18 yo.....two arrests in one week

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by AmericanGirl, Dec 15, 2011.

  1. AmericanGirl

    AmericanGirl Guest

    My 18 yo difficult child was arrested for dui two days after Thanksgiving. Didn't call me. Someone else did. Left him there for about 8 hours after when he could be bailed out in hopes he would wake up a bit.

    That night, I learned he was failing 3 of 5 classes, had just gotten his 3rd speeding tix for the semester, had become a smoker (since moving in the dorm six weeks earlier), had a tattoo, and yes, a drinking problem. But, he could handle it on his own. Yeah, right.

    A few days later, i learn he was arrested for shoplifting. He agreed then to start intensive outpatient rehab. His other choice was to be homeless after the term ended.

    Since then, he has come home since dorms closed. He is regularly hostile. For example, today's fit included berating me for expecting him to get out of the car to retrieve the mail from the mailbox. His arrogance is easily seen during family meetings at rehab. He goes 15 hours a week.

    Im a single mom. We have no real family. Have stopped contact with the few around due to their decades of substance abuse, mental illnesses and refusal to seek help.

    difficult child has three months job experience. Not working now. I have possession of car he had before dui. Is in my name. Not returning it unless and until he is clean for a while and attitude improves.

    However, have little hope. difficult child threw fit on way home from rehab. Wants to couch-surf for rest of break. Claims he can find rides to rehab. Not buying it. Dropped him off at friend's house tonight because *I* needed a night off.

    Just tired of being criticized all the time. I forgot to mention difficult child was financing his alcohol habit by selling his adhd medications. Called doctor. Everything of value in my home is locked up.

    I don't know where to draw line and kick him out. I know i cannot change him. Dont know if i can manage the stress for four more weeks until rehab ends and he goes back to dorm. Even then, he still has one ticket, the dui, and shoplifting to handle....all while berating me...

    Any advice you have....i am grateful. Thanks for reading!!
  2. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    He's 18. Let him deal with his own court issues.

    Is in-patient rehab an option for him? Until he is clean, nothing will help.

    As far as your support, please find an Alanon or Families Anonymous group and go to the meetings. It may help to find a few so you can go more than once a week, at least for now.
  3. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Just wanted to send some support your way. Dealing with alcohol/drugs is a terrible strain on parents and I'm sure the burden of single parenting makes it even harder....and the holiday season probably makes it even more difficult. I'm sure you never imagined you would be in this postion. Sigh!

    Each of us has to make our own call on when to take action. What's right for one family may not be right for another.......or at least the timing may not be right. If you read old posts on this forum you'll get a good sense of how other parents have made their decisions. That might help you a little.

    Meanwhile, good job on taking him to the meetings. If he's really absorbed by addictions chances are great he is just "doing his time" and not ready to absorb any concepts of "looking in the mirror" at who he is and the choices he is making. I have over ten years experience with our difficult child's addictions, three residential substance abuse programs, arrests convictions and subsequently a felony charge and five years of probation plus time in jail. I don't have experience with verbal or physical abuse. It's a hard road but alot (in my mind) depends on if it's a pattern that is new or old.

    Whatever you decide stick to it. All of us agree that you can never "let them see you sweat". Hugs DDD
  4. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Hi, no advice, except to listen to those here who have walked in your shoes. They are amazing. we all here have tough kids and you are in a good place here. HUGS Buddy
  5. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    You wrote my story from two years ago. difficult child started college, got a tatoo the first week, got arrested for drinking and smoking pot after six weeks, stopped going to class, drank and smoked pot 24/7, flunked all her classes, got suspended from college and came home to continue the same until she became an inpatient at a substance abuse center. Fast forward after release, outpatient treatment, relapse, kicked out of our home, lived with druggie neighbor for three months, entered sober house, got kicked out of there, entered second sober house, left there and is currently living in an apartment with other sober people. I can't say she is out of the woods, but she is sober today and goes to AA meetings daily and has a job, and the big thing is she is not living here and she is respectful to us.

    It's true that your difficult child will not change until the pain of staying the same becomes unbearable. At some point you will have to draw the line in the sand and he either gets help or leaves. Do not let him verbally or physically abuse you. I was terrified to kick my daughter out of the house but she survived and it was the only way she got help.

    There are several members here who are currently dealing with the same issues you are. We are all here to help.

  6. AmericanGirl

    AmericanGirl Guest

    Thank you all for your replies.

    He is in outpatient treatment 12 hours a week plus another meeting. That is why I haven't responded til now as it is out of town slightly and I have to drive him back and forth.

    I am attending a weekly meeting for family plus reading some Al-Anon literature.

    He has been on and off his Wellbutrin for a while now. Told me yesterday his ex-girlfriend could tell whether he was taking it or not...that they fought more when he didn't. Says he cannot remember to take it. He did agree to give me the bottle for the rest of Christmas break and to take them when I bring to him. Am hoping these may help to stabilize his mood and then he can built from there.

    Found out tonight that even though the treatment said my insurance should pay 100% that it won't pay anything. $5000 if he completes program. They said insurance usually pay $1790. Am hoping we can work something out when they call tomorrow.

    At the same time, difficult child has a speeding ticket due on 1/4 for $147. He refuses to do any work around the house for cash...unless he needs cigarettes. He says they can just put him in jail. Guess he doesn't need to return to college in January.

    Then, difficult child has court for DUI in late Jan. Attorney thinks he will get 30-days suspended license, court costs and DUI school. That will total close to $800. He can claim youthful offender.

    In February, difficult child has court for third degree theft. No attorney for that one but DUI attorney thinks about $400. Likely no youthful offender. Its a one shot deal.

    I truly believe difficult child is depressed and has been for a while. At the same time, he refuses to deal with his feelings so they end up haunting him. Praying the Wellbutrin kicks in.

    He has put in numerous job applications. Nothing so far.

    Tonight he threw a fit. Told me to just throw him out on the side of the road, that he knew I wanted to. I managed to stay calm. Am trying to remember he is 18, emotional, afraid, etc. But he is 23 days sober.

    Trying to find the balance between detaching and still being kind. Really hard. Don't want to enable. Want him to see a way out. Trouble is.....all his troubles appeared at once so it is a big pile.

    I know you ALL know how hard this is. Being a single mom, dad out of picture for 15 years, tiny family....it just feels so alone. Am sitting on the floor of my bathroom typing this because I am trying to lay low tonight and keep the peace.

    Thanks for listening....
  7. pinevalley

    pinevalley Member

    I don't have any words of wisdom, but I am sending this message to you to offer support and to give you strength in this battle with your difficult child. I have an 18 year old difficult child also, and he has been arrested two times in the last month, one of the charges a felony. My husband and I were able to convince our difficult child to enter an inpatient rehab for his addiction, but he only agreed to go because of his upcoming court case. Our attorney told our son that if he didn't get help for his drug problem the judge would most likely send him to jail for the felony burglary charge. This scared our son a little so that he agreed to enter a rehab program. When our difficult child was using drugs he sounded a lot like your son: defiant, angry, terrible mood swings, and extremely difficult to live with. I can understand how helpless you may feel right now, because you probably don't really get a break from your worrying and constant battles with your difficult child. If there is any way that you can get your difficult child in an inpatient rehab program, it will be a tremendous help for both of you. My son has been in rehab for almost two weeks, and my husband and I have had two weeks of peace and quiet in our house. I know that you are probably upset about the arrests and court dates for your difficult child. But your difficult child and mine are both 18 and adults, and they should take responsibility for getting arrested. My difficult child does not want to go to jail, and this threat is helping to keep him in line right now. He already spent one night in jail and that was enough for him. Please try to take care of yourself, and do something nice for yourself once in awhile. It can be a nightmare living with a drug addicted teen, but there are lots of people on this board who understand what you are going through, and will offer support and encouragement.
  8. AmericanGirl

    AmericanGirl Guest

    thank you Pinevalley for your reply. I'm sorry you have experienced this as well.

    You are right. My attention needs to be on me. I'm a cancer survivor facing a two year checkup in a month which is scaring the you know what out of me.

    I wish my difficult child was afraid if jail but he isn't. Tis his life, not mine. Inpatient is not an option as he is currently sober.

    Think this is a lot like when I left his abusive father....gotta take my power back. Help with appropriate. Take care of my needs.

    He may be the child I prayed for.....the baby I adored....the toddler I tended to....etc....but if he wants to run his life into the ditch there is NOTHING i can do to prevent it. In the meantime, my wellbeing must be a priority.

  9. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    Alabamagirl, you are not alone. I am sending a hug and good vibrations your way. This is the worst time for parents as we wait for the consequences to hit our kids who have made bad choices. You are stressed and feeling alone. Even our families don't totally understand unless they've raised one of these kids. Your difficult child says he's not affraid of jail, as ours said also-trust me, he is. When he said, "throw me out of the car, I know you want to"-he was really feeling bad about himself and hopeless. He doesn't know which way to go or how to feel. He is feeling what you are feeling. Is it enough to turn him around? Who knows. This may be his rock bottom. Stay strong by caring for yourself first. Let him figure out how he will pay his fines. In the end you may decide to help but you can have the lawyer write up a loan contract. I'm not sure what I would do-I think I would make him think he has to pay the fines on his own so he is motivated to get work. We have made difficult child pay every penny back for fines, stealing etc. She knows that is her first priority now that she is working. I think when they are accountable, they actually end up feeling better as they make restitution. Please care for yourself and allow yourself to know that you have done the best you could at every turn.
  10. pinevalley

    pinevalley Member

    Alabama Girl: I'm glad that you know how important it is to take care of yourself. You have to think about your cancer checkup coming up and take good care of your body. I have heart problems,and when my difficult child got arrested and was in jail I started feeling very stressed out and sick. I know that I was feeling sick because of all the stress and worry about my difficult child. In a million years I never thought that I would have to deal with a kid getting arrested, going to bond court, and addicted to drugs. I wish that I had a perfect son, but that is not the case, and I have to deal with the reality of his life. I feel much stronger now that my difficult child is in rehab, but I will start worrying again when he is out and back at home with us. Anyway, I hope that you can enjoy some of the holiday, and try not to worry about your difficult child all the time. You are right, that your wellbeing must be a priority.
  11. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    If its any consolation... I had a majorly-difficult child bro, including drug and alcohol abuse. It was a long road - for all of us.

    It gets better, somewhere around age 25.
    (at which point he sobered up, went back and completed his grade 12, and went on to get a couple of university degrees...)

    If you talk to others - search the forum - you'll see that this is NOT uncommon.
  12. compassion

    compassion Member

    JJJ shaRED:As far as your support, please find an Alanon or Families Anonymous group and go to the meetings. It may help to find a few so you can go more than once a week, at least for now.
    I find this very helpful, I go to a lot of meetings a week, also attend online.
    I also agree with DDD about making a decison and sticking with it.