From past addicts/addiction experience - At what point does a teen drug use go beyond teenage rebellion into a full blown addiction, and can anything be done if the teen doesn't want help, and not all parties are on board with consequences? Snowflake details inside.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Asking for a friend. My friend has a teenage son who is turning 17, is heavily smoking pot with evidence of other drug usage and most likely selling. It's every day, obvious usage, even when he has work, or other social obligations. He will end up leaving school, and come home at night completely baked. He has been reported as a runaway numerous times, has been cited numerous times for pot usage and runaways. Yet still continues to use, and has lost all motivation for doing anything after high school that requires a drug test. He was big into the military, but now decided that since he would need a drug test, he would rather community college. The only problem is he's also failing school. So if it was just pot, it most likely wouldn't be a big deal and cops never would have become involved. But there is strong evidence that he's selling when he's with the dad (parents are divorced 5+ years, coparenting is impossible), strong evidence of other drug usage (most likely pills), and anger issues towards the mom including death threats, threats of physical harm, verbal abuse, etc. He was diagnosed with ADHD, and has been treated for that but there wasn't a huge change in behavior.
The mom has tried to get the teen counseling but he was very resistant to it. Additionally, the dad was completely opposed to it and actively fueled resistance to it to the point that a judge stepped in and ordered him to stop it. So the mom was told by the counselor there wasn't much that could be done, since the teen didn't want help and wouldn't talk. This was after months of counseling. So now it comes to where she's at now, where the teen has threatened her, been cited numerous times by cops, and still doesn't care. The teen is really only held accountable at her house, as the dad is aware of the problems but is in denial about it. He's taken him for the driver license, bought a new car, pays for his cell phone, let's him do whatever and is overall a very Disneyland dad. To give an idea of his denial, 7 people filled out an ADHD assessment and his was the only one that didn't have the teen in the ADHD range. She has talked to numerous professionals, and everyone agrees that from what she's said, it appears he has a problem.
However, he refuses any more treatment or a chemical dependency eval. She has taken everything away from him, tried to talk to him about the issues, tries to know his friends, but it's pretty hard to be a parent when 4/7 days of the week, the teen gets away with whatever he wants. It's to the point that she's talking about the next extreme step, whatever that may be. Any type of boot camp, in patient treatment or anything else is impossible as legally, the dad has visitation on the weekends. So from talking w/ a lawyer, anything that interferes with this is illegal unless the dad signs off on it, which he has already said he wouldn't as he doesn't believe the teen has a problem.
So from past addictions, or those that have dealt with addiction, at what point does it go beyond normal teenage rebellion and usage into a full blown problem. Is there anything that can be done at this stage if the dad is still in denial about it, and will not hold any consequences for the teen? All other family members including grandparents, aunts/uncles have said that they would be on board with what needs to be done.