New here, need advice

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by MommaMia, Dec 29, 2013.

  1. MommaMia

    MommaMia New Member

    MommaMia New Member
    I wanted to introduce myself and say hello. I have a daughter (14) who has ODD, ADD, Impulse control problems and some substance abuse problems (alcohol). She started just a few months ago abusing alcohol, but escalated quickly. She is refusing to stop drinking, says it is "normal" for teens to drink. We are in shock over this, and also suspect other substance usage but she passed all drug tests.

    My husband and I have no other children, and our hearts are breaking for our daughter. She is in a dual-diagnosis treatment center, and not doing well there either. She was always a good student and never gave us problems until 2 years ago. At the same time, she suffered a concussion and severe thyroid problems. My husband and I have been married 14 years, and our bio parents. No trauma or abuse, and she has lots of support from my husband and I, and other close family members. She has long term friendships to rely on also.

    husband and I have no history of alcohol or drug abuse, we don't even drink. husband is bipolar, but has done very well on medications for almost 10 years now. We do suspect our daughter may be bipolar, but even specialists will not diagnose her with bipolar disorder yet, they feel she is too young and not overtly exhibiting bipolar symptoms.

    The treatment center wants to keep her longer, they say she is getting very defiant and needs more help then a 30 day treatment plan can offer.

    Our hearts are broken, and we hate to have her stay there. Would you advise we keep her there though?

    I am glad I found this forum, and look forward to giving and receiving support.

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  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    What if they can help her? What would you do in their place?
  3. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    It has been my experience that 30-day programs don't work because they are not long enough. The first rehab my daughter went to was a 30-day program and she went right back to drinking and using when she was released.

    The second time (after she had moved on to heroin), we sent her to a 90-day residential treatment program followed by an intensive after care program and she has done well. She recently celebrated her 1-year sobriety date.

    It doesn't sound like your daughter has made enough progress to leave the treatment program. One other thing,if your daughter comes home to the same school, she will likely hook back up with her substance abusing friends. Has the treatment team spoken to you about after care? One of our members, comaheart, sent her teenage son to a special recovery high school which is very small and provides treatment and counseling along with academics. Have you looked into something like that for your daughter?

    The chance of relapse if she returns to the same environment is very high.

  4. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I agree with Kathy. A thirty day program is not enough, they are just starting to let their defenses down. Our treatment program recommended at least 60 days and many stayed 90. Even after the 60 day program our daughter went into an aftercare program for six weeks four hours a day four days a week.
  5. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    One question: Is your reluctance to leave your daughter to treatment centre for longer time simply because you hate her being out from home and treatment or do you also have some mixed feelings about the facility she is in? It's very understandable to hate it, when your child is so ill that they have to stay in hospital or other treatment, but if the child needs that treatment, we just have to live with that pain.

    However, if some of it is misgivings about this particular treatment facility, it is a different issue. Substance abuse treatment is huge (and quickly growing) business with little oversight, few scientifically proven (or even adequately researched) treatments and lots and lots of centres and professionals and 'professionals' running them with very varying backgrounds and very varying quality. Effectiveness of different treatment protocols and even less the facilities is little researched and tradition tends to be, that any good outcome is considered to be due the facility and it's program and any bad outcome is due to patient not doing something right or faultiness of the patient. We are not keeping same standards to our addiction treatment (and in smaller degree our psychiatric treatment) as we are for other medical fields.

    If you have issues with the treatment centre or feel uneasy about them, do raise those issues up, ask also difficult questions and demand answers, do find out if this facility is the best option and treat it like you would treat the facility you send your child to have a knee operation or treatment for cancer.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Drug testing isn't perfect. Some drugs "pass" and the kids know which drugs they are.

    What would you do to help her that they can't if she left?

    Can you afford to switch her from place to place? Also, as Suzir asked, do you dislike the place or just feel sorry for your daughter? SOMEBODY has to try to stop her from her own self-destruction and you can't do it. At least she is not with her druggie friends right now...since drug users hang with drug users, as soon as she is back at school, she will be back with her drug using peers, some who are aggressive about pushing their "friends" into continuous drug use. We pulled our daughter out of school to homeschool her and she still found ways/times to connect wit her "friends." (I call them "friends" with quotation marks because actually they were anything but).

    Hugs for your hurting mommy heart.
  7. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Yes I would advise against bringing her home. If she is being defiant there you can be assured it will be worse when she is home... and back with the same friends makes it very very likely. i do feel your pain, it is very hard to have your child away when they are so young.

    When my son was 15 we ended up sending my son to a therapeutic boarding school for 16 months. It was tough going in many ways but he did do well there.... and afterwards we brought him home. It felt important to me that he come home. He came home and the first 6 weeks was amazing... after that things started to slide but he got a nice girlfriend and continued to do pretty well for almost a year and then things went downhill.... eventually way down hill.

    I do think he learned some things there (and also resented us for keeping him there), however I think if we had brought him home earlier it would have been worse much much faster. One of the things I think about is that by having him in the school, and that first year back kept him from heavy drug use for some important time in brain development. For all I know that may have saved his life.

    So given her age, the longer you can help keep her stay clean the better as heavy drug use at a young age does interfere with brain development.... and I suspect the concussion makes that even more of a concern.

    I think Suz asks some good questions. What are your concerns about the place. Is it because she is not doing well there... if she is defiant and fighting it, that is pretty normal behavior... especially if she thinks there is a chance you will bring her home! If it is because of things she is telling you then check those things out because she may be exaggerating or lying to manipulate you into bringing you home. If it is because it hurt to see your daughter there well it does hurt, it hurts a lot and the only thing you can do is to take care of yourself and take comfort in that there are others who are also caring for her.


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  8. MommaMia

    MommaMia New Member

    Thank you for all of your insight. We are looking into another small, alternative school for her when she comes home. I agree, if she goes back to her current high school she may relapse. She is doing so poorly there anyway, numerous behavior problems and failing.

    I do think the facility is quite good. Very, very structured and provides lots of support and insight for parent also. I just am not sure she is willing to take the help, and it is not working for her.

    husband and I do miss her so much, and sadly, I do want to bring her home because I feel she is so young to be away from us at 14. I feel like I am losing my mind some days because I miss her. We cannot call her or see her unless it is in group or for family counseling. I think if I could call her, or she could call us I would feel so much better. I know it is about her though, so I am really trying to stay positive about this treatment.
  9. MommaMia

    MommaMia New Member

    I did want to add that I am so scared she is going to need Residential Treatment Facility (RTF). I know it in my gut, which is why I am so depressed.
  10. comatheart

    comatheart Active Member

    I agree, 30 days is not long enough. Try and look at it this way... 30 days inpatient now followed by a (what I've read to be a) 90% relapse rate. **OR** 90 days now and a MUCH lower rate of relapse.

    She is young and I can just imagine how hard it is for her to be away from you. My son just got out of 3 months of treatment. He is a few years older and it was hard for us. BUT, I wanted him to get AS MUCH TREATMENT AS POSSIBLE to get that relapse rate as low as we possibly could. When it comes down to it, he could still relapse tomorrow, but my husband and I can say we did as much as we could right out of the gate. Honestly, if we could have gotten him into another program that lasted 6 months, we would have. Unfortunately, he turned 18 just 3 months into the program and so they refused to take him. :(

    In my opinion, if your daughter is putting up such a fight now, then she needs more treatment.

    My son is the one attending a recovery program since getting out of rehab. If you want me to help find a similar program near you, PM me your location.
  11. MommaMia

    MommaMia New Member

    Facility counselor called, she is actually being discharged in two days. She went AWOL for 10 minutes last night, and is also not doing anything the facility asks of her. We are so scared, because of her defiance. How can we parent her?
  12. comatheart

    comatheart Active Member

    What kind of treatment center is she in? Substance Abuse, Mental Health or Dual diagnosis?
  13. MommaMia

    MommaMia New Member

    Dual diagnosis facility, which is very hard to find in this area/locally for adolescents.
  14. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I wish I had "the answer" for you. Sadly many of us have had young teens who got "discharged" from multiple treatment facilities for not following the rules or defying authority. been there done that...twice! I swear that I don't think in all my many years I cried more than I did when our difficult child was "discharged" from an awesome program. It has been around ten years and if I allow myself to "go there" I can still shed tears...which is totally uncommon for my personality.

    on the other hand when your teen is on the wrong track AND is discharged from a decent facility it amps up your awareness that the problem is greater than you have allowed yourself to acknowledge. I am sending
    understanding and caring thoughts and hugs your way. Do your best!
    That is the highest standard you can live by. I hope and pray that she is able to "get it" before it is too late. DDD

    PS: When you research another facility try to find out how many of the teens are there "court ordered" or "State paid" as opposed to private pay. It sounds unkind BUT our difficult child learned alot of bad stuff at the first program from S.A. kids with criminal histories. The 2nd program had one from the Courts and the rest were family placements and the chances were greater for success!