More drug problems, just one week after rehab

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by pinevalley, Jan 19, 2012.

  1. pinevalley

    pinevalley Member

    My difficult child was discharged from rehab last week after being in the program for 30 days. We are already having lots of problems with him. The school administrator sent me a message today telling me that several other students have told her that difficult child is using weed again. He has also been hanging around with this girl he thinks he is crazy about, and she is officially homeless. The teacher told me that both difficult child and this homeless girl were kicked out of a fast food restaurant last week-end because they were smoking pot in the bathroom. This was 4 days after difficult child was discharged from rehab!

    One of the conditions for our son to live in our house was that he is not to have any contact with this homeless girl. I found both difficult child and the homeless girl at the fast food restaurant last week-end, but difficult child looked alert and he did not seem to be doing drugs. When I found him with this girl I ordered him to come home with me right away but he refused to move, because he said he had to talk to the homeless girl. I can't physically make him stay away from this girl, and he knows that there is not much we can do if he insists on seeing this girl. I didn't like him spending all his time with this girl, but I told him my first concern was that he stay clean of drugs. Now we have this report from a teacher that he has been using weed since almost right after he was discharged from rehab. My husband is furious at difficult child and he wants to start eviction proceedings against difficult child, so that we can kick him out of our house. difficult child lies as easily as he breathes, and I know that he will deny smoking weed again. He is even part of an intensive out patient program 4 days a week, and I'm sure he is lying to them as well. difficult child had a drug test this week at the program and it was negative, which I don't understand if he was smoking last week-end.

    difficult child just called me and he was trying hard to convince me that he is not using again. I think that he is even using the NA meetings as an excuse to meet this girl and get high. He has told me several times the last week that he was going to an NA meeting, and he walked to a nearby church where he says a meeting was held. I told me that I wanted to see the sign-up sheet from the meeting to prove that he actually went to a meeting, but he has never been able to bring a signed sheet home. We don't let difficult child drive a car and he does not have a cell phone anymore, so he walks everywhere and there is no way that I can reach him when he is out of the house.

    I hate the idea of kicking him out of our house, because I am sure that we will be pushing him closer to this homeless girl. She sleeps overnight in the foyer of an apartment building close to our house, and I am sure that difficult child still wants to take care of her and protect her. difficult child keeps insisting that he does not want to use drugs anymore, and he is attending the outpatient program on his own. I just feel like he is playing games with us, because he says all the right things but then he still hangs around with this girl who is not a good influence at all.

    Do you have any other suggestions other than starting eviction proceedings against our son? I am completely at a loss about what we should do right now. It seems like my husband and I are always trying to come up with more ideas to help him stay clean, and busy with healthy activities, but difficult child does not want to do anything but hang around at a fast food restaurant with this homeless girl. He is turning into such a loser, and it is so disappointing for my h and I.
  2. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    I don't have any suggestions - I am at a loss with my own difficult child right now who is playing similar games. And I think we are close to kicking him out - not because we want to - but because he is determined to live his life his way regardless of our thoughts and/or the terrible choices he is making.

    Just want to lend you a hand of support and a shoulder to lean on. You can lead a horse to water...but you can't make even a dehydrated horse drink. The fact that our difficult children are behaving in the complete absence of logic is further proof that maybe they are lost to us for now.

  3. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    PV ~ none of those things are a good sign. He can't bring a signed sheet from NA? That's because he is not going. I think your suspicions are spot on. Does he have a sponsor? Is there a way you can talk to the sponsor?

    We often say this on the board . . . he has to want to change. Right now I would say that he doesn't want to stop using pot.

    Now for the hard part . . . do you kick him out? I am very conflicted on this one. Maybe it is the teacher in me but getting a HS diploma is very important to me. Is he on track to graduate this year? If so, I think I would let him stay as long as he was attending the outpatient treatment and hope that he gets enough credit to graduate. It would only be for 4-5 more months. Then, when and if you have to throw him out, he will have a chance at finding a job to support himself.

  4. pinevalley

    pinevalley Member

    Thanks for the support, Sig. I sure with that you and I were not dealing with these problems right now.

    Kathy, I agree with you that I really want him to get his hs diploma. He only has 3 more classes to take until he graduates in May, so all he really has to do is stay in school and he should graduate. My husband is very stubborn (and completely worn out by difficult child) and is insisting that since difficult child broke our rule about contacting the homeless girl that we have to follow thru and kick him out of the house. He is so mad at difficult child that he really does just want to get this kid completely out of his life. My h can't understand why I am not backing him about the eviction because I really want difficult child to graduate. But I also don't want this kid to walk all over us by continuing to smoke and see this girl who has too many problems for us to handle right now. This issue is causing problems for my h and I, and we promised ourselves that we would always have a united front whenever we are dealing with difficult child.
  5. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    That is not unusual when they first get out of rehab. My difficult child was smoking pot during her IOP also and was eventually kicked out. She also started hanging out with the ex boyfriend when she got out and he was a horrible influence. He was picking her up from work and they were smoking pot in his car.

    I thought that by going to rehab she would be cured (not really but you know what I mean). I had no idea it was just the first step in her recovery. Had I known that I probably wouldn't have been so excited about spending $25,000 for it.

    The book I recommended on this forum is an excellent one to help you understand addiction and what parents need to know to help their addicts. The sequel to that book is written for parents whose children are new into recovery. Listen to was a real eye opener to me:

    "People begin to recover from their ddictions when they are ready to try to change their lives." Obviously your son is not ready. Neither was my daughter when she first got out of rehab and she radily admits that now.

    "The journey can be said to begin when an addicted individual starts to make healthy choices." He is not making healthy choices yet by hanging with this homeless girl. My difficult child was not either by going right back to her using ex.

    "When the addiction is active, families should step away. When recovery is under way, they should move closer." Your son's addiction is active.

    "In reality, because addiction is a chronic disorder, the ultimate goal of long-term abstinence often requires sustained and repeated treatment episodes."

    "The effects of treatment are cumulative, and with every treatment episode and relapse, patients learn something about themselves and their addiction. What was gained intreatment is not lost--even though it may be put on the bck burner for a while."

    Those are just a few samples of what this book discusses.

    I am afraid you may have to follow through on the eviction process. You drew the line in the sand and it is important to follow through and let your son know he has crossed that line. It does not mean that you don't love your son, it means that you are willing to do what you need to do to bring his bottom up and hopefully get him to break through his denial so that he can begin the recovery process again.

    If he continues with this behavior it is only a matter of time before he gets suspended from school, kicked out of IOP, and get arrested.

    I am so sorry. I have been there done that and it hurts a lot. But this is the time you and husband need to be strong and be willing to let him fall before he can get up again.

  6. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Is it possible that the "attraction" is not drugs, but romance? There is nothing that we found more difficult than keeping the easy child's and the difficult child's from their girlfriend's...other than substances, of course. Once easy child son literally walked miles and miles and miles when he fell for a young immigrant who "needed him". Sigh.

    It's a hard call that you and husband face. Obviously I can understand both sides of the issue and wish you a peaceful resolution. Sending caring supportive hugs your way. DDD
  7. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I forgot he only have three months til graduation. I do think it's important that he graduate, however you will have to be prepared for what comes next if this escalates.

  8. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Oh PV I am so sorry. I have so been there done that!!! Like Nancy I really hoped that with rehab my difficult child would be over his drug problem.... didn't happen but progress is slowly being made I think.

    Here is the reality.... you cannot control him. He is over 18 and attempts by you to control the situation will be rejected. He will absolutely lie to keep you off his back. You cannot make him give up seeing this girl, graduate high school or stop smoking pot. It doesn't work when you are working harder than he is to find recovery. It really is time to let go and let him find his way.

    And it is incredibly hard and painful to let go and watch them totally screw up their life with bad decisions and relapses. You probably will have many more sleepless nights... and write us when you do because we have been there.

    After what we have been through with my son I don't believe you will help your son by letting him stay at home, continue to lie and fool you and con you and get away with it. I agree that getting a hs diploma is important but until it is important to him it won't happen...and you as his parent probably don't have much credibility with him. Not because you shouldn't but because he is 18 and thinks he knows everything.

    My son was kicked out of the alternative school he was in a couple months before he was to graduate... didn't matter really because he wasn't doing the work anyways. He literally only had a few assignments to finish to pass his classes. The school was bending over backwards to help him because all of us adults wanted him to get his hs diploma... but at that point he just didn't care. It took him being out of the house for a couple of months and other people in his life, other friends telling him you really want to have your hs diploma for him to rethink it. He finally did come Occupational Therapist (OT) us to figure out what he needed to do and agreed to go back to the TBS eh had been previously to get the work finished he needed to finish. To make this happen took myself, the alaternative school and the TBS to all agree and work together and thankfully again all the adults were willing to do that... but it happened because he finally asked us for help to make it happen. And he did it and he did get his diploma. I don't think it would have happened if we let him live at home and if the school let him stay disobeying all their rules as well as ours. Until he talked to friends and realized he was in a pickle himself it didn't happen.

    I agree with you h.... although I do understand how absolutely heartbreaking it is... it is time to follow through with what you said... it is time to kick him out. He is not going to get help until he wants it.

  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    You and husband need to get on the same page. If you cannot do this by yourselves, get a therapist and make a decision. I once asked my kids what they would do if I thought I had to evict them. They ALL told me they would be rather afraid to push me that far. They told me that they knew I woudl make life a living misery until they left if they had broken a line like that and then refused to leave. They KNOW I wouldn't throw them out except for something extreme and they would have a LOT of warning and if they were surprised it would be their own fault. At the time Wiz HATED me and even he said this and that he knew that I wouldn't throw him out except for something incredibly serious.

    Your son is passing drug tests with someone else's urine. They put it into a balloon or condom and hide it in their underwear so that it stays warm, then during the drug test they put it into the container and pass it as their own. I was shocked by this but the nurse at my pain doctor explained it when I told her their was an empty balloon on the floor of the bathroom. They ran and got the person who had been in there (they keep a log for that bathroom for this reason - they prescribe serious pain medications for serious problems and they do a lot of testing to make sure that the medications are taken correctly) and made them do it again and apparently there was a problem because the doctor had his upset serious face when he went to the room to talk to the patient. He is a sweetie and he HATES this aspect of pain - what it can push people to do .

    Anyway, did you agree with your husband when you told difficult child that any contact with the homeless girl would mean that he had to leave your home? Or is that something one of you said with-o talking to the other? Either way, a HUGE part of difficult child parenting is not saying something if you won't follow through. I know graduation is important, but so is maintaining safety in your home. Drugs are not safe.

    I don't know what you should do, but you need to think about what will happen if you dont' kick him out. WHY would the teacher tell you he was using if he wasn't? Very few teachers are out to get or hurt a student. They don't get paid enough for that. So why would she lie? I know difficult child can tell you ten reasons, but would they be true? I would think they wouldn't be.

    What does it tell difficult child if you don't follow through? Why would he pay attention to ANY boundary or limit if he thinks you won't follow through? What would throwing him out achieve? Could you put him out for a few days or a week or so and then let him come home if he was willing to then follow the rules? The point isn't to be mean or stick Occupational Therapist (OT) a limit doggedly just for the sake of sticking to it. The point is to help him hit bottom and WANT to change.

    Is there a way to help the homeless girl? A program she might be able to get into? Maybe you can use her best interests to help motivate your son to do what is in his best interests. I am NOT saying she is a good influence or to take her into your home or spend $$ on her. Just that maybe if she has a chance for a better future then your son might not cling to her so much to the detriment of his life. Just a different way to think about it. It may nto be possible or practical, and that is okay. But maybe you could help him fight for his life if she was fighting for hers? Guys get odd with the rescuer thing and it is a hard impulse to break so maybe you could use it to his advantage? I am ONLY throwing out ideas, not should, would or coulds.

    I hope you and husband can be on the same page. in my opinion that is hugely important. You must care for YOUR life too.
  10. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    susiestar, if there was a like button on your post I would use it. I'm always a little hesitant to put things as bluntly as you just did, but that is the way our rehab counselor spoke to us and it was clearly needed. So while you may sound harsh it is said with love and support and understanding.

  11. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    If Illinois is like Georgia, it will take time to evict him. I can't remember exactly but I think in Georgia it was 30 days from the date of notification. You will have to go to court so that will probably mean that he will have until the end of February before he has to move out at the earliest. At that point there is only 3 months left until he graduates. You could tell him that you have started the eviction process but will re-evaluate after every 30 days and let him stay until he graduates if he is going to school and his outpatient therapy. I don't know if there is a way to do that legally but you could check into it.

    You would have to give up on the control of most things if you decide to let him stay, though. I don't think that you will be able stop him from seeing his girlfriend or smoking pot. The best thing that you can probably hope for is for something from the outpatient treatment to start sinking in.

    Also, telling him that you have started the eviction process will probably escalate his defiance and make things at home even more unpleasant than they are now.

    I guess that you can say that we were lucky that our difficult child stole from us. We were able to avoid the eviction process but telling her that her choice was to leave immediately or we would prosecute. She chose to leave.

    I agree that whatever you decide you and your husband will need to take a united stand or it will tear apart your marriage and won't solve anything for your difficult child. Remember that your difficult child will grow up and leave you eventually on good terms or bad terms but you have potentially 30 or more years of marriage ahead of you.

    You don't have any easy decisions to make but we are here to support you no matter what you and your husband decide.

  12. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Just offering support and hugs... sorry this is so hard.
  13. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    States differ in their laws. I would go to the police and see if they know what you have to do. If your son has not been paying rent then you may not need to go through an eviction process. We did not, all I did was go to the police and ask them to come to the house and give my son a no tresspass order. It is our house, he is not paying rent so is not a tenant and that is all we had to do.

    Now I know from this board that some states have eviction laws even with adult children who are not paying rent... which is ridiculous in my opinion.

  14. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I agree, TL. Unfortunately for me, Georgia is one of those states. Since PV mentioned starting eviction proceedings, I assumed that Illinois was also one of those states. You are right, though, PV should definitely check her state laws regarding this.

  15. pinevalley

    pinevalley Member

    Yes, Illinois is one of the states where we have to go to court and formally ask a judge to evict our son. I called the courthouse today and they told me that it can take from 30-60 days to get a court date, because of the backlog here in our area. So there is no way that we can get him out of our house quickly.

    difficult child just came home a few minutes ago and he has all kinds of excuses for what the teacher said. This teacher told me that difficult child was kicked out of a local fast food restaurant last week-end for smoking pot in the bathroom of the restaurant. Now today difficult child tells me that he was not one of the kids that were kicked out, but that he was with other kids at the restaurant who were kicked out. He keeps insisting that he is not using any drugs, and he is very proud of his clean drug test.

    I called the outpatient program today and told them that difficult child was probably still using weed. I wanted them to confront him about this tonight, when difficult child goes to the program (I did not tell difficult child that I had called the outpatient program today.) Now difficult child and I have had a big fight because he refuses to go to the program tonight. He told me that he wants to go to an AA meeting tonight instead, because he is upset about my accusations of his drug use. He then called the outpatient program and told them that he was not coming there tonight. I am so mad at him, because he will just not listen to anything that I say. Now he is planning on going to a one hour meeting, and a friend of his is driving him to the meeting. I am also planning on going to the meeting tonight, just to make sure that difficult child is really there.

    I am just so sick of listening to difficult child lie to me every time he opens his mouth. He has to have everything his way all the time, and he will lie to get what he wants. He keeps telling me that he can't understand why I am so upset, because he has done nothing wrong (in his imagination). He keeps telling me that he is not using drugs now, and that he was not kicked out of the restaurant for using drugs. I know for sure that he is hanging around other losers who smoke weed, but I can't really prove that difficult child is using weed yet. I feel like I have to absolutely prove that he is using weed now, so he will really understand what is happening to his life. I know that he has to hit rock bottom before he really wants to change his life. Even if we evict him I don't think that this will change his attitude, or make him change. He never takes responsibility for any of his actions, and he will just blame his terrible parents for making him lose his place to stay.

    I had such hope for him after his stay in rehab, and is seems like that was just a waste of time and money now. It's just so sad....
  16. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well, it sounds to me like you are stuck with him for a while. I would go ahead and set the court date so you can start the eviction process.

    In the meantime, lock up your valuables and let natural consequences happen. If he is smoking pot, he is probably stealing to get the money to buy it. Eventually, he will get caught and go to jail. Let him know that you will not be posting bond or paying any fines. He will probably also end up getting kicked out of school.

    If he finishes school, great. If not, by that time you should have the eviction notice in hand and he will have to go.

    You can't make him stop smoking pot and you can't stop him from hanging around with druggie friends. I'm afraid that at this point you have to expect the worst and hope for the best.

    I'm sorry if I am not painting a pretty picture. Unfortunately, it is what it is. Remember the three C's: You didn't cause it, you can't control it, and you can't cure it. Only your difficult child can decide to change.

    Maybe others will come up with a better plan.

    In the meantime, keep posting and let us help you get through it.

  17. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    It is not your responsibility to follow him around and prove he is doing drugs. It is his repsonsibility to prove he is not. It's good you called the IOP, even though he is not going tonight they are on notice and will do a drug test when he returns. He probably didn't want to go because he was afraid they would test him. He is probably out buying a detox kit right now or synthetic urine. I know because my difficult child did all of that and more. She had an answer for everything and swore up and down she was not doing drugs and all the time she was. I could never tell when she smoked pot unless she forgot to use the eyedrops for her bloodshot eyes or didn't spray body spray all over her clothes or chew a bunch of gum to disguise the smell.

    If he is hanging around all these kids who are using he is using. But you will drive yourself nuts trying to prove it. The more I think about it I agree with your husband. You told him the conditions and he violated them. He is trying very hard to convince you he didn't but he is not acting like a sober person. He is on a slippery slope if he hasn't already slid all the way down.

    If you get a chance please read Addict in the Family and Everything Changes by Beverly Conyers.

  18. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Nancy, PV's husband wants to kick him out but they can't according to the eviction law in her state. So then what do they do? We were in the same position except that difficult child stole from us which gave us an out.
  19. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hmmm well yes there is that issue. She can start the eviction process so he knows they are serious. I suspect before that even gets completed he will get into trouble elsewhere on his own. And we were told that we should let them suffer the natural consequences, e.g., getting kicked out of IOP and school and legal consequences when they are caught in a restaurant smoking pot.

    I guess what I'm saying is within one week he has gotten into trouble in school and outside of school. If you need to follow certain eviction procedures that's what you do. It sounds like he is going to find himself in a lot of trouble soon. But to follow him around and try to prove he is using is just doing the same thing you were doing before he went to rehab. He has to be in charge of his own recovery. I know this is hard, when we were told that I didn't understand either. But we were told if nothing changes nothing changes. If we continue doing what we have always done we will get the same results. We will be driving ourselve crazy running around behind her and she will continue lying and trying to cover up her use. Does that make sense or am I just confusing you?

    Last edited: Jan 19, 2012
  20. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    PV - You don't have to prove he is using drugs. He is or he isn't.... in a way it doesn't matter because he is violating your rules and conditions anyway. He is getting you stuck in having to justfiy your opinion that he is using which is why you feel like you have to prove it somehow. It is his way of sidetracking you from the real issue and making the argument about who is right. As long as the issue is about you and how you are unreasonable then he doesn't have to face the real issue which is his substance abuse problem and probable relapse.

    So you need to let him own his drug use or non drug use. It is his problem not yours. (Yes I know it feels like it is your problem because he is screwing up his life... but really you can't own his problem, he has to). As someone in my alanon meeting says "I can't be my sons higher power, he has his own higher power".

    So my suggestion is you back off the whole drug use discussion. I think you did the right thing letting the IOP know about the concerns and let them deal with it. If he keeps coming at you about how he is not using, only his friends are using and he happens to be there.... just say something like I don't know if you are using or not. What I do know is that I don't trust you, and I am not comfortable with the behavior you are showing whatever it is due to. It is your problem to figure out your life and then walk away....

    And yes I think start the eviction proceedings... if he somehow turns things around you can always stop the eviction.

    I think we can so easily get caught up in the is he using or isn't he... we become detectives... it matters to us if they are or are not.... and the whole rebellion thing, going against mom and dad thing, gets all caught up in it. It is better to stand back and really let his drug use be his problem. And actually I feel the same way about relationships too... I would not try to govern who he is friends with. At this age it won't work and it tends to drive them towards the people you don't like just to show you, you are wrong.

    Really at this point all you can do is set limits on what is allowed in your house with your property. And if he gets destructive at all or starts stealing from you get the police invovled.

    As I said before my thoughts on this come from experience. I have done the drug testing and been conned and fooled. At this point I am trying to not say much about his drug use or relapses.... and just trying to be supportive when he is dealing with it. It really is his problem and the truth is drug addiction is a hard problem to deal with. It is easy to avoid the real issue when you can make the issue about how your mom and dad are unreasonable and uncool.