My son, from oxy abuse to heroin

  1. 11 It just makes sense, he can't get his hands on oxycontin so why not shoot up heroin. But oh yeah he can control it. Right now. Yeah, only once or twice a week he'll shoot that crap.

    And its not like he's never lost everything before, not like he's never lost his job, his home, lost his son.

    Look at him, he's an average 31 yr old IT geek, he doesn't look like an opiate addict. He's not homeless, yet.

    He's my son. He's married to a beautiful woman and they have a one year old daughter. She moved thousands of miles to be with him.

    I warned her before she married him. I told her of his addiction, I told her of his head injury incurred while trying to break into a pharmacy, I told her about him spending 6 months in jail for burglary. And still I console her and tell her not to wait to leave until its too late and the bills aren't paid. I tell her the truth, that his opiate addiction comes before anything or anyone else in his life. He's got a neurological problem, his opiate receptors are hungry...very hungry. Its a horrible hunger and one of these days its going to kill him. Suboxone doesn't help him, nothing does. Get free dear girl, your life is ahead of you. You don't want to deal with this addiction that only leads to heart ache, I've been there and I wiped my hands years ago....but it still hurts...he's my son.

    He's shooting heroin and I'm his mom and there's nothing I can do. I've been there before...for 4 years I tried to save him....and now only he can save himself...from the train wreck that's coming.

    I'm a nurse and the mom of a heroin addict.
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  3. Visit  itsmejuli profile page

    About itsmejuli

    From 'Edmonton, Alberta'; Joined Oct '09; Posts: 2,377; Likes: 2,836.

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    16 Comments so far...

  4. Visit  TheCommuter profile page
    2
    Hugs, Julie. (((((hug)))))

    I have no advice to offer, but I do have a listening ear and plenty of support for you.
    herring_RN and BCgradnurse like this.
  5. Visit  aknottedyarn profile page
    5
    Julie, having worked addiction for so many years, this story is so common. It sounds like you have taken those steps you need to to keep you sane in all of this. My SO's son is in his first year of recovery from oxys. He sees in NA where he would have been had he not stopped. I pray your son can stop but I know his chances are not good. I recall telling my DD to leave a situation with a drunk. It took awhile but she did leave. I hope your DIL leaves before his addiction takes more toll on her and your grandchild.

    You know we are all here for you. Nothing can be said to make it better or go away. Take it one day at a time and keep up Al-Anon or whatever support you have.
    sapphire18, herring_RN, lindarn, and 2 others like this.
  6. Visit  HM-8404 profile page
    6
    As the father of an addict I can state the juvenile court system, in my state anyway, is not set up to deal with this. From the time my son was 15 he was constantly involved in the juvenile court system due to marijuana use. Their solution was to send him to rehab for short stints and have him see a therapist once a week. In rehab they would tell them the dangers of drug use, discuss why they used, and how they would cope when they got out. My son is not a Mensa member nor is he an idiot. He got to rehab, said all the right things, did what they asked while there, and would be released, usually early because he did so well. Between 15 and 17 he was court ordered to attend 4 different inpatient rehab facilities for 14-60 days. In all honesty all he learned was how to pass drug tests, what he could use to get high and still pass drug tests. He started with marijuana. In the first rehab he learned he could pass drug tests and still get high by huffing, and he learned about synthetic marijuana. Later he had also been known to use Spice as well as bath salts.

    The court system's solution of constantly sending him to rehab never worked because it was not a real punishment for him. I was the one that was actually being punished. I had to pay his fines, take him to drug court every week, take him to his meetings with the therapist weekly, take him to serve community service each week, and take him for random drug testing one to two times a week. I was an unemployed student and we live on the outskirts of our county so it is 23 miles one way to the courthouse. I ended up having to withdraw from school one semester because I would have to take him to the courthouse 2-4 times a week on random days and at random times. I tried to get them to lock him up someplace for a short time in a place he would be totally miserable to see if that would get through to him. I told the judge he won't stop using until he wants to stop, he needs a reason to want to stop. The dumb*** judge said, in front of him, he would not lock a child up for marijuana use. At one point I was seriously considering turning him over to DYS. I was at my wits end and was getting desperate. I had no job, finishing school was not looking like a possibility as long as I had to deal with his crap, and we were living with my mother! I finally had to sit him down and tell him if he fails another drug test he has lost his home. He will become a ward of the State until he is 19 years old and when they release him he will NOT be moving back in with me. So far he seems to have straightened up some. Only time will tell, its only been 7 months.
    Medic2RN, CrufflerJJ, herring_RN, and 3 others like this.
  7. Visit  somenurse profile page
    2
    To the OP, my heart goes out to you. You probably know by now, but, there are groups for such families, like Al Anon, and there is probably a similar group for those whose loved one is using drugs. Whether one is watching their loved one suffer from booze addiction, or drug addiction, there are commonalities in either type of suffering.
    Groups like those might be a source of comfort and strength for you, as they really can and do understand the pain and fear of watching someone you love dancing on the edge of a cliff, and being unable to lure them away from that edge.

    I think, when the loved one is your child, that THAT is the most difficult of all possible scenarios, imo, cuz it's so so so much harder to "let go" when it is your child, so i wish you the best of luck, and hope you are surrounding yourself with an understanding support network.
    herring_RN and BCgradnurse like this.
  8. Visit  itsmejuli profile page
    11
    I've learned to separate my son into two different people, the son I love and the addict I have no feelings for. I don't try to help him, those days are long gone. I learned that all my love, money, nagging, and cajoling was making no difference in him wanting to get clean.

    Like HM-8404 above, my son's drug addiction started when he was in junior high with marijuana. He moved on to harder drugs and drug dealing to support his habit. He got busted with little punishment and no rehab. During high school my life was a living nightmare, the State forced me to keep him in my home.

    The best thing that happened was when he moved thousands of miles away to start over. He was away from me and I was very happy. I'm glad he's still a few hundred miles away.

    I started this thread to let other people know that they're not alone in dealing with a child's drug addiction. We didn't fail in our parenting.
    leslie :-D, nkochrn, CrufflerJJ, and 8 others like this.
  9. Visit  BCgradnurse profile page
    1
    ((((Juli)))),

    I admire your strength and insight. I hope your DIL can find the strength to put herself and her child first, before more harm is done.
    herring_RN likes this.
  10. Visit  Esme12 profile page
    1
    ((HUGS)) Juli......I have no words of wisdom but I can send prayers and positive vibes.
    herring_RN likes this.
  11. Visit  tewdles profile page
    3
    my heart breaks for you...I have not experienced this as a parent but as a sibling.
    my youngest brother had a substance problem and ended up spending 2 decades in federal prison...he was incarcerated when our mother died.
    I know that my mother struggled with feelings of responsibility for his problems...he broke her heart.
  12. Visit  nursel56 profile page
    3
    Hugs (((Juli))) My Dad died of addiction to alcohol and a brother on the same track at breakneck speed. The Serenity Prayer is the only mantra I could repeat. All other strategies failed. I pray he gets clean and stays clean. ♥
    herring_RN, tewdles, and aknottedyarn like this.
  13. Visit  Vishwamitr profile page
    2
    Quote from itsmejuli
    It just makes sense, he can't get his hands on oxycontin so why not shoot up heroin. But oh yeah he can control it. Right now. Yeah, only once or twice a week he'll shoot that crap.

    And its not like he's never lost everything before, not like he's never lost his job, his home, lost his son.

    Look at him, he's an average 31 yr old IT geek, he doesn't look like an opiate addict. He's not homeless, yet.

    He's my son. He's married to a beautiful woman and they have a one year old daughter. She moved thousands of miles to be with him.

    I warned her before she married him. I told her of his addiction, I told her of his head injury incurred while trying to break into a pharmacy, I told her about him spending 6 months in jail for burglary. And still I console her and tell her not to wait to leave until its too late and the bills aren't paid. I tell her the truth, that his opiate addiction comes before anything or anyone else in his life. He's got a neurological problem, his opiate receptors are hungry...very hungry. Its a horrible hunger and one of these days its going to kill him. Suboxone doesn't help him, nothing does. Get free dear girl, your life is ahead of you. You don't want to deal with this addiction that only leads to heart ache, I've been there and I wiped my hands years ago....but it still hurts...he's my son.

    He's shooting heroin and I'm his mom and there's nothing I can do. I've been there before...for 4 years I tried to save him....and now only he can save himself...from the train wreck that's coming.

    I'm a nurse and the mom of a heroin addict.
    My heart goes out to you. I hope that your son gets help and insight. You are a great mom and a great mother-in-law.
    herring_RN and aknottedyarn like this.
  14. Visit  Vishwamitr profile page
    1
    My heart goes out to you. I hope that your son gets the help and the insight that he needs. You are a great mom and a great mother-in-law. I admire you.
    herring_RN likes this.
  15. Visit  BostonTerrierLoverRN profile page
    8
    ((Juli))

    I am a recovering Opioid Addict of 5 years. I share the disgusting, vile, bottomless, and "I could go on forever and ever" disease he is suffering from. I have 5 years of clean time, and yet some days I still hear the voice say, "You know one wouldn't hurt anybody." or "Ah, now you got a reason, call the doc's office and get a visit ready!" It is horrible, atrocious, and it is terminal.

    I have racked my brain to what really "changed" my mind from wanting the next fix, to wanting my life back. It WAS the threat of loosing my family. My wife eventually left while I was clean, and I remained clean (second hardest thing I ever done). Only getting clean was harder. As every person is different, I suppose every addict is different, and responds to different prompts.

    I know there is no "Silver Bullet" to this disease. I know you have done EVERYTHING to save him. So, I think about the serenity prayer:

    "Grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
    The Courage to change the things I can,
    and the Wisdom to know the difference."

    We can only change ourselves. I remind you that Addiction is a disease that infects a family as a whole, not just the addict. Addicts cannot and will not maintain their addiction alone. I hope you would give Al-anon or Narc-anon a shot to better understand what dynamics my be contributing to his disease. I'm not saying you are enabling, or his wife is enabling- but you have been affected by this disease, and you can find YOUR path to wellness and wholeness.

    When and If he seeks help, his chances are greatly increased by the people around him being "well." The definition of insanity is "trying the same things over and over and expecting different results.

    Addiction is a Chronic Progressive Disease. It gets worse, everyday. It gets worse all the way up until the end: Jail, arrest of the disease from Institutions, or worst- death. It also affect those around them progressively worse.

    I am all for anything that "works." If he can be maintained on a Maintenance Therapy- thats great. Those Medications are built to be fail proof, you can't get "High" on them, and you can't get abuse them to any real success. They block other Narcotics. I wouldn't rule out the Suboxone program as a whole- I would say, "It didn't work that time, that way." There are so many reasons it may not work first try. The patient has to be "withdrawing," not a sufficient dose, not a sufficient regimen, etc. I would rather see someone successfully on the Methadone program than in prison or a grave as well.

    Please don't think I am attacking, or being rude. I have been RIGHT where he is, and made it back. I am NO better than he is now, just clean- we're both Opiate/Opioid Addicts. We both have the same obstacles, my use is just currently abstinent. The underlying cause for his use must be discovered and worked on(has to be his choice, again).

    I write this because I care from the bottom of my heart, and I wish there was an easier answer than the work, emotion, and possible heartache it may cause to get him on the road to recovery. But, turn-around might be from her leaving, an arrest, a potential prison sentence, a stent in rehab with good Opioid/Opiate Maintenance Therapy, an employment drug screen, or being totally cut off from any family and friends that would help him obtain money(or a mix of these things). I don't believe an addict has to hit bottom, but when we do, there is no where to go but up if your alive.

    Addiction is emotionally taxing and numbing on all involved. Again, that is because it infects everyone involved in some way. I just hope you can remain as healthy as possible through this. I know with all my heart if he could change it alone, or knew how, he would. No one "chooses" this lifestyle. You two are in my prayers!!!!

    I just want you both to be healthy, and whole as possible

    Boston
    tewdles, leslie :-D, nursel56, and 5 others like this.


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