Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

My son is SZ and is now using crack cocaine...HELP


My son was diagnosed with SZ two years ago, he’s now 26. He will not take his meds, saying they make him very tired. He’s been baker acted here in Florida about 5 times in the last six months. The mental health resources center in Jacksonville can only keep him 3 days then he’s turned loose. He has MEDCAID and receives a monthly check SSI. His money is all gone for the month within 5 or 6 days, then he tries to sell anything he has for more money.

This getting very serious now, I’m afraid he will do something really bad OR get hurt soon. He will not go to drug rehab…what are my options? He tells me all the time, “if I just had a job and place of my own it would be different”. I have a hard time believing him, I feel that if he had a place to call his own, it would just be a drug infested hangout :frowning:



Although I am only 27, I went through this exact situation when I was 17 years old. I have now been clean for five years and have not committed any crime for about ten years.

What got me clean and off the wrong track was a court appointed mentor who counselled me for a year. I hate to say it, but I had to get into a lot of trouble with the law before this help was given to me. I am not sure what kind of systems you have in the US - charities etc, but maybe it might help you to seek out an organisation that provides mentorship. It sounds so easy for me just to come out and say it, but it was a very hard thing to go through and had no guarantee to work. If your son has any motivation to stop, you might be able to get him engaged with a mentor who can really help. I owe mine my life. I don’t see him anymore, but I have upmost respect for people who do what he does.

I hope this will help, or give you something to think about.


he needs to get a handle on getting sober for himself. a job and his own place will definitely not solve it in the long term.


**Wondering if ther is a mental health court where you live. My son went through the same thing and nothing worked until he went to jail-then through the court.
He was assigned a case worker. He had to show up for all med aptmnts, was drug-tested every so often. If he didn`t show for court, or missed his meds, they picked him up.


If you can afford it maybe “trade” him to take his meds, and you will “help” him get a place?


That sucks. this situation sucks. Crack is no joke. Drug use itself is bad especially for a Sz, but crack is the worst progression of them all in my opinion in terms of lifestyle. Heroin is equally bad because people die from it so much but crack causes people to steal, cheat, lie, etc… He should definitely go to rehab, because if not rehab it’s jails, institutions or death. Many of the crack abusers I’ve known in recovery had to go to jail…convicted felons before they learned their lessons. Or rehabs…NA/AA is always an option too but he’ll get that pushed at him in rehab regardless. He has to hit rock bottom first before he truly will “want it”…has he hit rock bottom yet? Has he felt enough pain?? It may take a couple rehab stints but yeah I’d do an intervention if I were you. Eventually he will get it. I just lost a friend to a heroin overdose the other day and that’s worse than someone going to jail, but eventually he will get it, even if it takes a couple rehab stints/jail. Don’t give up on him. One day he will come around. I don’t mean to scare you with the jail talk but it’s realistic with someone who has an addict brain that will lead them to stealing. I’m sorry.


I guess I misread your post about him “refusing to go to rehab”, but yeah definitely don’t get him his own place. My point remains about “rock bottom” and he will have to learn the hard way. At least from a mothers perspective he’s not doing heroin which causes death so often. But he may wind up in jail if he’s already pawning, etc… Wait for 77nick77 to come on…he’ll have good input on this.


I have a dual diagnosis. I was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in1980 when I was 19.

In 1986 I became addicted to crack and powder cocaine. It started off innocently enough, crack was always in the news and I was curious about it so I tried it and I liked it. Within two months I was smoking it regularly and within three months I was addicted.

I won’t get into all my experiences while addicted. I’ll just say I spent thousands of dollars on it including my SSDI checks. I was also working part-time and spending that money on it too. I lost jobs and living situations because of smoking crack. I lost most of my possessions too. I once traded my $1000 stereo for $75.00 worth of crack which I smoked up in an hour. I sold two TV’s for a couple rocks. I literally sold the clothes off my back for a couple measly hits. The town I frequented several times a week to get my crack had (at the time) the highest murder rate of any city in California including L.A., San Fransisco, and Oakland.

While I was looking for drugs I got carjacked twice, I had someone break a bottle over my head from behind and steal $60.00 off of me while I sat there stunned, I had a 19 year old kid who I had never laid eyes on before, walk up and start beating me with a club while I sat in my car. I had my car stolen four times.

So I understand what addiction is like and I understand that you have a VERY good reason to fear for your sons safety. Let me interject here that I was born and raised into a good middle-class family and I grew up in a VERY affluent city in
Silicone Valley.

So I know that addiction doesn’t discriminate, it cuts across all classes and positions and status.
People who are addicted to crack will do almost anything to feed their habit and to quell their craving and crack will take them to the worst places with the worst people. I’ll cut to the chase. I don’t think your son will quit just because he gets an apartment or a job.I think your fears are spot on. I lived in some great houses while addicted.

They were perfect for partying and having friends over to party with me. I smoked crack in luxurious surroundings. I got kicked out of some of them because of crack but I was able for awhile to live a decadent lifestyle with sex, drugs and guns in $400,000 homes I shared with others schizophrenics in semi-independent, supported housing.

Now for the good news. I got clean in 1990 through AA, CA, and NA and I have not touched any drugs or alcohol in the last 25 years. So it’s possible to get clean.

But CA and NA will tell you, nobody gets clean unless they personally want to. An addict won’t get clean for anybody else. You can threaten them, you can take away their freedom, you can beg them, you can give them ultimatums. It won’t work until the addict decides for himself that crack is wrecking their life and they want help. Until that day he will blow all his money and risk incarceration and risk his life to get those rocks of crack cocaine.

AA, CA, and NA saved my life. If you could just get your son into just one meeting so he can hear other addicts stories of addiction and recovery then it might plant a seed in his mind and show him their is a better way to live and he should not continue down the path he is going down now. Recovery is a reality.


After reading your stories about drugs and drug addictions, it makes me to feel good that I have never even seen any drugs nor known anybody who has used any drugs in my whole life.


He needs a Rep Payee for his SSI. I live in Jackson Co Oregon. Jackson Co Mental Health is my daughter’s rep payee.

Also check out:



Mental Health Court? I’ve never heard of it…do you live in the States?


Thank you 77nick77…very sobering to hear you story.


Thanks to everyone that has replied…I’m learning a lot from this sight. I also read somewhere here about an organization called NAMI, I wrote to them last night and received quite a bit of information :smile:


I think you need to think about protecting yourself. Do what you can for your son, but you’ve got to realize that it all has to start with him. Maybe you could stage a heavy intervention, if that is possible.


Yeah, it’s a myth that an addict or alcoholic has to hit bottom before they can be helped. Addiction or alcoholism can be arrested at any stage.


Yes I do. My son had some warrants on him, but the courts knew my sons long history. He didnt belong in jail. So they gave him a chance to go through Mental Hlth Court.


My son thinks that being out on his own will fix everything too… It won’t.

I’m in Canada so the system is different. I pushed disability because he was ‘running away from home’ so that he could keep his whole payments and not pay room and board. So now they have a pay direct on his file.

I don’t know how SSI works but look into getting a pay rep… This might help:


Hi Chopper. I do know the mentally ill have less rights than addicts in my country. Mentally ill people can be detained in a mental institution if they pose a threat. Your son sounds volatile. I say you could get him sectioned under the mental health act as your case would be that he is posing a danger, while taking hard drugs. Your son needs to be sectioned to be told the truth.


I have not done crack cocaine, but I have had a lot of addictions. Addictions are serious stuff!

When I would drink, my personality would change. As hard as it was for everyone else to figure out what was going on, I was baffled myself.



If he gets to deep into it ibogaine is worth checking out. It sets the mind free from opiates and stuff.