Dear Readers – Following are a selection of your own experiences and suggestions to the woman who wrote about her addicted son (Feb. 13):
Reader #1 – “Our much-loved son is 32. He’s funny, kind, intelligent, and a heroin addict and thief.
“He doesn't care about our property because he doesn't care about his own. He’s been in and out of jail for 15 years. We cannot fix him.
“He’s not allowed in our house if he’s using. He knows we love him, and he also knows we won’t tolerate his abuse of our hospitality.”
Reader #2 – “I grew up in a family of those with addiction. Nar-Anon for Narcotics Anonymous (NA) can help you and your husband. Your son should also join an NA group for support.
“But while it's hard and you don't trust him anymore, he's still your son. He’s trying, don't turn your back on him now when he needs you. He's still got a chance, particularly if he gets support, not just detox.”
Reader #3 – “My daughter started using drugs in her 20's and after she met a heroin addict in rehab, she became a heroin addict.
“She’s now been clean and sober for seven years, thanks to Alcoholics’ Anonymous which saved her life. And the parents should go to Alanon.
“Even if alcohol isn't the problem, all addictions are the same and alcohol will always trigger a drug addict into using drugs again.
“If their son goes to AA, he should go even when he's drunk or high. They don't judge. They just want you there.
“My daughter went for a year while she was still drinking and getting high, but eventually it sunk in. Now she's in graduate school getting a PhD and planning a wedding this summer.”
Reader #4 – “The parents need to tell Grandma about her addicted grandson. When he realizes that she's clueless, she'll be his next mark when he goes back to using. He'll start stealing and manipulating her to get money and drugs.”
Reader #5 – “I have a cousin currently sitting in a jail cell for the second time because of drug abuse.
“She's been in there for a few months because her parents refuse to bail her out. She violated her probation from her first arrest because she refused to abide by the easy punishment she was given then.
“Now she'll feel the full brunt of punishment and hopefully, it'll be the last time. Unless addicts feel the full weight of the consequences for their actions, they will not have any motivation to change.”
Reader #6 – “I recommend therapy for the parents. The son can no longer be forced into treatment by anyone but a judge. He’s made it clear that he won’t finish any treatment that the parents recommend.
“They need to think about themselves again after their selfless journey. It'll be difficult to continue their own lives, pursue their own interests, and rebuild their finances again, but it’s essential and can be done with the help of a therapist.”
Reader #7 – “Alanon is helping the son as well as the parents, because they’ve learned to not enable him in his disease.
“I grew up in an alcoholic home and am still dealing with issues. But I'm not in this alone, I have a great deal of help and support to deal with anything that life throws at me. I am part of a wonderful healing community. It’s saved my life.”
Reader #8 - “I’m a retired Drug and Alcohol Addictions counsellor. One of the most difficult decisions is to back off. Only when an addict’s reached their all-time low will they begin to go for help.
“In a group setting, like NA or AA, they’re held accountable for their actions and decisions. The other members know the “poor me” games and won't play them any more.
“At meetings they discuss how they became addicted and the steps they need to take to remain clean and sober.
“The parents would be welcome at a support group.
“There are some excellent treatment facilities available for treatment and recovery. This man needs to make the decision and effort to get help.
“The parents need to put down ground rules and stick to them, such as no visits to their home until he’s been clean and sober for six months. This way he starts to become accountable and self-supporting.”
Tip of the day:
Families dealing with addictions aren’t alone. There’s support available for loved ones and the addicted person.