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Old 10-24-2013, 08:26 AM   #1 (permalink)
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to save a life...

My son battles with heroin addiction. 1 week ago he overdosed we almost lost him. He is in a toxic relationship with a woman 10 years older than he is, and she is also an addict. He has finally heeded my advise and is moving home. This is a very necessary process in order to save his life. The dilemma....my husband is an ass. If I have to chose between saving my son's life or saving my marriage, I chose my son. I'm frustrated and hurt. How can someone be so cruel? How can you not at least try an intervention? Am I wrong for wanting my son to beat this disease? I am his only support. His father died 2 years ago and the rest of the family is too afraid to get involved. Not only am I battling a disease, I am battling a family divided.
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Old 10-24-2013, 08:39 AM   #2 (permalink)
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How old is your son? What kind of experience has your current husband had with addiction? What kind of experience has your family which is divided had with addiction?

Sometimes when someone's been around that block before they've learned a few lessons or two.
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Old 10-24-2013, 08:52 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I know you love your son and want to help him, but you cannot get him clean and I would think long and hard before moving an active heroin addict into my home. If you will take the time to read around on this forum, you will find stories of parents who did this and lived to regret it. If your son wants recovery from addiction, it doesn't matter where he is. By the same token, he can overdose in your home as easily as anywhere. Giving him a soft place to land isn't doing him any favors, it just makes it easier for him to use.
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Old 10-24-2013, 09:09 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I can see being a mother and blaming the other women for all of your sons problems. It very well may be a toxic relationship.
Is your son really wanting to quit?
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Old 10-24-2013, 09:20 AM   #5 (permalink)
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My sister is my qualifier, also a heroin addict. There was a time when my mother suggested that my sister come live with me to "get away from" all of the bad influences in her life, she suggested that I could save her. I did not allow my sister to come stay with me. I will no longer sacrifice myself and all of my healthy relationships in an attempt to save someone that isn't interested in being saved. There were many times that I made that sacrifice for her, too many times that I compromised the beautiful life and love that I have with my fiance, and it didn't make any difference, she is still a heroin addict.

We don't have the power to save an addict from their addiction - if we did, addiction wouldn't be such an epidemic. If we had the power to stop addiction not one of us would be here. The fact is that only the addict can save themselves by making a commitment to recovery and then working that recovery as if their life depended on it, because it does. I hold out hope that one day my sister will choose life, I cannot make that choice for her. Neither can my mother.

Nothing changes if nothing changes. Keep posting here, it really does help.
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Old 10-24-2013, 08:59 PM   #6 (permalink)
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My son is 25 yrs old. My husband has really never had to deal with anything like this. My daughter has had very little experience with this type of addiction. My children's father battled his own addiction to alcohol and weed. We lost him 2 years ago which is the main reason my son turned to this drug....to numb the pain
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Old 10-24-2013, 09:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
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My son needs some type of support in order to beat this addiction...I am all he has and I refuse to turn my back on him. I have to give him one chance. He is in drug and alcohol counseling and I firmly believe if he can get away from the area he is in and his addicted girlfriend he may have a chance. I refuse to give upon him!
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Old 10-24-2013, 09:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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He is very motivated at this point. I know I cannot change him that he needs to do this for himself, and even though they may beat the need to do heroin, they will always be an addict, I intend to help him get to recovery.
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Old 10-24-2013, 09:08 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Very much so and he has realized that he will never get off the crap if he stays where he is. His neighborhood is full of dealers and junkies making heroin and any other drug you can imagine readily available. I can't help him if he stays where he is, and he knows he will die if he continues to use.
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Old 10-24-2013, 09:12 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Also, I don't blame anyone for my son's poor life choices. I have always taught him that he is responsible for the choices he makes and has to face the consequences whatever they may be. But being with another addict, he will never get better. He has had to make the choice to fight this battle for himself and heal himself before can can even attempt to have a healthy relationship. He has reached rock bottom, she has not and is still in denial even though her children have been removed from her home because of her addictions and lifestyle.
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Old 10-24-2013, 09:19 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Hi ejohn, have you set some boundaries for yourself as to what you will allow in your home? For instance, what happens if your son continues to use? Is he expected to contribute to the household, or pay for his board in kind? Get a job? Attend re-gab, counselling? I could be useful to get clear in your own mind.
I think what the other posters are getting at is that some addicts will continue to use, and that having a home and board just makes it easier for them to keep on as usual because they aren't experiencing the consequences of their actions.
I totally see your POV, that getting him away from the sick relationship will help him.
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Old 10-24-2013, 09:41 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I can understand your wanting to support your son especially if he is involved in counseling. It is best for people to remove themselves from people/places/things that remind them of drugs, or trigger them to use.

Are there specific reasons why your husband does not want him in your home? Were there problems in the past?

The person that brought me here is my husband, so I know its a different situation. But one thing that helped me was private counseling of my own. I was able to learn about addiction, learn healthy ways to support my husbands recovery, and had someone to talk to about my own feelings, worries, etc. Is it possible your husband might join you in something like this? Maybe it would help get everyone on the same page.
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Old 10-24-2013, 11:23 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Have you talked to an addiction counselor about your plan? Are there any kids in your home? Is he currently participating in NA or attending therapy? My stepdaughter is a heroin addict, and moving back to her mom's house did not help her. She ended up leaving needles and heroin around the house, and stole from the family.

You aren't wrong for wanting your son to beat heroin addiction. It is good for you to educate yourself about his addiction, and find support for yourself. You didn't cause you son's addiction, you can't cure it, and you can't change him.

Welcome to the forum. There is a lot of great information in the stickies at the top of the page.
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Old 10-25-2013, 05:19 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Dear EJohn18, Agree, agree and agree with the above posters.But first, welcome to SR, welcome to your new support family, I hope you will find some answers to your questions, that being said and out of the way... Does your child desire sobriety? I have 2 heroin addicted daughters. One lives with me. She went to rehab, inpatient and outpatient (still goes to after care and meetings) the other is in college, graduates in December from UW Madison and is on Methadone Maintence therapy and counseling. Both girls are drug tested every few days. EJohn, you must have a plan A and a back up plan B. you are gonna have to set up rules (are you gonna let him use in your home? For example or in the bathroom? ) there's lots of things to think about. Are you gonna let this other woman come around to visit, will he have chores, help around the house. Will he have a curfew? Boundaries? My children are 19 and 22 yr old. There were many rules set up before they even were allowed to come home, first and foremost, the desire to be sober. In fact, both had been thru rehab programs, drug tested and going to NA meetings. Your obligation to your son DID stop at 18 yrs old. It's only fair to you and the rest of the people who live in your house to follow your rules. I'm sorry if I sound harsh or mean, but addiction is a harsh and mean disease, especially to those who love the addict. Will an intervention help? He already knows he's an addict, will going to rehab help, ya if he wants it. If you have to force him, you are going to be playing with fire, battling a losing war. Ask him what he wants, take him to the Dr. and see what they recommend, there may be other drugs you know nothing about, I found that out the hard way. For me, things are going ok and I pray they will continue to. Addiction is for life, but it can be beat, IMO. Please, please take care of yourself. Eat, rest, fluids are a must, who would take him in if you were gone? Strong emotions and realities to think about. Take care, PM with any questions. We care and don't forget to breathe....TF
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Old 10-25-2013, 05:36 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Welcome to SR eJohn18......although I am so very sorry for what brings you here. Being the mother of an addict is very different from being the wife of an addict (I've been in both positions.....). It is confusing and heartbreaking.

I would gently suggest what others have suggested above......consider counseling and/or Al-Anon, Nar-Anon, or some form of support for you. Why? Because addiction is a cunning and baffling disease and it is often counterintuitive.....particularly for a parent.

There are ways that you can help your son....there are also things we do as parents that can be very detrimental for an addict. Understanding these things would be helpful to your son and to you.

I tried to help my son for a very long time.....I sacrificed some very healthy relationships for one unhealthy one. Eventually I had to change myself because my son's addiction was taking me down with him.

Sometimes visuals help me......

When someone is digging a hole and they are down there deep, it's ok to throw them a rope and encourage them to climb out. Unfortunately what I did was crawl down in that hole and put my son on my back and tried to haul him out. It didn't work. And both of us became trapped down in that hole. I eventually had to crawl out and learn how to stand at the top and encourage him to climb the rope himself.

I do understand how it hurts to see your son addicted. It's so encouraging that he wants help and I hope and pray that he will do well. I also hope that you will stick around here. Some folks may say things you can't handle right now....that's ok.....take what you need and leave to rest (or store it as you may need it later). There are many, many mothers here on SR.....we understand......we'll walk with you.

You are not alone.

gentle hugs
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Old 10-25-2013, 06:05 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Hi ejohn, I too am a mother of an adult son who is an addict and has been for many many years. I know your pain, truly I do and my heart and prayers go out for you.

I let my son come live at home many times thinking that if he had a place that was clean and safe and filled with love, he could beat addiction. My husband even gave him a job in his business where he could earn money to save for a better future and where my husband was there for support, and where he was allowed to leave to go to meetings and counseling without jeopardizing his job.

We supported his recovery, his efforts to find it each time he relapsed and we gave him opportunity to find a better way of living.

None of that worked, not once, not ever. He overdosed in our home twice and almost died both times and that didn't stop him either. He stole from us (please lock up your valuables and medications securely if you let your son come home), he lied to us and he turned our home, our safeplace, into a war zone. All the begging, crying, intervention, bargaining, manipulating and love in the world could not stop him ...because he simply was not ready to stop. My son has been missing over 9 years now, lost in his addiction somewhere unknown. I no longer search for him because nothing has changed...he will stop only when he is ready to stop and not one moment before. And truthfully, I almost died trying to save him over the years and I am certain I would die if I had to go through that again. He knows where to find us if he finds and keeps sobriety for at least a year. And most of all, he knows we love him with all our heart.

If love could save our addicts, not one of us would be here. If love could stop their pain or our own, this forum would not be necessary and we could all go home happy.

There IS hope for our sons, ejohn, but it does not lie with us. It happens for them when the pain of using becomes greater than the fear of stopping. And we have to allow them their pain, their consequences, if we are to give them even a chance at getting better. The greatest gift we can give our sons is to let them work this out for themselves. They may die trying, but they are equally likely to die in our homes. The difference is that we will no longer love them into their grave.

There are many double winners here, codependents who have beat addiction as well, and most of them will tell you that when their parents let them go, it was a gift of love not a loss of love. When they say tough love, it is because this kind of love IS tough, it will nearly break our hearts to do it but a mother's love can stand the pain if it will save our sons.

What helped me survive all this was to find meetings, CoDA, Al-anon and Nar-anon are all similar fellowships that offer hope and help for people like us. My meetings and coming here, and saying a prayer each morning giving the care of my son to God and then spending my day in faith that God can do what I cannot, is what gets me through each day. Today I live happy and well, as life should be lived. I embrace the beauty of each sunrise and at sunset I say a "thank you God" prayer for seeing me through the day.

My husband handled all this in his own way and we had many disagreements and tears (his and mine) along the way. But we learned that it wasn't a battle between he and I, it was a battle by both of us to try to save what was not ours to save, our dear son.

There are many places of real help for your son. The Salvation Army has a free and very good recovery program and all your son has to do is make the call. There are meetings every day for him, NA, AA and others where he can go and find support from others who have been where he is. If he is ready for recovery, he will reach out to these resources. If he is not, then he won't be any more ready living at home.

WE are not the solution, we are not even a good chance for them. That's hard to accept but it's the honest truth.

I hope you will read the sticky posts at the top of this forum, there is a lot of helpful information there for parents and families. Addiction truly is a family disease.

I am glad you found us and hope you find the support and hope here that you are seeking. I hope in some little way we can lessen your pain by sharing how it was for us.

Hugs from one mama's heart to another's.
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Old 10-25-2013, 11:58 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Ann wrote:
WE are not the solution, we are not even a good chance for them. That's hard to accept but it's the honest truth.
================================================== ==========
If I had taken Ann's simple sentence to heart long ago---it would have saved me
a world of heartache.
You are a good Mom...and GOOD to love your son. I do not pretend to know
the depth of your pain---but I hope these pages of SR wisdom will help you as
much as they have helped me.

Take Care.
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Old 10-25-2013, 12:53 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I am a wife of an addict so I cannot entirely relate. But I am a mother of a beautiful son, if my son was using- I would want to do everything in my power to save him. I understand your desire to do so. If you are going to bring him back into your home, then I would suggest to definitely set boundries, and never forget that he is an addict. And only let him stay if he is actively seeking help for his addiction. Don't be ashamed for wanting to help.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your whole family.
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Old 10-25-2013, 01:26 PM   #19 (permalink)
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It's perfectly normal to want to support your son. He's your son....as a mom that needs no explanation.

I guess as the others have said...set your boundaries and have a plan. It sounds like you know what you are doing.
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Old 10-26-2013, 12:32 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Dear Ejohn18, How is your weekend going? You know I have this feeling that you are a very good mom, your son respects you and others look up to you. A lot of moms would of detatched themselves from their children by now. Enough is enough and the moms just don't know what to do anymore so they let it go, let a HP take over. If this works for you then it works for you, I hope someday I can find the right combo of words and actions to help my children help themselves. They must do this on their own and not have me try to fix it. Make any sense? Take care, TF
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