What do we do??

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by eandk02, Oct 7, 2007.

  1. eandk02

    eandk02 New Member

    It started out to be a good weekend, but turned for the worse last night. It is homecoming weekend and our difficult child decided that he wasn’t going to go and was going to hang out at a friend’s house instead. We called him every few hours to see where he was and at one point he said he wasn’t at this friend’s house anymore but decided to bike over to someone else’s house 2 blocks away (he had to use his friend’s mom’s bike as we took his away). I got the phone number where he was and decided to call back to talk to a parent. My husband then called him back and wanted to speak with a parent to see if it was okay for him to be there. Well a girl got on the phone pretending to be a parent and my husband asked where they lived so that he would know where to go when it was time to pick my son up. She told him that my son could be picked up at a restaurant nearby but he insisted that he get an address. She gave him one and after he hung up he immediately went over there. Turns out the girl gave us the wrong address (we did an address search based on the phone number that we had) and when my husband went to the door there was a group of kids there without parent supervision. My son was totally shocked to see him and immediately all the kids started to leave the house. My husband asked to talk to my son outside and a kid who is not much older than mine stood in the doorway and told my husband that he wasn’t coming inside. My husband told him that all he wanted to do was to talk to our son but if he was going to make it difficult, the police were going to get involved.

    Needless to say, on the way home my son was so furious that he said he couldn’t stay in our house and wanted to be taken down to shelter care. He also told my husband that if he would have gone back into that house, the guys were going to beat the **** out of him. Would our difficult child have joined them or let them do it? I’m afraid that the answer is yes. Once they were downtown, they had to wait for the police from the town that we live in since we do not live in the city and they told us that since we do not have a social worker, he would have to come home with us. He came back home and did end up staying the night (my husband is sure that our son was on something), but this morning decided to leave the house without permission. We called him in as a runaway again and all the police can do is look for him and bring him home

    We are not sure when or if he will come home. He was due to work at 4:30 today and never showed up. We have since removed everything from his room except his mattress and some clothes. While we were cleaning out his room, we found 2 unknown pills and 1 capsule of his Vyvanse and 2 tablets of his Lexapro. He has been in treatment before and obviously hasn't worked.

    What to you do at this point? We will call the social worker tomorrow, but even when we do start back up with her, I think he will still be making the same bad choices. We’ve talked about a Residential Treatment Facility (RTF), but where to you go to find out where the right one is for your child?
  2. ck1

    ck1 New Member

    I'm sorry, I don't have any advice for you. I just wanted to say how sorry I am that this is happening. I can only imagine how sick you must feel right now, not knowing where your son is or why he makes the decisions he has.

    Where we live you must have a referral from a psychiatrist stating that Residential Treatment Facility (RTF) is absolutely necessary. Then there is a specific group, called the Residential Treatment Facility (RTF) Group, that gathers all the information about your child then they send it out to the Residential Treatment Facility (RTF)'s. Once the Residential Treatment Facility (RTF)'s review the referral, they decide whether or not to accept your child. In our case, my son was accepted to four of the five (I never heard if there was a response from the fifth, didn't matter because I wouldn't have considered it) facilities the referral sent to. I went to each of the facilities then chose the one that I got the best feeling about. So far I still feel good about my decision, time will tell.

    I think starting with the social worker is your best bet.
  3. envisablepuppet

    envisablepuppet New Member

    Hello and welcome :laugh:

    I didn't want to just read your post and move on. I don't want you to think no one cares, we do. I'm really not comfortable giving you any specific advice but also want you to know the week ends are slow as far as responses go.

    Please do not think your being ignored because your not. I know I'd say get help now anyway you had to. Be it Residential Treatment Center (RTC) or whatever it takes. I just wish I had found this board when my difficult child was 15.

    Alot of the ppl here give excellent advise I love them all. I just don't want you to fill like your being ignored :D. Welcome to the site!!
  4. Tezzie

    Tezzie Member

    Your difficult child has some similar traits to ours. Our difficult child 1 has been in an Residential Treatment Facility (RTF) for 3 weeks now & already we are seeing some changes, don't know how long term they will be but it's a start.

    Depending where you are in WI, I can make some specific suggestions about programs we know or have tried. PM me & I can send you details.

    Good luck, hang in there & take care of yourself.

  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm in Wisconsin too (middle of the state). Hi there. I had a daughter who abused drugs so badly she's lucky to be alive. I'd love to be able to give you help, but nothing worked for our daughter until she wanted to change, then she changed things dramatically. We didn't really know the degree of her involvement in drugs or we would have found an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) for her, although I don't know of a ny good ones in WIsconsin...lol. Seriously, I wouldn't have known where to put her. I wouldn't have expected an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) to cure her and probably not even to change her mindset, until SHE saw things differently, but it would have kept her off the streets and away from her druggie friends. That alone would have been worth the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) for us. Each child is different. Others will come along.
  6. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    Hello eandk

    A couple of thoughts:

    Is your sense this is a drug addiction? or is your son experimenting?

    Is this involvement with drugs a form of rebellion?

    Could he be self medicating some emotional pain?

    Would some type of community resource help your son?

    Would you consider pulling him out of his current high school and putting him in a different environment?

    What type of programs are offered by your juvenile care facilities?

    We put our daughter in a community based outpatient facility. 3 days a week.

    We tried intensive inpatient( residential) drug program. Because it wasn't a locked facility ... she ran away.

    Finally we had to put her in a long term residential facility. It wasn't drug specific.

    You might want to contact an 'educational consultant'. I can give you some links if you would like to go that route. They will talk with you and assess your child and then help you find the best placement based on his issues.

    I'll be honest .... If I had to do it over again I don't know that I would place my daughter outside of our home as we did. I don't know that it was helpful ... except that it removed her from her environment for a year and a half. When she returned home she also returned to the same lifestyle. Running ... cutting ... drugging ... rebellion.

    It was very, very expensive (upwards of $4000.00 per month). We had to drain her college account and a large portion of our savings to fund it.

    There are parents who swear that it saved their child's life. For some that may be true. The empirical evidence does not support the efficacy of these programs.

    In hindsight, I wish we would have tried sending her to live with relatives outside of our community.

    Please let me know if I can be of further assistance. Feel free to PM if you need to.

  7. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    If you can find a good educational consultant, use them to help you find an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) that fits. If not, maybe the social worker has some leads. I found my daughter's with the help of her therapist.

    There's not much anyone can say that is going to make last night or today better. I truly hate the stage where kids think they know what is best or simply don't care what any adult thinks. It just stinks!!!

    You and your husband did all the right things in trying to protect your son from himself. I hope he comes home soon and that things don't spiral even further down.

  8. Sunlight

    Sunlight Active Member

    I would see if I can let the parents of that house know what happened.

    I know you are worried about your son being on the run, but more often than not, our kids here who run are safe and comfy in friends' houses.

    you need to intervene quickly in this. ask the social worker about a petition of child in need. they may be able to help put some reins on your son.
  9. eandk02

    eandk02 New Member

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: goldenguru</div><div class="ubbcode-body">
    Is your sense this is a drug addiction? or is your son experimenting?

    Is this involvement with drugs a form of rebellion?

    Could he be self medicating some emotional pain?

    Would you consider pulling him out of his current high school and putting him in a different environment?

    What type of programs are offered by your juvenile care facilities? </div></div>

    To answer goldenguru,

    1. I think that he has a drug addiction. He was in outpatient treatment at the beginning of the year. The program that we chose was referred to us by many people. I feel it was a waste of money and in my opinion, was a place where all the drug addicts could meet to exchange more drugs. Not sure where to turn to now for treatment.

    2. I do feel that he may be self medicating. He does suffer from depression and is on Lexapro but not sure how well it is working. I know in the past he has said that he does drugs to help calm him down and focus, which is why we took him to a psychologist who specializes in ADD. He was diagnosed this past January and has been on Adderrall XR and is currently taking Vyvanse. He told us last week that he did not think the medications were working and wasn't going to take them anymore. We have a meeting tomorrow with the dr to discuss this.

    3. We have considered pulling him out of his current high school, which we feel is not the right place for him, but do not know where else to send him. We live in the Fox Cities area of Wisconsin (1/2 hr south of Green Bay). There is a Lutheran High School in our area, but the cost is more than we can afford.

    4. We have come to the realization that the county in which we live is not equipped to handle youths like my son. The social worker told us today that we can come down and fill out a Request for Juvenile Court Intervention. We would then be assigned a social worker. If our son breaks the law, he can be placed in shelter care which he can easily walk out of. It sounds unlikely for him to be placed in juvenile detention unless he gets into serious trouble. A mom that we spoke with today says that the system is a joke. Her son is currently a runaway with my son. Her son has an ankle monitoring braclet on and it senses when he is in the house, but when he leaves, an alarm sounds and there is no way to track where he is going. She said that shelter care is a joke. Her son currently has charges pending against him for possession and theft, they will not let him leave state to attend a Residential Treatment Facility (RTF).

    We have not seen/heard from our son since yesterday morning. My husband went out looking for him last night and did see him with another boy who is also a runaway that the police are actively looking for. As soon as they spotted him, they ran. I never imagined that life in our home would be so bad for my child that he would feel the need to run away. We did just receive a call from my son's employer who said that one of her workers did see him 20 minutes ago with a group of kids and asked him why he didn't show up for work yesterday. She stated that he looked confused and then said I don't know. She said he didn't look good and was tired. Not sure if it's because he hasn't been taking his medications or if he's coming off of something, or maybe both. We called the police to let them know that someone spotted them, so hopefully they find them.

    Wondering where you find an educational consultant? At this point we are so desperate for help and don't know where to go to next.
  10. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member


    I sent you a private message. Look for it up top under 'my stuff'.
  11. Tezzie

    Tezzie Member


    I also sent you a PM.

  12. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    When I was looking for a placement for my son I started with our pastor.I asked him who in the community had connections to boy's homes Residential Treatment Center (RTC)'s etc.. That got some names and phone numbers. Then I called and asked each of those people for info on placements.

    I also talked with the school resource officer. I got a list of over 40 programs in my state. Many of htem were unknown to our wonderful therapist (can't say enough nice things about her!). Many of the programs require you to be sent there by the courts. But I sure got an amazing list and lots of help.

    Just thought maybe this would help you, spark ideas for finding programs.


  13. DFrances

    DFrances Banned

    The hard thing about giving this kind of advice is that there is such a wide range of function and ability. There are so many other conditions that might occur and impact the course of action that would be successful for any one child. I don't have a lot of trust in group homes or state run Residential Treatment Center (RTC)'s. The results I have seen are under trained staff, low paid minimum wage staff, no treatment plans for long term results (they concentrate on an immediate behavior quick fix) and kids who return home angry because the pain they are feeling was never dealt with, only the symptoms. Group homes cannot provide the loving care that trained staff can in a proper residential therapeutic treatment center with Master Level and above therapists.

    So here's what I would suggest to parents who believe a residential placement is in their child's best interests, or is necessary to preserve the health and/or safety of the family:

    Get assessments done and get copies of all reports and detailed results from all testing. The recommended IQ test is the Woodcock-Johnson, as it has lots of subtests in the area of information processing, and shows the highs and lows that are behind the "normal" overall score. The Bender is helpful as it shows typical visual-motor deficits. A functional assessment is crucial, such as the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales, which will show a score well below the IQ and will explain the child's inability to function independently. A good psychological evaluation will bring to light any mental health disorders, such as Impulse Control Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, attachment disorder, autistic symptoms, tourette symptoms, or any of the conduct disorders that might occur. Let the doctors and evaluators know that you are not afraid of having any of these diagnoses in an official report, and that their honest reporting of their findings could be beneficial in getting needed services, especially if the IQ is above 70.

    Document behaviors that indicate the need for 24/7. Recall and write about risky behaviors and repeated mistakes. Record all unusual incidents as they occur.

    Keep a journal, like the ABC journal: A = Antecedent (what happened immediately before). B = Behavior (what the child did that was risky, illegal, harmful or inappropriate). C = Consequence (everything that happened as a result). Write down these three components and make a note of how the situation was resolved, and any factors that might affect the behavior.

    Keep copies of all records from school. Special education placement and IEP records will be helpful in proving the need for support services.

    With no assistance the child is likely to engage in risky behavior that could be harmful to family members or others.

    Eventually the child will do something serious enough to be arrested, and a judge may require parents to provide close supervision with house arrest. This is impossible unless there is someone available to follow the child around constantly.

    When a child is arrested, the lawyer appointed for the child should be educated about Residential Treatment Center (RTC)'s and/or work with an Educational Consultant.
  14. runawaybunny

    runawaybunny Guest


    You are welcome to post here but please do not present yourself as a credentialed expert and post links to your business website. In addition to my concern about your use of our forum for free advertising I am also concerned that your posts may give the impression that you are endorsed by this site when you are completely unknown to us.

    We have also received multiple complaints from our members who are also concerned that you are using our forum to promote yourself as an educational consultant. Our moderators have had to edit several of your posts, and your signature, because you posted links to your business website. This type of post violates section 20 of our terms of service. Over the past few weeks the site admin and I have both attempted to contact you privately about this matter and you have not responded so I'm unsure if you are not getting our messages or if you are ignoring them.

    Another issue I have with your posts is your use of credentials in your display name and signature. There are many people here with advanced degrees who have no need to mention it, much less list it in their signature. If you're not fishing for business the desire to have your credentials on public display gives me the sense that you don't want to be on the level playing field with the rest of us.

    I must insist that you comply with our terms of service and refrain for using our forum for self promotion. If you are interested in advertising here you are welcome to purchase a banner ad.
  15. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    Thank you bunny for addressing this. It needed to be said.

    It makes me very uncomfortable to have a professional educational consultant rounding up business here.

    Opinions offered here need to be neutral/objective or based upon personally parenting a troubled child.

    Thanks again for addressing this 'conflict of interest'.
  16. eandk02

    eandk02 New Member

    Our difficult child was finally located last Wednesday morning in a city over 2 hours from our house. It was a relief that we finally found him (he had been gone since the previous Sunday), but at the same time we were heartbroken to learn that he was found with two other boys in a stolen car. He has been in juvenile detention since last Wednesday and my husband has been to visit him every day. Alot of tears have been shed by the both of us especially when my husband had to go to court last week and tell the judge that per the recommendation of the psychologist and counselor that my son is currently seeing, that he not be released into our care and remain in detention until we can find proper placement for him. We do have two good options that were recommended by our psychologist and the intake worker so my husband went to look at them today. We are praying that there is an opening for our son and we can get him there asap as he is not getting help for his issues in detention. He has had alot of time to think about what he did though. It's sad to think what drugs did to our family. Just wondering if anyone else has had a similar situation and what they did and how they got through it?
  17. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    The good news is that you have found him and that he is currently safe. Also good news that the courts are allowing a placement rather than being stuck in the juvenile court system.

    In terms of your placement choices: be sure that there is a master level therapist on staff and available EVERY day. Be sure that his care includes regular trips to a psychiatrist. Be sure that he will have access to an accredited high school (versus the staff 'homeschooling'). Be sure that the program is the least restrictive that it can be ... given his issues with running. Talk to other parents who have had kids there and who currently have kids there. Talk to kids who have exited the program. I would even call the local CPS and local police department to inquire about reported abuse of any type.

    In regards to your last question about what drugs does do to a family.... it truly is sad. But, it helped me to remember that it was the DRUGS and not our daughter. Continue to hope in and love your son. Most of us who post in the forum have had/have similar situations. The details are just a little varied. How do we get through it? One day at a time. Sometimes one moment at a time. Also, get yourself into some type of support group with other parents WHO GET WHAT YOU'RE GOING THROUGH. We had well meaning families who tried to 'encourage' us ... trouble was they just didn't have a clue what we were going through. Their well meaning advise was often very hurtful to us.

    You are among friends here on this forum. We get it. We've been there done that. Come often to post and vent. It really helps.

    Keep us updated.