Substance abuse by a teenage son is turning his mother’s life into a waking nightmare.
The mother, 51, who is not being identified as her 15-year-old drug addict son is under age, lives in fear as her child wastes away.
He terrorises family members, even threatening to kill them.
The mother said the family’s woes began last year when her son became addicted, dropped out of school and left home.
A few months later, she heard he was a vagrant in Butterworth.
“I went to fetch him. I wanted to bring him back so he could receive the help he needed.
“I couldn’t just turn my back on him. But he tells me he’ll never accept my help,” she said.
She showed a Daily Dispatch team furniture and appliances, saying her son had damaged them during violent outbursts.
Visibly distressed by her living conditions, she said: “He quit school. He spends his days smoking his life away. He has no respect for me or anyone else. He comes home still high and fights with us all.”
She shares her home with her two sons and a grandchild. The addicted teen is her youngest child.
The mother suffers from lymphedema, a condition in which collection of fluids causes swelling in her arms and legs.
She struggles to walk but said her son has her running to neighbours for help when his violent attacks begin.
“I am living in turmoil. He’s turned me into a laughing stock and I’m being stripped of my dignity.”
She said she was at her wits end and believed that opening a case against her son was her only hope.
“I need help. We live in fear here. He said he is going to kill his brother and stress me until I die.”
She said she had tried to get police intervention, obtain a restraining order against him as well as open a police case. All have proved futile.
Police spokeswoman Warrant Officer Hazel Mqala said because the boy was still a minor, he could not be arrested.
Lisebanzi Foundation social worker Gugu Mfubu, who works with youths battling different addictions, said parental support was of “utmost importance”.
“If the child is violent, it’s best to send him or her to a place of safety to prevent further turmoil in the family. Rehabilitation is possible but parents must stand with their children through it all.” — email@example.com