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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5194
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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I have a son 25 years old, he is abusing drugs such as Xanax

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I have a son 25 years old, he is abusing drugs such as Xanax and Ambien (which he gets from his therepist) I just found cans of Dust Off (to use to clean your keyboards) I think it's call Whip IT........my son does not know I have found these cans of dust off and I have not confronted him as of yet...a bit of background..i was married to a guy had 2 sons, my first husband after we divorced abused these boys i.e. tieing them up in a tree all night, not feeding them, having them pick up cigarette butts with their mouths, the list goes on. My Ex lives in Oregon and I live in Connecticut. (originally from Malibu) anyhow my youngest son at the time was 5 years old and my other son was10. I never knew this was going on and my ex threaten to kill them if they told me about the abuse.. I found out what was going on though another source, and I proceeded to kidnap them from my ex. I went to court got full sole custody, no visitatons nothing...their real father didn't care anyway. Well I met another man which is why I moved to Connecticut and this man was so good to my boys, 7 years later I married this man, after that this guy changed, would be verbally mean nasty horrible to my boys. I had to send my youngest son to a private boarding school for 4 years, with all this verbal abuse he was suisidal, froim the one man and now this man I married. I know I should have left him right then and there, my oldest son my current husband didn't verbally abuse at all. I was diagnosed with a brain tumor, had chemo, then surgery then radiation and 2 years later and the tumor is back. My youngest son does not live here as he HATES my husband, and my husband has been verbally being so mean to my oldest son that he doesn't want to live, hates himself,feels worthless and he is doing drugs, i.e. Xanax, Ambien (which his doctor priscribes), Oxycontin and now I jst found cans of Dust Off in his room, he's inhaling this stuff, my son doesn't know I know this. My husband doesn't know about the Oxycontin either, he now knows about the Dust Off cans. I don't want my son to die. My husband is the biggest ASSHOLE ever and with a brain tumor I not only need health insurance, I can't leave him till I get my son heathy again. Now can I comitt my 25 year old to a hospital, he will not go voluntarily as i asked many times for the pill addiction and he refuses to go to any program. The therapist he goes to see is a doctor that doesn't care what your problem is he just writes perscriptions for people.. My husband is calling my son right now a loser, worthless drug addict and has and always will be a f**k up. What do I do to help my son? How can I go about it? I am in such distress and have a brain tumor that no matter what my son doesn't care so he abuses drugs, my husband doesn't care because he thinks I lower the bar so low that I don't even register on his radar. Please give me options for my son, I don't want him to die. My husband I can and will take care of him. Please help with advise, Thank you
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 11 months ago.

Dr. Z :

Hello

Dr. Z :

I believe I can help you with your concern

Dr. Z :

Give me a few minutes to read over your question thoroughly so that I can better assist you tonight

Dr. Z :

I am so sorry that you are going through these issues currently, I can imagine the stress of your son's addictions, your husband's behavior, and having a brain tumor is very difficult for you right now.

Dr. Z :

I am currently taking care of my own step-father who has a brain cancer (Primary CNS Lymphoma) as well, so I know what you are going through.

Dr. Z :

I would like to ask a few questions, so that I can better understand the situation and be able to help you best.

Dr. Z :

How often does your son see his therapist/psychiatrist?

Dr. Z :

Does your son exhibit behavior or verbalize and thoughts of hurting himself or others at all?

Customer:

My son sees the therapist once a month and get a perscription for 4mg Xanax to take 3/4 times a day and he gets Ambien for a month, mind you this doctor is just a write a script doctor if you get me. The Oxycontin my son has used for 4 years now and gets them off the street, the Whip It stuff must be pretty recently, My son has told me at times (because of how he feels about himself) he wants to get in his truck drive and speed into a brickwall, he's told me he has no place in this world so he shouldn't be here anymore. It breaks my heart to here these things from him, so next day I'll tell im that, his response:: Oh I wouldn't hurt myself I'm jst venting.

Dr. Z :

Okay, your son is seeing a psychiatrist, not a therapist or psychologist. Therapists and Psychologists typically will hold weekly therapy sessions to help change this addictive behavior that he has. Right now your son is severely depressed and he is using these medications and the inhalant at such a severe degree to self-medicate and numb the internal psychological pain that he is in right now. I feel for your son and I am so sorry that he is feeling this way. If he made recent threats to hurt himself, then he can be involuntarily hospitalized for up to 72 hours where he will be evaluated and treated accordingly, but he cannot be involuntarily hospitalized for his substance abuse unless he was arrested and compelled to seek drug rehabilitation.

Dr. Z :

Your son definitely has a mental health disorder and is using these substances to medicate himself, which is just making things worse for him. He needs to seek out a therapist that specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to treat his depressive feelings and his addiction. This type of therapy is the best evidence based therapy for treating depression and addiction. CBT has a premise that your symptoms are caused by negative thoughts, so if we change your thought process to be more positive and objective as well, then your symptoms will lessen.

Dr. Z :

Also I think he would also get benefit from Al-Anon meetings too because he could have the support of family and friends there as well.

Dr. Z :

The only problem is trying to convince him that he needs this treatment because according to U.S. law it cannot be forced unless he is convicted of a crime and treatment is a part of his sentence or plea deal.

Dr. Z :

This is a good resource for situations like yours, because your son has a lack of insight on mental health issues and this resource is good at providing unique techniques that may help you get through to your son.

Customer:

His current therapist IS an drug abuse doctor, only so far as to medicate him and that's it..........my son has told me just a few times not always about driving his truck into a wall, he does not say it constantly. He will NOT go voluntarily he told me, and if my current husband found out the depth of what my son is using.....well et's just say I will put my foot up his ass (my husband) right this minute he called my son a worthless piece of drug addicted weight on our lives. I looked at my husband and said : BECAUSE OF YOU!!!!!!!!

Dr. Z :

He is a drug abuse doctor and he is giving him Ambien and Xanax, two very very addictive medications, that is unheard of in this profession and negligent too. I am so sorry that your husband is being abusive to your son and just making this worse.

Dr. Z :

Unfortunately if he will not voluntarily go, he cannot be compelled. It seems like though that you are taking care of your son, so you can give him an ultimatum that either he goes to a real CBT therapist and Al-Anon meeting or you will not take care of him anymore. I usually do not like ultimatums, but sometimes these hard choices have to made for his benefit and so that he does not hurt himself further.

Customer:

I really am at my wits end. My oldest son the we're speaking of just graduated Quinnipiac University, and my husband said to him: about time, I have started setting in place to a divorce lawyer but can't pull the trigger just yet till I get my son better. I don't know what to do, I'm helpless...and mind you I am a california girl from Malibu, sexually abused my my stepfather at age 12, left home at 14 and made a good strong life for myself, so I'm a strong woman, but this is breaking me to the core.

Dr. Z :

I am from Pasadena, so i know the Malibu area well. I admire the fact that through so much adversity that you accomplished so much, that is very amazing. I agree with the divorce because your husband is making things worse, but I think your son needs to at least be on the road to recovery before the divorce for your well being as well, so you are not too stressed as I imagine you already are.

Customer:

I can't nor will I EVER tell him to get out of my home, I left at 14 years old, got my high school diploma doinga year in prision I was so full of anger. I kidnapped my kids because of the abuse the real father gave them. They did not choose to be born, I chose them to be born so it's up to me to see this through as a mother and a loving one to my boys.

Dr. Z :

I agree, I do not like the Ultimatum way of doing things, but I wanted to give you all your options. I understand, well you can try this. Say that you want to go to counseling for yourself and that you want him there as support. This would be family counseling with you and your son and then gradually his drug addiction can be addressed and that can be dealt with and possibly if he hears it from an objective viewpoint he may want to change.

Dr. Z :

Or you can also recommend these books for him and he can try self-help therapy for himself too.

Customer:

I have been seeing a therapist for years as my mother died on my kitchen floor when I moved her from California to CT, then my Ex-husband put a hit out on me (he is a biker) and I couldn't take it, so I have been seeing a theripist, and I have taken Justin with me and i have had Justin see her himself, Conflict of interest so Justin couldn't see her, thus this other therapist Justin went to and then I found out what kind of doctor this person was. I actually just called my therapist and she said to call his therapist tell him about the Whip It stuff and then his doctor may be able to helo Justin. My sons thereaist doesn't give a damn about my son. So I fel that I am at a deadend now, with my son and me not being able to help him. He doesn't think he needs help and/or he's doing these drugs and such because of my husband.......where do you go when there is a brickwall in your way? Kind of hard to move them isn't it.

Customer:

He doesn't care about himself, he wants to NOT even help himself, he will NEVER read any book at all, that's confronting a problem and he thinks he doesn't have a problem. If I just would divorce my husband he will be fine...BULLSHIT I say to him your to far gone...

Dr. Z :

I am sorry about the position you are in. It is a difficult spot and many individuals with substance abuse problems do not believe that they have a problem. I agree with telling his doctor about the Whip It and how he inhales it, and that may convince the doctor to stop or lower his addictive medication, but they cannot be stopped abruptly because they are very physically addictive and will cause severe withdrawal effects, so he needs to wean off of them slowly. Unfortunately if your son will not help himself, then your options are very limited with helping. I think his doctor is making your son worse and this is horrible to see, and I agree that even if you divorced your husband he will not get better, because these are such physically addictive medications.

Dr. Z :

I wish we had a law in the United States that would allow for the compulsion of civil involuntary treatment of severe addictions, but we do not at this time unless he gets arrested, which appears will not happen.

Dr. Z :

You can try reading the book "I'm not sick..." to get some good ideas on how to approach your son, but other than that he has unfortunately fallen through the cracks of a broken system because he has to choose to help himself, that is one of the cornerstones of substance abuse rehabilitation.

Customer:

Well thank you for taking the time with me. I will see about the CBT Therapist and hope I can help him further, and yes I agree with you we should have better laws to be able to help weather they want it or not. Thank you again

Dr. Z :

Anytime, I am always happy to help. I wish there was more I can do for your son and for you as well. I hope he sees that he needs treatment soon.My goal is to provide you with excellent service, so if you ever have any further questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me at anytime.

Dr. Z :

I can also look for some good CBT therapists in your area if you would like for me to recommend some to you

Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5194
Experience: Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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