Drug addict son tears family apart

By SAM BENGERsamb@gladstoneobserver.com.au

IT'S 3am. Your 19-year-old son has come home high on drugs and wakes you demanding money.

When you refuse he starts searching cupboards and drawers for items to steal. Eventually he gets so agitated he takes three sedatives and sleeps for two days.

When he wakes up he is so angry he whites-out his face in family photos, hacking at them with a knife. You're forced to call the police.

A Gladstone mother, who cannot be identified, has decided to speak up about the ordeal she faces every day living with a drug-addict.

'He was OK up 'til about year 8, but in year 9 he started smoking weed and it was harder and harder to get him to go to school; by year 10 he didn't want to go and we made him start work, but it didn't last,' she said.

The woman said despite periods where she believed her son had reached a turning point and would stay clean, he always returned to drugs.

As a mother of four, the woman said her son's addiction had put a strain on the whole family.

'The good thing I guess is that the other kids have seen what he's like and they'll never do it (drugs), but it's sad they can't stand their brother,' she said.

The woman said her son had spoken to doctors through Gladstone Mental Health, and the Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Service (ATODS), but no one could force him to stay clean.

She said she was interested in establishing a support group for families of drug addicts and believed Gladstone needed a psychotherapist to assist drug users.

'We need someone who can diagnose these people and send them to a rehab centre where they're forced to go and get better ? I don't know what else we can do,' she said.

If you are in a similiar situation and would like to begin a support group email samb@gladstoneobserver.com.au.

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