Out of control 18 year old son

Desperate mom

New Member
For the past three years my son has been abusing drugs , Xanax,marijuana, Molly etc . He doesn't work he's not going to school we have been seeing counsellors for years. His dad and I separated when he was young because of his dads drug addition, I wanted my children to not go down the same path. Yet here I am taking him to counsellor after counsellor . He is 18 he did not finish his credits for grade 12. The counsellors have said it's because his dad was never around this is why he suffers with depression and anxiety. He has been on several different antidepressants with none helping because he is using street drugs also . We are attending his dad's funeral next week because of a drug overdose . I have him on a waiting list for rehab center but he has to be accepted and things can't happen quick enough. He's lying stealing and the stress in our house is too much . Please does anybody have answer , how do I keep him from going down the same road as his father


Active Member
I would try to get him in rehab, and if he continues after that, cut him loose. He will bring nothing but pain if he lives with you and continues to use. He will have to move out. Otherwise years down the road you will be on the same spot only worse. He will continue with depression as long as drugs are being used. Sometimes they just say they are depressed for more drugs and or so people feel sorry for them and dont give them ultimatums. Give him a date he has to move out. I hsve dealt with my sons bs for over 10 yrs. Dont be soft. It will backfire on you.


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

Sorry you are here but you have come to the right place.

Don't blame yourself. My son has also abused drugs since he was 15 and he led a charmed life with his father and I. My mother was an alcoholic so there is addiction in our family but I think most families have addiction or mental illness in the family genes.

We did the counselor thing too (among everything else that a parent can do) and if they aren't open and receptive it probably won't help much but it makes us as parents feel we are doing SOMETHING. It is all a very helpless feeling.

I would recommend that he go to rehab and NOT be able to return home. That is the key. After rehab he should go to sober living and work through his addiction there. I can almost guarantee you that otherwise he will come home and fly straight for a while and then go right back to it. That is what our son did many times and now he is in sober living in Florida (we are in Illinois) because we were at our whits ends and he was not adulting. I can see no reason he needs to ever live with us again although we will help him financially as long as he is doing the right thing until he can get a degree or find a way to support himself.

Your son is 18. That is very young but if he keeps drugging he'll never grow as a person and the addiction could actually kill him before he has a chance to turn it around. At least in rehab they can get their head clear and drug free although their thinking is very skewed, even when sober.

You don't say if you have any support for YOU. Some go to Alanon or other groups, but I have found therapy works best for me. I really can only handle MY own problem and this forum is a great way to reach out to others for help and to offer help which is a good way to help me heal. My therapist has helped me establish healthy boundaries for myself and my son. It is good for both of us. No one knows how to parent when these kids go off the rails.

I can tell you from my experience that there is no quick fix. You have to dig in your heels, educate yourself and ride this thing out.


Well-Known Member
Hi there, and so sorry you have to be here.

You cannot stop your son from doing what he wants to do, or being the person that he is, right now.

I am so sorry that his choices are hurting you.

I don't mean to sound detached or unsympathetic; I have a great deal of empathy for you.

I've learned through hard and bitter experience that we cannot "make" anyone do anything they, themselves, do not want to do. You can fling your arms around his legs to prevent him from going down the same road his father did; if this is what HE is determined to do, he will kick you out of the way and go on down the road regardless.

Your son will have to decide for himself to put down the drugs.

Al-Anon and Codependents Anonymous are both wonderful, free support groups full of fellowship and fellow travelers who have endured similar. Though everyone's life circumstances are different, the fundamental themes - love for an addict, a desperate desire to protect them from their bad choices, and ultimately losing ourselves in their drama - are the same. You will find much help there if and when you are ready.

A huge step is setting boundaries. Is he living in your home? Are you willing to tolerate his using drugs under your roof? He's a legal adult at 18; you are allowed to put him out, though it sounds like this might not be something you wish to do at this time.

I hope he is accepted to rehab; that might be a great first step for him.

Sometimes "protecting" them is harmful to all involved, the child as well as the family.

We are here for you.


Long road but the path ahead holds hope.
My heart goes out to you. We are in the same boat with our 17 year old son. He has been using drugs for several years failed to obtain all of his high school credits. It destroyed our marriage as we went to bottom with my son. My husband and I separated and managed my son over the past few months with more support and recognition from my husband.
The only thing that made my sone wake up was the kind love approach. I do not call it tough love because we did not cut him off. We told him if he was going to use and sell drugs he could not stay st home. He left and lasted a week couch surfing. We had him sign a family agreement and I said I would call the Police if I found large amounts of drugs. If he was caught using he would be asked to leave. Not 3 days in I found a large sum of pot. I called the police and they found cocaine as well. He was arrested. We were guilted into posting bail for him. I pulled bail on say 3 after catching him with drugs again. He was held for 4 days and a philanthropic society posted his bail. A week after his bail post he was found at my husbands hiuse OD'd on Xanax and amphetamines. He was held for 24 hours and put in a rehab bed. He discharged himself and we said again don't come home. He was again on the streets for a week. He begged to come home said he would go to rehab and wanted off all the drugs.
2 weeks in and he is attending school, bail meetings and rehab meetings. He has taken drug testing and is clean. We still have a long way to go and it is day by day. He critical key for us was learning how to love our son, and not enable his addiction. There is still a lot of bitterness about us calling the police, and reporting the theft from us over a long period of time. We focus forward and encourage him to do the same. He has been referred to an alternative education program to obtain his grade 13 for next year and we hope he stays clean and continues his education. One day at a time for every one.
The hardest thing to do was to call the police on my own son and ask him to leave the home. I feel like I have aged 100 years in the past 10 weeks.


Well-Known Member
Kind love.

Thats really what it is. I like it.

We put my daughter out on her own after years of drug use. I felt it was the only way she might stop using and not die. Two years later I finally knew the coke, meth, whatever over. Twelve years later that is behind her. We called the police on her too. She was putin parole and still used, slthough she was very sneaky about it.

I would guard my heart and cross my fingers for now. after only two weeks. Relapse is the rule. One day at a time.

But your son has a chance now to not relapse and beat the odds and quit. I so hope he does. At least he admits there is a problem. That is a good step. Huge. Until they admit drugs are a problem, they dont see a reason to stop

Do take care.