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Distraught parent of 43 yr. old adult meth user

Distraught Parent of 43 yr. old adult meth user
What can my husband and I do to STOP enabling our 43 yr. old son who is addicted to meth? He lives over 2 thousand miles from us and is constantly calling needing money for food, fuel, lot rent for his travel trailer, etc. He has every hard luck story there is and the latest he said he wanted to come home, so we sent money for him to begin his travels with - that was 4 days ago and now he won't even answer his phone? We've been stolen from again! How do we stop feeling guilty?
writerjp Re: Distraught Parent of 43 yr. old adult meth user
The first thing I can say is, welcome. You are in the right place. We are all here to support you and help you the best way we can. The second thing is, no matter what he says the money is for, do NOT give a meth user money. That is the worst thing to do. Third, it is NOT your fault. You love your son and you want what is best for him right? Pray and pray, do more praying. You cannot make someone quit that does not want to quit. You can be there for him and be ready to talk when he needs to talk but I would stop with the money thing because that would just enable him. You have to know that this is not going to be easy and I hope that he realizes what he is doing before it is too late. Let me know if I can do anything to help.

Re: Distraught Parent of 43 yr. old adult meth user
Thanks for the nice welcome. Just having people to vent to that are on the same page sure does help. Most of our friends have "perfect children" - LOL! Unfortunately, we weren't that lucky. Needless to say, I think that my husband and I need a support group that we can physically attend like NA, AA, or Alanon. Of course, I don't know which group would be beneficial to our situation. It is very difficult to deny your child when they seem so desperate.

Re: Distraught Parent of 43 yr. old adult meth user
Welcome sweetheart. It's a real hard place for us as parents to be in. My son is 24. I reckon I do enable him, I don't know.

My number 1 rule is no cash. I do let him live in my house. If he is out of food I will go buy the food. No money for my boy.
I don't provide a phone for him, cable tv or extras. I do pay the electric and water if he don't cause it's my house and the damage it would do in winter, well I pay if he don't. Sometimes he does. He's been doing better as of late about paying his way.
He had been doing really good on not using but he messed up. He's real upset with himself so I'm thinking' he will do good now. At least for a time.

I guess I'm not a good one to advise you cause what I do is considered enabling. I do the best I can. It's all any of us can do.

Thinking' of you and yours.

Re: Distraught Parent of 43 yr. old adult meth user
Hi impalacon,
To be perfectly blunt, you've got a long and painful road ahead. But if you're looking for a group, try Al-Anon. I've never been, but a lot of people I know go, and it helps.

There is nothing like the pain of watching a loved one kill themselves slowly. My thoughts are with you. I am sorry you are going through this.
Just repeat after me, as many times as it takes:


Re: Distraught Parent of 43 yr. old adult meth user
Thanks for the welcome. I would gladly provide our son with a place in our home (food & utilities included) however, he is over 2000 miles away and we haven't seen him in over a year and a half. When we wired him money this past Thursday, it was suppose to be so he could buy fuel (140 gallons) and start his trek home. We told him that we would not wire him anymore money in AZ. He got the money and called us once Thurs. night. That was it - now he won't answer the phone. We really did believe he was telling us the truth this time. My husband and I both told him that if he was lying to us and didn't use the money they way he promised, then we would NEVER help him again, ever! We really don't have the money to keep sending him (many, many thousands to date) as we would like to retire one of these days. I just don't understand how someone you love so much can be so uncaring. I know there are people who can just "cut off" their kids and never look back but I just don't know how to do that or if I really want to do that. I'd like to be able to "save" my son but I just don't know where to begin.

Re: Distraught Parent of 43 yr. old adult meth user
Hi mom!
Please look up Alanon and Naranon family group meetings in your area-they are online and even have phone lines you can call to talk with a real person. Both groups are wonderful places to find support and learn how to live with an addict you love in your life. I go to many Alanon meetings a week and one Naranon. Naranon does focus more on drug addiction and meth addiction is pretty much on the front burner these days but most drug addictions begin with alcoholism. My Naranon family group is about 65% parents (mostly both parents) of addicts-many are still coming years after their child has gotten into recovery. The rest of the group is made up of spouses/partners/ex's and even some siblings of addicts. The experience strength and hope you will find nowhere else. My Alanon meetings have many people dealing with a loved one with a drug addiction. Once again, the fact is, alcoholism often progresses into drug addiction. You will find all types of loved ones in the meetings dealing with many of, if not the very same things you are.

I'm sorry for your pain-please keep sharing, it helps all!

Re: Distraught Parent of 43 yr. old adult meth user
I will look for an Alanon meeting in our area. I'm sure there is one close. I am repeating "I am not to blame" over and over in my head - I really am! We know we aren't to blame but never-the-less, we feel so awful and I honest to goodness don't even know why. My son is a father and grandfather - such a waste! Hopefully his children or grandchildren will never need him - how could he help them when he can't even help himself? So sad........... It is really nice having someone to sort of talk too. I'm going to check out Alanon meetings right now.

Re: Distraught Parent of 43 yr. old adult meth user
I know there are people who can just "cut off" their kids and never look back but I just don't know how to do that or if I really want to do that. I'd like to be able to "save" my son but I just don't know where to begin.

That comes from years of doing what you're doing now, eventually you get tired.  It's not like parents, siblings, spouses, etc. just "cut them off."
It's just that, after a while, the sickness seeps into your veins too, and you have a decision to make.

Many people have lost their children to addiction, and it wasn't their choice, any more than the parents who have lost a child to a car wreck.
You realize that they are going to do what the drug wants them to do, and you can't do any better than that.

So you take a step back, take a deep breath, and tell yourself, I didn't cause this, I can't control it, i can't cure it.  And, unfortunately, you spend a lot of nights biting your nails, wondering if they're dead or alive.  It's a sick thing. But that's what it is.

Just soak in all the support you can get (like here, at KCI).
Consider your hands tied. You can't do anything more than what you've done.

But it is noble to keep trying

Re: Distraught Parent of 43 yr. old adult meth user
on the top of the message board is a community tab where there is a Family Support Forum board to go to as well-please check it out-wonderful people. Also, on the top of the page is the link to the Fun & Games section-go there and please post - Stan-sdsanjose is a father you will want to meet and many others as well. We all jump around these boards quite a bit and you will most likely find support and understanding from the recovering addicts here as well as the loved ones.

No, it is not our fault
We did not cause it
We cannot cure it
We cannot control them

Re: Distraught Parent of 43 yr. old adult meth user
Luv - thanks for the information. I didn't even know there was a group called Naranon. I will look for both Naranon and Alanon. I really think a group atmosphere would be most helpful for my husband and I. I am so glad I found this site. Sharing is a good thing.

Re: Distraught Parent of 43 yr. old adult meth user
First off, let me say Welcome and that you have found a great place to be. I don't post a lot, as it is almost to painful for me to dwell to much on my daughter's addiction. She is 43 yrs old and has been on Meth, I guess somewhere just over a year.  I to live 2300 miles away from her and only have phone contact.

What I do is, when I do talk with her, is tell her I love her and am here for her whenever she feels the need to want to talk to me. For the last month she was calling me daily and I thought maybe I was making some progress with talking
her into treatment. She is not denying her addiction anymore and tells me she wants to stop but that is as far as it goes.
I tell her, I have lots of options for her to check out, just let me know when and I will help. Now the calls have stopped and I have not heard from her in over a week.

I have never enabled her with cash or any other means of support that I feel will enable her drug habit. Hard, yes, but when I know that she will just use it on Meth, that is where I have had to take a hard stand.
She lives in AZ too, and that is one messed up state when it comes to meth. Just to much of it, I guess.

I read this somewhere, maybe here on KCI........and I say it to her whenever I feel that she is in a mood that will maybe reach her......."I will not help you kill yourself, but I will do everything I can to help you save yourself."
Sometimes she say's "Thanks Mom and other times she has hung up on me.

Do check out NarAnon, they are a great group for support. I have gone a few times, but like I said earlier it is painful for me to dwell on it very much, that is just me.

Also, a member on this board has given lots of advise and I visit his site often, just keeps me in check when I feel myself maybe weakening to my daughters manipulation. I honestly wished he was nearer my daughter....I would try to put her in touch with him...
I think maybe he would be one that may be able to reach her. Keep in mind they are good manipulators and know how to make us parents feel awful and maybe even guilty.
Here is his website.

Just, don't enable and keep checking in here. Visiting here makes you realize that you are not alone it this awful fight.

Best of luck to you, I am heading offline, ready to get on my knees and check in with God and remind him to watch over my daughter, who is still beautiful to me even with this terrible addiction that has taken over her mind. I will ask God to watch over your son also.

Re: Distraught Parent of 43 yr. old adult meth user
Hi Impalacon!
Impalacon quote
How do we stop feeling guilty?
I am sdmsanjose (Stan) and I am the father of a 25-year-old meth addict. My son Josh started using drugs 12 years ago and we have struggled with guilt and enabling.
This is what I can think of right now about your guilt question.
My wife and I have been married since 1968 and we have 3 children and they were all raised the same way. Josh is the only one that is an addict. My point is our way of raising Josh HAD NOTHING to do with his addiction. In the past and in my guilt I would ask him if he thought that I loved my other children more than I did him. He was completely sober and answered with a very strong NO. I am telling you this so that you can see how weak I was and how I had the false guilt also. I should not of had to get an approval from Josh but I was weak.

For several years I was like a hamster running on a wheel. I did everything that I knew to do and that was another bit of action that among other things helped me with the guilt. Now I think that doing everything I knew to do was a very good idea but I should not have had to do that to get relief from the FALSE Guilt.

Allowing yourself to buy into the FALSE guilt will only hurt your family and your son. You have demonstrated your strong love for your son now make up your mind that you are going to demonstrate great Strength. IMO in order to do this you must seek God. In my case my faith in God was the one that kept the fear of my son dying to a level that I could stand strong most of the time. Additionally, I stretch my weak faith so that I depended on God to do what man cannot; which is to open the right doors, set up the timing, and lean your son in the direction of WANTING recovery.

God uses people and may even use people on this forum but it is important to look to Him for the BIG ones.

Guilt in my life has been a lack of faith. I should know I have had a lack of faith most of my life. I hope you do not think I am pounding on you; I am trying to help you by telling you my experiences with the last 12 years of my son?s drug use and other family issues.

God delivered BIG TIME in 2006. God set things up and I had to turn my son into the police (my part) and he was court ordered into an IP treatment center here in Arizona. His treatment is for 120 days and they incorporate the 12-step programs. My son got his weekly 3-hour pass today and I am listing below the highlight of his visit:

Josh came to visit on a 3-hour pass on Sunday 1-14-07. Josh said he had read the book of Proverbs. Josh asks that Stan and Jeanne read with him some verses he had picked out that stood out to him. Those verses are:

Chapter 19        Verse 18           Discipline your son, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to his death.
19      26         He who robs his father and drives out his mother is a son who brings shame and disgrace.
20       11         Even a child is known by his actions, by whether his conduct is pure and right.
Josh with emotion thanked me for my strength and for having him put in jail.
Josh with his head down then asks Stan and Jeanne to forgive him for stealing and being disgraceful. Stan and Jeanne forgive Josh. Josh says he is working on step 8 of the 12-steps to recovery.
Step 8 We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all
Impalacon, I hope my experience so far will be of some help to your family.
God bless you and keep praying for your son.

Re: Distraught Parent of 43 yr. old adult meth user
Thank you
I don't know why I thought your wife's name was Robin

Impalacon, I am praying that you have a warm and peaceful nights sleep. Thank you again for sharing.

inkolb Re: Distraught Parent of 43 yr. old adult meth user
oh that is just beautiful! i am crying tears of happiness you you and your family! love, angie

Re: Distraught Parent of 43 yr. old adult meth user
Impalacon, I posted this in another thread -
You asked:


Do you know if Alanon is of any use to families with drug dependent adult children?

Yes it is of use. Addiction is addiction- AlAnon, NarAnon all address the codependency issues as well as help us take back control of our lives.


We fear that if we cut him off financially he will do the unthinkable out of desperation.
He is already doing the unthinkable - he is using meth.
He is desperate- he is an active addict.
Now I know you give from love but he takes from addiction.
By enabling his addiction, you are allowing it to continue much longer than it needs to.
Bottom is scarier I think for the loved ones than the addict.
For the addict, bottom is a blessing. It is a relief.
It is hard for you to watch but it is a relief. By the time bottom hits, we are so incredibly sick of being sick.

By all means, get to an AlAnon meeting. Learn from the parents here. You are not alone in this war.

Hang in here Impalacon. There is lots of support here- that can help you.
I see you are meeting the wise parents we have on board 
You are in good hands now.

Re: Distraught Parent of 43 yr. old adult meth user
Stan - Thank you so much for your wise words. I am so happy for you and your son. Arizona must be the worst place on this earth for Meth. I wish I could get my son out of that state and into treatment somewhere. Of course, from what I've seen, Arizona has some really good treatment centers that are free. We live in VA, and treatment in this state is not as easy to come by if you don't have money. My husband has even considered flying to Arizona, and personally driving our son's truck and pulling his travel trailer home. He has told us that he wants to come home but I think once he has a substantial amount of money (from us to make the trip) his drug addiction takes over. We haven't heard from him in 4 days and that is because we were foolish enough to wire him money to start his trip home. We have decided that we will not send any more money to him and KCI and all the responses we've received from REALLY caring people like yourself, helped to teach us to be strong and to try to stop feeling guilty for his drug addiction because it is not our fault! Thanks again...............

Re: Distraught Parent of 43 yr. old adult meth user
Theresa - I printed your reply so that I can read it over and over again. I cried when I read the words you wrote because I know that every word is the absolute truth. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. My husband and I are going to a Alanon meeting this evening. We need to take back our lives for sure.

Re: Distraught Parent of 43 yr. old adult meth user
Hello Connie and welcome. We are addicts, recovering addicts, loved ones and family members of addicts, and we welcome you with open arms and open hearts.

I'm very sorry for your son's predicament, and please remember: this is HIS addiction, not yours. Try not to get sucked into it with him, or it will destroy you too.

My name is Lori and I used to be a meth addict; I've been clean over 10 years now, after 13 years of active use. I made it out of my addiction by the Grace of God. I was 40 years old when I finally surrendered and sought help through the fellowship of Narcotics Anonymous.

My husband (ex) was my co-addict for all of those years, and when I finally had had enough and decided to get clean, he wanted nothing to do with recovery. After I was clean 3 months, and had discovered that there really was a better way to live, I urged him to do what I did so that we could fix our marriage and go on to live better, clean lives.

He wanted nothing to do with the clean life. I would have liked to have stayed around and encouraged him to get clean, but I knew that if I did, I would start using again. I just knew it. So I left Dodge and never went back. That was nearly 11 years ago.

Now I know a husband is a much different relationship than is a son, your own flesh and blood. But I adored my husband from the moment I first met him, and probably still do. However, I could not let his addiction suck me back into that lifestyle.

So I had to let go. That is what you need to do as well, as best that you can, because I know this is your child. But he is 43 years old and he knows what he is doing is wrong and is going to kill him, and he knows that he is lying to you and cheating you out of your money just to feed his habit.

You will not help him by giving him any more money, or allowing him to live in your home. This will not help him, but will, in fact, more than likely prolong his sickness.

He needs help, but not the kind of help that you are willing to give. He needs professional help. And he has to want it.

My heart goes out to you, it really does. Meth addiction is vile, and I'm telling you, that stuff grabs a hold of you and it doesn't let go. Once that happens, getting clean is literally a fight for your life. I hope your son gets to the point where he realizes he needs help, and then goes and gets it, because it can be done. I did it and thousands of people do it every day.

I found recovery because I sought it out and I embraced it as though it were my last chance to save my life. That is where he needs to get. To where he CHOOSES life instead of the certain death that continuing to use will bring.

Please stick close to these people. They are wonderful, especially the loved ones of addicts. I've learned so much from them.
So much
Re: Distraught Parent of 43 yr. old adult meth user
I'm sorry for what your son is putting you thru. You asked what you can do to stop enabling your son. Just that. Don't enable. Don't give him money for any reason. It's so hard not to feel guilty, but you really need to understand the addiction has taken over your son and until he's ready to stop using, nothing or nobody can help him. Drug addicts lie, they steal, they cheat the destroy themselves and everything around them. Continue praying for your son and let him know that you love him, but you won't tolerate his behavior. I have so much guilt for not being able to help my son. Austin turned 22 in April last year. He struggled with drug addiction for 10 years, the past 6 years was meth. Austin couldn't live with meth and couldn't live without it. He pulled the trigger to take his life after being apprehended in a car jacking this past August. I still feel so much pain and guilt, but I'm trying everyday to tell myself that I did everything I could for him and I did and Austin knew this. Please visit his memorial website, light a candle, read his story and share with others. May Austin's story give you strength to continue to love your son, strength to understand the addiction and strength to cleanse your guilt and know there is nothing you can do to help your son.
God Bless You!

Re: Distraught Parent of 43 yr. old adult meth user
{{{HUGS}}} Impalacon.


He needs help, but not the kind of help that you are willing to give
Lori, I think it is more like he needs the kind of help quite often we loved ones are not capable of giving.

It takes a good deal of detachment. It is really hard not to take his behavior personally when it feels just that- personal.
There isn't a lot of room for emotions when dealing with an active addict.
There isn't. Someone has to be the adult, someone has to stay calm, someone has to come in with strictly logic and reason given with some measure of compassion.

Too many times with the loved ones, you see a bit of progress, your hopes go sky high - if the addict is just abstinent, then they will inevitably use again.
That crash is so terribly hard for the loved one. You feel so utterly completely hopeless at that moment when your son, your daughter, your husband , wife, come into the home high again.
It is too easy to lose yourself all over again.

It isn't a matter of willingness- there isn't a parent here that wouldn't trade their life for that of their child.
It is what are you capable of.
Can you be totally neutral in that scenario? When you get the call from the bank that your account has been wiped out- when you walk in the door to find your belongings pawned- when you find out yet again they lied again ?

I personally feel that is asking too much - yet that is exactly what you have to do in order to deal with an active addict.

If when you detach, you get those feelings of guilt- as we all will at some point- how about flipping it in your mind?

Instead of it being a I am letting my son down- how about it be I am giving my son even less to feel guilty about when he gets clean?
K8 told me that in a conversation not long ago - and she is right.
K8 is a wise lady -
By setting boundaries, you are limiting the negative side of the addiction- and limiting the amount of guilt for the clean newly recovering addict.

Now you can do what is best and right for you - and feel better about it.
Don't be afraid to step back and allow those who are not personally affected take over.

There is a place for Love from Loved Ones as well.

Good luck to you Impalacon. We are here for you -

Much love to you and your family,

See also:

Parents with adult kids that use meth

Help for someone using meth over 18

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