Daughter ran away from the dual diagnosis facility

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by MommaMia, Dec 30, 2013.

  1. MommaMia

    MommaMia New Member

    She ran away, was missing in the dark for four hours. She also ran away last night, which no one told us about until today. My husband and I thought we were in a living hell. State police found her, she is fine. We must have aged 40 years.

    She is not allowed back in the facility. I am at a loss now. In shock, angry, happy she is fine all at the same time. Where do we even go from here?
  2. I wish that I could give some comfort and advice. We tried using a program for our daughter. She behaved well until she became 18 and then left during the night cutting us off. We haven't spoken to her since. She claimed that we tried to kill her using this program. We don't know what to say. We were not there. We don't know what took place. We placed our trust in the employees at the program and maybe it was an error.

    I can only offer you our prayers.
  3. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Mommamia - I'm so sorry you had to go thru this. Not many things worse than a kid being AWOL. I understand your fear.

    I have to say I'm a little surprised that a dual-diagnosis facility is releasing her simply because she's uncooperative and ran. I say "simply" because... well, let's face it - that's how our kids are. It certainly should not have been surprising or unexpected behavior for the staff.

    Does she have a therapist/psychiatrist she's been seeing at home? Have you discussed options with them? Has her current facility discussed doing any discharge planning with you (they should)? Do they have any recommendations (again, they should)? You mentioned in another post you were looking at an alternative school - have you talked with them yet?

    In the meantime, what to do? Wracking my brain here for suggestions. I think I would prepare myself for things to get worse before they get better. She's "won" in her mind here. She got what she wanted. You and husband are going to have to, in my humble opinion, batten down the hatches. If running has been, or becomes, frequent then I think you might want to talk to your local police force about their response to runaways, how soon you can call them (1 hour, 5 hours, etc.), and just kind of feel them out/familiarize them with the situation. Depending on where you live, police can sometimes be a strong ally.

    If you're looking for another placement, some resources might be the guidance dept at her current school, her therapist/psychiatrist, a hospital social worker who is attached to an adolescent psychiatric unit, perhaps your state board of education (a lot of them have lists of approved residential schools, by diagnosis/condition).

    My personal bias would be to look for a facility geared more toward mental health issues. Just my opinion, but I firmly believe that in my son's case, his drug use was fueled by his longstanding mental health issues. It's a chicken/egg thing, which came first, and certainly you know your daughter better than *anyone*, but ... I think that sometimes you have to address the primary issue before you can tackle the other ones. Also, while I have absolutely no firsthand experience with SA programs (because my son adamantly refused to participate), my impression is that those types of programs expect the cooperation of, and are more successful with, kids who are invested in getting clean.

    Certainly any program you look at, you will need to discuss frankly their policies regarding AWOLs and uncooperative behavior. Again, I really think a dual diagnosis facility should expect that kind of behavior and have a better plan of action than simply discharging her.

    I'm so sorry you're going thru this.

    Edited to add: In my experience, locked facilities are extremely rare. When my son was 9 and in Residential Treatment Center (RTC), even then doors were not locked. The one Residential Treatment Center (RTC) he was in that was locked down is, I believe, the only one in the state - I can't remember how they were able to have a locked campus, but I'm thinking it was due to level of care and/or being associated with- the hospital that was next door. Rare, in any case. He was also a runner, off and on. Policy at the 2 facilities where he ran most was to contact us ASAP (within 30 minutes or so) and notify police immediately of a person "at risk" who had gone AWOL. At the first Residential Treatment Center (RTC) (when he was 9-12 years old), they would give chase if it didn't endanger staff or other kids. At his last TLP (when he was 15-18), staff would just watch him walk out the door, only giving verbal cues that he needed to stay (sigh).
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2013
  4. comatheart

    comatheart Active Member

    I completely agree and why I asked what kind of facility she was in. I wish I had answers for you, but unfortunately I don't. If it were my child, I'd be finding another placement and not bringing her home to continue her behaviors. Just my opinion. You will be in my thoughts.
  5. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Oh Mommamia.... I am so so sorry you are going through this. Believe me I understand the worry and the pain... probably the worst night of my life was when I woke up in the morning when we were transporting my son from wilderness to a TBS in the south and he ran. He left us a beautiful letter and was going "north". At the age of 15 he walked for hours and hours at night in the dark in a place he didn't know at all. Luckily after several hours he called us but man oh man those moments of worry will never be forgotten.

    I am glad she is found and is safe. I agree the tx facility should be helping you find another placement and if they are not then I am really wondering about their ethics. She clearly needs treatment and in a place that can handle a kid who runs... and who is defiant. My guess is she needs a very behaviorally oriented place. That is the best setting for my son at least.

  6. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm so sorry you had to go through this. I know from experience the sick with worry when your difficult child runs and you have no idea where she is. I have always wondered why facilities refuse to let them back when they run or are defiant. If they didn't have problems they would be there. It almost made me think that they only wanted those that were compliant and had the best chance of success to make them look good.

    I hope they can help find you another placement for her. Please let us know what happens.
  7. MommaMia

    MommaMia New Member

    Thank you all for your replies and insight. I think difficult child needs a more behavioral oriented facility also. We have been told that she is not an addict, but has the risk behaviors to become one. No hard core drugs, but again, did start to seek alcohol. Our daughter said she repeatedly told the counselors that she felt the program was not for her because everyone in it were addicts, and she was having difficulty relating to them. She thought she was going to get more help with her behaviors. At 14, living a sheltered life, it was all a shock to her.

    Her therapist said difficult child cannot cope with the thought of being bipolar, but we all suspect she may be and this is the root of her behavior, along with ODD. I have to say, that the night she went missing was one of the worst in my life. I can't take the running away.

    As I said in another post, probation called us on New Year's day mad that she ran from the facility, which is actually pretty normal for kids to do. She also was not court-ordered there and went voluntarily.
    We are meeting with her therapist tomorrow, she is going back to Intensive Outpatient Program.

    difficult child feels like giving up and running away, she is afraid the court may put her in detention or an Residential Treatment Facility (RTF), just for smoking and disorderly conduct charges (separate). I am getting severely depressed. I know things are going to get worse again, and that she needs help and NOTHING is working.
  8. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Mom my daughter was not into heavy drugs either. It was mostly alcohol and pot. She often told me she didn't belong in the treatment center either because they were all addicted to heroin or benzos. In the end I'm not sure she was an addict either but I know for sure she headed that way.

    Your daughter may need more behavioral help than substance abuse help. Hopefully her therapist can help guide you to the right help. She is so young and there is much to be hopeful about. I agree the running away was the worst. I felt my heart was being ripped out. It was the most awful feeling in the world.
  9. MommaMia

    MommaMia New Member

    The running away is so awful, and I know it may happen again. I did want to say that my husband and I do believe she could escalate into serious addiction, and are glad she did go to rehab for early intervention.

    I do notice she cannot take responsibility yet for the things she does, which is really upsetting to us.

    Everyday it is like living on a roller-coaster and it is just awful. Sadly, I know all of us here are dealing with this roller coaster or have dealt with it.
  10. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    For what its worth my son also did not believe he needed treatment because his drug of choice was pot.... although I think he has tried most things. I think now he does recognize that he will use anything to get high and so maybe that qualitifes as a substance abuse problem.... but I am not sure he considers himself an "addict" because he does not believe he is physically addicted or as bad as many of the addicts he has met.

    I think it is all a smoke screen to avoid admitting to us (and maybe himself) that he is really an addict.


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  11. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    MommaMia, we heard all of that, too. We had a therapist tell when she was 16 that she wasn't using drugs. This same therapist blew off the fact that difficult child was caught shoplifting Coricidan that was being used to get high (skittles).

    When we took our difficult child for a consultation for an intensive outpatient treatment when she was 17, we were told that difficult child was more of a "recreational" potsmoker and didn't qualify for the program.

    Our difficult child progressed from skittles, pot, and alcohol to opiates over the next ten years. We finally got her into a 90-day residential treatment program after we found out that she was shooting up heroin and overdosed on our couch.

    Even after her first rehab stint, difficult child was telling us that she wasn't an alcoholic even though we found beer cans hidden everywhere. They are in such denial about their addictive behaviors.

    My biggest regret is that we didn't take action when our difficult child was 16 and we starting realizing that there was a problem. At the time, we wrote it off to typical teenage rebellion and experimentation even though I knew in my gut that we had a real problem. Once they are 18, your options become very limited.

    Stay strong and find her the help that she needs. Even if it means sending her away for a while to get her away from people that might be encouraging these behaviors.

  12. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Brendan is offering his services against site policy. The response has been reported. This is not a place to advertise, Brendan. This is a safe place where we come to share our stories and learn from one another how to survive what is happening to us, and to our children and families.

  13. keatingb

    keatingb New Member

    Are you willing to put her into a different treatment facility? This nightmare is going to continue until she gets the help she needs.