How do I help addicted son?

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

My adult son refuses to grow up, he constantly steals/fraud and lies about it. He’s also a drug addict. For 7yrs. I’ve been supportive in trying to help my son stay off drugs, He was clean for a year. He has always stolen money from me and his girlfriend. He has done fraud with my bank account too many times and lies about stealing and fraud. I shut him out of our lives till he passes a drug test. (I am also raising his son/mother abandoned at birth) How can I get him to grow up and get responsible?

I am in extreme debt at the bank, have no money to pay bills, buy food for my other son and gson. How do I get him to see he is wrong, he does owe me the money and he needs to get a job and pay me back??

His girlfriend just had a baby with him. For the past 6yrs, she picked up whre I left off. She works to support the three of them and he does absolutely nothing. I babysit their daughter. He steals and does fraud with her account too.

What are we to do???? He doesn’t care about anyone but himself, everything is all about him. He’s a know it all, we are stupid. He intimidates his girlfriend. She doesn’t stand up to him at all. He has a mean temper. (he does not do physical abuse)

I am at my wits’ end, I’m desperate for help. How do I get out of this mess?

A: I’m so so sorry. This must be heartbreaking for you. You’ve lost your son to his addictions. Sadly, he now has two children who can’t depend on him either. Until he gets clean and stays clean, you won’t be able to find the boy you raised and you won’t be able to get him to be responsible.

Hopefully, he will at some point realize his life is going nowhere and will sincerely ask for help. Until then, all you can do is make sure that you don’t make the common and very human mistakes that lots of parents make when they are trying to help an adult child they love. For that you probably need Nar-Anon (Narcotics Anonymous).

Nar-Anon offers support and help to addicts and their families and friends. It is based in the same principles as AA. Nar-Anon Family Groups focus specifically on what is and is not helpful to the addict and provide support to the family. At meetings, you can get practical help and emotional support that you need and deserve.

To learn more, go to www.nar-anon.org. Please contact the local chapter of Nar-Anon and find out when a Nar-Anon Family Group meets near you. Invite the girlfriend to join you. Maybe the two of you can also be helpful to each other.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 19 May 2009

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2009). How do I help addicted son?. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 12, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2009/05/19/how-do-i-help-addicted-son/

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