3 weeks left - Next Steps

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Zardo, Dec 10, 2013.

  1. Zardo

    Zardo Member

    OK - difficult child is 4.5 weeks in to a 60 day court ordered program. He is not benefitting from this program. He has been on edge since the day he walked in. He views himself as not needing to be there and is just counting the days to come home. Truth is, since getting out of in-patient last Spring, he has had a series of relapses and has not been able to string together more than maybe 3 weeks sober. He has more used this time to develop what he considers to be more of a normal partying pattern for a teen of his age and stay away from problem substances, although he has also not been successful with that at times. So now, he counts the days and is just dying to get home. Problem is, we don't think that's what's best for him or us. I have identified and told him about a transitional living program where he can live in a recovery community and be held accountable for things that support taking care of himself outside our home. When he is in our home, he is very lazy, his room is disgusting, he claims to be looking for a job but really isn't, and barely follows through with any school work at all. It has been exhausting trying to put the bumpers up around him to keep him moving forward and I don't want to do it anymore. It's not that I don't love him, I'm just exhausted and feel "beat" by his determination to do whatever he wants. He has refused the transitional program. He just turned 18 so we are at that important crossroads. I am continuing to push the program, but I don't know if husband and I will have the strength to put him on the street if he refuses. The main thing eating us is the fact that he has not finished HS yet and although it takes a huge effort to get him to meet his school responsibilities, it will be much easier for him to finish here than to try figure out how to finish in a program out of state which is where the program is. 18 is also very young to turn him out. Having said that, he is so disrespectful in our home and gets volatile when confronted about his behavior, so I am really thinking it's time to hold the line. I do think if we hold our ground, he will still refuse and end up on the streets. Would love some feedback.
  2. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    I wish I could be of some help, but as you know, I'm just starting this struggle in earnest. All I can offer is my prayers - for both of us.
  3. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Zardo, what does the treatment team say about this? What do they recommend as the next step? My difficult child, who is a lot older, wanted to move back home but the therapists at the treatment center told her (and us) point blank that moving back home was not the recommended treatment plan.

    They told her that the next step was a halfway house for at least 3 - 6 months and that made it easy for us to say no to letting her move back home.

  4. Zardo

    Zardo Member

    That's a great point - this is a state run place and he is here thru probation and their main goal is to get the kids home. His counselor does agree that our plan is better suited to what he needs but I don't think she can make a formal recommendation. I have even asked his PO to back us up and mandate it but she said she can't because he will most likely be dismissed from probation after the program because he has shown progress - it's crazy because all at the current program do not think he is taking it seriously and do agree that our plan is what's best but so I don't know why we can't get formal support - I think it's because he just turned 18 so juvenile court doesn't want him in their system anymore - sort of turn him out and see if he makes it
  5. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    Do you have a therapist? Mine was very helpful in helping me set boundaries especially when difficult child wanted to come home.

    Try not to let him come home. Maybe you could call some shelters in the area where he will be released, in case he says no. Or ask the counselors for some resources. Easy for me to say, I know. It's so hard. I feel for you.
  6. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Although I am not in favor of him coming home I also know how important it is that he finish school. If you take him back home I suggest you have some firm rules in place that he must follow which he will balk at because after all he is 18. It's important that he understand the rules of your home and that you will not tolerate any crossing of the boundaries set. Once school is finished he can go on his own and find out how difficult it is to make a living on a high school diploma. For sure you should not tolerate any disrespect or illegal activity which includes drinking and drug use. If he's willing to follow those rules then you can try to let him come back. My guess is that he won't be willing or able to follow the rules.
  7. comatheart

    comatheart Active Member

    We have a very similar situation. My son turns 18 very soon. He has been inpatient for nearly 90 days and getting released today. We struggled with after care as well. Several professional's warned not to bring him
  8. comatheart

    comatheart Active Member

    Hmmm I typed a big long response on my phone . And its not all there? .... Will have to rewrite it later!
  9. comatheart

    comatheart Active Member

    Okay let me try this again...We have a very similar situation. My son turns 18 very soon. He has been inpatient for nearly 90 days and getting released today.

    We struggled with after care as well. Several professional's warned not to bring him home. There is a VERY high relapse rate if they return to their previous environment. (I've heard 90% but I'm sure there are a lot of aspects that go into it) I was absolutely torn by that! Yet I was/am weary of sending him to Sober Living straight from treatment because he's still in school. I really don't think he'd finish school if we did.

    Instead we are sending him to a Recovery School. We are lucky to have one near us (there are less than 30 in the US) and it just seems the perfect step down from residential treatment. In this particular program they are there morning till night doing not only school but, AA mtgs, individual and group counseling,drug testing, exercise, and various social activities where they learn to have fun without using. They come home to their families at night. I'd look for something like this in your area. In my sons home contract we DID put if he didn't participate with the recovery school he would need to find a Sober Living house as a consequence. I don't want to have to enforce that consequence, but I will!! If he's not actively participating in his recovery, we can't have him living around my other children badly influencing them.

    Also, someone recently told me that they can always go back and finish school. If they are suffering from addiction, its a deadly disease that should really take precadence over school. Wow- puts things in perspective right?! It did for me anyway. In your position if there is no Recovery School option near you I'd think seriously against bringing him home based on his history of relapse alone.
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  10. Zardo

    Zardo Member

  11. Zardo

    Zardo Member

    I don't know I'm having a hard time posting the past couple of days.....thanks for your response - yes ur situation is similar - what a great program u found - we don't have anything like that around here I wish we did. Still thinking - still struggling - working thru it one day at a time - because he is not really on board I am also worried that if I send him he will just get kicked out either for use or for bad attitude - then what?
  12. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Comatheart tell me more about this Recovery School. I've never heard of it and it sure sounds like it could be very helpful.
  13. comatheart

    comatheart Active Member

  14. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Wow that sounds like an awesome program. How did you find it? Is it called a Recovery School? I don't think we have any in our area. We have a lot of sober houses but this sounds much more structured and geared towards young people still in school.
  15. comatheart

    comatheart Active Member

    My son's Psychiatrist gave us a handout about the program. If you want to PM me your area I can ask the director if there is one in your area.

    He started at the school today and really liked it. Let's hope it continues...
  16. Deerhunter71

    Deerhunter71 New Member

    I was in this situation last year, but with a 22 yo. He went from inpatient to outpatient. It was structured with meeting, classes, and support. It worked for a while. After a few months sober, the same habits returned. We had even moved 5 hours away with my job. See about a half way home, to ease the transition back to normal. The KEY is that your difficult child must want to get the help. Without their commitment, it is all in vain and the process begins once again. I found that structure is a key to keeping them committed to sobriety. My thoughts are with you.
  17. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    That is awesome news, comaheart. :wootsmiley:

    Deerhunter, I'm not sure that I agree . . . at least in the beginning. The interventionist that we used said only 15% of substance abusers enter rehab on their own volition. Many are there because of family pressure or a court order.

    When drugs are clouding the brain, addicts are not going to be able to make wise decisions. We were told that it takes 30 days for the drugs to clear out of the system for heavy drug or alcohol users. That is why 30 day rehabs so often don't work. It is only after the drugs are completely out of the system that therapy can start working.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2013
  18. Zardo

    Zardo Member

    This is part of what's so tricky - he isn't committed - after all of what he has been through - he knows at some point in his life he needs to stop using everything and turn it around - but he tells his therapist "he's not ready" his plan is controlled use of things he deems not to be that bad like pot and acid. So, yes, I am afraid this will also be a waste - but what am I to do? I am afraid if I let him come home it's us who suffer. I don't want to suffer through his use anymore. I feel that if I send him to transitional living, it has a chance of working and worste case scenario is if he makes a mess - we gave him a good chance of getting on his own and he will be on his own. I saw him last night - he does seems much better - more at peace, more connected to us....but still just saying he wants to go home. 16 days left.....
  19. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Comatheart my difficult child is finished with school so I don;t need that info, I was just curious because I had never heard of such a great program for students. My difficult child was in a sober house for six months after rehab and it was very similar to what you describe, minus the school part. She was actually the youngest one in the house.

    Zardo your son is young and it's very difficult for young people to accept that they have a problem. Many thing they are just doing what everyone else their age is doing, and for the most part they are. But if it is affecting them negatively and their life is out of control, that's the problem. You may just have to let him come home and see what happens. He has the tools now, it's up to him to use them.
  20. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Zardo - Gosh I feel for you. I think it is really hard to hold the line and say that he cant come home.... but really you know what it will be like if he comes home. He will be disrespectful, will keep using and it will be very hard on you.
    I also think having him home will be very hard on your easy child and you need to protect him as well..... so that may be the reason you tell the program he cant come home. I know for us it was my easy child daughter that eventually made us hold the line because it was much better for her for difficult child not to be home.

    It sounds like the program will send him home unless you take a strong stand with the program that he cant come home.