Son has been using heroin.


I took some time off of reading/writing here, off work, and generally off life to try and figure out what to do next, but I can't really figure it out.
My son is in rehab now, and we had our first conference call with his therapist. The therapist said that son told him he's been using heroin regularly. I was so certain that that's the one drug he hasn't tried yet.
I don't know what to do. I wish I could just go to sleep and wake up and find that all this was some very strange dream.
What do I do now? What will son do, with his denial and deterioration and lies...
Just yesterday I read about a mother whose son died of heroin overdose. I'm scared.


Well-Known Member
Rina, take care of yourself now. Your son is in a safe place. If you are comfortable with 12 STep, go to Al-Anon. That really helped me. My meth addicted daughter looked like a final stage AIDS patient and I thought she'd die or go to prison and never quit, but she did. Al-Anon's fellowship helped me so much. If you don't like Al-Anon, find a good therapist. This is hard on the soul...I feel it is necessary to have at least one person we can talk to in real time.



Active Member
Rina, I'm so sorry you are having to deal with this. MWM is right that your son is in a safe place now, so use this time to start taking care of yourself. Heroin addiction is serious business, but not impossible to overcome. You, however, cannot force your son to quit although you are giving him tools and your love and support. I think in the long run that's the best a parent can do. Take a deep breath--there are many members here who can relate and give good advice.


Well-Known Member
Rina first of all I am really sorry. As MWM said, your son is where he should be right now(rehab). He is safe and getting the tools he needs to get clean. It won't be easy but it can be done. Your job is to learn everything you can about addiction and how to support him without enabling him.

If there is a support group in your area go to meetings (NA, AA, FA are a few). Look for open AA meetings, they are filled with stories just like yours. I know this is very scary but there are many out here that walk with you in your path. Let them help you learn how to survive this.


Thank you all so much. I've gone to two Al-Anon meetings so far, and they help while I'm there, but when I leave it all comes back and it feels like I'm trying to breathe while being crushed under a rock. With this new revelation, it's worse.
You are all right, I can't make him quit. The only thing I can do is try keeping him safe until he turns 18. He's safe for tonight... I'm trying to focus on that.
I will go to another meeting tonight. I feel like I will explode if I won't.


Well-Known Member
30 meetings in 30 days - I have heard that saying a lot. This board helps, too. There IS hope!!! It is true, there is nothing you can do about it, but there IS hope. If he is in a program right now, that is a start! And though he was not truthful to you, he was truthful to someone - that is a start, too. (((HUGS)))


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It took me many meetings to start feeling like that crushing feeling wasn't going to suffocate me. I often cried in those meetings and all the way home. It didn't seem like they helped at all for a long time. Little by little I began to get it. All those other family members/loved ones were going through the same thing I was and somehow they found peace. Families Anonymous helped me the most, those wonderful people laughed and found joy even in the midst of chaos.

Then I found a family support group connected to the sober house my daughter was in and they were absolutely a godsend.


Well-Known Member
Hi Rina. I'm so sorry you're hurting right now. Last summer, I too learned of my son using heroin. I was totally in shock! I since have learned so much about it and how to deal with my son. I have spent many days & nights crying hysterically about my son. I've worried about him killing himself on this dangerous drug. But as the posts above say, it's great that your son is in rehab. There is hope, never give up! It's up to your son to want to quit. One thing about addicts is they have to want to stop using more than anything else. It's a hard addiction to break but not impossible. We're all here for you, please take care of yourself because you are all you have control over. ((Hugs))


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Staff member
Hi Rina. I totally understand what you are going through. I never thought that my daughter would be shooting that poison into her veins but she did. And she did it while she was living at home.

As the others have said, the important thing is that he is in treatment. Even better, he has been honest about his drug use to his therapist. That is a great start. Now, they know what they are working with and I promise he is not the first or only one there that has used heroin.

It is a spreading epidemic. As Rx pills are getting harder to get kids are turning to heroin as a cheap alternative. If he is physically addicted, there are medications that he can take. Do the research.

In the meantime, use this time to get rested and build up your strength. Get a therapist and/or continue going to meetings. No one can handle this alone. I know . . . I tried.




Again, thank you all so much. I get extremely anxious to the point where I don't do much but lie in bed and cry, and these messages help me re-connect to reality...
I hope him being honest with the therapist was a good sign. Everything I've read talked about how they lie and manipulate.
I had more confidence in the future when I thought it was "just" weed and pills... Now I just keep thinking about how is my son going to get through this. Everything I read defines heroin as one of the most addictive substances out there.

It drives me crazy, the thought that I can't just get him to quit. I don't mind keeping him locked up somewhere until he turns 18 to keep him off drugs, but when he gets out, then what? How can I trust him to stay away? What am I going to do 3 months from now where this program is over and he'll come back home?

I hate this situation so much!


Well-Known Member
I like to read books about mental health issues and addiction and I've recently read a book about heroin addiction...memoirs from Mom. She had two adult kids who became addicted to heroin. For her daughter, who asked for her help, she found a drug that makes it unpleasant to use heroin. I forgot the name, but I'm sure it's online. The daughter took it and after a few relapses, she has been clean forever and has weaned off all drugs. The son had a terrible journey and I did not think he was going to quit, but in the very end he did and now has a clean wife and I believe a kid or two. His ride was very rocky and he bounced around rehabs a lot and his family lost track of him a few times, but he did it. So it isn't hopeless and there is help. The main thing is that the person wants to quit so badly that he/she can reject the urge for the drug and ask for help when it's needed. The daughter did stop her anti-heroin drug once and relapsed badly, but picked herself up, took the anti-heroin medication and moved on and has done very well. I wish I still had the book or remembered it's name. I don't. But that was the gist of it.

There is hope. The hard work has to come from your son. This mom did all she could for her kids and it still took her son disappearing then quitting on his own (only they control them) to stop. But the bottom line is he did stop and it can be done.

Big hugs!!!!


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Thanks, Kathy.

Rina, if you want to read the last chapter first, so you know all along that both adult kids are going to get clean, do it. Don't scare yourself further. I learned a lot in this memoir. I thought heroin addiction was not treatable. I WAS WRONG!!!!! Your son can get well.

Rina, this book includes the name of the anti-heroin drug this woman's daughter took and how she obtained it. Eventually, years later of being off heroin, her daughter was able to go off of this medication. Her daughter in particular has been clean for a very long time. I hope this gives you hope. Maybe you can look into this medication. It does not sound like it is another addictive drug to take the place of heroin. It sounds like it just makes taking heroin a very blah experience and it gets rid of the withdrawals.
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Thank you so much!! I've just ordered that book through Amazon.

I have to keep in mind that he can get through this, just like other people have.
Again, thank you guys for your support. I will try to stay strong for my son.


one day at a time
Rina, hang in there. Al-Anon can be a lifesaver. Keep going, no matter what. Even if you don't want to go right now, keep on going.

There were weeks when I went to a meeting every single day. It was the only sanity I could find for myself.

When I wasn't there, I was reading literature constantly.

We have to fill our minds and hearts with new thinking. And for a long time, the feelings don't change.

Even as your thinking changes, your feelings will still feel awful. That is where the Al-Anon saying: Feelings aren't Facts---comes in. It took me years to understand that saying, accept it, and practice new behaviors from it.

Feel your feelings...they are real and true. But don't act on them. That is what it means. Because your feelings of pain, sadness, deep grief, fear, anger, not equate to DOING SOMETHING to try to make your son stop using heroin or doing anything.

That is what it took me ages to learn. Ages.

We act out of our feelings because they hurt so much that we want to DO SOMETHING to make our own pain stop. But it doesn't work.

Work to separate what you feel....from what you do.

That is a huge step forward for you. Al-Anon will help tremendously with that, over time.

We are here for you. We understand. This is very, very hard stuff, Rina.


Thank you comatheart and Childofmine. The meeting a day thing sounds like a good idea. I plan on going to as many meetings as possible, if only to give myself something to do. Separating feeling from reality seems impossible right now - maybe I'll get there, sometime in the future. Thank you.