Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Enabling and how do I stop

My son is schizoaffective and just will not stop using drugs. He had quit for 8 years and now
has been using for a while. I talk to him about this but it is not helping. He will not do anything except, eat, sleep and use. He will not go anywhere on his own. Will not take a bus. He has no hobbies. He showers once in a while. His room looks like it was hit by a tornado. He will not hang anything. He brushes his teeth once in a while. Leaves garbage all over.

He does not live with me. He will not listen to me and had gotten aggressive in the past.

His meds seem to be working but he will not stop the drugs. He just thinks about money and using. If I stop giving him his allowance I am afraid he will get aggressive again. I don’t know what drugs he is using it was cocaine but now I don’t know.

He has a felony and it is difficult to get a place for him in a good area. Where he lives it is very easy to get drugs. What to do? Please I need advice.

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I know you said your son had 8 years of sobriety, that was an amazing run, but stress is the enemy of the ill, and addiction, like sz and sza is an illness that can’t abide by too much stress. With his illness and his addiction he needs assistance whether he knows it or not, I think it is unlikely (based on my personal experience and my knowledge of both illnesses) that he will ever find recovery or self improvement on his own or at least it is very rare that it happen’s on it’s own.

Someone has to take charge of his life (whether he likes it or not) someone has to say, “you will live here, you will eat this, you will drink this, you will sleep here, you will bathe here, you will see this doctor, you will take these meds,” Constant direction and redirection. Someone has to stay by him until he can actually do these things without crisis, and watch him and communicate with the doctor on is behalf what he is really doing, is he psychotic?, delusional?, using?, non compliant?, angry?, depressed?, everything…like I tell a lot of folks, your son’s brain is not his own when he is extremely ill, and with schizoaffective and addiction it is a double whammy.

My son is both sz and an addict and I cannot even imagine how he could have gotten him clean and sober and so compliant if I had not been like a virtual prison warden with him in the very beginning, every day was me outsmarting his disease addled brain and it was extremely hard and I truly never thought that I would get where I am today but even then I was unwilling or maybe just unable to give up the hope that I could get my son back. Today I feel like we are friendly cooperative roommates besides being son and mom. It’s not perfect but it is peaceful and light years away from where we were 12 years ago.

If you know in your heart you can’t be that person for your son, and some people cannot, it doesn’t mean you don’t still love him, everything is personal for everyone, the ill and the caretakers, You might at least be able to bring to the probate court’s attention that your son is unable to care for himself properly or get his own medical care etc…the court (depending on where you live) can have a hearing on his competency, you can maybe get photos of his home situation, facts on his health and financial situation etc…and the court may then see fit to assign a court appointed guardian to get him the services or benefits he needs and force him to comply with whatever is needed, treatment, or whatever else.

Someone would be taking charge of his life and he would have to earn his independence back again, it would be at the court’s discretion, maybe you could speak at his hearing or help the process in some other way, I do not know for sure how that would work, I know that if the court takes charge, they don’t have to report to you because he is an adult. Still it is an option. It is something. It is hope. I hope things work out for your you and your son. Take care.