. I am writing not as an expert, but as the mother of "one of the five of six successful applications" who are referred to in the article.
All I can say is thank God for this legislation. My 15-year-old son was spiralling out of control. He was addicted to various drugs, including cocaine and ecstasy. He became a danger to himself and others, including immediate family. Although very intelligent, he dropped out of high school. He was gone for days at a time and we did not know where he was, who he was with and what he was doing.
We are a loving family with normal rules and we have always known where our kids are and who they are with. Unfortunately, our son no longer respected our rules nor was he prepared to abide by them. We tried to get help for him, only to find out there was nothing we could do, except watch our son deteriorate, physically, mentally and emotionally. Even though he was only 15 and in a drug haze, the situation was such that he had to make the decision himself that he needed to get help. He did not want help and we could not force him to get help.
Our hands were tied. We were shocked and dismayed. We are his parents and could not help him. It was horrendous. Fortunately the Youth Detoxification and Stabilization Act was passed and finally there was hope.
Our son spent 10 days at the detox centre and is now in rehab. He wants to turn his life around. He wants to go back to school in the fall. This would not have happened had he not had the opportunity to detox and think clearly about his life and his future.
I have not regretted our decision. He is a child and thus it falls upon us, his parents, to make decisions in his best interest. It is impossible for a child, whose brain is still developing and who is addicted to drugs, to make the decision he needs detoxification. However, we, his parents, can make that decision. And isn't that the responsibility of a parent? To make decisions on behalf of our children?
I appreciate the concern of the Child Advocate about possible misuse of the act. However, having gone through the process, I can assure you that misuse is just not that easy.
Before the child is apprehended, a judge has to issue a warrant. The applicant must appear before the judge to make his/her case. If the judge issues the warrant, the police pick up the child and take him/her to a qualified physician for examination. The judge and doctor are informed, objective and qualified professionals.
As far as the detox facilities being located at the Dojack Youth Centre, we did not find this to be a problem.
The act and the facilities may not be flawless, but are a step in the right direction. I am sure anyone who has ever spent sleepless nights wondering where their child is, seeing their child self-destruct from a drug addiction, hoping their child doesn't die from an overdose or otherwise hurt themselves or someone else, will agree.