12 step program and Alanon...

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by ksm, Jun 3, 2017.

  1. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    Younger Difficult Child has started an intensive outpatient substance abuse therapy. We drive three times a week to a town 50 miles away, and her meetings last for 3 hours each time. Thursday meetings are "open" for family members to attend, but she didn't feel comfortable with me attending the first week.

    I don't know how effective this will be, as she is already complaining about the religious aspect. She grew up in a Christian home, but the last two years has not been willing to be very involved with attending church or group activities.

    If a person isn't willing to try the 12 steps that are based on a higher power...how effective will this be? We are to attend 24 meetings. In the past, she was very good about "talking the talk" but not really changing her behaviors.

    I just feel like I may be wasting my time, energy and cash going to all these meetings if she isn't going to apply what she is learning. But I don't want to jinx anything. It's only been a week. But I have not seen her change her attitude. Plus she is on house arrest from her probation officer for having two dirty UAs in a little over two weeks.

    I am going to attend an Alanon meeting this Monday. I hope it helps me...I am so anxious. But, I wonder if Alanon helps when the addict is a minor? I know we can't control another's actions, but the court sure expects me to keep her in line. Once she is off house arrest, I worry that things will spin out of control. But, even with her home, friends can sneak her drugs, if they want.

    A friend reminded me that our granddaughters personalities were pretty well formed before we got custody, but I had such hopes for them both. They are beautiful and smart...and weak and flawed and insecure.

    To know that my 16yo is addicted to meth is frightening. I saw a letter she wrote to her mom, but never sent. She told her mom she first tried meth because she wanted to know why her mom chose meth over her...and now she knows... So sad. She got a letter from her mom today, from jail, where she has been for being an assessory to armed robbery. To get cash. For meth. Biomom is looking at serious prison time.

  2. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Al Anon is more about you than your addicted loved one. I could not stop my minor daughter from taking drugs, even after homeschooling her. She sneaked out of the house...there was no way to totally stop her from sering fellow drug users.

    I feel differently about drug treatment than most here, maybe because I just never had money to spare for expensive programs. Partly because my daughter quit all dangerous drugs plus cigarettes without therapy or rehab....

    I believe that they quit when they want to quit and forced, expensive rehab is no better than free programs or voluntary, self help programs. Unless I were a millionaire, I would not spend a fortune on a program my loved one didnt believe in and wasn't invested in.

    Many have spent everything they have and the loved one still uses. Then some, not just me, used just low cost resources, which my daughter was not interested in (she was not ready to quit), and later I saw my daughter quit while OUT of treatment. I dont think a rehab would have hurried her along. She wanted to use meth, cocaine, etc....Until she didnt. When she didnt, she stopped.

    You know your daughter best and you know what you can do for her. Its about your feelings as well as hers. You will know if her mindset has really changed. It is a dramatic change in mindset and behavior, in treatment or not, when that lightbulb finally goes on. The lies and excuses stop. Thriving starts. Values and friends change. It is quite amazing!

    Last thought: 12 Step is not for everyone. If her program doesnt do anything except that, ask your daughter what she feels would best hrlp her. There are non religious programs too out there.

    Good luck. You deserve a break. I do hope your daughter has a breakthrough.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2017
  3. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    From what I have seen, the 12-step programs have a high failure rate. Some people say it works for them. Some people get more help from therapy, especially if they are using drugs to control anxiety.

    You mentioned before that you live in a small town or rural area. I think boredom may be part of the reason your daughter used drugs. Maybe that was why her friends started using, too. I live in a mid-size city. Drugs are everywhere. But, in our nearby small towns, the drug use is worse.
  4. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Crayola, frighteningly drug use is bad everywhere. Lived near Chicago in three suburbs of it and now in Wisconsin small town and then small city. It is bad in this small city of 18,000 known for heroin but worst in Chicago and likely just as bad in the suburbs. Although the small town my two youngest grew up in spawned LESS drug users than surrounding areas (it was such a small school all the kids knew the ones who used), you are right that in many nearby small and rural towns drugs are just awful.

    The scary truth is that there is nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. Kids who do well academically or are very involved in athletics or other activities tend to fare better in a world of drugs. That is why your advice to get young kids interested in something is very good. And its great that you keep your own son busy.

    Problem is when a kid never does find a passion. Kids who feel insecure, do poorly in school or tend to have rebellious friends or no friends are at higher risk. But you know this.

    How I wish there was somewhere to go. I loathe the affect of drug use on our vulnerable teens. Gangs are largely formed for the drug sales. But rich kids have more money to buy. It is lose/lose for the insecure.

    My daughter is in school for law enforcement and she has learned much about drug use and the community attempts to stop the bleeding. Lots of drug busts hsppening. We will see if that helps.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2017
  5. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    I look forward to seeing the change you speak of in my son SWOT. So far not really. He does have a sponsor now and is working the steps. Still asking to come home. Hello???! I told him it is not even fair to ask that question.

    KSM she is so young. Ugh I wish I could say that was a good thing but it seems in the case of our children (or young adults in my case) that their youth is against them.

    I do agree with SWOT though that you could be throwing money at the wind but I know you have to feel you are doing SOMETHING. That is how I always was and still am! If I had to do it over when my son started this I would have sent him away to a boarding school or military school or something like that. I'm saying this without having any research of these programs under my belt but it just never ended and hindsight I wish I had done something DRASTIC so we all did not have to suffer for so long.
  6. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    What would have helped? Military schools dont want behavior problems...they throw them out. Everything is temporary.

    RN, dont beat yourself up. Often parents try drastic measures and it does no good. As soon as they get out, they relapse. Jail and prison dont even always work. My daughter was on parole twice. She had to check in often. She was threatened with juvy. As a minor. She kept using.

    Drugs are stronger than measures, which is why people quit when they truly are sick and tired of drug life and want to quit. Nothing else works except deep desire to quit. The best program on earth can help only the willing. And my daughter is proof that the willing can quit on their own.

    Do not think you could have done more. You did it all. Its 100% on your son and it always was. The addiction to drugs trumps all, except deep desire to stop. You are a wonderful parent. The best parents still cant make a drug addict get sober. Keep being awesome, but dont blame yourself.
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  7. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    Having a bad day...wondering if this Intensive outpatient treatment is the right thing to do. Doubting my options.

    Also, if Difficult Child should have left on service trip yesterday. husband and I should have been on our way to Montana...

    Instead, I will keep driving three times a week. And hope this works.

  8. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    Feels hopeless at times I know.

    I always ran circles around my son trying to help, to fix etc. I don't think it did a darned thing.

    SWOT is right though, it's up to them. When they are minors it's harder.

    You are doing the best you can!
  9. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    I went to my first Alanon meeting last night. It's only 4 blocks from our home at a church. There were 12 people in attendance...2 were men. Most were there because of spouses or partners. Two women had adult sons who had addictions. No one else had a minor child...

    The meeting was so so. The two leaders,who seemed in charge, basically read from a script. There were two other ladies that seemed more outgoing and knowledgable when they shared. I wonder if they take turns being the meeting leader?

    One of the men introduced himself as an alcoholic, and he was there with his wife.

    I hope it feels more comfortable as I continue to go.

  10. Teriobe

    Teriobe Active Member

    I went to two different meetings. Gave it a month each. Didnt like either of them. They just read from a book. There is no interactions, was boring
  11. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    This group read a couple paragraphs...then those who wanted to would share about what was read...whether it worked for them, if it was difficult, etc.

    This was repeated about 3 times with other short articles or devotional/meditations like or motivational type readings about one of the 12 steps.
  12. ColleenB

    ColleenB Active Member


    I too have been wondering about 12 step meetings and if they will be effective or not .... son is home as of yesterday and said he was going to a meeting last night... but in the past he had tried them and said he didn't feel comfortable.

    I know how you are feeling about losing out on things you planned for your life due to the consequences of your child's addiction ... it's human to feel this way. We look forward to vacations, plans and when we have to change them a part of us feels robbed. I get it.

    I would do anything for my sons recovery if he needed it... but of course we feel sad and a bit angry too if we admit it.

    Hang in there.... it's hard but you are doing what you think your daughter needs right now and I do think that is important. I realize the addict needs to want to change but family support is something that can influence recovery and make it possible. I do believe strongly in those family connections making a difference in recovery.

    Working with at risk children and teens in my daily work, I see first hand the difference a supportive ( I didn't say enabling ... there is a difference) family can make in the way a child or teen can overcome struggles they face. Without family support so many kids have no way of finding their way.... it's heartbreaking. Your child has a much better chance of a full and eventually successful life/recovery.

    Take care....
  13. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    ksm. I relate to your doubts and fears. I think you can only do what you are doing which is to support her in the best option she has. The outpatient program sounds great. I would try not to worry about how she responds to the religious aspects. That is beyond your control.
    But if you wonder that friends smuggle her drugs I would not let anybody into the house. Period.

    She is old enough I think (or close to it) for a Job Corps program. I believe so much in this free, government job training program where the young people are housed and fed and trained and supervised in sites all over the country. They have no issues with kids with problems and will deal with them, where they are.

    My son's issues too center on his abandonment by his drug using parents, the degradation of their lives and the fact that he was drug-exposed and what were the consequences for him. I really feel for these kids.

    I think your daughter has the capacity to work this out but it will take time and life experience. I think she is not helped at all by her peer group and would benefit from being away from it. Maybe someplace like Job Corps, and later the military might help.
  14. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    She still has 1 and a half classes to get her diploma...I don't think sending her off right now is the answer. We are doing the GED Plus program. They meet all the core classes for high school, then take the GED.

    Her teachers feel that she found pass GED without those special classes. But it is not offered until the fall. Neither is the high school classes offered during the summer. They are basically onlinem but the school requires that all tests be fine under their supervision.

    I am hoping that we will be done with "school" by the end of this year.

  15. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    It's been a rough day...we saw the nurse for a routine medication appointment. they increased her Lexapro.

    Difficult Child complained of a migraine with pain behind one eye. But her whole demeanor was short and rude to the nurse and me. Then at 5 the two workers with family reservation came and she was short with them. She usually sucks it up and is more pleasant to them than to me. They finally just dismissed her fom the living room (home visit) and continued the rest of meeting with us.

    Even though under house arrest, she can have friends over if we approve, and a guy friend came over for supper. She was still angry, and he left when the meal was ready and she wouldn't eat. Just been in her room all evening.

    So tired of this. I have gone out of my way to be pleasant. Not tried to discuss the rehab meetings, unless she brought it up first. Been encouraging. Suggested doing things that she might enjoy.

    Just so tired...
  16. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    The days have gotten even rougher. We may be back in court next week. Possible out of home placement.

    Friday mornings incident is what pushed us over the edge. She had a friend over Thursday evening. At about 10pm, husband thought he smelled alcohol on her. Friday morning, after the girl went home and Difficult Child was out of her room, I found two glasses that reeked of whiskey.

    I didn't confront her right away. Trying to get thru this weekend (her birthday is tomorrow) and we see her court supervision officer Monday morning at 8am. But yesterday afternoon she texted me: are you reading my F-ing texts.

    And yes in the past couple weeks I have been. She spends most of her time on Facebook messenger, Snapchat, and Instagram so I don't see most of what she communicates. But the phone she has I set up and I can see texts.

    She has only texted three or four people in the last two weeks. One is a guy she used to hang around with that I know is a known drug user. The other is a new guy in her rehab classes that we go to. He had texted her about smoking a joint with her. Mind you this is a 19-year-old man and she has not yet turned 17. Another is a young woman who texted her Thursday night and said what are you doing and my daughter responded drinking and being weird AF. And she replied... Same here. These are people from her intensive outpatient treatment center!! Grrrr!!

    There is also text to the previous friend here in town about sneaking out to see him during the night. I had seen that and between midnight and 2 AM I had parked my car down the block from his house. It was the night she was staying at her dads house. One of his friends recognize me in my vehicle and must've told her yesterday that I was checking out his house that night. She did not sneak out that night as her sister refused to cover for her. Then she threatened to cut herself if she couldn't leave. And to top that, posted "Wanna Die" as her FB status.

    So I told her I had been checking on things. She was furious when we asked her to hand over her phone. My husband had to physically take it from her. Then she tried to tip over the coffee table in the family room. I tried calling her court services officer but he was out for the rest the day. I left a message for the social worker from family preservation and she came to our house within 15 minutes.

    The social worker thought she could have daughter put in detention for the weekend until she saw her officer and probably have court schedule next week. But unfortunately she was not able to do that because she's listed as a CINC case so she can't go to lock up without a court order.

    When I talk to her about why she would be drinking she said because she doesn't have a problem with alcohol. And besides "I wasn't using meth". She just doesn't get it. She thinks she can be one way with all the adults in her life and at the rehab place and a different way with her friends. It's like it's all a big game. But the games over...and I am not the one who makes the rules any more. It will be the judge, the one who barely allowed us to adopt our DGDs.
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2017
  17. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    ksm. I am sorry. No other mother could have done more than have you. But you cannot reach inside of her brain to effect her minute to minute choices, nor can I for my own son. That has to come or not from them.

    Personally, however painful for her or you I believe she could well be served by a drastic change such as out of home placement/foster care. It could be a wakeup call and at least will take her away from her current associates but it seems clear she has no problem getting new ones (witness the rehab class.) But increasingly and continually she is showing you that she cannot and will not be contained by you. Or by anybody. The ball is in her court. As she continually defies authority and control, she will be reined in. This is a good, not a bad, thing.

    I do not remember the story about this judge, who barely allowed the adoption. What happened there? What was his/her reasoning? How do you think he/she will assess the current situation?

    ksm. I am sorry this keeps going on and on for you, but there may be a silver lining, if the court intervenes and provides for services/interventions/living situations whereby she may be contained. I hope so.
  18. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    Both our DGDs are Native Alaskan thru their bio mom, who married my son. Older DGD is not his child. They were in foster care for a year before they were allowed to live with us.

    I read up on the Induan Child Welfare Act. It ticked DCF, the private foster care company, the CASA worker, and the court off. I pointed out that ICWA federal law mandates that the tribe be given written notification of any case plan or court proceedings a 10 day notice with a return receipt.

    I believe the court and DCF did not have enough information to terminate the parental rights under the ICWA law. But what the court did was to ask the parents if they would voluntarily sign a release of parental right, naming us as the adopting family. If they didn't sign a termination voluntarily in the court could terminate their rights and the children to be placed elsewhere is what they lead them to believe. Once that was done they bypassed all the ICWA laws on termination of parental rights.

    Then they informed us it was a private adoption and we lost all adoption benefits.

  19. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I do not know if I understand. Was the private foster care company trying to do an end run, terminate parental rights illegally and take the kids and adopt them outside of the family?

    And then because of your research, you saw that they did not provide proper notification to the tribe, and you used this to put a halt to what they were doing? And then you were able to step in and arrange the family adoption because your son and the Mom agreed to voluntarily surrender the children? And then the court punished you by taking away all adoption assistance and monies?

    My g-d. How chilling.
  20. mof

    mof Momdidntsignupforthis


    So sorry, just reading this. She absolutely needs residential treatment, for a longtime. She is not maturing enough. I don't hold step mtgs in too high regards for the young. There are special rehab for teens.

    They are so hormonal and feel invincible at that age, then add drugs, not an easy fix. Adults struggle with the right thing, teens...ugh she has amazing support, but. Needs to be in another situation.

    Our son thus far has been doing amazing...buts here's the thing...He has chosen it! He is also almost 21. Her group of friends I'm doubting any of them are safe. When our son used, they don't attract nice kids, straight kids. Even after he returned home, the scrum returned...He had to turn that corner and tell them no and don't return. Hard? Lonely? Yes

    He now has a girlfriend...basically her and his family is his free time besides work. He is work I g on his life.

    You have done everything. Is there an NA mtg anywhere? She could relate better in that mtg. You don't have to believe in God, just that your not the center of the universe.

    Praying for your strength, New answers and your future. You deserve good things, God wants the best for you.
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