he is living at your home, shouldn't he be doing something productive every day, like working or going to school?

If not, what will become of his future?

If his drug use continues and/or escalates, and he won't or can't quit, he will likely need to go to rehab. He will need help to stop.

The book Boundaries is a good place to start (I may have posted that already to you, can't remember).

I hope he and you move forward and things get better. Keep sharing here. We care.
He said he has done just about everything. This was back about 1-1/2 years ago. He had gotten probation so did other stuff because he couldn't do marijuana. Last summer, he was doing really good. Doing nothing except perhaps marijuana very rarely. I knew he had gotten back on it around the fall. He thinks smoking marijuana is fun and doesn't see it causing his depression. I think it has been about a year since he's done all that other garbage but his behavior is suspicious now for other stuff or else he is really addicted to the marijuana. Or something else going on. I hope his friend gets tired of him real soon. He is paying for his own apartment and goes to work and my son sleeps half the day at this kid's house.


Well-Known Member
There is no way to know what our kids are really doing. I thought my daughter was only doing pot. After she got clean, she told us all about her drug use which included speed, downers, psychodelics and even prescription and OTC drugs. I was shocked. She even tried heroin (it was the first time I knew you could try it and not be hooked right away). She did not steal from stores, but had no problem taking money out of my purse in those days...just a bit at a time so I didn't really notice. She sold drugs. If you use drugs, you sell them too. It is part of the drug culture, per my daughter. If your son told her he doesn't sell drugs, she would not believe him. They sell to get, so to speak. I can not vouch that this is a fact, but she swears it is so take what you want from it.

By the way, pot isn't straight pot anymore. It's far more dangerous than our generation's pot was.

With all the problems your son has had, my guess is that his disappearances are for drug use without your seeing how wasted he is. They find ways to hide it and can be very clever. My daughter's biggest tactic was to use the more dangerous drugs after we fell asleep. She would sneak kids into her room from her window too. We had no idea how bad it was with her so we did go to sleep. We did not know she'd often run the streets after we fell asleep by climbing out her window either until a cop brought her home for curfew. Then we boarded up her window. She still used drugs.

You can sort of tell how your kids are doing by their friends. My daughter never gave up her scumbag friends, most who are still in and out of jail at almost thirty years of age, until she decided to quit. She found it very helpful to move away when she wanted to quit as her old "friends" never left her alone and threatened her, including threatening her life. But she did not make new drug friends when she moved. She was very lonely and spent most of her time indoors or at work (she walked to work and back), but she had decided to quit and get on with her life and preferred being alone to the drug world.

My daughter told me something very interesting just the other day as we got into a discussion about drugs (spurred on by a report on our local schools here). She said that the drug life is really hard and terrible and that she hated it. She said you are always needing to find somebody who will sell to you and then find the money, often without a job, and then they will want you to return the favor and that you had to associate with the scum of the earth. She did not enjoy her drug life and tried several times to quit while living with us, but her buddies would not allow her to quit...they would threaten her family (us) if she didn't find them some speed, for example.

In her case, it was a bullseye when we made her leave the house and she begged her brother in Illinois to let him live with her, even though the rules would be ten times stricter than ours were. Once she left the environment, everything started to turn around. If your child ever seems to want to quit, you may want to find another place for him to live which is far away from the gang he hangsj with now.

At any rate, if your adult child is hanging around with druggies, he is most liekly also using drugs. The turnabout happens when suddenly those friends don't come around anymore and your adult child makes new friends. Druggies don't take kindly to kids who decide to quit. Drugs are their bond. It's what they do. And misery loves company.
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