Substance use and abuse is not uncommon with people who have a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. Often people use substances to try and self medicate before they have a diagnosis. Sometimes substance use can bring on a mental health disorder. It sounds as though this young man has had a tough time in young life and is lucky to have someone willing to advocate for him.
You cannot force someone to take their medication, even if it is in their best interest. He does have to be willing to do some things on his own, but you can work with him to see if there are things you can do to help. Interventions are expensive and there is no guarantee that it will work.
In Florida there is the Marchman Act which can be used to get someone substance abuse help when they are a danger to themselves or others. What it does here is get up to a 72 hour evaluation period in a facility that can assess the person and determine if they need a longer stay for help or if they can receive services in a less restrictive environment.
we are in California
It sounds as though he would really benefit from some counseling, even if it is not with a "substance abuse" counselor. Do you think he would be willing to talk to another counselor?
maybe. He has been going to a church, but it just seems he is just using church in place of using drugs. I called the church and they wont answer my calls.
when he called last night for help, I said where are your church friends?
What kind of help did he need last night? Also, how long have you been helping him?
He has been living in a tent in some brush connected to a park. Someone stole all his stuff. He wanted help getting clothes and food etc. I did not help him last night. I have been helping him since April. I don't give him any money and he is not allowed in my house.. I'm just there to listen, give advise, & provide resources. He got food stamps, but uses the card up right away and then he is hungry the rest of the month.
Thank you- that gives me a little better picture of what is happening. Your boundaries sound reasonable. Perhaps an alternative route for helping him might be to go through organizations that help the homeless. Often they offer counseling as part of their services and it would put him in touch with other support.
He is too scared to stay at shelters. Sometimes he thinks he doesn't need help.
Unfortunately that can be part of the bipolar disorder. Have you asked him what he would like to do or what he would change if he could?
In CA there is PATH (Project for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness) which may offer some resources for him if he is willing to reach out.
I hope I have offered some support to you, if nothing else. Perhaps there are some ideas here that might help you get him some help.
Yes, I think a lot is the Bipolar because he has a lot of scattered thoughts. He has a lot of dreams and potential. He just can't seem to focus on one thing. He wants to go into the Job Corps to learn auto mechanics. He wants to get his GED.
ok, I will look into PATH
Those are excellent goals. Good luck! If I can be of any more help, please reach out again.
ok, thank you.