Court on Monday

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by jakiesma, Jun 24, 2011.

  1. jakiesma

    jakiesma New Member

    Hi, everyone. I am brand new here. I'm not sure what all the codes mean so I will probably just go long hand.

    I have a handsome and bright 16 y/o son who has allowed drugs to take over his life. We have been dealing with this since December, when we first found out, and things have gone from terrible to hell. Last Tuesday we were finally able to get the court to commit him to a five day evaluation in a Residential Treatment Center (RTC) (residential treatment center?)

    Previously he had 3 months of outpatient therapy. Not for drug use specifically. He is dual diagnosis although knowing which came first - the depression or the marijuana is hard to tell.

    He was our perfect child - literally. We never had to punish him. Teachers worshipped us at conferences. As a Sophmore he was the high school paper editor, worked a job, had lead roles in the high school play. I think he got too much too fast and he sought marijuana to relieve his anxiety. By the time we figured it out...he was in big trouble.

    He tested positive for Cocaine (negative for marijuana) on a mouth swab in the Juvenile Court office on the 15th of June. I found enough paraphenelia in his room to start my own head shop! Funny thing is I never found it until he got the idea we were going to commit him...then suddenly it was like it was on display. I found stuff for huffing, a cocaine straw, super glue, an empty dime bag of marijuana and rolling papers. I think he meant for me to see just how bad this is.

    Anyway, on Monday we go to the judge to see if we can't make him stay in treatment. I don't know what I will do if they send him home with us. Legally, we can't kick him do so is a felony in my state under Child Endangerment laws. However, all the rights seem to be his under the commitment laws.

    I sure could use some advice. I have read here that if they don't want's not going to help. I think that my son really does want help. He has admitted that he doesn't want to live this way anymore. I just think he has been disappointed so many times. They say it takes a villiage to raise a child - but all the "villiagers" seem to have disappeared and left us without any help or hope.

    His room was filthy - so I started cleaning it out. I found an small box that held his special memories. Pictures of family trips and his sister (who he adores) and of his real friends. I started to weep realizing that if this court date doesn't go in our favor...the next time I clean out his room it may be forever. I don't want to bury my son!

    Please help.

    Jakie's Mom

    SF - takes a lot of love for a man to raise and love three kids not his own! Especially through this!
    E-18 y/o male - big brother, rough teens grew into a real man! (no drugs)
    Jakie - 16 y/o in Residential Treatment Center (RTC) evaluation since Tues.
    EAE - 14 y/o sister - cries cause she missed her big brother
  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Hi!!! And welcome... Except for the fact that this is your son, and this is the first you've seen, you could be talking about my SD Onyxx. It's crazy. Drugs can change things so much. Really, what he needs is a serious vacation from all the bad influences, and the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) could be it. Counseling, therapy will help too. But really, really what - is before any of this will help - he needs to understand why he is doing this - and then he can begin to work with the tools. IF he wants to, and that is a big IF.

    Honestly, if you are finding this stuff? You may be right that he is begging for help. OR he may not give a rat's rear end any more whether you know or not.

    How did he get court-involved? That may answer some questions.

    {{{{{HUGS}}}}} - welcome. I don't have all the answers, or even all the questions. I'm still reeling from my last month. Others will be along soon... But don't give up!!!
  3. jakiesma

    jakiesma New Member

    Thank you so much for replying...and thanks for the {{{{{HUGS}}}}} - I really need them!

    I got the courts involved. I did an involuntary substance abuse commitment and got a judge to take him into custody for a Residential Treatment Center (RTC) inpatient evaluation. The people at the center (I talk with them daily) say that he is a really polite kid who has given them no trouble at all. We live in a small community - less than 10,000 in the Mid-West and the city police and county sheriff's offices have been amazing. They say the same thing...he gives them no trouble, either. This was our fourth attempt at an inpatient evaluation - two through hospitals...two through the courts...this one final took!

    I fear our son is going to start stealing to get his drugs, since he already has, and I don't want him to end up in prison. He will be charged as an adult and he needs treatment...not prison. You don't send a person with cancer to put them in a hospital!

    Why is it so hard for parents to get the resources they need!?

    You want to know the real kicker....Our health insurance company is paying all the bills 100 co-pay, no deductable, no coinsurance. The Health Insurance Company WANTS him to get help!

    This won't cost the state anything! Seems to me like it should be a done deal.

    Jakie's Ma
  4. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    The fact that it won't cost the state a penny really ups your chances that the state will order him to complete a rehab/dualdx program. I would have the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) therapist in court to testify that he needs this
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Be sure you point this out to the judge - that you ahve the cost covered 100% and need the court to order him there - NOT to pay for it. That may make a difference in this economic climate. judges have to be very aware of the costs of what they order for defendants and this might help.

    It sounds like he wants help. But please be aware it can take many trips through rehab to kick drugs. You are very right in that if he doesn't want this for himself then it won't happen. Addicts have to hit bottom to get and stay clean. Bottom is NOT the same for everyone. What would be bottom for you is NOT bottom for many. For many it is actually spending some time in jail. took my folks leaving my thirtysomething bro there for 2 weeks to get him to commit to rehab. But that won't be bottom for everyone. There are a lot of people hwo are in and out of jail for drugs and it makes no impact on their addiction.

    getting this Residential Treatment Center (RTC) evaluation forced was a good move, in my opinion. Other than advocating in court for him, the next best thing you can do is to start attending alanon or narcanon regularly. I mean daily or a few times a week, not weekly or monthly. Addiction is a family disorder and those who have the best chances to enter and stay in recovery are those with families who get treatment also. In a small community you will likely have more alanon than narcanon. That is okay, it is pretty much the same thing for families. 7 in 7 is the first goal. For a week do all you can to go to 7 alanon meetings. Try to go to different times if possible. Many groups meet at lunch and are kept to about 45 min so people can go on their lunch hours. But also go to some evening groups. each group with have its' own dynamic though they will all follow the same 12 steps. Encourage your husband to go, but make sure you also go to meetings with-o each other. If you have other kids encourage them to go to alateen. This is something that makes the entire family sick. It is mroe like the flu than like cancer in that regard. Or like lice. You have to check and treat everyone, not just the person who has them. And often the entire family ends up with them. SO treatment for all is the best way to help the one who is addicted.

    I hope and pray that you can get the treatment that will help him.
  6. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    Hello and welcome! I agree with Suzie and 12 step meetings. We have never been able to do 7 days but they have helped our family. The big thing we learned was not to enable. I can tell you it is often a fine line between helping and enabling.( I'm struggling with that every day) I'm really glad that they have at least ordered the evaluation. In our state kids go if parents say they go so I have never been through a committment process. We are now on our second Residential Treatment Center (RTC). The first was private pay-we used all our funds on 18 months of treatment which ended up making things worse. We thought it was marijuana and depression. We soon found out is molestation and rapes as the issue-the pot was really not the addiction-her sexual acting out as a result the problem. So, I don't regret what we did. We searched for another program that would help her-she's a runner so we had to have another Residential Treatment Center (RTC). The only all girls program with the kind of therapy we needed was a state program. The only way in was through court. We reported everything-20 run aways, many truancies, bottle pop bongs, missing money. We finially got her in. It was It was about 5 months of pure hell inbetween her first program and getting a bed at Residential Treatment Center (RTC). So I hear you on getting help! We even had to give custody to the state to get this help.My cautions are: Know the programs and keep tabs. We have had many instances of abuse in the state system. It gets sticky and ugly when you have to advocate for your kid (there are so many posts on this in all the forums) 2. Make sure Residential Treatment Center (RTC) is really what is needed. We couldn't keep her safe with 24 hour supervision-she ran from school so we had to do it. If you are sure he needs this level of care-give the judge your list of safety concerns and why Residential Treatment Center (RTC) is best-safety will be the reason a judge chooses this. In most states they can't order a place (that is PO or JJS work) they can only order level of care (ie out patient,day-treatment, Residential Treatment Center (RTC)) It's so hard because there are not enough services for mental health. Even private pay and insurance doesn't get you in faster. OUr culture still doesn't really except that we have so many kids with mental health issues. I've seen figures that say 70% of juvenile court kids are mentally ill and only 3% have ever had any mental health services of any kind. You can't treat a cold with antibiotics-so why do we keep treating mental illnesses (which often accompany substance abuse), with jail time. Judges still don't understand-I could list the ignorant things our judge has said to us over the last months-he just isn't educated and he, like many others see it as an "excuse" for their behavior. Our state now has a mental health court for teens which will be transfered to when my daughter finishes Residential Treatment Center (RTC). NAMI got that going here-it's got a ............waiting list as everything else has!Keep us posted and be strong with the judge-hand that list of why you need your boy in Residential Treatment Center (RTC) to the bailiff as you go in (we found that's the best). Your doing a good job for your son!
  7. jakiesma

    jakiesma New Member

    Thank you all for your kind words and your advice! I can't tell you how I appreciate it. We received word last night that the facility is recommending to the judge - and the paperwork has been filed - that he remain with them for Residential Treatment Center (RTC). Our attorney - who is the County Attorney - says that is the number one factor in getting an order. Thanks to the internet I have become my own "instant attorney...just add Google." We do what we must do. So I have provided them with all of his treatment records from his outpatient therapist, his doctor's records, school records, previous drug test results and a university study showing that Residential Treatment Center (RTC) is more effective than OPT for dual diagnosis adolescents. I also have drug paraphanelia from his room. Our attorney seemed very happy! However, I am not going to give some overworked county attorney control of my son's future without giving him any assistance whatsoever. I definately understand there is that fine line between enabling and helping. I just hope this court thing doesn't make it worse!

    I looked at Al-Anon's website and they stated that if you child is using drugs that they don't want you in Al-Anon...that you need to go to NA meetings. However, I am 40 miles from the nearest NA meeting! I can't afford the constant drives back and forth...I already drive 40 miles to work and back every day. Believe me...if I could move I would and get my kid away from his junky friends. He has a little sister who is 14 and she has tried marijuana...following in her brothers footsteps. I wish I could just pick up the whole family and go!

    We are also three hours away from his treatment facility so I don't know how many visits we will get up there. I am going to do my absolute best to be there at least twice a month but I have my own issues. I know that sounds cold blooded...believe me it is not! I have problems traveling long distances to unknown places. It's part of my own mental health problem. Do I sound terrible?!

    The counselor asked if I was coming up for family day on Sunday. I told her that we weren't. She seemed kind of disappointed...but I think that it is too early. Our son is blaming us because we are easy targets for blame. I think that he is hoping that "Mommy" will come to the rescue and that he can convince us to take him home. I think that our presence would be a hinderance right now. I explained that to her...I'm not so sure she agrees with me. I just believe that right now I have to be steel, show really, really tough love, and keep him where he is! God knows..all I really want to do is run up to him and hug him and make all of the hurt go away. I know, In other words, enable him.

    I agree about the ignorance. I reminded my husband today that our child is sick...he's ill. You don't treat an illness in a treat in a hospital! I think that deep down he understands more than any of us, having made some really bad choices that cause him to develop his own addiction. IF I can get them communicating again - I think that husband could be the best thing for our son. husband beat his addictions and hasn't used in 25 yrs. I reminded husband that it is nothing to be ashamed of! In fact, he should be proud and he should be saying..."I beat this...and you can beat this too!" What doesn't kill us makes us stronger.

    I guess in many ways I am blessed. I work for a healthcare facility that does a lot of work in mental health so I am at least starting this process with a good base knowledge. Plus I have my own "team" of mental health professionals that I see...boy doesn't that sound great!

    Thank you to everyone again!
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2011
  8. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    I'm glad you got the news they want to keep him at Residential Treatment Center (RTC)-makes everything easier! I agree with not going down to see him yet by the way. We had to wait 2 weeks before we could attend family night at the first Residential Treatment Center (RTC). She was so not ready. Even then she tried to manipulate us by crying the entire meeting.(most newcomers did this for a few weeks at this place) Here we are in the hall with about 100 parents and she balled the whole time and so did we. It was so hard leaving our 14 year old there (actually 2 huge guys came and transported her). In my experience they are so angry at you and blame you for about a month. If the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) is worth it's salt, they will have him focus on why he got himself there and his responsibilities for making ammends. That is all our daughter could talk to us about the first little while. She was always suppervised so she couln't get snarky. It was amazing how her face started to glow and she started to look better in a few months. We did make good family relationship head way at the first Residential Treatment Center (RTC). So I would advise getting there for family therapy as much as possible. I too have anxiety about long distance driving-our daughter was in Observation and Assessment for the state placement this past winter and it snowed every time we had to frive the 50 miles, which was 20 miles of a construction zone. I made my older son drive me or got my good friend when husband was working and couldn't come.
    You know thinking about your husband, could he be feeling some guilt about your son's addictions? Maybe the relationship is strained because your husband knows exactly where your son is going and also blames himself? My husband has guilt too. He used pot and did some drinking when he was a kid. He also had some behavioral issues (hot head) when he was a teen. He believed his ":genes" were bad and the cause of her problems. I told him ultimately it may be but blaming doesn't get anyone anywhere and she has to be accountable for her own actions. Your husband will come around if you have a good therapist. Mine did. He still doesn't always get what is mental illness and what is typical teen stuff, but he gets better all the time. When my husband started toughning up and stopped his guilt, we really got a lot accomplished. I had my own brand of work to do and am still doing it. Don't feel bad about having your own team-we have our own team as well! Hang in there and again, I'm glad to here your news.
  9. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I'm glad that the facility is sending ppwk to the court.

    I'm in the midwest, too. And though we have asked, nay, pleaded, nay begged for them to order Residential Treatment Center (RTC) (again, we have it PAID FOR), no dice. So far.

    Just because you don't come up for a family day doesn't make you a bad parent or a bad person. You know your child best - if you believe it would be a bad idea, then it likely would. Regardless of the lady there...
  10. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Don't let them guilt you into visiting more than you are comfortable with. Especially family days -- I HATE those. Absolute chaos.
  11. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Sending "bravo's" to you. Sounds like you are exactly on target. I sincerely hope your son is receptive to the help that is available and returns to his former self. Hugs. DDD
  12. jakiesma

    jakiesma New Member

    Great News! Our son agreed to stay of his own free will. It is a good thing thing, too. The Residential Treatment Center (RTC) filed the wrong form with the court and our son's attorney was hell bent to get him released. I don't know why he felt that was appropriate...the center stated that he had Marijuana, Cocaine and an Opiod dependency problem. Isn't that attorney supposed to act in the best interest of the minor?!

    However, the important thing is that our son WANTS to stay in treatment! We will reevaluate at the 30 day mark...but our goal is to encourage him to stay for the full 90 to 120 day program. Even better - I got hugs yesterday...three in fact! My son hugged me. He looked like my son again. His eyes were clear, he was shaven and his clothes were clean. I did see that I need to send him new shoes. Once his "body" was clean I realized his shoes are terrible!

    THank you all for your encouragement. Especially about not having to go to every family day event. We are three hours one way and that is tough. I figure I will write him daily letters - good encouraging letters about a positive future...not about mistakes of the past. Perhaps the less time he spends with us right now the better. Behavior has consequences...the handcuffs and shackles he was in yesterday had to be a wake up call! The Residential Treatment Center (RTC) is an unlocked, home like facility and he has got to know that is better than prison! There is no way I could help him in prison...but there is now light at the end of this dark tunnel.

    Bless you all!

  13. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    The lawyer is not necessarily supposed to act in the best interest of the child. That would be children's services. The lawyer's aim is to get all charges dropped or a reduced sentence. I know this because - the court-appointed, parent-paid (GRRRRR) attorney that Onyxx had last year? Got them to agree to a $60 fine (including court costs) for domestic violence. AFTER she had been convicted of assault on a teacher. But that felony? Got dropped to a misdemeanor. She beats up her family and they tap her on the wrist.

    I'm glad your son stayed on his own. That will make the treatment more effective, if he WANTS to.
  14. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Great update. I really hope he takes it to heart and is prepared to turn his life back around. Hugs DDD