Oh how naive I have been.....

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by beachbeanb, Nov 3, 2011.

  1. beachbeanb

    beachbeanb New Member

    Just a few short weeks ago (seems like years ago) I was saying on another forum...."I don't think we have a drug issue".....well how quick things change. I have found out my son has supplied pills and alcohol to a girl that was so messed up at school she passed out. Known drug dealers are calling my house ...saying they are someone else. Our house has been broken in to....something my son had a hand in. Typing this just makes me sick.

    But time to man up and move forward from the shock of it all. We have him on the waiting list for a tbs but it probably will not be until after Christmas. I have taken his phone, we have monitoring software on the computers, and have done some investigative work on who is who on his friend list. We live in a relatively small area so word does travel about. I have also taken away all access to cash. I wanted to strip his room but husband thought that was too harsh...it was a big arguement and I caved.

    I don't even know what my question is other than "what else can I do?"........move? Lock him in his room? Withdraw him from school since we will have to do that anyway when tbs calls??? Call the administrators at school who know me and tell them what I know?

    Any info you may have will be greatly appreciated.......nothing worse than this feeling......

  2. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Just sending my love and support. It is clearly such a tough and scary road to fear the dangers to this child you love so much. I know there will be many here who know lots of tricks and ideas for you . Does your district have a sober school or anything? Not sure if now is the time because he is not sober, but you can look at those things for transitioning back. Our district has that.
  3. keista

    keista New Member

    Withdrawing him from school does not sound like a good option. Technically when he goes to TBS, he will be transferring schools.

    Are the administrators looking for the supplier? What are you looking to achieve by giving them all this info. Son may get expelled or even arrested. Yes, certainly natural consequences that he would have to suffer through. Not saying what to do either way, just helping you think through all your options.

    by the way how did you find out he supplied for that girl? How's he doing with his new restricted life? Is he cooperating with you or fighting at every turn?
  4. beachbeanb

    beachbeanb New Member

    He got the pills and alcohol from another sketchy friend....I am so torn about telling the administrators that I am close with....don't want to do something stupid.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Well, as the mother of an ex-drug abuser, I can tell you he is getting drugs from many sources and you can not stop him from using drugs. Perhaps he will stop at the TBS. If not, you need to detach and realize that the only one who can make him stop using is himself. It did help my daughter to relocate because she WANTED to quit and the kids around here would harass her, even threaten her...so she felt she couldn't. But if he is not interested in quitting, relocating won't work because there are many, many drug users everywhere.

    This is the harsh reality in which many of us live. We can insist they go for help or into a rehab or to a psychiatrist, but we can't make them want to stop. That doesn't mean he won't decide to quit. My daughter did. It means that it is best if, while he is at TBS, you go for therapy for youself, and definitely go to a Narc-Anon or Al-Anon group for support from others who have been there, learn to take care of yourself, and concentrate of the people in your life who are positive and caring. You have got to take care of YOU. It may seem like your life is over because your child is using drugs, but he is a separate person from you. And you are good for nobody if you don't take care of yourself.

    Even now, it is a good idea to start to detach. Rash decisions will not change his drug usage. Do what you can to keep him in your sight as much as you can. But we homeschooled Daughter and she still found a way (God knows how) to take drugs. One day she saw her friend with track marks up and down her arms (I had no idea she had friends like this let alone that she was taking meth, snorting anything she could, and had even tried heroin (no, you do not automatically get addicted by trying it once). Once she quit, she told us everything. The friend with the track marks on her arms was the last straw for her. She saw that as her future and decided she would NOT be that person. After a few attempts at quitting and finally being told she couldn't live with us (she went to live with her straight arrow brother) she did quit.

    There is always hope and you have to hang onto that. But don't expect a fast solution. It's a long, hard road, and your son has to decide that drugs are not for him. You can not make him stop. Please take my suggestions on how to help yourself. Really...it will make the sad journey more bearable.

  6. beachbeanb

    beachbeanb New Member

    Thanks Midwest Mom for the reply. It helps more than you know (or maybe you do!) I suppose we will just keep playing this wait and see game. I did finally make some headway with husband about cracking down on priviledges and freedoms. I am the heavy hand in this family and maybe that is a problem. Husband still thinks we can compromise our way out of this. I disagree. But I told him last night that everything I have read and heard is that you have to stick to a bottom line. But that might not work either. Time will tell I suppose....in the meantime....UGH UGH UGH!
  7. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Check your parent-student handbook. Our high school has a policy that if the student 'confesses' before they are 'caught' or 'under investigation' that discipline will not be handed out, it will be treated as a cry for help and dealt with therapeutically. (They will still get in trouble if they actually, currently have the drugs at school but not for past use.)
  8. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Thinking of you.....
  9. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Have you thought about having him evaluated at a drug treatment center? What about his physician? If he is using drugs he may need more than a tbs to deal with his drug issues, unless they are qualified to do that also.

  10. Zardo

    Zardo Member

    I am so sorry about your situation. I have been there and know the desperation and confusion. Our son is about 1.5 years into this journey. He is doing MUCH better than an year and a half ago, but I can tell you that it has been a long road with a lot of ups and downs and there is no "one time fix". If you are looking for an immediate intervention, I would reccomend a Wilderness program with a strong emphasis on substance abuse. We started our journey with this. Many TBS require it. Prior to Wilderness, our son was unreachable. His pot use was at the stage of "dependance" and he was experimenting with other drugs, he was angry, defiant, didn't do ANY school work...he was unreachable. Our turning point was when he was caught at school and expelled. Believe it or not, that was a good thing...suddenly, it was no longer him vs. us.....when I picked him up at the police station his first comment was "why didn't I listen to you". While he soon went right back to his pot smoking ways, it was the beginning of our journey. When he went right back to it and got caught again, we sent him to Wilderness. One of the keys here is that his actions got him into trouble and we responded to "help" him. When he got home, 90 days later, we had a loving son again who wanted to be part of our family structure. He was committed to being sober. While he has relapsed a couple of times since then, they are just that, relapses. The constant use, lying and sneaking are gone. He attend outpatient programs and attends AA. He has had a couple of slips, but he is working on becoming a part of society again. He is still a work in progress as the beahviors learned as part of the drug using culture take a while to re-shape. I am VERY knowledgeable of Wilderness programs as I researched so many on the East Coast. There are some that take kids that want to change and other that take kids that don't want any part of it. If you are interested, send me a private message and I will tell you of a few that are very good with substance abuse. In the meantime, there are some great books that helped me gain understanding and realize that I was not alone - "Intervention" by Chad Hepler ; "Changing for Good" (Prochaska) and "Teens Under the Influence" (Ketcham) will give you information and solace. Good luck and message me if you need to.
  11. thomasc

    thomasc New Member

    I didn't realize "Therapeutic" boarding schools were such a popular option here. I understand you would only choose such an option as a last resort - but please don't. Nobody, no matter what they have done, belongs in one of these places. They are only after your money and aren't interested in helping your kid. As someone who has been in such a place I feel obligated to tell you that abuse is the norm in these settings because the people who work in them know they can get away with it. Who is going to listen to some druggie kid whose own parents didn't even want him? The best you can do for you child is get real help for his problems. He might have an addiction, it might just be his peer group, and he almost certainly has some psychological issues (very likely including depression) that real, NON COERCIVE, therapy could help with. Perhaps there's a relative willing to take him on in exchange for rent so he can start going to therapy regularly? He'd probably be glad to get away from you at this point, anyway. Because of the lack of trust in your relationship it might be better to have someone neutral talk with him about his current options for you. Letting anger into this isn't going to help anyone, you care about him and don't want to see him making bad decisions that are going to effect his life permanently. I don't know what you've already tried, but please don't go down this route. The "educational consultant" you talk to on the phone is going to get a referral fee for whatever program you end up choosing. For my program that equated to the first month's tuition, or $3,000. They don't care about you or your child. Parents who are at their wits end and feel like they need to make an immediate decision are easy targets. Your child isn't going to change until he wants to, and physically forcing it upon him is going to change his behavior without changing his mind. I wouldn't wish my experience on anyone, and what I hope I can show parents is that my program wasn't the exception, it was the rule. I'm willing to talk about my experience and point you to relevant websites/news articles/congressional hearings about TBS / Residential Treatment Center (RTC). Really I would do anything to keep another kid from having go through what I went through, and another family from being torn apart the way mine was. I'd even be willing to talk to your son (or find another survivor/former "difficult child" who acted in a similar manner as a teenager to do the same)
  12. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Thomas - how kind of you to offer to talk to their son!!
    I have a son that went to TBS for 2 years - I have to agree with you. In the end it was CLEARLY evident all they wanted was our money, so much so that they took actions towards my son to "keep" him in the program so they could continue to collect money. When we started demanding accountability and a plan to move him through the program, and refusing to pay until they did so, they kicked him to the street, with appx 0 minutes of notice. He was left in Idaho, alone, until I could get to him. And this is one of the so called more reputable places in the US.

    On the flip side, as parents, we are often left with so little options. It is very hard to know where to turn. It is all a fine balancing act. My son needed help so badly - and was so out of control - that I was left with few choices. I wish there was a more ideal choices for all of us who have kids in need.
  13. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I urge you to go to alanon/narcanon meetings starting NOW. Yes, your son is the addict, but YOU need meetings and a 12 Step program as does EVERYONE in the family. This includes difficult child, husband, siblings, EVERYONE. You ALL have codependent behaviors. It is what it is, and change is hard hard hard. But alanon/narcanon (around here they don't care what the drug of choice is, you are welcome at either group at any time) is a HUGE help because it gives you in real life support as often as you want it. I urge you to do 7 in 7 and as close to 30 in 30 as you can.

    7 in 7 means to go to 7 meetings n 7 days. Yes, as a loved one you NEED this. Go to different places/times and not the same place/time every time. Each meeting is different and has a different "feel" even if it is the same people. The goal of 30 in 30 will really help you figure out which meetings are the best fit, plus they help you really grasp what is going on and what you NEED to do to help yourself and your family. It also helps you see that you cannot do this for your child, which is one of the toughest lessons of all. Even if your husband won't go, or if you hate the first few meetings you attend, PLEASE keep going. It really can help.

    One of the benefits of YOU going to alanon is that having family who are active in recovery gives the addict a 30% higher chance of getting/staying sober. Yup. that big a difference. Of course you can't force difficult child to be sober, but you CAN learn how you enable him and you can become healthier and less codependent. Meetings also help you get away from that "we have to do something NOW NOW NOW!!!!! Christmas will be too late!!" urgency.

    That urgency is what many of us feel when we realize a loved one is in big trouble. It is normal, but is not real. Until/unless the addict feels the need to get sober, NOTHING we do will make it happen. That is the hardest part about addiction. A wilderness program MAY be a way to force him to be sober, and it MAY help. But it also may not and may make thngs worse.

    I don't have experience with Residential Treatment Center (RTC)/tbs. I know some parents here have had great results, some have had bad results, some have had no change in their child, and some have had the placement be abusive. I know that the rehab my adult bro went to was amazing, and I would encourage it for any who wanted to find a rehab. It s part of a group of rehabs, but is very successful because from what I have heard they are just good places and they do what they are supposed to. I can pm the info if you are interested in seeing if there is one around you.

    Sadly, the bottom line is that you cannot force your son to be sober - only he can do that. This is a HUGE reason why you and husband NEED alanon/narcanon. It is possibly the hardest part of having an addicted child, in my opinion - that knowledge that you cannot make them be sober and cannot stop them if they don't want sobriety.

    You have my thoughts and prayers, (((((hugs)))))