what is considered danger to self??????

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by peg2, Feb 23, 2008.

  1. peg2

    peg2 Member

    I have tried lately to have my son admitted inpatient by our local hospital crisis screener(after prior years of inpatient) because he is 17 1/2, out there with untreated bi-polar and ODD and using pot. I took him in December for a screening and showed them all my documentation,they took a urine(positive for pot), I told them all about his out of control behaviors, but unless he had been violent within the last 24 hours, they wouldn't admit him.
    A teenager out on the street with his friends all night(does come home to sleep),unmedicated and using drugs, is that not considered a danger to oneself?????
  2. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    I would say yes. We commited our son twice for siimilar behavior. Once he overdosed at a friends house and the other time was just for his behavior at home - always either high or on pills - coming home, etc. We had to go through probate court.
  3. peg2

    peg2 Member

    Thanks for the reply, how does probate court work?
  4. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    I went to our mental health facility and then you go to the probate court - they having a meeting with everyone after they evaluate your son - then everyone meets and they say he will be involuntarily commited on such and such date because of his drug use he could die - my son was not a happy camper but I knew that if I didnt do something he was going to die - however, it got him help for a while but then he figured out how to manipulate them and they would kick him out of the program - he is in jail now for contributing to the deliquency of a minor - he is 24 and he was probably your sons age when we had him commited. I would do it again if I had to. Talk to your mental health people in your city - tell them he is a threat to himself - one of the times I commited him I was riding with him in the car - I was driving- he wanted me to give him money and I said no = he busted my windshield while I was driving - I just continued to drive and pray and then when I finally got home I called the crisis line and told them and got the ball rolling on getting him commited = good luck - I understand.
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    In my opinion just not being treated for his bipolar and smoking pot isnt considered a danger to self or others. There have been many times I wished it was enough.

    Danger to self and others means that the person is in imminent danger of hurting either himself or other people at his own hands. My son was committed for a short time after taking too many pills. Attempted suicide. They only kept him 24 hours. By that time he was able to convince the psychs that he did it as a lark because his babys momma was threatening to keep his child from him.
  6. peg2

    peg2 Member

    I agree,Janet; that is why I was asking, I suppose some states are different. Here in NJ they don't inpatient so quickly. I don't believe either that untreated bi-polar and smoking pot is enough,I was just asking-------------and hoping it might be. He isn't violent,gets mad,and has knocked furniture over and broken a window, but even that isn't enough. I guess until he does something to hurt himself, no ne cares. He will be 18 soon, I am so stressed about that as he will have to leave.
  7. Sue C

    Sue C Active Member

    Hi Peg,

    When Angela was 16, I got her admitted into short-term drug rehab for 2 weeks (all insurance would pay). To get her admitted immediately, I had to prove she was a danger to herself or our family members. Well, she had just held a butcher knife to my wrist that day and laughed about it. She said she was joking. I started crying uncontrollably. Previous to that, the worst she did was shove me a few times (and kick her sister). Anyway, I called to get her admitted because of the drugs she was abusing and the dr was acting reluctant to admit her. When I told about the knife incident, she got right in.

    When Melissa was 14, I got her admitted to the mental health hospital for 2 weeks (all insurance would pay for). I had wanted to have her admitted because of the awful ODD behavior. I was told that was not enough. So I told about a note I found laying in the middle of her bedroom floor saying she wished she were dead. They said that was suicidal behavior and admitted her immediately.

    If your son does an act of violence against you or your family or writes or says anything about not wanting to live, then you can immediately get him admitted (as far as I know).

    Good luck,
  8. peg2

    peg2 Member

    Thanks for the advice, but.....................my son has been admitted 3 times to the hospital and in 2 group homes(16, 18 months each).Smart enough not to leave any evidence around and besides, he was never suicidal. I'm just worried about his behavior overall, but there is nothing I can do now. No one will/can help me so I will wait until he is 18 and unfortunately, he must fend for himself.
    Thanks anyway, the only thing I do know is anyone would be admitted for saying they will kill themselves!
  9. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My experience has been that they have to be an "imminent" danger to themselves or others. Virginia is pretty strict on that (hence the tragedy at VaTech). It doesn't matter that you're effectively commiting "slow suicide" by not taking care of yourself, or abusing drugs or alcohol, or even that you may be a danger down the road because you're slowly exploding ... you have to be a danger that day. Once the "danger" is passed, out the door they go unless they want to stay voluntarily. 3 days or so.

    It's very, very frustrating.
  10. peg2

    peg2 Member

    Thanks,Crazy in Va. Your state sounds exactly like NJ and I do know, even if he was admitted, it would only be for 3 days or so unless I could get our youth and family services to find a place for him, but they wouldn't even look because they absoultely hate dealing with 17+ age kids.
    There is nothing to do unless it gets so serious that he must be admitted, but he knows the system too well himself. We will have to see how the next few months go.
  11. sameold sameold

    sameold sameold New Member

    I think most all states will only admit immediatetely for suicidal or homicidal behavior. My son was in a psychiatric hosptial for 2 months 2 different times for suicidal ideations over the years and now that the lunar eclipse has passed we are having alot more suicdial ideations, the hospitals aren't always the answer tho, they only keep them from harming themselves while in their presence. Then they are back at it when they are released. My son is truly mentally ill, so we have been down this road many times, it stinks. I hope someone can help your son.
  12. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    Yes I agree it is very frustrating. When we had our son involuntarily commited after he overdosed - when he finally came to in the hospital and we told him he was going to a treatment facility he was so mad. They didnt keep him very long either because he knew what to say for them to kick him out!