How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Z Your Own Question
Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 10566
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
74815544
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
Dr. Z is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Hello, my adult son. 31 years old, has been an addict for 11

This answer was rated:

Hello, my adult son. 31 years old, has been an addict for 11 years. He started with oxycotin, then went on methadone, suboxone and finally at one point the doctor had him on suboxone, lyrica and adderall. He stopped the suboxone about 5 months ago and about 5 weeks ago, he stopped the adderall. He was abusing the adderall - up to 200-300 mg a day. He does not live with me. He lives with my brother (50 years old) who is working most of the time. He did become a father at the age of 19, got married and was married for 8 years. His wife asked for a divorce and he fell apart. She couldn't put up with him. Their son is 11 years old and a very mature young man. Forthe past 2 months he had been delusional. He stated to me that people are following him. He lost one job 3 years ago because of his tardiness and most likely his addiction. He recently ( 4 weeks ago) took another job and quit suddenly saying that people were after him and planting bugs. He has made so many irrational statements. I got him a car when his wasn't working 4 months ago and he tore that car up looking for what I think he must imagine is bugs. He asked at the police station if there was a warrant for his arrest. When his car was working he would come around everyday asking for money for gas, cigarettes etc. I used to help him out with cash and now I tell him that he needs help and until he gets that help, I can't loan him mt car. He is depleting me financially and emotionally. I want to help him but he won't agree to get help. He says he wants to be a police officer and her will pursue that job. I told him he needs some means of support in the interim. I do not have the money. I am a teacher and cannot afford to support him with no positive steps on his part. I also called his ex-wife and told her that I don't think that he should see his son until he gets help. He has had the police called once by his friend who is a cop to take him to the hospital. He has no insurance and they released him after one hour. I called mobile crisis when he started using profanity on me and making irrational statments. They came out to the house and said he was not paperable. He is so angry with me and stated what kind of grandma am I suggesting he not see his son. I have taken care of my grandson during the summer for a couple of weeks. He states I need help not him. He called me today and demanded that I bring my car to him because he is tired of sitting in the house , doing nothing and by the way bring money too. I would not.

DoctorZ :

Hello I believe I can help you with your concern

DoctorZ :

I am very sorry that you are having these difficulties with your son, I can imagine how distressing this is for you

DoctorZ :

It sounds like your son has some serious paranoid delusions (e.g. bugs and people listening in), and usually stimulants like adderrall is contraindicated for those symptoms

DoctorZ :

I think you are doing the right think by cutting him off of the money and using your car unless he gets serious help. Unfortunately unless he has any thoughts or behaviors that he was going to hurt himself or others, or is considered gravely disabled (e..g cannot perform daily life functions like cooking, bathing, put on clothes, etc...) he cannot be forced to get treatment.

DoctorZ :

I know that he is your son and that you care for him very much, but I think the appropriate action would be to cut him off permanently, even with contact unless he gets the help that he needs. I know this is a hard stance, but it seems like you have exhausted a lot of resources trying to get him help by calling the police, mobile crisis team, his doctors, etc.. and nothing has helped.

DoctorZ :

One last option would be having all of his family and friends institute an intervention, but most likely he would not respond well to that

Customer:

His ex wife is going to family services on the 20th. She is concerned. His son loves him very much, but both of us feel that he should not see his Dad like this. I thought maybe she can get family services to do something otherwise he can't have unsupervised visits.

DoctorZ :

Family services can recommend that he get evaluated by a mental health professional or possibly recommend therapy depending on how convincing his ex-wife is of his erratic behavior.

Customer:

Do you think the sudden withdrawal from large doses of adderall prompted these delusions r do you thin it might have aggravated the already present condition which came from the years of drug abuse?

DoctorZ :

Honestly it could be both. Sudden withdrawal from adderall can trigger delusions, but these are usually short term. Long term drug use can cause delusional behavior that may be short term or long lasting, it depends on the severity of the abuse.

DoctorZ :

In addition, some individuals develop a Delusional Disorder at certain periods in their life and this can also be long lasting.

Customer:

I know this sounds terrible because I worry about him and love him so much, but I don't even feel like talking to him because he wears me down and makes me feel so guilty for not helping him. I have helped him so much financially that I am putting myself into financial devastation. As you stated, I probably should cut him off completely unless he decides to get help. He stated how can I get a job if I don't have a car.

DoctorZ :

I understand your dilemma, but because he is not remotely trying to get help for himself this cycle of needing your money and car is just going to continue. If he started to seriously get help, then you can make a compromise with him that he can borrow the car, but only after he makes the first step towards treatment

DoctorZ :

Also I know you have exhausted some resources near you, but this is a good hotline with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) that may be able to provide you and your son with other beneficial resources and information.

Customer:

I don't feel that he can even get a job or sustain one for that matter in the condition that he is in. He also calls me and says I am hungry. I agree to buy food for him and have taken him grocery shopping. He states that he has stopped all the drugs and is proud of himself for doing this. He even told his ex-wife to have him drug tested. I told him that is great and I am proud of him but he shoud seek out a therapist to help him through this withdrawal process. I told him that without supervision from a therapist, he may be doing harm to himself.

DoctorZ :

Yes stopping the medications and drugs cold turkey can cause severe withdrawal symptoms, but usually these are only temporary so that is a good thing. And I agree he should work with a therapist to help change his behavior and focus on bettering himself for the future.

Customer:

Thank you for this information. I am a widow and have been living with a gentleman for 6 years. He has helped my son by giving me money to get him a car.. He has known my son since he was five. My son has stolen money from him when he was in need of money . I understand his anger. He keeps telling me there is no help for him he is a loser, thief and con artist. You never know when he is really changing or telling the truth. Every time my son calls me, he yells in the background unkind words at him. I told him please take a step back if you can because this only stresses me more

DoctorZ :

I understand your gentleman friend's opinion on your son, but your son has at least a couple serious mental health issues that need to be addressed by a mental health professional in order for him to get better. He will continue to use you for money, food, and other items unless you are firm with him and tell him no unless he gets help. There is no way around it for your son, you can support him while he is going to treatment, even agree to drive him to treatment to confirm that he is actually doing it or sit in on one session a month to see his progress.

DoctorZ :

This is a good way to confirm that he is not lying and actually trying to get better, but your son has to make the effort and take that first step. Asking for help is a sign of strength and humility, and one he must take

Customer:

Your advice has been excellent. Thank you so much. I will implement your suggestions and contact NAMI. I know this is a long hard journey. I am hopeful.

DoctorZ :

I wish you and your family the best of luck and I truly hope you son gets better soon.

DoctorZ :

If you have any other questions or concerns please feel free to contact me at anytime.

Customer:

Have a nice weekend!

DoctorZ :

I hope I provided you with excellent service tonight

DoctorZ :

You have a great weekend as well

Customer:

You did provide excellent service. I guess when we conclude the chat it will prompt me to rate the service.

DoctorZ :

There should be smiley faces at the bottom of this chat and the one labeled 5 would be excellent service and I do appreciate you giving me a positive rating.

Dr. Z and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you