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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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My husband has a co-worker whose teen-age son is on a combo

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My husband has a co-worker whose teen-age son is on a combo of drugs and alcolol. The son started seeing a drug counselor Jan, 2011. During the past couple of weeks, he told his counselor off and walked out. He told the counselor to cancel the rest of his appts. He said he was not coming back. The parents don't know what to do now. The father called about an in-patient rehab facility. He was told the cost would be $30,000.00. The father said he could't afford that. The mother is in counseling for denial of the situation & enabling him with money to buy drugs. This is a very short description of the situation. The parents have no idea what to do. Is there anything that Dr. Phil can do. I don't know anything about various drug rehab facilities. We all live in the Denver, CO metro
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.


It sounds like there is a lot of enabling going on in the family which is probably causing much of the boy's acting out with the counselor and refusing help. He knows that if he acts out, his parents and grandmother will back him up. There are no real consequences to his behavior.


Given the family situation and the history of drug and alcohol use, I would highly recommend that all family members seek help. They need to understand that in order to fix this problem, they all have to change their behaviors and stop enabling this child. Once he turns 18, he will be an adult and they will no longer be able to have a say in what he does. If they have the opportunity now, they should learn how to cut off the funds, treat him with discipline and get him the help he needs.


They can start by calling the local community mental health center. The counselors there can help them find help and connect them to inpatient and outpatient treatment facilities. Mental Health centers work on a sliding fee scale, so depending on their income they could pay very little or full fee. Community mental health also takes insurance so they could use that as well. Here is a link to the local center in Denver, CO.:


Here is also some books they can read to get started. One is called Facing Codependence: What It Is, Where It Comes from, How It Sabotages Our Lives by Pia Mellody, Andrea Wells Miller, and J. XXXXX XXXXX. Also, Don't Let Your Kids Kill You: A Guide for Parents of Drug and Alcohol Addicted Children by Charles Rubin. You can find these on or your local library may have them available.


I hope this has helped you,


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