17 yr old son doing drugs, hanging w members of a gang in NY

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by defiantchild, Dec 22, 2015.

  1. defiantchild

    defiantchild Member

    Our son has always hated school. We finally let him drop out of high school to pursue his goal of becoming a chef. He was working as chef's apprentice for a well known chef and doing quite well at work until he got fired after 1.5 years because the local police chief arrested him for marijuana possession (several ounces which he was dealing) and reported it to his boss. So now he's in trouble with the law, getting drug tested weekly...he found another job....but now he's doing worse drugs than weed. He's figure out that some drugs like acid don't show up on the drug tests so he's beating the system...and unlike weed, RX painkillers and Xanax are out of your system in a few days, so I know he's doing that as well.

    We don't know what to do anymore...we've tried seemingly everything to teach him right from wrong...but nothing we say or do resonates.

    We won't let him drive our car anymore...he's too irresponsible and worried he could kill himself or someone else. We are very seriously considering letting him live on his own in Queens or Brooklyn so he won't need a car and can take public transportation to work. But now we just found out he is hanging out with some members of a really bad gang in nyc....we are petrified that he is going to get hurt. We don't know what to do or where to turn. He just doesn't seem to have any common sense at all. Doesn't think anything bad will happen to him - so he keeps breaking rules and laws - even though he continues to get in trouble all the time.

    Should we let him go? What in the world can we do to help him? Should we find a place for him to live away from NY to get away from these people? Will he find them no matter where he goes? We don't think living at home is helping him at all...

    We are numb at this point. It's been 17 years of frustration and anxiety trying to parent him.

    Since he's 17 (turns 18 in May) is there anything else we can do in the next few months? The psychiatrist thinks he has a conduct disorder and there's nothing we can do that will help. He thinks we need to emancipate him asap because he is going to drag us down with him both emotionally and financially. Is this true? We don't know if we've exhausted all the possibilities of helping him yet.


    Read more: http://www.conductdisorders.com/com...f-a-gang-and-doing-drugs.61491/#ixzz3v3nrsDdK
     
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    See if you can get him in to an ADULT psychiatrist. Ideally, one from a teaching hospital. We managed to sneak in a few months before age 18.
     
  3. defiantchild

    defiantchild Member

    That's the one who said we need to emancipate him. He said he has conduct disorder and there is nothing we can do except let him go. He's a very well respected psychiatrist who was treating him intensively (twice per week) for a number of months a year ago. He said there was no way for him to get thru to my son.
     
  4. defiantchild

    defiantchild Member

    He mostly deals with adults, some teenagers.
     
  5. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    GAAAHHH. So, you ran into a personal bias.
    Normally psychiatrists do NOT do intensive therapy. That's left to clinical psychologists and clinical social workers... Psychiatrists normally handle the medications side of things, and will do enough diagnosis to back a working medication plan. The rest is... referral to counselor. Sounds to me like your son has fallen between a few cracks in the system. Because the system relies on... human beings.
     
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  6. defiantchild

    defiantchild Member

    So you think we need to find another psychiatrist? Yes, this one is probably in his mid 60's - he's been doing CBT etc for years. Not really sure I understand....do you think he's mis-diagnosed my son?
     
  7. defiantchild

    defiantchild Member

    my son has seen several therapists - psychiatrists, psychologists, licensed social workers...they all seem to conclude he needs to hit rock bottom before he will recognize there is a problem and want to change. Some of them think he may end up in prison before he wakes up. The last social worker we saw and the psychiatrist I mentioned before both said it's a distinct possibility. He's way to grandiose and arrogant.
     
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  8. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    when did that start?
     
  9. defiantchild

    defiantchild Member

    when did he become grandiose and arrogant? I think he's been this way for a long time...probably started in middle school....
     
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  10. defiantchild

    defiantchild Member

    he has a brother one year older who is quite well adjusted. always very popular. very talented athlete. never found school too difficult. Difficult Child always had trouble in school (although he's been tested and he's quite bright...he has a visual processing disability and because of this he finds school very difficult)...he's an average athlete at best. i'm sure the fact that his older brother excelled in so many ways was very difficult for Difficult Child to cope with...Difficult Child annoyed the hell out of his older brother when they were younger thru elementary school. my well adjusted son was embarrassed by him. wouldn't defend him on the school bus when he acted up....eventually we had to start driving Difficult Child to school every day...just to avoid the difficulties on the bus. that was elementary school. once Difficult Child went to middle school he seemed to control himself a little better socially. he didn't mind taking the bus and the boys got along better. i wonder if the drugs contributed to his adjustment...maybe he was self medicating...i don't know...the boys are quite close now. but my well adjusted son cannot get thru to him. he's tried hard to knock sense into Difficult Child. nothing seems to work.
     
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  11. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Sounds like a social skills deficit to me. And yes, they often DO self-medicate - social challenges end up resulting in huge anxiety, and yes, pot does have an impact. Not the best choice, but it isn't hard to see how they end up there.
     
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  12. defiantchild

    defiantchild Member

    anxiety runs in my side of the family BIG TIME...I'm wondering if he has major anxiety...the psychiatrist doesn't agree with me...but i think he does and he's self medicating and in denial...he's figuring out ways to compensate for it instead of facing it.

    so what do you suggest?
     
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  13. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I'm in a slightly different situation. Son was NOT compliant with therapists. He figured out their game before he was 8 years old - and always either told them what they wanted to hear, or refused to participate. But he has always been medications compliant. And isn't involved in drugs. As soon as substance abuse (even just "use") comes into the picture, it distorts everything else. I'm guessing your son knows how to "play" with the therapists, and they don't catch it. And as for what to do now... tough one.

    I'd be tempted to find a more structured opportunity to pursue his cooking career. If that means job corps, so much the better. Get him launched. While there is still some control. But he has to be willing for the control in order to get launched.
     
  14. defiantchild

    defiantchild Member

     
  15. defiantchild

    defiantchild Member

    But he has to be willing for the control in order to get launched.

    Not sure what you mean? He has to be on board? Agree to it?
     
  16. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    The WIIFM has to be important enough to him. Not what we think should be important. But if his cooking career is a HUGE deal to him and he would do ANYTHING to get back on that track... then you have leverage. If he doesn't care about anything else except drugs, then... until he wants out, its really hard to help.

    (WIIFM = what's in it for me - often used in politics to get one group to agree to something that helps another group, as long as there is something big enough in it for the first group)
     
  17. defiantchild

    defiantchild Member

    I totally get that. Thank you for clarifying. I like that acronym! Applies to so many things in life....How to motivate someone...you have to figure this out.
     
  18. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    NOTHING will work unless HE WANTS IT TO WORK. Yes. Unless he is cooperative, nothing will work...he will sabotage anything tried or give up or lie and say he is trying but really won't try. We can not force even beloved children to do their best or live good lives. We can only control OUR lives and how we react to their bad choices.

    There is no way to control anybody but ourselves, not even a family member or dear friend. It's not possible to help without their agreement and willingness to do better. Even then, the work is on the person who needs to change.
     
  19. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    You can't. I'm sure you've offered the cars, the rewards, anything.

    It doesn't work.

    The motivation has to come from within or it is just you wasting your money and heart or those magic words that you think will finally get to them.

    I have SEVERE anxiety disorders, both generalized and panic disorder, and have had it all my life. I also have a mood disorder. I never took illegal drugs or drank. I was never tempted to. I thought it would make me even worse. So not everyone with anxiety takes drugs, but some do. I would treat the drug addiction first because drugs will make t he anxiety disorder worse in the end and it is almost impossible to resolve a mental illness while one is getting high. This is just my own opinion having lived it. I didn't take drugs or drink BECAUSE I felt they would make me even worse. There are two choices here.

    And perhaps the psychiatrist is wrong and it's NOT anxiety. In my 40 years of mental health care I have learned that diagnoses are often wrong. Psychiatry is an inexact science without blood tests and no way to be sure. I can not tell you how many diagnosis. I've had, but the only ones I get over and over again are panic and mood disorders. Some others, like Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) thinking, may be true, but is not bad enough to really affect my life.

    You are his mom. You know him best. Each psychiatric disorder, except for obvious ones such as severe eating disorders and schizophrenia, are just guesses on the part of the evaluator. You could take him to ten doctors and get ten differing opinions. If I were you, I'd hope he'd quit using, and offer to help him if he comes to you asking for help in that, but keep yourself safe from him, no matter WHAT you think his diagnosis. is. He is almost an adult and soon he will be legal.

    Even more hugs!!! It's very hard.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2015
  20. defiantchild

    defiantchild Member

    Thanks SomewhereOutThere. We both have anxiety issues. I am the same way as you in terms of not wanting to use drugs. I think it will make me worse, too. But I went on a small does of Prozac and it has helped me enormously.
    My life is so much better as a result of taking the medications along with using the tools I've learned in therapy in my relationships.

    The psychiatrist doesn't think my Difficult Child has anxiety. That is just my diagnosis. The psychiatrist says he has a conduct disorder/sociopathy. Non violent, but sociopathy all the same. This particular diagnosis is devastating because there doesn't seem to be any hope. So I'm not buying into it 100%. But we have to protect ourselves, too...I just contacted Job Corps. The counselor with whom I spoke was incredibly helpful and gave me hope. Maybe this can work for him...I'm still trying. Thank you again for your support. It means so much to me.
     
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