The Doctors discuss the case of a father who bound and gagged his daughter in an attempt to get her to rehab in Mexico. The child, who reportedly was addicted to meth, is now in protective custody and the father faces charges of kidnapping and child endangerment. We welcome chemical dependency counselor Alexis Haines and psychologist and attorney Lisa Strohman to discuss this troubling case.
Is this an example of abuse or a father doing his best with an allegedly addicted child?
Alexis says she considers the father's actions abusive, though she acknowledges he might have had the best of intentions. She feels being tied up and gagged would be extremely traumatizing to the young girl, especially someone who was under the influence.
Lisa says the father exercised very poor judgment with his actions, but says she does not feel the family needs a legal challenge on top of what they appear to be dealing with. She questions if the case would ever be prosecuted because of this. She notes this case highlights what lengths people will go to in order to receive treatment for addiction outside of America, where the cost is usually significantly less than a rehab facility stateside.
Alexis says often the approach of letting a young addict "hit rock bottom" in order to avoid codependent dynamics can mean the young person dies. Instead, she suggests parents need to reach out to a counselor or treatment center in order to find the proper type of care needed for a younger addict.
"It takes professionals, as a parent [of an addict] you're not a professional," she says. Alexis shares that her repeated arrests led to her getting treatment as Los Angeles had a drug diversion program in place. "It saved my life," she says.
Lisa agrees and explains in many cases the best method to get an addicted teen help is for the young person to be arrested, which will get them into the system and possibly the help they need.
The entire panel agrees that professional help is vital when it comes to dealing with teen addiction.
*If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction please call the confidential and free National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP or visit their website.