My first time on here. Have finally admitted to myself yesterday that my baby, my 14 year old son, is an addict. It's been a long 2 years, with him running away numerous time, stealing from his loved ones, lying, getting arrested for stealing a pint of ice cream, house arrest with ankle bracelet, failing drug test. Now he's in juvenile hall for 2 weeks for failig a drug test and the judge is leaning towards drug court with the possibly of sending him away for 6 months to a youth camp. He's been in counseling fo 5 months, is on antidepressants and I'm at my wits end. Don't know where to go from here. What's the next step? What do I do when he gets home? I'm afraid he'll end up on the streets an addict or a full blown criminal. He's 14 years old. My baby.
Oh Tamie this is so hard because he is so young. I am glad the court is doing something because that gives you the space to love your son and let the court set the consequences for his behavior. In my opinion that is a good thing.
There are no guarantees unfortunately. Hopefully if he is sent to a good program that will give you and your family time to heal from living with him and to sort out what you want for the future. You don't have to decide right now what you will do when he comes home. A lot will depend on where he is at at that point.
My son went to a therapeutic boarding school when he was 15... he also started using at 14 (or probably younger). He spent 16 months there and came home right before he turned 17. What the program did was give us and him some time. He did well at home for about a year and things went down hill again. He has since gotten in a bunch of trouble, spent a couple of weeks in jail and is now at a drug rehab. Two weeks in adult jail (he is 19) convinced him that was not where he wanted to be. So we are not anywhere near the end of this journey and like you I am afraid of where he might still end up.
BUT I do think that 16 months away when he was 15 helped him. He learned a lot then and it kept him out of the drug seen for a good period of time. So even though he did relapse and go back to it, at least he was older then and he at least had a period of time where he was not using... All that is good.
So take care of yourself first and foremost. Find an alanon meeting for parents if you can. Let his time away be some time for you to heal. If he has a probation officer work with them to find the best place for your son where he can get some treatment. It helps if they know the parents are involved and concerned.
Hi, Take this time to heal and get help for yourself. I sent my 16 year old daughter out of state to a therapeutic program for 16 months. She struggled at first but later complied. She accomplished things that she would have never done at home like joining the track team, earning a medal and a "letter". during that time my husband and I went to therapy and there was peace at home. We knew she was safe. She did leave at 18 and now is not with us. It's been a tough journey with many ups and downs. There are no easy answers to this madness or guarantees that our children will be "cured" because they go to treatment or boot camp. Your son is very young and hopefully can change his life around. Let the courts take over but become involved with the probation officer and possibly a court advocate. The longer your child is away from drugs and bad friends the greater the chance he has to come out of this. Please attend parent meetings and again I can't stress enough to get help for yourself.
Thank you for your encouraging words. Went to visit my son yesterday at juvenile hall. He seems motivated and optimistic. I've seen this before and am currently just hoping for the best. He's due to come home on the 18th of this month, extensive counseling and more drug testing from the courts will be happening. Told him that he is the only one that can make the change happen for him,I'm here to support him and root him on, but can't change his choices. Will look into a meeting for parents, think that will help, especially snce his father isn't really involoved and I feel alone in this. Am so grateful for David and Nic's books and for this forum. My son acutally got halfway through Nics book before he was sent to juvie. Trying to keep the faith and hope alive. Thank you once again.
it's very hard when they are this young, they have such a long road ahead before they get wisdom and the testosterone surge is still to come, which adds more aggression and recklessness to the situation. I think the youth camp is a very good idea, he will have a full time recovery program, peer support, and be separated from his drugs for 6 months, something you cannot provide at home.