Drugs Almost Took My Son From Me

Happy mother hugging adult son

Have you ever heard a cry for help so loud and so clear that it kept you up at night? Have you ever struggled so hard to make someone you love see that they're destroying themselves, even though they refuse to listen? Have you ever spent nights with your local poison control center on speed-dial because you were sure you'd be calling them that night? If so, you will identify with my story.

My son was not built to handle stress. From the day he was born, he was a fragile, easily shaken and nervous kid. I tried over the course of his life to get him to calm down, but eventually accepted his nervousness as part of his personality. Over time, I actually started seeing the benefits of his obsessive behavior; it allowed him to do well in school, focus on his future and line everything up for a secure and rewarding life. Drugs seemed so incredibly out of character for him, so when I found out he was taking Adderall without a prescription during his senior year, I was absolutely stunned. He assured me that he was just taking it for finals and he'd stopped after trying it once. I get sick to think that I believed him.

Later that summer, I got a call that he had overdosed and my heart sank to my feet. On the way to the hospital, I made the decision that if he died, I wouldn't be able to go on living. He was going to college in the fall and if I had been just a few months earlier in detecting this, I could have forced him into treatment. Over the course of that year, he tested positive for Adderall, Vicodin and bath salts. I felt like a helpless failure watching this horrible disease rip my child from me. He had abandoned his college plans, would disappear for days and turn into an irritable bully whenever he was around. It was my daughter who finally got fed up and decided to organize a drug intervention.

When we met with the interventionist, he gave me the wake-up call I needed that my helplessness was making it easy for him to manipulate me. He also told me that if this intervention was going to work, we would have to be on the same page regarding boundaries and rules. I felt the most empowered that I had since this whole nightmare had started. On the night of the drug intervention I almost wavered, but I was able to very calmly explain to him that we all just wanted him to be happy, healthy and alive, and that meant, giving up pills, no questions asked. After the intervention, he started sobbing, handed me his bag and said, "Mom please get these away from me." The bag contained bath salts and half a bottle of Vicodin.

When he came back from inpatient rehab that the interventionist recommended, he was the most relaxed I'd seen him in many years. I was concerned that his addiction would be like an elephant in the room and that I would have to walk on eggshells around him regarding the topic. Instead my son demonstrated a new maturity, poise and insight when talking about himself and his addiction that made me feel proud of him. I went to bed that night, crying tears of joy and thanking God and I made the decision to hire a professional interventionist to get my son back and away from the drugs that almost took him from me. My son just celebrated his first year of sobriety and now talks to me about wanting to have a long and healthy life for the first time.

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