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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5808
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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I have a son who happens to be an identical twin. Hes been

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I have a son who happens to be an identical twin. He's been in and out of rehab many times and is still using heroin, coccaine, crystal meth etc. He got a $25,000 settlmt frm auto accid and spent $10,000 in 3-4 wks. I took the rest and put it into a trust account so he wouldn't spend it. He now tells me his car was stolen along with his antidepressant and Suboxone and needs the rest of his money to get out of Phila. or he will die there. He was beaten up 2 wks ago, I think he was trying to buy more drugs. Should I give him the rest of his money and cut all ties, or should I keep the money in trust and cut all ties? Please let me know asap as I am almost 70yrs young and can't take this harrassment much longer. Thx for your help.
Pat Barbosa

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.


It is always hard to know how to handle situations when you have a loved one who is addicted to alcohol or drugs. Your natural desire is to be there for them and help them anyway you can. But this is exactly what makes the situation worse for someone who uses.


It is important that your son learn to deal with the consequences of his drug use. So far, he has not. This money settlement has made it even easier for him to access drugs so he can use. And he has not taken responsibility for his life, as evidenced by him calling you to bail him out of his problem. Only when your son hits bottom will he have a chance to accept how addicted he is and how he needs to turn his life around. And although it is very tempting to help him each time he asks, it is not in his best interest to continue supporting him.


Is there any way you can confirm that his car was stolen? Given his history of drug use, he may just be telling you this to get the money from you. Or it could be true. Either way, there are other options for him. How about sending him bus money? He could get bus service out of Philadelphia and come back home. Bus fare is not that much and it would restrict his ability to access his fund money.


You may have already tried this, but has anyone considered an intervention? Since he has been in rehab several times, I thought he might have been through one, but I wanted to suggest it just in case. Here is a link to help with more information on interventions:


The best option in handling your son's drug addiction for you and your family is to continue contact with your son but restrict his access to you and his money. Allow him to be responsible for his own life, just as you would for any other adult child. It sounds like you have taken very good steps towards this so far.


You may also want to consider therapy and support for the rest of your family. Coping with a family member with a drug problem is highly stressful and can cause depression and anxiety. Consider talking to a therapist. You can find one at There is also a lot of support through on line support groups. Here is a link:


Here are some other resources that may help:


Love First: A Family's Guide to Intervention by Jeff Jay, Debra Jay and George McGovern


Reclaim Your Family From Addiction: How Couples and Families Recover Love and Meaning by Craig Nakken


Don't Let Your Kids Kill You: A Guide for Parents of Drug and Alcohol Addicted Children by Charles Rubin


You can find these books on or your local library may have them for you.


I hope this has helped you,




I haven't heard from you. Did you have more questions or want clarification?



Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I could send him bus money; however, I cannot take him into my home as my daughter and son-in-law have children and I have a special needs child that cannot be exposed to his behavior. He cannot hold a job for more than a couple of weeks and his twin brother is moving to a one bedroom apt. I don't think that his sibblings would be open to an intervention since he has caused so much havoc and bad feelings this past year that I don't know if they can get past it.

I understand. And thank you for the additional information.


This is the part that is difficult. It is allowing him to make his own choices and dealing with the results of his choices. If he wants to come home, offer him bus money. But then let him find his own place to stay. If he cannot hold a job, then he needs to deal with that on his own. As much as it is tempting to support him, he will only use it as an opportunity to use more and not have to be faced with getting clean. If he finds that the choice is between eating and using, it may motivate him enough to consider sobriety.


The idea is to allow him to see how far his drug use has gotten him. He needs to see it for himself and he will not do that if he always has a place to turn for help. As you know there are many agencies out there willing to help him, but only if he is willing to help himself. The best way to get him help is to let him see on his own that he needs help.


It is important that you get support with this problem. It is difficult at best to do on your own, especially if you are coping with your own problems. Allow others to help whether it is a therapist, support group or other type of support. I've seen this occur in families many times and it can become a repeating cycle if the family continues to help the drug addicted family member. With help, however, it becomes much easier to do the best you can for your son.



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