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My 20 Year Old Nephew Is In Trouble And Needs Help

by Michelle

My sister's youngest son has violent, vulgar anger issues. When PJ was in school he was diagnosed with anger management problems and while in school was in therapy.

He is now 20, and his issues have multiplied in the rage and outbursts. My sister's oldest son, Gio is a drug addict and looking at possible jail time for drug solicitation.

And now she is at her wit's end because if PJ doesn't get any help she's afraid he will cause harm to someone else, and then he too will be in trouble with the law. Both kids have a very abusive father with a gambling addiction.

Rhonda has had both kids under counseling through the years but once they got out of school they were no longer covered under her insurance. I told her I would help to see if there would be any place she could get PJ to, so someone could help him. My question is, is there a program somewhere she could send PJ (like a boot camp environment) to get help for him that won't cost very much.

Getting any financial help from her ex (the boy's father) is not an option, since he only works selling ice cream to make enough money to go gambling. I just feel there has to be some place that PJ can go to get help, and we just don't know how to ask the right questions. Rhonda has been trying to reach Gio's Parole Officer to see if he has any ideas, but he hasn't even gotten back in touch with her about Gio.

It seems everyone treats these 2 boys as if they are now adults and should act like adults and not willing to help make them more responsible adults.

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello Michelle, and thanks for telling your story here. It is great that you care so much about your nephews, and want to help them.

Here's what I know about facilities to help young men (they aren't boys any more) like PJ and Gio:

1) Now that they are adults, they cannot be placed anywhere against their will. The only exception is if they are incarcerated. As you pointed out, that is unfortunate, but it's just the way it is.

2) The facilities that do exist that could help them--if they want the help--tend to be very expensive.

I know this is not what you wanted to hear, but I want you to consider something...

Your sister needs to let go of these young men, and so do you. At this point they will either turn their lives around or they won't. It is entirely in their hands now. They are making choices day by day that shape their future, and they are 100% responsible for those choices and the consequences.

If they want free help, for example, this web site has a lot to offer them. And that's one of the many examples out there.

In other words, if they want help they will find it. If they don't, there is nothing you or anyone can do except to pray for them and believe in your heart that they will make good choices. And that is not underestimate the power of prayer and positive focus.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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