Tonight, I am particularly touched by this comment, and I just have to write with what I hope will be some encouragement:
Thanks so much for starting this website. I am at such a loss as how to help my 27 year old son. My only defense is to pray for him and have faith that The Lord will ultimately work this all for the good, but I must admit that there are days when my faith is very shallow. My son has had this addiction to opiates for almost 11 years now. In the past few months he has gone from hydrocodone to oxycodin. He is injecting it in his arm. I am so terrified that he is going to overdose. I don't know what to do. He saw a doctor and received a rx for suboxone, but he is not taking it as perscribed.He lives at home with me at the present time. I am thankful that I have found this website and for your kind support. My hands shake as I write these words. Please pray for my son, all of our sons.Dear "D". I think that most of us are at a loss as how to help our addict. Especially, when it's our own flesh and blood. Prayer is, of course, what helps a believer to find the strength to live through this. I pray, every day, that my son will find true sobriety. I encourage you to pray for your son, but please remember to pray for yourself. Pray that you will be led to the resources to help you to learn how to help yourself. You see, as parents, it is so easy to want to fix this. We feel that we must protect our addict from harm. We cannot bear to see our drug addict child (or young adult) throw their life away. We fear they will come to harm, or even worse, death. I truly understand that, as I've lived those fearful moments.
The reason your faith can become shallow, is that we wonder why God doesn't fix this? I mean, if God is so great, then why does he let my daughter/son suffer?
There's the million dollar question. This is, most likely, why a lot of people give up on God. Why many believe he's a lot of "hooey". I won't go into a lengthy theological discussion on this. For tonight, I will simply say, that perhaps he is-- but not the way we want him to.
You see, with my son, I can see God's work in all of it. I believe that God's Grace was poured abundantly on me and my son. The miracle of being led to finding a drug treatment center took our health insurance, just happened to have a bed available-- and being handed a piece of paper for a drug interventionist who just happened to answer his phone, was all answer to prayer. I just know it.
That the interventionist happened to have an appointment within two hours of my calling, that my son agreed to go, and that this man reached into my son's heart and soul and talked him into going into treatment is a miracle.
The treatment center that my son stayed at (two hours away), provided education that family members were required to attend. Four weekends in a row, my husband and I drove four hours, round-trip, to attend classes. My son, and all the resident addicts, eventually joined our class and we had a chance to listen to them talk-- and we also got to speak. It was all run like Al-Anon or Nar-Anon meetings.
I learned so much! Dear "D" and those of you who say you don't know what to do-- I cannot give you all the answers. What I can tell you is that knowledge is power. Please educate yourself about the drugs your addict is using. Read. If you can afford it, please go to a counselor who specializes in addiction. Ask lots of questions.
You need to learn a world of lingo that you never thought you would. There are two very important words that you need to learn-- #1 Codependence #2 Enabling If you son is 27 years old, and living with you, and he is still using drugs then you need to understand #1 and #2.
Believe me, I fully understand how difficult it is to be counseled that allowing a drug addict to live in your home, who is using, is not helping them and not helping you. Oh, how I know that pain. Kicking my son out of my house hurt. I felt, in a way, that I had lost him to death. I felt such guilt, that if anything happened to him that I would never forgive myself.
But, that is what I had to do. It was the most painful, and yet what had to happen. My son needed to run out of options, and resources to be able to have money to use.
I am not saying that you need to kick your son out. I'm saying, please find professional help so that you can understand that the addict must make that choice to want to be clean. We can be making things worse, if we give an addict a safe place to live and to use. What we think is helpful, may actually be harmful.
If you are at the beginning of my journey-- new to the world of having a loved one in your family who is addicted to drugs, please know that you are not alone. Please try not to blame yourself. I cannot stress enough how important it is for you to take care of YOU. This is a very difficult situation to be in. What took me a while to understand is that I had absolutely no power in making my son choose sobriety. There were times I'd yell, threaten, use guilt, beg and even try to bribe my son into seeing what he was doing to himself and to us.
It is a miracle, today, that my son does not have a crime record. It is a miracle that my son narrowly escaped being shot, stabbed and survived being car jacked. It is a miracle that my son survived overdosing (and I never knew about it).
I do believe that God wants to help us. But, unless we come to him with our heart's desire to trust Him, he allows us to suffer the consequences of our own choices.
I will explain this, more, when I share how I made some really bad and stupid choices, in my past and how God let me stumble and fall. He finally brought me down to my knees, and I had to humble myself. My life has never been the same, since. That's because I became a Jesus-Loving Christian.
Had I not suffered the way that I had, I would not have the faith and strength to endure the pain of being the mother of a drug addict.
For that reason, I hope to pay it forward, with this blog. If I can speak to just one person's heart, and encourage them, I am doing God's will.
Heavenly Father, I lift up those who read this blog and who are feeling pain and fear over their loved one. I pray that you will give them strength and courage. Please reveal yourself to them, so that they would know that you are there with them. I pray for those who are addicted, that they would want to be helped. Please, guide them to the resources that will help them cleanse their body of the poisons that are making them so sick. You are the God of hope, and pray that you will bless them abundantly with hope for a new start and better life.