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Son finally admitted he's addicted - what do I do now?
  1. #1
    ocusersmom is offline New Member
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    Default Son finally admitted he's addicted - what do I do now?

    My son (22) came to me with the admission that he's addicted to Oxycontin, and has asked for help. I'm not sure if he's serious about wanting help or if this is a ploy to get me to lend him money, but I'm willing to do what I can to get him the help he needs. Met with an intake counselor today to get him into addiction counseling, and we were also informed about group therapy. My problem is this: I don't know how to treat him around the house. He usually lives with his grandparents, but has decided that he wants to spend the night at my house after the emotional day that he had. I'm afraid to leave him alone because I feel that he needs my support and he's dealing with depression, but I'm afraid I'm smothering him when I stay in the same room with him and engage in small talk. What is the best approach?? Looking for any advice from other recovering addicts or their family members about what worked for them.

  2. #2
    cheeky is offline Member
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    treat him the same as you always have. and be there if he wants to talk. he made a huge step by confiding in you... DO NOT LOAN HIM ANY MONEY as this may be used to buy drugs. in fact i would ask just how he is 'funding' this addiction...

    there are plenty of stories of people getting off drugs, and he is young, so has a better chance than most... he has to want it tho.

    good luck with this. im a recovering addict, who started young, and didnt stop till my 40s. wish i had learned my lesson a lot younger...

    first step is admitting there is a problem, so tell him, he has done well. see if you can get him to go to a meeting, where he will meet recovering addicts, who will help him also.
    caughtagain, Catrina and surfdog like this.

  3. #3
    ARTIST658 is offline Advanced Member
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    Dear ocusersmom,

    Counseling is a good place to start, but he'll need more than that. This disease is far more complex and powerful than most of us realize. It is not a simple matter of stopping the drug - it is also learning the skills needed to cope with life without returning to the drug. Drugs are generally considered a "symptom" of deeper, underlying problems.

    The most effective tool available to him for long-term recovery is a 12-step program, such as NA or AA. Here's the links to find a local meeting:

    NA: http://www.na.org/
    AA: http://www.aa.org/

    He needs to attend at least one meeting a day. That may sound like a lot, but when you've been using drugs on a daily basis, it's what we need.

    In the meantime, there are programs to help you, as the loved one of an addict. The impact on your life should not be minimized - and, as the mom, your role is essential to his recovery. Generally, the ones around the addict are either part of the problem - or part of the solution. (There's little in between.) So you need an education on this disease, and what you need to do to NOT enable his addiction. Besides, the emotional upheaval for you has been - and will be - profound. Here's the links to Naranon and Alanon, the 12 step programs for those affected by a loved one's addiction:

    Naranon: http://www.nar-anon.org/
    Alanon: http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/

    It's hard for you to know how best to help, that's why these programs will be essential for both of you. You don't want to walk on eggshells - nor watch him like a hawk. But you don't want to miss the signs that he's backsliding. You want to create an environment that leaves him free to talk if he wants to - and also is conducive to recovery. Even though he has opened up (which is a huge plus) - he will be tempted to return to using, again and again. We don't just walk through the door to recovery and never look back. I pray you'll both get connected with meetings, as that could spell the difference in success.

    Keep posting - there's lots of help available here.

    God bless,
    Ruth
    cheeky likes this.

    You will know the truth - and only the truth can set you free.

  4. #4
    ocusersmom is offline New Member
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    Cheeky and Artist,

    Thank you for your comments. He is a smart boy, and realizes that he needs to come up with a PLAN in order to overcome his addiction. We are working on setting up small daily goals in order for him to stay on track. I know it makes me feel good at the end of the day when I can say I've crossed off "to do's" on my list, no matter how minute they are. First hurdle, going to a counselor, has been accomplished. He is also working on getting back into school which will hopefully give him more incentive to continue with his recovery. We're discussing other triggers, whether it's people he associates with or situations that set him off, and how to remove the triggers from his life. I know that lending him money is a big no-no, and that it makes me an enabler, but it's so hard when he comes to me and tells me that money has been taken from work and needs to be replaced or he'll lose his job. I feel like if I don't help him replace the money, he'll be fired and be in a worse place than he's already in. Trying to be better about saying no to him. Tough love is by far the toughest of all. Please keep the comments coming. This forum has been a life saver for me.

  5. #5
    Catrina is offline Diamond Member
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    Welcome OCuser,

    I'm glad you found this site. Use it! Ruth always gives wonderful advice and while this Forum isn't intended (I don't think??) as a singular source of support, it most definitely was mine. I have the dubious pleasure of being a recovering addict and have an adult son newly in recovery. I've been clean for just over 3 yrs after 20+ years of abusing the same drug that your son discovered. My son, now 39 has also used for many years and our family has been dragged thru the muck with us.

    OK. Much like you, my son who has mostly lived with me has stayed with my daughter for about the past 2 1/2 yrs and I now find him with me once again newly clean. It's an experience I can tell you that! He has been to detox more than once as well as rehab. Not our 1st rodeo for either one of us I assure you. I would suggest that if you haven't already, to find a nice long thread or two here belonging to someone trying to get clean from opiates and read, read, read. I hope that it will help you to understand what your son is going thru and perhaps how long the physical awfulness will last. Alot depends on how much he was/is using on a daily basis. He may not want to share that with you and that's just fine. Let him open up to you when and if he's ready. We're the Mom and they are ashamed. If he does open up, brace yourself because you're likely to hear all about someone who is not your son. Just listen.

    Is he trying to detox? How? Did you find the Thomas Recipe on this site? It might help. It's not an easy road to detox at home but it is doable. I know that for a fact because I did it countless times and watched it with my son enough to know. I honestly don't know which was harder on me. If he's serious about getting clean can you get him into a detox facility? It's the tip of the iceberg but it will save you alot of heartache to not have to watch him.

    In terms of how you should treat him. Do not be the watch dog. Getting clean is his job. If you could do it for him you would have done it already. If he's in the wind you can not stop him from being there. Be supportive and let him know that you will do whatever you can to get him clean but will not do a blasted thing to get him high. And that's what I have to say about that.

    Good luck and God bless.

    Peace,

    Cat

  6. #6
    ocusersmom is offline New Member
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    Thanks for the encouragement, Cat. All of the support brings tears to my eyes when I read a new response or new thread. I don't know how much he is/was using, which makes it hard for me to know what to expect in the detox process. He claims he hasn't used in 3 days, but I'm learning with time that most of what he tells me isn't the truth. Unfortunately, I'm still in the denial period (not my son! not that drug!), and I have this fairy tale image in mind that he's just a weekend user, certainly not an ADDICT! I do know deep down that it's just wishful thinking, and reading some of the stories here has helped me to realize and deal with that. His main problem is depression, which stems from the fact that he regrets not going to college straight out of high school like his friends who are now right around the corner from graduation while he works at a local bakery making minimum wage. I'm hopeful that getting him back into school in addition to meeting weekly with a counselor and going to group therapy will be the keys to his success. I will do as you suggested and keep reading the other threads and look into the Thomas recipe. If I haven't seen any d/t signs yet, is it even possible that he hasn't used in 3 days like he says? Wouldn't I be seeing something by now?

  7. #7
    cheeky is offline Member
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    money missing from his job. ? he will get fired ? hmmmm that sounds mighty suspicious to this ol druggie mate. be careful. that sounds very much like he is the one who took the money...

    sorry to say

    i am glad artist and ruth came to this thread as i felt a bit useless for ya... they are mums and know the drill far better than i do... im just a plain ol garden variety addict but i do know how addicts think, and i think he is telling big fat ones about that money... could be wrong, but i have a feeling im not... watch out... ok
    Last edited by Anonymous; 02-26-2013 at 04:43 PM.
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  8. #8
    Mylife4me is offline Banned
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    Being on the other side, the son that was given a great life by his parents, graduated college and started messing with this awful stuff, I can tell you, there's gonna be heartache. Your definition of an addict will change, were not horrible people, just bad decisions. Just stand by him, and as far as money, pay for anything you feel he needs by yourself, don't put a dime in his hands. If you think you really need to pay the bakery to keep his job, go talk to the owner.

    When I finally realized I had a problem I thought it was just, get through physical withdrawals and the rest will work itself out. It doesn't. I'm 25 now and can surely say the mental part of it that comes after the physical withdrawal is the part that breaks me eventually.

    I'd say also, just tell him how proud you are of his progress, if he really is quitting, it will re-enforce those decisions, and if he's lying, well, hopefully it just reminds him how much you care and love him.

    Hang tough, were rooting for you and your son.
    cheeky and ARTIST658 like this.

  9. #9
    ocusersmom is offline New Member
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    Mylife,

    Thank you so much for reaching out! It's good to hear from someone around his age to tell me what I'm doing wrong and what I'm doing right. Yes, money missing was taken by him, and he has admitted this to me. I actually walked with him into the bank with the money and watched him deposit it into the work account. And in the past, when he's called and said he didn't have gas to get to work, I've told him to meet me at the gas station where I paid for the gas rather than hand him $20. Problem is, I know that even though I'm not placing the cash in his hands, my actions are still making it possible for him to buy drugs with his own money that he should be using to buy the gas, pay his car insurance, etc. I told him today that it's the LAST time, but how many times have I said that before? Please don't get me wrong, I'm not hating on the addict, I'm hating on the ADDICTION. I know that it's the disease that is lying to me, the disease that is stealing from work And I feel so helpless, not knowing if he is in fact trying to get sober, if he has in fact gone for 3 days without taking oc, or if I'm being fooled by him, and a little bit by myself, in thinking that we're on the road to recovery. I wish my love was enough to make him sober, but in the long run I realize that it's up to him to win this battle. Thank you for the kind words and encouragement, and the reminder to continue to encourage him. You all have been wonderfully welcoming and helpful in these first days of what I'm sure will be the longest, hardest journey of my life.

  10. #10
    ComingHome is offline Senior Member
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    Oh wow, I have been there before. I know what that's like giving them money and you know you are only enabling them to buy drugs. It's tough, but you have to stick to your guns knowing that you are doing the right thing. We went though this with my step son a couple years ago, so I know how hard it can be. You are right that your love is not enough... he has to want it, and he has to put forth the necessary effort. My BS meter went off full blast when you said that he told you he was clean for 3 days. He would be going through horrible withdrawal both physically and mentally if that was the case. Unfortunately, it's just not that simple. I have seen this disease from both sides - I am a recovering addict with 7 yrs clean, and I also watched my step son go though it. For me personally, it took meetings. 90 meetings in 90 days for starters. It's just not as easy as turning it on and off like a light switch. He has to want it more than anything, and if he truly gets clean, you will know it because he will be attending meetings daily, his eyes will become clearer, his thinking will clear up... and you will see a lot of such changes. If not, it's likely just lip service and a con job... plain and simple. Like Ruth mentioned, Alanon meetings would be a good idea for you so that you can learn more about this cunning disease.

    Good luck, CH
    Last edited by Anonymous; 02-27-2013 at 12:32 AM.
    There is ALWAYS hope

    Clean from painkillers and all mind altering substances since 4/25/2013

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    Hi,

    I am a mother of an addicted also, my son knows he has a problem but is having a hard time staying clean, I am going to help him detox but this time I am going to watch him closely (I'm hoping this will work). I am taking his phone so that he can focus on withdrawing and getting better. I know I have enabled him more than I would like to admit. But as their mom's we want our kids to be happy and healthy, so when they tell us something we want to believe them even knowing deep down they are lying to get what they want. I'm sorry for rambling on here but after reading everyones comments and problems I don't feel so alone.

  12. #12
    Catrina is offline Diamond Member
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    Hi Again,

    I'll restate from a previous poster that if your son says he hasn't used in 3 days, he'd be in a world of hurt right now and the symptoms would be obvious to the both of you. Diarrhea (sp?), restless legs, insomnia and plain ole miserable. If that's not the case, it could be he has cut down his dose but I'm guessing he's still at least dabbling or still using as usual. Sorry to say that but you WILL know if he's detoxing. He will be uggggllly!

    Peace,

    Cat

  13. #13
    cheeky is offline Member
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    you could buy a drug test at the pharmacy if you really wanted to be sure... but like the others have said, if he is 3 days off a habit, you would know.... sounds like he is lying... again.. sorry to say it. but sounds like it.

    and i agree with you, every time you put gas in his car, that is money left for him to buy drugs. he has obviously been conning you for some time now... get to one of those meetings ruth told you about, you will learn a lot there, on how YOU cope with his addiction, and how not to enable etc... would be a good experience..

    good luck.. stay strong and stay tough,
    surfdog likes this.

  14. #14
    surfdog is offline Senior Member
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    Hey om cheeky and the others are right about the withdrawals. I watched my son go through this and it is not easy. However I had to do as others have suggested no money, just support. He took three times all within a couple of moths but he has made it almost a year now. So it is possible just tough to watch
    . No withdrawals tho just ain't right my son used subs to get off the Oxy then a couple of moths later detoxes off the subs, that withdrawal was painful enough to make an impression. For with us pain is the only catalyst for change, if no pain no reason to quit hang in there Dog

  15. #15
    ocusersmom is offline New Member
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    Just talked to son and asked if he has any symptoms like those mentioned. He has muscle aches that he is associating with going to the gym yesterday and some nausea and throwing up. Messed up sleep patterns - he can sleep for a few hours, then wakes up in the middle of the night and can't get back to sleep. He is trying to get through the nausea and sleeplessness with pot. I know it's wrong to kick one habit with another habit, but is it ok for him to get off the oc with pot? I'm worried about him not sleeping at night, because that is typically when his dealer will send him text messages asking if he wants some more oc. Contemplating taking the cell phone away tonight when he gets home from work so the temptation isn't there. thoughts? Thanks for all of the advice.

  16. #16
    ComingHome is offline Senior Member
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    The odds of him kicking it and STAYING clean on his own the way he is doing it is slim to none to be honest with you. He needs to be hitting a meeting a day. Not to be harsh, but this is the reality: there is a reason you don't see many old >>>>>> and OC addicts. He needs to take this seriously and get the help he needs. As far as the pot and all that stuff goes, the best place to learn about that is in meetings.

    What I'm trying to gently say is you are not equipped to help him. You going on the internet and passing the answers along to him will only work for so long. He needs a support system, education on the disease, and he needs to get a sponsor and work the steps. I'm speaking from experience - this is the only thing that worked for me. Addicts are not unique in that manner. The best place to get these things is in meetings and maybe a good outpatient program.

    CH
    Last edited by Anonymous; 02-27-2013 at 05:24 PM.
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    There is ALWAYS hope

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  17. #17
    surfdog is offline Senior Member
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    coming home is right you cannot do this for him, he needs to be in AA/NA daily and as far as you taking the cell phone that won't solve anything if he wants the drugs he will find a way to get them Dog
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  18. #18
    ARTIST658 is offline Advanced Member
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    I can see that my post, suggesting meetings for both of you, was entirely too gentle - and was completely disregarded. Coming Home has made it clearer. Nothing - absolutely nothing - can take the place of his involvement in a 12-step program.

    If your son was at the gym Tuesday, chances are he's not in withdrawal. In fact, if you had to ask him if he's had any symptoms, chances are he's not in withdrawal. You'd see it. He can't hide it.

    He can not do recovery on his own. And you can not help him to recover on your own. There is no amount of information on the internet - or amount of keeping close watch on him - that is going to keep him clean. You can hide the phone and bar his windows and door - and still, an addict who wants to use, will find a way. In other words, you can not outsmart an addict seeking a drug.

    If he took money from work - then that's HIS problem. That's HIS consequence of using drugs. And the minute you stepped in to pay that off, you enabled him. You kept him from experiencing the consequences of his drug use - which is the ONLY way an addict hits bottom. That's what enabling is - it's stepping in to relieve the addict of the consequences of their drug use. And enabling is deadly. It keeps an addict using, period.

    Far better to have him 'fess up to his boss - and make a payment arrangement that HE has to pay. Let him be humbled. Let him find the money. Let him go through the process of passing over money each week until his THEFT is paid off.

    I know you hate to believe it - but your son is manipulating you. That's not a judgement of your son - that is the very basic nature of this disease.

    We do not get off opiates with pot. That's just substituting one drug for another. That's keeping the disease of addiction alive and well. We do not get clean by coming up with our own "plan" - or by simply eliminating triggers. Recovery requires so much more - and we can't give that to you - or to him - via this forum. There is no substitute for each of you attending the 12-step programs that are designed for this.

    God bless,
    Ruth

    surfdog, NoMoreOxy, Kikker and 1 others like this.

    You will know the truth - and only the truth can set you free.

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