Our son stole from us to fund his cocaine habit

Tell me about it: We cleared his debt and he promised to stop taking drugs but now he is partying again

Cocaine is a drug that masks insecurity as it allows the taker to feel omnipotent for short periods of time. Photograph: iStock

Cocaine is a drug that masks insecurity as it allows the taker to feel omnipotent for short periods of time. Photograph: iStock

Question: We were always very proud of our son. He is 24 years of age and still lives at home. He is our only child and up until recently treated us with great respect. We always knew he was fairly bright, but he struggled academically and, unlike his cousins and peers, did not go to college directly. We were never really concerned as he has a gregarious personality and we were confident he would make his own way in life.

After school, he managed to talk his way into a sales job and undertook a few short courses. Two years ago, he secured employment in a large, fast-paced firm where everything is focused on deadlines and commission. Initially, he seemed very happy and delighted to be working as part of a team and has had amazing travel opportunities. About six months ago, my wife noticed he was partying more than normal and often with different people. She also thought he was not as happy as usual and starting to be dismissive of both of us.

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