Author Topic: Parent testimony re. DAYTOP placed on Wiki  (Read 888 times)

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Offline Ursus

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Parent testimony re. DAYTOP placed on Wiki
« on: December 13, 2008, 02:26:00 AM »
Whoa! I happened to be on Wikipedia for related reasons, and--due to my proverbial mental twitches--typed in "Daytop" ...and got the following entry. This article is "uncategorized" and "was last modified on 7 December 2008."

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"Daytop" is a drug addiction treatment organization with both outpatient and residential facilities. Until recently I didn't know anything about these places, how they worked or what they did. I got a fast education last year when I got a phone call to pick my son up at the police station. He wasn't arrested, but he was with a group of boys who had drugs on them. The police released him to my care, but suggested I get help for him. I knew his grades had gone down, and he didn't always tell me where he was going, but I thought that was just normal adolescence, that he'd adjust. This put everything in a whole different light. I looked closely at how he'd changed over the last few months, and realized that, although it happened slowly, there were big differences in my son, and maybe I should do something. So I started my education about the different kinds of treatment available. I had no idea there were so many people with problems related to drugs. I say it that way because a lot of them weren't what I expected. Although there are a lot of people who go to rehab from jail or instead of jail, there were also a lot like my son, just starting to get in trouble, with problems ranging from drinking or marijuana, to what they call "dual diagnosis" - those who have a real mental health problem, and use drugs to cope with it. The length of the programs run from 30 days to 18 months. Some of the ones for teenagers are outpatient after school, some a full day outpatient, and some residential. I was glad my son didn't need to go to a hospital for detox first, and I didn't think he needed to go to a residential place. I chose Daytop because they have a school right at the center. He would be away from those other boys (who he met at school) but still living at home. For the first couple of months it was working. My son was mad at me, but he started doing his homework and the teacher told me he was progressing. Then I caught him sneaking out at night. Another good thing at Daytop is their Family Association. They meet once a week. When I freaked out I called a couple of other mothers I met there, and they calmed me down. I met with my son's counselor, and the director came to the meeting, too. It was coming up to school break time, and the kids had more time, and they were coming around more. I don't get home from work until seven, and it was just too much temptation for my son not to go and hang out with his old friends. The Daytop people wanted to send him to their residential program, but I didn't want to. I kept thinking of my son being with hard-core addicts, even though they told me he would be with other boys his age. Anyway, he kept sneaking out of the house, and I couldn't quit my job to watch over him. Not that I should have to, he just turned 17. Some of the Family Association mothers told me their kids were at a residential center, and it was pretty nice. No bars on the windows or anything. One of them had a son just 14 years old there! I still didn't want him over two hours away, but I didn't have much choice. I was more afraid of him turning into a real drug addict. I couldn't visit him right away, because he had to "earn the privilege" of having visitors. The program is really structured. The kids go to school, and they have some kind of group or individual therapy every day, but they're also responsible for keeping their rooms neat, and helping with the chores around the "house." They call everybody at the facility their "family" which I didn't like at first because I thought about cults. But when I did go to visit, it wasn't like that at all, no weird rituals or anything. Just a bunch of teenagers who had to take responsibility (a really big phrase there) for their actions, and earn the privileges of the more enjoyable things like watching movies, playing games, and even visiting with their families. I can't say I'm happy about any of this. No one should have to go through this - my son or me. But my son is turning into a mature young man, he's making plans for his future. It looks like he will even graduate high school with the rest of his class. I got a lot of support at the Family Association, and even made a couple of real friends. No, I'm not happy my son made a detour on his way in life, but all things considered, it's not so bad. He's alive, he's healthy, and I'm sane. Maybe I'm ahead of the game.

DAYTOP WEBPAGE
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