I will be picking my son up from mental hospital this afternoon after a 4 day stay . Sunday he began acting BIZARRE and we had to call sheriff to take him to hospital. Come to find out, he had been self medicating with pot, benzos and opiates. Sunday he had drank an airplane bottle of vodka along with about 4 half mg Xanax and freaked out. He can not remember his actions( black outs).... Of course now the psychiatrist at the mental hospital recommends treatment which we WILL do. The Dr's feel he is heading for a substance abuse problem and hopes with our love and support AND therapy he will be OK. My question is, how do I learn to trust him again ? I don't want to "ground" him but am leary of allowing him to go to ANY friends houses, go for a bike rides etc. What is the best way to handle this with him . Do I search him before he goes out, do I follow him I just don't know. He has an uncle, my brother , who is in prison for Crack Cocaine long time use and felony actions and my son knows this and has visited him in prison. Any advice is welcomed
I am SOOOOOOOOO sorry to hear about the situation you and your family is in!!!! What a living nightmare!! However, it sounds like you caught this in the earlier stages so there is a LOT of hope for him. There are many resources out there for addiction and since it's out in the open now.... as a family you can all support and guide him to the best help possible!
I wish I had some magical advice to give you but I don't. I will say one thing though, when you pick him up today show up with a good attitude. Not a punishing one because if you approach him that way... he may just shut himself right down because I am SURE he is scared for your arrival! I know i would be if I was him... Now, I am not saying to let him get away with murder and allow him to use by any means but if he feels connected with you he may be more open to what is to come because it sounds like he does need help so this does not get worse!!!
I just wanted to wish you luck and i hope some others on this site will post because they have so much wisdom to share! You and yours will be in my thoughts and prayers!!! GOOD LUCK!
I would definitely reccomend you find a "nar-anon" meeting in your area. These meetings are for the family/friends of the addict. They are similar to Narcotics Anonymous meetings, yet vastly different, as they focus on the family/friends...how to deal, how you feel, what to do, what to say, and most of all, how to be supportive of the addict.
I commend you for being the kind of parent that "wants" to help their child. Too often, families turn their back on the addict and they must fend for themselves. What happens when the addict has no support or no one to turn to? They KEEP USING!
I am a mother of two beautiful little girls (ages 3 and 6) and my WORST nightmare is that they will become an addict and have to go through, what I went through. So, from one mother to another...thank you.
I'd like to add something to what Secrets said about punishment and the way you approach your son today...
Punishment and discipline are two very different things...
secrets is correct.... DO NOT be mad. the first thing i would do is give him a hug and tell him you love him. then i would ask him if he's hungry or something. i wouldn't even bring up what happened at first, i would give him some time to. now hopefully he'll wonder why you aint sayin nuthin about it and bring it up. if he does, get his take on it first. then go from there. now understand, this is just what i would do, bein an addict myself. i just imagined myself in that situation and thats how i would want it. which ever way you do it...good luck.
The opinions here are right on. The key is to be close to your teenager. Talk to them and LET THEM TALK. Something has happened here to make him turn to drugs. That is an area you need to look into. This is a tricky situation because a change is possible at that age but it needs to be done so carefully. Let him talk, he may think this is weird at first and if he has nothing to say then that is it (for now). Tell him you love him and that you are there for him if he wants to talk. Establish some guidelines later. Dont TELL HIM, create the guidelines (reasonable) together. Kiss each night before bed is a good one. He will think about it ALL night when he is out and hopefully make him think about his actions. Just a few thoughts.
"1 is too many and 1000 is not enough" -
Hi lifeaftr40, hope is in your corner (along with us), understanding and the right action taken as learned from that understanding are your tools.
Parenting is difficult to say the least.
I came from a large family. I have 4 brothers and two sisters. I myself have four adult children.
The oldest boy just arrived back from doing a one year tour in Iraq and a one year tour in Afganastan . Army airbourne, special forces.
My youngest girl surfs competively all over the world and is rated number one in her division.
The two middle ones, boy and girl, along with the two just mentioned are in college.
The reason for sharing this info is to let you know, as parents, what worked for us and maybe you will get some ideas that may work for you, I hope.
So, I am just going to talk about what I know that worked for us.
The Army, the surf scene and the colleges are full of drugs. So are the high schools and play grounds. The parties, libraries, churches and gas stations are also full of drugs.
My wife and i as parents knew this raising our children, as you probably do too. We knew there was little we could do about this. We felt like the war on drugs was going to be waged at home and we started early on with our children. These are some of the things we did and some of the understandings we had that I think helped.
First, let me say that all of my kids have experience drugs in one capacity or another.
None of them have a problem at this time with use or abuse of legal or street drugs.
I believe one of the first things that we did that helped in their personal dealings with drugs is that we kept them busy. No idle time is, I believe very important. Since we are parents, since we are smarter and more capable than them, my kids never had a clue this was being done. You must be creative. Parents best friend.....creativity.
We also understood that as children reach their teenage years (about), their personal idenity is very important to them. This need to identify themselves is real and very, very powerful. Your young children do this by first wanting to be like mommy and daddy.
As they grow into adulthood they begin to look elsewhere to compliment the identity they have already put together. Their horizons begin to expand. Once again they need your guidence. But, you have to be understanding and sometimes somewhat stealth about your guidence at this time because they are wishing to show you and wishing to be more independent. Be patient and creative here also. Their identity is very important to them even though you may not give it the priority they do. You know like paying the mortgage or health insurance. This was a great time for us because we involved our children in things like paying bills ect, and sharing our world as adults with them. Believe me, they want to know and this is a time of great opportunity to share your adult world with them.
We had long talks, discussions at the dinner table about everything. I can not put enough emphasis on Dinner time. It was always an open forum where anything and everything was discuss no matter who was visiting. Young adults love to express their views openly and around their parents when they feel they have backup, like a friend or sibling involved.
We always tried to instill values that they could understand the reason for and the outcome of those values. The first and main one was that sharing and giving is the most important thing you can do with the only resource you have that you can't get back once it is gone. Your time on earth. It is never too late to work on this and the self satisfaction is inmeasureable. This makes them feel valueable and appreciated. And we all wish to be appreciated. Well, you have to do things that make people appreciate and value you. It has to be taught to our children. they are not born with it. In a broader sense this translates as love. Love given, love taken.
Anyway, I apologize for going on and on. My heart feels for you.
Your son is looking for his identity as silly as it may sound. He may act out this in many different ways. You are his guide, his parent. He may not act like he wants your help but, he is looking to you to help him find the boundries. When he was young he just excepted your way, he is looking for more. Be creative, understanding, give him your time.
Oh, yes, don't believe everything he tells you. He sees things differently than you.
Remember what Christ said, 'as a child I see as a child....'.
Kids are also full of BS. This is always something to consider when listening to them.
Also out of the mouth of babes. They can say some real truths too! You can take a beating.
What I beleive is the number one rule when raising children and this always get much debate,.....BE THEIR PARENT. That is what they want and need. You can be their friend later after they have become the adult they need to be.
Good luck, a thousand blessings.
As a fellow parent, my heart is with you.
I absolutely agree with what Subtrain had to say.
They are some pretty wise words.
My hubby and I are the parents of 6 wonderful adult children. We fostered 15 other children at risk.
A ritual around our home was Tea at 10 o'clock. It involved tea or hot chocolate and some nummy desert. We would gather around the kitchen table and talk, giggle and share our hearts. We as a family, as the kids grew into their teen years found this time to be full of treasures. Lots of communication and open sharing and caring. It was a great way to end the day. When children feel safe they can share. I have never had to hunt the kids down because tea time was so special they wanted to be in by 10.
It comes down to lots of chances for communication.
I used to say when the kids were younger that I was sure parts of their brain went to sleep in adolenece to be awakened in the mid twenty's. Apparently medical science found that to be true within the last few years....giggles.
I am wishing you and you family lots of gentle healing in your journey.
Picked up son and it was not a bad experience at all. He was more than ready to come home , we had both taken the day off to be there and we were all off Friday for Easter holiday anyway. He was hungry, sometimes would "talk" about what happened etc...asked about when and how long his treatment is, HE was shocked about the results of his Tox screen and the levels. Over the weekend he was ' his old self". We let his friends come to HIM, and he was trying to understand where WE were coming from.