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Drugs, lying, stealing gets you a weekend pass to go play with friends

justthestepmom's picture

17 y/o SS has ADHD, lives with BM and is with us one night each week and every other weekend. He is in his senior year but won't graduate if he flunks even one class this year (he is currently flunking three with only 5 weeks remaining in the marking period). He has had some issues with lying (forever), stealing (in the last year and a half) and was arrested for breaking and entering about 2 years ago. He got off with probation, community service and a small fine. I keep a lighter on my kitchen island for use with my candles and they keep disappearing when he is around. When asked if he took it, he always says no. Today it was missing again so I looked in his room. I found the lighter and much more--there was a small piece of tin foil with black residue on it (reaked to high heaven and made me lightheaded), a homemade bong with partially smoked pot in it, bottles from leftover chew (gross!) and empty beer bottles hidden in various places (behind stuffed animals, in drawers, etc). I also found the label and another bottle (empty) of my husband's tylenol 3 with codiene and percocet from an injury that was in our master bath (in a drawer) -- under duress he admitted that he had taken them "a long time ago" when I know for a fact they were in my husband's bathroom drawer as recently as three months ago.

He has admitted to combining huffing and alcohol in the past. Today, when confronted, he admited that the tin foil was from a time when he smoked vidocdin but he wouldn't say where he got the vicodin. In the past he was caught taking his ADHD meds to school with the intent to sell. He also used his ADHD bad memory to say he didn't remember what he did with DH's tylenol 3 and percocet. He either took it, smoked it or sold it.

Last summer I was finally able to prove that he had been stealing money from my purse (he had already been caught stealing money from his BM and Grandmother, but they believe his bs answer that he thought it was "family money") -- so then he tried that with me and I simply said if that was the case he wouldn't have sneaked it in the middle of the night. My purse is now locked into my home office with a key-coded lock.

DH came home tonight from a hard day at work and after having a direct conversation, reiterating the house rules, LET HIM GO SPEND THE NIGHT WITH A FRIEND AS ORIGINALLY PLANNED FOR THE EVENING!!! Every time this kid does something wrong or is busted doing something wrong, there are no consequences and he just continues down his sideways path. Dad's answer today was that SS was going to be with a friend who is a good kid (who knows if that is where he'll end up since he also tends to end up places he wasn't supposed to be) and that he was beat up and tired.

I have informed them both that the next time I find illegal drugs in my home, I will call the police with no notice to either of them.

I have tried to get this kid ADHD help in terms of extra tutoring, counseling, medication modification so that it doesn't feel so yucky, etc. BUT, neither DH or BM will follow through. I know that ADHD kids tend to self-medicate and he certainly does, but he would prefer to "smoke a bowl" than to see a professional because he doesn't want to admit to having anxiety or depression. I can't make him go to therapy and parents won't follow through.

I don't like to have him in my home anymore since he has lied, stolen, etc. I am very pissed at my husband for not ever following through. He thinks that his little lectures are going to cure the problem, when in reality, the kid just gives him lip service and goes about his merry way doing whatever he damn well pleases.

SS will be 18 in May, most likely will not graduate so he has another entire year of high school (and child support, but that is not the main issue) -- do I really have to deal with this child living in my home for another year and a half? It seems like forever to be a prisoner in my own home because I don't trust him to be in my home without supervision. We have a work-related party tomorrow evening and I don't want to take my husband because I don't want to leave him alone in the house.

What's a SM to do?

cant win for losin's picture

Sometimes men are dumb. Sometimes they are lazy. Sometimes both.
I have to say, in the extreme example of what you just posted, that dh let ss stay overnite at his friend's house anyway and responded that
"Ss friend is a good kid..." I am convinced that these men arent dumb, or lazy, they are COWARDS!
Extremely disheartening when you start to really break it down.
Oh, and i have to say, that i dont know of any "good kids" that hang out with other kids who are starting to dip into heavier "things"
Like hangs out with like.

unwillingparticipant's picture

I would without a doubt, call the police next time you find drugs. And the next time, and the next time, and the next time. Consistency will be key here. Good luck.

justthestepmom's picture

After typing all of that out last night, DH received some very plainspoken comments. I have told him for years that BM is neglectful because she ignores things that don't show on the outside -- last night I told him that he was being just as neglectful by not following through on therapy and consequences. He has left it probably too long, but if he doesn't seek help for him now and follow through, it's the same as giving up and allowing the kid to founder his way through life.

The "good kid" that he was with last night really is a good kid...he has been hanging with SS less and less over the past two years and will most likely only make holiday appearances once he goes away to college (he's an honor roll kid). I wish he would hang out more, but the good kid has found other ways to spend his time and I don't blame him. SS has found "like" kids to hang out with - sad.

Both DH and SS know that the police will be called if I find illegal drugs or he steals from me again. No warning to DH, I will just make the call. SS doesn't understand why his parents don't approve of him smoking pot when he just needs to relax!

The thing that makes me the most angry is that no one really seems interested enough to get SS help and I can't legally seek treatment for him nor am I able to force him to attend without support from parents or at least from DH.

work in progress....

ThatGirl's picture

This kid needs help. If he's got that much contraband in your house, imagine what his room at BM's is like? What did the burnt foil smell like? Vinegar? If so, it was black tar heroin, which has become a HUGE problem in the last few years. He shows all of the signs.

justthestepmom's picture

The burnt tin foil smelled bitter (not sour like vinegar) and it was ashy in texture. He said that he smoked a vicodin tablet -- after sniffing it, I was lightheaded for about an hour.

Miracles of all miracles, BM and DH have finally agreed that the kid needs help. Brighton Hospital is well known in our area as a substance abuse hospital and he has been scheduled for an assessment on Friday morning. They will determine if he needs to go inpatient or intensive outpatient. Buy-in from both parents.

We saved the tin foil and may take it with us for the assessment or we will by a test kit to see exactly what it was. I'm not going to take all of the stories at face value.

I know it is just the beginning, but it feels like a relief.