Oh, my, how well I understand, and feel your pain deep within my soul. My son was/ is addicted to pain killers for years and lived with his dad and me. I also was taking one prescribed Vicodin a day. ( I didn’t ever take the max, so I built up an extra supply. I held on to his pills to help him stay within his limit. Every single day, he would plead for one or even two more. Usually I gave in, convincing myself that he would have to suffer the consequences of running out before his next prescription was due. I guarded my purse every minute of every day, because if I hid our pills in the house, he found them and stole a handful or more.
At the end of each month, he was out.
I would warn him ahead of time, then on the day he was out began the real manipulation.
He had a good job. He would complain that he couldn’t go without. He would insist that he wouldn’t be able to work without pills. I feared that he would lose his job. He would say that he would have to take his chances and buy them on the street. Of course, he knew that I would immediately think of the fentanyl crisis, and the young people dying.
So each month, I would give him pills, one day at a time, to get him through. I would “teach” him a lesson by limiting it to three. But they were my pills that I was giving to him. I felt guilty and remorseful, but a mother has to keep even her adult child safe, right?
It all imploded in on us when one morning, he got a DUI. He was also drinking, and I didn’t realize how much. He lost his job.
To shorten this long response, he went to rehab, only because his girlfriend, father and I insisted. We had kicked him out of the house. He had nowhere else to go.
I learned a lot when he was in rehab. Of course, I knew that I had been enabling him. ( Don’t you hate that accusation, when all you’re doing is the best you can to keep your child alive, and you really don’t know what else to do?) It is a horrible, vicious cycle.
While he was in rehab, I learned that the only way he could and would end this cycle was for me to refuse to ever give him another pill, or allow him to drink alcohol while living with us. ( He has no where else to go, so he would be homeless. ) When he was first out of rehab, he kept asking for just one pill. It wasn’t hard for me this time to say no. And simply say “ You would become addicted again. I can’t be a part of that ever again.”
But I had my supply and was terrified that he would get to them. I finally just quit taking them, turned all of my pills over to the police department drop off, and told my son they were gone. After a few days, he believed me. He complains of pain, but doesn’t ask anymore.
It has only been about five or six weeks. I know that he is struggling. He has no job. No money. We provide him with a room and food, but can’t give him money.
I’m curious. Could you go with him to get Suboxon in a prescription form? Or does he struggle with being addicted to that as well? My son is not taking it.
Do you have any leverage to get him back in to rehab to detox? It is extremely courageous of you to have said no. It may be the one step that plants a seedling to have him decide to get well. Let’s pray for one another, and for all of us who face this impossible decision when loving someone struggling with addiction.