The story, although short and true, is also all to common. Seth first started with simple over-the-counter medications like soma and vicodine and progressed to oxycotin. Why not, at $5 a pill, and readily available at school and from his friends, they were easy. No mess, nothing to hide, and the "Narc's" at school would never know. That was less than two years ago.
As parents, our first real knowledge came when Seth was suspended from school for assaulting a teacher after she took his cell phone. As that evening wore on we realized he wasn't acting right and was very violent. 911, and a trip to the hospital (and a couple of days at Mesa Vista) we discovered that Seth had been using up to 5 somas at a time, (we had no idea at that point).
We worked with our primary doctor, our insurance carrier, and psychiatrist. We had him home schooled and tried to monitor his friends.
In December of 2009 Seth was arrested at the El Cajon Trolley Station for the use and distribution of heroin by El Cajon Police. While trying to book him into juvenile hall, he was refused because he tested positive for drugs (I would have thought that was a no brainer, but...) and was released back to his mother. He was just two weeks from his 18th birthday.
In February of 2010, Seth was enrolled in a rehab ranch in Ramona, Ca where he spent 3 days before he walked away from there, and hid out for an additional three days before returning home. Now as an adult (well, and 18 year old), he had the legal right to walk out, and we had no recourse to make him stay.
In April of 2010, Seth was arrested for burglary and spent nine days in jail (which was actually a good thing in the fact that he was detoxed because of it).
Now is when the family's frustration really starts to grow. With cases pending in both the juvenile and criminal courts, it was hoped that Seth would be sentenced to probation and mandated to a rehab for a period of time (even if it would cost the family). Instead, the juvenile court kept putting off his case to wait and see what the criminal court would do, and the criminal court gave him probation and community service, but no mandatory rehab.
As a condition of his probation, Seth had to do community service, for which he had to report to the El Cajon Trolley Center (ring a bell) to be "picked up" by San Diego County Probation officers to be taken out to do trash removal or other assigned tasks for the day.
Seth was dropped off Monday May 17 at 07:30 by his mother at the El Cajon Trolley Center where she saw the Probation vans waiting. Two hours later she was contacted by Seth to be told he wasn't allowed to board the van because he was shaking, and the officer suspected something. Seth was not tested, or taken into custody at that time (a serious issue).
Mom picked him up at 09:30 and realized he was agitated and argumentative. They drove home where he stated, and she agreed, he need to get some sleep.
After checking on him several times, and finally deciding that it was time to get up (at approximately 3pm) mom realized she couldn't awaken Seth, and rolled him over to discover his lips and nail beds were blue. 911 was called, and emergency responders provided medical assistance and transported to Grossomont Hospital, which brings us back to the beginning of this Story.