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Message Board > Families / Partners of Addicts > Son Addicted To Xanax

Posted by: Bethanne April 19, 2018, 9:28 PM
27 yr old son is addicted to Xanax. His fiancee died 1.5 yr ago from heroin OD. Has a 4 yr old son. My grandson and son live with us full time now. He went to rehab last summer (prevously went to wildnerness rehab in Utah in 2015) - initally did well then one relapse after another after 3 months of being clean. Past 2 wks he's a zombie, argumentative taking money from my purse etc. He is on probation from car accident - driving with his son in car while high on Xanax and drinking. One misstep now and he goes to jail - or dies. Judge granted him back license and just needs to go to DMV - but I will not take him to get license. I've been driving him to work for 2 yrs now. When he is high he is unreasonable, chronic liar about everything and anything, argumentative, sleeps a lot, a slob basically and stresses whole family out. Only thing keeping him from giving up on life after his fiancee died is his 4 yr old son. I would kick him out but the concern is my grandson's well being. Have told my son over and over he will end up dead or in prison and god forbid he kills his son. Told him if he dies there will be no funeral - i don't want to see his drug addict friends at a funeral. I am worn out. He keeps telling me once he gets his drivers license he will go to gym and work out and that will help him stop doing drugs. I am not budging and will not take him to get license until he has been clean for quite awhile and changed his attitude. So basically I feel like a prisoner in my own home and exhausted from helping to raise my grandson (I also have another child with special needs). In past I have contacted his probation officer when i had concern, called 911 when he was out of hand. I think in some ways jail would be best thing for him but can't bring myself to call his PO now (has new PO that i do not know and he only goes to probation 1 x 4 wks cause he was doing well - but not well now). It is so much harder for me to figure out what to do - my grandson adores his father and is dealing with loss of his mother. He sees a counselor for depression - but the counselor will not see him if he is doing drugs. I desperately need advice . Constant stress. Thank you in advance for any advice.

Posted by: Parenting2 April 19, 2018, 10:12 PM
Hi Bethanne,

Wow! You have a lot of stress. We are all going through similar situations. However, having the little boy in the mix makes it much more difficult. I know some people on these boards are in your situation and can comment more on grandchildren. My heart goes out to you-seems so heartbreaking.

Strong boundaries and moving accountability to the adult child are the only way to go. But, what does that look like for your situation? With your grandson involved, I can't even bring myself to give specific advice. But, keep coming here, keep posting and sharing.

Take care of yourself and make sure you are placing your needs at least as high (or higher) than your son. You really need to take care of yourself in this stressful situation. I am glad you are not taking him to get a license.

Really, I am overwhelmed myself with how different our children act on drugs versus off. My son recently relapsed, so I understand that part. I just keep trying to take care of myself, and hold the line on boundaries (which he makes excruciating). In some instances, it seems a little gray area as I try to help him with his job, etc. Tough stuff.I know right now he's trying, but still has one foot in it.

I just wanted to offer my support to you and encourage you to keep writing your feelings out. It really does help.

Posted by: Bethanne April 19, 2018, 10:42 PM
thank you for your reply!! My prayers to you and your son. My heart just aches for my grandson who absolutely loves his Dad (my son). My son's world now revolves around drugs and his son. I am embarrassed to say i have gone as far as to check his phone messages and then contact drug dealers using my phone to ask them to stop providing drugs to my son, gone out of my way to stop him from getting into car with others when i knew he was high and the people were no good - confronting the people, taking pictures of their license plates and telling them to leave, etc. turned off his cell phone numerous times a week but he uses house phone then. Hoping these people who sell him drugs would realize his mom (i.e. me) is crazy and would stay away from him before they got busted. Try to keep them busy on weekends doing activities but as of last month this has not worked out well cause he's high. Some times i think he'd be better off in jail - if he refuses to go to rehab. Only he could get himself in real trouble and sentence could be lengthy (he has trained MMA for years and is not good thing with anger management issues and being high). My youngest has autism and down syndrome - and need to try to keep myself together for myself and rest of family. My other son also trains MMA and is doing well and is fed up with my son who is addicted to Xanax. Have had numerous fights between the two of them where i have had to call the police. Next time am thinking i should have my 27 yr old arrested even if he is apologizing and crying when police come . Thank you again. Any advice is appreciated. I feel like i am running out of hope.

Posted by: Mandm April 20, 2018, 11:37 PM
Hi, I’ve been through similar when my grand daughter was 4 too. They really “rule the roust” by holding our grandchildren over us like blackmail. It’s awful. I’ve put up with it for years and like you it’s like being stuck between a rock and a hard place. Last thing we want is for these poor kids sitting in amongst a bunch of drug addicts while the parent gets high. One time my G.child was left in a Chinese restaurant sitting eating by herself while her mother was in the bathroom shooting up heroin. Thank God she never got stolen. I’ve had my grand daughter live with me since she was 2 yrs old. If your son thinks his child won’t remember some of the stuff he does and how he acts, then he’s sadly mistaken. My G.child could tell me things at 3 yrs of age that would make people’s hair stand on end. Probably the best thing for you and your grandson is if your son gets sent to jail. I use to wish my daughter would get jailed but as much as she did, she never ended up there. How she didn’t I’ll never know. I’ve called the police many a time like you have too. They were really never that helpful. But I guess their hands were tied because my husband and I never had custody of my G.child. The drug addict calls the shots as far as their child is concerned and they could be standing as high as a kite and the police would still say their in charge not the grandparents. I hope your son smartens up or he’ll end up like my daughter with no memory of her child’s younger years at all. Thank God I raised my grandchild these last 9-10yrs now and she’s as happy as the day is long. It’s amazing how fast the years go by when your just trying to survive one day at a time being the parent of a drug addict. They don’t just waste their own lives they’ve wasted many years of ours too. Stay strong and keep coming on here as it really helps you maintain your sanity through this hell. Take care. Mary.

Posted by: Bethanne April 21, 2018, 8:20 AM
Thank you Mary!! I am going to try one last time to talk to him about rehab this weekend with his fiancee's dad and then will contact his PO on Monday if talk does not go well . I have to change something. Same deal yesterday - when i picked him up from work. By the time i got there from my job at end of day he was high and passed out the minute he got home. Kept checking to make sure he was breathing - his son would not leave his side saying Daddy is tired. So sad. Called Crisis Center out of desperation . Decided not to call ambulance after talking to them. Thank you again my prayers go out to you and your granddaughter - so glad she is doing well..

Posted by: Parenting2 April 21, 2018, 12:09 PM

Working with PO can be difficult because we feel like we are 'getting them in trouble', etc. My son would capitalize on this by saying, 'What kind of a mother would turn in their own child?", etc.-other manipulation.

I think what is tough---is that we are working, taking care of other children, handling family issues. My mother was sick and died. So---we are distracted and it makes manipulation easier. Plus, we are Moms & Dads-they work this to end, knowing we love them more than anyone.

I finally sat myself down, and really put into words a boundary for probation. I wrote out how unhealthy it was to create a safe place from probation, or to lie or cover up. I wrote out this big, long manifesto for myself to get all my thoughts out and to see the issue clearer.

Then, I wrote a shorter version for my son. He sometimes makes it impossible to discuss things rationally (more manipulation). So, I have started texting and giving him notes to read. Lots less emotion also.

We basically told him that we are never hiding anything from PO. And, that it is our right to call and discuss what is going on in OUR homes. We have been clear we do not want drugs here. I explained that he can get a job and move out if he wants to play the 'con probation' game. Otherwise, we have a right to have a drug-free house. Some of his friends successfully con probation-not sure how, they must be oblivious. So, I told my son that he may want to get a job, move in with these people if that is what he wants.

I occasionally check in with his PO-and tell the whole truth. The first time, my son was LIVID. But, you know what? I felt great. Because I felt like I had taken back my home. And, I let my son know how much I love him and how much I hope he chooses to stop using drugs in my home, so he can stay. Tough stuff-because he did have more consequences because of "me". Which, to be honest, I still struggle with, BUT feel much healthier not being a part of the con-game.

I know not all of this applies to you, since your son is a little older, but just wanted to share in case you are feeling guilty.

"It is what it is". If you use, then you use. And, I am not going to cover that up to help you keep using.

Just wanted you to know I am thinking of you (and all of us) in this situation. Only we really know the hell that it is to deal with addiction. People on the outside really have no idea the pain and grief we go through.

Posted by: Mandm April 21, 2018, 6:50 PM
Hi Bethanne, The last thing your son wants is to look after his child himself because then he’d be stuck 24/7 babysitting. It might be a good idea to write down what you expect of him and what your house rules are and give it to him when he’s home. Set boundaries and tell him if he can’t abide by your rules then he can leave! I was thinking about his girlfriend dying of heroin.....if she was doing heroin, was he doing it too? Reason I ask this is because birds of a feather stick together. Also the Xanax might be what he takes to try and stop taking heroin or he may be selling it to buy another drug he likes. I remember my daughter would take Xanax or she would sell it to buy heroin. Him living at home with all the luxuries is something he doesn’t want to give up. I never let my daughter stay with me. At the time she had her own house though. That’s lost now along with her car and being an A.student at college. She has lost so much like many on drugs. No car, lives with a boyfriend. Goes to the methadone clinic now and is trying to get her life back in order finally after 18 yrs. It’s all so sad for all concerned. All we can do is hope and pray that one day God will answer our prayers. I pray he heals all the addicted and gets drugs off this earth completely. I cringe when I see the legalization of Pot as I’ve read that sometimes it’s a gateway drug to using the harder stuff. Keep reading on here as it will help you. Maybe by reading these posts you will find they’ll help you come up with your own solution. I hope things get better for us all. Be tough and stay strong because we’re all stronger than we give ourselves credit for. We’re all here for you. Take care and God Bless. Mary.

Posted by: Bethanne April 23, 2018, 4:06 PM
Thank you so much for feedback and support. I have his P.O. name and phone number and will call if he uses. Or when he uses. I have told him this. I will repost our family rules also which I came up with several years ago as still applies today. I know his addiction is killing me or driving me crazy and I can’t take it any longer. I know he will go to prison if they find violation of probation but that will be his story. The hardest part is the effect this all will have on his son. But any way you look at this his son (my grandson) is affected. He has been drug free 2 days now since I told him I will call probation but won’t go to rehab or meetings. Thank you for your prayers and am sending Prayers to all of you dealing with this problem with our children. I need to find some peace of mind and stop being in fear all the time that he’s going to use and cause chaos at home.

Posted by: Bethanne April 24, 2018, 9:15 PM
I was wondering if parents of children who are addicted to drugs can suffer from PTSD - in researching this briefly i realized that many issues i have developed over past years is probably due to PTSD. Anxiety, high blood pressure, Instant stress response, emotional roller coaster, memory problems.

Posted by: Mandm April 24, 2018, 9:43 PM
Hi Bethanne, I just read your last post. I remember when I was in fear all the time about what I was going to do about this or what if I didn’t stop her from doing drugs and she died. I would look for reasons why she even started drugs in the first place and I’d blame me, not knowing what I did. But I was a good mother, where did I go wrong I kept thinking....the usually stuff that we torment and torture ourselves with. It took a long time for me to finally accept all this was out of my hands. What our addicts do has nothing to do with us.Its not our fault! I think when a friend on here told me the three “c’s” that was when something inside my head finally clicked. The three “c’s” are. 1) you didn’t cause this. 2) you can’t control it. 3) you can’t cure it. It’s so true! Only your son can cure himself by wanting to get the help he needs to get better. Like your son losing his girlfriend to an overdose. My daughter lost her boyfriend to an overdose too. I think this is what’s wakened her up. Hopefully it will waken your son up too. Your going to be alright Bethanne because you can handle this and it will get easier for you. We’re all here for you. God bless. Mary.

In answer to your last post....yes I think it causes a sort of PTSD. I remember reading something about that but forget the name for what it is. But yes, your right and it can make you ill. Stay strong!!

Posted by: Bethanne November 21, 2018, 8:39 PM
Thank you for the 3 C's. Easy to remember and very helpful. I finally did call his PO to report violation of probation. He ended up getting charge dropped by judge as he stopped using after i called and he failed his 3rd drug test. He has been clean now for 70 days and in outpatient rehab. I finally decided i did not care if my son was mad or upset with me for reporting him and i had to do something to stop the insanity. One day at a time - but so far so good. It's up to him.

Posted by: Sad mamma November 21, 2018, 8:58 PM
Bethanne yes I do believe parents of addicts and the siblings can suffer from PTST, the first year we found out that my son was doing drugs, got into trouble with police went into rehab, that first year I felt I was doing ok, my god after that something hit me real bad lost heaps of weight couldent eat, anxiety had to go on meds, saw a counciller to, like I have and so many learnt over time, we cannot do this for them, they have to be ready, sorry for everything you are going through, does make it so much harder when grandkids are involved, look after your self

Posted by: Sallyanna November 21, 2018, 10:29 PM
Hi Bethanne so sorry to hear everything you are going through. You are under so much stress and yes it's traumatizing living with someone with an addiction especially if they are unpredictable as most are. Throw in intermittent anger and violence and it takes it toll on those living with him and that includes his son sadly.

This will sound harsh but I would throw his a%% out. I wouldn't let him live with me. I'd tell him if he can't take sobriety seriously (as in getting help via rehab) then he will have to live elsewhere. I'd go to court and get temp custody of his son and set up visitation. You are a prisoner in your own home and he's the warden right now because he's calling all the shots. You become the warden and he needs to get his sh%t together or he's gone. He has way too much power. He needs to function on his own and if he screws up he has full ownership. I wouldn't be doing anything for him. No rides. If he looks dead call 911 and he gets carried off to a hospital. He needs a hard dose of reality. Sorry if this sounds cold but he needs it and so do you. He's a sinking ship and he's taking everyone with him. Jump on a life raft with the rest of your family and his son and save yourselves.

Posted by: Sallyanna November 22, 2018, 1:35 PM
Bethanne please disregard my previous post. I missed your post stating you called his PO and he has been clean for 70 days in an outpt rehab program. I'm sorry, Sallyanna

Posted by: BugginMe November 26, 2018, 10:54 AM
I think all of us want to protect our children so we hesitate to report them to their PO etc. I have found over time if we protect them now they (and us) just end up paying later. Things seem to get worse if you let them slide so I think you did the right thing. It may be better to get a hard dose of reality sooner than later when addiction is harder to overcome. Temporary custody of the child seems like a good idea. Your son will use your emotions against you and that would give you some control so you can protect the child. No matter what you do it will not be OK with your son unless you are doing exactly what he wants so stop trying to please him it won’t work. Guilt is a tool they use. Just do what you think is right and don’t get caught up in that. Glad to hear things have improved. Sometimes we have to be hard to make things happen.

Posted by: Bethanne January 17, 2019, 9:56 PM
sALLYANNA - Thank you for your reply. He relapsed when an old friend came back into town for a funeral and he saw his old friends and is making our life hell now at home. Keeps threatening to take off with his 5 yr old son and leave (who knows where he would go). His son does not want to be around him when he's high and is scared and stressed out. Called police 2 x yesterday but they can't do anything unless he hurts someone or i have an order of protection. You are absolutely right - so tired of being prisoner in my own home. Tired of his tirades and and insulting everyone. Tired of him not going to work - today he called an uber driver to take him to the bank and a liquor store. My husband had to come home from work early and he drank a bottle of vodka - passed out. Just kept checking to make sure he was alive. I called his rehab counselor to let her know what is going on since he is still staying his clean date is September. Another day of this and I go for temp custody of his son and an order of protection and then i call his PO for violation of probation - which hopefully this time will mean jail time (unlike the last time when he got off due to VOP). Was going to go for temp custody 2 wks ago but my youngest son had to go to hospital so could not go to court house. Then he seemed better - now its clear he's not.

Posted by: Bethanne January 17, 2019, 9:58 PM
Thank you BugginMe - All really good points i need to remember. I will reread all the comments above to give me the strength to stop this madness at home.

Posted by: Bethanne January 19, 2019, 11:24 PM
i called rehab to let them know my son was still using - talked to his counsellor right before i had to go in for outpatient surgery ( ovaries removed due to cyst). His ex future mother in law (my son's finacee died of heroin overdose) took him to rehab for blood test after helping him buy fake urine so he would pass the test. I could not drive to rehab there due to surgery. The 54 ex mother in law is in love with my son who is 28 and she is 54. She is huge enabler - so now he is staying with her with his son. she has divorced her husband and bought a home . this keeps getting more out of control by the hour Rereading all the words of wisdom people have shard and am grateful for the support.

Posted by: Sallyanna January 20, 2019, 2:09 AM
Hi Bethanne I hope you are recovering well from your surgery. Sorry about everything that is going on with your son and just when we think it can't get any worse it does. I know that has been my experience with my daughter the lows get lower to things I couldn't even make up. Its sad and pitiful at the same time....thinking of you.

Posted by: Bethanne August 26, 2019, 7:22 PM
150 days clean after rehab. going to meetings. Staying clean is work. Still feel like walking on pins and needles in fear of relapse. Remembering the 3 C's and reading everyones feedback has helped me tremendously.

Posted by: NyToFlorida August 26, 2019, 10:27 PM
Great News! It helps to know there may be hope for my own son.
My son was clean 3 months last summer. I know what you mean about egg shells, awkward.
Thanks for the update!

Posted by: sad eyes August 27, 2019, 1:19 AM
Great news just one day at a time, that's all you can do, great when they have support,