Need advise

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by princess, Aug 31, 2013.

  1. princess

    princess New Member

    Hi everyone I have posted here before but not in a while. This all started when my son was arrested for smoking pot about 2 years ago had always been a great kid until senior year everything changed.
    Honor student in high school doing ok in college until the last spring semester. At that time he told me he was depressed suicidal I took him to his primary care doctor who put him on Paxil son did not like that so he took him off and put him on Xanax pcp doctor said he had severe anxiety disorder he has also been seeing a counselor. I have noticed that last few weeks he has been very sleepy and not acting right.
    He told pcp he only smokes pot once in a while that the Xanax helps him However a few days ago everything changed he became suicidal again I called the police and they took him the psychiatric unit at our local hospital he spent three days there. This is the bad part he has been using herion the last year and very heavily the past three months I am shocked and so upset still am. He has refused inpatient treatment but said he will do the intensive outpatient treatment program which starts in a few days. He has been home a couple of days and I can see he is struggling he has not left the house so far. I am having so much trouble dealing with this I also see a counselor and will be going to Al-non meeting soon Is this program really going to help him? Also my husband and I are supposed to go on a cruise in about 3 weeks should we go? I have no family in the area and I am sure they would be shocked if they knew about this. I have a 25 year old son who just moved away for his job he is my great kid. My difficult child wants to go back to college he was only out a few days we made him borrow the tuition so he will be going to class and he has a part time work study. I am not sure this program is going to work and I am afraid of going on vacation he said he wants to stop but will he use when we are gone? And what if he would overdose when we are gone. Thanks for your advise in advance. I do read all the posts here and you are all such amazing strong people-not sure I am.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there. I'm sorry you had to come back with such bad news. Heroin seems to have come back into fashion as a drug. I was surprised to hear it is "popular" at our closest large high school. You are not alone and, before I even say more, I am glad you are getting help for yourself.

    As I read the beginning of your post, I thought (from experience) "This kid is doing more than smoking pot." So the question becomes what can you, as a parent, do about it? The disheartening answer is that until he wants to quit, a feat he can only do by himself, there is nothing you can do for him. You can let him know that if he wants to quit you will support his decision, but you can't make him do it. This, very sadly, is a path that the drug abuser has to walk alone. There is no other answer. Nobody can help him quit. Nobody can make him quit. You have no control over that.

    I can't imagine him succeeding at college with a heroin addiction, but I am not sure what trying to stop him from going would do either. Likewise, you can put your cruise on hold, but it won't make your son stop using drugs. These are personal decisions you have to make. Whether or not you go on your trip, he will use if he wants to use. It isn't going to stop him if you give up your trip. As a mother, I can understand how you may feel you should cancel your trip though. Maybe we feel just our closeness makes them safer.

    The best advice I can give you is to keep trying to take good care of yourself and learn to let go of trying to control what your son does. Letting go is huge and relieves some of the stress...

    I am so sorry you are going through this. Keep us posted.
  3. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hi princess, I'm sorry for your son's regression. No program is going to work. I have found that all programs depends on the persons willingness to want to change, and that change does not happen overnight but often happens after many relapses. Heroin is a difficul drug to get off in an outpatient setting without medication to lesson the severity of the withdrawal and urges.

    As far as our vacation I don't know how to answer that. I would not feel comfortable going myself unless my difficult child was in some sort of residential program where I knew he couldn't get out. On the other hand it isn't fair that you should have to cancel your plans because of him. I would not pay one penny of tuition or college expenses at this point. I have seen no good coming out of a young addict going to college and promising to stay clean.
  4. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Yes, heroin is making a big comeback. When our difficult child overdosed on it and nearly died, the police told us that it is cheap and available everywhere even in our upscale community.

    I don't think that an intensive outpatient program will work at this point. We sent our difficult child to a three month residential treatment center in another state followed up by a halfway house. She says she has been sober for 9 months. Whether that is true or not I don't know but she is holding down a full time job and seems to be doing well right now.

    I think that you need to get your difficult child away from his drug sources and into heavy duty treatment if there is any chance at all to get him off drugs. I would look for a place that treats substance abuse as part of a dual diagnosis program. Your son's mental health issues and drug use are intertwined and you can't treat one without the other.

    I don't necessarily agree with the others that treatment won't work if your son doesn't want it. Sometimes it takes getting them somewhere long enough for the drugs to get out of their system so that they start thinking clearly. No treatment will work until they are clean and sober so that the mental health issues can be addressed as well as the addiction issues.

    I often think about Carol O'Conner's statement to "get between your child and drugs anyway you can." He did a series of commercials because he lost his son to drugs and said that all along, people kept saying that he couldn't do anything and that his son had to ask for help. If I didn't listen to those people he said, maybe his son would be alive. The interventionist that we used said only 15% of drug addicts seek help for themselves. They don't have the mental clarity that would take.

    Having said that, my husband and I are now walking the fine line of helping without enabling. My therapist helps me draw the line. She said that we have provided our difficult child the best treatment possible and whether she stays sober or not is now on her.

    As far as the cruise . . . where would difficult child stay while you were gone? Like Nancy, I would not feel comfortable going unless I knew he was in a secure treatment center. I also agree with Nancy that spending money on college tuition at this point in your son's life would be money down the drain. He needs to get clean and sober for a period of time before I would even consider it.

    I understand what you are going through. I never imagined that my daughter would shoot heroin into her veins. Even now, the very thought makes me sick to my stomach.

    Last edited: Aug 31, 2013
  5. princess

    princess New Member

    thanks everyone who has given me advise so far. My son will not go into inpatient treatment center...we tried to convince him it would be the best thing. At first he said he would kick it himself and then the counselors at the psyche unit talked to him and he finally agreed to the intensive outpatient counseling. We also tried to talk him out of going back to school but he said he wants to go to school. We are not paying for this he is financing this himself we told him that. Also his job at the school is work study so he would have to be in school to work. My insurance only pays for two treatment centers in my area and the stay is only 30 days. They only pay 1 stay a year and only for 3 stays after that it is our money. My husband stated that he has worked hard and saved all these years and does not want to spend all the money he worked so hard to make on treatment when we are not sure it will work. As far as vacation we planned this over a year ago and both of us really want to go-not sure I would enjoy it though. I talked to my friend who stated she would check on my son if we would go away but she works...and when he leaves for classes I have no idea if he would go somewhere and use. My son and I talked a little while ago and he tells me he hates feeling so bad detoxing and he is not going to use anymore-I am not so sure about that...I tried again suggesting the inpatient treatment but he will not hear of it.
  6. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Princess, my difficult child went to residential kicking and screaming. We ended up using an Interventionist and went to the court system to get a temporary protection order to make her leave our home. It was only after she had no options and nowhere to live that she agreed to go to residential.

    In the meantime, she made all sorts of promises about going to intensive outpatient which was only a tactic to get out of going to a residential treatment center. I understand what your husband is saying. I fought spending that kind of money on our daughter, also. It was only after my husband came home to find her overdosed on our living room couch that I realized my life savings would mean nothing to me after I buried my daughter.

    So, husband and I thought long and hard and decided that we would spend whatever it took to get her into treatment. Yes, we knew that we might be throwing money down the drain because there were no guarantees. I thought of it like this . . . if she had cancer and someone told us that there was an expensive treatment program that had a 50% chance of saving her life, would we even think twice about spending the money? Of course not. Would anyone question our decision to spend the money?

    Yet, with addiction, everyone kept cautioning us that it might not work and we would be out the money. My answer was . . . but what if it worked?

    So, ultimately you and your husband have to be comfortable with whatever decision you make. There are no right or wrong answers for any of us.

    It is too early to tell for my daughter but we are hopeful.

  7. princess

    princess New Member

    Kathy thanks for all your support and guidance I appreciate it. I think part of my husband's hesitation is his line of work he has seen many clients spend all their money on their kids and they have nothing left and their kids are no better even worse not all drug related but gambling big debts etc. The rehab centers in my area only have 28 day programs two of them are covered by my insurance-the one does have a good reputation. I am not sure if we have any Interventionists in our area. We did tell my son if he was not serious about getting help then he would not be able to live in our home. I think I am still in shock over this whole thing especially when one kids turns out great and the other not so great. My husband and I will be seeing the therapist this week and also seek his opinion.
  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Finding out a beloved family member is shooting anything into themselves is just a shock most parents arent equipped to deal with. We can wrap our heads around pot and booze but the harder drugs just hit you like a ton of bricks.

    I do think some intensive outpatient programs can work if they are very intensive. There are those who you will never force into inpatient for a variety of reasons. Some have to work, some have no other form of child care, some have other issues. Real life isnt Dr Phil where he manages to fix it all in the outside world so the person can go into long term treatment.

    One thing that may help you get an idea on how much he really wants to change is to put a call recorder on the cell phone he uses. It runs in the background without him knowing but you can go back and listen to all his calls. On the good ones you can hear both sides of the conversation.

    This is something we want badly for our children and we try to make them see how much they have hurt us. Sometimes that is enough, sometimes not.

    *Good luck with this.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    The only way it will work is if the adult child REALLY wants to quit. And heroin is addictive, making him crave it on top of going through withdrawals. Still, my daughter did meth and she quit. Honestly, she looked like the walking dead. I thought we'd lost her and I cried all the time. But one day she saw a "friend" of hers with track marks up and down her arm and thought, "This will be me." It fueled her to try quitting many times until she finally did it with no rehab at all. Not even therapy. It is actually nice to see her chubby rather than looking like she is in the last stages of AIDS.

    I'm not at all saying that most people can quit on their own. I'm saying that when/if they want to quit, they will. And there will be clear signs that things are changing, such as the adult child attempting to find friends who do not use (this is huge). The one time my daughter tried to kill herself and was taken to a psychiatric hospital she was not ready to even admit she had a problem and s he made several new "friends" in the hospital, all drug addicts.

    There is no good answer as to what will work. In the end, it is up to the person. It is very individual if one wants to spend a lot of money on rehabs or not. And each drug user is individual. My own opinion is that if he is not expressing a desire to quit PLUS making changes that show he is serious, such as avoiding his drug friends, he probably is not serious. But we're parents. We do what we can, at least when we first find out. The only reason our daughter didn't end up in rehab is because we had no idea how drug-involved she was until it became obvious by the way she looked.

    Hugs to you, lots of support, and good luck.
  10. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Princess, I would do everything and anything I could to get your son into the 30-day residential treatment program while he is covered by insurance. It can't hurt and it might help. As far as his "wanting" to go, if you removed the roof over his head and all financial support, he might quickly come to the realization that he wants to go.

    As long as your difficult child is living in your home and you are providing financial support and he is using drugs, you are unintentionally funding his drug use. That was hard for me to hear when my therapist said it but she was right. By providing my difficult child a roof over her head and food, she was able to use her money from her part-time job for the drugs and alcohol. She didn't want treatment, either. She just wanted everything to stay the same.

    It was only after we got the interventionist involved who helped us get the court order for difficult child to have to leave our house that she agreed to go into treatment. Was that forcing her to go? I guess she could have gotten in her car and gone to stay with drug using friends. So I guess it was her choice. I do know that it ultimately saved her life.

    I wish we had acted when our difficult child was your son's age. We kept thinking she would grow up someday and this would all go away. I feel so stupid now for not realizing that addiction was a progressive disease. We waited until after our difficult child was past the age where she was covered by our insurance and we ended up footing the entire bill for her residential and after care.

    So I would do it now if I was you when he is still covered by insurance. Be prepared, though, that the road to recovery usually is not smooth. I have been told that the average person in recovery relapses five to seven times before they finally stay sober.

  11. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    Given the history of depression and suicidal behavior you may want to seek out a dual diagnosis center. Our experience with the first rehab difficult child attended was that his depression issues were hardly addressed. They did some kind of initial screening on him and decided that he didn't need to be evaluated by the psychiatrist...really? Another one of our mistakes that we made was giving in to his pitiful phone calls and letting him come home instead of going straight to residential aftercare (a halfway house). He relapsed the night after he came home. The second time he was placed in a dual diagnosis center straight from the hospital and went straight to the dual diagnosis halfway house where he has been for over 5 months and has tested clean every time.

    It may take somehow calling the ambulance when he is nodding off or acting strangely to get him to the hospital, where they can admit him. If he gets admitted, then it's easier to stand your ground and tell him that if he leaves, it's either your way or the streets. That's the way we did it.
  12. princess

    princess New Member

    Hello everyone-well my son is telling me now as of yesterday he will go inpatient one of the rehabs on my insurance
    I am pretty sure he is using herion again -I have no idea where he got it we cleaned out his car and room so I am thinking when we went to church he went out and got some or his drug dealers gave him some. I think my son may have been selling also for his habit. I am having such a hard time with all this I wish I could stop crying and I feel so unhappy-I see by many of your posts here that you have been doing this for years I just know if I can do it much longer I see the therapist tonight with my husband and my son wants to go along too not sure if this is good or bad...what happens if he decides not to go tommorrow do we make him leave tommorrow? I have already set up everything with the rehab center and they have talked to him too-he actually did call to confirm he would be there-however some of the statements he is making not sure. I appreciate all your advise.
  13. Prayfort23

    Prayfort23 New Member

    I'm so sorry your going through this. It's so hard as a parent
    To watch your child self destruct. If he will not go to rehab you must make him leave. Hard as it is, do not help him be a drug addict, let him hit bottom.
    I know with my daughter I wasn't ready to kick her out thinking she would go straight to the druggies-fortunately when we did her intervention she went willingly. 6 days later she tried leaving but we talked her out if it. She now has 97 days clean and sober.
    Sounds like he is willing to go, and hopefully he will. 12 step program is the best you can choose.
    Try and get some rest, I know easier said than done, but you have to take care of yourself.
    Good luck and keep us posted.
  14. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Yes. You are giving him a choice . . . rehab or leave. One word of caution, though. Depending on where you live, it may not be that easy. In some states, you have to go through the eviction process to make an adult child leave even if they are not paying rent.

    On a good note . . . if he is in residential treatment, you can go on your cruise without worrying about him.

  15. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    I did tell my son to leave the first time and he came back 3 days later with his tail between his legs, and he did then agree to go to rehab. We couldn't get him in because the rehab said it was not an acute situation and insurance would not pay, so he agreed to out patient; however before he could start we had to call 911 on him and was admitted for detox (BAL of .270) and from there went to inpatient rehab.
    He relapsed on release from inpatient rehab. We called the cops, and one of them did take me aside to talk to me. Now he did tell me that legally we would need to evict him. However, difficult child doesn't know that, and personally, I would not hesitate to ask him to leave again (although we have no intention of him ever living here again). So I'm not advising anyone to break the law or anything, but it could be done in such a way that you ASKED the difficult child to leave, and he complied. Making it miserable for the difficult child to live in your home (such as stop cooking for him, take away car, providing nothing but shelter and anything else he may enjoy as a member of the household)may also hasten his voluntary departure.
  16. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    When people want to use drugs or, worse, are addicted, they will find them and there is nothing you can do to stop them. We homeschooled our daughter to keep a better eye on her. We didn't think she was going anywhere. Obviously she was and she did get drugs.

    I hope he agrees to rehab. (((Hugs)))
  17. princess

    princess New Member

    Hello everyone-well my son went to rehab took him this morning-he looked really scared gave me the hardest hug I think he has ever given me-I wanted to cry but did not until I went into my car....bad thing is that he can leave anytime he wants to-he can call one of his drug buddies to get him even though I think he is not allowed any phone calls until the end of the week The place looks like a summer camp it is in the country with these little cottage houses. It is a 28 day program. I went to my first Nar-Anon meeting tonight I met a young person who is a pharmacist who was addicted to herion he went to the other treatment center on my insurance for 90 days he said it was a great place I hope my son is in the right place my insurance would only cover 28 days. This young man said that 28 days is not enough -that statement has me concerned -they said a very hard time is when they come home from rehab -everytime they go somewhere you are concerned they are using. For right now I am focusing that he did go to rehab.
    Thanks again everyone for your support I so appreciate all your advise.
  18. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I hate to say this but I agree with the pharmacist. The interventionist that we used said it took 30 days to even get the drugs completely out of their system and only then can you really start working on the addiction and mental health issues. Our daughter's therapist and the interventionist strongly recommended a three month program followed by outpatient. Could you appeal the decision of the insurance company? Would the doctor write a letter stating that your difficult child needs a 90-day program?

    I'm glad that he went, though, even for 30 days. It is a good first step. I think it is also great that you went to a Nar-Anon meeting. As far as his calling and leaving with drug buddies, no rehab locks them up and throws away the key. And yes, I don't know if you ever get over the fear that they are using after they leave rehab. difficult child's residential family therapist told me that I will never be sure and it is a doubt and fear that I will always struggle with but time will make it easier.

  19. princess

    princess New Member

    Hi Kathy: I called the insurance company and they only pay for the 28 day program they pay once a year and only three benefit years so he can go again in January 2014 if he would relapse and they would pay again for 28 days, after that they pay 1 other time that would be in 2015 but that would be the last time. We can pay ourselves as you did it is $500 a day, They do pay for 30 sessions of outpatient treatment after the inpatient. I doubt he would stay 90 days even if we took out a loan on our paid off house. On our way there he was talking about staying only two weeks. I am hoping and praying he stays the 28 days and gets something out of it. I just don't know how you and other parents have done this for so long the last two years have taken a toll on me. It was some comfort talking to other parents at the meeting and posting and reading on this site. This is my son who hung on to me the first day of preschool and would cry when I left him with a sitter -the good old days when things were so simple.
  20. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I hope you are still planning on going on your cruise. With him in rehab, I would definitely still go. I would also lock up the house and change the keys if necessary and tell your difficult child that if he leaves rehab when you are away he will have to find some place to stay.