Your book “Why Don’t They JUST QUIT?” was very helpful. My son, (16) was in serious danger with drinking and drugs. He was not doing well in school, criminal behavior, withdrawn from the family, and very angry with me.
The final straw was when he got arrested for possession of pot and continued to use, fight and be angry with me. Joe, I sent him to a residential treatment center. He’s done amazingly well there and have gone to visit him several times.
He will be returning home this Thursday-coming home to the same friends & environment. Any advice? I know he still holds a lot of past anger with me.
Traci (San Antonio, TX)
You have done the right thing by getting him into rehab. Just the same it will be very difficult for him to transition back to school life and other teens. Alcohol and substances (smoking pot) are very common for that age group. I’m sure this is not new information.
Don’t be shocked if he decides to ‘test the water again’ so to speak. If so, just encourage him to get back to using the skills he’s learned while in treatment and keep trying. You have caught this very early.
A temporary relocation could help if that is a possibility. Keeping him very busy will be a good idea as well. Strongly encourage and support any positive things he may be interested in.
Another option would be to find a mentor for him–someone a little older (20ish) that will come alongside and encourage him. The right person could make all the difference in the world. He is not likely to be open and honest talking about the challenges he has with ‘mom or dad.’
I don’t know if you are connected with a church at all but some of the larger ones have youth group leaders that might be able to help find a mentor. There are other organizations as well that can be of assistance.
Lastly, keep in mind his age. This is a tough time for many kids under the best of circumstances. DON’T expect anything close to perfection. This is the beginning of a long journey. Some things just take time. Seek wise counsel for yourself during this process. Let me know how it goes from time to time.
* Have you “tried everything?” To learn about individual counseling with Joe Herzanek (in person or by phone) click here.
Son in Danger, Drinking and Drugs, Son in Danger, Drinking and Drugs