Quote of the Week

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

"Wax Weed"
Posted by:Jenn--Saturday, February 22, 2014

Thanks to Wilma for sharing this information about wax weed. 

Experts warn parents of a new form of marijuana that is 10 times more potent than your average marijuana. It’s called butane honey (or hash) oil, BHO, wax, or dab. It is extracted from the most powerful part of the marijuana plant, and can be made using common household items. 

" . . . the amount of THC it contains makes it powerfully psychoactive. Although not life-threatening, a very large dose of BHO can lead to vomiting in addition to anxiety, paranoia and other psychological issues that can persist for days." 

The process of extracting BHO is also very dangerous. " . . . fires and explosions caused by these makeshift labs have become so common that the U.S. Fire Administration issued a warning about . . . the BHO labs’ threat to public safety." 

For more information, click here and here.

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The End of a Chapter
Posted by:Jenn--Thursday, February 13, 2014

Dylan is back in Shuman.

Dylan was home from placement for 31 days.  Apparently that’s all he could take.  Maybe he hasn’t changed (for the better) as much as we had thought.  Maybe home was the wrong place for him to be, with the lure of old friends and old habits, and a strong desire to “make up for lost time” while he was in placement.

As soon as he came home, he started bumming cigarettes from friends.  He was hooked immediately – the draw of nicotine was like a siren’s call.  We were not overly surprised by that, and thought at least it was better than weed or pills or alcohol.

Dylan met many of his Probation & home contract conditions.  He spent more time at home than we expected, generally with one friend who we think was a reasonably good influence.  He quickly found a part-time job at Hollister at the mall, although we were disappointed at how slowly they were bringing him on board.  He did relaxing teen activities such as playing basketball at the rec center, playing videogames, watching movies, texting and skyping his friends.  He was also doing some more “grown-up” activities, such as very basic cooking, doing his laundry, and doing some chores around the house to earn some spending money.  Surprisingly, he met curfew, except for the night that he was 3 hours late, and we had to pick him up in Bridgeville under questionable circumstances.  On Super Bowl Sunday, someone posted a video on his Facebook page, showing Dylan drinking a shot at a friend’s house, which Dylan denied until his P.O. pointed out that the video was public.  The P.O. placed him on 2 weeks’ house arrest.
At home, Dylan was generally busy, and did his best to avoid or ignore us most of the time.  It was difficult to get his attention to talk about his future plans.  He became an increasingly reluctant participant in family therapy.  He had occasional outbursts of anger when he didn’t get his way, at times becoming verbally abusive as he had in his past.  As the judge said at his hearing, he is a little too old to be having temper tantrums.
We had a few nice moments as a family during the past 31 days.  There were some casual conversations during car rides together, and once he even voluntarily joined us for a movie we were watching at home.  We all shared in his high school graduation day – he was happy, and we have smiling family photos to remember the day.  It was still a mixed-message day – during dinner after graduation, he was distracted and impatient, and spent half of the time outside the restaurant talking to friends on his phone.
For his father’s birthday, we enjoyed going out to a movie and dinner.  At home we sang “happy birthday” as we shared our traditional birthday cake, a chocolate chip cookie cake.  We felt like a normal family that day.  The next day, Dylan turned into a monster.  He wanted to go to a high school basketball game with his father, who said that he would take him, but only if he left his cigarettes at home since tobacco products are not permitted on school property.  Dylan insisted that was not acceptable to him, and it escalated from there.  He became demanding, unreasonable, threatening in posture and language, and verbally abusive.  We called the police, who took Dylan to Shuman.

We really thought that we could provide an environment where Dylan could succeed.  We also thought that Dylan was committed to succeeding, and that he had learned the skills to do that.  What we found is that we were working at it much harder than he was.  Not that we were perfect, or as strong as we would have liked to be.
As a wise PSST parent shared at one of our meetings, change only takes place when the pain of remaining the same is greater than the pain of the change.
We go back to court next week to find out the next step in Dylan’s journey.  We think that supervised independent living will be best for him.  As some other PSST families have learned, sometimes our teens just cannot live at home.

At this sad juncture, as we clean up Dylan’s room in preparation for the next step in his future, I find this quote comforting:

"Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end." ~ Seneca

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Mental Health, Addiction, & Free Will
Posted by:Jenn--Thursday, February 06, 2014

Thank you to Cheryl and Roxie for sending the following links: 

Cheryl sent the link to this blog, provocatively titled "Phillip Seymour Hoffman did not have choice or free will and neither do you". When forwarding the link, Cheryl said, "This is one of the best written blogs on mental health & addiction I have ever read.  It is lengthy but well worth the read and complete understanding that addicts need treatment without shame and blame."

Roxie’s recommends Acrobaddict. Roxie writes, "With the onslaught of the fentanyl-laced heroin-induced deaths in our region, and the recent overdose of iconic actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman, an eye-opening book has come to the forefront that helps non-users understand the addict and his demons entitled Acrobaddict."
Roxie reviewed the book this way: "The title is self-explanatory. The athletic author, acrobat Joe Putignano, pours out his heart and soul to describe his descent into Hell and eventual rise to Heaven as a recovering heroin addict. His strive for perfection led to him use heroin obsessively, with the inability to function on a daily basis without the substance. His sobriety eventually resulted in his career as a clean and rising star of Cirque du Soleil. He briefly talks about his book on YouTube at the link: Acrobaddict."

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An Open Letter to My Family (from the drug addict)
Posted by:Jenn--Saturday, February 01, 2014

I am a drug user. I need help.

Don’t solve my problems for me. This only makes me lose respect for you.

Don’t lecture, moralize, scold, blame, or argue, whether I’m loaded or sober. It may make you feel better, but it will make the situation worse.

Don’t accept my promises. The nature of my illness prevents me keeping them, even though I mean them at the time. Promises are only my way of postponing pain. Don’t keep switching agreements; if an agreement is made, stick to it.

Don’t lose your temper with me. It will destroy you and any possibility of helping me.

Don’t allow your anxiety for me make you do what I should do for myself.

Don’t cover up or try to spare me the consequences of my using. It may reduce the crisis, but it will make my illness worse.

Above all, don’t run away from reality as I do. Drug dependence, my illness, gets worse as my using continues. Start now to learn, to understand, to plan for recovery. Find NAR-ANON, whose groups exist to help the families of drug abusers.

I need help — from a doctor, a psychologist, a counselor, from an addict who found recovery in NARCOTICS ANONYMOUS, and from God.

Your User

Thanks to "Carol" & "Mike" for sharing this.

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