Hello and thank you for your question:
We always have to take suicide threats seriously, but he certainly sounds like he is manipulating you. The problem is, if you do force him to either get help or move out and something were to happen, you would feel guilty.
My guess is that the therapists are telling him that he has to stop drinking before they can help him, and I doubt that he wants to quit. You didn’t mention what kind of pills he’s allegedly taking, but it usually takes more than 3 of most medications to kill someone. He’s also told you that he took the pills and when the police showed up, he hadn’t taken them.
He may be an alcoholic and may be using other drugs as well. He needs to get help for his drinking and there are free clinics all over the country. But he will only cooperate if he decides that he needs help. You are unfortunately enabling his bad behaviors and perhaps even giving him money to buy his booze.
Rather than get him into therapy, you should go to a few sessions for yourself. A good therapist can help you sort these things out while giving you the guidance and support you need so badly. You don’t have to go through this alone.
Remember this: if your son decides to kill himself, he won’t let you stop him. On one hand, be thankful that he’s telling you. On the other hand, he’s making you a nervous wreck and making you jump whenever he calls. If you get help, you can stop this “game.” You can find a therapist in your area that specializes in this kind of problem at Psychology Today. If that doesn’t work, contact the community mental health centers. You don’t need insurance to be a patient at those. You might also contact your state psychological association. They can often give you names of doctors who will see you for very little money.
I hope this helps,
Dr. Diana Walcutt