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He’s Avoiding Me & Using At Night


1delapisa wishes her son would just listen to her for 10 minutes but he hides out and sleeps all day to avoid this. She is tired and frustrated and starting to dream of kicking him out while he's away next week…

"OK, tried to follow MY plan I'm learning through AIR. I think about what has happened since Monday and have to stop and realize it's only Friday!! The days are so long. Son was gone sat and sun and came back Monday. Decided after reading AIR comments I could be ok with him needing suboxone everyday. Monday he was on suboxone and was quite pleasant. he stayed that way for the day and went to sleep at night time. So normal. All day/night Tues, Wed, Thursday and today Friday are back to sleeping all day, hiding, so he doesn't have to talk to me or anyone.

I'm so tired! All I want is for him to let me talk to him for 10 minutes. Asked son why he does not take suboxone daily? Said he would get really bad being high like that everyday! Think that has more to do with Adderall he snorts. I told him about parent that has a rule of giving son suboxone and antidepressant every morning. I can see why that would work. He refuses therapy and antidepressant. How can I get him to understand he must get properly medicated and therapy to get well?

Know this is long, one more thing – he leaves for a trip next week. Bought the plane ticket months ago. I will have my home to myself, I would have time to pack his stuff, change lock and he will have to go. I would work with him if he could at least be open to medication, counseling, getting up, attempting to get a job or to just be awake. His dad is going to take his car that he cosigned on.

One group says kick him out, one says to let him stay. If he would only be open to boundaries. Thank you for any help."

It is hard when your Loved One does everything to avoid you. As you say, even 10 minutes would help. From what you write, it seems you are pretty sure that sleeping all day and up all night signals using behavior. You are not sure what he is using, Adderall for one, but also some kind of opiate. He occasionally takes street-bought suboxone. By the way, when used properly, medications used to treat opioid addiction, buprenorphine (suboxone) and methadone, level out quickly, meaning they may get you a little high on day one or two, but that’s it.

Your son comes and goes from your home at will, and won’t get help. You are getting contradictory advice at support groups you attend, as to whether or not he should remain living with you or should be kicked out.

You’ll know from the other blog posts we’ve written about housing, that housing someone with an addiction issue is complicated. Housing is a huge reward for sobriety, at least continued treatment and effort, but can also be a huge enabler, when the Loved One is using home to hide, not pay bills, and to spend any available monies on drugs. (See topics along righthand sidebar: asking them to leave, daybed and locker, home as a reward, no-trespass order, providing shelter.)

As you’ll see from reading these posts, providing housing is difficult. The family needs to stay flexible and provide temporary housing, based on the effort their Loved One is making. If you’re high, you are not welcome…if you’re on a regular suboxone program (or other MAT), come on in.

Your son’s diabetes complicates this, since, as his parents you worry about his health, and your son must deal with a debilitating illness and the possible depression that results from it.

If your son is using opioids, then any plan you come up with should start with a medication-assisted treatment. He is in real danger of overdose, especially given the recent rise in fentanyl deaths. A clinic will dose him properly and provide some therapy. It’s a starting point.

So for now, start here. It’s the low-hanging fruit. Provide him with the homeless shelters in your area on a piece of paper, along with the MAT clinics. Make sure you learn every detail about how to access both the shelter and the clinic, including transportation. The choice is his. You will provide a daybed with locker in your home when he is safely attending a clinic. The Adderall is a real problem. Overuse of Adderall has side effects that can look like psychosis. The withdrawal amplifies depression. We are suggesting you address the opioid use first.

You can change the locks and take over his room while he is on his trip. We’re serious, put a daybed and locker for him in your den or another communal space.

Your son sounds like he used to be quite high functioning. He can do it again. So, when he’s on his trip, write him or call him. Read or watch the module that goes over making a request (Learning Module 4). Script out what you are going to say. Involve his dad. Include the shelter and clinic information.

You are at war with the addiction, not him.



In your comments, please show respect for each other and do not give advice. Please consider that your choice of words has the power to reduce stigma and change opinions (ie, "person struggling with substance use" vs. "addict", "use" vs. "abuse"...)

  1. Im learning from so many. There is not just one person that I can get info from, so here comes another question. Addicted son is on yet another bachelor trip. His brother, my oldest son is bestman for this upcoming wedding. There was a wedding a couple of weeks ago that he was in. The mom reached out to me just yesterday – about how much she enjoyed my (addicted) son. He was so kind, helpful, and great to be around. Oh how I long for those days again…Made sure he was prepared to be with people with help from mom and dad, suboxone, adderall, pot. I wrote about this earlier. He had been in bed for days. No medicine, no money. I could not let the family down with him not showing up and being one of the groomsmen. This week is a repeat almost. Didnt give him money or help. Stayed away because every time he saw me something stupid came out of my mouth like come down and eat. Then it was fing this and fing that. I stayed away as much as possible.
    Hes not managing his t1d at all. He had to go to diabetes instructor to get free supplies. Said son looks bad, skin and bones skinny, eating bojangles, whole milk, donuts in his car. He sold some of his t1d supplies for this trip.
    I decided this week after his return Sunday,on Monday I will go to magistrate for involuntarily commitment. His dad will go with me to help with paperwork. I pray they would keep him longer due to not being able to manage his t1d and drug use.
    His brain is not functional to know right from wrong. Cant even think about looking for a job more less take care of himself.
    My question is who do I fight to get him put somewhere for a much longer time? He is really slowly dying. Or maybe no one has answers and I wait and pray for Gods help.

    1. Your son is away and upon his return you are going to have him civilly committed. Please read our other posts about civil commitments (section 35 in Massachusetts). It is an option but it is no way full proof. First off, civil commitments can’t prevent individuals from walking out, in many cases. The overflow for civil commitments are being placed in special pods in area jails. The jails are the exception. You have no control where your son will be kept. Also, your son’s uncontrolled diabetes may make him too medically compromised for admission. You will see from the paperwork, you will also need to demonstrate other efforts to have your son treated for the substance problem. Let us know what you learn as you pursue this avenue in Massachusetts.

      1. Thank you for your reply. My thinking is t1d non compliance and unstructured drug use are the worst. He just landed at the airport and will be here soon. I have made a breakfast for him. His flight left at 6:30 am.I did hear from his brother who was at this bachelor event that indeed son had to miss some activities due to his sleeping habits. The thinking behind IC is to just be a wake up.The problem is even though its been going on for years, LO never has admitted he has a drug problem. Four well paying jobs gone, all money gone, H.I., possessions sold, friends, apts, car ins gone and ex will take the car he cosigned on. Even his beloved guitar, gone.
        So hes in the house acting normal, ate breakfast and on to his reality, The room of an addict.
        If he would let something out that he has knowledge that he needs help and be willing to start somewhere!
        I will go back and read articles here. Its just been really hostile when he is withdrawing. I would love to be able to give him suboxone, antidepressant everyday, while he is going to outpatient counseling somewhere!! Hes just doing NOTHING and that is why I felt I.C. might wake him up.
        Hes already in bed and wont talk. It begun….

  2. May I just say Thank You!! Sharing this response with my therapist today. If I can get it together in my head to accomplish these things, I will be taking the 1st step for MY recovery and possibly my son’s.

    1. Wishing you strength and perseverance and patience with yourself!! Accomplishment is a big word. Getting there is about steps, and the 1st step is exactly the place to begin! We are behind you, 1delapisa!

      1. 1st time on here this week. Hardest thing I’ve ever been through. Son says he is ready to go for evaluation at his choice of mental health facility. And his way, his time, meanwhile sleeps here and is driving uber at night. We are not speaking. He has written so many cruel texts to me this week. Taking it hour by hour. Days and hours go by so slow while dealing with son. I was told his t1d could also be adding to him being so mean. No suboxone, adderall, meth this week (so far), we know that can make him mean. Just not sure what he wants from me. Probably nothing, just step aside, say nothing and let him do what he needs/wants to.

        Thanks and God Bless Us All –