Prodigal Son Returns-Long

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by NOLA, Feb 1, 2008.

  1. NOLA

    NOLA New Member

    Our difficult child came home last week after nearly six months. It was wonderful to actually see him, know he was safe and to be able to hug him. He has an earring, a modified Mohawk and lost about 20 pounds. The next day husband and I had a long talk with him about how much we loved him, felt our prayers had been answered, etc., BUT he still must follow certain rules. We weren't going to insist on boarding school but basically, no drugs of any kind, must obtain a GED, get a job, all those things that our difficult children find boring and a total waste of time. He was the most honest I think he’s ever been with us.

    He told us he had been shoplifting for food & necessities, clothing from the mall and was even selling drugs (just to people he knows!) He admitted to trying just about everything, including heroin (but no needles). He said EVERYBODY tries heroin - After he started opening up, he tried for about a ½ hour to get us to agree to smoke some weed with him because “it isn’t like it was when we were young – it’s sooooo much better” – just one hit is all you need. He knows if we’d just try it with him we would be so much more understanding and non-judgmental. He wanted to let us have one of his friends just stop by & drop some off! He went on and on about how good it is for him; has zero negatives; helps him be his best (creative, thinks on a higher level, etc.) and had absolutely no bearing on his dropping out of school. He said he realized all of the other drugs weren’t worth doing (I’d hope because of the risks involved) but he did say he absolutely loves ecstasy for instance, but hates the way he feels when it wears off, so he doesn’t do it any longer. He and most of his friends think it’s ridiculous that weed it isn’t legal and it most certainly will be within his lifetime.

    After we got past the ‘thanks but no thanks’ to the friend coming over & kept to the NO drugs will be allowed if he wants to live here with us, he said he understood and he would respect that rule (albeit a preposterous one) – he really wanted to be home and start anew. He wants to get a GED and enroll in college – he doesn’t think college will be like HS and knows he’ll do fine.

    He also told us one of his friends had died a week before (she was only 16, had snuck out of the house one night, did some heroin & coke, snuck back into her bedroom in the wee hours, and her parents found her dead in her bed. He was with her two days before this happened. I had heard about it from someone at work but had no idea difficult child was friends with her. This is the 3rd friend of his to die in the last year and a half. One was a suicide and two were overdoses. I’m getting off topic but one of the many things that really scare me is the way in which he & his other difficult children seem to treat and think of these tragedies. They put up Rest in Peace ……. postings on their myspace accounts, talk about how terrible it was, and just go about their business as usual. Is it me? Do you all sense this in your difficult children?

    This past week has been busy, he did have to spend the night in juvie after we called his PO, we went to court the next day, he was put on house-arrest for a few days, community service, drug screened & we were told to get him evaluated to determine if he needs in-patient treatment for drugs vs. out-patient counseling. He is still on probation till his 18th birthday. The evaluation isn’t till next week. He got his old job back (busboy at a restaurant); got a state ID card so he could enroll in the Adult Ed Class; and has been fine although still smoking cigs. We will also start family therapy in a couple weeks.

    I want so much for things to work out in every way imaginable and I don’t want to give off any negative vibes but I won’t let myself get too hopeful – I wish I felt more optimistic and could enjoy his being back home more.

    Thanks for listening to me whine - NOLA
  2. ck1

    ck1 New Member

    Hi Nola! I sent you a PM, somehow I didn't see this update. I'm happy to read that your son is home and safe. It sounds like he has good intentions now, enforce your rules to encourage him to follow through. Good job calling the PO! I'm sure it was hard, but since you did you have probation on your side to help difficult child follow the rules.

    Just drugs in the house? or no drugs at all? G'sFG read that very differently. Well, you'll get more help with this aspect once he gets through the evaluation. Stay positive and please keep up updated!!
  3. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I hope things work out but there sure are some big red flags. That he's trying to get you to try grass is pretty telling. It sounds like he's really not ready to quit using. If (when) rehab is recommended, is he willing to go? Does he want to?

    Maybe having to live badly for six months was enough to scare him to jump through any and all hoops to make things better. I hope and pray so for your sake. Good luck!

    by the way -- He's right, today's marijuana is nothing like the stuff of the 60s and 70s. It's much stronger, more hallucegenic and more addictive. I probably wouldn't object too much if my daughter were to smoke the grass of old (wouldn't be thrilled but wouldn't worry as much). However, that grass is gone. Today's scares the heck out of me and I do admit to smoking a lot while in college and after.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'd be cautious too because my daughter told me many times how she hated this and that, but she still did it (we have found out now that she stopped!). She also tried heroin. What she told me, now that she's clean, is that heavy pot users are usually doing other drugs too. She doesn't know any daily pot users who don't also do other, dangerous drugs and she also said pot makes you a loser--you don't want to do anything. Another thing I've learned, as a way to tell if your kids are serious about stopping, is that they MUST change friends to quit. My daughter TRIED to change friends but her old ones wouldn't leave her alone and bugged her about using drugs until she'd go back. We literally had to send her to another state (we made her leave home and she went to live with her straight arrow brother in Illinois) where she could start over, then she quit (she doesn't even smoke cigarettes anymore). She has been a wealth of info to us and others about drug use. I would also NOT believe that your son only sold to friends. "If you use, you sell," she said. It's a way of making money and people come up to you and ask about it anyways. It's an eerie, dangerous bond amongst users. They suffer their demons together and don't even need to know one another to feel connected due to their dangerous, illicit activities. My daughter told me what to look for to know if your kid is really serious about quitting and her first rule is "Are they changing friends?" Users don't like to hang with those who don't and are very scornful when somebody tries to quit. It's the same for alcohol. Alcoholics often find themselves lonely and lost for a while because they have to stop hanging with their drinking buddies. That alone can cause relapses, but that's when you know there's a serious attempt to change. Sounds like your son had a shock, and it's grounded him a bit, but his persuasion to try to make you smoke pot is not a good sign. I wouldn't believe he is only interested in using pot, especially if he has the same friends and if he admits he likes ecstasy. Sadly, we never really know how much are kids are into stuff. We know what they want to tell us and we believe because we love them. (and there's also that little bit of "not MY kid.")
    I would see how things go, one day at a time. In the meantime, maybe tell him he will have random drug screenings at home. I'd make sure he realizes you mean no drugs ANYWHERE, including pot.
    I knew a man who had used pot every day for twenty years and finally quit only because he got divorced and had custody of his daughter. He said it was VERY hard to quit. While it's not physically addictive, it was extremely hard psychologically for him to quit and he needed a lot of help from a therapist. I met him after he'd been clean for three years. His life changed dramatically after he quit. He became ambitious and had a great job. While he was using pot he had random jobs--bagging groceries, working in carnivals, kind of drifting and living off the generosity of his family. After he got married, he and his pothead wife drifted together. His wife became schizophrenic and the pot started making her hallucinate. She is still very ill, and he has full custody of his little girl now and is ten years clean. So it can happen, but it's really NOT easy to quit, even though it's not physically addictive. Good luck :)
  5. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Sending supportive thoughts and hugs your way. I think you're in the "hope for the best; prepare for the worst" spot. The statistics seem to
    indicate that it is harder to change than any of us would think possible.
    Changing friends is paramount but even when difficult children are prepared to change is not easy to find "nice new friends" when you have the reputation of being a druggie or an alcoholic. The deck is really stacked against the kid. I'm rooting for him! DDD
  6. Coookie

    Coookie Active Member


    In reading your thread it was, is, so much like conversations husband and I have had with our difficult child about pot. So much. :( I am sending you many hugs and crossing everything I have that your difficult child will do what he needs to do to get on the right road. :( I, too, have wondered at the way my difficult child reacts to deaths of people he knows from overdoses. :(