Quote of the Week

"If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way" ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Let's count the things to be thankful about.
Posted by:Lloyd Woodward--Thursday, November 26, 2009

Your teenager may not be doing as well as you'd hoped he would be doing by now. Or, perhaps even when it appears that your teenager has turned the corner you are still harboring tremendous fears about relapse or about him her harming himself. Let's look at the positives for a moment.

First: Has your teenager obviously turned the corner and perhaps working a good 12-step program? That's the number one thing to be thankful for. It feels like an abosulte miracle when it happens and the change can be powerful and remarkable. Perhaps your teenager has really turned the corner and is not relying on a 12-step program. OK, we wish he was working a good 12-step program but we can be really thankful if he is off drugs and doing well in life.

Two: Is you teenager yet to make the decision to change himself but he is clean and sober today, perhaps in a drug treatment program or halfway house? That's a lot to be thankful for too and the miracle can happen at any time. Often it seems like Drug Treatment Professionals are really in the business of keeping the client drug-free and as safe as possible until the miracle happens.

Three: Is your teenage clearly not ready to change his life but he is experiecing the consequences for his choice to actively pursue a life of drug seeking? And is he still alive? Then let's be thankful that whatever those consequences are that they might help your teenager to see the folly of the path he has chosen and, once again, let's hope for the miracle. Be careful not to rescue from the consequences as they may be the real treatment that is available for your teenager.

Four: Have you changed because of your struggles with your teenager's drug proplem. Have you found growth at PSST or Naranon meetings or Brige To Hope meetings? Have you found support. Have you been able to reaize that your happiness does not hang on the success or failure of your teenagers? Then you have a lot to be thankful for too.

Remember, that 12-step rooms are jammed with miracle-stories of people really deeply immersed in addicition who find a way to arrest this fatal disease.

Happy Thanksgiving to all PSST and PSST blog readers; may you soon find even more reasons to be thankful. Thanks to each and everyone one of you for your support at PSST meetings and for following this blog.

Please feel free to post what you are thankful for this Holiday Season as a comment on this post or email your post to lloyd.woodward@court.allegheny.pa.us. Many parents like to use a pen-name or post anonymously.

Image on card is from CreataCard Gold, which I own and am licensed to use.

Read More......

Ever wonder what those pills are that you found in your teenagers bookbag?
Posted by:Lloyd Woodward--Thursday, November 26, 2009

Ever find pills at home and wonder what your teenager is taking?
Look up the pills yourself on Drugs.com. This is a way to look up
the very popular perscription drugs but may not help to identify street drugs like escstasy. To go to the source of the picture on the right click Pill Identification Tool provided by WebMD.

If you need to look up Ecstasy pills try Ecstasydata.org. I like this website becasue each pill pictured gives you the lab test result. MDMA is Ecstasy; however if you page through you will see that everything teens think is Ecstasy is not. Methamphetamines and other substances are also found.

Or if you want to link to pictures of street drugs and other paraphernaila try The National Institute on Chemical Dependency

Type rest of the post here

Read More......

Candyland Post #2
Posted by:Lloyd Woodward--Sunday, November 22, 2009

In my first research on this term (see below) it appears that I missed a common reference to Candyland meaning trips with Salvia Divinorum. Like all drug terms the meanings often vary between users and localities. Clearly, a trip to Candyland refers to a drug experience of some sort but without more information it may be difficult to say exactly what drug is being used.

Here is a quote from a drug user reporting on his experience on Salvia Divinorum: "I started to feel the usual effects that come with (smoked) salvia; a swirling that I best describe as someone grabbing my brain and spinning it in my head, an alternate gravity pulling me (like being in a tilt-o-whirl and sticking your head out in the center), and a distance from myself, not physically, but mentally. I looked around and my eyes got caught on it, the door. I was in a winding hallway with candycanes, gumdrops, and all sorts of sweets. The last thought that 'I' had was, 'Whoa, candyland!' I was being guided gently and slowly through the aforementioned hallway, passing little pink creatures doing various things, such as building a moose (yes, I know, weird) and flying around sprinkling powder on things. All of a sudden I was at a door guarded by two men who were, seemingly, made of candycanes."

Part of the attractiveness of this drug for teenagers on Probation is that it is difficult to urine-screen for it.

I am going to link to several posts where drug users are referring to Salvia Divinorum's experience as a "trip to candyland" apparently because the experience itself entails halucinations that make one think of a trip to candyland.
Journey To Candyland by Dion.

Baby Zig in Candyland

Read More......

Posted by:Lloyd Woodward--Saturday, November 21, 2009

Candyland: "Many users suck on lollipops (or pacifiers) to block the teethgrinding that E can cause." E being Ecstasy- the drug teens do at raves. If you follow that link look to the bottom-middle of the second page of the pamphlet. Apparently, there is also a movie being considered or in production using that name. It features teens on drugs. Turn your volume up and click the link to the movie trailer on the right.

Here is another good link to the movie described as "Crystal Meth and the trip a group of teens takes when they discover the drug (sometimes it doesn't end up so well.)

There is also a song called Candyland. It sounds more like it's about sex than drugs until you realize that it's posted on a "Rave Radio" website:

Author: Aqua

Title: Lollipop (Candyman)

Posted On: 2002-08-28 00:00:00

Posted By: » El_Leader_Maximo

I Am The Candyman Coming From Bountyland
I Am The Candyman Coming From Bountyland

I Wish That You Were My Lollipop
Sweet Things I Will Never Get Enough
If You Show Me To The Sugar Tree
Will You Give Me A Sodapop For Free

Come With Me Honey
I'm Your Sweet Sugar Candyman
Run Like The Wind Fly With Me To Bountyland
Bite Me I'm Yours If You're Hungry Please Understand
This Is The End Of The Sweet Sugar Candyman

Oh My Love I Know You Are My Candyman
And Oh My Love Your Word Is My Command
Oh My Love I Know You Are My Candyman
And Oh My Love Let Us Fly To Bountyland

You Are My Lollipop Sugar Sugar Top
You Are My Lollipop Sugar Sugar Top

I Wish That I Were A Bubble Yum
Chewing On Me Baby All Day Long
I Will Be Begging For Sweet Delight
Until You Say I'm Yours Tonight

Come With Me Honey
I'm Your Sweet Sugar Candyman
Run Like The Wind Fly With Me To Bountyland
Bite Me I'm Yours If You're Hungry Please Understand
This Is The End Of The Sweet Sugar Candyman

Oh My Love I Know You Are My Candyman
And Oh My Love Your Word Is My Command
Oh My Love I Know You Are My Candyman
And Oh My Love Let Us Fly To Bountyland

Oh My Love I Know You Are My Candyman
And Oh My Love Your Word Is My Command
Oh My Love I Know You Are My Candyman
And Oh My Love Let Us Fly To Bountyland

I Am The Candyman Coming From Bountyland
I Am The Candyman Coming From Bountyland

Oh My Love I Know You Are My Candyman
And Oh My Love Your Word Is My Command
Oh My Love I Know You Are My Candyman
And Oh My Love Let Us Fly To Bountyland

You Are My Lollipop Sugar Sugar Top
You Are My Lollipop Sugar Sugar Top

Read More......

Sally, Rocco, & Cisco: the story continues...
Posted by:Lloyd Woodward--Thursday, November 19, 2009

I can still hear the deep, male voice of the stranger on the phone and his words echo in my mind. "We have your son, he is at Auberle, your son is safe. If you have any questions please call this number...."

That was a month ago and we have had some positive changes in Cisco's behavior since then but it took three stays at Shuman (one of which was combined with that stay at Auberle) before we saw a turn around.

Cisco was taken to Shuman the first time because he had a dirty urine screening while attending Gateway Rehab. He was 130 days clean and relapsed on marajauna. The courts allowed him to come home to us but he was now on home detention.
Cisco was placed at Shuman the second time because he left our home in the wee hours of the night even though he was on home detention. My husband and I believe it is necessary to show Cisco that there are consequences for violating rules so we drove him to Shuman immediately. Never the less, I really wanted him back home so I wrote down 11 ways that Cisco was positively working his recovery program. The hearing officer ruled that Cisco could return home as soon as he was set up with an electronic monitoring device. Rocco was too involved with a big project at work and could not attend this hearing. I didn't mind going alone since I was driven by this notion that Cisco should continue making progress at home where he belongs . But now I was hoping I was right and I was sweating it out.

It took us about a week to get the phone line set up for the home detention monitor. There was no guarantee that it would keep Cisco from going out at night but we still thought it was the best solution. Rocco and I picked Cisco up on a Sunday. Cisco was happy to be out in the cold fresh air and talked about his stay and about returning to school and his recovery program. He had been doing well in school but now had some catching up to do. We were beginning to see a positive change in attitude but there was yet another episode in store.

It was only a couple of days before Cisco chose to violate our rule and visit a friend after school. He understood that he was supposed to come directly home from school but he did not expect his dad and I would be home early that day. He got angry when we questioned his whereabouts. This short visit to his friend probably would have been dismissed by us if he had been honest about where he was. But we quickly realized after making a few phone calls that he had lied. Now we were wondering where he really had been. Cisco was sitting at the computer listening to his loud music when Rocco calmly asked him questions to get to the bottom of this. Cisco told him to go away and turned up the volume trying to end the discussion. Rocco pulled the plug out of the computer and began to take it away. Cisco got up and pushed him up against the wall. Rocco asked me to call the 9-1-1 and I did. Cisco was still angry when the police arrived but calmed himself down. After we consulted with his P.O. he found himself once again going back to Shuman without much resistance, this time in the back of a police car. This was his third violation in less than a month and this time we thought that there was no doubt that Cisco would be put in placement.

We spent that evening preparing ourselves for this. But to our surprised Cisco's P.O. called the day before his hearing and asked us if we wanted Cisco to be put in placement or to come home. Since the altercation was against him I felt that Rocco should ‘call the shots' and I told him I would back up his choice 100%.
It really did not take Rocco long to decide that it would be best to try to convince the court that Cisco should be home. Cisco had for the most part been positively working his recovery program and following his consent agreement. This time we added three stipulations that Cisco must make in order to come back home.

1) He would continue to follow all the rules of his original contract.

2) The computer and all his music on it would be removed from the house.

3) Cisco is on a Consent Decree and we asked that he would admit on record to a misdemeanor from this spring (This was not part of his original consent agreement). This needed to be done for two reasons. A) Cisco needed to publicly admit that he did something wrong. B) If it is ever necessary to go back to court and have Cisco placed there is no need to prove anything thru a hearing because the courts have his admission on record.

Once again we got our wish and the morning of Cisco’s hearing we met with both the public defender and Cisco’s P.O. The Public Defender insisted that Cisco should not admit to anything even to the point of going into placement. The P.O. told us to stick with our conviction that without an admission that Cisco could not come home. This chess match continued until the time that we were being seated in the hearing room. The Public Defender finally gave in and asked us what Cisco would need to admit to. After getting Cisco’s concurrence and some discussions with the Hearing Officer, followed by a stern lecture and a warning that his next violation would be sent directly to court, Cisco was allowed to come home with us. Straight from court this time!

In the past, Cisco felt that we were just waiting for, even setting him up to fail and that we really did not want him to live with us. But Rocco and I both had our chance in court to advocate for Cisco and to let him know that we want him home as long as he follows some basic rules.

Along with all the recovery things Cisco has been doing in the past; Cisco is also being polite and less self centered. He is acting more responsible at home and in school. He is participating in many more family activities and now it is obvious that he CARES about himself and those who he loves.

When a family member changes it sets the whole family in motion and now both Rocco and I need to change our ways. We must still stand very firm and define clear boundaries for him but we need to start trusting him a little bit more each day. Our family has evolved into something finer.

Editor Note: You can read all of Sally's posts to date:

#1: Message from PSST parent: 8-30-09

#2: Thanks for empowering us. 9-12-09

#3: Sally finds the right tools to get the job done: 9-15-09

#4: Update from Sally: 9-26-09

#5: Relapse Takes Mom for a Ride on an Emotional Roller Coaster 10-17-09.

#6: Sally, Rocco, & Cisco: To Be Continued. 10-26-09

Also Rocco posted this Learning to Unlearn 10-22-09

Read More......

Some scenarios from our Wexford PSST and...
Posted by:Lloyd Woodward--Monday, November 16, 2009

...let's look for the agreeing statements in each scenario. Some of this is the way it happened at PSST and some of it is just inspired by what we did.

Scenario 1
Son: Mom, it's your fault if I break up with my girlfriend cause you are always talking to her- keep your nose out of my business.
Mom: Yes, you're right- I do talk talk to your girlfriend a lot and I guess she and I have a close relationship.
Son: Well I don't like that. It's your fault if we break up!
Mom: You never know what we're talking about do you?
Son: It's not your place to talk to my girlfriend at all.
Mom: Well it is unusual that a mom and her son's boyfriend talk like we do.
Son: Yes, very.
Mom: You know, I wouldn't be surprised if she and I stay friends even after you and her break up!

Scenario 2
Son: You put me in here. Its' your fault I'm going away cause you told my PO and he is the worst PO- he's much worse than all my friend's POs.
Mom: Yes, that phone call I made to Lloyd was very important for me wasn't it?
Son: Yeah, important if you just wanted to send me away.
Mom: And you're right too; I wanted to see you get more treatment.
Son: See that is so wrong. No other parents would have done that. I don't even have a problem. I was just using a little bit. You just wanted me to get sent away.
Mom: Yes, I wanted you to get more treatment.
Son: This place isn't doing anything for me.
Mom: No, I guess you haven't got much out of this place yet.
Son: I'm not going to get anything out of it; you just wasted my time and everyone's time up here! I'm 18 now! You have to realize that I'm a man now.
Mom: Yes, you are getting older fast.
Son: I don't even believe how you did me in. Even Dad says you screwed me. Why didn't you just let me go live with him?
Mom: You're right. Your Dad would've handled things differently.
Son: Any parent would have given me a break- except you! You're a bitch.
Mom: I guess I can be a bitch, huh?
Son: yeah and you got me sent away.
Mom: Well just so you know- I would do it all over again just to keep you safe.
Son: I was only doing it a little.
Mom: Nevertheless, I would do it all over again just to keep you safe.
Son: You're crazy and you and my PO are the only reasons I'm here. You didn't even give me a chance- I was only home for two weeks.
Mom: Regardless, I would do it again- and again - and again.
Son: You're just trying to make me mad now.
Mom: It's easy for you to blame everyone else.
Son: Cause it's your fault.
Mom: Nevertheless, as long as you persist in blaming others, it's better if you are in treatment where it's safe.
Son: It's not my fault.
Mom: Nevertheless, I'm just glad that you are here.
Son: Why, this place isn't doing anything for me
Mom: You might be able to learn how not to blame other people.
Son: NO! I'm not learning that either.
Mom: You're so right. You haven't learned that yet.

Scenario 3:
Son: Mom, if you would just quit nagging at me I think I could be OK, but nooooo, you just can't shut up can you?
Mom: You are so tired of hearing me say the same things over and over and over.
Son: Yeah, I really am. Could you just shut up? please?
Mom: How about if you write down the things that you already know that you don't want me to nag you about- then I'd know you know that stuff already.
Son: No! I'm done with the lists. I'm not writing anything for else for you.
Mom: Why should you write a list when you already know that stuff and you don't feel like writing it down. For example, what's one thing that I should stop nagging you about because you already know it?
Son: What?
Mom: Just give me one example of something I keep naggin you about that that you already know, so I can stop nagging.
Son: About my friends.
Mom: OK, so I'm nagging about old people, places, and things and you already know about that so I can shut up already?
Son: Yes! I already know who I can hang out with and who not too. Some of my old friends are OK now. They cut way back or even quit using drugs and I can still hang with them. They're coming over today cause I wrote them that I was going to have this one-day home pass and don't start nagging me about it; I don't want to hear it.
Mom: OK, well that's important. I do nag a little.
Son: Yes, that's what I'm saying - I can't believe you finally hear me.
Mom: It is surprising that I'm hearing how you feel about the nagging. I agree.
Son: Yes, so just stop.
Mom: I'm glad that you are so open about this. And you did a good job standing up to me right now.
Son: I did?
Mom: Yep. You see this home pass is all about trying to see if you've changed and your counselor and I need to know if you've changed or not. It's great that you're so up front with us about this. I give you a lot of credit- you don't go behind my back- you stand right up to me and tell me where you stand.
Son: Yeah, I'm a man about it.
Mom: You are a man about it. You stand up for what you believe. I've always liked that about you. You don't even care that the consequences for violating the old people, places and things rule might mean that you don't get to come home again for a while- you still are going to stand up for what you believe in.
Son: What the {blankedy blank} are you talking about?
Mom: Well, your counselor agreed with me, that if you can't follow these home pass rules, you won't need to come again very soon- probably not for the holidays- but we'll see.
Son: What that's {blankedy blank}! I been gone way to long already! Just chill. He won't even ask about that stuff.
Mom: You'd like me to keep that as our secret, huh?
Son: You wouldn't screw up my next pass Mom! You want me home for Xmas as bad as I want to come home.
Mom: You're so right! I want you home for Xmas maybe even more than you want to come home!
Son: Exactly!
Mom: And it's going to be hard for me to report to your counselor that you refuse to follow the old people places and things rule- you're right about that too.
Son: Ha ha nice try. You ain't saying nuttin- you're not like that!
Mom: It's hard to believe that I can change. Sometimes I surprise myself. Nevertheless, I'm not keeping your secrets anymore! But the good news is- you're right about me nagging too much! It doesn't help! I'm going to try to quit or at least cut down on the nagging. You know the rules and I think you know the consequences, so it's on you Son, not me. If you got any questions, let me know. I told your counselor I'd call and check in at 5:00 O'clock so I got a few hours before my check-in, so let me know what you decide.
Son: Mom! You don't check in- I make the check-in calls!
Mom: Usually only the teenager checks in but I suggested to your counselor that I check in too and he thought that was a good idea.
[mom walks away]

The meeting:
This was a really good meeting. Thanks to all the folks who showed up to support PSST. About Eleven parents showed up and everyone had great things to contribute. One Mom brought her daughter who does not have a drug problem. She did a fantastic role-play, where she played her brother! Very challenging for me to handle her because she was so powerful. And at the end of group, in her final statement she cautioned our PSST parents not to neglect the brothers and sisters of the addict who don't have a drug problem. Here, here! That was so well-said and hopefully, we will see a post from her soon!

We also had some veteran parents come back to tell us how things are going! We love seeing parents helping parents.

Out Holiday meeting will be the first week of December at Eastern. The doors will open at 8:00 AM and please bring a dish if you like. I'll be putting a post up about it soon and not only is it our holiday meeting but it is our Six-Year Anniversary!

Read More......


This layout (edited by Ken) made by and copyright cmbs.