My Son Is Addicted to Drugs and Is Stealing, Selling, Lying and Ripping People Off.
My 17 yr old son is addicted to drugs. He steals from us and his own grandparents. He steals from his own friends homes. He has been caught selling, My husband and I helped in getting him arrested, this did nothing.
I tried getting him to go for counselling he refuses, he doesn't admit to anything even when I catch him in the act, stealing from my purse. We ground him he sneaks out, even out his bedroom window. We keep him involved in sports, and try several times to just talk but he doesn't want to hear anything. He also constantly fights with his siblings.
I am so sick of hearing other parents say well if that was my son they 'put up with it ... well exactly what would they do? Do I throw him out? Then how would I be able to sleep at night worrying about him and what if something happened to him how would I be able to live with myself, I know its called tough love but how do I get through it?
Now he supposedly ripped a few people off and are looking for him. I really don't know what to do but I love my son and I know I need to help him but I just don't know how, PLEASE HELP!
Do you want to appease your conscience or do you want to do what is best for your son? Because doing what is best for your son means telling him that if he doesn't want to take responsibility for his life and keeps behaving like a delinquent, then he's on his own.
Because right now your son knows no matter what he does, there is nothing you can do to stop him. So your son needs to learn that while he may be right ... living a life of drug addiction, stealing, dealing in drugs and all the other things he does is not a value system you endorse - and the only way to make that clear is to kick him out.
Tough love is a misunderstood word. It's more about teaching someone about the concept of personal responsibility and that their life and well-being is entirely in their hands through the choices they make.
Because right now you're effectively saying it's okay to lie and cheat and steal and kill yourself (and other people if he's selling) - you may not intend it, but that's what you're doing. It's called enabling his behavior.
Make it clear to your son that you love him and only want the best for him - and that if he agrees to get professional help (long-term rehab), you'll do whatever you can to support him. But you can't just stand by and let him self-destruct the way he's currently doing.
By trying to protect your son you don't allow him to live with the consequences of his actions. Getting him arrested was a start, but you have to follow through. Otherwise the message he's getting is that he can keep getting away with it, because no one is prepared to stand up to his behavior.
And the way you learn to deal with this is by involving yourself with people who are going through something similar. Groups like Nar-Anon and Al-Anon are perfect for that, because they help family members like you deal with the insanity of it all.
As a parent there is only so much you can do. You can't control your son or his choices. But you can put boundaries in place and say 'enough is enough.' Your son has to learn his own lessons, and what the price he's ultimately going to have to pay, no one can foresee - because the game he's playing is not only dangerous, but also potentially fatal.
You never stop worrying entirely as a parent, but you can learn how to let go and detach. What happens to your son is out of your hands - so long as he knows you love him and that you'll be there for him once he's ready to get help and turn his life around, is all you can really do.
P.S. What you're going through is every parents worst nightmare, so knowing how best you can help your son is Why I Wrote Help My Child Is An Addict
. I encourage you to Take A Look
at what you can learn by clicking on the link, because there is so much more to this that I simply can't go into here.