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Message Board > Families / Partners of Addicts > Advice Needed

Posted by: emz May 18, 2019, 6:58 AM
I've got 6 children that range from the age of 4 and 19, The problem is with my son who's recently turned 16. I found out last October that he was smoking cannabis so I grounded him stopped his allowances etc as time went on he's continued to smoke it and he's now started stealing to fund his habit and no matter what I do nothing changes. Yesterday I discovered that my 11 year old sons birthday money has been stolen from my purse, the amounts are getting greater. He denies he's stolen anything and I feel like I'm going around in circles. My other children are suffering because of his choices, he's stolen off everyone of his siblings and myself and his dad. It's like he doesn't care and he's got no coincience. I'm in the UK and he's currently doing his GCSEs. I can't kick him out cause he's just a child.... Please someone guide me what should I do?

Posted by: NyToFlorida May 18, 2019, 10:40 AM
Start finding help for yourself. Search for all community services that can help you with counciling. While doing that you will find information on how to help him, and help you to set up family boundaries. Also check out Meant to help the addict, but they also have a lot of information for family. There is a workbook you can purchase. I think there is a UK website. Sometimes when we take care of our selves by setting up boundaries, they start to turn around too. You need too protect your other children from being taken advantage of. Don’t be afraid of being too hard on him. One regret we all have here is that we wish we were harder on our addict as soon as we knew about the addiction , instead of waiting for it to work out on its own. 6 or more years later our son is still in active addiction. There has been many rehabs and short periods of recovery, followed by relapse. Each year his life and choices are getting worse. We have gotten to the point where we can’t help him any more. Emotionally, financially, physically, we are exhausted.

Your goal is to make him be independent and responsible for his choices.

Posted by: Sallyanna May 18, 2019, 11:55 AM
Welcome emz and it's good you are reaching out for support. Great post and info from NTF. I would just like to add a few thoughts. He needs to learn (NOW while still young) there are consequences for not following the rules. Tell him there is a NO TOLERANCE to stealing and the next time he chooses (emphasis on 'chooses') you will call the police and have him arrested and mean it. Consistency is key. Also NO TOLERANCE to drug use and drug test him once per week. If drugs are being used he's off to treatment.

My 26 year old daughter started with pot at 14 and we were not strict enough (in hindsight) and now she's got a full blown IV heroin addiction and her life is 'off the rails' to put it mildly. It gets worse and worse. Its taken over and ruins everything. Addiction is a parasite it lives off of and destroys its host and affects the whole family. If I could go back in time I would do things A LOT differently. I'd have NO TOLERANCE and be much more knowledge about the progression of addiction and how it destroys lives.

Posted by: YellowBirds May 18, 2019, 9:12 PM

Welcome to the board, sorry you are going through this. My son is 16 as well. He started marijuana when he was 14 and quickly advanced to cocaine (and other narcotics). My son didn't steal from us on marijuana, but he stole from us on the harder drugs. The drive to use is much stronger.

Is it possible to give your son a urine test? I would check to make sure it is just marijuana he is using. I don't mean to frighten you, but it's important to know what he's using... especially if he's stealing from you to pay for it.

I purchased urine tests at a store in my area. If you google "urine drug test" with your postal code you should be able to find something similar.

Posted by: Sallyanna May 18, 2019, 11:40 PM
I think too it's very hard to manage and enforce another person especially a teenager. It sounds easy but in reality it's not. Its hard to manage anything in chaos and trauma and when it's your own child it's very difficult to be objective. At the same time, we are trying to care for other children/family and function at our jobs plus keep our own sanity. Top it off with spouses that don't agree and it's very complex. Its very hard and I feel for you and Yellowbirds.

Posted by: Alexandra’s Mom May 20, 2019, 10:09 AM
Hello Emz,
Welcome to the boards. I am rather new here myself. My 21 year old daughter just got out of a 90 day stay in jail as she thought that she could still use while on probation. It was her dad and I that dragged her kicking and screaming to see her PO as she knew she was going to be violated again. The best thing you can do is hold him accountable and set firm rules and stick to them. He is young and can still turn it all around.

Welcome again and this is a great place to come to get advice it is a wonderful community of people that understand what you are going through.