How to get my teenager son into a program?

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by imamess2401, Oct 14, 2015.

  1. imamess2401

    imamess2401 New Member

    Hi everyone,

    This is my first time posting. I have a teenage son who is 17 years old and it seems like every other day there is something going on with him. Last year I divorced his father and my son and I moved. That's when the trouble began. He was smoking pot, drinking, partying all night. He failed every single subject in school, even gym! The principal caught on to his drug use and ordered him a drug test and he failed and got suspended. He had to go in a take another test and he knew as well as I did that he would fail for pot so instead of just letting him get kicked out of school, I moved to a new town and enrolled him with a clean slate in a new school. He is a senior this year and he only needs to take two online classes including his current academics to graduate. He swore up and down to me that he was going to focus on school and make sure he does good. I obviously wanted him to succeed in graduating this year and I didn't want to seem like I "failed" as a parent if he didn't graduate.

    Well, here we are only less than two months into the school year and his grades are bad, skipping school, not going at all and above other things I might get kicked out of my apartment. When we first moved in, he decided to have his friends over when I was at work and was blasting the radio and throwing cig butts out of the window and the lady below me complained - now, just today, I got a call at work from the landlord saying that the music was blasting and cig butts were all over the lawn. He is supposed to be in school. She said that if it happens again she calling an attorney to evict us.

    I think he my son has always been a little depressed. He lacks motivation. He doesn't care about anything. He wears the same clothes over and over again without washing them, he doesn't take a shower, he could care less about getting his license. I feel like when I was his age that's all I cared about were nice clothes and to I couldn't wait to drive. All he wants to do is hang out with his scum bag friends and get high.

    I have been thinking about giving him an ultimatum - he turns 18 in a month. I will kick him out of my house. I need to be tough on him because I feel like I always covered up for him his whole life and now it is biting me in the butt. I want him to go into a program but he doesn't want to go and I can't force him. Under state law anyone who is 14 and older can decide for themselves on going into a treatment facility. I'm sorry for the long book but I have no one to talk to and I am at my wits end. I just really want him to be happy and succeed.
  2. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome imamess.

    You could try giving him the choice to enter a program or move. Is he willing to see a counselor? You could have him assessed by a dual diagnosis program associated with a hospital or treatment facility to see if they think he is depressed or has some other issue they may be able to help with. He may agree to go if you convince him that you want him to succeed and get any help he needs doing so. It does sound as if drug use may be the issue here.

    We did have to give our daughter an ultimatum to get help of find another place to live. She did both but it was a difficult and very emotional time. This won't get better on its own sadly.
  3. There are paid escort services how take the child to states where the laws are different. However I doubt it would help because people have to be motivated for any program to work in the long run. Many programs base their success rate on the status of the teen at the graduation date or only count those in who goes to halfway houses owned by the program or partners to the program.

    We manipulated our daughter to a short program by telling her that it was a vacation. We believed that it was a success but the minute she turned 18 she left and we haven’t seen her since. It broke our hearts. Bring a counselor to your house and try to make your best.
  4. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    We asked my son to sign a behavior contract which included that if he got into trouble with school or the police he would go to a program. 4 days later he got into trouble with both!....and later on we kicked him out and let him be homeless but always told him we would help when he wanted help.
  5. imamess2401

    imamess2401 New Member

    I'm shutting off his beloved iPhone tonight. If he doesn't want to listen I shouldn't be paying for his "things" I just hope this gets better. I don't know what to do if it doesn't. My sister was addicted to drugs so I know all about the lying, cheating, stealing behavior and I don't want him to end up like that so I think at times I am very overly emotional about him not caring about anything but I just want the best for him and if I have to show him tough love by kicking him out and letting him find his way on his own then I guess that's what I'll do. I would just hate for it to come to that. This is the worst experience of my life.
  6. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    I so sympathize....our son has put us through the wringer and at times it was really terrible.... I will say though I have learned a great deal about myself and have become a better person for it all. I hope it doesnt come to kicking him out should check into laws etc in your state because in many places you cant kick a child out when they are under 18 etc. The other thing is if it does get to that, that doesnt mean you stop loving him or letting him know you love him.... just that sometimes you have to take a tough line because you love them so much.

    Also to give you a ray of hope... we have been through a lot with my son starting at about the age 14. It is now 10 years later and he has just turned 24..... after many twists and turns in this journey he came to realize himself that he had an alcohol problem, has gotten help and is doing much much better.... and our relationship is much better too. He is still new in recovery so it is too soon to tell much but there is hope in this long difficult path you are currently on.
  7. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Hi imamess,

    Welcome to the forums.

    Did you shut off his phone? How did he take it?
  8. FlowerGarden

    FlowerGarden Active Member

    In order to get our son into a program, we had to be diligent about calling the police on him. We finally were able to get a judge to say enough had happened to get him court ordered into a program. It came down to, follow the judge's orders or go to juvie. He went into the program. The program did help him with his behavioral problems and did keep him clean for awhile. Now he relapses every 6 months to a year. Right now he is in a relapse.
    I wish I had better news but that is how we had to do it.
  9. A dad

    A dad Active Member

    Your son is so similar to mine he wears the same clothes every day he showers well not as often as he should he had no motivation for school and finished with above average grades I mean he had a C(well the equivalent of that in my country) at gym granted he had C at everything so he was consistent at least, never managed to take his license he failed 12 times and he had to redo driving school again to try again and in my country you have to pay for it and its a whole paycheck so we did not pay another time. We figured he is just not ready to drive he is now in his middle 20's and still has no license.
    The difference is he never had many friends he had 3 in his entire life and one is his older brother and instead of drugs he slept just slept as much as he could.
    You have a chance to change him to make him a fit man for society with a well balanced life I lost that chance you still have it the cause are drugs or maybe there the symptom but he will get help there I did not do that for my son and I have no opportunity to do it now as he does not need me for anything now.
    Try the best solution and send him to rehab you have no idea how how lucky you are you still have some influence over your son and hope your son will have a great well balanced life not a life with no family or friends just a job and a place of your own to come back everyday. As my wife said he at least is not a burden to anyone but in my opinion better a burden then such a "life".
  10. HeartBrokenTX

    HeartBrokenTX New Member

    I am new to this site. My son is 15 and was accused of selling acid at school yesterday. They searched him, but didn't find anything. I'm shocked. The last six months he has been caught smoking pot and drinking. I believe he was selling it, or at the very least selling pot. Thank god, I think, he didn't have anything on him. I say "I think" because maybe that would have been the wakeup call he needed. I don't know what to do. We were told the programs won't take him if he doesn't want to go and he doesn't want any part of it. He refuses to take a drug test and refuses to give me the code to his phone. I can't make him anymore. He's over 200 lbs and 6' tall. He just says no. I can't physically make him. He's grounded and I took away his phone, but I'm scared to death he will just walk out the door.

    Speaking of walking out, my 21 yr old son walked out tonight. Or, should I say, stormed out. He's bi-polar, unmedicated, and has been in and out of our lives the last three years. The last seven years have been HELL with our oldest and now the last six months have been hell with our youngest. My husband and I are at the end of our ropes. We've been married over 22 years, but even our relationship is hanging by a thread these days.

    I'm just worn out and worried. :(
  11. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    Heartbroken, Post your story in the substance abuse forum. You will get more answers to your thread.