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My Out of Control Son and His Drug Addiction. He's Being Arrested Regularly and I Don't Know What To Do?

by Rachel

I need some advice please, my son who has just turned 20, has gone completely off the rails in last year. He has dropped out of college, split up with girlfriend of 5 years, stolen money off me, been fired from his job, and lies to me all the time.

It was his birthday last week and I have found court papers saying that he was in court on his birthday, for possession of cannabis and an offensive weapon, he has been sentenced to community service. I have also found other bits of paper from the police where he has been stopped and searched and arrested on other occasions. Always for the same thing. Drugs.

He is not coming home at night at all, ignores my calls and texts most of the time, and is involved with some very dodgy people. When I do see him and ask why he is not coming home, I don't get much of an answer just that he is staying at various friends houses.

He has taken to sneaking back into my house during the day whilst I am at work, I can go weeks without seeing him and him ignoring my calls. I have read his facebook and he is openly talking about taking drugs and being arrested on there.

Its breaking my heart all this, I do not understand what is going on and why he is treating me like the enemy. I have told him I know about the court etc. and that I love him still and will not shout, but he is still absent for weeks at a time.

My friends have advised me to change the locks on my house, which I have done, I don't want him bringing these scummy people he is mixing with into my home, which he has been doing, as my neighbours told me they saw him.

I have told him I have changed the locks as I have security worries, I have not blamed him, I have said if he needs to get in, give me a text and I will be here. Have also told him he is welcome home anytime as he is loved.

Maybe I am not being tough enough, but I don't want to push him away. I really do not know what to do for the best?


Hi Rachel

The sad reality is that there isn't much you can do. If your son doesn't want to change his destructive behaviour, nothing you say or do will make much of a difference.

You see, overcoming drug addiction and all its related delinquent behaviour like stealing, requires the desire to do so. And until your son develops that desire, he's simply going to carry on.

The only way your son is likely to change is once the consequences of his current addictive and destructive choices becomes bad enough - that he reaches his own 'bottom' and from there realises he needs to turn his life around.

So you need to make sure you allow him to take full responsibility and be totally accountable for all his decisions, no matter how bad a position they end up putting him in. And if that means he has to sit in jail for any length of time, so be it.

Unfortunately there is no easier way. You've done the right thing by changing the locks. But I think you also need to be totally clear with your son how you feel about his behaviour and what your boundaries are in relation to those. Your son needs to know you're not going to protect him or be the easy way out for him if he gets himself into trouble.

Hopefully at some point he realises what he's doing and makes the decision to change, with professional help if need be. But until that point, you just have to let him learn his lessons and be accountable for the choices he makes, however bad they turn out to be.

As much as you want to protect him, we each have our destiny to fufill and learn our lessons from life, whatever they may be. So you have to learn how to become healthily detached so your son's behaviour doesn't derail you from your own life and happiness.

Best of Luck

Comments for My Out of Control Son and His Drug Addiction. He's Being Arrested Regularly and I Don't Know What To Do?

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Aug 22, 2012
in the same boat
by: Anonymous

I am in the same boat my 19yr old nephew is a nightmare. He has driven my sister to alchol. He does ok for a while then he is back to smoking pot hanging out all night hanging out with gang members. He is tearing my sister apart. Letting go is the hardest thing. I watched my grandmother die of a broken heart over her awful kids, I wish there were support groups out there for this kind of grief.

Jul 28, 2012
My son has gone off the rails
by: Anonymous

My son is almost 19 yrs old. He has had everything, I split with his Dad when he was 6 because his Dad was an alcoholic and could be violent. My son was a lovely lad and I was so proud of him. He left school had a job passed his driving test and was excelling in martial arts representing his country. During the last year hehas lost two good jobs, written off a brand new car, tried to hang himself, been in a secure unit, been in trouble with the police, taken drugs, smashed my house up and is up to his eyes in debt. I have paid his debts off many times but he only runs them up again. In the last year I have paid approx £8000 to try and sort him out. He has constantly stolen from me,from my bank account and home and tried to break into my safe. He constantly tells lies and I don't know how we have got to this. I told him to leave, I am frightened of what he is capable of. I constantly worry about him he is either going to end up in prison, in hospital or in a morgue. It's breaking my heart I love him but right now I don't know him and don't like him. It makes me feel life isn't worth living I have no one but him he has been my life.

Jun 19, 2011
I am done
by: Anonymous

My son showed up at my house last summer, which was a year ago, desolate and on drugs. He is 20 now. He got a year clean and sober last month-but when I traveled to see him get that first year-he was hostile and hateful-and after I got home-would not return my calls. Right now, it is 5 in the morning-and I know he is using and insane again, because he dials my number but will not talk. There is just this eerie background music about how I let him down. Upon trying to reach him-his cell phone is disconnected.

I am in recovery for alcoholism myself. I can either spiral down worrying about him-or not. I am choosing to detach this time. He picks summer, because that is when I am not in college-working hard to get my degree. Last summer he came here and tried to overdose on my couch (it is all my fault-you see). The whole summer was a nightmare-chasing him around until he got into a rehab facility. I literally was so stressed upon returning to school after the summer-I became ill-and barely passed my classes. Now it is summer again, and I have a strong feeling he has relapsed. And you know what I am going to do? Enjoy my summer and work on regaining my health. No more insanity for me!

Mar 30, 2011
My son is off the rails too!
by: Cathy

I sympathise with Rachel we are going through the same thing at the moment. My son is 17 and has started to get into trouble with the police he is in court for the second time in a month im not sure what the sentence will be this time but in some ways I wish they would lock him up for a bit so he cant hurt himself or anyone else. I believe hes been too spoilt and had everything easy he now is not allowed home and all his possesions have either been stolen or sold to pay the dealer.I accept that I have been too soft on him in the past but I cant change that and only hope he comes through it still sane . He never used to be an aggressive lad at all but the drinking and drug taking have changed his personality.

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