Daughter spiraling out of control

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Boodle5, Aug 17, 2016.

  1. Boodle5

    Boodle5 New Member

    My 17 yr old daughter has been struggling since she was 14. Alcohol is her drug of choice but she also huffs and does other drugs occasionally. She's ended up in the ER three times because of alcohol. She's been through two IOP's with no success. She was expelled from school for being intoxicated. She's such a well skilled liar and manipulator. I've been in denial for a long time. She will not agree to go to rehab and threatens to leave whenever we bring it up. Her dad yells at her because he doesn't know how to handle this, and it escalates to where she just leaves. He wants to kick her out when she turns 18. I'm exhausted and living in fear that she'll end up raped or dead. She'll be 18 in October and nothing seems to motivate her. All she wants to do is hang out with her druggy friends. I don't know what to do. My husband and I are at each other's throats and it's taking a toll on my health. I can barely get up for work in the morning and then I don't want to come home! Any advice on how to get her to rehab? We really need help. I'm going to my first al anon mtg tomorrow. Sorry to ramble... Thanks for listening.
  2. ColleenB

    ColleenB Active Member


    Your story is heartbreaking, she is so young and I can't imagine the pain you all are in.

    I've been coming to the boards since Xmas, as my 22 yr old son has been struggling with addiction, anxiety and depression since he was 19.

    I wish I had the answers to make it all better, but what I have learnt is that I'm not alone. I've learnt I am able to live even though my heart is broken, and I don't have any guarantee he will get better. I have learnt others have gone before me, and they give light unto my path in this journey none of us imagined when we brought home our wee babes.

    You too will learn these things, and more.

    Take care of you, your marriage and keep reaching out to others. You cannot do this alone, it will destroy you. You may want to think about counselling for you and your husband, since it sounds like you both are in need of support.

    Hugs.... And welcome
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  3. Robert44

    Robert44 Member

    You are not alone. When I read stories here I can relate to so much of them. When my son was doing drugs we cut him off completely. No money, rides etc.... we had the police here many times.. Lucky he hasn't been arrested yet for him. He did end up in the hospital a few times. This really helped cause he hates to "lose his freedom". He realized that he can't do anything that will get him arrested or back to the hospital. Hope he continues thinking like this. as i said you're not alone. Keep plugin
  4. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    Welcome Boodle:

    Sorry you are going through this but glad you found this forum. If you keep posting and reading other's stories, it will help you tremendously. It did me.

    We began dealing with bad behaviors and drug use with my son starting at puberty (15). He started with alcohol and marijuana but due to anxiety he was prescribed benzos and abused those and that started him on a downward spiral. He wasn't using all the time, but when he wasn't abusing something, he wasn't moving forward either. He was suspended in time.

    Finally at the age of 20 this past March we gave him an ultimatum of rehab or he would have to live elsewhere. He would have had to go to a shelter. It took a lot for me to get to that point but I knew that we could not live like this any longer. I finally realized that nothing I had ever done or said was helping - at all. He did agree to rehab only because he did not want to live in a shelter (would prefer he admitted he needed it but nope) and then we sent him to a program in Florida and he has been there ever since. He has bounced around and relapsed but he is sober right now and most importantly he is NOT IN OUR HOME. We have peace again. I forgot what that was like. I will NEVER go back to that life again. NEVER!

    If we do not let them feel the consequences of their actions, they never learn. I see some people that have been going through this for ten or more years. We did for almost five and now he has to sink or swim on his own. I have to live my life. I've had many years stolen from me. It was so hard on our marriage and our older sons. We love him so much but I could no longer watch him destroy himself. He has to want to be a good person. He has to want to live a good life. It's his journey, not mine. My son had told me before that he wouldn't change because he never had to. I have pulled away tremendously for ME. I am hoping that this will help him start the change.

    This may sound harsh, but I'd tell her at 18 she either goes to rehab or has to find another place to live. I wish we had done that at 18 rather than wait another two years. It did nothing good for us or HIM! I definitely recommend therapy for you and your husband if he'll go to help you be supportive with boundaries. You need professional help with this. Once addiction has it's hold on our children, we can no longer parent them like we normally would. I see a therapist weekly since his overdose and I couldn't live without it. We are not prepared to deal with this sort of thing. Even the experts have a hard time figuring it out. What works for one may not work for another. There is no perfect science.

    This forum and the people on it have given me the strength to do this. I have tried to learn from their mistakes as they have. We're still learning though.
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  5. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Welcome, Boodles. Sorry you had to find us. It sounds like you have really been through it with your daughter.

    My son's substance of choice is also alcohol. He too would leave every time we tried to get him into treatment. However, he was 18 by then, so there was not much we could do, other than kick him out.

    Your daughter is still a minor, so strictly speaking I guess you *could* (theoretically) force her to enter rehab, in the hopes that drying out and getting her away from her bad influences for a bit might make something click. Do you think it would do any good?

    I generally believe that rehab is pretty useless if someone isn't ready to hear the message.

    I can also see how forcing her to enter treatment might add some resentment and rebellion that could make things even worse.

    But I do look back and wonder sometimes if things would have been different, had I foreseen how bad his drinking would get and forced treatment when I still could have.

    Then I think about my son's ex-girlfriend, and how her parents handled it when they found out she had been drinking. They were not kidding around -- residential rehab followed by mandatory counseling and AA attendance, transfer out of public school and into a strict Christian setting, and sending her on a missionary trip/boot camp for the summer. Sadly, the outcome has been about the same, despite the very different ways they were handled.

    I guess it all goes back to trying to force it before they are ready.

    But 17 is so young. You only have a few more months until you will have no control over her at all...

    Sadly, we do know how a child with an alcohol or drug addiction can wreak absolute havoc in a family. It truly is a family disease. I hope you and your husband do seek some way of getting a grip on your pain, whether it be through Al-Anon, counseling, or trusted friends you can talk to. Keep posting. It helps.
  6. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    I honestly thought the end of your paragraph here was going to be different!!
  7. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Our ideas of what will work do not necessaily fill their needs. Forced rehab can cause rebellion or hostility so that inside their heads that think, 'I may have to pretend, but this is garbage and I wont really try."

    For our kids with different or no religious beliefs, Christian schools may just irritate them. AA can irritate non religious kids because of the higher power concept, even though you dont HAVE to be religious to work the program. But the higher power cocept still often turns off atheist young adults. Religious beliefs can't be forced. I am very spiritual so I do believe in a higher power, but when anyone tries to push specific religion on me, I shut down and feel offended and avoid that person. It can be a big turn off.

    One cant force ones beliefs on others, including our adult children. The country's young are much less organized religion than in our day and so often religious solutions are a wash for these young people.

    Boot camp can cause extreme rebellion in rebellious kids and often makes them even worse once they get out. These substance abusers are not mainstream compliant teens who want to get ahead using conventional methods. They are strong willed and stubborn and challenging of societys social norms...often feel the normal steps are "stupid."

    There is no one thing that works for all and if the person isnt ready to change, nothing works. Some desperate, sad, loving, well meaning folks use all their money trying to fix an addicted child only to be left broke and the adult child is still addicted. And now you all have nothing. Love causes us to make these choices, but they really don't work. Don't beggar yourself. Money won't stop addiction.

    It is only when the person wants to change that anything works and they dont need us for that or all of our hard earned money or for us to pay for apartments, food, cell phones, cars etc. I had better luck withdrawing all support and all toys from my daughter. That made her life difficult and she decided it was too hard to use drugs. She changed on her own with no dime from us.

    I hope your daughter gets sick snd tired of her substance soon. I'd take her car privileges away. She may throw a fit but driving + intoxication = injury or death or jail to our kids who use and to innocent drivers on the streets. I'd also cut off the cellphone if she wont follow your rules. You don't owe her one.

    I believe taking away their fun has a bigger impact than anything else, although they still may not quit...not until they decide the substance abuse is ruining their life (thus the withdrawal of cars and phones).
  8. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    I think the key is we need to be self-centered biotches to them for a change!!! Okay have to have some humor sometimes.

    Seriously though I think that I'm onto something!!:hapydancsmil:
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  9. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    RN, ypu are onto something, but not handing out free money or doing what grown adults should do for themselves is hard for us, and in my opinion not selfish. However, it is effective. I've been here a while and "getting him started" for the third time rarely works. Usually we give them "another start" and they blow it. They need our love, not out money or for us to do for them.

    It is very kind to not enable addicts and it is gutwrenching watch them when they make mistakes. We want to give them help, but they need to do it themselves. And that is hard for us to watch. it isnt selfish.
  10. Boodle5

    Boodle5 New Member

    Thank you everyone for your advice and support. I'm not one to ask for help but talking to y'all has helped me. My daughter had been staying at a friend's house for the past couple nights. We searched her room and found two bottles of liquor; one empty. I can get ahold of her over wifi but she has no phone. Her iPhone 6s was stolen during one of her drunken episodes which landed her in the ER a couple of weeks ago. She has no car/license given the fact that she is not responsible. She doesn't care!!! Nothing seems to faze her. We are going to to try the rehab talk again when she comes home. I feel like I have to try something before she turns 18. I just know she's going to end up arrested or worse. I'm just so exhausted and scared for her. I'm praying for those of you who are going through the same thing.
  11. Robert44

    Robert44 Member

    Prayers for you and your daughter. I know the pain you are going through
  12. Sister's Keeper

    Sister's Keeper Active Member

    I agree with Albie. Generally if you "force" them into treatment it doesn't work. They, generally, have to come to the decision themselves.

    That being said, I think, sometimes, for our own piece of mind we need to feel like we did everything we could possibly do.

    Technically, yes, you can force her into treatment, right now. There was a woman in my group who did just that. She packed a bag for her daughter, put it in the trunk, told her daughter they were going somewhere else, and dropped her off at rehab.

    She ended up putting out a lot of money, and invested a lot of time in the program, and the minute the daughter turned 18 she ran off with a boy she met in rehab.

    So, you know, there is a slim chance that something may sink in, but it's not typical.

    I think Al-anon will be helpful to you. I also think it may be the time to start telling her that if she doesn't get help she will have to move out on the day she turns 18.

    Sorry that you are dealing with this at such a young age
  13. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    I was adding some humor to it all.

    I know it's not selfish to let them do for themselves. We are getting there with our son. It's a long, hard journey for parents too. In the end it's up to them. I know that I can't save him.