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What can I do for my adult son who is shooting meth?

by Ken
(Osage Beach, MO)

My 24yr old son, Jake was in the army for 3 yrs, saw combat in Afghanistan. Started using spice while there. He has been out for 2 years, it has not been good.

Frequently uses spice, but has since moved to shooting meth. Been through 28 day rehab, been to 6 day mental health, has a felony for meth paraphernalia, spent 52 days in jail.

I'm his dad, I've been trying to help him for the past two years. Jobs, place to live, help with going to school, vehicles. He is getting worse, seems like every time I help, it sets him back on his feet and things are going better, a female co-user rejoins his life and brings him back down again.

He can do well for small amounts of time, maybe a week, but then falls right back into it. It's the pattern. He does OK, gets a job, starts functioning normally, then she comes around and within hours of being around him, he's using again.

She also has similar charges an is 15 yrs his senior. I have called police when he is so stoned he can't function, i have called p/o many times, i have called 800 hotline for meth addicts, i have called his outpatient rehab counselor. Somehow, he seems to slip past getting caught or getting help...barely.

I feel he is in a rapid downhill spiral to death. I've tried emotional support, I've tried tough love, I've cut him off from financial help, I've kicked him out of my house, I've taken him to the hospital for detox, I've visited him in jail and in mental hospital. I don't know what more or less i can do for him.

So, there lies the question, from anyone's experience, what can i do for him so that he doesn't end up dead from this or committing suicide from the withdraw.

Comments for What can I do for my adult son who is shooting meth?

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Have you tried long-term inpatient rehab for dual-diagnosis?s
by: Debbie Wicker

Dear Ken,

You're in the very unenviable position of watching your son slowly self-destruct. Your son likely has a drug addiction co-occurring with a major mental health disorder like bi-polar or PTSD or MDD. Research has shown this makes the addiction MUCH more difficult to treat.

Co-occurring disorders are a specialty area of addiction treatment and ideally your son would go to an inpatient/sober living facility for 12 months totally away from his current friends and live style.

Teen Challenge or The Salvation Army might be programs to try and let them know he is likely to be suffering from a co-occurring mental health disorder.

Addiction is a disease of the brain and it is unlikely that your son can control it on his own. The drugs have changed his brain and his time in combat may have produced sufficient stress to enable another mental health issue to begin.

His use of spice was also probably very unhelpful. Spice also alters brain chemistry and can cause mental health disturbances.

You should get as much support for yourself as you can. Please consider going to Al-anon meetings and finding a sponsor who has helped their son recover from addiction.

Your son's situation is serious but not hopeless, if you get him ALL of the help he needs hopefully he will become the son you remember from before his addiction took over his life.

Good Luck,

Debbie

Similar situation
by: Anonymous

Hello,

I was faced with a similar situation. I served four years in the Marines corps from 04 to to 08 I used meth before entering but only a few times nothing serious.

When I got out, I found myself drinking a lot for a year than came the meth. It was re-introduced into my life from a high school friend. I used heavily for 3 years than on and off for 2 more.

Luckily, all I got was a dui and getting it was more than the push I needed to want to quit. First, you have to understand no matter what you do or how hard you try, if he ever ever wants to get clean he is the one that makes that decision.

Rehab is a waste of time and money. The best thing he can do is go to N.A for 90 straight days. He needs to cut out anyone who has any relationship with drugs.

Addition is a disease, he will always get urges to use and N.A will show him ways to stay sober through example. As far as mental health goes, I still take my mood mediation my anxiety medication. I see my doctor at least once a month and give him updates.

I hope he makes the decision to want to change his life. And finally there is nothing wrong with being an addict, it doesn't bother me any.

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