Need help with 15 yo son on drugs

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by NurseMia, Apr 20, 2012.

  1. NurseMia

    NurseMia New Member

    Thank God I found this site! I am so desperate to talk to others with similar children. My son is turning 15 next month. He's been a handful since the age of 3. His diagnoses- Tourette's, ADHD, ODD, Anxiety, and this year conduct disorder. He does not have one credit this year as a freshman. He is at home on house arrest and trying to do the credit recovery online. He started using marijuana at the age of 12. He was in a private school until junior high and this is where his choice of friends and chices in general went down the drain. He started smoking pot more and would use spice when he couldn't find pot. He has drank alcohol but doesn't care for it too much. He is on house arrest now because in January this year I had it and started calling the cops. He was taken to detention center because he was out of his bed at 3am coming home high-arrested. In the same week he was on his third day at an alternative school (ordered by the high school for truancy, D's/F's, and stealing his grandmothers klonopins and lortabs and ingesting several of them while at school staggering all over the place) he decided to skip alternative school with other kids there getting high all day-arrested. He was put on the shelter side of the detention center and the day before he was to be sent home on house arrested, him and his roommate decided to run away. They were out on the streets for 4 days in the midst of winter until I found them. Police took them back to detention center(lock down unit this time) where Jacob was there for 2 1/2 more weeks. He's been home and did well first two wels but back to his old manipulative self who has stolen medications, refuses to do school work unless he gets ciggarettes and recently made a short video called pill party when he chopped up zanaflex and snorted it to send to all of his friends, which I sent to his probation officer. You can take things away but nothing seems to work. I'm hoping after this last video of him snorting pills that his probation officer will ask the judge for residential treatment facility that's best suitable for him. A counselor at our church said that there is an annonomous person who wants to send a teenager with subastance problems to treatment fully paid. This counselor said to keep this in mind for a last option. Jacob started substance abuse counseling today, but he's done this before and kept telling me it's not working. Does the all paid treatment facility have to be a last option? I feel like a prisoner in my own home along with my husband! I'm manipulated and badgered for hours upon hours and I can't take much more. My daughter is 17 and wonderful, but always put on the back burner. My time is consumed with Jacob and his counseling appointment's, doctors, reminding him of everything to do including taking his medications etc... Etc.... Any helpful advice would be great!!
    Lasted edited by : Apr 21, 2012
  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Welcome NurseMia! If you start a new thread so we can get to know you it would be awesome!

    Also - even though your son has a common name it might be a good idea to use an initial or "difficult child" (our generic term for our kids) for privacy reasons.

  3. keista

    keista New Member

    Welcome NurseMia!

    It's fine to post an any thread, but consider starting your own. I'm not where you are and pray I never will be, but let me just translate what that counselor meant by "last option" "Sweetie, I know you are doing everything possible for your child, and we are here backing you up. In a million years I would never insult you, or your parenting by saying you need to send difficult child away, but I have to let you know that if you want to, we have the money sitting here waiting for you."
  4. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome NurseMia. First of all I asked to have your post moved to it's own thread. You posted on an old thread and your message will get lost here and we don;t want that to happen.

    I am sorry you had to find us but I'm glad you did. In my opinion you should not use drug treatment as a last resort. Your son has a drug problem and the sooner you get him into treatment the better. That's not to say treatment always works the first time, often it doesn't. But it is what he needs now before his drug abuse escalates. Your son is stil a minor so you have the say on whether he gets treatment. In three more years you will lose that, so it's important you act now.

    If your church has someone that is willing to sponsor you son I think that is wonderful. For so many of us the financial part of treatment is a huge roadblock.

    My difficult child began smoking pot and drinking. She is now smoking spice, using mushrooms, snorting opiates, and I have no idea what else. You are already seeing that pot use leads to other things. My difficult child has also been a handful since very early on. I say she never outgrew the terrible twos and it just went downhill from there.

  5. NurseMia

    NurseMia New Member

    Thank you for moving it to its own thread. I agree with you completely! I will talk to his probation officer on Monday about this. Thank you and I'm sorry about your childs use. That is something I fear so much :(
  6. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hello and welcome to our little corner of the CD community.

    As one who waited too long to get treatment for our daughter, I suggest you send your son into a residential treatment center immediately. You, your husband, and especially your daughter deserve some time of peace and quiet and your son needs help before he gets too old for you to require him to go to an Residential Treatment Center (RTC).

    If you have someone willing to take care of the financial aspect, this is the time to jump on it.

    It sounds like you need to find a place that covers dual diagnoses . . . esecially with a diagnosis of conduct disorder. Remember, though, that no diagnosis is set in stone.

    Substance abuse does not get better on its own and the sooner your take action the better chance your son has at recovery.

    Keep posting. We are here to listen and support you.

  7. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    I have not read all the replies-sorry if I repeat. Our difficult child was 14 when we placed her in her 1st Residential Treatment Center (RTC). She was there over a year and still did not graduate. She smoked a little and was not doing very well at school-passing but as a gifted kid should have been acing everything. (Not out of control but not progressing) She was not opening up in counseling but only saying she was depressed. The professionals (except her counselor) suggested Residential Treatment Center (RTC). We did it and had guilty feelings right away. These lessen over time. They still rear their ugly head from time to time as we continue to struggle with her after 2 plus years of total RTCs, 2 plus years of all kinds of counseling and psychiatric hospital stays.

    For us it all has gotten worse. After each Residential Treatment Center (RTC) she has learned new tricks and acts out even more. For many it changes the kid's life. I do not in any case think I would do anything different in hind-sight. We found out she had been abused for 2 years by an older cousin when she was very young and also raped by 3 men. We would have not gotten this info out. She convinced herself it would destroy the family if she told and we would not believe her. It took the intensive help of this Residential Treatment Center (RTC) to get to the bottom. We at least know what we are up against. Our daughter has severe mental issues-PTSD at the least and that is a tough one.

    When you have counselors suggesting Residential Treatment Center (RTC)-you have done the right thing. Your child will try to make you feel guilty and play the pity card-don't be manipulated. And if it is only a few weeks I can't see that as too horrible. I do have to question what such a short time will do on the other hand??

    The alternative was DT-I think you have done well. Be kind to yourself.
  8. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Your post got moved to it's own thread where hopefully more members will see it. I took the liberty of changing the subject of the post to fit your situation. If you would like me to change it to something else I will be happy to or you can do it yourself to by going to the edit feature and thenthe advanced button and change the subject title.

  9. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I was thinking the same, and glad you said it, maybe he just said "last option" because he thought you would not want to do it??? I would just go ask asap, what a grand opportunity.
  10. NurseMia

    NurseMia New Member

    You can change it to whatever you feel is appropriate for content. Thank you!
  11. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    I too am thinking "last option" was not meant as "last resort" - maybe last was just a poor choice of words. To me -- it sounds more like the "most aggressive" option and in your case, I would go for the most aggressive.

    Your son is still so young and if I knew now what I knew then - I would have been bolder. While my son's drug problems (pot mostly I think) truly began as a 19 year old - long past the time I could do anything - he did have an experimental phase at 16. He did manage to behave and stay clean for 3 years (we drug tested him regularly after getting him into counseling) but started smoking pot heavily after going away to school. Now our hands are tied.

    Though my son has never been to rehab - I've been posting on this board for 8 months and it seems to be universal that once a kid DOES get into rehab - a dramatic change takes place as they transition to sober thinking. Once the drugs get out of their system, they start to look at reality in a whole new way. At 15 you still have some control - and can "make" him get help. I think I would try rehab. Fire the big guns while you still can - Know what I mean??

    I am sorry that my post is so rushed but I missed your posts yesterday and I want to say hello. Like you, I found this place when I was in crisis and it has been a godsend. Welcome to the board, while I am so sorry you had to find us -please know that we have a great sisterhood here and please lean on us. {{{hugs}}}
  12. NurseMia

    NurseMia New Member

    Thank you and I'm glad to have This site and feel support that I've desperately needed. I noticed your son pot head and college dropout. I can't even get mine through high school ;(
  13. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    I know Mia, it's so hard. If it's any solace, I have NO doubt that if my son had started this pothead behavior in HS - he would be a HS dropout instead of a college dropout. On a positive note, at 15 - you still have control. At 19 (and now 20) I had none. So, DO WHATEVER IT TAKES. Because as time progresses (depending on your state) you will have less legal ability to get him help
  14. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh Mia I do understand. Our difficult child almost didn't make it through high school either. She started smoking pot at 14, the summer before freshman year, and it went downhill from there. In hindsight I wish I had put her in rehab while still in high school, both for help and to get her away from the druggies she was hanging with.

  15. pinevalley

    pinevalley Member

    Mia: Welcome to this community. You will find a wonderful group here who will never judge you, and will offer you support and advice.

    I'm sorry that you are going thru this nightmare of your son's drug abuse. I know how hard it is as a parent, and I really hope that your difficult child can find help for his problems. I would also encourage you to send your difficult child to the residential treatment center. Your difficult child is out of control now, and the only way that he can get the help that he needs is to get the daily intensive therapy that is offered at a residential treatment center. My 18 year old difficult child agreed to go to a rehab program, and this was the very best thing for all of us. He had counseling and all kinds of group therapy every day, and he learned a lot about what it takes to recover from an addiction. Unfortunately he was discharged after 30 days, and he relapsed almost immediately. Drug addiction is extremely hard to conquer, and many times it takes several different programs until the addict is serious about changing their life. My difficult child is in a drug treatment program in jail now, and even though he is in jail he is learning a lot about recovery in the counseling sessions, and this is what he needs right now. Your difficult child needs help, and I hope that you can make arrangements to get him in a program soon.

    I am sending you good wishes for the journey ahead of you. Keep posting here...
  16. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Welcome Mia,

    Your son sounds a lot like mine was. We did send my son to a wilderness progam and then a therapeutic school. I think he is still angry at us for doing that, and in some ways i wish it had focused more on drug rehab although I don't know if it would have mattered. What I do know is that the 18 months he was at that program, was 18 months where he was drug free.... and that was good for his brain development. They say emotional development stops at the age they start our drug using kids are much less mature than their peers of the same age.

    The other thing is that the time he spent away was good for my daughter and may have saved her from all the chaos that was there when he lived at home.

    He did come home after that, did great for about 6 months and went down hill from there... so it did not solve all the issues in our case but for some kids it did.

    So I agree with others take the opportunity to get him into rehab for what sounds like the beginnings of a serious drug problem. My son barely made it through high school.... he did manage to get a diploma but it was really by the skin of his teeth. And he is still struggling with serious drug issues and I am working on detaching as he is now 20 years old.

    Keep posting here, it is a wonderful community.

  17. NurseMia

    NurseMia New Member

    Thanks for your reply. Yes your situation sounds very similar to mine. My difficult child was sent back to detention center couple days ago. The judge is allowing him to have his evaluation at a very high rated facility this Friday at 6:30 PM. I am excited to have this happen and very glad it's happening while he's in the detention center instead of going to treatment facility straight from home. I think this gives him greater determination to stop using when he's in a situation that he doesn't like and doesn't want to be in in the future. He is back at the detention center because he posted a video online of him snorting his Zanaflex pill calling it Jacobs pill party. I immediatley notified his probation officer. Then I found a full bottle of Imodium empty and he was also hallucinating from taking some over-the-counter Legatrin PMs that I had forgotten I even had. That is what he does, he looks up OTC pills and checks to see if you can get high off of them. I had bought this bottle of pills three years ago, 75 were in the bottle and only 20 left when we found the bottle. I had maybe taken five, so he took that many in two or three days. That's the scary part. He doesn't even really know what it can do to him and with his other medications, could very easily overdose without even realizing it. I feel guilty, but it's such a relief when he is not in the home. My daughter and I can do things together and I can give her the type of attention she needs and deserves, even though she's 17, she has missed a lot of that in her teenage years. I'm glad I took the steps I did and called the police at this age because I really think this has been the biggest eye-opener for him. He does not like it at the detention center, and doesn't want to be there, so I'm hoping that he understands that this is the place that he will be if he doesn't change his ways and make different choices. He needs coping skills and ways to deal with his addiction, and this will happen at the treatment facility. I need to find out more about the detachment process. It's very hard for me to do and understand. Any information on that would be great, thank you.
  18. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    That sounds good Mia. I really hope he gets sent to that treatment facility.

    Detachment....oh my what a word. We just had a very long conversation about detachment on another thread. The bottom line is that detachment is different for everyone and we all get there at different times and at different levels. For some we cut off all contact, for others we can seperate the drugs from the person and continue with our relationship on a different level.

    If you want to read some of our comments on the subject go to the thread, It's Who I Am.