17 1/2 yr old...Hard choices coming up quick.

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by comatheart, Sep 5, 2013.

  1. comatheart

    comatheart Active Member

    I've been here before but I think my account was deleted due to inactivity. We've been through so much over the last few years I don't even know where to start.

    The short version is depression... medications... counseling...shoplifting...changed medications a few times... diagnosis bipolar....more counseling...drug use.....stealing prescription medications (anything he can get his hands on) and alcohol from us and family... drug use that we are aware of is marijuana, prescription medications he gets from school or steals, whole bottles of cough syrup.... he has lost 4 jobs and wrecked his car twice.

    He had a reaction to Wellbutrin & Cough syrup in May and landed himself in a psychiatric hospital for 7 days.
    In Aug. he became so drunk that his friends literally had to CARRY him to the front door.

    He see's a counselor weekly, a psychiatrist monthly.

    He tells his counselor he's not going to stop smoking weed, he doesn't see a problem. I can't count how many times we've busted him with pipes in the house or other paraphernalia.

    We have 3 other kids to think about. They are seeing him come home drunk, or sneaking out in the yard to smoke etc. We've HAD it!! If he wants to drink and do drugs and ruin his life fine, but he's NOT going to do it in front of his younger siblings who look up to him.

    When is enough, enough? We are seriously considering an inpatient treatment facility because he is getting SO close to turning 18 and we know at that point we won't have many options anymore.

    Part of me thinks...eh it's just marijuana, he'll be okay. The other side of me knows because he's gone as far as to steal prescription medications and alcohol from us and friends and family (he's been busted SEVERAL times) there's a deeper, bigger, problem here and he needs serious help.

    Your thoughts??

    He was just busted with a pipe and coming home high on Tuesday. It wasn't even 24hrs after being ungrounded from a 3 week long stint. Today the alarm in his room starts going off at 4 (I'm thinking he wanted it to go off at 4am?) He wasn't home from school yet so I went in to shut it off. I noticed a deoderant bottle in his rabbit cage. I reached in and grabbed it, come to find out it was filled with Marijuana! A pretty big stash for someone who has no $$. I have NO idea where he's getting it. I'm SUPER SUPER ****** that it's in my house. We live in OK and it's still very much illegal here. :devil:
  2. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hi comatheart and I'm glad you found your way back. The pot is one thing but the prescription drugs we all know can lead to heroin in a very short time so you are right to be very concerned. Have you discussed these issues with his counselor? I would hope the counselor could gve you some guidance.

    Since he is so close to 18 it is important to act soon. You may want to ask his counselor on advice about having him assessed for substance abuse. You may also want to start checking into treatment centers, you will have to find one that takes adolescents.

    by the way I hope you destroyed his pot stash.
  3. comatheart

    comatheart Active Member

    I actually didn't know prescription drugs lead to Heroin in a short time. I honestly don't know anything about Heroin. Why do illegal use of prescription drugs lead to it? Interesting. I didn't know what to do with his pot stash so I hid it in my room. What should I do with it?

    His counselor and his psychiatrist are both in agreement that he needs more intensive treatment. We have been making lots of phone calls. I can't believe how $$$ this stuff is! Our insurance wont cover inpatient substance abuse therapy so we'll be on our own. I hate to think of taking a second mortgage on the house to pay for something he doesn't think he needs. I can just hear the toilet flushing now as I watch 20k go down the drain....
  4. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hello again. Welcome back. I could have written your entire post but I would have to add that my daughter did move on to heroin. It has made a big comeback and as prescription pills are getting harder to get because of state and local crackdowns on pill pushers, addicts have moved on to heroin. It is not a big leap from opiates in pills to heroin. Heroin, unfortunately, has made a huge comeback as it is cheap and easy to get.

    I don't know if you have read my other posts but my daughter went from pot and alcohol over the years to pain pills and finally heroin. My husband came home from school one day to find her overdosed on the couch. Luckily, our housecleaner was there and heard him screaming her name and called 911 and they took turns doing chest compressions until the EMT's came and administered Narcan which brought her back around. The EMT's told my husband that if he had come home 2 minutes later she would have died.

    That was the eye opener that it took for me to say the hell with money and find the best residential treatment center I could find. It did not take insurance, either, but it didn't matter because my daughter was too old at that point to be covered by our insurance. So we bit the bullet and took the money out of our retirement accounts to fund the 3 month stay and the follow up after care.

    Yes, we know it was a risk and it may still be money down the drain. However, as I have explained before, I looked at it as if she had cancer and someone told me that there was an expensive program that had a 50% chance of being successful and saving her life. . . would I have even thought twice? Of course not. Would it be considered money down the drain if she still had died of cancer? No, we would look at like we had done everything that we could to save her life.

    Bottom line, the answer to your question is that I absolutely think you need to do something now while you still can. Not everyone on the board agrees with me and will tell you it is useless to send him if he doesn't want to go and I respect that. However, the interventionist we worked with said that only 15% of addicts seek treatment voluntarily because as long as their brains are clouded by drugs and alcohol, they won't agree to go.

    She also told us that most addicts go into treatment because of family pressure or court orders. She said that it takes a month for them to even get all of the drugs out of their systems so they can start working on the addiction and mental health issues. For that reason, she recommended at least a three month residential program followed by aftercare.

    I would give anything to have a chance to go back in time and send our daughter to residential when she was still your son's age. Maybe she could have gone back to school and her life would be so much different today. While we are thrilled that she is in recovery and working full time, her dream is to go back to school and that will be very difficult for her at this stage in her life. She would have to work full time and go to school and she doesn't really make enough money to do that.

    Last edited: Sep 5, 2013
  5. comatheart

    comatheart Active Member

    That is a very good way to look at it! Thank you both for your responses. I'm just so tired and weary of all of this... *sigh*

  6. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    My son's been to two different rehabs, and what they did was charge us for room and board while the insurance picked up the rest as if it were outpatient therapy, as that was the only way our insurance would cover it.
  7. comatheart

    comatheart Active Member

    In a Daze... may I ask how you went about this? Did the rehabs offer it or did you have to request it? Would you mind sharing with me the places you used? (If you not, you can PM me) Did it save you a substancial amt of $?

  8. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    comaheart, I don't know where you live but if you are interested in recommended treatment centers in south Florida that take insurance, PM me. Personally, I think sending her far away was a good thing for us. It gave her less incentive to try to leave since she had nowhere to go and no one to come get her.

  9. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    comatheart our city newspaper just ran a five day series on heroin use in our city and surrounding suburbs. They are having a summit in November with doctors, therapists, police, DEA, etc to try to come up with ideas on how to deal with it. Prescription drugs are becoming harder to get and the user needs more and more to get the same feeling They switch to heroin because it is cheaper and easier to get. I'm not trying to scare you into thinking this is what will happen, but it is a huge problem everywhere and something it's good for you to be aware of before it happens. Hopefully the rehab centers in your area are aware of all this and will take your son's prescription use seriously.

    We had to pay out of pocket for our daughter's rehab less about $3,000 that the insurance paid for the hospital detox part. There are rehab treatment centers that you can work with for a set fee and then qualify for scholarship. Many centers start out wth a 30-60 day stay and it can go from there plus aftercare. We could only afford 60 days and then did 8 weeks of aftercare.
  10. comatheart

    comatheart Active Member

    I'm so frustrated! I have contacted half a dozen inpatient treatment facilities. The one we want to send him to is $275 a day/90 days. They said they'd drop it to $200 a day since we're self pay. That's 16k we don't have.

    I found 2 facilities that have financial aid or sliding scale and seem very good programs. Of course, I can't get them to call me back!

    My husband and I visited 2 outpatient treatment centers. One I was not impressed with at all, of course that's the affordable one. The other, was amazing but expensive.

    If I ever win the lottery I'm going to start some kind of foundation to help parents financially get treatment their children need, because this is ridiculous!!!
  11. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I know that you don't want to hear this but 16K for a good 90 day program is really a very good price. My daughter's residential was $500 a day and there was no discount for self-pay.

    Many people do take out a second mortgage to pay or take out a loan but that is a personal decision and there is no right or wrong answer. I did find out that several of the addiction centers difficult child's therapist recommended did take clients on "scholarships" at little to no cost. Unfortunately, we felt that our difficult child needed a dual-diagnosis treatment program and we were told by several well-respected people in the addiction field that the one that would be the best fit was one the one in south Florida so we sent her there.

    Again, many people here on the board will counsel you against going into debt to send your son into the treatment program. I would look at it as whether I would hesitate to go into a $16000 debt to buy a new car. However, I would certainly first keep trying to contact the ones you found that do take clients on a sliding scale. Could you just show up at their door?

  12. comatheart

    comatheart Active Member

    It's good to know that $200/day isn't as bad as it could be. Part of the problem here is I don't know that we could get a loan as I lost my job recently and we are down to one income. Our 15yr old has some chronic medical issues and was in the hospital for a good portion of the summer. He had 3 surgeries in 5 weeks and at this point, losing my job was a blessing in disguise because I need to be home for him AND to keep an eye on difficult child.

    The thought of showing up at their door has honestly crossed my mind! It's about 2 hrs away though so we'd be taking that risk.