Need help from NJ residents

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by sunr, May 26, 2009.

  1. sunr

    sunr New Member


    I live in NJ (Princeton area) and I have some series issues with my 16 year older son(difficult child) . He has developed ODD, very defiant, experimenting with drugs, not going to school, very disrespectful etc. He is extremely harsh on me and to a lesser extent with my wife. I also have a 11 year old boy (easy child) and no harm to him physically but he is seeing what his brother is doing and emotionally very upset.

    We have called cops few times when things escalated and my difficult child is not perturbed at all. He gets even more angrier with me. At this time my main concern is that my difficult child is treated for drugs as well as calmed down as he is going way out of control and pretty much ruining the home keeping us hostage. My wife doesn't want to call cops to take him to a treatment center and he will not come voluntarily. She is going through mental breakdown and cannot think rationally. Check mate.

    Are there any organizations (other than police) that would force him to take my son for treatment? does anybody know about DYFAS. I am considering contacting NJ child welfare officials for help with difficult child before he becomes a problem with my easy child. I am concerned about calling them as they may think that my easy child is at risk and may take him away. I want to do the following

    1. Get some medication for my difficult child. He was prescribed Prozac but he stopped taking it after couple of weeks
    2. Get tested and treated for drugs
    3. Somehow make him go to school regularly (not sure how)
    4. Make sure he doesn't go out on his will and do drugs etc and come back at odd hours
    5. Look for a boarding school (therapeutic or military) and forcefully put him there (looks like this needs lot of education on my part)

    If somebody has a list of organizations/procedures/experience without going to the police, please do advice me through private message.

    Going crazy. Any support is very highly appreciated.
  2. dadside

    dadside New Member

    I would guess that "He has developed ODD, very defiant, ... not going to school, very disrespectful etc" because of the "experimenting" with drugs.

    At the moment, you should forget any medication, as the illegal drugs he is taking will complicate things. Besides, he stopped taking the prozac, so what would make him take anything new? You know he is using drugs, so any testing will only confirm which ones, thus no special benefit at the moment. Items 3 and 4 really depend on breaking the control drugs now have. That rather leaves item 5 -- "forcefully" putting him in a therapeutic boarding school or like program. (I'd not suggest a military school, for several reasons.)

    There are several issues that affect whether or not you can get third-party funding for some or all of the cost, and from where. Health insurance policies generally only cover a small amount, if even that. Local schools may, under some conditions, pay part or all of the residential school cost. (If your son is not already a "Special Education." student, the school gets 60 days to evaluate and if they find him eligible, to propose a placement, all a prerequisite to getting them to pay - if they will pay.) If you want to pursue local school funding, consult a local attorney who handles education law and represents parents/students (vs. schools).

    You can get people - I know some good ones - who will get your son to a therapeutic program whether he wants it or not. Figure that cost around $2 - 3,000. Choice of program or combination of programs will affect total cost, which could exceed $100,000. There are literally hundreds of possibilities, most (but not all) good for some, but none good for every student, so there is a lot to sift through. And, at the end of it all, there is no guarantee of success. If fact, often there may be slippage, although longer-term the better places have a pretty good result as the student reflects on what they are doing and what they learned.

    So, an early question is how much money you can commit to helping your son. (There are a few - very few - "scholarships" around, but demand far exceeds supply.) If you can't manage at least $50,000 over the course of a year, and an education attorney wasn't encouraging, you need to look at some public or government-funded programs. For that, you might start with your local social services agency and/or health department. If you are prepared for a big cash outlay, let me know and I can point you toward the kinds of places that have been effective in similar cases.
  3. sunr

    sunr New Member

    Defiance has been around for some time (last 3+ years since around high school start). Drug usage is more frequent of late, I suspect. Before it was more experimental. Scholarship or no scholarship, I need to do something. May be second mortgage! Please do give me the places which you think would possibly work. I will start exploring further. My difficult child is already in the IEP.

    I am also getting lot of recommendation for a wilderness program. Would that work? It looks kind of scary and cool at the same time. Also my wife has been pestering to move out of where we are now to a new place. Her logic is that the current peer circle will be gone. Not sure myself. As you can see we are desperate for a solution.

    Many thanks for the reply
  4. recovering doormat

    recovering doormat Lapsed CDer

    I was thinking of wilderness for my difficult child 2, before he went into the diagnostic program in Pennsylvania (outside Allentown). I even went so far as to go on Facebook and find a group of kids who had been to wilderness programs and one boy from NYC wrote me back, said that the wilderness program helped him, the emotional growth school made him angrier.

    Interestingly, the therapist at the diagnostic program told us that by committing our son to their program for six weeks, we had "broken" him (his words) in much the same way as if we had sent him to a wilderness program: sent him three hours away, from home and peers and family, limited contact with outsiders (only family could visit) , three phone calls per week to home (we could call daily to speak to him, and did), and he lost his freedom, couldn't come and go as he pleased. On the plus side, he enjoyed the structure, got healthier on the fresh air and food (no junk food whatsoever, no soda, caffeine, etc., candy), and always had someone available to play basketball or xbox with.

    For us, just getting him away to detox, in a safe place, was a godsend and although there has been slippage (we did not do what they recommended, which was to transfer him right away to a long term Residential Treatment Center (RTC) to work on his recovery and emotional issues), just the shock and awe of what we did blasted his circuits so that he won't go beyond a certain point, afraid that we'll do it again. I think that is because he had not been using drugs for a very long time, he wasn't yet addicted to anything. But I expect him to test us.
  5. seaport104

    seaport104 New Member

    Hello, I am in a similar situation as well with my soon to be 15 yr old daughter. I too have been considering the wilderness program. I hired an educational consultant and he recommended some options. Please be very careful about putting your child in any wilderness and/or therapeutic boarding school. I started doing research myself, trying to tackle it on my own and it was overwhelming. Since wilderness/boarding schools are for the most part, unregulated on a national level, I became concerned with some of the tactics used in some of them. I personally, do not believe in the break them down to build them up philosophy (although I understand there are circumstances that this is inevitable). I can tell you all wilderness programs (good and bad) costs about $425-$475 per day, min of 45 days, max of about 3 months. Therapeutic boarding schools are at least $4,500-$7,000 month. If your insurance covers mental health or substance abuse residential treatment, there are accredited wilderness programs that qualifies for reimbursement. Here are the handful my educational consultant recommended for my daughter (who has lower level defiant issues in school and home, experimenting with drugs, failing 9th grade, truancy and has very negative peer groups). He recommended Anasazi for my daughter and recommened the other 2 only when I asked him for a couple more for comparisons in approach, philosophy, etc.

    1) XXX
    2) XXX
    3) XXX (according to educ. consultant, they specialize in substance abusers)

    I have also contacted DYFS (child Services in NJ) and I can give you more info on what they've told me and numbers I have. I didn't pursue it any further since you really can't check out the treatment centers they can potentially put your child in advance and this worried me. But then again, if I had no other options, help is better than no help!

    I too am in NJ and see you posted in the middle of the night- you're not alone! I would be happy to talk to you on the phone, just send me a private message.

    {edited out provider names to limit site's potential liability -TM}
  6. dadside

    dadside New Member

    sunr ... A good wilderness program will break his chemical connection with any drugs - as he'll be away from any supply for a couple of months or more. He'd also get a good chance to understand his motivations for a lot of things, and get a good anti-drug education, such as beginning a "twelve-step" program, all while building self-esteem. The big question is whether or not it will be enough, particularly given his post-wilderness environment if at home, facing the same peers and temptations. Certainly, it breaks initial resistance to authority and he'd return happy etc. That is one reason some long-term programs want incoming students to go through a wilderness program first -- it makes early times at the school much easier. However, I know one reputable operator of effective schools that doesn't regard wilderness as especially valuable for his incoming students. Generally but not always, I'd pass on wilderness if he'd be going to a long-term program, especially given the cost.

    Of itself, moving would only mean he'd need to find new sources of supply etc., which would slow him down by a few days to a couple of weeks. To move to a new environment for when he finished a long-term placement may not do much better, especially if he'd miss his "old" house/room etc., and he may be more willing and interested in a fresh good start. I don't know, but doubt it would prove a worthwhile answer either.

    I think the program recovering doormat mentioned is worth considering, especially as it may be more likely to be covered in whole or part by your health insurance. All of the long-term programs involve schools. I'll send some specific examples of the range available by private message.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I had a drug addict daughter who quit. My guess is your son has been doing drugs more seriously than you think for a longer period of time (that was the case with our daughter). We thought "it's only pot and drinking." WRONG! When she got sober, she told us the whole horrific story. She started at twelve. I would, if I were you, assume he started using drugs with regularity as soon as this "ODD" suddenly popped up. That attitude change is classic for drug use. I agree with dadside that it's useless to medicate him--the illegal drugs will stop the medication from being helpful, plus it's another drug in his body that may interact badly with whatever else he is snorting or gobbling down. Until he's clean, medication will not help him.
    Before you spend any money, a WIlderness Program can be a good life experience, but it is unlikely to stop his drug use once he is out. In fact, at his age, there is no way for you to stop it unless he wants to. That includes moving. Moving is a good idea IF he is motivated to quit using drugs and his peers keep dogging him about it. Otherwise, he'll just find the local druggies elsewhere. It really has to come from him.
    My advice is to try to get him into an Residential Treatment Center (RTC). He'll be off the streets and can get long term help, as opposed to the short term help of a wilderness program. Also, a military school would throw him out for misbehaving. I wouldn't go there. They don't like being a dumping ground for problem kids.
    My daughter's advice to parents doing through this always "You can't stop them if they don't want to stop." It's not what we want to hear, but it's pretty much true.
    Have you ever gone to a narc-anon meeting? I would go and bring your wife. You will get a lot of good, helpful advice from those who are going through the same thing. And you'll get support and help and knowledge of programs for your son in your own area. Narc-anon was a godsend to us. We learned what we had to do--let go and let God. My daughter turned her life around after we made her leave our house, after she had had three car accidents, after she saw one of her "friiends" with track marks up and down her arms and she thought, "THat will be me if I don't stop!"
    If you are giving your son any money at all, I would stop. He can get a job and earn money. Even my daughter had a part-time job, even while she used drugs. We refused to fund her habit. She got minimal clothing and healthy food from us. That's it. She even had to buy her own junk car and pay for insurance and gas. If son has a cell phone, cut it off. At least if he works, he will learn a good work ethic, which he will need if he cleans up his act. My daughter is an extremely hard worker who just bought her first home in the Chicago suburbs.
    If your son thinks mommy and daddy will pay his bills he will be even less motivated to clean up his life. The more cushy you make his life, the more he will feel comfortable in his habit. It's too bad wife won't call the cops. The cops can lead to funding for some good programs. Maybe at narc-anon the people there can help change her mind.
    Good luck, whatever you decide to do. I know how hard this is. I think I spent four years crying. I don't think I slept that entire time either.
  8. We never came to the drug use phase, but she gave us a battle money worth.

    We were very open with her about that it had to stop. She shouldn't leave the house once we were at sleep and we dared her into a weekend boot camp in Howell, Michigan.

    She went in tough believing that if she could show us that she couldn't be pressured for a weekend, she had shown us that she could survive any program we could think of sending her to.

    Well it wasn't a boot camp where they drilled the kids until they died, but she got wet and cold and saw that she could do better choices because the boot camp is also used for rule violators from a therapeutic boarding school in Utah and she talked to some of the long-term students.

    We have always suspected that she had a brain turned off somewhere inside her head and she made use of it. Now she is a easy child 80 percent of the time or she might be better hiding what she is doing.

    I have spoken with several parents at our High School. For some it is simply not enough to go down to our local Residential Treatment Center (RTC) here in Lucedale and see that such places exist. They have to experience them on our their own body before they believe that we have rights as parents and are ready to use them.

    Unfortunately most wilderness programs are expensive or run by another church group with different values than ours, so they were really never an option for us (Don't tell my daughter). The same goes for the therapeutic schools. If you have no college fond or have no room for a second morgage you cannot afford them.

    There should be more short-term intervention programs out there, so we didn't have to risk ending up loosing them to the system because we are left with the police and court system as only option.
  9. recovering doormat

    recovering doormat Lapsed CDer

    If you have a moment, would you PM me with the names of the facilities that your ed consultant recommended? I'm interested in finding out if any of them are the same recommended to me by the guy I used. Thanks.
  10. amazeofgrace

    amazeofgrace New Member

    Hi I am a mom to 2 difficult child's also here in NJ, My oldest-17 (ADD/ODD/drugs) is currently in Middlesex County JDC, my youngest-12 (BiPolar (BP)/ODD) has been hopsitalized twice. Both receive services from Middlesex County's CMO (Crisis Mangagement Organization). I have PM'd you some websites/#'s you may find useful, sadly nothing is easy with this "sytem of care". The next time he acts out, so long as he's not being violent, I would call you local mobile response and insist they come out and do an evaluation.

    hang in there, ianav
  11. seaport104

    seaport104 New Member

    I have been trying to figure out how to send a PM to people. Can you let me know how to do this so I can respond to posts? Sorry for silly question ;)
  12. amazeofgrace

    amazeofgrace New Member

    klick on the person you want to PM's handle (screen name) and the send private message choice should show up underneath, then send PM