my son is out of control

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by noropeleft, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. noropeleft

    noropeleft New Member

    Hi All,

    I am new to this site and just searching for answers. A little son was diagnosed bi-polar at age 6 I have never been certain of his diagnosis but it seemed to fit. His father and I divorced when he was 9 and after consulting with his therapist it was decided that he would be better off living with Dad away from his 2 younger sisters. He was doing great until 7th grade when he discovered pot. In 8th grade he was kicked out of school for having pot on campus and did 8th grade at a study hall type school. 9th grade Dad remarried and he continued to decline. When he visted me in CA (dad is in VA) he seemed to be happy and do relatively well. In August 2011 his father and step-mother had enough and my son was sent to live with me. I was hopeful that this would be the break he needed and a chance to re-invent himself so to speak.

    The first few weeks here he was great. Seemed to be adjusting well and then I caught him smoking pot. He failed the first semester of school and skips classes every day. We have good days and bad but seems like more bad. My younger daughters 11 and 9 are suffering because of his behaviors he is rude and disrespectful and really thinks there is nothing wrong with what he does and that we should just let him be. In the last few weeks he has a new group of friends that I don't know. A few weeks ago he was caught out after curfew and detained by police they called me to get him. I think he is now doing more than just pot. I have found homemade pipes and bongs in his room which I dispose of. He has stolen money from my wallet and emptied his sisters piggy banks. The school would like to kick him out but he has and IEP so they haven't done it yet. Their answer to the constant truancy is assigning Saturday school which he skips too. I have spoken with county mental health and the sheriffs department and am finding that I have no rights and can do nothing becuase we are not on welfare and he hasn't been arrested. It is now Monday night and I haven't seen him since Saturday morning. I have no idea where he is. I know he hasn't runaway just thinks he is an adult and can stay out all night if he wants to even if there is school tomorrow.

    I have read in some of your posts to just kick him out, but is that legal? He is 16. He knows better than to be physical with us. I took him for an evaluation at a behavioral health hospital. When we pulled up he refused to get out of the car and then said if I go in I will just be super nice and they will think you are crazy for bringing me here. Shockingly they did not see thru him and suggested counseling which of course he refuses. I feel as if my hands are tied. He is a terrible example for my young girls and his decline breaks my heart everyday. I don't want him in my house and don't know what to do.

    any advise would be greatly appreciated.
  2. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    If he has been "missing" since Saturday and you don't know exactly where he is, he's a runaway. File a report immediately. Let THEM figure out what to do with him. He is not respecting you and if he "thinks" he's an adult, THEY will teach him he's not. An adult needs to deal with the consequences so why shouldn't he? Pot is illegal in the US. You need to show him you're the parent and until he's 18, he must live by YOUR rules or you will call in the authorities. If you don't file a report and someone finds out, CPS can charge you with negligence in many places. To protect yourself and help him, you NEED to report him ASAP.

    Sorry you're going through this. Too bad his dad LET him get this bad and then leaves him for YOU to fix. {{{{((HUGS)))}}}}
  3. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Hi and welcome.

    Kicking your son out is a last resort. Although it may seem that it's been cut & dried for those of us whose kids are no longer at home- it has been anything but simple. My son left home & my only choice was to finance his drug using lifestyle or to cut him off. The only wise choice was to cut him off. I hate it & my heart aches every day. I can only speak for myself- my son is 19 & I can't get him help, I can't receive any medical or scholastic information about him & I have no legal standing in his life. I wish I did because then I could use it to find help for him.

    I think you need to start with your son's current medical doctor and past/present tdocs and ask for treatment recommendations & referrals to mental health providers or behavioral boarding schools. I've also heard good things about wilderness programs. I think it's really important you exhaust all possibilities to get him help NOW, because once he turns 18 it's out of your hands.

    Is your son medicated? Is he taking his medications?

    I am so sorry you and your daughters are going thru this. There are a lot of great moms who have been or are in your shoes and you will get heartfelt good advice here. {{{hugs}}}
  4. noropeleft

    noropeleft New Member

    He currently has a rx for adhd medications only which he doesn't take. Says "I don't go to school enough so why bother" Last year he quit taking his mood stabalizer medications. I spoke with his current pshcy about his medications and he said that the pot smoking will have an adverse effect. Since he has only been living with me in CA for 6 months the doctors here don't know him at all. They say he needs counseling which he refuses to do. he will sit and stare at Dr for an hour or take off before appointment. I can ask his father to check with his dr in VA but I doubt they will be able to reccomend treatment here in CA.

    I have made at least 100 phone calls and inquires since he has been here and am told at every stop that if he doesn't want to go to counseling or doesn't want to get help for the substance abuse then there is nothing I can do. In CA he must be agreeable to treatment. It is mind boggling that there is nothing for prevention. I feel like the attitude is....let's just wait until they commit a crime and then our tax dollars can pay to keep them in jail. I know his is stealing and smoking pot and god knows what else. Yet I can't get him help. there are times when I think it's just the drugs and tough love, but then I remember checking my 7 year old into the pshcy ward cause he was threatening to kill himself and I step back and say he is mentally ill and can't help it. I know it is both mental illness and substance abuse, but I really don't think I can take much more. My 9yr old is angry and having rages and just plain acting out and I know a lot of it has to do with her brothers influence.

    Thanks for listening.
  5. AmericanGirl

    AmericanGirl Guest

    From my experience, when you are dealing with anything legal, documentation is key. In that vein, i would report him as a runaway every time he was gone more than a few hours.

    If he wants to think he can play games with authority (mine did that too), then can you turn on your phone's video camera without him noticing? It will pick up the prove what he is saying.

    Could he be selling his medications?

    Even if the docs there don't know him, get them to pull his records from VA.

    In my area, if you are enrolled in a program for troubled kids, if they refuse to go to school, you call and they send a deputy to take him to school. Maybe his school can help tell you about local programs? If you report him as a runaway, you should be able to find more resources.

    Good luck....keep posting!
  6. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Welcome, Noro. I'm glad you found us but really sorry you had to search us out. Many of us have watched our teens choose destructive paths fueled by substance abuse. When combined with MH issues it is just that more difficult to find a course of action. Understanding hugs coming your way.

    Have you researched a CHINS petition? I do not have any experience with this action so this is not a recommendation. on the other hand, I "think" that in some cases it has helped when all else has failed. I understand not being able to finance the s.a. inpatient programs and it sure sounds like your son is beyond the outpatient treatment stage.

    He has proven to be totally noncompliant and it sure seems that you have tried and tried and tried. His impact on the younger children certainly ups the ante. I'm so sorry you are facing this. I wish I had the answer. on the other hand, you have found a caring supportive group of parents who welcome you. DDD
  7. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome and I'm sorry you have had to come here but I'm glad you foudn us. You have gotten so much good advice from others and we have all been where you are now.

    You can file unruly charges against. him. If you find drug paraphanaia in his room call the police. All of this goes to documentation. We called the police on our difficult child many times . She was put on probation and it did help wiht managing things when she was younger 14-17.

    Sig is right, kicking your difficult child out is a last resort and cannot be done until he is a legal adult. But you also do not have to tolerate him using drugs in your home and being disruptive. We were lucky because the police in our community were very helpful and told us to call them whenever we needed help. The chances of him getting into legal trouble with his drug use is very high but worse of course is that it is very dangerous to him.

    Have you checked into drug treatment centers specifically for adolescents? It isn't true that someone has to want help to get helped. He is still a minor and doesn't get to make his own decisions on everything yet.

    It is not uncommon for bi-polars to also have alochol/drug problems. And that compounds thigs quite a bit. Is he currently seeing a doctor or on medications to manage his bi-polar?

    At some point his drug use will get him into legal trouble. It isn't fair that a parent should have to wiat for that to happen to get help.

  8. Mama Raygun

    Mama Raygun New Member

    What about calling the police next time he is raging and say he is bipolar, using drugs, and dangerous. They might 302 him, which is admit him to the psychiatric ward by the cops it's a mandatory 72 hr stay. I don't see how the cops could do nothing w a minor that has a mental health diagnosis. I myself was a out of control teen and my parents called the cops on me often. Every time I stayed gone overnight they called and if I was out of control at home they called. Twice the cops 302'd me. Another red flag I heard is the ADHD medications. If its a stimulant like adderal or ritalin it should not be taken by someone who is bipolar! It will aggravate symptoms. Good luck!
  9. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Not only will it aggravate the symptoms adderall is crushed and snorted and sold on the street. The abuse potential for adderall is huge and in my opinion someone abusing drugs should never be prescribed it.

  10. Mama Raygun

    Mama Raygun New Member

    I agree Nancy!! It's very addictive!
  11. noropeleft

    noropeleft New Member

    Thanks to all I truely appreciate your imput. His ADHD medication is Vivance. I did report him as a runaway this morning. The sheriff's deputy told me because of his age they will not actively look for him but they will keep an eye out. I went thru his room last night and found a pipe which I threw away. Do you think I should get it out of the trash and give it to the sherrif? I have tried to take him to the mental health facility and was told that if he wants to walk out they can't stop him. I will take you advice and call the sheriff for everything from here out and hopefully get some help.
  12. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    When we found drug paraphenalia in difficult child's room the police told us to throw it away. Because they didn't find it they could not use it for anything against her. If they had searched and found it themselves it would be different.

  13. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    You can have him shipped off to other states for treatment. Many here in my state deal with out of town kids because in our state you can force treatment until 18. I agree with much of the advise. Always call him as a run away (you dont need to wait 24 hours)when he leaves without permission and call the school to report him truent.Call the police whenever he is raging. Get a case number and document. They may get tired of you but that is not your problem. Ask to have him hauled off to youth services so you can get a break and give a consequence. If he runs from this place, you'll have it documented by another facility. Good luck and keep us posted. I have been in your shoes and still am to a degree, it's hard!
  14. Tiredof33

    Tiredof33 Active Member

    I'm so sorry you and your family are going through this nightmare. I would not wish my life with my son on my worse enemy, it was (and is still sometimes) a living hell. I went though so much with my son, starting at an early age too. I was lucky that he was the youngest so he did not impact his siblings as much as your home. Sadly, as you have pointed out, I really could not find help until he was in legal trouble. I'm sorry to tell you this (but if you read our other posts you'll see it being discussed) the chances are that he will be arrested pretty soon. The good thing about that is he will be away from the drugs and your household will have a chance for peace for a while.

    When mine ran away I would call and report him, and ours was the same, they do not really look for them and they assume the kids are at another kids house and will return home on his own. Mine lived on the streets for a few months and I could not find him, didn't know where he was, and the kids cover for each other. At 16 (in our area) you are old enough to legally drop out of school so they would not enforce truancy. He was raging one time and I called the police and they did take him to the detention center and kept him until he calmed down. I was a single parent and there were times I feard for my life because he was bringing such low lifes to my home.

    Two kids I didn't know started hanging around and my son stole my keys and gave them to the kids to steal my car. They wrecked my car and were arrested for burglary with a gun. After they were questioned and told of my sons involvement the police called me and told me I had a serious problem at home and I needed to get my out of control son under control. Thank you very much, I am aware of that!

    I had my son in so many programs (he would not participate in joint counseling either) and most were court ordered. The kids think it is one big joke. I would go to court and they would come in laughing and showed no respect for anyone, including the judge. My son told me that he hated me and at one time my Christmas gifts were stolen. My life was a nightmare and many time I wished I had stopped with one child.

    My daughter also had some teen problems involving drugs. I came home from work one day and both of my children were in jail. I wanted to just move and leave no word to any one about where I was. After 6 months (the druggie boyfriend had convinced her to break in and rob a store) my daughter was scared straight and stayed away from drugs and continued the court ordered counseling for years. She now has a MA, teaches, and is active in the community. Not my son!!!

    My son was a gifted child with a lot of anger (mostly directed at me) and when he turned 16 I drove him to take the GED because I knew he would never graduate. I continued with counseling and was told to learn to detach, but I wasn't really able to, and I stayed extremely stressed all of the time. Now he is 33, homeless, no job, no money and still tries to conn me for money. I am ready to get on the strongest medication I can find! but that won't help the problem is still here so I go to the gym as much as possible, meditate, read self help books, and keep busy with my hobbies. I am much better at detaching and I am over the guilt of marrying a man that was a bad parent and walked out on us.

    It is so very hard and there are no cut and dried answers, but I would continue to call the police and try to get him in to as many programs as possible. And family counseling for you and the siblings. I will not support hime, but I do know addicts that have turned their lives around at 40 yo so I never give up hope. This is a great forum for support and advice.
    (((blessings to you and yours)))
  15. noropeleft

    noropeleft New Member

    He returned home and said sorry but he wanted to go for a road trip to the beach with his friends. I told him I would speak to him when I got home. I'm not looking forward to going home tonight. I don't even want to talk to him yet becuase I am so mad and I want to make sure I day the right things. He doesn't think it's a big deal and doesn't understand why I was worried said he can take care of himself.
  16. vligrl

    vligrl New Member

    I just read your story and just wanted to say how sorry I am you have had to go through this. I can't imagine the pain and sadness you must feel as well as anger. It really scared me that I could possibly be reading my son's future story as well and wish I could get him to open his eyes. I pray things change sooner than later for you and your family.
  17. AmericanGirl

    AmericanGirl Guest

    They never think it is a big deal. As for taking care of themselves, that's what we all pray for constantly.
  18. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hi and welcome to the CD board. You have gotten lots of great advice already.

    I would call the police each and every time that he disappears. Start keeping documentation and all police reports.

    I'm sorry that you have had to join us but I think you will find people who have been through or are going through what you are living right now. We understand and are always ready to listen, share our experiences, and give advice on what has worked for us.

    Take what helps and leave the rest. It would help us get to know you and your story if you created a signature like the one you see below. Go to settings in the top right hand corner of the page, then click on edit signature on the left side of the page. Make sure to save your information and then click show your signature in the little box at the bottom left hand corner of the reply box when you make a post.

    I have also included a link that will help you understand the acronyms that we frequently use:

  19. Goldie

    Goldie New Member

    What about sending him to a residential treatment facility in another state? My 19-year-old difficult child just did a 31-day stay at such a facility in Pennsylvania. (We live in NY.) Because he is 19 and therefore legally an adult, he did have to consent. We had to kick him out to get him to do that, and it took two months of couch-surfing before he decided he was willing to go. But most of the other kids in his unit at the Residential Treatment Facility (RTF) were under 18, and I know that their consent was not required.

    As far as getting him to the RFT, maybe you could use the services of an interventionist.

    ETA: I see that exhausted already suggested treatment out-of-state in post #13, so . . . I second that recommendation!