What should I do?

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Incredible, Oct 13, 2008.

  1. Incredible

    Incredible New Member

    My 15 year old son has no diagnosed psycologicaly problems yet has so far attended 5 different highschools and been expelled from each one for either leaving campus, smoking pot, or stealing money from another student.
    He smokes cigarettes and either bums them off of strangers or looks for cigarette butts to smoke.
    Any discussion I attempt to have with him - he shouts me down with "I don't care" then he runs off to find a cigarette butt.
    Yes, this has been going on for over a year. We have tried family counseling twice with weekly visits that went on for months - but it was pathetic. The counselor gave suggestions that don't even begin to address the problems.
    It's too late for Nanny 911 - at this point, I see Judge Judy in his future....
  2. So Tired

    So Tired Member

    Well, I wish I had some good advice to offer. Mine is 18 and I'm still puzzled as to why he chooses to self distruct! For most of his senior year it was absolutely horrible in our home -- I fought with him constantly trying to get him through high school. He refused to get up, only passed the classes he needed to graduate (flunked the rest), was verbally and physically abusive. My goal was to see him through his high school degree and we made it! Lately I have found some peace in realizing that I can not change him -- only the way I react. Have you always had problems with him, or is this something new related to the drugs?

    I'm so sorry -- I can tell you are very frustrated. It is so difficult to watch them make such bad decisions for their lives and futures. I also have tried many things to get mine the help he needs, but he refuses. I have finally realized that I have done what I can for him... of course, mine is nearly 19 now and so I have more options. I am wishing you strength and perspective....
  3. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    If you catch him with pot---you can file a PINS---or CHINS report. This gets the law invovled. If caught early enough, and he has a healthy fear of consequences, it may help. A judge would rule for services needed. You would, as a family, have to participate. It's not fun, but it can work.
  4. katya02

    katya02 Solace

    What is a PINS/CHINS report? I can't find anything on them in a google search. Not that it would apply to my difficult child if it's for minors, but just wanted to know ...
  5. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    I think it stands for Person In Need of Supervision or CHild In Need of Supervision.

    It gets the law involved, but also protects parents from charges of neglect etc. because it documents the fact that despite the parents' efforts, the child is uncontrollable (or something like that)

    I think there are differences from state to state. I don't know the details, but this is what I've learned from other posters...

  6. katya02

    katya02 Solace

    Aha! Got it. Wouldn't you know, doesn't apply for us ... and it looks like a minor difficult child would have to be out of the home yet not an emancipated minor. Ah well. Information is always good!
  7. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    A Child In Need can be a minor and live at home, at least in some states. Call your local probate court or family court and ask---don't know why it goes through probate here!
  8. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Oops, meant to add a PINS--Person in need can be someone who has an addiction or a mental illness---
  9. Ephchap

    Ephchap Active Member

    Welcome to our little corner of the cd.com board, Incredible. Sorry you had to find us. Things sound very stressful with your son - been there, done that. You'll find this a very supportive group, as most of us have been through or are still going through many of the similar things you describe.

    My son began the smoking pot and running away on weekends his freshman year of high school. It became such a problem that he couldn't/wouldn't get up for school and began missing a ton of days.

    We eventually had to have him admitted to a psychiatric hospital, against his will. My son did have an ADHD and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) diagnosis to go along with his drugging. He ended up staying there in the locked residential for 4 months. It was supposed to be dual diagnostic (psychiatric and substance abuse), but it really wasn't a good program - but it did keep him safe and got him off the drugging.

    We went through similar issues a few years later, unfortunately and the spiral down was much worse and he ended up with a record and spent 10 months at a wonderful dual diagnostic residential facility.

    I only tell that so you know a bit of my son's background and what I've been through.

    It does sound like the drugging is probably at the root of your son's problems. Like many others, I probably thought pot wasn't a "dangerous addicting drug" at the very beginning. However, I've totally made a U turn on that notion, as for my son, the pot was VERY addicting to the point it controlled him and everything in his life - and not for the good.

    Is there an outpatient program for teens in your area for substance abuse? There is one in our area that is run by United Way and they have the kids meet up a few evenings a week for group and then have social activities on the weekends. The thought is that it keeps those that are trying to stay sober and drug free together and gives them others to lean on to stay that way. For my son, it didn't work, but I do know others in the program that did very well and continued to stay off drugs.

    I know how heartbreaking it can be to watch your child self-sabotage. I wish I knew the magic answer to tell you, but unfortunately, there isn't one pat answer.

    We're here to bounce ideas off of, and we're here to listen. It does help to hear what has worked for others and to know that we've been there, and at least understand what you're going through

    Again, welcome aboard!

  10. Incredible

    Incredible New Member

    Wow! So many people in the same tough spot. How do I do the PINS thing and what is it?
    I must say he was totally sweet and a good friend to me until he began socializing as a teen and just started out with the wrong friends at around age 12. He changed literally overnight. I went from "normal kid" to Angry teen with a Mohawk and studded leather jacket in roughly 36 hrs. I found out someone(?) in a park had cut his hair and tried to peirce his lip with a darning needle. He had also been convinced that parents are bad and that "they can't do anything to thier kids or child protection services will sue them"
    From then on, I would try to follow him and monitor what he does - but it was impossible to do this and still work to provide for us.
    The police have been involved several times for curfew and drug possession but have not been helpful. They definately blame me for being a single mom. We have been through out patient treatment twice and have been through all the parent/teen drug education seminars. My son knows all this but chooses to follow the druggies anyway. He is only 15.
    He just had 4 kids(one 17, one 18, one 16 and one 15) show up here at 10am (Saturday). I heard them go upstairs to his room (right across from my room) and I listened. They were talking about what they could see around the house that they could pawn for money to buy pot today.
    I went in and told them they were not going to pawn anything in this house and asked them to leave.
  11. maril

    maril New Member

    Good for you!!! Awhile back, my difficult children counselor told me that I cannot forbid my son from hanging with kids I feel are risky because my son would likely then sneak to see them ... good point made by the counselor ... however, in my opinion, I believe we parents can have a say as to what goes on in our house, even if it takes forbidding the kids from hanging out in the house.

    by the way, my difficult child, 17, sounds very, very similar to Ephchap's son as posted above. My difficult child was recently discharged from a psychiatric facility with aftercare in place, including substance abuse rehabilitation and family counseling; as well, continuing his Vyvanse (ADHD) and started on sertraline (anxiety). Diagnoses upon discharge: ADHD, ODD, marijuana use/dependence.

    Anyway, husband and I are looking forward to family night tonight at the program difficult child goes to. It will be our first family meeting there and hopefully husband and I will learn something.

    Best wishes to you and your son. I give you a big pat on the back for holding up under everything, especially since you are a single parent!!! :bravo:
  12. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Yikes, the system drives me nuts! I'm so sorry that you are having such a difficult time. Hugs.

    What should you do? Well, here's my recommendation. Get yourself a notebook and start writing making a chronological journal of how your easy child
    began to change and when. Write down every teacher/administrator/counselor etc. who volunteered any help at all AND all those who made things worse. Write down what was suggested that you tried and exactly how that worked. Did you stick with it? Did your difficult child refuse to participate? Was the person knowledgeable or a dummy?
    What have you done that seemed to help or seems to help? What have you done that seemed to hurt?

    Once you have a full visual picture of where you have been to date.
    Make a list of what your options might be based on the past. Sometimes
    in doing that you "see" that Mrs. X or Mr. Y might have been a resource that you overlooked and you can go back and revisit the problem.

    Using the net research outpatient treatment facilities near you. Check your insurance coverage and then look for inpatient treatment facilities that may be available to you. We tried outpatient twice..not enough help. We tried an inpatient adolescent substance abuse treatment facility that came highly recommended and it was NOT a good choice. Eventually I read about a very expensive inpatient facility and, knowing full well we couldn't afford it, I called. Turned out they had a sliding scale payment plan and the program was terrific.

    In the Archives, I believe, you will find a site that lists choices by state.
    You have spent enough time, in my humble opinion, trying to work through this on your own. Patterns are already set and looking for things to hock may quickly lead to incarceration. been there done that. It's a heartbreak you want to avoid at all costs. Good luck. DDD
  13. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    Hi Incredible...
    Just wanted to welcome you and say I too have been there done that with my sons. Still grates on my nerves all the expensive boxed barbies that my sons stole years ago trying to get money for drugs etc. Those barbies had once outlined my daughters room on shelves and were such a reminder of her childhood to me...I had wanted her to maybe pass them down to her daughter someday. My sons behaviors definitely had an effect on her as well as husband and I relationship.
    Is your son an only child or are there siblings involved too? We installed a lock on our daughters door so that her money wasn't stolen from her by our sons we also put one on our door and got a safe. It might be a good idea to look into that if you haven't already.
    Also wanted to suggest the possibility of going to an Al Anon meeting near your home. There are many you'd be able to relate to that go to Al Anon. They helped me learn a new way to communicate with my sons and they were a great place to see others who had been there done that and survived it in tack.
    I am so sorry to hear the police have been less than understanding/supportive toward you. It's pretty easy to feel so very alone when some others treat you as though you've done something wrong along the way, etc. It's so not fair and not necessarily true at all. Plenty of "good families" end up with a child that chooses drugs.

    Take care of you and your safety while all this is unfolding.