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Son Drinks Hand Sanitizer

"Mark, Your online support has been a great help to me. I have just begun the program with my 13 year old son. Unfortunately, he is in ACJC a juvenile center in Fort Wayne. He drank hand sanitizer before school and had a blood alcohol level of 1.1. He has a history of sneaking alcohol and many behavior issues for his entire school career. Counselors and therapists, doctors all disagree or do not know how to help. I am thinking he may need residential treatment, but as a single mom this is not feasible financial. I am not sure what the court is going to recommend at this point. My question is : do you know of a treatment program that might fit his profile? I have spent many hours searching and can't find what might fit him. Most alcohol programs are for adults or older teens. I also know that the there are many underlying issues, but don't know what to tackle first.....depression, anger, social behavior, alcohol. They are all tied together. Thank you for any input!"

I can tell you that the 'alcohol-abuse problem' will have to be addressed first. It would be easier - and a lot less painful in the long run - to go beat your head against a brick wall than tackle multiple problems before getting the alcohol issue resolved.

If you haven't done so already, get him in to see a psychiatrist for a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation. I'm guessing that his father abused drugs and/or alcohol as well. If so, there are special 'addiction-risks' for your son (as evidenced by the bizarre sanitizer episode).

Once he gets a few months of 'clean-and-sober' time under his belt, your son can then begin to work on the other issues. And yes, he may very well need 'in-patient' treatment for awhile, but most facilities will work with you on a sliding scale (i.e., payment commensurate with your income).

Mark Hutten, M.A.

Online Parent Support: Help for Parents

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