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39 son, severe alcoholism, nightmare , stole and sold my wifes jewelry

Community Member

My 39 year old son, has had major drug problems all his life. Early on it was cannabis and alcohol. . For 10 years it has been mainly alcohol but for a brief stint with methamphetamine. As soon as he has any money, he buys alcohol and wipes himself out. He has admitted to numerous psychiatric hospitals, paid for psychiatrists and psychologists. We have rented houses in our name for him so he's got somewhere to stay . He fails to pay rent and wrecks the houses. About 3 years ago he came home for six months. After he had been at home for 6 months I found out he was secretly taking my wife's credit card and stealing cash from ATMs. ..1000s of dollars When confronted with this, ( I was away at the time so I rang him) he then drank all the alcohol in my house including all the wine that have been given to me as a present to put in the cellar.
He has had a partner for the last 2 years, and she has gone through a similar hell with him. Tired of his drinking and abusive behaviour she asked him to leave and he is now on the streets. Mind you he is in a car that I bought for him last year and he is sleeping in that. He was supposed to pay me for the car but never did. The police rang me the other night saying someone had seen him and was concerned for his welfare so he was taken to the emergency department of a public hospital. He was completely intoxicated.. there were 4 of 5 casks of wine in his car. I was concerned the car I had given him plus the $700 worth of carpentry tools I bought two weeks ago which were in the car could all get stolen. I bought the tools because he just started a new job and had worked for months prior to this . So while he is in the psychiatric unit I got up at 4:30 a.m., retrieved his car and safely stored the tools. I washed all his stinking clothes and cleaned the food and wine casks out of the car . I have told him he cannot come home, that he must find a room to rent or go somewhere else.

3 years ago when my son was staying at my house, my wife's jewellery worth about $15,000 was stolen. We suspected it was a girl my son knew. Today I found out from his current partner that it was in fact my son who stole the jewellery and sold it to bikies.

I'm going to be harsh with him. He's an adult. No more bailing out. My wife will find this hard but agrees.

7 Replies 7

Community Member

Such an impossible situation you are in.

An option is to have someone committed. It’s a big risk that they will Abe so annoyed they may not forgive your for it. My mum and I had to work through my sister being an alcoholic around 15 years ago.
she refused to see it as A problem. She was also smoking weed and we both witnessed a very psychotic like conversation one night.

she also tried to take her log one night but taking many many pills.

we went to her with our concerns and thoughts of the need to commit her for help.

she did not want this and so agreed to a sobering up plan at home that was designed with a doctor.

I think giving the option and explaining concerns was key for keeping her on side and a good outcome. Government run rehab centres can make situations worse of the user doesn’t truly see the need for it and privately run centres at run for the rich.

when chatting with them, despite the want to just shake them to see the reality, try to empathise with their disease. Addiction is a disease. The person who has stolen and wronged you is not the real person underneath.
goodluck and I encourage you speaking to your go or hospital for options.

Community Member

Just had to add

You are doing an amazing job.

And also think about seeing a psychologist for yourself to help you during this time. You need to be healthy to help someone else get healthy

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Stillsurfing, thankyou for posting a brave and courageous comment, I'm sure doing this must have been very difficult for you, but so pleased you have.

It's so hard to know what to do with someone you had once loved as a child but who has, unfortunately, turned to addiction, such as weed, drugs and/or alcohol because it's unsure the reason why this has happened, whether it was due to mates encouraging him to try the substance or whether he couldn't handle the current circumstances at that particular time, is not known and probably won't be told.

I am truly sorry for what this devastation has caused and how disappointing it must be and as awful as it is, it so difficult to know what you should be doing, however, you have tried, but these addictions are ruling his life.

We tend to make excuses but eventually, these don't carry any more weight and you have to suffer on your own, which is detrimental to your own health and that's a great concern because it's difficult to know whether you continue to help your son or whether you gain the support and assistance from those able to provide it.

You have made a decision not to bail him out anymore and as hard as this may be, it's a positive choice for you, you can't keep doing this for him and he can't expect you to do it because you are unsure of what may happen next.

Rehab centres may not be guaranteed for certain people with serious addictions, because once they're out, back they go to their mates and it all starts over again, but now you and your wife need all the support that's available, and I hope we can provide some of this for you.

I have known elderly people who have had their son do similar things, but certainly not as you have had to experience.

I truly feel for you and your wife and really hope you can get back to us when you're available.

My thoughts are with you.


Sounds like you had a good outcome. I think my son is more severe, more extreme. We have paid for him to go to rehab ,,given him choices . Hasn't worked for him. Ultimately he has to want to stop abusing alcohol. I don't see addiction as a disease... to me that takes away the individuals power, He has to want to stop, Thanks for your support. I appreciate it.

I agree about looking after yourself. A counsellor sounds like a good option. Communication here is supportive too. Thanks for your reply.

Thanks for your reply. I have 5 other children who have all turned out to be decent people, who give me a lot of joy. Why my eldest has turned out this way , I don't know. I think of my role as a parent,,, i wasn't perfect but maybe i didn't nurture his self esteem . I was always a good provider and worked hard. I thought maybe he might have been sexually abused by someone .,but I have asked specifically this and he says no. Just have to keep going.

Hello Stillsurfing, I don't necessarily believe you should blame yourself here, you have five other lovely children you should be proud of and why the eldest has become addicted, sometimes we never know why and usually they are the only person who knows all the reasons why this has happened and how many times does the parent punish themselves while trying to find an answer, that may, in fact, be completely wrong.

The objective is to try and get them to understand what they're doing is not right and how often does it feel like you're talking to a brick wall, so it's an endless struggle that could improve only to reverse back, and that's heartbreaking.

The only way he is going to stop is when he decides himself that enough is enough because the more we try and convince them, the number of times we are going to be disappointed.

I wonder whether your other children are coping with this or if they need to talk with either Al-Anon 1300 252 666 or Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800 as these people can put another aspect on the topic they might be able to understand which is different to how a parent tries to discuss this situation.

It's not easy to know whether or not he wants to accept any suggestions you make back to him because anyone who is addicted, doesn't want to agree, only because they're scared that if they do, then that's what you will target on to help him.

We really hope if you can stay with us as it's a serious situation for you and all we want to do is help you.

Best wishes.