Great story. A memorable milestone in your life. As a mom, I have to ask you how you went from a drug user to a soldier? Was there any defining moment in that change. I ask because I am a mother of a 20 year old young man. A young man I have found to my dismay is using drugs. I am lost as to how to help and live somewhat fearful for him.My reply to a well timed question,
Beyond taking a 2×4 across his head I am lost in this struggle. (Please note as a disclaimer that I would use the 2 x 4 with as much unconditional love that I could muster!)
Susan, I went from a soldier to a drug and alcohol user immediately upon returning home. Although I drank before I deployed, it did not get me into a spectrum of trouble until after combat. It took me 15 years of trouble at home, 2 marriages, alienating my children, problems with the law, violence, anger, 30 jobs, homelessness and landing in a long-term drug and treatment facility before I could come to terms with my addiction and mental illness (PTSD).
Many factors may contribute to your sons using and degree of using. He may be an occasional user, a frequent user or a chronic user. Even if his using is only occasional you could get friends, family and significant others together that love him and tell him of your concerns about his using drugs.
Does he have a mental health diagnosis, or do you suspect he may a mental illness? He could be self medicating, if this is the case then it will probably be harder to get him to quit because he may be seeking and receiving some relief in using.
If his using has caused him legal problems or difficulty holding a job, then he may need further interventions.
Some suggestions, If He Does Not Want Help:
- If he/she does not want help then he will need to reach his "bottom" (12-Step talk for abject demoralization), before they will seek help.
- Enabling an addict will only increase their use and dependence on you (causing you greater stress and safety issues).
- Do not let an addict borrow money.
- Do not trust an addict, they will use it against you.
- Call the police if you fear for your safety (you cannot help him if you are injured or dead).
- You may have to kick the addict out of the house, even if that means they will be homeless. (due to stealing, violence, or other situations that jeopardize the safety of the homes occupants).
- Throughout let him/her know that you are there for them if they want help and spell that help out for him/her.
- Before you help, they must sign into a drug treatment program.
- Unconditional love does not mean that you have to give them everything they "want", only what they "need". What they want will only become relevant to him/her or you if they are the one achieving it.