New here; desperate for help

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by 92025, Jul 22, 2012.

  1. 92025

    92025 Member

    My 14 son has been suffering from depression due to tracking down his dad he never met on facebook 2 years ago and receiving little attention from him. He has been smoking a lot of weed and drinking some; got expelled twice and been arrested twice, wants to sleep all day, defiant, sarcastic, etc. He refuses to cooperate with any counselors or attend a treatment program to help him. The other day I found about 20 horizontal cuts on his arm; he is cutting himself now; i was so horrified I lost control, began screaming at him and even slapped him. Now he has run away. From researching cutting I now realize my reaction was terrible but I am literally going bat-sh** crazy with his refusal to do anything to help himself - I can't just stand back and watch him suffer without trying to do something but nothing is working.
  2. AmericanGirl

    AmericanGirl Guest

    Have you contacted police? Does he have other pending legal issues?

    I'd see a therapist myself. Mine has really helped me cope. She has also assisted me in getting a plan together of boundaries and consequences for my son. Al-anon or Families Anonymous can be huge helps. al-anon has helped me see I didnt cause this nor can I cure it. However, I can do things which will encourage him to get help...and do plenty which will help me get sane.

    My son hasn't seen his father for many, many years. His father emailed him about a year ago. It wasn't pretty but most all of my son's issues come from him, not from his father. Just my two cents.

    Keep posting. Lots of wisdom around here.
  3. 92025

    92025 Member

    Yes i reported his running away to the police, however they said they don't look for runaways but if they pick him up for something else then they'll call me. He has a pending court date for getting caught with beer, he had a prev arrest for weed and did a diversion program. He's been seeing a therapist, however it has not seemed to help and the therapist lost his license for having an affair with an adult patient. He's been put on Zoloft about 6weeks ago by a psychiatric nurse and we are supposed to see her again Tues. I've tried to talk him into a day program and he refuses and the hospital says the standards to force someone in are very high nowadays and pretty hard to do.
  4. AmericanGirl

    AmericanGirl Guest

    I understand. Been there myself. The only thing that worked with mine is giving him two choices...treatment or the streets. Yours being cannot throw him out.

    I'd suggest talking with the experts. See that they think you need to do. They know him and his needs.

    Does he have a cell? If so, I would turn my son's off so the only person he could contact was me. He'd call just to tell me his phone wasn't working.

    Can you get into his computer? facebook? That may give you a good idea of what is going on.
  5. 92025

    92025 Member

    his phone got taken away about a month ago when he called me a ***** for making him wash the dishes. I got into his facebook and gmail when he left a few days ago, there wasn't that much helpful info in it but he figured it out and changed the passwords so I'm out again. He's lost his phone, computer, tv in his room, skateboard, been grounded and can't close his bedroom door for various different bad behaviors. He has nothing left to take away so this is not working. Plus he's gone anyway :(
  6. AmericanGirl

    AmericanGirl Guest

    I know....I've taken everything away but oxygen. Literally took his door once. These kids will adapt.

    Mine ran away once. Told him if he did it again I would put signs up all over town and post it all over Facebook. Public humiliation works with him. He never did it again.

    Dr. phil says to find their currency. What works with him....use that.
  7. 92025

    92025 Member

    Hey! I like the signs all over town idea! Finally something I haven't tried! Thanks so much
  8. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    Welcome to the board. I have a 17 year old runner who started this behavior at 14 as well. Normal consequences don't work for these kids. We stripped her room and took away all media-she just ran or went to the Apple store and used their internet. Even went to the library and we had to cancel her library card. All this didn't work. Running is a huge power/control thing they use. We have used all the expert advise on this one-finially we were told that because her safety was so at stake an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) was the only option. She has spend about 3 years in 2 different RTCs and we spent thousands of dollars and, we still have the same behaviors- she even came out with new and worse behaviors. Sometimes we have several weeks of good progress and then back at it we go.
    AG-I like the signs idea too. Haven't done that and mine is a constant runner so I guess I should have a bunch of durable signs made!!

    We have tried many medications. Every SRIs (like zoloft) have caused her to either threaten or try suicide. We tried one mood stabalizer and that agitated her. Medications have to be tried and changed and messed with. That is difficult when they run and are not consistant with taking the medications. Mine is on the run as we speak and did not take any of her medications with her as usual.

    When they run it so scary. I use to not be able to sleep and I would be searching and calling every number-I was frantic. I am now to the place where I have to tell myself she always comes home, I didn't cause this behavior, we have done everything possible, and I have to let my higher power take care of her.

    At 14 you should be able to place him in treatment (although I guess a few states don't allow that). We had ours taken to the first private Residential Treatment Center (RTC) by their "bouncers" who they employ to pick kids up, even from other states because here, until they are 18 they have no say.

    When you go to court, I would ask for a more intensive Residential Treatment Center (RTC)-not out patient. The JJC case worker should know what they have. They do try to guard these because they are costly. If you can get her/him on your team they usually want to help and will support you in court. I was on the phone weekly with ours. He is a runner and you can plead for his safety based on that. In my experience, this helps some kids (has not helped ours). At least she was safe, learning new skills, dealing with her issues, no access to pot, and getting credit for school. We attended family sessions and courses that helped us learn the special skills she was learning for her particular mental health isues. This was helpful for us. Usually they have dual diagnostic places available where they deal with drugs and mental health issues.

    Keep posting and let us know when he gets home. I know this is scary for you. ((Hugs))
  9. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hello and welcome to the CD family. Many of us (if not all) on this forum have been where you are now. There are things that you can do. It sounds like you have already taken some good steps.

    1) I would call the police and report him missing. If nothing else, it will start a paper trail that you may need in the future. Call every time that he takes off.

    2) It sounds like it is time for a residential treatment center. Do you have insurance? If so, I would act immediately. Some on the board have used wilderness programs and others have sent their child to a Residential Treatment Center (RTC). Since he will not do what you say, is running away, and nothing else is working, I think that an Residential Treatment Center (RTC)/wilderness program might be all that is left.

    Keep posting! You will receive lots of support and advice. Use what helps and ignore the rest. by the way, Al-Anon has a saying that really helped me in our darkest days with our daughter. It is called the three C's: You didn't cause this, you can't control it, and you can't cure it. All you can do is reach out for help for your son. Posting here is a great first step.

  10. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    Yep. Time to call on a higher power.....the law. We can't fix these kids, but we can hold them accountable.
  11. 92025

    92025 Member

    Thanks for the encouragement guys. I have spent the day going door to door through the ghetto (everyone was very nice) since a friend of his had a tip of where he may be. Not much luck there but I did run across an apt owner whose best friend is the former sheriff. He is going to call him when he gets back in town. I have reported my son to the police however I live in a town that has famously bungled several missing/murdered child cases that received national attention and they are providing little help and will not look for him nor take a photo from me. I did hear from one of his friends that they heard from another friend that he is "out and about, OK just trying to cool off". So I guess that's encouraging.
  12. 92025

    92025 Member

    Yay! He was in his bed Tues am after being missing since Wed night. I woke him up to take him to his psychiatric appointment at 12; he was despondent and not talking. But he went to the appointment with no fuss and she is switching his rx from zoloft to lexapro and referred us to a new therapist. I'm SO relieved he's home but I know I'm in the middle of a bad situation, not at the end.
  13. AmericanGirl

    AmericanGirl Guest

    92025.... Glad he is back and safe. Sounds like you have a grasp of the size of the situation. Take one day at a time.
  14. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    What a relief. I agree with AG, You sound very realistic about everything. Keep us posted.

  15. 92025

    92025 Member

    He is gone again :( I went to his friend's house to try to track him down and met the friend's mom and talked with her quite a bit. She has seen so much of the same problem with her son and kids his age: smoking, drinking, being selfish and disrespectful. At this point I am more mad at him than sad. I feel like changing the locks and taking a vacation so he can find out he missed a trip to Hawaii or something!
  16. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    If he keeps running away, perhaps it's time to look for a rehab where he stays there rather than at home or an Residential Treatment Center (RTC). There is really no other way to keep him home if he wants to keep running away, which is dangerous for him (and your health and nerves).
  17. AmericanGirl

    AmericanGirl Guest


    I'm glad you are thinking about your needs. I wish I had gotten a security system years ago as it would have made life more harder on difficult child.

    Good for you talking to the other mom! The more you two talk, the less the kids can get away with.
  18. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    I am so sorry. Boy do I get it! Tomorrow will make 1 week that my difficult child has been gone. Once they do this and nothing too horrible happens they just don't stop. He is young and this is not safe. I hope you can get him in treatment in a secure place soon. When he returns can you take him to Youth Services (don't know what they call it there). Its a place parent can get a break from their kid and sometimes they have services. difficult child eventually ran from there so it didn't do any good. The services they had we already were doing privately but you never know. Our counselor suggested it as a kind of punishment-difficult child didn't like it for sure.

    Hang in there and know you are not alone. Oh and did you report him missing again? ((hugs))
  19. 92025

    92025 Member

    Well no word from him today. But I'm feeling better, talked to a guy at jiu-jitsu class who said he did drugs as a teen and I asked what finally made him stop, he said his mom sent him across the country to his sisters to live for awhile in the country. I've listed my townhouse for sale today, it's really nice and I love it a lot but my plan is to get out of town and get ds away from his drug connections and bummy friends. I also talked to the police officer at missing persons; he has a pending court date for drinking and she said since this is his second arrest, plus he tried to evade the police, plus with the runaway he will probably get probation instead of just diversion again. That might be good, then he will be under a set of rules that can land him in juvie if he breaks them. Maybe THAT will finally get him to straighten out! But I'm feeling a lot better, felt a bit guilty about going to class but justified it in that I need to take care of myself so I'm strong when he comes back. Also spoke with a professional interventionist. The bad news is our insurance does not seem to cover rehab :p only 3 days inpatient, i guess that's like for detox
  20. AmericanGirl

    AmericanGirl Guest

    You sound calmer. Im happy for that. Getting away from old playmates is key.

    Im really glad you went to your class. I believe we must focus on our health, recovery and sanity.