My Son On Drugs, What to Do?

02 December, 2019
Q Dear Counselor, my son is on drugs. He is 18-year-old. We are a very normal family and he is ruining our life. I want to help him but how can we help him if he does not want to help himself? I cannot stand all the fights. All he does is fight and argue with me and his father! We really do not know what to do. I feel that I’m losing him, losing my son! Please help me to save my son.

Answer

In this counseling answer:

• I kindly suggest that when things are calm, you write a contract for the conditions of him being able to live at home.

• Consult a substance abuse counselor in your area so you can learn more about the process of the illness, learn coping skills, learn how to utilize tough love.

• Get linked up with resources in your area to help you and your husband cope.

• Also, consider joining a parent support group for Parents with Addicted Children.

• Pray to Allah SWT, make dua for your son and assure him you love him, that Allah loves him, but that he has to make a choice now.

 


As-salamu alaykum sister,

I am so sorry to hear about your son.  I can imagine it is a most painful experience having a child  who is on drugs.  While you did not say what drug he is on or for how long, it is sadly becoming an issue with a greater percentage of our youth.

Arguing will not help the matter. I kindly suggest that when things are calm, you write a contract for the conditions of him being able to live at home.  The main one-to go to counseling for substance abuse.

My Son On Drugs, What to Do? - About Islam

If he is addicted (and not just a recreational user), you must also realize that addiction is an illness, therefore a lot of the time he cannot externally grasp the pain he is causing, though internally he might be able to on some level.

If need be, enlist the help of a trusted imam, family members and school counselors to help facilitate an intervention wherein you plan a meeting at your home when he is there to confront him about his using drugs, and to present the contract.  The above-mentioned family and para-professionals should be present to provide support.


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It may take tough love in that you may have to set concrete rules and boundaries and stick to them. It will hurt, yes as this is your child.  For instance, as he is 18, he may have to engage in counseling or leave home.  While that is a devastating ultimatum, the fact is, he is an adult at 18.

Living at home comes with responsibility and he needs to realize insha’Allah the negative and painful impact he is having on not only himself but on the family as well.   This may work if he is a recreational user and not an addict.

Either way the intervention turns out, I would kindly suggest dear sister that you consult with a substance abuse counselor in your area so you can learn more about the process of the illness, learn coping skills, learn how to utilize tough love (opposed to enabling) as well as get linked up with resources in your area to help you and your husband cope.  Also, consider joining a parents support group for Parents with Addicted Children.

You will meet with other parents who have gone through or are currently going through the same devastating problem as you and your husband. These groups can provide valuable support and hope. Sister, please know that there are many good programs that have been very successful in helping teens, young adults stop using drugs.

The level of care your son will need will depend on the substance of choice if he is addicted or a recreational user as well as the length of time he has been using.

One thing is clear, he is in pain.  Often times it takes someone losing everything to seek help.  That is the sad reality.  You can’t force someone to begin recovery until they are ready.  Pray to Allah SWT, make dua for your son and assure him you love him, that Allah loves him, but that he has to make a choice now. You, your son and the rest of your family are in our prayers sister, please let us know how you are doing.

 

Salam

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My Teenage Sons Taking Drugs, What To Do?

About Aisha Mohammad
Aisha received her PhD in psychology in 2000 and an MS in public health in 2009. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. Aisha specializes in trauma, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach.
Aisha works at a Family Resource Center, and has a part-time practice in which she integrates healing and spirituality using a holistic approach. Aisha plans to open a holistic care counseling center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocate for social & food justice. In her spare time she enjoys her family, martial arts classes, Islamic studies as well as working on her book and spoken word projects.