I don’t want anyone to know our son is addicted to drugs

By any mom with an addicted child

We have a son who is addicted to heroin. I wonder where I failed. I torture myself with those thoughts.

Watching my child self destruct is agonizing. I can’t understand what happened. We talked about drugs and alcohol with our children. We have taken away the keys. Threatened and punished, drug tested, put our foot down and taken him to treatment. Nothing has worked.

Was it because I went back to work part time? Was it because my husband travels? He was little league coach. I was on the PTA.

My husband has started to drink too much to mask the pain. So have I. I have lost weight and hair. My husband’s heart issues have worsened. I can’t enjoy my younger children because I am so focused on my oldest son’s drug problem. I live in fear I will get that call.

I feel such guilt for neglecting the needs of my other children. But I can’t seem to think about anything else. I worry what this is doing to them. I worry they will do this, too. Or maybe they will see and not follow in their brother’s footsteps. It is running through our family like poison.

The isolation is agony. We no longer have a social life or a love life. We argue about what to do. I don’t know what to do. And I blame him sometimes and then blame myself. We can’t seem to fix it. Why won’t someone tell me what to do and how to fix this. I will do whatever it takes.

I picture that cute little boy who I could not pry off that skateboard. My child doesn’t touch one now. The drugs haven taken over his life. And ours, too.

I can’t live like this. I need someone to talk to. But I don’t dare. People have heard, though. And I know there has been gossip. I think he may have even stolen from a few neighbors. I know they think I am a terrible parent.

I was out of town for a day helping my mother. But I am anxious about what I will find when I get back. What disaster will be waiting?

The cops are at our door at least once a month. I am sure the neighbors know something is up. Can’t my son see this is ruining his life? What if he gets a felony? We can’t pay legal fees any more and fix everything he breaks. We just can’t.

We all feel such shame.  Please, please please don’t tell anyone.

Note: This post is not written by a specific person. But it could have been written by millions of mothers or fathers who have suffered from the addiction of a child.  It’s how most of us feel right at first. It’s how you might feel right now. Silence is keeping the problem alive and moms and dads in the dark. 

Talking about it helps. It helps you cope. It helps you find answers and the best resources. Please consider finding a support group today. It will save your sanity. It saved mine. Get support.

Thank you Don Holman for inspiring the idea for this post. 


5 Mantras that kept me sane during Charles’ addiction

Published by

AnneMoss Rogers

AnneMoss Rogers is a mental health and suicide education expert, mental health speaker, suicide prevention trainer and consultant. She is author of the Book, Diary of a Broken Mind and co-author of Emotionally Naked: A Teacher's Guide to Preventing Suicide and Recognizing Students at Risk with Kim O'Brien PhD, LICSW. She raised two boys, Richard and Charles, and lost her younger son, Charles to addiction and suicide on June 5, 2015. She is a motivational speaker who empowers by educating and provides life saving strategies and emotionally healthy coping skills. As talented and funny as Charles was, letting other people know they matter was his greatest gift. And now that's the legacy she carries forward in her son's memory. Mental Health Speakers Website.

6 thoughts on “I don’t want anyone to know our son is addicted to drugs”

  1. Wow…painfully real, true and so close to the heart. ..this time of year difficult for me because kids are graduating and going off to college or graduating from college and we never had that joy..and the video rewinds in my head occasionally. ..what could we have done differently. ..even though our son has told us nothing we did or didn’t do caused this…thank you Anne for continuing to put it out there…

    1. I can understand your feeling cheated out of what is normal for so many. I remember grieving loss of prom and normal teenage high school experience with Charles. You can’t help but want that for your child. Give me an update on Brandon if you would. You can PM me or reply here.

  2. Boy, does this bring back memories (and not good ones). We experienced all of the chaos; however, we got THE CALL we all dread. It has been 5 years now with tons of support groups, counseling and feeling guilt and shame. I no longer feel that shame or guilt. It took a long time, but our family is healing. We actually have peace and joy and we remember the good times with our addicted son. We celebrate him. To all those families suffering, get to a support group, network with others, get counseling if you can. Remember — you didn’t cause it, you can’t control it and you can’t cure it. If you are a faith-filled person, use it.

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