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September, 2021 Add comment

Being a parent of an adult addicted child in the Dutch health care system

Being a parent of an adult addicted child in the Dutch health care system, who refuses all care and help out of distrust. Just imagine this is happening to you. Below are the true events of a family that has gone through everything you can imagine in the Dutch health care system. Because of the very sensitive information, we will keep the names of this family private.

The son was always sick and had many physical complaints as a child

The son was always sick and had many complaints as a child. Less than three weeks after his birth, the severe asthma attacks began, but he was mainly very hyperactive. He did not speak a single word when he was 23 months old. After eating certain foods, he could very suddenly fall into a kind of coma while severely sweating, during dinner. After two hours, he would wake up very aggressive and angry. 

The parents travelled all over the world with their son, to find a cure. As a small child, he was diagnosed as severely autistic, but that turned out not to be the case. The boy started babbling like no other when he was three years old. When he was not feeling ill, his eyes were always shining. He was able to make very good contacts with people.

The mother just knew that something essential was wrong 

The mother instinctively knew that something essential was wrong with her son. Yet she got no answer from any doctor. When the boy was five years old, he developed a thick layer of inflamed eczema on his skin, especially where the liver was situated. The mother could no longer touch his head either, otherwise he would scream out in pain.

A paediatrician in their home town finally wanted to listen and examined everything he could think of. The boy showed his strange sweating/sleeping behaviour literally in his practice room. Yet he could not make a diagnosis. The doctor acknowledged that the child was seriously ill, but he could not find a cause. The mother was sent down the drain for years. He literally said that he was giving up on the boy, and the mother could do it with that.

A hell of a period followed, which ended in total isolation of the boy

Years of sickness and misery passed. The mother did not give up and went abroad with her son. In the meantime, she had seen every hospital in the Netherlands without any result. Yes, he had ADHD, that was clear, but the mother instinctively felt that something was causing all the symptoms.

Meanwhile, the boy was 12 and even though he was always on a diet, he was over 100 kilos. He participated in a programme for young people to lose weight and also kept strictly to his diet with the help of his parents. But despite this diet, he gained five kilos in those three months. Again he was sent home without any result. Nobody knew why this happened. A mental health therapist who worked with him could not do anything with him because, according to her, everything was atypical. In other words, according to her training and all the normal therapy rules and interventions, she could do nothing with him. 

Insulin resistance was thought to be involved, and it turned out to be the case

In a hospital in England, insulin resistance was thought to be a problem, and after examination it turned out to be so. But what exactly should be done about it, they did not know. In any case, the correct dietary and lifestyle rules were never given. Once again, they had to return home without having served their purpose.

The boy developed severe social anxiety because he was being bullied at school, because he was gaining more and more weight. He also refused to leave his room. If the parents forced him to participate in anything, he would panic so much that he would fall back into a coma while sweating. His isolation became so severe that he did not want to eat with them, or come downstairs. He did not want to shower, and he did not want to talk to anyone.

Psychologist to counsellor and home teacher came to his home, nobody could reach him. At the time, he refused help out of pure distrust in the countless failing social workers. This same refusal to help played a major role in the rest of his life and in his story today.

The mother had read and studied everything to help her son

She had put together a diet for him which he was willing to follow after a lot of talking. By that time, the boy was sixteen years old. He lost a staggering 83 pounds in three months. The boy’s father also took him to the gym and started training him. What emerged was a very beautiful young man who within a year was even working as a model. He went back to school and showered three times a day. He was suddenly a very happy social boy who got his first girlfriend.

At that time, his first introduction to hard drugs was a fact

However, his father died suddenly, and the boy started going out more and more. He became hooked on clubbing and on techno. The problem was that he literally pushed away all the grief about his father. This was probably his first encounter with drugs.

Years of lying and twisting went by, the boy functioned very well, went to school, worked, had energy for 100. But the mother felt that something was wrong, but could not put her finger on it. Until, in the middle of the night, often strange messages came in from her son. Total gibberish was written, often completely illegible. He was more than paranoid in these messages, but the next day he could be completely normal again. The mother asked his girlfriend if he was on drugs, but she said he was not. The only thing he did was to suddenly inject anabolic drugs to become even bigger and broader. This was not the right stuff according to her, he bought it illegally.

Eventually the boy does get a diagnosis, but it is already too late

The boy was finally diagnosed by a brilliant doctor as having congenital frontal lobe damage. As a result, he had severe congenital ADHD and constant restlessness and chaos in his head. He also had continuously low cortisol levels, which turned out to cause that sweaty coma sleep. In other words, the boy had had Addison crises all his life, and no doctor could have diagnosed this. He was given hydrocortisone and seemed to revive for a while, at least he became much calmer.

This goes on for a while until, at Christmastime at home, he makes a big emotional scene all day. He can’t stop crying, is paranoid, very angry and again very aggressive. A month later, his girlfriend told him she couldn’t take it any more and asked if her boyfriend could move back in with his mother. She said he needed a lot of help and that she could not give it to him no more. She also went back to live with her parents, the boy was picked up. and he was reasonably calm for a week.

From that moment on, all hell broke loose

He was so paranoid that he reinstalled his phone 20 times a day, because he was convinced that he had been hacked. A good friend of the mother who knew a lot about these things found out that he was hacking himself without realizing it. The boy was heavily emotional, seriously aggressive, lots of crying and gibberish, many tweaks in his muscles and incredibly paranoid. This also started to affect his mother and best friend, who actually tried everything to keep the mother safe.

After three weeks it became clear that her son was intensely addicted to Diazepam, GHB and Crystal Meth. Nobody knew that this was the case, not even his girlfriend had ever noticed anything. If he didn’t have any of his drugs in the house, Flakka or any other substance would simply go in. His distrust in getting professional help came to the surface again, and he refused any help.

With a lot of effort, they managed to persuade him to go a detox clinic

The mother and his girlfriend finally managed, with a lot of effort, to persuade him to go to Castle Craig (a leading detox clinic), where he had an intake, see

It was a very positive conversation and the boy felt heard for the first time and agreed to a detox. Until Castle Craig indicates that before he could enter treatment there, he first had to go to another centre, to detox from the GHB. This centre eventually indicated that they could not help him because he was taking too large amounts of GHB daily, and they had no experience with it. 

They send him from pillar to post again

The same story starts all over again. They send him from pillar to post again. He falls from one hole into another in the health care system, which is not fully equipped for this purpose. The boy starts to isolate himself again and eventually becomes the biggest help-refuser there is. However, things are so horrible for him that, in his paranoid moods, he attacks his mother and her best friend. To such an extent that the mother is black and blue, several times.

At the request of his best friend, social services and the police are knocking on his door, but if someone doesn’t want help, they can’t do anything in the Netherlands. He then starts destroying the house, heavily polluting himself, and they often find him lying on the floor, completely out. He tells them he does this on purpose and eventually OD’s. Fortunately, his girlfriend discovers him just in time. The mother was away for the first time a day at that time.  Despite this, the crisis service does not intervene.

He is rushed to a hospital, where he is monitored in intensive care. Then, the same day in the middle of the night, he is put in a wheelchair and has to be taken away by his mother. He is an addict and a hospital is no place for an addict, was the message. The boy could not even stand on his legs of misery, but he was no longer in danger. He didn’t want to go to a psychiatric ward, so that’s it. 

The situation has become so untenable that a request for compulsory admission has been made

In the meantime, the situation became so untenable that the mother submitted a request to the court for compulsory admission and detox. This had to be waited out for two months and in the meantime the paranoid fits are so bad that in such a fit, he squeezes the best friend’s throat. The mother had to jump on top of the boy to free him. The mother had long, sharp nails and knew instinctively that if she hurt him badly, he would come out of it. Out of sheer necessity, she drove her nails deep into his skin until he suddenly felt this, cried out and let go. The best friend was already turning blue and was gasping for breath. 

The police came again, took him away for the night, only to find him back on the pavement the next day. He was not accountable for his actions because of drugs, and nobody seemed to be able to do anything. The boy was very strong when he was sober, but under the influence he was three times stronger. Again, the crisis service does nothing!

The crisis service came by reluctantly every time, but could do nothing else than taking notes and building a file. They continually told him to stop caring for him and to throw him out on the street. If you don’t want to hear, you have to go to rock bottom and feel it, was the motto. As long as the surrounding people kept taking care of him, it was a reason for him to keep going, they said over and over again. They simply did not do more, despite the fact that the boy was a great danger to himself.

The boy told social workers that the mother was abusing him

The strange thing was that when the people from the crisis service came in, no matter how paranoid he was, he was always immediately approachable and acted completely normal. Then the boy went to tell the social workers that the mother was mistreating him. Fortunately, this was not taken seriously, but in his mind it was. He kept forgetting the cause of everything.

The boy became so hateful that he would bang several nights on the mother’s bedroom door for hours in the middle of the night. Or he would keep watch sitting at her door, knowing that the mother regularly had to go to the toilet in the night. This, of course, with all its consequences. The mother’s best friend slept downstairs on the sofa to protect her.

After three weeks of detox, they put him on the street with a bag of clothes

Fortunately, after two months, the court issued a compulsory admission order and the family really thought they had won.

The boy was only picked up after four weeks and supposedly detoxed. This detox involved no meth, but a daily load of 80 mg of diazepam! A very strange detox in our eyes, he actually came out of it still addicted. Yet, after these three weeks, they put him on the street with a bag of clothes. Without a plan, without follow-up appointments, without a request for renewal of the authorization. Why? The boy was lucid again according to the institution (with 80 mg of diazepam a day!), indicated in clear words that he did not want any further help, and he was actually considered to be legally capable of making the best choices for him self. 

Mother decided to follow the advice of the mental health institution

The mother decided to follow the advice of the mental health institution not to take him back into the house. From that moment on, the boy lived on the streets. The idea behind this was that the boy would automatically cause so much trouble that the state had to intervene. But in the meantime, he has been arrested 20 times for drugs, making a nuisance of himself on the street, etc. He had to appear in court for the offence of choking mother’s best friend. 

No more than a 250 euro fine was issued. So the state does not intervene at all. The hope was that he would get TBS for serious offences and that he would be rehabilitated and receive compulsory help. But nothing of the sort. But what is serious? Assaulting someone, threatening them, squeezing them between a door and a bullet hole, squeezing someone’s throat twice? All this is apparently not serious enough.

In the meantime, the mother has phoned many TV shows to ask if they wanted to help with her child. Everywhere she got the answer, the boy is too heavily addicted.

The boy is now neglected in a homeless centre

The status now is that the young man is in a homeless centre among all the older addicts. Here the residents can just take their hard drugs, no one is stopping them. He is severely neglected, can barely take a shower, has long hair, big beard, is intensely addicted and seriously lost his way. The boy still doesn’t want any help, and there is no intervention here either. The young man’s ex-girlfriend visited him recently and was shocked at how badly he had deteriorated in the year she had not seen him. He seemed to take 45 minutes to get dressed. He walked with a very crooked back and a crazy wobbly neck and weakened legs. Furthermore, he had a very exhausted weak voice, could barely walk upright and again no one interfered.

In our eyes, this young man is a victim of a life-long failure of medical and psychiatric doctors, which has not been able to diagnose the boy in any way. Who, together with his mother, tried everything, but then became intensely disappointed with everything. So disappointed that he does not dare and cannot accept any help now. Why should they be able to help him now is his rightful feeling! From our so-called perfect health state, this is a very serious failure and such a serious failure should never happen in our eyes. Unfortunately, this young man will not be the only one to suffer, and there are many families dealing with these hopeless situations.

When is intervention justified?

The point is, everyone has the right to self-determination. It is part of our human rights. You may determine the course of your life and what you want or not. But where do you draw the line? Is this not the same as euthanasia in disguise, which is still not allowed in many situations? The boy of this article clearly does not know how to make the right decisions in his own interest. No doubt he will go on until he dies from these drugs. When can/should a state intervene, how is this considered in the context of our human rights?

Is our entire mental health system failing now? Do you have to let someone destroy himself against his better judgement, is this a human right? Don’t we have the right to a healthy life? 

Shouldn’t we then just offer help from all sides and provide everything so that the person can be healthy again? It must be clear that a three-week detox did not defeat the mental and emotional addiction! Should there or should there not be a strict new dividing line as to when someone is actually competent or not, to make the best choices for him self? Can someone suffer from such a serious addiction ever be called competent? We know from deep research on these drugs that you are so dependent on them, even months after a detox, that you always let them dominate your mind.

We hear many noises about Meth addiction gaining momentum in our major cities.

Not only that, but we are hearing many noises about Meth addiction gaining momentum in our major cities. Apparently, according to interviewees there is little or no experience in the social services, in the detox of Meth. How is that going to continue with thousands of addicts, because Meth is a very explicitly addictive drug that you hardly can’t detox from. Isn’t it necessary to set up a totally new aid system, specifically for addicts of these seriously addictive hard drugs?

Should a mother break her heart by putting her child on the street?

Why should a mother suffer to put her child out on the street and watch it decay and die prematurely? So much is not allowed in this world, no one should cause so much damage to another, why is it allowed for people to do this to themselves? When should such a person be protected from himself?

We know from our research that there are many families in the same situation, and that there should be targeted help for them. We would like to open the discussion on this topic and hope that the government will intervene in some way. New conversations with Human Rights organizations about this group of people, new guidelines in treatments are urgently needed. 

If you have any ideas or remarks about our story and our statements, or if you have a similar story, please leave a comment below this article. We really like to hear it!

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