Son told me why he does drugs


Small update....I fell hook line and sinker for my sons lies once again and let him back in my home. He wound up losing his job a week after moving back in (I am convinced he got fired on purpose so he could just mooch off me). And then I found two needles hidden in his room and some cough syrup that they mix with drinks and sip. I told him he had to leave again and he went into a rage saying the needles were old and he hadn't touched heroin in 4 months. I can't prove if they were old or not but I wasn't taking the chance. But in his rage he punched a hole in his bedroom door and then tore the door from the hinges. In the middle of this fight my husband left telling me he was done with our marriage because of him. He did come back once my son was gone and we are working on our marriage. I called my dad to come over to help me talk to my son (his grandfather was the only father figure in his life). We told him he had a choice of rehab or we press charges for the items he stole from me. Because of his insurance we have been having a nightmare getting him help and it was going to take a few days before he could get to the doctor for the in patient referral so he went to stay with my parents. His appointment is tomorrow so hopefully we can get him in right away after that. Long story short he and I were chatting today online and I asked him to be honest with me about why he turned to drugs. He told me that it was because his dad abandoned us and was not in his life after the age of 9, I wasn't a very good mother ( I had a drinking problem but have been sober for 3 years now) and that when I remarried he felt I was chosing my husband over him. He said my love for my husband is going to always keep us from being close. It is almost as if he is jealous of my marriage. He and my husband do NOT get along at all. And I can understand the issues my husband has with him. He has put us through hell so many times. But I am having a hard time detaching. I read the article on here about detaching and every single one of the behaviors listed is ME! And my husband tells me that my obsession over getting my son help is killing my marriage and my relationship with my 16yo daughter. I have to stop but after all the things he told me today I am scared if I cut him out of my life he will kill himself. He said the drugs kept him from killing himself. Any suggestions? Is he just trying to manipulate me? I want him to get help and I told him how sorry I was for my part in his troubles and that I wanted to go to family counseling and work on creating a healthy mother and son relationship. He wants no part of it because I won't leave my husband. My husband has done nothing to him other than call him out when he has lied or stolen from us. I honestly think he hates my husband because he helped me wake up to see that my son had a problem. I had my head buried for many years.

Calamity Jane

Well-Known Member
We also had a lot of issues when my son was on drugs. I can only tell you what worked for us. We were mandated by my son's HS to see the psychiatrist the school board recommends. My son had been talking about suicide at school, which led to this referral. If the school hadn't mandated the psychiatrist visit, my son would not have gone willingly. He escalated his drug use and defiant behavior to a fever pitch in response to the mandate, but we basically forced him to go.

The psychiatrist was excellent, he listened to my son, and built a rapport. He worked one-on-one with my son, and also did family counseling with husband, me and son. Sometimes, husband and I had couples counseling with this doctor as well. It was a godsend, to tell you the truth. The doctor also gave me and husband valuable insight on dealing with a teenager with drug dependence issues and a host of useful suggestions, which we implemented. It wasn't magic, and it was really expensive, but over time it sure helped. My son had to confront his issues, and husband and I had to face a lot of things we didn't like about ourselves. Ultimately, my son is in charge of himself, and we are in charge of ourselves - we cannot control him. He's come to understand that sacrifice = success. He was chasing "good feelings" which are ephemeral - and he was avoiding all unpleasant feelings by using drugs. He knows we support his good choices, and he does suffer the consequences of his poor choices. That's about it. I sincerely wish you luck and support with what lies ahead.


I am hoping we can get him into rehab tomorrow with the doctors referral and that something will click with him in his counseling. I want us to get family counseling so badly. But he is not willing and blames me for most of his problems. I admit I wasn't the perfect mother and I had my own issues but I want to try to mend fences with him. It is good to hear that the counseling can help. Now I just have to wait for him to be ready. In the mean time I am going to counseling for me. I just have to find a right fit. I have been to two therapists but I just didn't feel comfortable with them. I am trying a new one next week.


Well-Known Member
You can't stop him from killing himself. None of us have that power. If they want to kill themselves, they will, but they won't tell us about it. My own opinion is he is trying to guilt you into keeping up your high degree of monetary support and physical comfort and to keep you in his orbit, doing what he wants you to do. It is typical. They also tend to amp up their childish antics once we cut off the money supply and tell them to walk or stop using drugs. It is also the norm for them to tell us that WE made them take drugs. Yes, we did. They had it SO AWFUL and WE did it so they took drugs. You'd think no other child on earth ever had it so bad. Just them. And we made them addicts just as if we'd put a loaded gun to their head and injected them with the stuff.

Um, don't buy it.

Divorce is rampant these days. Men leave. Some kids of divorce never take drugs. Some kids with uninvolved fathers make good lives for themselves. in my opinion he is just trying to make you feel bad, like our kids all do. Have you ever read "A Child Called It? about Dave Pelzer whose mom abused him so badly she almost killed him many times? And his father did nothing about it? Well, he is alive and well and doing fine with a wife and child and he is not abusing drugs. It could be worse. Your son probably started taking drugs to be cool with his peers (the bad peers, but they are also the most accepting peers). Maybe he had low self-esteem. How many teenagers don't? Now he's hooked and he wants you to take the blame. He wants you to give up your daughter, your husband and your very ability to love life because he has made horrible choices in HIS life and he wants your focus on HIM...for money, for comfortable living, and for his toys. He will spend that money on drugs. YOu do know he lied to you about the needles, right? Drug addicts don't tell the truth.

I have a great book for you: "Codependent No More" by Melody Beattie. Here's the link to the book should you decide to read it. It's a five star classic for moms like us, who care too much and have trouble walking away. beattie codependent

I would stop having heart-to-heart talks with a drug addict. You will not get a true answer or any insight from your son until/unless he is better and in therapy so that he understands himself. He doesn't yet. He may not even know why he started using drugs. At any rate, it is not productive to allow him to abuse you verbally or physically and it is not healthy for him to be allowed to do it either, especially not in your home. Your house, your castle, your rules, you get respect or else he leaves...well, that's MY thought processes anyway...

You may want to start going to Al-Anon or Narc-Anon meetings. Real life, face time help is in my opinion invaluable. What you learn there is eye-opening and in my opinion again helpful. You learn to take YOUR power back...YOUR life back...even if your adult child is making bad choices and sick. That doesn't mean you should ignore everyone else who loves you and stop being good to yourself. Sounds like husband is a step from leaving and I don't know how daughter feels...probably neglected.

You are not your son. He is not you. You are not connected anymore. He is an adult who you gave birth to, but his choices, his acts, his lies, his deeds...they belong to one person...himself. Most of us face the risk of suicide with our difficult children and it's scary, no doubt. But we can not stop them from doing it if that's what they desire, and we don't kill them either unless WE did the deed. I've been on this board for a long, long time. I don't recall any successful suicides. I could be wrong. It happens, but you can not give up your entire life worrying about him doing it. Just taking drugs...he is risking his life. And you can't stop that either. Giving him money and a warm home is not helping him stop. If you give up every good thing in your life for him, you will not make him stop.

Only he can make himself stop. Nobody else. Not even the love in your mommy heart.

I am so sorry you are going through this. Stick around. We're on call 24/7 and we are glad you found us.


Well-Known Member
Ok I think most people who are addicts use drugs to deal with negative difficult feelings. They learn that drugs (or alcohol) help for a moment to alleviate those feelings and so they keep using them to deal with feelings... and if they start using when they are young they dont learn other healthier ways of dealing with their problems. So a big part of recovery is learning to face difficult feelings and deal with them in ways other than substances. Even if someone is dealing with clinical depression they need to get the proper medication and then still find ways to deal with their feelings other than subtance abuse.

Many people have terrible problems in this world and dont deal with them by substance use.

So you did not cause your son to use drugs... you are not the reason he uses drugs. He may have some difficult feelings because of his situation which you may be a part of... but it is his trying to cope with his feelings by drugs that is the problem. As they say in alanon you didnt cause it, you cant cure it and you cant control it.

There are some things in my sons life that I know are difficult and were hard on him for various reasons.... I at times feel guilty that I didnt catch on sooner and wonder if I could have somehow prevented all that we have been through. Who knows.... but I am also convinced that he has the addiction genetic predisposition and if it wasnt one thing it might have been another. Lets face it no one gets through adolsecent without some difficult feelings and if you start dealing with those feelings by using drugs, you are going to end up with a drug problem.

My son has not always admitted he is an addict (and I no longer ask him) but he will admit that he uses drugs to deal with his feelings and that is not healthy.

I hope your son can get into a program.... but ultimately the work will be up to him.


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one day at a time
Diana, I am sorry you are in the thick of it with your precious son. I would recommend this book---I think it will shed light on many of the questions and things you are wondering about and thinking: When the Servant Becomes the Master.

According to this author (who is a Dr. who is in recovery himself), people try drugs for all kinds of reasons, but the ones who become addicts, while few, have the brain chemistry and makeup that makes them an addict. They can't stop like so many others can.

It really doesn't matter why they started taking drugs or drinking.

Being upset and sad and depressed and suicidal beyond our own ability to cope is cause for mental health treatment.

The fact is, many self-medicate but that is not the reason they became a drug addict and that is not the way to solve any kind of problem.

Try not to get caught up in the what ifs, guilt, feeling trapped by his reasoning.

Those situations---your divorce, the other problems---did not cause his addiction. If it hadn't been that trigger, it would likely have been something else---another trigger.

and sadly, like MWM said, we cannot stop anybody from killing themselves. We can't be with someone 24/7 and keep their hands tied so they will not kill themselves.

If he is willing to get help for all of his problems, that would be the next best step for him. If not, there is nothing you can do about that either.

Start thinking about yourself, what you want, your husband and your other child. That doesn't mean you don't care about difficult child, but you need to start caring as much about yourself as you do him

Keep coming back. We care.


I am going to order both book suggestions today. He has a doctors appointment in 45 minutes to try to get the referral for in patient care. I am praying the doctor gives it to him. I believe the drugs really started when he lost his football scholarship and left college. That is when I noticed everything falling apart and he was hanging out with boys that I had never met and they all looked like gang members or something. That is when he went to live with his father half way across the country to get to know him and get away from the drugs. Well he found out fast what kind of person his dad is (also an addict and that is why we divorced)and he came back here and it got even worse. I admit I have a very hard time letting go and not trying to control what he does. I am seeking help for this issue I have with it all. I need to let go for his own sake as well. He depends on me way too much! He should also read co dependent no more. Just this morning at 4:30am he called me because he was feeling sick. I am sure it is because he has been at his grandparents for 2 days with absolutely no drugs or any way to get them. They live far out and the nearest store is 5 miles away and he has no car so I know he has been sober for the two days he has been there. But he calls me to "rescue" him all the time. He knew I couldn't do anything about him being sick so why call at 4:30am for that? I believe he does it to just get attention from me. He wants me to drop what I am doing all the time to help him. Please pray he gets into the in patient rehab today!!


Well even with a doctors referral the insurance is refusing to pay for rehab because he isn't going through withdrawls. I am so upset right now I don't know what to do.


Well-Known Member
Your son needs to grow up. He seriously can not blame you or his dad for his current predicament.


I do not see a profile, how old is your son?


Well-Known Member
I'm wondering too Diana. I remember crying as I called rehab after rehab one Sunday when I finally decided we had to get our difficult child into treatment. I hope you found a place.


He is 20. We got him into an out patient rehab and yesterday was his first day. The group he was in was 3 older women (I say older because that is what he said but they were in their 40's) who all were there for nervous break downs and didn't take drugs. They had emotional issues. He is going to keep going for this week and if things stay the same and his drug issue is not addressed we will have to start the search all over again. Our system is so flawed. Why would they put him in with people he can't even relate to? He needs to be with others that struggle with drugs not women who's husbands left them and they are having a break down. I understand the hospital also handles those issues but those are not his issues and he needs to be in a group that discusses drug use.


Well-Known Member
That placement does not sound right for him. Our daughter was first evaluated for a hospital outpatient program. She was there for two days and we took her out. They really had no idea what they were doing, she was out drinking every night and came in the morning still drunk and they didn't even know it. I'm not saying all hospital environments are not good but I firmly believe they need to be in a progam with other users they can relate to.


I agree! We found another place. He went to the counselor today and told him he didn't belong there that these women are having break downs and are not addicts. So he gave him a list of other programs. He is going for an evaluation tomorrow at one. I hope it is what he needs. I can't believe they would put a 20 year old drug addict with 40+ year old women suffering depression and they sat there all day complaining about their ex husband or ex boyfriend. And they thought that group was a fit for him? *smh* But he isn't giving up thank God!!