Where do I start?

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Tina Hannah, May 6, 2016.

  1. Tina Hannah

    Tina Hannah New Member

    I'm a stay at home mom of four boys all of which have ADHD, & two of them have argumentative defiant disorder, my husband also has ADHD.
    My husband has battled substance abuse throughout our 20+ years of marriage until last year when he received treatment and stopped drinking.
    Two years ago my son (16 at the time) who has both illnesses was experimenting with various substances. I don't know what all he tried or how often, but seeing him drunk or whatever it was a handful of times caused me to become very concerned. I tried talking with him to no avail, set clear consequences for being intoxicated, truant from school, and causing disruptions in the house. He continued to break rules, act out, and use and when a consequence was imposed became confrontational.
    One morning I went to get him up for school and his younger brother said to let him sleep that he was sick, confused I asked how he knew. He explained that the 16 yr old was vomiting so fiercely that he (12 yr old) had sat at his big brothers beside making sure he was alright. Heart wrenching. So I check on my son who was fine when I went to bed and sure enough he was ill from some kind of substance so I let him stay home. When he got up later that afternoon he walked down the hall a few feet and feel to the floor violently shaking. Terrified I screamed for my husband but by the time he got to us the seizure passed. My 12 yr old also witnessed the seizure and was really scared for his brother and began to cry. Trying to comfort him before his fencing class we left my husband to deal with the 18 yr old and went driving to talk. The 12 yr old explained that the 18 yr old had gotten into Adderall XR 30 MG and snorted a bunch of it the night before in front of him. He said his eyes kept rolling into the back of his head, he would shake, and finally puked his guts out. Mortified that he had seen all this I ask why he didn't just come get me, his response - the 18 yr old would make his life awful if he ratted him out!?! I set up an intake appointment with a residential substance abuse center.
    My son said he would stop using and that he didn't want to go get help, I explained that I could not go to sleep nightly wandering if when I went to wake him each morning if he would be dead or not, he apologized and promised to quit. My husband didn't want me to take him because he thought our son would feel abandoned so I explained to my husband that I realized that I was out of my league and our son needed real help. My husband asked me to give our son one more chance. The next day after school my son didn't come home, anxious and on edge I waited. Finally around eight o'clock he came home, stoned out of his mind.
    The next morning my son was given the choice of being dropped off to rehab or at the police department but that either way he could not stay home anymore. He asked what the police would do to him and wanted time to think it over. I gave him three hours.
    Finally he agreed to go to treatment. Thirty five days later he was released and we moved an hour away from where we were living to give him a completely fresh start. I explained that this was his only chance and if he chose drugs again he would be emancipated and thrown out since I have other children to consider.
    Well he did alright, smoking pot (I don't approve of this, but it doesn't disrupt the household) every now and then but never anything else.
    His senior year he's doing okay but not great until about 3/4 way through the year. Today. We were going to buy him a nice used car for his graduation and wanted him to pick it out, that became a huge ordeal involving many arguments now he's two weeks from graduation and still no car. He also decided he wanted his teeth straightened out so I took him to the orthodontist and got him braces which he ripped off the next day while at school.
    Twice recently after the braces ordeal he has borrowed my car and not returned at the agreed upon time. For all of this he offers no explanation just a shrug of the shoulders.
    My knee jerk reaction is that his clothes on on the porch when he returns from school today, I'm writing this instead.
    He has never had a job, has quit every sport or activity he ever tried, has no motivation whatsoever, is chronically late for school even with me waking him up several times and driving him. I'm so over this drama and just want it to go away but fear what will happen to him if I actually throw him out. Dear God give me some advice!
  2. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    He was lucky that you and your family could move away and get a fresh start. It sounds like you have done all that you can. After his rehab, did he have any follow up out patient care? Does he get random UAs? I am sorry that you and your family is going through this. I would worry about giving him a cat, esp if it and the insurance are in your name...the liability issue would have me worried. KSM
  3. Tina Hannah

    Tina Hannah New Member

    Thanks KSM. We had just moved to Illinois from Ohio and were Renting a home, rather than buy after this ordeal we wanted to give him every chance to be successful so now my husband drives an hour to work daily and his brothers had to switch schools and make new friends. But as a family we had to because staying in the same environment he would have certainly went back to using.
    He did receive follow up care for awhile and then refused to go.
    What are UA's? If it is drug tests, then no he is not tested. Honestly I'm just counting down the days until he graduates.
    The car will be in his name and we will pay his insurance in his name for the first six months after that he is on his own unless he makes substantial changes. It's better to sleep in a car than on the street if he does not have a place to go after graduation. I can't live with the stress he brings into the house on a regular basis anymore.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    He is almost certainly still using drugs beyond pot. I strongly recommend taking the car. He will either have tranportation to get drugs or kill himself or somebody else. My daughter was in three serious accidents and two were in friends cars after we stopped letting her drive. At least she was responsible, not us.

    I am totally baffled at buying kids brand new cars for any reason...and for those who have had substance abuse issues? Its a place to stay, but also a guided missle.

    My daughter liked to snort ADHD drugs too.along with that often goes other types of speed, like meth. She did meth. We had no idea how deep she had been into drugs until after she quit using them. That was after we made her leave the house. We were concerned about our youmger kids. You have a younger kid too. He needs protection from this brother.

    A fresh start is only as good as the person's intentions. If your son truly wants to change, it helps. If he is still going to use drugs, its a snap to meet new dealers and users. I am a cynic...drug test him, although there are drugs that dont show up and they know which ones. Just br careful. He is not acting as if he is a normal teen with goals and a wish to attain independence.

    I hope you remember that y o ur home is your sanctuary. Dont let your son boss you arent. He may like it bit iys not good for anyone. Dpnt try to make him like tou by buying him things. Hell expect more and more and come to feel entitled to your money.

    I would set strict drug rules, stick to them, and perhaps its time for him to leave? His brother doesnt need to see it pr to be bullied.

    Please think of yourselves andbe kind to yourself. You have done all you can, but you cant control another person, not even your son. The only person you can control is yourself snd your reaction to things.

    Hugs for your hurting heart.
    Last edited: May 6, 2016
  5. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    Welcome Tina and sorry for what you are going through.

    Your son is the same roller coaster my son was on for five years. You have to do what you can to keep yourself sane and your younger boys out of earshot of what is going on with him. They deserve to have a peaceful home as do you and your husband.

    I agree about the car. We bought my son 2 cars and they spent more time in the garage then him having access to them. Driving is a privilege and don't think by giving him the cart before the horse that it will help in any way. Trust me, we tried it. Doing "normal" things for him doesn't help either. It's not at all about how much you love your son. Addiction is an evil beast that we cannot control and through love we end up enabling - which is what I learned on this site. I was doing it.

    I also was okay with pot smoking for some time also because it was better than other things and I did it myself when I was in high school. But it eventually led back to unmanageable behavior for my son. It was a gateway drug but to this day he thinks it's great. Some people cannot smoke pot and stop there. My son has no "off switch".

    We put up with a lot but this final time he was 20 and that is when we gave him a choice to go to rehab or a shelter. He chose rehab and now is at sober living 1500 miles away and he's doing better and we're doing better. He is my youngest but he upset his older brothers who were living with us for a time. It has been a truly awful five years and we are just now trying to get our lives back to normal. I look forward to going home now after work. I am so much happier. I am trying to let him grow into the man he is supposed to be and it just wasn't happening for him in our home. I do miss him and love him but we FaceTime and visit when we can. I know this is all way out of my league. I can't feel guilty anymore for not being able to fix it for him. I know this Mother's Day will be hard for me because it isn't supposed to be like this.

    Good luck to you and keep posting and learning from these very knowledgeable people that truly get it.
  6. Origami

    Origami Active Member

    Hi Tina,
    To me, this indicates that he's not that interested in the car and doesn't respect what you give him (ie. braces). I made the mistake of helping my son, age 19, buy a car last year. This was after he had been working in a job as a security guard for about 6 months and seemed to be doing well. The job wasn't on a bus route, and we were playing chauffeur at midnight to take him to work. For a month or so, he was paying the payment, insurance, etc. and then the car broke down (likely due to the way he drives). He decided it would cost too much to fix it, so we sold it to his older brother to take over payments.

    Then I, while wearing my rose-colored glasses, took my son to the dealership and ended up co-signing for a new car! To this day, I don't know what I was thinking, as I never in my wildest dreams would do that. I hadn't been drinking, so I still can't explain it. Again, I thought this was just what my son needed to prove to the world that he was finally a responsible person. He begged and pleaded, swore he'd pay for everything plus expenses, and I believed him. He looked so grown up in his security guard uniform.

    Within a few months, he had worn the tires down to nubs, and had a speeding ticket for going 65 mph over the speed limit. He's still working through his court fines and community service, and it's a misdemeanor on his record. He also quit his job suddenly (somebody "disrespected" him), and stopped making payments on the car. It has since been repossessed, and now my credit and his are in the tank. The other car, by the way, was totaled by my older son (my other difficult child) and I'm still paying the loan off for that one.

    The moral to this long story is that young irresponsible men can wreak havoc on a lot of things with cars. Please think twice about the car, especially if you were planning to co-sign or buy it outright for him. My son (younger) isn't on drugs, so he didn't even have that element in the mix of his bad behavior and decisions. When he gets a car again, it's going to be one that he worked for himself when he's more appreciative of the cost and responsibility involved.
  7. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member


    CAR!! Not cat. Lol... Probably shouldn't have a cat either! KSM
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I never understand why anyone would buy a child anything more than a beater. Makes no sense to me. Some are insanely expensive. Then the parents are surprised their kids think they are rich and act entitled. They can use our cars when they are available. And if we don't trust them with our car, why would we trust them with a new car?
    Sometimes it seems parents rush out with excitement just after a pouty adult child does one positive move for one month. To me, trust should be earned...as well as snazzy cars that parents fund.
    in my opinion....call me Baffled in Wisconsin. I never have and never will understand expensive cars for the most irresponsible kids...it goes against logic to me (and im a logical person). Don't be surprised then when you have to pay for everything, including the inevitable wrecks..
    Last edited: May 6, 2016
  9. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    To me, Hannah, you have given your son every opportunity. You and your husband have bent over backwards, making vulnerable your other kids. I think you know what you want and need to do. There comes a point when you not only put at risk the other kids, but risk that they are exposed to a situation that could get child protective services involved. Nobody needs that.

    Over and over again your son has promised but his behavior and commitment have fallen short. He may be *and you too, dealing with a situation beyond his control. I would think about suggesting to him some residential treatment programs for addicts such as Victory Outreach, Synanon, Salvation Army, I think has one, and there must be hundreds more throughout the country. Some of these are free.

    I would also suggest the possibility of Job Corps. While there may be restrictions on active use, they are very supportive of youth with problems. He would learn a skill too. There is no cost.

    To motivate your son, I would also raise the possibility of the military, if that is something he would consider, and you would support.

    I believe that stopping drug use is doable, but the person so afflicted needs to be motivated.

    The motivation can only come from your son and so far under your wing he has only seemed to flaunt your welfare, that of his brothers and his own. I would stop that right now.

    I am glad you have come to us and I hope very much that we have the opportunity to offer support. Almost all of us have walked paths similar to your own. Many of our kids are doing better. They do so because they want to and they do so on their own terms.

    Each of us started where you are. Knowing that we needed to change in order to support our kids to learn to make responsible choices for themselves.

    Again, welcome.

    Take care.
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  10. Tina Hannah

    Tina Hannah New Member

    I love him, and wish I could help him. The car is just going to be a used sedan to get him to school or work. But where we live there is not a decent public transit system so driving is essential to work or attend college, OR to move out of our home. This will be our last offering of assistance to him until he's ready to climb out of the hole he's digging. I am ready for him to leave right after he graduates which is in two weeks. He has no understanding of why I'm so upset with him, he accepts no responsibility for his actions.
  11. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I suggest you make sure the car is in your son's name. I do not know if he can get insurance himself but I would be very careful about any liability you assume.

    I guess I share the same concerns as everybody else. He made his bed, let him solve his transportation problems. If it means he must go to a nearby town or city where there is better public transportation, so be it.

    My own 27 year old son does not drive. He does not want to. He says it is a choice, but I think he is anxious. He either walks, takes the bus or bikes when he has one. For 15 months that he worked around the clock, different shifts, it worked.

    Your son will grow up and decide to change based upon his response to life, particularly the problems he causes himself. Deciding to live differently--because we do not like our current circumstances, is highly motivated.

    I know you are committed to buying the car. I would advise you make sure that you cannot be hurt by that choice. Many of us have.

    Take care.
  12. Tina Hannah

    Tina Hannah New Member

    Thank you! Your such a trooper! I'm really just hoping to let him stay for the two weeks until he graduates, I can't live with all the drama anymore.
  13. Tina Hannah

    Tina Hannah New Member

    I have no intention of having the car or insurance in anyone's name but his. He is making too many bad decisions to risk it. I don't feel he is deserving of a car in any way so it will just be a jalopy to get him where he needs to go. He has a friend that was homeless over the winter and I would want him to at least have a car he could sleep in if the need arises.
    That friend of his ask to stay with everyone he knew, I had to tell him no on more than one occasion. I offered to drive him to a shelter for homeless youth but he declined.
  14. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I used to be one of those liberals about everything, including marijuana. Now? No way. While my son may not be dependent upon marijuana like one would be on opiates, there is a definite psychological dependence. And there is a rebound effect. We can always tell when he smoked because of how he looks and acts the next day. Morose. Moody. Withdrawn.
    I really believe that marijuana stands in the way of responsible choices and motivation for some people. I do.
    What a really excellent way to put it, RN.
  15. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Well, not true. I am still way out left on many other things!! But I find that more and more I take the socially conservative route on many lifestyle choices, and nobody is more surprised than am I.

    These things we endure with our kids really clarify where we stand. I mean, nothing any more is abstract. You must take a stand. And for me, where I have decided to stand is way far from who I thought I was.
  16. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Tina. I want you to know that the parents here are coming from a place of support. They are wanting that you not suffer, (or suffer less) than did they. I am glad you know what you need and want to do, and stay committed undeterred.

    I did not have that since of self-confidence about my own judgment. It is only after many months that I am gaining in confidence and a sense of security in what I want and what I believe. Traveling this road seems to be helping me in other areas of my life, be more decisive and definite.

    I think my son began to change for the positive when I was able to take a stand and stick to it. I think that gave him more confidence in me, and in himself. Knowing that he could not wipe the floor with me.

    Now, I seem to be gaining the same sense of authority with our dogs!! And boy does my son not like it. The dogs used to think I was at the bottom of the totem pole. Well, I am still climbing off the floor, but not for long.