We were absolutely devastated to find out our 22yr old son has a cocaine addiction. He had huge money problem as a result and we have paid out £1000s as he was in serious trouble. He is slowly paying it back but his use continues. We get a couple of clean weeks and then it all starts again. We dread the weekends and feel so stressed and ashamed that we seem to have failed him completely and don’t know why. He is so aggressive, anxious, depressed at times and lies constantly We have three other children who have all graduated from university and are doing well. We feel destroyed and can see no way out. Where did we go wrong ????
I am so sorry to hear this. You haven't done anything wrong and trust me I have spent many nights asking myself the very same thing. I have 2 sons both so different. one doing really well and the other 23 is spiralling more and more out of control. I did nothing differently and they have both been given every opportunity and so much love by all of the family. It is heartbreaking. He too hid his addiction to drugs for several years whilst away at University and despite going through rehab he has gradually deteriorated again. He has lost most of his friends and is about to lose his job ( again) . Only this week was thrown out of a club for using this week and was beaten up and left on the street even that didn't make him wake up! He is wallowing in a pit of misery, ketamine, cocaine and alcohol and says he is 'partying!!!!' I too dread the weekends and spend most of the time wondering where he is or waiting to get calls I'd rather not take. My son too is anxious, depressed and I sadly cannot trust a thing he says. At this very moment he is trying to get money out of me... Word too has spread in our town about my son's behaviour which is becoming increasingly sad and I struggle to face people in case they ask the dreaded how are the boys doing.....
I have been speaking to the Icarus trust they have been incredibly kind and supportive and just talking through things with one of their counsellors. He has gone some way into making me realise that until my son wants to change I can't do anything. I have to try live my life and take a step back, but this is incredibly hard. I too dread the weekends and the states I find him in. All the nights I've picked him up and 'saved' him have not made any difference and until he decides he wants help I've got to leave him to it.They also say that until we stop saving them and they realise the consequence of their actions they will not change. It's heartbreaking isn't it, what a waste of a life! Have you spoken to anyone? My doctor is great but there is little help out there if they do not want to change .Aside from locking them away under house arrest when they are adults what can you do? Smart recovery have a family and friends online support on a Monday evening that I sometimes dial into. It's useful to listen and get some practical tips about how to cope. But please remember you didn't do anything wrong, I think our kids were vulnerable and cocaine is pure evil!
Thank so much, I feel like such a failure. We loved them all equally growing up and it just doesn’t make sense. We are a normal family and live in a happy home with no family turmoil until now. We have spent £100s on CBT but it worked for a short while only. He won’t go to the GP and thinks he can’t just stop but for me he isn’t ready to even try. His counsellor said the same, we have to wIt until he is ready to give up. I dread things getting out and the community talking about him. I can’t bear to tell my elderly parents or any extended family. The shame I feel means I can’t even bring myself to tell my oldest friend. I am thinking if moving away to give him a fresh start but my husband doesn’t think that will work. We are destroyed inside, it is all so raw at the moment. I am so scared he damages his heart and doesn’t wake up. I just want my baby boy back ????
Hi Button Boy, I know! I'm so sorry! I have been researching addiction as I really want to understand why too! My son has everything going for him and is so very loved too, it makes no sense, they are ill! My parents know now and it's breaking their hearts, I couldn't hide it any longer from them . Not sure whether it was the right thing to do either, they both look broken now....I have only told a few people and am very wary, people talk and there's such stigma isn't there. Also you don't want other people to think badly of them even though you couldn't blame them. Yes we have tried CBT but he wasn't honest with the counsellor so unsuccessful. Drugs seem to completely change their brain, I know he is in there somewhere but he appears for such a short time , stops for a week then starts again. I'm sure he will come back to you, he's not ready yet maybe? You can't give up and we have to be strong, we have no choice. All we can do is wait and be there when they ask for help I suppose. We shouldn't be ashamed, it can happen to anyone and those people that judge are not worth knowing are they? We both love our boys and would do anything to help, but we can't help them only they can do that. We just have to wait, keep loving them and try and keep well. It's hard going to work and smiling everyday. People moan about really small thing don't they and I smile inside and think if only they knew! Re. moving away, sorry to be the bringer of bad news but we tried that with our son, he wanted a fresh start so went to Geneva to live with his grandparents, it was better for a while but he went back to his old ways...
Hi button boy. I’m new to this forum. First time today having just realised that my daughter has relapsed after a year clean and spending huge amounts of money getting her there. I just want you to know that you’re not alone. I’m so sorry I don’t have answers, I wish I did with all my heart. But I offer you all my support and best wishes for what you’re going through.
Thank you so much, the pain in my heart is unbearable. It is so good to know I am not alone xx
You are not alone even though sometimes you may think you are..
I don't know who my son is anymore he manipulates and lies about anything and everything.
I have dealers coming to my door for his debt coincidently he's not home when they come.
He's my son and I'm nearly done with him for my own sanity. Nothing more I can do with him as devastating as it is until he finds himself which I know won't be anytime soon..I can only pray now.
Hi Button Boy,
I am so sorry to read your post and to see how your son's addiction has made you feel. Its really hard to understand isn't it, but you won't have done anything wrong.
I'm glad that Paula has found speaking with us at The Icarus Trust has been useful. If you think it would help you please get in touch. We are a charity with trained people who you can talk with as they have lots of experience of supporting people who are affected by a family member's addiction.
You can contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website www.icarustrust.org
In hope that you can get some support and not feel so alone in this. Good luck!
Thank you all so much.
DESTROYED - Just had the worst day ever, he is in so much debt and it is killing us but we can’t keep helping him. He refuses to go to the GP to get help or even discuss a plan with us to pay something back to people. We are worried sick, I woke up this morning thinking he was dead and felt at peace because it was all over. Woke up properly and racked with guilt that I even thought it, I have cried most of today. The impact on us all is horrific - we were such a lovely happy normal wee family WHY US - WHY???