I have no idea what to do!

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by very-very-weary, May 5, 2009.

  1. very-very-weary

    very-very-weary New Member

    I need help from all of you wonderful seasoned mothers! I am at a part of parenting I have no idea how to deal with. My 16 year old son has us at a lose. He refuses to go to school, ran away from home for 12 days. When he came back, he was so messed up from not taking his medications for 12 days that he was going to kill himself. We admitted him to a psch hospital to get the medications level and he was fine for 1 week. He has stolen his dad's truck (no driver's license), and when I called the police, they told me to "punish" him. He refuses to do anything around the house and when ever we say anything he doesn't like, he just leaves and hangs out with his pot-head friends. He doesn't drink or do other drugs, we have had him tested many times. Our rules have always been to go to school or get a job or you can't live here. He won't do either and I can't legally kick him out because he is 16. Plus, he won't take his medications when he is gone..... I need suggestions on what to do... thanks!
  2. gottaloveem

    gottaloveem Active Member

    Sorry your 16 year old is causing trouble. You say you have had him tested for other drugs, I would keep testing him, just in case. Usually if they are admitting to pot, there are other substances involved. If not now, perhaps later. Even if it is "just" pot, his behavior is awful, running, doing poorly in school, disrespectful at home, breaking the law.

    Sorry to say there isn't much you can do. If you ground him, he will leave. I think the only ball left in your court is tough love, extreme tough love. Stop doing his laundry, stop getting him up for school, stop doing everything for him, don't give him money, or rides. Hopefully he doesn't have a license or a car, if so, take them away. Tell him he can start earning these things back when he starts to do what you need of him.

    It gets to a point where we can't make them go to therapy, drug rehab, or anything else they should be doing. The only thing left for you is make it very hard on him till he starts to "get it" Don't hold your breath for a quick change though. These kids of ours put in tons of effort to stay as they are. It isn't impossible, there have been quite a few of our kids here on conduct disorders that do "get it" eventually. 16-17 years old is quite a drag when they are using substances.

    Sending much support.
  3. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    You can apply for a PINS or CHINS---it brings the law into your life and requires that your son, by law, must follow certain legal rulings or be held accountable by the law.
    Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn't but if you are out of options, it may help.
  4. very-very-weary

    very-very-weary New Member

    Thanks for the insight, I have tried to make it hard for him. He is grounded right now, and actually staying in the house at the moment. I asked him to rake the leaves as punishment and he told me no, alls he has to do is stay in his room and sleep. I have taken his stereo out already and plan to clean the room out and leave nothing but the bed! I have never heard of PINS or CHINS? Can you tell me more about it? Right now, he has not had too much contact with the police, but it is just a matter of time. I will not turn him in but I will not help him once he gets caught either... I feel like he his holding us hostage!
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I was going to suggest the same as Everywoman did. You can call the Intake (or local dept of juvenile justice) and asked the process of getting a Chins or Pins. This is a court order on your son for being a Child in Neeed of Services (Mental health services) or in Need of Supervision. You would be better off to get the one for services because that can lead to them paying for and requiring him to get subsstance abuse trreatment and take his psychiatric medications and attend counseling, under the threat of being put in detention if he doesn't. Plus, it covers you in the event he gets in trouble legally. They can, and many jurisdictions will, go after the parent for not keeping their kid under control. If you have already sought out a Chins, they cannot claim that you ignored your son's behavior.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm on board with continuing to test. And make them surprise tests. Pot lasts longer, but with the way he's acting it sounds a heck of lot more like speed or coke to me than pot. Not trying to scare you, but we thought it was just pot with our daughter too and it turned out to be so much worse than that. I wish we'd known. As for not drinking, I wouldn't believe that either. My daughter told me that drinking made her sick. Now that she's clean she tells me that nothing she ever said to me was true while she was using. Her motto is: "Never trust a drug addict."

    medications for a psychiatric problem won't help if he is even just using pot. I wouldn't worry about the medication. If he is taking ADHD medications, then I'd worry for a different reason. They are VERY abused on the streets by teens. My daughter did them. They are crushed in pillcrushers and snorted either alone or with cocaine and some OTC drugs too. She told me that Adderrall went for $10/pill back then. Kids would fake ADHD just to get the drugs or steal from their siblings or just buy it off the street. Stimulants are very "hot" for abuse. Then they need downers to sleep. The combo makes them act nuts. I thought she had bipolar because I didn't belive she was using anything except pot sometimes. All the same, even doing all that junk, she DID work because we cut off her money, except for essential food and no frills clothing. I think that helped. At 18, we asked her to leave as she was not going to quit using drugs and we were sick and tired of the police dropping by all the time. My younger kids were terrified.

    We were lucky. She turned her life around. However, it had to be HER decision. There is nothing you can do right now to force your son to change. However, I would not believe that he is just smoking pot and the poor thing is mentally ill (this is what WE thought). I would be tough on him and cut off his $$$ supply. All he needs is healthy food and clothes on his back, not trendy either. He doesn't need a computer or cell phone and he certainly doesn't need a driver's license or a car. My daughter had to buy her own car, insurance and gas. After she cracked up the car, she didn't drive for many years. There is a happy ending: Last week my daughter closed on her first house. She is doing really well. I don't believe she would be where she is if we had not been so tough on her, and she agrees.

    I'm sorry you are going through this. It's horrible. I think going to Narc-Anon meetings is a good way to get real life help. You'll need the support.
  7. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    How about another angle? Check into adolescent chemical dependency treatment programs. There are in-patient ones out there.

    I know in the adult realm, there are dual MI/CD programs. I don't know about the adolescents but it is worth a look at.

    Check your insurance policy to see what it covers for your adolescent (use the word adolescent when inquiring - it is possible there is coverage for your kids but not the adults on the policy?).

    If your insurance does not cover, then you can check with your local social service agency to see if they can help you tap into state or county funds to cover the cost of the program.
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Unless he is court-ordered, I believe he can veto a trip to Residential Treatment Center (RTC), but not sure.
  9. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Our Residential Treatment Center (RTC) takes voluntary - no need to court order.
  10. recovering doormat

    recovering doormat Lapsed CDer

    We were in a similar stage with our 16 yr old several months ago. We requested a juvenile probation officer for supervision and he thought it was a joke, and quickly moved up the ranks to probation, then home arrest (ankle bracelet, a joke). We got a sympathetic judge to order him to an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) for a diagnostic program and detoxing. He was there 6 weeks and should have gone to another Residential Treatment Center (RTC) for long-term dual diagnosis treatment but my exhusband insisted on bringing him home. He is doing okay now, not perfect but much better than before, getting home instruction two hours a day and attending weekly sub abuse counseling with a really good social worker who gets him (we were lucky). He is terrified that we will "send him away" again, and if he fails two or more drug tests he could get sent for inpatient substance abuse treatment.

    I totally agree with cutting off his money, don't give him rides, he gets food, a place to sleep, and medical care if he needs it; anything else he has to earn. A social worker told me that if I gave my son any cash at all that since I know he was smokign weed, I could have been charged with neglect or abuse for giving a drug using kid money to buy weed. It's hard to do but as I learned, the hard way, we dragged out the unpleasantness by not making his life hard enough.
  11. very-very-weary

    very-very-weary New Member

    We have long since stopped giving him money. Now, if he wants to earn any money, I will only give him a few dollars. Never enough for a pack of cigarettes.... I am not sure where he gets his money from. We lock up any cash we have around the house. He can't be selling is medications, we lock those up too and he has to take them infront of me. I believe his friends supply the pot, but I am sure they will get tired of that pretty soon.... He actually has been nicer around the house the past few days. We have a Dr. appointment on Saturday to discuss his medications... Do you have any insight on medications. He takes Lexapro for anxiety and Abilify for Bi-polar, plus Concerta when he goes to school...
  12. recovering doormat

    recovering doormat Lapsed CDer

    My son managed to get high even when we gave him no money. Someone around him always seemed to have a joint or two. The behaviorist who worked with us said don't pay him for chores, don't give him money for the movies, let him sell his Xbox or computer or cell phone if he wants money that badly. Never happened. However, that didn't stop his pot smoking friends from smashing two windows to get into my house to steal his iMac desktop computer, which they traded for two bags of weed (happy ending: we got the computer back, but alas, no one to hold responsible for the $330. to fix my thermoglazed windows).

    medications are so frustrating to get right. My son's diagnosis is Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and Dysthymia but he was always medicated like he had bipolar (zoloft + risperadal, then Depakote for a while...buspar...seroquel to help him sleep). medications did help him sleep but then he was a zombie in the morning and that interfered with school. No medications for the past two years, last psychiatrist wanted to put him on a low dose of Prozac (has worked wonders for his older sister, who is MDD and PMDD) in hopes that taking the edge off the anxiety and depression would help keep him from self-medicating with weed. Problem is, my son can't be trusted to take his medications and he lives with his dad, who is anti-medications and not invested in having him take them. What is your son like when he's not on anything? medications mixed with recreational pot use made my older child very depressed and nearly suicidal -- once she got a joint laced with PCP that put her in the psychiatric hospital for a week.
  13. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    If a teen truly has bipolar disorder, both SSRI antidepressants like Lexapro and stimulants like Concerta can make him much, much worse. There is a good chance you will not be able to stabilze his moods with those medications on board. Abilify has mood-stabilizing properties, but it often can't stabilize the mood all on its own. A first-line mood stabilizer (Depakote, Lamictal, Lithium, Trileptal, Tegretol) is needed in addition to an atypical antipsychotic like Abilify.

    Here's a link to the treatment guidelines http://www.thebalancedmind.org/sites/default/files/treatment_guidelines.pdf
  14. Gmaof5

    Gmaof5 New Member


    I am new on this site and am as exhausted as the lot of you. I am a single mother of 5 and my 17 year old has a baby that I am financially supporting as well.

    My 17 year old has been diagnosed with ODD after I placed her in a residential shelter to seek help and get her some counciling. She had a 4.0 right before delivering my grandbaby and was doing well for about 6 months then all of a sudden she was back in the same attitude she was before she got pregnant. She had only 15 days left for her junior year and has gotten kicked out of school and her teen parenting program that cares for my grandbaby. She was skipping school, class and having sex on the school campus and the nearby college campus. I have not raised her to be this way and do not have "men" over to spend the night etc and don't hardly recognize her anymore. Her behavior "sometimes" is down right discusting. She lies, steals, and is angry and hateful. She will not follow the rules of the house or the school and threatens to send me to jail and her brother who has been MORE then helpful.

    Is there anyone else who is have this type of trouble? I told her to give me custody of the baby and she can be a rebellous teen but she refuses.


  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there.
    You may want to make your own thread.

    Personally, I'd ask her to be ready to move out on her 18th birthday and try to fight for custody of the baby. She isn't equipped to be a mother, and I'd let CPS know it. Don't let her bully you and be abusive about the baby. That baby needs you, but you don't need to be supporting HER and her bad choices.

    Anyway, that's what I'd do. No way would I put up with her nonsense. I'd play hardball.
  16. maril

    maril New Member

    Good points as far as using pot along with medications and also the fact that laced marijuana can be a big problem. My son claims "weed" is not bad; I think otherwise.

    Our state has a law -- ACT 53 – Involuntary Commitment of Minors for Drug and Alcohol Treatment, which was enacted to help parents seek help for teens.
  17. gottaloveem

    gottaloveem Active Member

    What state do you live in?
  18. maril

    maril New Member

    gottaloveem: I live in PA. A case manager remarked to me the other day that she wished more parents knew about Act 53.