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Two Teenage Boys Messing Around with Drugs


I have two teenage boys, ages 15 and 17. Both are messing around with all kinds of drugs and have been kicked out of high schools for selling drugs. They won't go to school. They skip all the time. My 15-year-old is on diversion for selling Xanax at school. He now goes to an alternative school and skips all the time, which is going to get him kicked off of diversion. They both need counseling or something. I have no idea what to do anymore, and I fear that I am going to get in trouble soon because they aren't going to school.

Their dad is a truck driver, so he is not in the picture. My oldest son stays with his friend because we told him to leave a couple months ago because of the messing around and selling drugs. I don't know if there is a way to get my sons into Boys Town for the help they both desperately need. Do you have any advice for a solution?


Teen on Phone

It does sound like both boys are headed in a scary direction. Because it's illegal for them to skip school, you must report to their schools every day that they do not have your permission to be absent and are truant. Another person you should report to is your son's diversion officer. Report any new wrongdoings or noncompliance with diversion to the officer, and discuss what happens if he is kicked out of diversion. Will he go to court? Will he be issued a probation officer?

In Nebraska, parents are expected to provide the basic needs for their children until they reach the age of 19. So, even though your son is staying at a friend's home, you would still be accountable for his behavior, and it's nearly impossible to monitor his behavior when he is not living in your home.

You are spot on—your children need some help. Some things you can do at home are, again, to report truancies; conduct room, car, and pocket searches and report any drugs or paraphernalia to police; and put all medications (even those prescribed to them) under lock and key. Each time your 15-year-old leaves the home without permission, report him as a runaway. This is as much for your protection as it is protection for your son's.

Kids are placed at Boys Town privately by parents, through the court system, or through social services. Most children who live at Boys Town have tried a variety of other services that have failed. If you're interested in looking into private placement, please visit for a review of the program, a video presentation, and initial paperwork to fill out. Youth who attend are ages 10 to 17. Youth who are privately placed must agree to the placement, as it is not a locked facility.

In order to determine the level of care your sons would need for their substance abuse, a substance abuse evaluation would need to be conducted to determine the level of care needed. Please give the Boys Town National Hotline a call if you would like a crisis counselor to look up some referrals for you in your area. We would be happy to assist. You can also contact the Nebraska Family Helpline (1-888-866-8660), which assists parents in the state of Nebraska when their children are struggling with behaviors.