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Default 07-25-2004, 10:02 PM

Times Staff Writer

This story ran on on Sunday, July 25, 2004 12:03 AM CDT

Seventeen-year-old Jay looks more like your average teen than your average drug addict.

He's actually both.

Jay, a good student who enjoys golfing with his dad and listening to his record collection, started doing drugs when he was 13. It began with smoking marijuana with friends and slowly grew to include alcohol, prescription and over-the-counter drugs.

He eventually discovered "Triple C" -- slang for the over-the-counter medication Coricidin HBP Cough & Cold, which can produce hallucinations and a sense of disassociation. Jay and his parents said it's a common drug used by teens.

Jay, who has been clean for about seven months, lives at Campagna Academy in Schererville, where he receives substance abuse counseling.

He and his family's names have been changed to protect their identities. They said they want people to learn from their experiences because so many parents do not realize their children could be drug addicts.

"If you look at the profile of him, he doesn't fit it," his mother said. "He's not your average druggie."

Getting hooked

Blond-haired and boyish-looking, Jay grew up in a middle-class, blue-collar family.

Snapshots of various family members decorate the refrigerator doors -- reminders of time spent together as a family. His parents have been married for 25 years. His father coached him in baseball since T-ball; they always watched the World Series together.

He heard about marijuana from his older brother and his brother's friends. Curiosity led him to try it.

"It was seriously the greatest day I ever had," he said. "I laughed at every little thing and it wasn't a fake laugh. From the first time on I was an addict."

Smoking marijuana made the brothers closer.

"If I do something, I do it to the fullest -- model cars or running track or weed," he said. "When you smoke weed, you are looking for people who smoke weed. You just know. You know who is the addict and who is not."

He started doing Triple C on Halloween about four years ago. After that, he popped Triple C like Tic-Tacs just about every day. He sometimes stayed up 15 or 20 hours playing video games, enjoying his high.

Triple C could be purchased at just about any store that sells over-the-counter drugs, he said. The hardest part about obtaining them was finding the energy to trek to the store, he said.

His drug use, he said, contributed to his depression. One night suicidal thoughts lead him to take a bunch of pills. He watched Nick at Night all night -- the whole time believing he would die.

His family sent him to a behavioral unit at St. Margaret Mercy Healthcare Centers in Dyer. He also tried in-house therapy, which included regular drug tests. Both were unsuccessful. He passed drug tests by switching the drugs he took or when he took them, or by turning in someone else's urine or using toilet water.

"I had no desire to stop," he said.

Police got involved in December when, during a verbal fight with his mother, she called the police. He landed in the Lake County Juvenile Center, and then Campagna Academy, which has a drug rehabilitation program.

Finally he admitted he needed to change.

"I see my mom, she would not sleep at night," he said. "She never gave up on me. I knew it was my last stop."

Jay said he hit a low point when he found himself on his knees searching for little bits of marijuana in the carpet "because you need another hit."

"I wanted death. I wanted an easy way out."

Slipping away

At first, Jay's parents didn't recognize their son's drug problem. He stayed out of trouble and didn't miss many days of school.

Slowly his behavior changed. He slept more, stopped talking to his family and didn't care about how he looked. Suspicious, his parents became spies in their own home. They started checking everything regularly -- from his movie and CD cases to coat pockets and door frames.

"You would be suspicious of it but you just couldn't nail it," she said. "We never caught (Jay) with anything."

They found things like marijuana seeds and empty Nyquil bottles, but Jay said they didn't belong to him. His parents kept a mental log of what they found so they could try to catch him.

"You have to give them so much trust and when you start noticing he is doing stuff, you lose all kinds of trust," his father said.

"It is hard to get that trust back because you don't believe a word they say," his mother said.

Other parents didn't help because they didn't want to admit their own children may be using drugs, she said.

Life became a roller coaster of good and bad days. They barely slept at night because they worried about Jay doing drugs while they were in bed. The parents described the last year as "pure hell."

"You try to handle the situation at home," his father said. "There just isn't information on what to do when you are in this situation."

They found a support group for parents with aggressive teens. The group, they said, showed them they weren't alone. They believed they needed to go through the steps to find the right type of help. Still, nothing works if the person doesn't want to quit drugs, they said.

"Now we're more aware of what is available," his mother said. "You don't see the whole picture. ... He had to be somewhere where he was isolated from it."

Working together

Recently home on a weekend pass from Campagna Academy, Jay walked around his house pointing out different hiding spots for his drugs. He used places like under the ceiling tiles and behind the top of the TV stand.

He said he wants to stay clean, but sometimes feels tempted. One time on a weekend pass he almost sniffed a bottle of glue, but he said God helped him avoid the temptation.

Jay said he has developed a better relationship with his brother. They can now go bowling or play pool together without doing drugs. He said it sometimes gets difficult to come home on the weekends and adapt again to family life.

"With ease I can be back in my old ways," he said. "Yeah I wish I could be out there. It was fun. But when you look back, it brings chaos."

His family also visits him regularly at Campagna Academy. He needs the structure and the 24-hour supervision, his mother said. His next court date is in September.

In the meantime, he's attending classes and hopes to graduate in January and go to college.

He seems more alive each time they see him, his father and mother said, but it is still difficult to say goodbye when a visit ends.

"I miss him," his mother said, crying.

Story Here:
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toshiro Offline
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Default 07-25-2004, 11:37 PM

Seems like they should also start worrying about their other son...

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cindowsxp Offline
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Default 07-26-2004, 01:05 AM

HAHA, I didn't realize that, I only realized that the guy caved in to their parents, then seems to me like he is just giving them a sob story so he can get back to dexing when he moves out. I mean, his life must have been horrible not missing many days of school, watching games with his father, man, that life MUST be hell! Im glad they conformed him to a religious kid now. God helps him do alot I imagine.

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Mista V Offline
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Default 07-26-2004, 01:22 AM

Coricidin?? Nyquil?? Glue??

This kid's a moron.

Clouds are so crucial.
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DiarYofaMadmaN Offline
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Default 07-26-2004, 02:24 AM

watched too many bradybunch shows on nick-at-night ehhhh.....

Noxious, sully dolour
Is not the sentiment upon which we feed
But precocious consciousness
Draws out a morbid nous to bleed
Chiselling out seething words
Which cut deep down to the bone
Always legible
So be it on our own headstone...
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Paralysis Offline
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Default 07-26-2004, 06:05 AM

What is his court date for?

"paralysis (wow, what spelling)" - Hunter S. Thompson on his first mescaline trip, in the short story 'Mescalito'.
"If you die, and you're in debt, you win." - Ben Creed
"Why do people do drugs anymore? When reality is such a hallucination." - Lewis Black
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Monoliath Offline
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Default 07-26-2004, 06:11 AM

When are parents going to stop blaming everything except themselves for their children’s behavior?

If anyone desires to do anything, they will do it, no matter what. Even if the desire starts at a young age and is not able to manifest itself in the physical realm until a later stage, it will be done. Parents need to realize this and face the fact, that the problem is not the drug, but the individual who is taking it (if for the wrong reasons) Blaming all this shit on drugs is dealing with the problem the wrong way around.

What do they want to happen? I mean how much idiocy are we going have to eat from ignorant parents who are too fucking lazy and negligent to pay attention to their kids, about how drugs have 'captured' their children? How many more sad stories are we going to have to read about the kid next door dying from STUPID SHIT before someone backhand slaps parents across the country and changes their perspective on child-rearing?

If your kid is going to be moronic and start eating shit and toying around with drugs without doing adequate research upon each substance, it is no fault of anybodies except their own when the repercussions arise. I'm not trying to sound like a giant prick about this, but I'm sick to death of people NOT owning up to the responsibilities taken on when one chooses to engage in such activities.

If your child is too young to even be ‘dabbling’ in the alchemy of substance usage, then you as a parent should be watching them, and taking care to educate them about what is out there. If they are of age, you can do nothing except make them aware of everything that you possibly can, and then let them do their own thing, it’s going to happen if they want it to anyways…the ‘drugs’ hold NO responsibility what so ever in ANY given scenario. This shit is not for everyone and that needs to be realized as well.

I mean…how many pedestrians will have to be killed in one year before someone starts bitching about how ‘evil and dangerous’ cars are? It’s the same concept of the idiotic reasoning behind what parents belt out when this kind of thing happens.

People die more often, not from doing 'drugs' but of ignorance.

End rant...:\

"As the bonds of flesh are broken, the world becomes apparent"
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Migbee Offline
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Default 07-26-2004, 09:03 AM

Jay said he hit a low point when he found himself on his knees searching for little bits of marijuana in the carpet "because you need another hit."

The active ingredient in some common cold and cough medications is dextromethorphan or DXM. That's what makes kids high.
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hitmang11 Offline
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Default 07-26-2004, 09:42 AM

Why is it that a person has to be a fucking druggie just cause they like smoking pot?

<span style=\'font-size:14pt;line-height:100%\'>~I TrIppEd oN a CLoUd aNd FeLL 8 MileS HigH~</span>
<span style=\'font-size:8pt;line-height:100%\'><span style=\'font-family:Arial\'>
Every time you drive your car to the store, that's a calculated risk. You know that there is the possibility you could get in a fatal accident during the trip. You weigh the risk vs the reward and decide to drive anyway. Drug use should be considered in the same manner. It certainly isn't for everybody. But whether or not it is for you should be a personal decision, not a decision made by governing authorities. They don't tell us not to drive our cars, so why do they try and tell us not to do drugs? </span></span>

<span style=\'font-size:10pt;line-height:100%\'><span style=\'color:blue\'>"Each of us is simultaneously the beneficiary of his cultural heritage and the victim and slave of his culture's narrowness. What I believe is worse is that few of us have any realization of this situation. Like almost all people in all cultures at all times, we think our local culture is the best and other peoples are uncivilized or savages." </span></span>
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toshiro Offline
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Default 07-26-2004, 10:56 AM

Originally posted by 420shroom420@Jul 26 2004, 08:03 AM
Jay said he hit a low point when he found himself on his knees searching for little bits of marijuana in the carpet "because you need another hit."
heh :P

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