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Luann, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 158
Experience:  Licensed Psychologist, 24 years experience working with children, adolescents, families and adults.
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My son is 27, finishing his final year of college this year,I

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My son is 27, finishing his final year of college this year,I hope. He has stated he is afraid to reach the end of college. He is a bartendar at a very successful pizza place in our area....he also takes adderal, but he is also drinking on the weekends and maybe during the week I don't know. He is at school during the week. He has now met a 21 year old girl and we never see him. I am concerned about his drinking. He has worked with a counselor, one who prescribes his adderall, this man has been trying to contact my son and my son said he has been too buys to call him back. My instincts are telling me something is not right, What can I do. I am so afraid of the worse happening to him. We have a long line of alcoholics in our family. Thank you very much
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Luann replied 5 years ago.

Luann :


Luann :

I can understand you worrying about your son. Your radar is picking up the subtle signs that something is not right. Unfortunately there is not much you can do. Be honest with him and set clear boundaries.

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Why is there nothing I can do?
Expert:  Luann replied 5 years ago.

Because he is an adult and will make his own choices. The more you try to influence him, the more he will distance himself from you. All you can do is share your feelings with him. Tell him you feel he is more distant, tell him you worry about him and his use, tell him about the family history. But don't over do it or his will stay far away from you. You need to maintain a relationship so when he is ready for help he will turn to you. This could be a difficult road as he may have to experience some negative consequences from his use. Get support for yourself, go to Alanon and/or counseling.

Expert:  Luann replied 5 years ago.

Set boundaries with him. It sounds like he lives with you, maybe you need to set a date for him to move out after graduation. It is not helpful for you to know too much about his life. It is not helpful for him to not be responsible for himself. He needs to grow up and manage his life. He is going to make mistakes, you are going to need to distance yourself from these mistakes. It is hard to maintain the delicate balance between maintaining a relationship and detaching from his problems/mistakes. That is where Alanon or counseling will be very valuable for you. You need to maintain your well being. Good luck to you, let me know if you have further questions.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX hope he does not self destruct himself. This is difficult watching someone you love destroy himself. I will continue with counseling for help. Keep in mind he is a young 27, afraid to grow up. He seems to avoid growing up. He continues to live with us, which is the agreement until he graduates from college. Which the deadline is this December. Not an official deadline, but in my mind I feel he needs to go by December. He pays his own rent at college but no rent to us. Maybe getting out of the bar and college scene will help him, if he makes the move. Just don't know how family can stand by and let him fall to possible complete destruction.
Expert:  Luann replied 5 years ago.
Just remember to keep loving him and giving him the message that he is loved. But also give him the message that he needs to be responsible for himself and that you will not bail him out (boundaries). It is hard to watch our children make mistakes but that is how they learn. Think of the mistakes you made and how much you grew. Don't deprive him of this opportunity. I have a feeling that you will all make it through this difficult transition.
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I hear what your saying Dr. Hentz...your exactly right. It will be much better when he moves out. He has gotten two girls pregnant in the last 10 years, one he is now paying child support for. Just difficult to watch the alcohol make his life so difficult. I think he will make it, just hold my breath sometimes until I think I am going to bust. Thank goodness I have no more children. The love for your children goes so deep, just have to let him go. I thank you!!

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