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Son on drugs, no job, feels hopeless

  • ladytrailblazer12 Asks ...

    I have a 24year old son that his senior year, less then a month before graduation he was in a near fatal car wreck as a passanger. with the injuries that he sustained he lost three college scholorships offers for sports, football and baseball. He was a star player in both, his dream was to play profootball. at that point he started heavily drinking and I believe got hooked on his painkillers, even though he says he did not. We then thought his life was going to turn around 2years later. he was going to start college and go as a walk on for the razorbacks football, but a month and ahalf before that two boys broke into our house and attacked him while he slept and he is now permently blind in his left eye and cannot play any sports again in his life, because one hard hit to his head could cause him to bleed to death. At that time he kept it together because he had a daughter on the way. Just after she turned 1 the mother left and went back to mo. because of her parents and she filed custody papers asking for sole custody and for no visits for my son, I beleave it is because of my sons race. He is half blace and the mother is white and her father father is a raciest. Now my sons hard drinking and drug use has started again and I am at my wits end on what needs to be done. any advise would be most helpful. he does not have a job so he has no money to pay for rehab.

  • Dr. Ari Hahn Says ...
    Dr. Ari Hahn

    Your story is certainly one of the saddest stories I have heard in a very long time. I wish I could give you a way to turn things around for yourself and your son. The amount of tragedies you and your son have suffered is truly overwhelming. While I cannot tell you exactly what to do, I will try to give you some ways of thinking about your story and your future.

    The first question is who do you want to help first, him or you? I understand from your letter that you are primarily concerned about his future. That being said, it is very difficult, or usually impossible, for one person to get another to quit drugs and addictions. Your job, as a mother, is none-the-less, very important. Here are the ideas you need to keep in mind.

    1. you will always support him when he is going in the right direction. (Admitting drug addiction, willingness for treatment, etc.)
    2. you need to be very careful not to become a co-dependent (support his addictive behaviors even unintentionally)
    3. you are willing to work to find the resources that he can use to help himself
    4. you might be able to help him see some areas that can become a positive goal in the future

    Number one, is not really too hard. You need to be consistent in telling him that you love and support him. Number two is very difficult. I would suggest that you find some support group that will help you identify when your behaviors are co-dependent behaviors. For number three you might need the asistance of a social worker or other local substance abuse professional. And for number four, you need to regularly find positive ideas and goal (such as starting a new family, learning other types of physical activities that can be like sports, getting to a place where he can help other overcome major challenges, or something). That needs a great deal of personal discussions and will most likely encounter many setbacks before you see any progress. The whole process is one that can be difficult. You will need support to keep optimistic during the many ups and downs that can occur.

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