Hello. I'm new here. I landed at this forum after doing a google search that went something like this: How can I survive raising a defiant, explosive, drug abusing, out-of-control teenage boy? Thankfully, the Google search hit someones forum post and here I am. I have spent the last several days poring through forum posts both old and new, and I cannot express the overwhelming sense of relief at finally finding other people in the world who understand what Im going through. I know I dont need to rehash it all for you it seems that many of you have been there: Social isolation during the toddler years when you are kicked out of every daycare and Sunday School class in town; daily phone calls, emails, conferences with elementary teachers and principals because your child is the most disruptive force in the room; escalating disciplinary referrals, ISS, OSS during middle school; the destruction of entire walls and other objects in your home; the (seemingly) inevitable foray into experimenting with pot/alcohol, and the escalation into the full-blown abuse of God-knows-what (more commonly known as Whatever You Can Get Your Hands On). The missing valuables and truancy. The installation of deadbolts on your bedroom, the removal of the locks on every other door in the house, or even the doors themselves, the continuing social isolation because, really, how do you including wording on your dinner party invitations that goes Please leave all valuables at home. If you find it necessary to carry a purse, please lock it in the trunk of your car. Your cell phones and car keys must remain on your person at all times. Your coat, if you choose to wear it into the house, must have empty pockets, and will be locked in a safe room for the duration of your visit.? And finally, the phone call that your child has been arrested and is in custody for (insert offense here) in my case, shoplifting a few times, possession a couple of times, and curfew violation during a runaway attempt that lasted just about 48 hours. And the overwhelming knowledge that the professionals have so far not been able to help you out. So here is where we are now: My son (difficult child) will be 17 in a few months. He was court-ordered, among other things, to have a substance abuse evaluation (on the way there he told me not to worry. There would only be one visit because he knew what to say to make sure they didnt think he had a problem. Obviously, weve been to many, many therapists over the years). Since this was court-ordered and our insurance doesnt cover mental health or substance abuse treatment, I decided the local county mental health clinic would suffice and we went there. The social worker met with difficult child alone and then with me. Her first statement was What a delightful, polite young man. I dont understand why he is here. When I read his file, I expected an angry, defiant monster. But he is just delightful. Thats when I made my snap decision to tell her she was way off base and had just been played. I filled her in on how delightful the boy really can be and the extent of substance abuse that is going on and she was just simply befuddled. After promising to contact me in 24 hours regarding her assessment results, I received the call 2 weeks later. She concurred with a diagnosis of ADHD and ODD as previously thought by the numerous other psychiatrists, psychologists, neurologists, sleep experts, and counselors we have seen. She was not recommending us for substance abuse counseling because they dont offer that in our county, wed have to travel to another county. And really, in her opinion, that program would be a recipe for disaster for difficult child because its a large group of teenagers that are court-ordered to participate and all they really do is make contacts and find places to buy urine for their tests. So she was referring us for family counseling because ..we have a lot of family issues. Really? You think? Someone would contact me within a few days to set up an appointment. That was 2 months ago. Ive called, no return calls are made. We will be heading back in front of the judge soon for the numerous probation violations, and the probation officer is just appalled that I havent walked into the county mental health center and demanded that they get us scheduled for family counseling. More family counseling seems like a waste to me . He plays the counselor, then continues the same behaviors at home. Eventually he comes to the counseling sessions stoned and laughs his way through it (at $95/hour not covered by insurance, Im not interested in doing that. Id rather light the money on fire as an alternate heating source for the winter) The last counselor told us our son was not buying into the whole counseling scene and that we were just wasting our money. My husband and I have detached emotionally as much as possible (well, most of the time). Unfortunately, in our state there is no such thing as emancipation of a minor (unless the parents are incarcerated or dead dont think I havent been tempted to be either one), so we are legally, physically, and financially responsible for all acts committed by our minor child. If he commits a crime, we can, in fact, be charged with that same crime if its felt that we werent doing our part to prevent his committing it. We are responsible for all fiscal restitution to which a victim may be entitled. If he commits a crime and is waived into adult court, the good news is we cant be charged with his crime, but we are still responsible for all victim restitution. But Im really here because Ive given up on the county mental health center and Ive set up an appointment with a private practice psychologist who specializes in substance abuse issues so I wont be out of compliance with the probation order. And I want to pose these questions to this group: [/FONT] 1. When we visit this psychologist, should I just keep my mouth shut and let difficult child play him and possibly accept the recommendation that no further counseling is necessary? Or should I enlighten the man and let it take whatever course it takes? Can counseling really help, especially if a person isnt ready to change? Is substance abuse really the issue or a symptom? How do you get to the root of ODD?[/FONT] Is family counseling really the answer? 2. How do you keep from having anxiety attacks about your younger child following the same path? And about the damage these behaviors have on younger child? This is what really keeps me awake at night now. Over the last several years, Ive gone through a type of grieving process about difficult child, and only recently coming to an acceptance that weve have done about as much as we could do to give him a solid upbringing, providing all the tools and opportunities for a successful life as we could. All to no avail. Since I dont know where we went wrong, were not doing anything differently with our younger child. In my head I know hes a totally different person .but I cant shake the belief that the environment we provided contributed to the older ones issues in some way and that it will have the same effect on our younger son. I cant quit obsessing about it. 3. How "detached" can you get from a minor child? And how do you put that into play? I hope this doesnt set a record as the longest post in history, but Im just literally at the end of my skill sets here and I wanted some objective opinions. And I wanted to give as much information about our situation as possible so that hopefully someone who had been through similar circumstances could jump in. Thank you all just for being here. Im just so, so relieved.