My son just walked out of the Salvation Army rehab program, said it was "too hard" (sound familiar folks?) He has been ordered by the court to complete a 6 month program or spend his sentence in jail. My husband is digusted and doesn't want to pay a dime for another rehab (he's been to 4 unsuccessfully), and I feel the same way, it seems like a waste, but my son is begging us to support him in this, he has offered to sell his car and use the money for rehab (but his car is only worth about $4-$5K, not near enough).
If we refuse and tell him to go to jail my fear is that he will stay on the street instead, get a warrant out or commit another crime, and any violation of his probation including misdemeanors right now means a 3 year sentence in state prison, versus the 6 month sentence in county jail if he just surrenders now. Alternatively we can bring him to another rehab program tomorrow and pay again. Our finances are lean at this point, we have paid about $35,000 already on rehabs, doctors, etc and scraping the bottom of the barrel.
What to do? I'm torn between turning my back on the whole situation (which probably means my son will act rashly, destructively, perhaps fatally so or end up in prison) or step up once again and let him give rehab another try at more expense to me. Part of me feels pure rage at his selfish, reckless actions but the other part of me sees a sick pathetic person with mental illness. He just turned 23, still young enough to reverse the course if he really wants to...but that's a giant "IF"
I need to make a decision that I can live with. Right now he is sober, has been for about 10 days. Feedback appreciated
Hi Lori, I know how you feel. This is the dilemma that we all face with our children with dual diagnosis. My so has been in many treatment programs both paid and free and has walked out from all except one. We even sent him to South America with family and that didn't work either. He means well, stays sober for a while then relapses, commits a misdemeanor and serves a short time. I visited him in jail this weekend. He sounds depressed, says he's sorry but who knows. This time we have decided to let him be. I will take his calls, visit him, love him but no more help, maybe a suggestion but even that I've been told to stop doing. The Salvation Army is a good program but it takes work like all of them. There are some programs that are still free. In Los Angeles I was recommended the Walden House where there is individual therapy, group therapy and rehab. I was told that my son would need to be referred by his probation or parole officer, unfortunately my son doesn't have one. Another good place is Warm Springs in Castaic or Acton (Calif.) then there's The Santa Barbara Rescue Mission. I am learning that it doesn't matter which program paid, fancy, free and not so nice. The bottom line is that it's up to them. I don't know about your son, but mine is not mentally disabled or has a debilitating illness that truly prevents him from recovery. All those that are in recovery are there because they want to be. At some point it has to be their choice. Your son is young but so was mine and my enabling has hurt him. He walked out of the Salvation Army because he knew that you would take him in. At some point he needs to accept the consequences of his actions. I will keep you in my prayers.
No real answers here but I do have a couple of questions. It is good he wants to go to another rehab but why does he think he would do better at a different one than the salvation army? What would be different? Could he go back to the Salvation army or won't they take him back once he has walked out? It is a tough decision for you.... I think the key is that he needs to decide he wants to get sober and figure out the best way to do that. Does he have another place in mind and what is different about that and the salvation army? So I think you need more information from him. The thing I think you should do is NOT be the one looking for places for him. If you are willing to pay for it, then he still needs to find the place and go through whatever process there is to be accepted there. Good luck.
appreciate all your wisdom and thoughtful responses. My son couldn't handle the work detail, loading and unloading trucks, etc. He has a very bad back, in fact his back problems were what got him started on the opiate meds 3 years ago, the seeds of the problem. He tried to negotiate another job at Salvation Army but they have a rigid protocol and would not make any alternate accomodations, everyone starts off with the same job. As for it being "his decision", he has to choose a place on the list given to him by the probation department. There is only one other place (12 step, traditional NA type program) that we can (barely) afford. Some places on the list range from $3,500 to $10,000 a month that are out of the question.
Hi Lori, I agree, what makes him think that any other rehab will be any different. My son (like yours is 23) also walked out of Salvation Army but he was there for a month. Said it was too hard. In my optinion, if they dont want to get sober they will find a problem with every rehab out there and like you we have spent over 40K on our son not including all of the independent counceling, addictionologists, phyciatrist...Meds that he talked these doctors into for anxiety, depression you name it..the list goes on and on..Bottom line here is that he is always looking for a crutch or someone else to blame it on. He is driving us to the poor house. At some point and time you just have to hand it all over to them and let them find their own way. He can go back to the salvation army or teen challenge (my son was also at teen challenge for about 3 days until he called me and said that he was leaving) I told him that I would not go a pick in up and that he was on his own (I Cried and Cried and was physically sick because I was so scared). Teen challenge dropped him off at a homeless shelter and from there he found his way to the SA rehab (it was only a mile or so from the shelter in milwaukee) and I called and asked them if they would take him and they said that they would, after a month there he was asked to leave because he was using..I immediately bought him a bus ticket to another SA rehab in minneapolis which he stayed at for about 5 days until they also kicked him out for using. He ended up staying at a homeless shelter sleeping on a floor matt most of the time (agian, I cried and prayed and cried and prayed for his safety) at one point he called and told me that he was sleeping in a parking garage...after a month up there he begged to go back to the milwaukee SA and said he just needed a ticket back..which I provided. A few days later he called and told me that he couldnt get into the milwaukee rehab as planned because there was a waiting list and that once agian he was sleeping in a shelter but this time he has told me that while he was in minneapolis he had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at a free clinic. I felt so horrible that I immediately brought him home only to find out (from the staff there) that he had went to the SA in milwaukee and they were ready to take him agian but that he walked out and didnt return. My son plays me like a fiddle and knows how much I love him so he continually lies to me in order to get what he wants...well....I kicked him out agian. I dont know where he is right now but I am sick and tired of excuses, being lied to, spending every cent we have to help him and getting nothing (not even a ounce of honesty) in return. Enough is Enough!! It time to let him grow up and rely on himself. If he wants to get clean, he knows where to go and how to do it. I know I'm rambling here but this is only a a two month rundown..Its been years of hell and I just cant to it anymore. Goodluck and PLEASE think about this hard!