Spiritually Juggling The Fallout Of Addiction

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Son is an addict. Mother worries about him.

She has practiced tough love. He is over age 21. She stopped financially supporting him.

Still she worries, frets, can't sleep and stews about what she can do.

The son is also a member of your church.

He has quit heroine several times. He is in a relationship with an addict.

Eventually living with the addict he has access to heroine and starts using it again.

You as the minister hear the hurt and despair from both members of your church.

Recommendations, ideas, suggestions on how to best minister to both?


I might suggest involving the son in some kind of task that can be seen as greater than himself; perhaps a strenuous hobby of some kind that he can work his blood, sweat, and tears into. Come to think of it, something similar might also help the mother, but there's a difference between knowing a person's details like you're sharing them now, and truly understanding them. Without that kind of understanding, anything offered here would be guesswork. I'd have to speak with them.

Edited by scott_edward
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what your wife and son's Mother can do is continue to emotionally love him, support him and pray for him. Let him know that no one has given up on him so when he has had enough and wants to quit the Heroin... everyone is still willing to be there for him. There is probably nothing of greater emphasis I tell anyone in this position.

I was also one of those "lost boys" and I wholeheartedly agree with this statement. Perhaps one of the best things you can convey to his mother is that, as difficult as it is (especially for a parent), standing back is exactly the right thing to do and it's what he needs from her most. What may help is finding a co-dependence group to gather support among others who have the hard task of watching those they love self-destruct. My mother tossed my out on my arse and we both suffered a lot from the choices I made on that dark road, but she was steadfast in her love for me. I knew that I wasn't going to be enabled, that there was no shelter or financial support for me as long as I refused to mend my ways, but I also knew that no matter how bad things got there was always someone on my side. There was always someone to call, though I may not always have wanted to hear what she had to say. There was always a beacon shining in the night, guiding me back to shore. It took many years for me to come around and set my feet on a better path, to realize the great gifts I had been given and accept responsibility for the tremendous debt I owed, but we are closer than ever now. There are no guarantees that things will turn out for the best, but I hope my own experience can provide a little hope, strength and comfort in this time of tribulation.

"And when finally the bottom fell out I became withdrawn

The only thing I knew how to do

Was to keep on keepin' on like a bird that flew

Tangled up in blue" ~ Bob Dylan

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The addict (not surprisingly) declined any offer of assistance for now.

In extending the offer - acceptance of him as he is - was offered to him in the beginning, middle and end.

Clearly we communicated that his refusal of assistance will not cause us to care less about him.

He is an adult. He is valued in our community. We came to him quietly and discretely should he ever think

he would like to know more about this one option. He has other options and we respect his right to choose

another way.

We assured him that we won't bring it up again - that is his decision. We just wanted him to be aware we

cared enough to put our money where our mouth is - and we are patient enough to hold the offer until he

decides it is the right thing to do.

We thanked him for listening to our concerns.

It was a calm, caring conversation. The mother was not made aware of the offer. All information was

extended on a need to know basis to the five people involved and all took a vow of confidentiality.

So the ball is in the addict's court. And we will continue as we always have.

Incidentally, professional assistance options were also provided to mom. So the church is now allowing

both parties to process their choices.

I do appreciate the input provided and I will continue to monitor this thread for any additional suggestions.

Thx again,


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