Drug and alcohol abuse/Behavior

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by stemmyt, Jan 10, 2012.

  1. stemmyt

    stemmyt New Member

    I am new here not sure how this works but i really do ned the opinions of other parents. My 16 year old son has always had behavior problems. He has been on medication for ADD since he was about 10. Now he has been kicked out of school and has been smoking pot and cigarettes for about 2 years now. He has no friends. Has now resorted to stealing alcohol from us. He is not allowed to smoke in the house but in the past year has been caught smoking both pot and cigarettes in his room. Also stealing alcohol and drinking it in his room. We have been for councelling but that has not made a difference he just tells them what they want to hear. The doctor has changed his medication to anti-depressants but I have not found a difference. He hides out in his room all day and won't do anything to help around the house. He was recently caught doing drugs in my brothers basement and when confronted he said he didn't see a problem with it. He goes to other peoples (relatives) house and steals their booze and smokes and now that we tell him they don't want him back there, he blames us and tells us that its our fault. We spend many evenings talking to him about all these issues and it goes in one ear and out the other. We really are at our wits end with this kid. He has an appointment with a psyciatrist this month but I am thinking that it is not going to make any difference. I don't want to throw him out on the street but I don't know what else to do. We have given him so many chances and just continue to get it thrown back in our faces.
  2. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the CD family. So glad you found us...sorry you had to seek us out. Many of us have been in very similar situations and understand your concern. Others will be along soon but tonight I only have a couple of minutes before chores beckon. Have you explored substance abuse programs in your area?
    Frankly we did not have alot of success but did feel that at least our teen would have a change of environment and "might" learn he was on the wrong path. Just wondering about what help is available in your community. Sending hugs. DDD
  3. Zardo

    Zardo Member

    I have been in this situation with my now 16 year old son. Same scenario - expulsion and everything. What I can tell you is that there is no use in talking to him right now. He cannot hear anything you say through the drugs. My guess is that the issue lies more in substance abuse and getting caught up in the counter culture of drugs (either with peers or on-line) than a psychiatric issue, not that there may not be one as well. No doctor or talking will help until you can clear his head of drugs. So - how can you do that? There are a few ways. We did Wilderness rehab for 3 months, very expensive but worth every penny. We took his college money, but the way things were going, that was not going to be in the picture anyway. Wilderness does not fix everything, but it does temporarily stop the drug use and begin a very intense therapeutic process and introspection. It made a huge difference for our son. It didn't totally stop the drugs, but it was a big start. He has slipped a few times after that, but each time reralized he needs more support. he has since attended AA and two outpatient programs. His relapses have been isolated "slips" as opposed to on-going use for a period of time. He does not have to agree to go to Wilderness, there are services that come in the middle of the night to take them and there are programs for the "unwilling" participant. If that is not an option, call your local police department. Let them know what is going on. In my town you can appeal for "CHINS" or child in need of services, they will assign a parole officer who will begin working with him and you, drug testing him and getting him involved in the juvenielle justice system. Yes, scary, but he continues to struggle with drugs or other behavior, they will court order treatment. Right now it is easy for him to blame you for just being an A(@^&($* trying to get in the way of his fun. By getting a parole officer, he will see that this problem is much larger that just your house. It will get the focus off you as the enemy. If he is more willing than I assume, find a local treatment center with an intensive outpatient program. My son just finished a 6 week program, 3 days per week, 3 hours per day. In that program, he met kids who have been in jail, who have used herion and who will have to literally spend years putting their lives back together. He was greatly moved by these kids. Maybe your local place will even offer "intervention" services at your home if he is unwilling. Our program was coverred by insurance as are most outpatient progams. So - a lot of information here, but my main message is this - you have to VERY aggressively act to get the drugs out of him before you can make any progress with him.
  4. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    Welcome-so sorry you have to find us. We have been through much of this. We have tried 2 Residential Treatment Center (RTC) and 12 step groups, counseling of many sorts. Unless they are willing, this is difficult. I agree that you should try to find some sort of drug program. The alchohol is really scary. The isolating is as well. It sounds as if he needs different medications. Medications along with illicit drug or alcohol use cannot be good. Unfortunately as a minor you will have to keep him home or find a placement for him. I don't know anything about Canada. Know that you are not alone and that you can come unload here. We may not have answers, but we can support you.
  5. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hello and welcome to the CD community!

    It would help us to get to know you if you added a signature like the one you see at the bottom of my post. You can do that by going to the top of the page and clicking on settings. Then go to the left side of the page and select my profile and add your signature.

    As far as your son, I wished we had taken action when our difficult child was your son's age. I believe that you need to find an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) or a substance abuse program that can treat your son.

    I would discuss this with the psychiatrist when your son goes to his appointment. Maybe he can suggest some places to look at.

    In the meantime, keep posting. You have found a place for comfort and support.

  6. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Your son is 16 and a minor. You have more influence now than you will in two years. He needs to get into a treatment program. It's possible that an outpatient treatment program would be appropriate but if it were my son I would have him evaluated for drug abuse. His psychiatrist should be able to help in that area. When they smoke pot and sneak alcohol and hide out in their rooms they are starting down the slippery slope to a serious drug problem.

    I am so sorry that you are dealing with this but there are many here who have been in the same place as you are right now. I htink we all wish we had gotten our kids into treatment at 16 rather than later.

  7. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    Hello and welcome. You have gotten some very good advice and I have nothing to add at this time. I do hope you can find a suitable program for your son and put him back on a good path in life. He won't like it at first but if you can act now maybe he can avoid some of the really bad stuff that many of us here have had to deal with.
  8. pinevalley

    pinevalley Member

    Welcome to this board. I know that it is terribly scary when your son is out of control and you feel like nothing you say makes any sense to him. Please remember that when a kid is using drugs it is almost impossible for them to think and reason clearly. The ONLY thing that an addict is thinking about is how they are going to get the next fix of alcohol or drugs. I hope that you can find a good substance abuse treatment program where your son can get clean and sober and learn how to live a drug free life. It might be a good idea to make a list of exactly the types of problems that you are having with your son, and take this with you when you meet with the psychiatrist. Ask this doctor for a recommendation of a substance abuse program for teens in your area. There are many concerned parents on this board who are here to support you and help you with this crisis with you son. Sending you good wishes!
  9. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    Hi Stemmyt,
    I am so sorry you are going throught this with your son.

    Your son reminds me of myself as a teenager. I started drinking alone in my room at about the age of 13/14. I was extremely depressed and was certainly a budding alcoholic.

    I think getting son to a psychiatrist is a really good idea. You may find out that he has some kind of mood disorder like myself...don't know. I so wish medication had been sought, a psychiatrist had been sought when I was a teenager. Now, at 17 I did try to kill myself and was hospitalised for 4 months but I refused medication as I thought that was just for "crazy people"...Well, little did I know at the time that some 20 plus yrs later I would have a psychotic breakdown and be dxd with Bipolar and Pschosis. I am only relaying my own personal experience to tell you that I think the Pysch doctor visit is a REALLY good idea. I don't think your son wants to "be" this way. I think he is stuck and is hurting. Drinking alone at this young an age is a major red flag for me.

    Welcome to the board...Please keep us updated on son.
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I just wanted to remind you to take care of YOURSELF too as you go through this stressful time (I know how it feels). I would try out Al-Anon groups. You do not have to speak there, you can just listen, but you can get wonderful real life advice about what to do in your situation. Also, if you do want to talk, you have listening ears and soft shoulders to cry on. These groups saved us while we were going through the worst of it with Daughter. She also used to go in her room to get high (she was smart enough to leave the alcohol cans/bottles somewhere else).

    The ladies who run this forum are very smart and compassionate. Keep posting. Lots and lots of good thoughts and prayers. This is so hard to go through.
  11. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    I agree with others that at 16 you as his parent have a lot more say in terms of getting him treatment and so I would talk to the psychiatrist and try to get him into some kind of substance abuse treatment. If nothing else it will help delay the serious drug use until later which is better for their brain development and will give him a better chance of surviving and getting through this tough time.

    My son had the same kind of behavior as your son starting at age 14. We did intervene a lot at that point. I can't say in his case it solved the problem because he is now 20 and still battling drug problems. BUT it did get him off drugs for some important time in his development, he learned some important things along the way and I think it gives him a better chance of getting clean and sober on his own now that I can no longer insist on any kind of treatment.

    Keep posting here... Many of us have been where you are.

  12. Tiredof33

    Tiredof33 Active Member

    I too just joined the forum. I spent the weekend looking around and reading the posts. My situation was much like yours except I was a single parent. My son was difficult from the very beginning. Counselors have told me they hear this a lot. From the very beginning he didn't want to sleep and learned to get out of his crib before he could walk. It seemed as if he started lying just as soon as he started talking. The calls from school started in the first grade, he was disruptive and made noises. He started out gifted and by 16 I drove him to take his GED and I sat in the car to make sure he didn't leave! I was so terrified when the phone rang - not knowing where he was or doing was scary.

    My insurance paid for counseling so I had treatments in house and office visits. He would not participate, but I was told some of it does 'sink in', but most of all it will help you. Him and his friends would steal everything I had. I turned him in several times for stealing from neighbors, it was embarrassing for me and he didn't seem to care. I would go to court and see the kids joking and laughing waiting to go before the judge. They really don't take it seriously and I found it was more of a burden on the parents than the kids. I had to take time off for work to drive him to community service, for 3 years I used all of my vacation time for appointments and other activities centered around him.

    I threatened to change the locks and I was told that until he turns 18 you can not legally do that (in my state). He was in and out of jail a lot, and I left him in jail for 3 months when the fine was only $25. I felt he was safer in jail, at least I knew where he was My home was broken into so many times, Christmas gifts stolen, my car.

    It is very hard and for some reason society blames the mothers far more than the fathers. And the kids blame you too, everything is going to be your fault. My difficult child is 33 now and I did not have a good support system. Now there are many more support groups around and online, it's great to have someone to talk to that is (or has) going through the same thing. Parents with kids that follow the rules really think you are the problem and feel sorry for the kid!

    If I had it to do over I would still try everything to keep him off drugs and listen to him curse me. Except that I would have kicked him out earlier. He was in a court ordered treatment at 18 and just walked out about a month before the 9 months was up. He is one of those that does not learn from experiences.

    I was also told not to try to reason with the drugs and their emotional growth is stunted by the drugs. It is a scary time and I wish you the best. If you can not get him to participate in the sessions make him go and sit there, it will help you.

    Search this forum, there is a lot of good advice. Read the books that are recommended. My son is still getting into bad relationships and this one is the worse yet. At 33 it appears he has relasped and she tells him a lot of **** that he is so f* up because of me and I never loved him and blah, blah, blah. I have met her one time in the 2 years and I was NOT impressed. She is 37 and thinks (and has told me) that we should be sending monthly checks to help them out. I called the police to stop her nasty calls. I positively HATED having to go to the police AGAIN, when he was in his teens they were at my house so much I never wanted to talk to one about him again.

    I tried tough love and he hated me for it, I am not sure he still doesn't hate me in some way. I hope I kept him alive, he doesn't think about how hard it was to do those things to your own child. I tried everything!!! It is difficult hearing the witch say those things, but I feel as if I did all I could. My daughter and I had just discussed about a year ago how much he had matured and he had apologized to me for the way he was.

    I found a wonderful book 'When our Adult Children Dissapoint us' and it has helped me so much. The girls family thinks I am non caring, but he is an adult and he has to take care of himself. SO DO I!!

    Take care of yourself too, I know how hard it is to concentrate with all of this going on. Find a hobby and get into an exercise program, learn to meditate.

    Have a blessed week!