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Message Board > Families / Partners of Addicts > Update (not A Good One)


Posted by: YellowBirds February 3, 2020, 12:35 AM
Hi all:

Some of you may remember me from last year around this time.

My son is a polysubstance drug user. He started using cocaine and other heavy narcotics at 14, graduated to IV Ketamine at 16, and now at 17 years old he has progressed to IV cocaine and IV meth.

We had to kick him out last year around this time as he was using in the house and generally killing himself on clean sheets. We don't have the legal ability to force him into rehab in Canada as treatment must be entered into voluntarily at any age, even 14 (!). Not only that, my parental rights end at 16. The government has blood on its hands.

My son was hospitalized two weeks ago due the consequences of IV drug use. Blood infection and large abscess in his hand that required surgical intervention. He was hospitalized for 9 days. Surgeon said he's lucky he still has his hand... let alone his life. It's unclear if he will regain full function of his hand.

We have a great relationship right now - he is kind, respectful, and doesn't ask us for anything. He was working full time as a dishwasher in a restaurant for 6 months before the infection. Somehow he was able to show up for work every day (I'm sure the meth helped), though once he started using it intravenously it became a different story.

He's killing himself slowly and there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. He has never been to rehab. Flat out refuses. As he doesn't ask us for anything, we have no leverage.

Thinking of you all.




Posted by: NyToFlorida February 3, 2020, 1:15 AM
Yellow bird so sorry about your son’s situation. The past year must have been awful for you and your family to watch. My son started using pain meds and bentos at a much older age. He has been to a few rehabs (about once a year for the past 4 years, about 6-8 years total) and even though he has not been able to change his life completely I think he has learned a little more each time. And each time at rehab or out patient it has given him a few months to be drug free. Each time he did not want to go and popped pills right up the moment he went. As long as he was working, getting a paycheck, supporting his habit, he would keep doing it. Eventually he lost the job or crashed a car. Then he would be more desperate for cash. We did kick him out a year ago. He still resisted going to rehab. He was arrested for stealing food. Spent 4 months in jail for a previous DWI. We would not let him live w us. He went to a rehab, left after 2 months. Now has been living in a shelter getting help from homeless programs 3 months. Finally got part time job. I feel like it is a cycle he has had to go thru over and over. He is finally looking around and saying ‘ I want to live better than this’. The job is at a recovery place. I think that is helping his outlook.

In our case, as long as he was using drugs he did not want to go to rehab. It was when he had nothing that he would consider it.

Sorry I don’t have specific advice. Keep finding information about government organizations that can help him. Keep letting him know he has options.

Posted by: Jupiter2 February 3, 2020, 9:41 AM
how heartbreaking and infuriating. I don't have any advice, just sympathy.

{{{{ hugs to you all }}}}

Posted by: YellowBirds February 3, 2020, 5:14 PM
Thank you NYtoFlorida and Jupiter2. I’m dying a slow death here watching my son kill himself. Your kind words are appreciated.

Posted by: NyToFlorida February 3, 2020, 10:58 PM
on that note, yellowbird, I do remember a year ago my husband and I were so distraught over our son. we were angry, sad, afraid, our health was getting bad fast. I lost weight. for a month I came home from work and went to my bed every day. when they are at their lowest, so are we.
I am sorry for your pain.

Posted by: Sallyana February 4, 2020, 1:11 AM
So sorry Yellowbird. It's very sad how they hurt themselves over and over again. Thinking of you and your son

Posted by: #momfail February 4, 2020, 1:57 AM
So sorry you're back here YellowBirds. Our government does not offer much of anything when it comes to youth addiction, does it? That being said, success would not be had for my son if/when I force him to do anything. He's soon to be 24. There's a free program here that he can go to if he's substance free for a week and checks himself in. Not an option after 25.

It's so, so hard to watch our kids do this to themselves. I feel I'm dying a slow, heartbreaking death right along with him. Don't you wish you could bob your head like Barbara Eden in I Dream of Jeannie to find out this was all a bad dream? (You might be too young for that show, but I can't come up with anything similar)

Take care of yourself. xo

Posted by: YellowBirds February 4, 2020, 2:15 AM
Thank you all. Yes, I remember I Dream of Jeanie! If only it were that easy 😞

Posted by: NyToFlorida February 29, 2020, 12:26 PM

HI I hope this video help to know you are not alone.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqrMhtXOHRU

Posted by: YellowBirds March 9, 2020, 1:47 AM
NyToFl - thank you for the link. As much as I wish we didn’t have to go through, at least we have each other. We are definitely not alone.

My 17 year old son has now developed meth-induced psychosis. He started injecting again after he got out of the hospital and has been spiraling since. He’s only 97 lbs now, just skin and bones. There’s a desperation to his use, like he’s trying to kill himself.

Another addict from the flophouse where he’s living texted me to say they’re worried about him. A house full of drug addicts and they’re worried about him.

I’m not well. This is too much. I know there’s nothing I can do, and even if there was I don’t think I have the strength.

Thinking of you fellow moms.

Posted by: Sallyana March 9, 2020, 11:37 AM
Yellowbirds so sorry to hear this about your son. It's such a helpless sick feeling. I wish Canada gave parent's rights until they are 18. I don't understand their logic. Sounds like he had no discharge plan from the hospital which happens here in the US, although they may not follow through. I hope he gets back to the hospital somehow. Thinking of you and your family.

Posted by: #momfail March 9, 2020, 9:00 PM
Thinking about you Yellowbirds. So sorry to hear about your son. xo

Posted by: YellowBirds March 10, 2020, 3:12 PM
Thank you Sallyanna and #momfail.

It’s bizarre - there was actually no ‘discharge plan’ from the hospital. He was there for an infection caused by IV drug use, but there was no formal assistance to get help.

Apparently they let minors hurt themselves this way. I’m ashamed of my country.

Posted by: Sallyana March 10, 2020, 9:13 PM
Yellowbirds at what age in Canada do parental rights end? 14?

Posted by: NyToFlorida March 10, 2020, 11:35 PM
Yellow bird. Your in my thoughts. So sorry about your son. Sadly, in the US discharge plans are similar. The hospital and suggest and set up appointments for them to go to an outpatient program but if they don’t follow thru, there’s nothing the hospital can do. A few yrs ago my son was in hospital after a car accident. They had him on morphine and discharged him with oxy. After my husband told all dr and nurses he was addicted and to put him in the rehab unit. They asked him if he wanted to, he said no.

A year ago we spent months begging him to go to hospital, when he finally did, he was admitted to psyc unit, discharged a week later w 5 prescriptions to the street! He was offered to go from psyc unit to rehab, which he did for one week, but was still on so many meds, he decided to leave.

The year before that we were trying to get him to go to hospital rehab, he was having a episode of being disoriented. At that time I was new at this and tried to get him to hospital by bringing him to my councilor thinking they would know how to talk him into it. We ended up seeing 3 different people and no one had the guts to be firm and tell him to go to hospital. We were all too delicate about the situation. Waiting for him to make the best choice. Which he was not capable of.

If there is a way, find a place that will take your son long term (6 months?) and talk him into going. Start with the hospital psyc unit. Or detox unit. I know there isn’t much you can do if he does not want to go. Pray that he finds a way to recovery.


Posted by: YellowBirds March 11, 2020, 2:21 PM
SALLYANNA - parental rights end at 16, though treatment cannot be forced at any age.

NYTOFL - I’m sorry you’ve experienced the same circus. Honestly, I don’t think my son will ever agree to go to rehab so I’m going to stop pushing. I feel like we’re reaching a palliative stage and I have to learn how to let go of any hope. I will always believe in him, but it really is his decisions.

Love to you all.