Son wrecked car and got DUI

worried sick mother

Active Member
This is my second post, my first was whether my son has a mental illness or drugs. A couple weeks ago my mother took my son to get his computer fixed and she said he kept nodding off, said he didn't talk out of his head or anything but that his words were a little slurred, he said he was sleepy that he had been up all night. He has started posting lengthy post on Facebook late at night which is not like him to do so we became very suspicious of drug use so we went once again to see a different drug and alcohol counselor this past Monday night to set up an intervention. We worried we were really going out on a limb that what if we did this and he is not on drugs.
Had lunch with my son on Wednesday (he lives in a different town) and he was perfectly normal so we thought maybe we are wrong . He called me Saturday night and he totaled his car and was arrested for a DUI. He did not get hurt or hurt anyone else thankful to God. They took him to hospital and did a blood test which I can't find out the results . He told me that he took a Xanax a few days ago for his mental condition which is not prescribed to him and that he had smoked marjuana earlier that day which he thinks is no big deal. I'm pretty sure he wanted to cover his bases because that's what will show up on drug test.
He will not take responsibility for his actions, denies being messed up when he wrecked that he hit his head so he was disoriented and made the cops think he was messed up. He got diagnosed with Bipolar 2 which if he has any type of mental illness I'm now positive it's from drug use. I think he uses this diagnosis as a crutch for his actions.
I have told him that his grandmother or myself will no longer be paying for anything. Can't get his biological father on board with that but thankfully he doesn't have much money. He threatens suicide. What's so scary is that he doesn't scream it when he is mad, he calmly says that he is going to kill himself that life is too hard, he says I promise I'm not going to be around much longer that everyday is a struggle. It absolutely scares me to death and makes me afraid to do anything like stop helping him with bills.
I pay for his phone service and my husband( his stepdad) wants me to shut it off but I'm so afraid that he might hurt himself or he might need something and not have a phone or basically that I can't get ahold of him to know he is ok. I will not get him another car or pay any other bills, I have my mother on board with that too if I can just keep her there because she provides Internet and cable for him along with help with rent. He was in school when we agreed to pay all these things but he has since flunked out from making straight A's which of course is blamed on his mental illness. I have offered my son help and he denies any problem with drugs, he is very convincing. He doesn't ask for extra money and he has very nice things that I'm sure he could sell but he hasn't . I know addicts sell everything they have for drugs.

What I want to know is how do you do tough love? Could I cut everything off besides phone? Does anyone know anything about Xanax? I'm assuming that's his drug since he claims taking just one. Anyone have any experience with what daily marjuana use can do to a person? Do you think he might kill himself if we stop paying bills? I'm just worried absolutely sick. I love my son and my life is completely over if something were to happen to him. I know I'm all over the place, hopefully this all makes sense


Well-Known Member
I'm so sorry this happened and am leaving soon, but just wanted to bang out a fast response.

1/ No longer ever give him the car keys. It's too dangerous. He could kill himself or somebody else. Hide the car keys.

2/ Do not talk to him about what happened. You know what happened. Why it happened doesn't mattered. That it happened at all is inexcusable and he is just going to play with your head if you try to discuss it.

3/ I did this with my son about suicidal threats and they magically stopped COMPLETELY. I highly recommend it. If he says "I'm going to kill myself" even calmly, hang up, call 911 fast, give his nearest whereabouts and let the hospital deal with it. He won't like it because he likely didn't mean it and was just using it to manipulate you. At the same time, if he DID mean it, you are doing th e safest thing.

Guarantee you, you will stop hearing the ultimate manipulation after you call 911 every time he says it. If he calls you in on it tell him shortly "I won't let you kill yourself with my help. If you threaten to do so I will call 911 every time you do." No discussion. Hang up. Disconnect if he goes on and on.

Xanax is a very strong benzodiazapen that is misused a lot and can be very addictive and WILL make you fall asleep. Nothing good comes of Xanax and alcohol together. He is using drugs and drinking, enough for you to cut off all the money, go to Al-Anon for your own self, and even make him leave your house. It's up to you.

Good luck.


Well-Known Member
Oops...also make him pay his own tic
ket.That's a SERIOUS charge and he needs to be motivated not to do it again. JMO

THAT is doing tough love. I t's not easy, but it will save you angst and money in the long run and may just help him decide to change his life because obviously Dad and Mom won't rescue him from his deeds.

Hugs for your hurting heart. Trust me, we care.


Well-Known Member
I would not rule out opiates. At least I would consider the possibility. I have been with people on opiates, such as heroin, and they are like this:
he kept nodding off,
words were a little slurred,
He is selling you a bill of goods, I think. They would not have arrested him for a DUI based on a Xanex a few days ago. I have taken this medicine. I work in a profession, I drive.
He told me that he took a Xanax a few days ago
I think this is also a smokescreen.
he had smoked marjuana earlier that day
And this, too. He is making up whatever lie he can hoping you will buy it. If this was the case, he would have been taken to the hospital by ambulance. Was he?
he hit his head so he was disoriented
At least half of the kids on this board do this:
He threatens suicide.
And this is one reason why they do:
makes me afraid to do anything like stop helping him with bills.

WSM, you have no clue about what is really going on. Right now you are scared. Any mother would be. But until you have clear information, you need to pull back.

Any monetary support you or your mother are giving your son, is likely fueling a drug habit. He may be selling drugs. You need to face that every dollar of help he gets, given without conditions, could help him self-destruct. No car. Never.
she provides Internet and cable for him along with help with rent.

He should have been reined in at this point, and money cut off:
he has since flunked out from making straight A's

First thoughts: If it were me I would insist on a full panel drug test now. If he refuses, I would cut off all support, immediately. Period.

I would also insist that he see a Neurologist (to rule out head trauma) and a Psychiatrist and Psychologist to figure out what is going on. I would insist on immediate drug treatment. Based on his own words he is misusing marijuana and xanex. There is likely more.

That would be a start. I would strongly rethink his living independently without oversight.

I am so sorry this is happening to you. I know you are afraid. I have lived with the suicide threats and my son tells me of attempts. If he makes a specific threat, call 911 immediately.

You will get through this.

Keep posting. Stay with us. You will get real help and support.

Take care.

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Well-Known Member
I agree with what others have said. My first thought was opiates because of the nodding off.....heroin is a very serious problem these days in middleclass communities. I am not saying it is that but I would not rule it out either. So yes you need to get a handle on what the drugs are and I would ask him to sign a release so you can talk tot he hospital. If he won't then that tells you something too.

The DUI is a criminal offense so is more than just a ticket correct? So as awful as it is to have your kid involved in the criminal justice system it can be a good thing because they can push the issue of him getting help. So work that system. He will tell you what you want to hear so I would not believe a word he says about his drug use or lack of it. Definitely do not help him with a lawyer unless he is willing to give you full disclosure of the facts!! Many here will tell you not to help with a lawyer and that might be the best least enabling thing to do..... but it can be hard not to given that people fare better in our justice system if they have a decent lawyer. But in any event I would not help him unless you are getting good clear information.

My experience with the legal system and my son was that in some ways it took the pressure off me, because the legal system had consequences and that was a good thing. He is going to try to convince you the charges are wrong but dont buy into that.

As far as the suicide thing. That is tough. I have been there also... and my son has gotten seriously suicidal a couple of times and has done some major cutting type behavior. So a couple of times when my son has said he was suicidal I have taken him to the hospital and had him hospitalized. Now in my sons case I think it was more than manipulation, he was suicidal and he went to the hospital willingly because I think he was scaring himself. I think Copa is right though, if he is threatening suicide you cant ignore it, that is a time to take action and to call 911 or some crisis team to evaluate him. If he is suicidal he should go to the hospital, if he is just trying to manipulate you then it will become clear to him that is not going to work. It is terrifying when you worry about your kid committing suicide. Bottom line is he needs to know that if he is in trouble you will help him get help. But he cant use it just to get you to do what he wants.

As far as the phone. I hear you on that one. We have always helped my son have a phone. Others do not make that choice. For me it was important to me that he be able to contact us and for me to be able to contact him. My son spent some time homeless and lost his phone for a while. That was the worst time for me when I didnt know where he was and he didnt have a phone. So for my own peace of mind I like him to have a phone.

Do go to alanon or some other parents support group.... you need support for you as this is a horrible journey and it is important you dont go through it alone. It may feel impossible, but it is possible to live and enjoy your life even when your son is a drug addict.