Alcoholism and Drug Addiction Help Header

How Do I Stop Worrying About My Son Relapsing from His Addictions? He's 21, An Adult and I Still Can't Let Go.

My son has been through three 28 day rehabs and has relapsed several times. His first rehab was for heroin use and after that he went to a halfway house. He used, then detoxed and went back to the halfway house.

He used again and detoxed and we agreed a 28 day program was right for him this time. He went through this program and then came home. He was doing fine for about 3 months. He then started drinking and using oxycontin. He got a DUI in March and since April has lost his job, started drinking heavily and passing out.

He passed out so hard that he fell and hurt his cyatic nerve. He went back to rehab, in pain with the cyatic nerve and stayed 28 days. He recently got out and is not living in a halfway house.

My husband and I are broke and he is using the last of his savings to pay for this house. I am always so afraid of getting a call that he has relapsed. How have people found peace? I worry all of the time and can't seem to stop. Any suggestions?


The way you find peace is through accepting you have no control over your son's destiny and his life will unfold as its meant to. You then make the decision to let go and take comfort in the fact you've done what you can to help your son and there is nothing left for you to do.

Because by constantly worrying about your son - you're not actually living your own life. So you have to start living your life again and doing the little things that make you happy and give you comfort. That way your mind is not always on what is happening with your son.

Examples of things that help are journalling (getting thoughts onto paper is a great release), going for regular walks and enjoying the moment, finding hobbies you enjoy to keep you busy, taking part in transformational practices like meditation or yoga, reading inspiring books.

It's about making time for you again - and the more you do that, the more you'll be able to let go and make peace with the fact that what happens to your son is out of your hands. Surrounding yourself with people who can offer support and understand what you're going through is also very beneficial - so groups like Al Anon and Naranon which is for family members of alcoholics and drugs addicts is something you should also look into.

Your son is now 21 and entirely responsible for the choices he makes. You can't make those choices for him anymore. I know it's not easy, but it's something you're going to have to learn to do for the sake of your own sanity and well-being. And the more you practice and try the easier it will get.

Good Luck and God Bless.

Comments for How Do I Stop Worrying About My Son Relapsing from His Addictions? He's 21, An Adult and I Still Can't Let Go.

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Oct 02, 2014
My happiness is gone NEW
by: Joe's Dad

I am broken inside. Joey, my son relapsed again after nearly 18 month of sobriety. I know I can't make him stop, but how do I stop loving him as if he was part of my own body and soul. Its been nearly five years now and he's been to at 8 rehabs. He just has always been like a scared cat his whole life ready at any time to jump out of his skin. He has never cussed me out or his mom. He give the best hugs in the world but just can't stop doing the heroin even after quitting for so long. I hate my existence. I don't blame myself but just am tired of having to feel so many negative emotions. I love my son so much. I just can't understand why he can't love himself enough to not do this horrible drug. My happiness is gone when he is using.

Mar 28, 2013
2 years since my origional posting
by: Mark

well, 2 years on, my son is 27 now, he is off drugs and found a job, he also has 2 children, which I feel were the catalist to wake him up and give him strength to stop drugs.
Going back a year and half, my son lived with his girlfriend who was pregnant at the time, he was still taking drugs and drifting from been nice to being horrible depending on if he needed anything!! anyway one day his girlfriend who had had enough, beat him up while he was in bed asleep. She left him and he was evicted from the flat.
I accepted him back home but only after a week or so of calls to let him know that he was not wellcome if he was still on drugs.
He came home, his girlfriend had his baby boy and he spent 5 months sorting himself out with ups and downs at my house away from her and his son before he finally wansnt drug dependent.
He got in touch with his girlfriend and they spent a couple of days a week everyweek together at my house to test things out, ......after another 3 month they moved in together and there 2nd child a little girl was born. He found the strength to change, he got a good job and they have a new house they are moving into soon. At 25 having lost everything, he was rock bottom, his driving force I believe that sorted him out was realising no one wanted to know him while on drugs and the thought of never seeing his son.
I truly believe the drug addict , son daughter will go through alsorts from agression to overdose, but something will triger a change, but unfortunatly its always when they are rock bottom.
Good luck to all you parents out there, I understand what your going through, but being strong and hard with your child is the only way to bring things to a head, for your own peace, one way or another. x

Mar 28, 2013
Constent worry for 23 yr old son who relapsed again
by: Lisa

As I'm typing this I'm waiting to go to a viewing of my son's friend who overdosed on heroin and passed away a few days ago. He was only 22 yrs. old. I'm going with my son who has been in and out of rehabs for the last 3 yrs for heroin. He just got out of a structured living home, not by his choice, because the funding way up and not available. He was doing so well, he was working going to church with me and making all his meetings. Now that he has been out on own and renting from an older lady, he has relapsed once. But it is still relapsing and doing the drug again.

I can not get myself to stop worrying that I am going to be this mother tonight looking at her son in the casket and I will visualize my son being there. And as a parent, how do you live your own life when you have that constant fear every day all day. Even if you do have hobbies, or like I do, read scriptures and inspriational sayings all day long, you still have it on your mind.

I begged him to please not be disrespectful and go to this viewing high. He said, he does not want to do this stuff anymore ever since he heard about his friend. But I don't know if I can believe him. I call or text him every morning to see if he woke up. I text or call every night before he goes to bed and all day in between. If I knew this drug could not kill him (which I know it can) then I would live my life and not worry. But I can't stop. It's so easy for other people to say, just stop worrying he's gonna do what he's gonna do. It's not that easy. I know God has his plan for my son, but not knowing if I'm gonna get that call, is killing me. I don't enjoy life anymore. Just a month ago I was sitting beside my son in church watching him pray, and now because the system decided he should be better and made him leave the structured living, he's struggling again.

So many of these places say they want to help but yet they really don't. He was let go too prematurely. I think they need to be in as long as they have been doing the drug if not longer.

So, how do you just stop worrying about them. You don't. It doesn't matter what anyone tells me, I'm gonna worry that he is gonna overdose.

I wish there was some other "majic" words. But there isn't. And no hobby, no book, no meditation, nothing is gonna make me not think about it. I pray every day and every night and every second of the day. I've prayed when he was doing well, but why is it still happening.


Jul 26, 2011
Fighting for him
by: Anonymous

I am sick to death of waking up in the middle of the night worrying about my own son. He's 19 and chooses now where he will live. He continues to borrow money from his dad for (add outright lie or bullshit excuse) and his father continues to give it to him as a loan. As a (used to be) Music Major with extreme gifts and talents, his father has now sold all his great guitars, his expensive sax, took my sons camcorder I gave him (for a $30 loan). I know his dad is a HUGE part of the problem enabling him and in denial over his alcohol and drug use.
Not only do I have to worry about my son and how he is tonight or tomorrow or the next day (since he rarely calls me) but I have to deal with the unforgiveness and anger I have against his father who continues to be his pawnbroker and supplier.

How do I get through? I pray a lot. But not those flowery prayers, some rock hard prayers of protection, truth, freedom, and guidance. Prayers for better friends. I know God sends out his warriors and that His Holy Spirit can convict my son OR give him the forgiveness he needs to forgive himself and want a better life.

Ultimately, I know my son makes his own decisions and even though I can't be there to slap that pill out of his hand, or take his keys from him, I can only trust that my continual prayers will grant my son Gods power of mercy his own foolishness and stupidity won't allow. And I pray for his dad also. As angry as I am, I don't want my bitterness to stand in thew way of my prayers being heard, or my anger being louder than the wisdom God can send my way.
One result, maybe it's not necessarily Gods hand, but my sons own neglect that my son forgot to check his oil and his engine is gone. Maybe this is a changing point (I just got him this inexpensive car for college 3 months ago) and maybe this is also keeping him from drinking and driving. Guess what? Now I'm praying for all his friends also. Maybe originally based on my own selfish desire for my sons safety, it is changing into a real concern for all these young adults.

Mar 21, 2011
worry - sons and drugs and drugs and more drugs
by: Mark

I,m going through the same, my son is 25 and for the last 2 years me and my wife have gone through hell with the drug taking and agresive behaviour problems, notto mentio the money to fund a roof over his head.
I have had my son arrested twice now,the first time I broke down compltely as I realised I had no control or respect from him, this really hurt, the 2nd time I called the police was a bit easier, the problem is when your son/daughter is thinking straight again all the hardness you build up disapears and when a relapse occures the pain worry and shear dread all starts again.

Please can anyone help us with this revolving cycle of worry and dispare, I cannot funtion properly anymore and my health is getting worse with all the stress.

Sep 17, 2010
Brilliant advice!!
by: Sue

What encouraging advice . . . As a mother in the same situation, one almost feels guilty at taking this stand, but when given this advice from a total outsider, it really makes one feel that much better about doing it!! Thank you so much.

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Drug Alcohol Help Parents Q&A Archive.


FREE E-Course

"10 Essential Steps to Ending a Life of Alcoholism or Drug Addiction ... Permanently!"

This Course is packed full of valuable information and advice for overcoming addiction that you're unlikely to find anywhere else.

And if you subscribe now - we'll throw in a Special eBook that will help immensely in your struggle against addiction.

Don't worry - your e-mail
address is totally secure.
Your details will NEVER be sold and you will NOT be spammed.

What is this?
Add to My Yahoo!
My MSN RSS button
Add to Google

Copyright © 2013 - - All Rights Reserved.