Don't know where to start with my son

Old 12-10-2009, 09:31 PM
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Unhappy Don't know where to start with my son

I don't know where to start or what to do. I am concerned about my 18 year old son, I had a feeling he had been smoking pot and drinking, but lately he has had a total personality change so I decided to look through his room. I was shocked to find two syringes and a spoon, I was devastated. I decied to put them one his bed and confront him. When he went to his room he grabbed it and ran out the door. I talked to him on the phone and he said it was a "friends" and he would never do that and the substance was oxy. I am pretty sure it's his. I went through his trash and didn't find any needles but there are several big wads of toilet paper that are wet in the middle, is that something to do with drugs? I am scared he will die he looks pale, he denies everything and says I always think the worst, my 15 yr old daughter even asked me what is wrong with her brother. I am completely worn and cannot get in the christmas spirit which is sad for my 6 yr old. What should I do? I want to have him searched by the police because I feel he carries everything in his jacket even to work, it would be anonymous and he would end up getting drug tested and couseling.My husband wants to just take things away from him until he realizes his problem on his own, we already took his truck. I dont think we have that much time. What shoud I do?
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Old 12-10-2009, 10:02 PM
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Hi Krista

I'm sorry for your situation. I have no experience with any of what you're describing though. Others will be along soon to share their experience with you though, I know.

Also, check out our Family and Friends forums - you'll find a lot of help and support there from people who have gone through similar things.
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Old 12-10-2009, 10:02 PM
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I don't know... The Police? He gets a criminal record then as the price of admission to treatment... kinda high for an 18 yo.

Maybe there is a way to get him into treatment without law enforcement. Maybe not, but try first? Perhaps you could insist on that he get evaluated by a professional.

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Old 12-11-2009, 04:24 AM
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Welcome to SR Krista, I have been through this with my step daughter, but at the time I was still very active into my alcoholism so my role played in the situation was as a bystander. My wife booted her from the house when she was 18 mainly to protect her 2 younger sisters from her insanity.

She hit her own bottom and cleaned up her hard drug usage on her own, when she hit this bottom she was living in a closet in a crack house, she was 19 or 20 when she called home and begged to come back home because of where she was stuck living.

My wife let her come back home once she was sure she was clean from the hard stuff. She is now 23 and works a full time and a part time job and has a son who is 1 1/2 now.

She is doing much better now, but she still has some issues to deal with. She does "Party" every couple of weeks which usually involves smoking dope and drinking heavily. She does not smoke dope at home because she knows that will result in her getting the boot and she does not come home drunk for the same reason.

She got busted for underage drinking while she was out and had to attend a bunch of court ordered counseling. She told us she is probably an alcoholic so there is a good possibilty she will have some issues in her future with alcohol, this may lead her back to the drugs, it may not.

Right now I pray that she will deal with her possible alcoholism before it gets any where near where I went to before hitting my bottom.

My son who is pushing 30 now is an alcoholic in recovery now, he, like me and my step daughter had to hit his bottom on his own. His wife wanted me to talk to him about his drinking, I told her that it would be a waste of time because experience has shown that an alcoholic is not going to quit until they have hit a bottom. Well about 4-5 months after that he called me.... drunk and very upset, he had finally come to the realization that he was an alcoholic.

My son knew where my alcoholism had taken me and he did not want to go there, he knew all the symptoms from watching me sink over the years and he did not watn to drag his wife and children through the hell I had drug him, his siblings and his step mom through. I had been sober about 1 1/2 years when this happened, he knew that if I could recover he could as well.

Now what would I suggest to you in your situation?

Well I would suggest to you that you seek out the advice from folks in Alanon and it drug addict sister orginization.

As a parent I would suggest you do as my wife did with both me and her daughter, protect your children from your son first, do what ever it takes to protect your younger children while seeking help for your son.

More then likely he is going to have to WANT to get clean and sober.

You will be in my prayers along with your son and the rest of your children.
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Old 12-11-2009, 11:25 AM
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((Krista)) Welcome to SR..I am sorry to hear that you and your family are going through this...addiction is a family disease and affects everyone.

..Al-anon, Alateen and Naranon are wonderful face-to-face support groups for famillies and individuals dealing with a loved one who is in active addiction.

My 25 year old daughter has used for the last 11 was hell for me on that rollercoaster ride of thinking I had any control over her using and more important that it was my job to fix her..

Al-Anon helped me to understand the disease separate from my daughter how to deal with her behavior and how not to enable: most important...I learned that it was not my job to fix her; that one took a while and and of course I needed to recognize the guilt I was feeling and how misplaced it was, but most importantly the mourning process I went through; the loss of all my dreams for her, and who she used to be, and my expectations of the future...that was difficult and has its own time frame...

All of these feelings were important for me to process, in order to get to the place of being part of the solution, and not the problem. When I saw at one point how I was hurting more than helping, I became determined to learn to detach from her outcome and get out of the way and let her find her bottom, as I realize she would not stop until she did. The detaching part was tough and took time; it went against all my parenting instincts. Al-Anon showed me how to detach with love.

I learned to let go and hand her over to God's care so I could sleep at night.
In this journey, I discovered that I was a codependent and I been in codie recovery ever since and I gratefully thank my daughter for that..

After all these years, it only was a matter of a months after I had learned how to detach unconditionally, that she appeared to shift a little in her behavior...Her realizing that I would not be there anymore to place a soft cushion under her bottom every time she fell, eventually had an impact on her..

Not long after, she went to AA..... and hated it ....sometime later, when she was ready she went back.

It is now a year later, and she has found a home group that is her lifeline, loves AA, has 5 months, is secretary of her home group, and last night chaired her first step group(she volunteered!)

Krista, remember, there is always hope...we support them , love them, but they have to figure it out. My daughter's journey was rough, lived on the street etc., but she finally got to the point where she had , had enough and started to reach out...we don't any control over what they will choose, but if we get out of the way, we are not standing in the doorway that they need to walk through..We need to let go of the outcome, and that is when we realize there is much we can do.

I spent a lot of time over in Friends and Family forums when I first came to SR, and it was a huge support to me.

This was/is my experience, I hope even a little of it bit will bring comfort.
Prayers for you, your son and your family
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Old 12-11-2009, 11:51 AM
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The first thing I will say is do NOT call the police on your son. He will end up with a criminal record and will likely resent you and be less likely to listen to anything you say in the future. As far as the syringes being a "friends", I can't tell you what a cliche that is. It's almost certainly not true. Who shoots up and leaves their rigs at a friend's house? Especially given all the other things you mentioned I would say it is almost certain that he is using.

As far as "making" him quit, since he still lives under your roof you still have some control over him. You can make it clear that drug usage is not allowed as long as he is living in your home and make him submit to drug tests to prove that he is not using. One thing I have seen friends' parents do in the past is make their kid's go to the doctor for suboxone and then watch them take it every morning. Suboxone will keep him from feeling withdrawals (it is also an opiate) but it will also block his receptors so that even if he shoots dope he will not feel a thing from it.

Personally I wouldn't recommend the suboxone route and as far as the drug testing it may or may not work in the short term but for long term sobriety he is going to have to want it for himself. My parents tried to force me to get clean tons of times and it never worked. There are ways around pretty much everything and you may end up pushing him farther away. Trying to make someone stop that doesn't want to might even be counterproductive since the natural response will be to push back against whatever you're trying to force him to do.

It's a tough situation you're in and I wish you the best of luck! Hopefully other people will be along with more advice shortly.
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Old 12-11-2009, 12:20 PM
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I can't even imagine your pain. I'm so sorry. I have no idea what I would do. I know my first step would be to call the teen addiction centre and see if they had any suggestion.

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Old 12-11-2009, 02:12 PM
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I wouldn't call the police on him either. You do have the right to set rules and boundaries if he's living in your house, but you cannot 'make' him quit using. He has to decide to stop using for himself. Please do check out the friends and family forum for help in dealing with his using.

Welcome to SR!
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