Worried Sick and don't know what to do...

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Broken_Hearted, Jun 25, 2012.

  1. Broken_Hearted

    Broken_Hearted New Member

    Hello! I am new to the forum. Was scouring google for advice on addict teens and found this page.

    I am frozen & lost.

    I have a 17 years old who started off by using pot - later found out he was using spice - cough syrup

    I had no idea what was going on - with his personality. Was clueless he was so heavy into drugs.

    He was arrested for various small offenses ( hanging out with the wrong people at the wrong time ) - and then he invited a "friend" to live over at our house. That "friend" was arrested for stealing ( felony level) and the empty coin boxes of what he stole were in my son's closet so my son was charged with receiving stolen goods.

    He allowed someone to burn his arm with a cigar -all over his arm. When he found out he was going to be arrested for Felony charges - he freaked out and said he would rather commit suicide than go to jail. He was then sent to a mental hospital under suicide "watch".

    A day later we got a call that he had escaped from the mental hospital!!!! We were told the last place he was seen was by the river by a chemical plant. I had a nervous break down because I thought he had died. :(

    A month later I was able to hack into his facebook account and found out where he was. I thought the Sherrif's theraputic unit would pick him up and take him to rehab ; but that was not the case. It turns out there was a bench warrant for him and he was sent to adult jail.

    After being in jail he admitted to me that a 37 year old man - who is a felon with previous heroin distribution charges had given him free samples of heroin.

    So for the first time I realized my son was doing much harder drugs , than I could have ever imagined. He told me while in jail that he was doing the drugs to mask the pain.

    My son - like another poster I read here - started going downhill after being beat up so badly he was brought semi unconcious to the hospital with a concussion. That is when he started hanging around a crowd that acted like a 'gang' and he started into the heavy drug use. His first girlfriend dumped him, and he was severely depressed.

    After spending two months in adult jail. I was out of state when I bailed him out - my last few words to him on the phone after bailing him out were "stay at home until I get back" ( he stays with my grandparents due the legal issues because he can not leave the state due to arrests court ect). Well as soon as I flew back - that very same day - he left my grandparents house. He went on a drug drinking binge. Even his friends were texting me telling me he would end up in a coffin.

    A week later - I finally found him. At the emergency room. He was found half naked on the beach. He had scratches all over the back of his neck.He was still high and drunk. I was so thankful he was alive - and my mom and I were happy he would finally get treatment. I wanted to send him the MUSC ( Medical University of South Carolina) which the the best treatment place for teens. The nurses were already getting a bed ready for him in the psychiatric ward - until a social worker came and told interviewed him.

    My son's behavior was bizarre. He tested positive for marijuana and alcohol. But he was acting high as if on something else (probably cough syrup and or spice)Much to our dismay - while my mom and I were out side - the social worker let him go at 11 o'clock at night - barefoot- and still drunk high. When I asked for his paperwork - and asked why she did this she said , "He's an adult (17) he can do what he wants"

    This was not the first time he was in the ER - previously he had been in the ER for overdosing on alcohol and cough syrup.

    My mind was shocked and aghast that they decided not to treat him.

    I did not hear from him for a few more days. When I did he called me up screaming at me in a drug/alcohol induced stupor , saying if I didn't send him money he was going to call the police and a lawyer on me for child abuse. I was shocked! He and his friends took turns on the phone laughing calling me names that were terribly sexually derogatory.

    I was shocked. I remained calm as I knew he was on heavy drugs - and warned him to please be careful and to come home.

    All this time my family and myself ( including my 80 year old grandparents) were living on pins and needles not only worried about his health but worried also because he was out on bond - and their house was (and still is) on the line as collateral!

    Well we got a call that he was in a juvenile detention center in another state. He had run from the police after they approached him and asked him for his name and he gave a false name and then ran.

    He stayed in juvi for a month. Last week I went to go pick him up. He was angry and violent towards me. We had some happy time - for a while where he laughed and smiled - but as soon as we got back to my grandparents house ( 7 hours drive) he became violent and almost psychotic. For the first time in my life I was afraid of my own son. He called the police - and tried to tell my grandparents I did it. He tore his shirt up. He did break down in tears though when he saw his great grandparents. He looked at me after calling the police and said, "You are going to get the **** out of this house."

    I was shocked - I had never seen someone turn and change personality like that. Also after picking him up and treating him so kindly, trying to give him love and support - there was no thank you no nothing.

    The next day my grandmother and I brought him to MUSC ( Medical University of South Carolina) he promised both of us he would seek rehab. The psychiatric doctor urged him to seek rehab but he refused. He wiggled his way out of it by lying to my grandma and stating that he had court in 4 days ( which was a lie).

    In private the doctor urged me to go to the local drug treatment place and get him court ordered into rehab - as he could not because it was only an outpatient place of the hospital.

    Well I went back to my mothers after my son promised my 84 year old grandmother he would behave. Three days later he was posting on Facebook angry messages at the kids who (were involved in the theft of the coins but did not get charged ) and angry messages to his girlfriend.

    When I read that about 10 kids were planning on hurting my son and my son was urging them to come and get him - I went to the drug rehab to get papers ordered to pick him up from the place he was at ( he was staying with the drug dealer who brought him up to Tennessse where he was arrested). I feared for his life and his safety. Plus I knew he was on some heavy drugs because of the way he was typing.

    The theraputic unit got him and brought him into MUSC. Once again I was relieved - that he was finally going to receive help. Much to my shock and dismay - even though he is 17 and tested positive for cocaine - and opiates - weed - and alcohol ( plus found empty bottles of air duster in his room which I showed to the hospital ) THEY LET HIM GO!

    I broke down crying in tears - for an hour in the ER. I could not believe it.

    It turns out he is an adult ( 17) and did not qualify to stay because the paper work was not court ordered by the judge and were just for evaluation.Also he was not showing any "acute " symptoms from the drugs.

    The psychiatrist didn't even interview me - instead I was asked by the nurse staff who was his legal guardian.

    I went the next day back to the Charleston Center and filed for commitment papers.

    Now I'm in a dilema. My son hates me so much now. He think I was the one who turned him in and got him arrested the first time, and now he was humilated be having the psychiatric unit come and get him at his "friends" house.

    He's been at my grandparents house for a few days now - and no problems - except for the facebook fighting.

    I don't know what to do - he told me over the phone that he likes to rub it in my face that he is not sent to rehab each time he goes to the er. He yelled at me and told me he knew how to pass drugs tests , and that from now on he was only going to drink and try to hurt himself by drinking. Plus he informed me that I didn't know that each time he has been in the ER he has been telling the staff that I am a schizophrenic ( totally not true) and that I am am a heavy drinker and pill popper ! ( Totally not true either). He also tells them terrible sexual accusations about me. Now I know why I can never get him help! The good thing is I caught this on tape - I recorded it.

    Now - the doctor he saw at the MUSC ( who urged me to get him committed) returned my call - and he said he was surprised the hospital let him go.

    Now that I have the paperwork for commitment /rehab I told the doctor how angry my son was at me. He told me that I might want to have someone else do the commitment so that he won't blame me - but I have nobody else.

    So now I am stuck - of course common sense tells me to get him committed - but he's been locked up for over 3 months total now in jail - and I am afraid he'll be so full of hate in anger if he gets committed - that the rehab will be futile.

    So I suppose all I have to do is wait until he get sent to the ER - or in jail? Or just pray he get through this.

    I can NOT believe how NEGLIGENT the hospitals have been in believing and addict's words over his mother - but he is a master manipulator....

    Should I have him committed? My god I just really don't know what to do ...

    Thanks for any advice input...

    I'd like to add that my son has had some traumatic things happen to him in his childhood and recently as well. He also told me for the first time that he was raped when he was younger. He has NEVER recieved therapy or treatment of any kind.... :(
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2012
  2. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Oh Gosh I so feel for you!!! You have been through terrible things that no mother should go through, and plenty of us here have. So yes I think you should get him committed. Someone once said to me that you are never really in relationship with a drug addict, because their primary relationship is the drugs. I think that is true. You can't trust anything he says right now and that includes his claims of hating you and blaming you. That is his manipulation and the drugs talking. I can't say for sure that he doesn't but in a way it doesn't matter. Right now he is clearly a danger to himself with his drug use and behavior and he absolutely needs treatment. It seems like the only way you can get it for him is if you get him committed. At 17 I would definitely do this. He is too young to not try this... at some point down the road it may be different and you would need to wait until he wants it, but this time I would do what I could.

    And please find some ways to take care of yourself. You need that. This is traumatic and heart breakingi and you ned some support for you and to find ways to continue to live your life. I have found a wonderful alanon group for parents... check out alanon parents group or families anonymous or something where you can meet other parents of addicts.

    And keep posting here... we will listen and understand.

  3. AmericanGirl

    AmericanGirl Guest

    First, I'm sorry that events brought you here.

    I can only tell you what I would do...which may or may not be right for your son.

    I'd rather have him hate me than bury him....so I'd commit him. He'd have a better chance of getting straight. If they could get him detoxed, then you have a chance to have his brain begin to heal and his thought processes change.

    I agree that rehab will never work if you force it on someone however, you can make the alternative choice so unpleasant they will choose rehab.

    As far as lying about you....I would bet that all rehab staff is very used to addicts lying about family members. Heck, if they believed what my son said about me, I'd be locked up. I wouldn't worry about that one second. Sounds like a lot of the delays here were due to the legal age crud and that your son kept running.

    Please start to focus on your needs and your health. It may sounds counter intuitive but the best way you can help him is to help you. Find an al-anon (or similar group), get a therapist if you get support, talk to helpful friends and family (and ignore the ones who aren't helpful). You MUST have good support and good boundaries.

    Keep reading and posting!!

    All my best
  4. Broken_Hearted

    Broken_Hearted New Member

    Thank you so much for your welcoming post and your advice. I appreciate it so much-

    I should get him committed - I agree - but I also failed to mention that when I was slightly "tired of it all" and after the doctor told me it would take years for him to trust me again - I texted to my son that I would not try to get him into the ER or rehab again. It was extremely traumatic for him having the Sherrif come and chain him in front of all of his "friends", and when I emailed him this I was thinking about what the Doctor told me. I am afraid that broken promises/words are even worse from a parent so if I go ahead and do it it now....it might really mentally break him( and I feel so stupid for having emailed him that I wouldn't).

    The doctor did tell me he had a perfect doctor for my son to see on an outpatient basis. And I think if he starts outpatient treatment - if he fails - he is then put into rehab inpatient? But you are so right time is ticking - in 4 months he'll be 18. My gosh - I feel for everyone else here to this is like living between h*ll and limbo - never knowing if your child is going to end up dead the next time around.

    I wish I could somehow get someone else to file the paper work so he didn't think it was me who did it. I just can't believe MUSC didn't treat him. They saw all the burn marks on his arm, the drugs in his system :( . A man in the therapeutic Sherrif's transport office forewarned me that if he was a good manipulator he would be able to get out of being sent to rehab - which he did.

    My son is hurt and destroyed - in so many ways. It tears me apart even more knowing he is a good kid with a good heart - but is just so hurt and so devastated by the events in his life -that he is on self destruct mode...and seems to want to take me down with him. If he had a normal childhood - or had received some therapy or treatment - I would not feel as bad. In other words he's def on self destruct mode.

    I agree it is the desire for drugs that has fueled him into "hating me". He knows that I can pick up on the drug use...and or drug activity. At my 84 year old grandparent's house - he can do whatever he wants...

    And yes - I do need to take care of myself - thank you this is so true - this was an abbreviated version of the events - every time he's been sent to jail/ in the ER I put my life on hold. I have a job in a different state - and I fly back time after time something happens back and forth- and my finances are in ruin due to this ( my finances aren't more important than his life) but without money - how am I to help him or myself? Last year I tried flying him out to live with me but he wanted to stay in SC ( I had no idea he was an addict then)

    My mind gest shocked - like a frozen feeling - and I become like a numb robot with each bad news incident - and with waiting on pins and needles. It's like a dear in head light feeling - for months on end!

    I do need to learn how to cope better and how to "detach" as I have read some of the posters talking about here..

    Once again , thank you for you for your input and kindness - and I am glad I found this place...

    Last edited: Jun 25, 2012
  5. Broken_Hearted

    Broken_Hearted New Member

    Hi AlabamaGirl - you are so right - rather have him hate me that bury him. Perhaps I will have to rethink what I wrote to him. Perhaps I will go ahead and do it despite telling him I wouldn't ( urggh still kicking myself for that). Two parents advising me to do the same thing here.

    As far as lying about you....I would bet that all rehab staff is very used to addicts lying about family members. Heck, if they believed what my son said about me, I'd be locked up. I wouldn't worry about that one second. Sounds like a lot of the delays here were due to the legal age crud and that your son kept running.

    Lol that makes me feel a little bit better - but the ER staff OMG their attitude has been super funny now that I realize all the lies he was telling them LOL. The first time he was in the ER in Mt. Pleasant - even the Security guard followed me out of the hospital giving me dirty looks!

    Thank you as well for your response and kind words <3
  6. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    As far as going back on your word.... well it is hard but at the same time you have to do what you have to do. I think we have all been taken by surprise and said and done things we wish we hadn't... sometimes you have to rethink and regroup. If you think it is safe enough for him to work with an outpatient therapist and then do rehab if that doesn't work then do that.... I worry about his safety though. If you do go that route I would write a up a very clear contract for him, with the consequnce being rehab.

    And stop blaming yourself. I know that one too... many of us do. One of the things they say in alanon is the three C's you didn't cause it, you cant cure it and you cant control it... and that is very very true. You did not pour booze or drugs down his throat, those are his decisions, and he is the one choosing not to get help.

  7. AmericanGirl

    AmericanGirl Guest

    I understand you wanting to protect what little you have left of your relationship with your child.

    In March, I forced my 18 year old into rehab. Okay, I didn't force him - he had a choice - rehab or the streets. After 29 days, he was released into temporary housing to start phase two. As soon as we were alone, he hugged me tightly, pulled back a bit, looked into my eyes and said, "Thank you for making me go to rehab."

    Now our relationship is FAR from perfect. We still have our ups and downs. But now, I am dealing with my son....before I was dealing with the substances. So, if he hates you now, that is REALLY the drugs hating you. (And, if he can get clean, those friends who saw him being taken away will all be out of his life.)

    My experience was that if you are on a lot of stuff, then they want you in inpatient. The detox needs to be supervised in order to be safe in some circumstances.

    Do you have a local mental health center? Around here, they have a sliding scale for payment. My therapist knows so much about substance abuse. It has been a huge help to not only unload but to learn too.

    Al-anon is free. They pass the hat for a small donation (usually $1 around here) but no one is expected to pay. They also have online meetings but face to face has gotten me through MANY dark days.
  8. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Broken welcome to our board. I am very sorry for what you are going through. Please remember that it is the drug talking. My difficult child said awful, horrible thing to me, called me all sorts of names and told everyone I was psychotic. The only ones who believed her were her druggie friends. Everyone else knew the real story. You may just have to wait until he gets arrested for something and ask the court through his public defender to order him into treatment. Then it is the court ordering him and not you.

    Your son needs to be detoxed. I would not worry about breaking a promise to him. If there is any way to get him help you should do it. He may hate you now but if he is dead because of these drugs you will hate yourself for not doing it. I am reminded of Carol O'Connor saying "get between your kids and drugs any way you can." My daughter hated us for calling the police on her. She would say "what kind of parents call the cops on their kid." We told her that parents who love their children and want them to get help do that.

    You are going to have to be very strong in the coming months. This is not easy and you will worry that you are doing the wrong thing
    or that he will hate you. You are trying to keep him alive, remember that. Get yourself to an al-anon or parents support group of FA (families anonymous) meeting so that you will get some support for yourself. And keep posting here. We have all been through it and we care.

  9. AmericanGirl

    AmericanGirl Guest

    I bet he was just exhausted. Here's a sample of what happened to other patients during my son's 29 days:

    1. 2 guys were served with divorce papers.
    2. 4 people left against medical advice.
    3. 1 guy slit his wrists. Was okay in the long run.
    4. 1 went bananas.

    Can you imagine what they see all day long every day?

    My son recently invented a daughter. Had fake pics and everything on his laptop. All to make an ex-girlfriend jealous. He also lied about being in the Junior Olympics, traveling the world doing rally racing and...my personal favorite...I lost my home because I got on drugs and then heroin addicts stole all our clothes.

    So.....don't worry about what he says. They have heard it all.
  10. Broken_Hearted

    Broken_Hearted New Member

    And stop blaming yourself. I know that one too... many of us do. One of the things they say in alanon is the three C's you didn't cause it, you cant cure it and you cant control it... and that is very very true. You did not pour booze or drugs down his throat, those are his decisions, and he is the one choosing not to get help.

    Thanks TL I never thought of it that way - that is so true! That odly enough took some weight off of my shoulders. Perhaps an alanon class would be good for me to go to....

    I'm monitoring his fb page to try to see if the behavior continues - today it looks like he has added two non druggie down to earth kids ( I looked into their profile) which is a change for him- I can't write a contract because my 84 year old grandmother is overprotective - and undermines anything I say - there is no discipline there at all - if I even go over there or call him - he'll start yelling and pretend that I am "fighting" with him. And since my granparents are so elderly my mom and my grandparents then turn around and blame me for causing drama. I can't even talk to him *sigh*

    I have to rely on FB message which I don't know if he reads them or not...

    He already slipped up with going out and binging again after swearing he could do the outpatient thing. What I am praying and hoping is that he was so scared at the prospect of being sent involuntarily at the hospital - that he will shape up. I will have to give some very very serious thought to the commitment papers - sigh ....
  11. Broken_Hearted

    Broken_Hearted New Member

    That is so sweet - that made me cry a little - I hope one day my son will be this insightful....

    I tried the 'rehab or the street thing" - then my grandmother undermines it each time... * sigh*

    Even this last time at the ER - the Therapuetic unit brought him back to her house -

    I'm really between a rock and a hard place - it's so frustrating ...

    Between my grandmother - his brilliant manipualtion - of ER staff combined with his refusal to seek treatment - arghhhhh!

    I will def try my local Al-anon it sounds like a lot of help...thank you for you input - I will def keep everyone up to date on how this goes ...
  12. Broken_Hearted

    Broken_Hearted New Member

    I was thinking that it what might need to happen - even if I go in front of the judge to get the commitment papers that does not mean the Judge will do so based on my testimony alone.... I do have the hospital drug tests - plus recordings of him - and copies of his facebook threats - which I could bring to the Judge - but who knows.....Thank you Nancy for the welcome and support! I really appreciate it.. Thanks to everyone <3
  13. Broken_Hearted

    Broken_Hearted New Member

    Oh my ! LOL Ok... sounds about on par with my son when it comes to lying...... it's good to know he's not the only one...
  14. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I don't know what state you are in but many courts have a drug mandated program they refer to in these cases. They do consider the family and attorney's input in determining this unless of course the charges are so serious that drug treatment is not appropriate. Sometimes the court ordered program is the first chance they have at treatment.

  15. Broken_Hearted

    Broken_Hearted New Member

    I think I will talk to his public defender and see if I can't get her to go this route...

    A fair amount his friends that have been locked up were sent to rehab during jail time - - and a lot of them appear to be doing well - posting on their facebook pages how happy they are now that they are sober- one kid who did not go to rehab ended up dying of an overdose two weeks ago....
  16. AmericanGirl

    AmericanGirl Guest

    If you were in my area, the people at Al-anon would know all the local systems, etc. You might look in your paper or on the al-anon/family anonymous website and see if there is a local contact email/phone.

    Our main leader has helped many many families through the process of getting someone into rehab.

    Nancy makes an excellent point about mandated rehab. Here they call it drug court.

    As far as your promise...I'd encourage you to think about it this way - it's either your promise or his health - which comes first.

    Hang in there!
  17. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    I don't know about the state you are in but where i live the process to get someone committed to treatment is you go in and meet with the court psychiatrist... give them what you know of the situation, and then they bring in the person and interview them. The court psychiatrist makes a recommendation to the court. I have seen it (via my job) go either way depending a lot on the quality of the psychiatrist. It really helps if he is high when they bring him in... often people are sober and they sound good and don't want treatment... all the manipulation your son has done before. It is too bad they treat him as an adult at 17... although at 18 the same would be true anyways.

    We have let my son be homeless three times. My son is 20 now... we ended up kicking him out of our home when he was 18. It is awful letting him be homeless, worse than jail (which he has also been in). Yet we came to the conclusion that until he wanted treatment there was literally nothing we could do and it had to be his choice.

    Recently I felt there was a positive shift in our relationship and I saw him for a night as we were waiting to get him into treatment. I said I felt there had been a shift in our relationship and what was that due to... thinking it was one of the many recent treatment programs he had been in. He looked at me and said I think it was being homeless. That visit with him was positive between us, and believe me he has hated me too and been horrible to me in the past. He had been sober for several weeks.

    Now I am not sure right now where he is with me since he just used again over the weekend. I think I should probably be thankful that I am not hearing from him right now. What it did make me realize is that there is hope for our relationship if and when he gets sober and deals with his other problems. And for a long time I had little hope that things would ever be better between us.

  18. 2confused

    2confused New Member

    Hi Broken Hearted
    I live in your state and may have some resources for you if you want to PM me. I too have a 17 year old son who has put us through a lot. We turned to the courts and so far it has been a blessing. Of course, the same things don't work in all situations, but I had to do a lot of research before making the decision to go forward with the courts, and perhaps I can pass along a little of what I learned about what resources are available. Wishing you the best.
  19. FlowerGarden

    FlowerGarden Active Member

    Welcome to the board. You have come to the right place. I have been helped tremendously here. The support is wonderful. I think going through the court might be the only way to go right now. He does need help. It took us 4 years to get our difficult child committed. We had to get the police involved by constantly calling them when we had a problem with him. He'd get to the ER and do whatever he could to get released. He blamed everything on us. After the police got involved, the ER started sending him to the psychiatric hospital. After getting himself out of there a few times, he was given a different psychiatrist. This psychiatrist did everything to get him court ordered to a residential behavioral center. It helped tremendously. Our difficult child still has problems but recovers. Sending hugs your way and hoping your difficult child soon realizes he needs the help.
  20. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    You have received such good advice here -- and I don't think I can offer a better perspective. My son was 18 when he started using, he was 19 when we realized he had a problem. By the time we realized we had to offer him an ultimatum of "get help or get out" - it had transpired too long and he was too empowered by his use and our looking the other way to decide to get help. And at 19, we couldn't compel him to get help. If I could compel him to get help - I would jump on it. Commit him with a clear conscience, my dear. Do whatever it takes. Our best hope is that difficult child gets into enough trouble so that he NEEDS us and will agree to get help as a condition of staying out of jail or whatever. That's an awful best hope. Intervene while you have this window and before he is 18.

    And welcome to the board. I hate that you had to find us - but I am happy you did. {{{hugs}}}