ADHD and Addiction

This topic contains 5 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  JBoom 2 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #90394

    sharon2610
    Participant

    I am really struggling with my 24 year old son. He has ADHD, Tourettes and a Social Communication Disorder. He finally got a job about a year and a half ago with my partner but he has had to let him go as he was phoning in sick on a Monday and when he did go in he wasn’t able to work properly as he was too hungover. He drinks from Friday night all through the weekend (it was every night but I had to ban him from bringing alcohol into the house during the week). Prior to this he used to smoke Cannabis on a daily basis but managed to get himself of it, but only to replace it with alcohol. He won’t accept that this is ruining his life, his job and his relationships. Everything is my fault and when he has been drinking he gets rude and abusive. He won’t accept any responsibility for his own actions. I spend the weekends at my partners and when I come back on a Monday morning or if I pop back during the weekend he is always heavily intoxicated. He leaves the oven on, back door unlocked, has no idea what he is doing or why. Last week I came back to stab marks in his bedroom door. He didn’t remember having a knife in his hand or why he did it. He smokes in his room, something I keep asking him not to do and when drunk will drop the still lit roll ups on his bed or his floor. I am at my wits end as to what to do. Nothing I say to him seems to get through. He has just started a new job and was very excited about it, I lent him the money to buy a bike to get to work and today I came home to find him still asleep in bed. He was too hungover to go in.

  • #90427

    JBoom
    Participant

    At 24, he needs to be motivated to improve for any improvements to be possible. You can’t force it. It’s no longer under your control. But you can stop enabling him. How is he paying for drugs and alcohol without a job? Why is he allowed to live in your house and show such disrespect?

    It’s true, assuming he has ADHD, that life is more challenging. However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible or that he should get a free pass. Available treatments are very effective when you work them. Cut him off (at least financially, even if you let him stay in the house) until he’s shown over a several month period that he’s working on treatment and self improvement. Holding his hand is only encouraging him to do nothing.

    Or, accept that this is your reality now. He has no reason to change.

    I was him until the last family member booted me out. It’s the most loving thing they ever did. Yeah, I hated them at the time, but once I got on my feet I realized it was just what I needed.

  • #90574

    sharon2610
    Participant

    Thank you for your reply to my post JBoo. You are saying what others have said and that I should boot him out, but he’s my son and it doesn’t sit well with me but again I agree with you and have said the same myself…..I am enabling him to continue with this lifestyle and be disrespectful to me. I don’t feel I can win either way. He is working again, which is how he can pay for his alcohol, although when not working or when he’s spent everything (which is usually within a couple of days), he borrows off his mates or from pay day loan companies. I recently helped him to clear all his debt with 3 companies but worry that he’s doing it again. I keep thinking, and hoping, that he will keep hold of this job so to give him yet another chance and am hoping that once we get to the weekend he won’t drink himself stupid again. I always seem to make an excuse to put it off but this has been going on for years now with one thing after another and I know I need to do something to make it change. It was interesting you saying this was you and getting booted out was the best thing to happen.

    • #90583

      JBoom
      Participant

      I also want to point out, that you don’t have to take a “tough love” stance, which often backfires because it can get mean and overlook genuine circumstances of need. You can be supportive of your son but still set clear boundaries around what you will and will not provide to him. And always be willing to support his choice to get serious about treatment — which may need some tweaking if he’s already receiving any.

  • #90672

    sharon2610
    Participant

    JBoo he doesn’t receive any support from anyone and hasn’t done since he was a child. He couldn’t tolerate any of the medication they put him on and once he was too old for CAMHS there wasn’t anyone else to take him on. He won’t see anyone now or consider medication and any rules or boundaries I set are ignored.

    • #90690

      JBoom
      Participant

      That is the fundamental problem right there. His conditions need treatment. What you’re seeing now is what you get with untreated mental disorders: inability to keep a job, self medicating with street drugs and alcohol, poor relationships, etc.

      Think about how you would respond if he had cancer and refused treatment. Whatever that looks like, treat this situation the same. While ADHD is not a terminal condition, untreated it dramatically reduces one’s quality of life and greatly increases the chance of premature death.

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