Tag Archives: marijuana addiction

Be Ready for the Long Term if Your Teen Needs Rehab

3 Tips for Finding a Rehab for Your Teenager       

by Julie Knight  

If you think your teen’s pot use is no big deal, you may be very wrong.  You may need to prepare yourself for the long-term recovery from drugs.

Over the past three years, I’ve struggled to find a rehab with counselors who could convince my teenage son that using marijuana two or three times a day is damaging his developing brain.

“It’s just marijuana,” he told me when he was 15-years-old. By the time he turned 16, he’d escalated to dabs, one of the most intense concentrates of marijuana, OxyContin and cocaine. He would drink alcohol until he blacked out.

A friend his age died after ingesting the same lethal mix of OxyContin and alcohol that my son was experimenting with.

I’ve sent my son to five residential rehabs for drug addiction. He’s relapsed after each rehab within a few weeks. When he turned 18, I offered to send him to sober living or said he’d have to live on his own. He’s living on his own now. I know he’s still using marijuana and alcohol. I’m not sure what else.

I’ve been asked to share some of my lessons learned. Here are my top three tips.

  1. Understand that the best program is probably going to be a long-term solution: short-term residential rehab followed by a long-term boarding school or after care program. As hard as it is to fathom giving up your child for up to a year, it’s so much easier than trying to stay two steps ahead of a drug- or alcohol-addicted child who is a mastermind of deceit.

The purpose of a short-term (30- to 90-day) residential rehab is just to get your child to wake up to the fact that drug or alcohol use might not be leading him or her on a path to success or wellness. The goal is to uncover the factors driving their use and offering tools to cope with those issues.

Prepare for sticker shock. That program can cost anywhere from $2K or $3K up to $50K+ for just one month.

The catch? After you spend that boat load of money for residential rehab, you’re not done. Then they tell you, “Oh, by the way, now you need to send your child to an ‘after’ program and that program has to be at least 6-12 months, so mortgage your house again because that will cost you at least $80K for a good program.”

What? You don’t have a house or an extra $80K stuffed in your mattress? Good luck.

  1. Get over the cost. Find any way you can to pay because that “after” program is the key to your child’s success. Don’t make the mistake I did by skipping it.

It should be a program where your child has no access to outside influences. Bringing a child home and trying to manage the process with outpatient counseling doesn’t work. At least not for my son.

My son fooled us all with his “miracle” recovery in his first wilderness program. He seemed transformed while safely tucked away in the mountains of Southern Utah. But he relapsed within a week of returning home, though it took me several months to discover this.

When my son came home the first time, I signed him up for outpatient counseling and sent him to a presumably “drug free” private school to get him away from his drug friends. I tested him for drugs but he figured out how to cheat the urine test. He also started using alcohol heavily since that didn’t show up in the urine test.

He met a boy at the “drug free” private school who introduced him to OxyContin, the pill form of heroin.

I didn’t think I could afford a 10-month boarding school / after program for my son because it was so expensive. Where was I going to get $80K? But turns out I went on to spend more than that with various other, shorter-term rehabs that didn’t work.

  1. Find an expert to help you find an appropriate rehab for your child. I used David Heckenlively in Walnut Creek. He did a great job of counseling me to find the best rehab for my son, a program called Open Sky Wilderness. Even though my son relapsed soon after returning from wilderness, I truly believe he learned valuable lessons there that influence him today in positive ways. It was one of the better programs my son went to, and it taught me a lot about how to parent a drug-addicted child.

In retrospect, I wish I’d listened to the advice that a longer-term boarding school is recommended after residential rehab. Not all teenagers will relapse and get into harder drugs like my son did but many will.

I was a single mom paying for all this myself. I didn’t have a house or relatives to help. I didn’t think I could afford a more expensive after program. But I later learned I could use my retirement money since this was a health-related expense. I could also borrow against my 401(k).

I also used Denials Management, which helped recover a portion of the cost of the wilderness program. A refund of about $10K came to me after about eight months of fighting the system. That was the best Christmas gift ever.

I believe all the counseling my son has received has helped him understand a few key concepts. He knows he can’t try meth, even once. He knows he can’t mix drugs and alcohol.

When I kicked him out, he could have moved to be closer to his drug-using friends but didn’t. He’s living 30 minutes from me in Sacramento. Thanks to all the counseling, he knows how much I love him. He visits often.

I think he’s using more moderately now because he’s able to work full-time and he’s finishing school. But I know it’s a progressive disease. I have to enjoy every hug I get while I can.

The cost of the five residential rehabs totaled more than a year’s salary. I drained my retirement fund to save my son. I’d do it again. For all I know, my son might be dead now or in jail if I hadn’t intervened.

In my next blog post, I’ll feature tips from other parents weighing in on “How to find the best rehab for your teenager.”

The author, Julie Knight, is a single mother living in Davis, California with her sixteen-year-old daughter.

mental-illness

A Mother’s Cry of Pain for her Adult Son – Pot and Mental Illness

Mental Illness and Smoking Marijuana – The Connection is Real

I am the mother of 2 sons. My eldest is 30 now and has been in and out of psychiatric hospitals for about 7 years. He has been in trouble with the law several times, as a result of this he can’t drive. He lives at home, but makes it his purpose to blame us for everything wrong in his life even though all we have done is given him many opportunities to change.

All he wants to do is to smoke pot all day. He says it helps, but we watch him and we know it doesn’t help at all.

I am realizing every day that he is manipulating us. He acts so crazy, by walking in circles, opening and closing the door 50 times a day.

My husband and I feel alone. We feel we are at the end of our rope. In his mind, we are part of a conspiracy. When I ask him why we would try to hurt him, he doesn’t know what to say. It only makes us have the responsibility to care for him and burden ourselves into not getting on with our own lives.

Last time he was in the hospital they sent him home after 2 days.  He was the same or worse than when he went into the hospital. This is the health system that destroys lives to save money. God help all the parents that are experiencing mental illness in their homes with no hope.

Please seek consultation with a psychiatrist who is certified for addictions treatment. Please check out the sources found on the American Society of Addiction Medicine website.  If he ever used marijuana before showing signs of mental illness, it is possible that his primary problem is marijuana addiction.  If not, his marijuana use is compounding the problem and making it impossible for him to be helped. Our hearts go out to you and any parents suffering this problem or the problems of addiction.

marijuana-and-domestic-violence

Marijuana and Domestic Violence – A Personal Testimony

Breaking the Cycle of Marijuana and Domestic Violence, a 28-year Journey

I started smoking pot when I was 17. My father died suddenly when I was 13, and my home was no longer happy.  I couldn’t see that I was anesthetizing my pain.  I loved the way marijuana made me feel and I took every opportunity to smoke it. At first I was afraid to try it, but once I put my fears aside and smoked it, I decided my parents had been wrong when they warned me against using all drugs.

Instead of going to college, as my mother wished, I dropped out because my marijuana habit got in the way of studying. I had a bad early marriage and a daughter. I constantly thought about the decisions I had to make in life and felt that I had tried hard Continue reading

Notable Quotes

“I passed out so many times from anxiety attacks from pot.”   ———–Peter Frampton, in an interview with Alec Baldwin, 2014

“Marijuana is not dangerous because it is illegal.   It’s illegal because it is dangerous. ”                                                                                     —————–Ray Massicotte, Sheriff of southern Ontario, 2002

“With marijuana…………I just want kids to know, because there’s this sentiment that you can’t get addicted to it, and it’s not true.”                      ———————Lady Gaga,  2013

Elizabeth Dias asked the Dalai Lama if he had ever used marijuana, He answered:  “Never. These kinds of substances are generally considered poison, very bad……The ability to judge reality is something very unique.  Or brain is something very special.  So if that is damaged, that’s awful.                                                                                                       ——————-interview Time Magazine,  February 19, 2014

“We are trying to get marijuana reclassified medically.  If we do that, we’ll be using the issue as a red herring to give marijuana a good name.”

——————-Keith Stroup, Emory University,  February 6, 1979

“There’s no medical (marijuana), oh come on, this is one of the great hoaxes of all time.”

————–former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, in radio interview with John Grambling, May, 2013

“If there’s advertising and legitimacy, how many people can get stoned and still have a great state or a great nation? The world’s pretty dangerous, very competitive. I think we need to stay alert, if not 24 hours a day, more than some of the potheads might be able to put together.”                                                   ————————California Governor Jerry Brown to David Gregory in Meet the Press, March 2, 2014