Need your experienced advice

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Zardo, Nov 14, 2013.

  1. Zardo

    Zardo Member

    Hi All - OK - difficult child has been in the court ordered program for a week. I saw him for the first time. He was a mess. He is the oldest kid by far in the program with the most extensive SA history. He will be 18 in a few weeks. He said the other kids are mostly 15, which the counselor did concur, with much less SA histories and more attitude/behavior issues and repeated pot smoking offenses. He said it has more of a detention feel with very little rehab and he doesn't see himself benefitting at all - more just keeping his back up and trying to stay out of the fray. He asked me to contact his PO and beg to be moved to another program that is more like traditional rehab. For an example, in the one week he has been there, he as not been to any AA or NA meetings and there have been no former addicts visiting to share stories, wisdom, etc. He said the staff is nice but they don't supervise enough so there's fighting, etc and kids get sent to detention for the fighting. In the one week, he has already been in a fight, he has never been in a fight in his life. I am sick over this. I don't know what to do. I did share his concerns with his counselor and I also contacted the PO as he asked to share his thoughts about moving to a move rehab oriented program. I also said to both, this is his request and thoughts and I am open to the idea that he needs to calm down and adjust to the new program. I am struggling with the line between advocating for something that makes sense vs. rescuing him from a situation he created himself. difficult child had many opportunities to change his ways over the past 3 years. Wilderness, structured boarding school, rehab and IOP(multiple times) - he just doesn't take his situation seriously enough. He won't do the AA thing, refuses medications and resists house rules like weeknight bed times and other things he may view as "childish". on the other hand - this program seems like something that could actually make things worse. This program was court ordered after he relapsed and at the time, I was desperate for a chance for him to start again and see if he can get it this time. His got out of rehab in the spring and since then, he did not follow a recovery program, more refused to insisting he can do it on his own in his own way (no AA or sponsor etc). Unfortunately I don't think "his own way" meant being sober, I think it meant finding substances to use that he thought would be ok - or at times, "well I'll just smoke a little pot." Unfortunately for him - it all eventually leads back to despair. I just don't know how far I should go this time or just let the chips fall where they may.
  2. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    I think I would advocate for him since that is how your leaning. His concerns sound valid if they are true. So long as my kid was requesting a more rehab like atmosphere, I think I would move heaven and earth to get him there. I don't have personal experience with rehab or court orders, but it seems like parental intervention has been necessary for most of our SA board peers in order to get their difficult children the best treatment options. I wouldn't hesitate in your shoes. He wants a more rehab like program with more of a 12 step feel - I think that's a good thing.

    *I hope this helps- not an expert.
  3. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    I agree with Sig that if your son is begging the PO to get him in a more structured rehab, if you could support that in any way, I'd go for it. You never know what will work.
    on the other hand, I'm wondering what is different about this time that makes him request that? If he's been in other structured programs/initiatives that he hasn't taken seriously, why now? What's his motivation this time? Just curious.
  4. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    I think there is a big difference between 15 and 18 and so if what your son says is true then it probably is not the best fit for him. I would check with the program and the PO that in fact he is the oldest and that the others are 15... If that's true I would definitely advocate for him.

    I think often the court system looks for a bed, any bed and often it is not a good fit.

    I think it helps when a parent is willing to work with the system to help find a solution. A lot of parents throw up their hands or just complain but I my experience has been that if you are pleasant, honest and not just trying to get your kid out of trouble then they will work with you. At least that is my experience and as you know I have plenty of experience.

  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I do not agree that you should push for this change. You really have zero way to know if he is being truthful. How often has he been truthful with you in the past? While it is overused, the saying that you know when a sub abuser is lying because his lips are moving is true. It sounds like your son has been to traditional rehab settings in the past and they have not been any real help because he chose not to take the lessons they were teaching.

    If traditional rehab has not worked in the past, why would this time be different? Chances are it would not because he does not think he is really an addict. So why would the courts move him?

    If things are as bad as he says, then HE needs to advocate to get into a program that is more suited, NOT you. Once again he is getting you to put more into his recovery than he is. If he truly wants to get clean, he will find a way no matter where he is. Given all the resources he has been offered but refused to do anything to participate and/or to truly change his life via those resources, it is time for him to put the effort into getting clean and showing his desire to recover rather than simply complaining to Mommy about how mean everyone is. Send him the main AA book (I think it is often called the blue book or big book, but I could be wrong), a book of daily affirmations, and make him advocate for his transfer by himself.

    At the very least, try to sit down with him and a counselor on a family day, or call the head of the program, and ask about how it is structured, how often 12 step meetings are offered, and if most participants are 15 yo kids smoking pot now and then. It is incredibly common for an addict to say the things you are hearing to get out of a more restricted placement.

    If, and ONLY if, you can verify what he is saying and it is ALL true,then maybe it is time to see if the courts would move him. But unless you have concrete proof that goes well beyond the word of a sub abuser who has already been to many programs, I would NOT advocate for a move. Traditional rehabs simply have not worked for him, Know what I mean??
  6. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    I agree that you should be sure of your facts before you advocate for a change.... however I also know from experience with the system that it is sometimes very hard for a kid (who is only 18) to advocate in the system. He is seen as a drug addict, who has not succeeded in the past and they can languish in the wrong place.

    Fact is even if he has been in treatment before being in treatment again can help and being in a better fitting place may make a difference in his success.

    And I think having parent and family support makes a difference.

    I think as long as he is wanting treatment and isnt just trying to get out of there showing your support is a good thing.

  7. Zardo

    Zardo Member

    I agree with all of you even though there are two opposing views and its hard to know where to stand. I believe his main motivation right now is getting out of where he is. The age difference is too much - this has already been acknowledged by the counselor and he is very afraid that he cannot tolerate these kids and will end up in trouble from getting into a fight or something and land in detention. on the other hand - this place truly does only offer one NA meeting per week and they did not have one last week. They said they focus more on "skill building" than anything else - ie job seeking skills etc. while I do think that is useful - I am surprised any "rehab" would not do more in terms of Meetings. The counselor suggested possibly trying to move him to an adult facility when he turns 18 in 3 weeks - for now - I simply passed on his concerns via email while also suggesting that this may also reflect a time of adjustment. In the meantime - I have begun looking around for extended care options so that if I am given the opportunity to offer a solution on his 18th birthday - I have one. He has no idea that is what I am thinking and fully plans on coming home in a month or two. I just don't know if we can do that any more.
  8. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I've given this alot of thought and really don't know what you should do when you are between a rock and a hard place. My fear is that he will be bumped into an adult facility and then he would likely be the youngest which probably is more uncomfortable (and possibly more dangerous) than a juvie the record of that placement, if it should happen, would likely follow him into the future.

    Like you we did multiple placements with the last one being a Department of Juvenile Justice program. They did not go to AA or NA meetings. They did not have "official" meetings at all. It was the best option that his PO and I could find and it did serve a purpose. It did not, however, get rid of the SA issues. In each program he "learned" undesirable information from the guys he lived with AND there is a pattern in all SA programs to "bond" for contact after release. In the private programs there were teens who had similar backgrounds and had "gone astray" but more than half came from very questionable environments with irratic families.

    I realize you are eager for positive input. Truthfully, in my humble opinion, it's a **** shoot. Personally I would avoid the adult system at almost all costs. We opted to private pay for counseling with permission of the PO. It was what we felt was the best chance for him. Sending prayers of support to you. Hugs DDD