DEAR DEIDRE: I’VE spent our entire savings trying to help my son kick his drug habit – but I don’t know how to tell my husband.
It started when he was at school. He got in with a bad crowd and spent his pocket money on cigarettes and weed.
When he left to go to university, he got on to the harder stuff and blew through his student loan in a matter of weeks.
My husband and I agreed to send him to rehab once he graduated, in the hope that he’d come back clean.
But now he’s 28 and still heavily reliant on cocaine. I’m 59, and my husband is 61.
Over the years we’ve given him £12,000 for treatment, and £20,000 to pay off credit cards and overdrafts.
But what my husband doesn’t know is that our son lost his job last year after he turned up to work high. Now, every month, I send him £800 to live off.
As I’ve already blown through my savings, I’ve started to use our joint retirement fund.
My husband has worked incredibly hard over the last ten years to save enough for us to go travelling — his dream is to rent a camper van and drive around New Zealand.
So how do I tell him it is gone?
I know it’s my fault and that I’m enabling my son’s behaviour by sending him money, but I can’t say no. The guilt eats away at me and my husband is beginning to notice.
I’ve got no appetite, and I lose my temper at the drop of a hat.
I’ve even started to have panic attacks in the middle of the night.
How do I tell my husband? And how do I help my son kick his drug habit once and for all?
DEIDRE SAYS: You’ve tried to help your son, as any mother would.
But giving him constant freebies won’t put him on the right path in the long term.
Only he can kick this habit. The longer you subsidise him, the longer he can put off dealing with reality.
Talk to your son and explain there will be no more handouts and encourage him to seek help. Explain that he must learn to support himself once he is clean.
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Encourage him to reach out to cocaineanonymous.org.uk who help those struggling.
And talk to your husband. It would be better if he hears everything from you, rather than finds out through other means. If you can present a united front it’ll be easier to get through to your son.
Explain to your son he needs to make getting a job a priority once he’s clean. I’m also sending you my support pack Coping With Panic Attacks to help.
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