21 Year Old Son/need Help
Posted: November 13, 2017, 9:49 AM


Posts: 5
Joined: November 13, 2017



Hello all: I am asking for advice, support, etc regarding our 21 year old son. for the past 7 or so years, my wife and I have been attempting to cope, assist, guide our son who has been involved with numerous drugs (cocaine, marijuana, oxy, heroin, xanax, alcohol, etc.) to the point where we've had many. many occurrences of police having to summoned to the house (about 6 times) resulting from verbal aggression, damaged property (walls, doors, windows, etc.). He has been Baker Acted twice, and most recently went through 90 days of rehab. My older 25 year old son and 23 year old daughter (both away at college but within 1 month of graduating and returning home) are afraid to come due to the eventual arguing escalating to threats and other verbal threats, etc. He cannot hold a job as he will not be able to get along with others, get in arguments, etc. he has either been fired of quit at least 8 jobs in the past 2-3 years.
My wife and I are teachers and live in the community where we teach. Admittedly our son buys and sells drugs in that community. After his 90 day rehab, he was getting ready to transition to a half way house. Unfortunately, due to an approaching hurricane, the halfway house was out of commision, leaving me no choice but to allow him to return home. Things were Ok for about 3 weeks until his 21st birthday. We decided to buy him an IPAD in order to allow him to complete on line applications, etc. for employment. @ days later, he sold the IPAD for a portion of the value, for cocaine and alcohol. We were obviously very upset with him but trodded on. A couple of weeks later I found an empty liter of vodka in his closet and numerous empty beer cans. this was after I suspected he was drinking due to slurring, etc. Two weeks ago, I replaced the door to his bedroom (one that he had broken over a year ago. After requesting that he help by painting the door, he argued that id did not need painting, escalating into an argument with his mom and I and eventuals vulgarity (called me a b**** and said f*** you numerous times)
The final straw was last Monday when I returned from work at 3:00 to find him passed out in his bed, with throw up all over toilet and wall. We gave him the choice to either return to detox and rehab (covered by my insurance mostly) or he had to make it on him own, not being allowed back in our home. Today is the day he chooses. He has been calling us numerous times each day while in detox, claiming that he is not returning to rehab, doesn't need it, we're over reacting, etc. BTW- I had taken him the week before to his psychiatrist and she prescribed him ADHD meds, anti depressant and sleep meds. all meds that he has taken in the past. Even though I know I cannot enable him, I am having a difficult time with this. He has no job, no money, no where to stay if he chooses not to go back to rehab. Constructive advice and opinions please.
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Posted: November 13, 2017, 12:37 PM


Posts: 375
Joined: October 25, 2016



Your story sounds very similar to my own but your son is only 21 and we have been fighting this for many more years. The only comments I have are ... You have already done much to try and help your son but it sounds like he isn't really wanting help. They can be very resistant to change and may not ever change no matter how hard YOU try. He doesn't really have motivation to work or stay sober because he can live with you and you provide everything he needs. The other thing is that you have two other children that are doing well. They are still young enough to benefit from your parenting so it would be a shame to chose the one that is on a destructive path over the others. Don't force them to go off on their own to avoid the problems at home. If they come home after college and are miserable, they will be gone first chance they get. You will miss out on time you could spend with them.

I think providing his medication and medical is a very reasonable expectation at that age and is not enabling. I think a halfway house and another stay in rehab won't hurt him at all. They don't like to give up their freedom for obvious reasons.

I have heard that some parents just leave the door off if their child breaks it. They have to live with the consequences .. you break the door you don't get another one.

This post has been edited by BugginMe on November 13, 2017, 12:46 PM

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BUGS
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Posted: November 13, 2017, 6:23 PM


Posts: 633
Joined: April 4, 2016



Loving welcome Chris . . . you found the right place for love, support, encouragement and hugs. But so sorry that you need us.

My daughter was in 2nd semester her freshmen year of college when she met heroin. She wasn't even 19. Her grades slowly went into the toilet. Hubby and I eventually yanked her out of college after her first semester junior year. She was about 20. After we realized that she stole all of our jewelry (including my wedding band), we gave her a choice: rehab or the streets. She chose rehab and moved 1,000 miles away from home to FL. She graduated from that 30 day program and made it another 30 or so days clean. Then she fell off the wagon.

She was 20 years old . . . only had a high school diploma . . . no skills (she couldn'tt really type, wasn't a plumber, etc.). She went in and out of sober living places. Basically, she used them like hotels. . . and had no problems being put out of one (generally due to dirty urine) and finding another in a few hours. But there were times when she could not make this transition seamlessly. During these times she didn't ask us for money. We were quite clear that we loved her dirty drawers but we were not going to enable her addiction. So, like all addicts, my daughter was creative. In fact, addicts are some of the most resourceful folks I know.

You have every right to feel safe and secure in your home. Your home should be a sanctuary . . . an oasis of peace. You have every right to bar your son from returning to your home if he is going to rob you of your tranquility and upend your sense of equilibrium . . .or be violent or threatening As a mom, I know you will worry if you do not let him come home. But rest assured, if you say, "No," he WILL find a way and a place to rest his head and eat!!! My girl found ways and places to sleep and eat. Thank God she was near West Palm Beach and it was summer time . . . for a while she slept on the beach. Other times, she made friends and crashed on their sofas.

As for money. Again, addicts . . . whether in active use or recovering . . . find ways. Your mama instinct may be to do whatever is necessary to make sure that your son only earns money legally and honestly. Remember the 3C's: you didn't cause his addiction; you can't control it; and you can not cure it! My girl found ways to pay for her dope and other necessities. At one time we were sending a weekly allowance. Whether our daughter was clean or sober, whatever we were sending wasn't enough money. She supplemented it . . . there were times where she would get a job and go faithfully until the first paycheck. . . and then get so high over the weekend she would miss work and get fired. She also found out about government assistance.
She got food stamps or something, even though she has no kids. My daughter, in addition, pan-handled for money . . . she sold her phone/electronics . . . and, yes . . . when she was desperate and was in active use, she sold her body. And . . when the allowance stopped . . . because hubby and I were NOT supporting a grown woman who was not in college . . . and we were quickly approaching banktrupcy . . . she used some of these ways and/or others to make money. I shutter to think how. But she has not been arrested.

All of this is to say that you should do what is best for YOU and your sanity. He will be okay.

Sending hugs,
Lynn

This post has been edited by hurtingmom on November 13, 2017, 10:04 PM

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I forgot to read the fine print, when i signed up to be your Mom. I thought it would be smiles & hugs and quite a lot of fun.

I didn’t see the part about addiction, mental illness, pain, hopelessness or despair. I didn’t know life could be so flipping unfair.

But I now see something in the fine print that I didn’t see before. It also says to survive your addiction, I must love me more.


In Loving Memory of my angel, J. #forever21 #ihateaddiction #foreverloved
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Posted: November 13, 2017, 10:10 PM


Posts: 97
Joined: January 21, 2017



Hello, and everyone here is glad you reached out. Although we all wish we had "met" under different circumstances, you will find the wisdom both heart-breaking and sanity-saving... i finally put my 35 year old son out last week, after 4 attempts of "coming home" to start over. My story is like so many others. Bright, handsome, college educated, father to a beautiful little girl. Lost everything material due to any numbing agent he could get his hands on, most recently meth. My breaking point last week was when he snuck his girlfriend/supplier into my home, and she called me an effin B for turning on the bedroom light and waking her up. I wish I could tell you that there is a "time" you will know you are helping your child, and not enabling....but I could not agree more on the advice regarding your other children. PLEASE don't let everyone go down on your son's ship. Because it is his. He is the captain and entire crew. Please keep posting. Libby

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Posted: November 13, 2017, 11:01 PM


Posts: 733
Joined: October 5, 2015



Hi Chris, Sorry your going through this but you've found a good place here and we've all been where you are, some of us still are! If I was you I would tell him it's rehab or your on the street. None of us think letting them stay at home hurts them. Truth be told it doesn't help. It gives them more money in their pockets to buy drugs. What they would spend on food or an apartment they don't because they get all they need in the luxury of their own home. I wouldn't let him stay in your home as he'll do drugs there too. They don't care about nothing but the drug. I'd tell him it's your way or the freeway! I know he's disrespectful, mine is too. They curse at us, punch doors, walls, break our things, threaten us with abuse it's awful! The police get called and we are usually made out to be the bad ones. It's like they all learn out of the same book. Make your home safe and let your other kids come home. The addict son will always land on his feet, they know how to survive. They all help each other. Don't blame yourself either as you didn't do anything to cause this. We search for where we went wrong and you'll never find it because it's not there. This is all on your son's shoulders. He did this to himself and you can't cure him. Only he can work at getting better by detoxing and rehab no one can force him to do it. Read and learn from the other posts on here as they will help you. This website has been a great help to us all at one time or another. Good luck and again I'm sorry your going through this. Mary

This post has been edited by Mandm on November 13, 2017, 11:21 PM
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Posted: November 13, 2017, 11:12 PM


Posts: 185
Joined: November 2, 2016



Ditto all the replies. Your story is my story with my son. It is unbelievable. A friend of mine in recovery recently shared this quote, "If you can't help them up, help them down". Meaning if they won't take help, don't stand in the way of consequences, as hard as that is for parents. The sooner they face the consequences, the more likely they may wake-up. But, as many said, they may never wake-up no matter what we do. I am convinced in my case, there is mental illness also with my son. Nonetheless, I cannot help him (because he does not want it) and I cannot be around him (because he treats me bad).

Keep posting and sharing. Everyone here understands.
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Posted: November 14, 2017, 9:32 AM


Posts: 5
Joined: November 13, 2017



Thank you to all of you lovely, caring people who have taken the time to post in response to our plight. I am actually the Dad. Being a teacher for 30 years, I have a nurturing, caring personality and as a result, have had difficulty with dealing with the stress over the years. I am not a "wimpy" dude, but am a responsible and conscientious parent. More background on his situation: At one time, our son was a nationally ranked swimmer, loaded with talent. during the middle school years, he chose to hang around the wrong crowd. Since that point, it has been all down hill for him and the family. He attended the high school where his mother and father worked, got into two serious fights with peers and was suspended several times. About 5 years ago, after defending my wife from his vulgarity towards, her, I approached him to intervene, attempted to grab him, and he punched me in the mouth (stitches required, resulting scar). That resulted in his the police being involved and subsequent drug program for a minor. That was the first major incident. After an argument with his older brother several years ago (unprovoked over use of a video game controller), he punched him in the eye resulting in an emergency room visit. this was after his brother assisted him in graduating from high school on line (due to the fact that we had to pull him out of 10th grade for fighting and failing grades).
As I mentioned, my wife and I have had great difficulty dealing with the stress esp. over the past 7 years or so. I have had to take medication and there have been many stress/anxiety filled days. Luckily, we have a strong marriage and keep carrying on to the best of our ability. We have discovered Paris and are planning to return over the holidays to "get away" and decompress. Counting the days.
Yesterday, our 21 year old son chose not to transition to rehab and as a result, as mentioned, was not allowed into our house. We are sticking to our guns. This morning we discovered him sleeping on the grass in the back yard. Not sure if he was passed out, under the influence. My wife and I did our morning routine and went to work. he does not have key to house. this is where we are at present. Thank you again for listening and offering your support and kindness. Will keep you posted.
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Posted: November 14, 2017, 12:46 PM


Posts: 375
Joined: October 25, 2016



Sorry to hear he didn't go somewhere else. Sounds to me like you should be prepared for a fight. Mine has said we are obligated as parents to provide for him and give him unconditional love. Yours doesn't know yet that you mean business. He may still feel like your home and stuff are also his. That means he could try helping himself to your stuff including possibly breaking into the house especially if it gets colder. Be ready to call the police and possibly file charges. My son stole my car and his friends took things from our house but still I didn't do much of anything. I just couldn't do it... you could maybe get a restraining order so he will leave the property but I have heard they aren't very affective. Police may be able give him a ride to a homeless shelter. Your son probably still has some friends he could stay with so maybe being at your house was for one night. Mine has lost many of his friends through the years.

Seems like many of our addicts conduct problems started around puberty. I think that is when they begin to think they know it all but puberty can also cause mental illness to start or increase. All judgement flies out the window and some never outgrow it when drugs are involved. I think the drug further damages their brains over time so they can't make good decisions that seem logical to the rest of us.

My son also punched his dad and would not go to school. Destroyed property, sold gifts that weren't cheap, etc.

I had to take an antidepressant several times when I was unable to cope and felt totally overwhelmed. I understand that it hurts your heart and is hard to live with the loss of a child. We want so much more for them than this type of life. Your son is not gone but right now he is lost.

There are no magical answers. You just have to muddle through and be kind to yourself. Some counseling helped me .. just having an objective person to talk to helped me see things clearer. We get too close and mired in their troubles so we don't always see the bigger picture without help.

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BUGS
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Posted: November 14, 2017, 8:48 PM


Posts: 1573
Joined: June 27, 2016



chris - my son went to rehab twice for about 4-5 months each time and once lived w his sister for 4 months where he had access to alcohol but not street drugs/medications. each time these two things happened. (1) he only agreed to go when he had no where else to go, exhausted all resources, and was homeless for a week or two. (2) as soon as he left the restricted living situation, he quickly relapsed. so.. rehab, soberliving, replapse, repeat, 3 times in roughly a two year period. he came home after being 'clean' for 4 months in April. in a matter a days he was back into it. also worked full time for past 7 months. so we feel that he could not have been doing much and convinced ourselves he would be OK and pull out of this on his own.
BUT all the while, his priority and actions revolve around getting money, and never having any money even after getting a paycheck it would not last long. then he would be asking us for gas $$ and borrow from others. when we ask about the $$ it is like playing a 'shell game'. he does have a gf and we don't know how much is supporting her and how much is him. it gets complicated. 1-2 months ago he did start seeing a dr and getting meds. idk how much he takes, sells or shares.

It is all confusing and exhausting. some days my hubby and I just want to walk away.
my husband has no patience. I try to problem solve bc I am trying to find a solution so things don't get worse, we don't want to live this way forever.

Back to you.... The best organization my son was with was a rehab in florida that actually helped their clients with life skills. It was a step down program. First month rehab, 2nd month find job, 3rd month start paying rent. This included IOP and meetings and drug testing. As well as a supportive staff and living situation. It was located in a place where jobs were available and public transportation was available. We had to pay a lot out of pocket for first few months. he had no insurance at the time. once he was working he only had to pay rent - which was reasonable. (the first rehab was covered by insurance)

the problem was that once my son had money, he got itchy to leave and not want to follow the rules and curfew and drug testing. at one point he did leave. we spoke to someone at the sober living and were told - do not give him $$ - tell him to come back here - we will take him back . and that is what happened. he stayed for another month, then wanted to be on his own and pay less rent if he rented else where, and then relapse while working for the next 4 months. then - wasn't paying rent, I had to clean up the mess - then homeless - then went to sister's house. when he was homeless for 2 weeks, we kept telling him to go back to the sober living but he did not. obviously, he was using at that time and would not go there.

It was close to a perfect situation. Unfortunately, my son was not able to see the opportunity and thought he could 'do it on his own'.

I am a holistic persons who has found great help from alternative medical therapies for myself over the last 20 years. I keep suggesting and trying stuff for my son - whenever he is compliant enough... and I hope something sticks sometime soon! Unfortunately, I am still seeing the red flags and wonder if he will ever escape his dysfunctional addiction life style. At this point I see it as a life style. he isn't exactly an 'addict' but he is unhappy in his soul and finds ways to self medicate.

I hope this example gives you insight.
Find nar anon meetings in your area or in a different near by location - so you don't have to expose your self to people you know in your community.

Use the programs and resources tabs at the top of this website to find treatment centers or something that will help your family. I recently found a recovery center near my home that treats family members. I have not started going, but plan to. maybe they can give me more direction in some way that I have not thought of yet....

Lastly - nice advice everyone! I like to hear where everyone is at.
thank you all for being here! and sorry for my always -too long posts !!!

This post has been edited by NyToFlorida on November 14, 2017, 8:49 PM
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Posted: November 14, 2017, 9:11 PM


Posts: 1573
Joined: June 27, 2016



PS - 21 yrs old is young enough for you to impose your rules and judgement on him.


My son was about 24 when we first realized there was a problem. He agreed to go at that time. Now, 2 Rehabs + sister's house, and 2-3 yrs later, 28 yrs old, he will not go to rehab again.

he still refers to us sending him to florida as being "banished" and not allowed to come back home. Reality is that at any point he could have stopped medicating, saved his $$ and flown back home, or bought and paid for a car, etc......

yeah, he is still in denial. I'm sad today....
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Posted: November 15, 2017, 12:38 AM


Posts: 64
Joined: February 3, 2015



OMG, change a few details, and our stories are all the same. I urge you to take a step back, re-read your post, and pretend you are reading my problem, or someone else's. Then, think of the advice you would give someone else, and take it. It breaks my heart with my son, but when i see posts like yours, i remember that there are so many folks out there in the same positon as me. And it is easy to tell someone else what you think. We need to give ourselves the same respect we would give others.
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Posted: November 15, 2017, 10:04 AM


Posts: 1573
Joined: June 27, 2016



I found this website to see how others handle the situation - to see if there are any answers or solutions. reading other's stories does help even if they are not successes. we are all points on a path. I did wrestle with the fact that if someone was successful in beating addiction, they are not going to be on this website! lol .... so it is a little like misery and company. there are many things that help me. one is when I see others going thru this for many years, I know that there is no easy fix. I know that many of our loved ones can not get out of their head long enough to make good changes.

It is true that if a friend or acquaintance told me one of our stories, I would not be as compassionate and my advice would be the same as I gave above. For my son I can see the correct path - stop the drugs/self medicating, live at sober living or at home, go to meetings, participate in making changes.

The reality is that my son's brain does not see the path from A to B. I am convinced there is a disconnect that is like a moat between himself and being drug free. He can see that life is easy and successful for some people, but he cant see it for himself. Picture success on the other side of the river and he has no way to get there, alone and sad watching what he can not achieve.


dammed if we do, dammed if we don't.

This post has been edited by NyToFlorida on November 15, 2017, 10:06 AM
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Posted: November 15, 2017, 11:39 AM


Posts: 5
Joined: November 13, 2017



Wow, great posts and responses. Again, thank you for the time and care. Today is the third day for our son out of detox. He has been sleeping on the front porch. while getting ready for work, he began texting and knocking on the front door asking to take a shower. Knowing that if we let him in, getting him back out would be a battle. We said "No." My wife, who at times can pour on the tough love better than me, told him that hes does not live here any longer. We both told him that there are showers, food, shelter, etc. at the rehab center that he is refusing to turn to. We are trying to stick to our resolve and get our life back. Will keep everyone posted. Any advice, ideas welcome!
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Posted: November 15, 2017, 4:53 PM


Posts: 1573
Joined: June 27, 2016



chris - my head says - stick with it, don't give in. I know the stronger you are, the better his behavior will be. when I have pushed the rules on my son, he trys to do better. I am usually afraid to push too hard. my husband is the TL person, yet he is extreme and yells and rants and distorts the situation. and then everyone is mad and walks away without resolving the matter. He and I are complete opposites.

my sympathic heart says - what you are doing is really tough to pull off!

but the good news is that he has detoxed and is not currently using? - every day off is a good day. as the brain fog clears, he will hopefully be more agreeable.

keep telling your son positive information about the rehab AND sober living..... if there is a good sober living organization, he may be able go straight there and not go to rehab first - if he has a clean drug test. that's my understanding especially if he has been to rehab before. But, if he needs medical care maybe he needs the rehab first. My goal if I was able to achieve it, would be to have my son living at a sober living environment.

at this point my son wont entertain that idea. he's been there, done that. currently he is at home, but is not a disruption. he is not 100% clean, so if things dont change we will need to tell him we cant be part of this and he will have to leave.

another suggestion - give him a time limit - 6 or 12 successful months at (insert rehab - sober) living and then see where he is at. over the past year I have become determined to help my son because I realized that he needs to learn to be independent and responsible. us parents are not going to be around forever and I want to enjoy a few years with minimal stress. the only way to do that, is to get the kid to want to live better or kick him out and move away.


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Posted: November 16, 2017, 10:41 AM


Posts: 5
Joined: November 13, 2017



The latest. while at work yesterday, son managed to crawl through unlocked kitchen window. Since, he has been locked in his bedroom. obviously, my wife and I are livid, but have not decided to confront him so as to not have to do the police thing again (nerves can't take another). We are basically ignoring him, locking away all possessions, wine, etc. and hoping for the best. Only other option is to file a restraining order if the abuse continues. Craziness/madness continues
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Posted: November 16, 2017, 2:10 PM


Posts: 1573
Joined: June 27, 2016



The best laid plan goes awry. (I was wondering how he was doing without a bathroom or food.)

Do you have an RV he can live in on the property?

don't give up. if you can keep him in his room, without a car, no access to drugs.... that might be OK for now? and then set up household rules - only a few that are easy to achieve.
therapist appointments and keep looking for somewhere for him to go for help.... idk...

It is very hard to live this way when you are both working full time. I usually took on the brunt of the problems bc my husband is too hot tempered and not a problem solver and he has the full time career path, so we don't want him to loose his job, due to lack of focus....

Good Luck!

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Posted: November 16, 2017, 6:14 PM


Posts: 733
Joined: October 5, 2015



Hi Chris, The thing I would worry about is him bring friends in the house when your at work. I agree with NY. If he behaves and stays away from friends and drugs by just staying home I guess I'd let him stay, but suggest help. Don't give in to any of his wishes or wants. He is lucky he has a roof over his head right now and not sitting in jail for breaking in. The more you show him you mean business and won't put up with trash talking, bullying and destructive behavior the sooner he might shape up. If you decide you don't want him there lock him out next time he leaves and make sure all the windows are locked this time. Tell him too if he breaks into your house again you will have him arrested this time and follow through. I know it's hell and no way to live. I've been where you are. You might want to look into an Narc-anon or Al-anon meeting for support for your wife and you. Take care. Mary.
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Posted: November 16, 2017, 8:05 PM


Posts: 1573
Joined: June 27, 2016



Mary is right about bringing friends in.
***** Purchase at least one camera so you can view your house on line. I wont recommend which brand. I bought Canary, but it is not working correctly right now. so there might be better ones.

I installed this over the summer when we went away for a week. It was very nice just knowing when my son was coming and going etc. He was not living at home, but was stopping in to feed the cats. (he had the girlfriend's dogs in the house!) He did not know it was there! I was worried about him finding it.
the canary has lights on it that will show up in the dark - not recommended. It records snipits when activated, and holds the recordings for 24 hours, without signing up for the monthly rate. more features if you sign up for monthly plan.

app goes on your phone. you can have it alert you or view the recordings later. or you can pay monthly fee and log in using a computer.

This is nice to have anyway. That's why I bought it. I have to figure out how to get it working again.....

I did not do much research. Go look at some models and pick something that works for you.
When you see them (the kids) in action when you are not home, it changes your perception of what you think is reality.

This post has been edited by NyToFlorida on November 16, 2017, 8:09 PM
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Posted: November 16, 2017, 8:11 PM


Posts: 375
Joined: October 25, 2016



His door still has a lock on it? lol

We put extra locks on our bedroom door and our son still got inside! They are very resourceful when they want to get inside houses, rooms, closets, or anywhere they are not supposed to be.

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BUGS
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Posted: November 16, 2017, 8:26 PM


Posts: 1573
Joined: June 27, 2016



Chris - I reread your original post. I did not know you have been going thru this for 7 years. forgive me if my advice is too short sighted. My last suggestion is to find a Homeopath, Naturopath, Acupuncture, etc... we have dabbled in these therapies over the past few years. I do believe there will be progress IF your son cooperates and participates. my son does not stick it out for the follow up.

Find someone who is experienced in treating your situation. If they are not, it will not work out.


keep looking thru the tabs at the top of this page and also -- SMARTrecovery.org

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