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Should I Use Tough Love After 7 Years

Posts: 1
Joined: April 28, 2019

Posted: April 28, 2019, 10:16 PM
I am a mum of a 25 year old, who has smoked weed for all of his adult life. He has always managed to work but now he finally stuffed up his job and he is now out of work. My husband (step father )and I continue to bail him out , and keep hoping things are going to change.

He has lived in and out of home but currently lives at home, we have found bongs everywhere it doesn’t matter how many times we have said no more or you are out he has depression and anxiety which scares me if we chuck him out for real how can I live with myself if he kills himself.

Has anyone resorted to tough love and did it work? We have tried everything even recently spent time in a health retreat that cost us a fortune to change his behaviour and come off weed
Today I found yet another bong in his car it’s killing us, by the way it is illegal in Australia

Posts: 384
Joined: October 25, 2016

Posted: April 29, 2019, 9:52 AM
My opinion ... you probably need to decide what you want in YOUR life. He has decided what he wants and all the consequences that come with it. Everything I have read says to create your boundaries and stick to them. Things like no weed in your house or he is out. You say it but don’t stick to it. He knows you don’t mean it so he does what he wants. I personally don’t like weed and think it ruins a persons motivation and can do more bad things to some minds including causing depression. That being said I have known people who smoked recreationally well into adulthood and were able to keep jobs. I still don’t approve and believe it leads to a lifestyle that can easily lead to harder drug use. Maybe your son can replace weed with an antidepressant if he is self medicating. Not sure that is any better though.

I think you need to live your life in a way that makes you comfortable and happy. He needs to get on with his if he can’t respect your space.


Posts: 74
Joined: June 14, 2012

Posted: April 29, 2019, 12:45 PM
Hi there,

I think, you should let him face the consequences of his actions. If you continue enabling him ( bailing him out) he will never even think of quitting. Why should he. Let him have it and spend some time in a "drug free" environment for starters..... (I do not want to sound mean, sorry)

We used "tough love" with our daughter. She spent time in jail, on the streets, you name it. It worked, she was sober for 7 years (heroin). She fell off the wagon last October and has been struggling since. But now she has a job, a family, school and a daughter. It's a lot more complicated now for all of us involved.......


Posts: 74
Joined: June 14, 2012

Posted: April 29, 2019, 1:02 PM
here is good post from Lolleede:
Posted: August 24, 2018, 2:34 PM

Posts: 242
Joined: August 18, 2016

I am an addict in longer term recovery. My opioid addiction spanned about 17 or so years. I can say unequivocally that my family stopping their enabling got me into recovery. I have posted about this before, but my parents and husband stopped enabling as a United front and they got into recovery about a year before I did.

They told me they would support my recovery but would no longer co-sign my bulls***! At first, I didn't believe them. I really figured I could still get things from all of them because they had drawn many lines in the sand only to crumble under my constant begging and manipulation. This time it was different. I would call in one of my crisis's and suddenly no one was around! My parents were now out with friends, exploring hobbies they put off during my active years. Requests for help or money or food was met with "I'm sorry you are going through this, but I know you are smart enough to figure it out! I believe in you". Every single request for money, rides, food etc was met with a variation of that statement. It took me about a year to really know they were serious and that I truly was alone in my addiction! It was a scary place to be, but they were right... I was able to figure it out! When I started doing things for myself, it increased my self esteem and my longing to get better! Everyone around me was enjoying their life.... I wanted that life, too! I then went about getting the help I needed.

To parents/significant are not responsible for your loved ones addiction and not enabling does not always lead to recovery. Some will die from this disease. Unfortunately, like cancer, there are some who go into remission and some who's disease is fatal. Either way, not enabling gives the addict the opportunity to to grow and for the enabler, stopping codependent relationships will give you an opportunity to live YOUR best life!!! You are important!!!

Posts: 478
Joined: November 9, 2018

Posted: April 30, 2019, 12:42 AM
Hi adult son and welcome. My daughter is addicted to heroin and has been for about 4 years or so. She is 26. Many detoxes, rehabs, sober living and I think her longest sobriety has been just a few days. Always failed after discharge never followed through with discharge plans.

On 2 occasions she lived with me and it was a nightmare. In and out all hours of day and night, found paraphernalia in my house all the time, anger outbursts that seem to come out of nowhere. It was traumatizing and I couldn't do it anymore. So when she left for one of her treatments 2 yrs ago I told her she couldn't live with me anymore. It wasn't good for her and it wasn't good for me.

Has it helped? Yes, it's helped me because I don't live in chaos. As for my daughter, she is still addicted to heroin and making bad choices. She goes through periods where she wants help then she goes through periods of active addiction. Its been very hard to watch as a parent.

Posts: 132
Joined: December 30, 2018

Posted: April 30, 2019, 6:05 AM
Hi and welcome adult son, it is a very hard knowing what is the best thing to do, if you read posts on here, a lot of the addicts have said once there families did stop enabling they managed to sort themselves out, so some it works for others not, my 25 year old son is a meth addict( think it has to be the worst drug), he stays at my place, been in rehab 2 1/2 years ago, sees a counciller once a week, came home today and said they have suggested a financial counciller as well, he works full time never misses, but never has any money, so basically he is a functioning addict, I think if things ever got really bad where he was disrespectful, and wasent working things would be different, I don't give him money I cook dinner on a night for us, apart from that he is self sufficient, anyway if he was a real idiot to live with, yes I would make him leave, I have learnt in the last 18 months or so, he has got to want recovery for himself, although I do think he's trying, I question myself every day if I am doing things right, I don't think there's any right and wrong way it's all just to hard, go with your gut instincts

Posts: 341
Joined: December 23, 2018

Posted: April 30, 2019, 9:35 AM
Hi Adult Son, we are dealing with our adult son who is a meth addict. He is 45 & is now unemployed, in jail & will lose his truck soon.

We learned the very hard way that we HAVE to use tough love, not to help HIM, but for our own sanity! My son would willingly exhaust every penny we have with his lie & manipulation. Last year (before we realized he was using again) he borrowed a large sum of money for a business plan he was starting. He swore on his life he would be able to pay us back within a month "just a temporary loan" he said. Well as soon as he got that money, he lost his job (great job, high pay) because he failed a random drug test & within weeks he disappeared, changed his phone number & we didn't know where he was for 6 months.

He started calling again, in December - the cries for "help" were relentless. The threats of suicide, how he can't go on like this, how drugs have destroyed his life.... but all offers for rehab were rejected. This has been going on for 4 months, he is so mean, so abusive, so threatening. We've been called every single name in the book & been told we are worthless pieces of sh** and then the next day the calls/texts/voicemails start again. He can't even pretend to be nice when he's asking for money.

What I'm getting at is we have been pushed to the point where we have no choice but to use tough love. We tell him we love him & we wish him well, but until he gets the help he needs we will not communicate with him anymore. His brothers & other family members have blocked his numbers (he keeps getting new numbers). He's sitting in jail now - so even though we are offering advice & suggestions, but no money. He continued to make really, really bad decisions. We will not even speak to him now until he gets rehab or sober living and most definitely intensive psychological counseling... we cannot help him

Posts: 264
Joined: December 21, 2018

Posted: April 30, 2019, 10:48 AM
Hello Adult Son

As noted no enabling ie contributing to their pot lifestyle in anyway. And no money because even if it's not directly spent on drugs it frees up other money for drugs. And clear cut boundaries. That means no drug paraphernalia in your home.

7 years an addict, their entire adult life. That means they know no other way of life which is going to make sobering up tough because they have little to no sober frame of reference to return to. But people can change if they want to. Until he wants to change he won't. The pot lobby was/is very slick when promoting pot and making it acceptable and legal. But legal or acceptable doesn't mean it's not harmless.

Big thing is no enabling and maintain clear cut boundaries. Stick to them. He's an adult. The longer this goes on he'll be 50 with gray hair and have made no progress in life. The long term addicts and alcoholics I know wind up watching their peer pass them and leave them behind prioritizing work, career, family etc because even they wind up seeing nothing but an addict/alcoholic.

Continue research and come to sites like this. Keep YOUrself healthy physically and financially.

Good Luck

Posts: 478
Joined: November 9, 2018

Posted: April 30, 2019, 9:02 PM
We live what we tolerate and for me when my daughter lived with me Im sure there were drugs in my house. I'm not into breaking the law so that was a deal breaker for me. Also, her definition of normal hours were way different than mine. I was so uncomfortable and always on edge. Its a hard way to live. This may sound cold however it's true....If she wants to do illegal drugs and live that lifestyle she'll have to do it somewhere else. It shouldn't affect my living environment. I love my daughter very much I just won't tolerate living with her...Its too much and extremely stressful. I just tell her straight up and she knows.

Posts: 38
Joined: May 5, 2019

Posted: May 5, 2019, 8:42 PM
New to this site... I'm the master of tough love. when we discovered our 17 year old son was dealing drugs out of our home, I called the local police and had him arrested. 3 years later when a bench warrant was issued on him, I found out where he was staying and called the police and tipped them off. Spent 6 months in jail. Did people think I was terrible? You betcha!

He's alive today because of tough love. Wish I had a happy ending for my story for you, but he relapsed recently after 2+ years clean.

Posts: 368
Joined: November 16, 2017

Posted: May 6, 2019, 10:08 AM
Yes, tough love is the only way! For them and for us....
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