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He’s Not Really Living—How Can He Get Unstuck?

boy crying alone in dark

1delapisa desperately wishes her son would want to get help. Can she do anything for him?

"…I have a question. 30-yr-old son has never gone for therapy, he has admitted a drug issue, major depression past 3.5 yrs due to being dx with t1D at 26.. In the same period he has lost 4 well-paying jobs, everything he owned, friends and on and on. He is now in my house for the time being. Spent a yr w/his dad. Sleeps days absolutely away. I feel it was a pattern of being on suboxone or something he can snort to stay up all night and sleep all day(s). I desperately would like him to want to get help. Physically, mentally. He is stuck in this place in his life which is not really living. I have reached out to Naranon, Nami, Drug rehabs and definitely Jesus. I like this site. I guess I keep letting my guard down if he has one good day. Then it's always back to his norm of sleeping and not communicating."

Your son has type 1 diabetes and a substance issue. I am not trained to address the diabetes, except to say that lifestyle habits are important to its management. The diabetes adds to the importance of getting the substance problems in check.

Your son may be using drugs during the night, you aren’t sure, and is then sleeping away the day. I believe Allies in Recovery can help. There are many small changes you can make that can shape your son’s habits. Take a deep breath, and when you let it out, go to the eLearning Modules and start watching from the beginning. Ask your husband to do the same.

There are questions in Learning Module 3 that will help you sharpen your skills at observing your son. To the degree that it can be known, try and get an idea of his patterns of use and non-use. You want to match your behavior to his patterns. Learning Modules 5 and 6 describe how. When he has a good day, you step in and reward (Module 5); when he wakes from a day of sleeping and is headed for a night of drug use, you step away, allow natural consequences, and remove rewards (Module 6).

This is about what you can do, how you can change your behaviors and your communication (Module 4) in such a way as to shift your son’s habits. Try small things first. It’s work, but it is rewarding to the family too, when a small change that you make unblocks a situation that seemed unshakable before.

Welcome to the site. The modules lay out the CRAFT model that is well-studied and that others on this site have benefited from; the Discussion Blog helps you apply the CRAFT model to your situation. Write in often: when you’re stuck, when you see progress, when you need support. We are here.



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. God Bless Each and EVERYONE Of Us,

    It just goes on and on.My son got high on crystal meth Saturday night as we , my family and grandkids and friends were at just a wonderful wedding reception. Love and caring were everywhere.Son decides to get more high than I’ve ever seen him. He was supposed to be my ride back to hotel. No thanks. Not only for being high but it just sickened me.So embarrassed. Sick. He ended up packing his stuff to drive 2 hrs back home.That would put him at my house to crash on the couch at 1:30 – 2am. Tomorrow is Tuesday, just totally slept thru Sunday, Monday and probably tomorrow. I told him I will never ask again to know if he has a love for meth.I have been called every terrible vile name in the book. I have to get him away from my house. My big misunderstanding is why he cant just admit he has a drug addiction. Everything Ive read,(and its been alot) or seen about meth use descibes him to a t. NEVER seems to be that moment where I can step in to speak.

    1. Your son is now dabbling in methamphetamines. You would like him out of your house and find yourself unable to speak to him. I imagine that when you do to talk to him, he denies the problem. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t know he has a problem. It is rarely worth trying to get a Loved One to agree with how you are seeing things. It causes conflict.

      You have had enough. Are you saying your son, if asked, would not leave your house? We wrote a post some time back about the two ways you can protect yourself…. Restraining and trespassing.

      You successfully got your son civilly committed. Based on what you’re describing, this may be something to try again.