Son has drug addiction problem?

by Claudia

I am the parent of a 25 year old adult male that has a drug addition problem. He lives with my ex-husband. He is currently seeing a doctor to get suboxone and has had several relapses.

He has run out of money is his savings to pay is medical bills which are very expensive and his father has assumed the responsibility of paying his bills for him. This is financially strapping his family and he is now turning to me for financial support to help pay my adult child’s bills for him.

I don’t know what to do. I want to help but I feel that paying his bills is enabling the situation. My adult child has a job but seems to never have money of his own.

It is a hard reality for any parent to let their child suffer but I feel that his father keeps padding his fall and he won’t want to get better if someone else his paying all his expenses.

I need advice PLEASE!

Assess Situation

by: Ned Wicker

Dear Claudia,

That is a difficult call for you to make. On the one hand, you want to do your best to help your son. On the other hand, your best might be part of the problem and not the solution.

What I am hearing, and I may be mistaken, is your son needs to take responsibility for his own actions, get back into treatment and do his part.

Other than taking the Suboxone, is he active in group?

Is he working a program?

His drug treatment is a reasonable, short-term solution to help with the withdrawal, but other than taking a pill to feel better, he has to do his work too. I am getting the impression that he sees the doctor for his meds, but isn’t doing anything else.

I would give Al-Anon a call and allow them to help you. You need emotional support and some guidance here, and I believe Al-Anon is the right place to receive that. There are other moms in a similar situation. They understand and they will share their story with you.

Not knowing any of his other medical needs, it’s difficult to determine exactly what should be done. Your ex has made a choice to help, but enabling bad decisions and turning your back on the real issues isn’t helping.

My recommendation is for you to take a long look at the situation, assess where your son is move forward based on real need and not emotion.


by: Claudia

Thank you for the advice. That makes a lot of sense. I know that he has fought going to groups
in the past. He says he just needs the suboxone
and he can do it himself. And of course says he
is not that bad and the groups are a waste if time.

However, with his latest relapse, he agreed to go if his girlfriend went along. He also has some
social anxiety that hold him back from participating willingly in group therapy. Since,
he agreed to to that, I think he may have attend a few sessions, but the girlfriend left him again and he says he has a new girlfriend now.

I’m not sure she even knows about his problem yet or if she is also part of the problem. I do think he quit going though.

I will look further into his situation and contact Alanon. Thanks for taking the time to respond. It is very much appreciated. I didn’t really think anyone would even take an interest. I really helps!!!!

Other groups

by: Claudia

I have looked into Al-anon. I am finding it
to be religion based. I know from experience
that my son will and has turned away from
it because of the religion aspect. Are there
any non religion based programs that I could

AA is NOT Religious

by: Ned Wicker

Dear Claudia,

Alcoholics Anonymous, is not supposed to be religion based at all. Al-Anon, likewise, is NOT a religious organization. There is reference to a “power greater than ourselves,” and “God, as we understood him,” but there is no doctrine, no religious instruction and no worship of any kind, other than perhaps the Serenity Prayer.

I used to tell people in groups that they could focus on something bigger, something outside of themselves. They didn’t have to get into any religious mode at all. That’s the beauty of the 12 Step program. If you go to a meeting and they are turning it into a religious meeting, find another meeting. Some religious-minded people have arrested the original intent of AA and turned it into something else. That’s not the way it is supposed to work.

As a chaplain, I am very comfortable with this because I have complete confidence and faith in God, who will show love and compassion to all, without the need for reciprocation. He will care for your son regardless. However, you son sounds like he is lining up all of his excuses. He can’t get help because of this and that. Encourage him to do it anyway. The biggest encumbrances to his getting better are those excuses he makes.

Understand that the addicted mind wants to use, so his reasoning is not as it should be. He can’t get it all his own way, regardless of what girlfriend is in his life. You can help by keeping him accountable for his behavior. He needs to make the decision to step up and take care of business and learn to do it without the crutch of suboxone and the girl du jour. Keep trying and find an Al-Anon and AA meeting that is true to the original model.

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