The best thing you can do is go to an al-anon meeting. You have to learn how not to enable them in their behavior. The sooner all bridges are burnt the sooner he will seek help.
Audrey my dear fellow hubber. I to am struggling with my 17 yr old and the drugs he is playing with. This past year has tormented my soul. I love him dearly and hate seeing him go through these addictions. I had him in rehab for seven days, however that was just an assessment period. He has some severe challenges ahead. I am working with him daily, he is in counselling weekly and it's helping. I am watching him carefully and loving him and reinforcing it daily. That's the best I can do at this juncture. He knows he is the one who has to make the change, he knows their are so many standing behind him and loving him, yet he alone has to make the step to STOP and say no to drugs. So I say keep loving him, working with him, standing by him no matter what, he is your son above all else, your flesh and blood. It's a struggle I know, but all we can do is be there for him at all times. Hugs from me to you.
What a parent can do depends on the son's age. If he is not yet legally an adult, the parent can and should take advantage of being able to make decisions for him. Therapy, rehab programs, AA are all there to offer professional or group support help, even if it requires police assistance or commitment by a doctor to get him there. (Expect anger and resentment from him.)
If he is an adult, the parent has fewer choices--actually, almost nothing that does not require the son's voluntary compliance. The entire family may stage an intervention, which sometimes works. If he reaches the stage where he is potentially a real danger to himself or others, a parent can go through the courts to have him committed for treatment. (Expect very heightened anger and long-term resentment if you do this, but you will be guided by the situation. It is better to have your child hate you than to watch him kill himself with an addiction.)
Talking to an alcoholic who is in denial is like spitting into the wind. Not much, if anything, you say is going to stick. But mothers (and fathers) don't give up. They keep trying to get through to their kid and hoping that he will eventually come to realize he needs help to get that monkey off his back.
It may take years, and it's possible he may never accept the truth of his addiction. Even when you think your loved one has "hit bottom"--even countless times, countless "bottoms"--the addiction may prove stronger than the person.
Still, the mom (or dad) who loves an alcoholic (or drug-addicted) child of any age will not give up on that child. She/He won't give up trying to help...trying to get that child to seek professional help.
Wish I had a magic answer, but, sadly, I don't. The person who suggested Al-Anon for the parent has a good point. Al-Anon exists to help the parent, spouse or other loved one of an alcoholic do what is best for herself/himself and break the cycle of codependence. It really requires a distancing of yourself from your addicted child, which not every parent is able to do--even if she or he can see the value in such an action. Trying an Al-Anon meeting or two may help to determine if it's the right choice.
All of your answers are very true and near and dear to my heart.
We have been through all of these things and still he drinks. He is 35 years old and has been drinking to excess (and doing drugs at least in the past) for more than half of those years.
It is the saddest thing I've ever had to endure and I've endured quite a bit. There is no helping someone who cannot realize what they are doing but that doesn't mean you still don't try - or pray - or cry - or just hope that one day the light bulb will switch on.
Addiction is a terrible thing - living on the other side of it is just as horrible says one tired old lady parent. Thanks so much ya'll for your kind words and good advice. I am going to do a piece on this one day soon when I can separate my feelings from the facts.
I have an alcoholic son age 36. 20 years of drinking, with bits of sobriety here and there. You cannot help him except to pray for him and learn not to enable him or nag and threaten him. If he is not willing to see his problem and get help then there is precious little you can do. But, you can go to Alanon and find great relief and you will learn how to deal and cope with this. You will learn how to respond, set up boundaries, and how to detach enough so you don't drive yourself crazy trying to make him stop. Addiction is an ugly thing, cunning, powerful, baffling. No one can "make" someone stop drinking. He has to hit bottom and be willing to get help. Save yourself, love your boy and pray for him.
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