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Any advice please

Hi All, my son has been using drugs since college - 10 years ago now - started off with weed, had some nasty experiences with acid and is now regularly using cocaine. He is a very kind lovely person underneath all this and I just don't know what to do to help. I have made the decision not to help him financially any more (there's nothing left anyway). He has lost his house, cannot have contact with his son and lost his job that he really enjoyed. He is now working again through an agency and has a new girlfriend but she regularly uses weed (nothing else that I know of) It just seems that nothing is enough for him to stop and I don't understand it.

I have been a single parent for most of his life and wonder if I could have done anything to stop this.

replying to whiteheather

Hi Whiteheather,

Welcome, and well done for posting. It takes guts!

Firstly, do not blame yourself, short of keeping him in for all his life, you cannot ever imagine this will happen to you or him. Its not your fault.

Unfortunately, what starts out for a lot of people as a recreational drug every now and then at a party, for some, it turns into this. Cocaine is a sly drug that reels you in without you really realising, until you are dependent on it to feel normal, or what you believe to be normal.

Has he ever admitted that its a problem? Unless he admits it is an issue there is little you can do.

Sending hugs x

replying to whiteheather

hi cnt give advice as only just joined now myself but wanted to say i feel for you.been single parent too.know how you are feeling..best wishes. x

replying to whiteheather

Thank you for replying Ash2013 & butterfly - its very hard to imagine how your child can be pulled into this addiction and sometimes I look at him and just don't recognise him!

He says he has an appointment at Adaction in a weeks time but he went a couple of years ago and just said it was 'crap' so I'm not holding my breath. He is so thin - I just don't know if he'll get out of this - does anyone know people who have fully recovered? Thank you for replying - it helps to know you're not on your own

replying to whiteheather

Hi white heather

One thing I can say with conviction is that addiction doesn't discriminate. By this I mean during my years of going to AA and CA meetings I have mixed with people of all races, religion, sexual orientation. People from living healthy homes, to those less fortunate. There doesn't seem to be a rhyme or reason, though my observations show me there are common themes in addicts that seem to be there in everyone regardless.

It's easy to blame yourself but that wont help you, or him right now so try to catch that as it will eat you up.

If it's any consolation I fully recovered from a serious alcohol problem now 12 years sober, and also drugs a similar amount of time. Recently I feel foul of painkillers and prescription anxiety meds and have also managed to stay clean from them, though that experience was different. I have managed to go through horrendous withdrawals and come out the other side.

Despite my issues I have a good job, a beautiful family, am responsible, can accept my past and try to be a good person as much as I can.

You CAN recover- millions of people have, it's not easy though and the job starts within- accepting you have a problem and accepting help.

I know what your son means by thinking the place was crap, I had the same attitude. I can tell you now when i was going through opiate and benzo withdrawal I took all the help I could get and was humbled by the help people on here gave me. I now have a very different outlook - your son doesn't have to go that far though and need never use again if he is open to some help.

I hope you are ok, if there is anything I can answer I'll do my best, I have seen both sides of the fence

replying to whiteheather

thank you BT1978 - that is so helpful - when you say ' though my observations show me there are common themes in addicts that seem to be there in everyone regardless.' what themes do you observe? I just want to try and understand something that makes no sense to me at the moment?!

I'm trying to leave him to make his own decisions and then slip into mother mode and start asking loads of questions 'what are you going to do about this.....' 'don't forget about that...' I know it winds him up but I don't want to see him get even lower.

Am I best to block all that out and just leave him to it?

Really stuck as what to do for the best

replying to whiteheather

Hey heather

No problem at all, helping people helps me believe it or not. Plus I hate the thought of people suffering if I'm sat on information that may help.

I should caveat the following by saying this is only my experience and I'm not a professional- just wary that posts get removed.

Being an addict and being in AA for 12 years, as well as recently battling through an opioid addiction I guess all I can share are my experiences.

To begin with one thing I hear alot is people talking about fear. That fear is generally about anything and everything and is self centred. Using provides an alleviation of that fear for a while, typically though the fear comes back even while using and it's like pouring petrol on a bomb fire as the self medication no longer works.

Being totally selfish is another. All that matters is me changing the way I feel when it's on me so to speak. And when that happens- unless I have a defense - nothing will stop me using. Doesn't matter I have a beautiful wife, kids, house, car, job etc - if I dont have that defense in place then I'm using no matter what. And sod everything else, I'll worry about that later and I dont think about anyone or anything.

I also hear about cycles in the sense that people feel fear, use, then feel guilt shame and remorse, then use on that because they cant handle their actions or feelings and start all over again. Another common thing is build and destroy in the sense people work really hard to attain or achieve something and then pull it all down again. This is associated with low self esteem and feeling not worthy. I certainly did this alot with my career.

Self esteem is another common one. Not feeling on par with other people. This is usually not feeling equal to others.

This sort of stuff isn't even touching the iceberg really, and many people have many strands to their addictions.

This is alot to take on, and unless you are the addict it's going to be tough to understand as what we do makes no sense to those in the outside usually.

It was explained to me once to think of addiction like a tree. There is the root - essentially the core of what the problem is causing someone to use. Then you have the branches which is the way this addiction comes out and presents - alcohol, drugs, food, sex, gambling anything really. My personal opinion is that the addict must find and understand the root to stay stopped and that talks patience and hard work.

This is a ton of overwhelming information I know, and it's hard to write out on a mobile! To keep it simple I'd advise trying the below first as this is a complex problem and wont be fixed overnight

Get identification for you, and your son, with others in the same boat. That could be posting on here or your son could try some online NA meetings which are discreet and private and just observe

Stay close to the GP and professional people too. I dont believe one method is a single answer to this personally I prefer to cover all angles

Try to get him into healthy habits slowly but surely. Nutrition, exercise, good sleep and keeping busy are not easy, but key foundations in the battle

If you can get these three into place I'm hoping he may be ready to embrace the issue and then look further into it as it's an inside job and has to come from him to be successful.

For me personally AA and other fellowships were super helpful. They knew my problem as they lived and breathed it themselves and recovered. They gave me somewhere to be when I felt like drinking or using. I made friends in the same boat. I saw people who weren't as bad as me, and people that had gone on to the bitter end, and there was also a 13 step programme on offer which helped me see my problems clearly and provided a way to live. Not everyone can adopt this, but starting with identification and being around d others is a solid start

Keep posting if I can help I certainly will and sorry for the all over the shop response!

replying to whiteheather

I just wanted to offer my support. I have no words but I am going through very similar so you are heard & I am here if you need someone who can relate.

Take care

replying to whiteheather

Hi cornwallmother2020 - thank you so much for replying and I'm so sorry to hear that you are going through something very similar to myself - I'm finding it a very isolated thing to be dealing with and people who have no experience of it don't really understand. Thank you for reaching out and if I can help you at all please let me know

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