Say a kid is scheduled to get released at noon in the middle of the month. That morning, in the med line, chances are he may be given a number of psychoactively mind-and-mood altering medications... Ritalin, Seroquel, etc etc. He'll be watched closely by a staff, made to show the pill(s) on the tongue, swallow them, get another drink of water, gargle, do a finger wave, and cough before he can proceed to breakfast... right?
He goes back to the dorm, maybe zonks out for a few hours, then leaves GSS for home. THEN WHAT? I don't know, to be honest. But I find it curious to imagine what the scenario might be. Do they give the kid all his half-full pill bottles and REALLY EXPECT that ALL OF A SUDDEN he's gonna know how to RESPONSIBLY use them?
HAH!! I don't think so. Ask the kids -- they LIKE the pills 'cause they make them high in some way. Sure, some may really need some of them, some of the time, but I suspect most the kids fake the symptoms to get the meds they want. Call me crazy, but I think that might actually be a possibility.
So... when they get back to El Paso or Galveston or where ever -- without a job or money... without a family that wants or cares to have them living under their roof again... without transportation... what are they to do when the meds run out on the first of the next month? Will their prescriptions be forwarded to the local WalMart before they leave? Will they have to visit a doctor to get them re-prescribed? Chances are, the drugs they leave with will be LONG GONE before the end of the month, I'd guess... either sold to friends or mixed with the other easily available non-prescription drugs they can pick up on the street.
Does Little Johnny know WHERE or HOW TO get his presriptions refilled -- and who will pay for them? Will he BOOM! - - - fall to pieces if he doesn't get them? And does the State actually think he'll have the experience/maturity to handle life without these psychoactive crutches, should it come to that?
Wish I knew the answers... wish I could trust the kids (AND the State) to do the "right thing" by them. But sadly, I do not. I don't predict many of the kids will get into counseling to help them deal with these drug and/or behavioral issues, nor do I figure many can or will resist the easy availibility of questionable street drugs. Worst of all, it's not hard to imagine that many of the kids will end up incarcerated, again, due to their inability to manage their lives WITHOUT the numbing effects of what they got used to at GSS.
When are they gonna do when they get older and get depressed, angry, suicidal, yadda yadda yadda? They will look to drugs to help them. There's also a distinct liklihood they will "self-medicate"... with pot, meth, coke, etc etc etc. Think not? Wake up and smell the coffee, Sunshine!!
Nothing wrong with alcohol, eh? IF they make it to age 21, it might be the best option they have... if you can call it that. Once they've turned into alcoholics, well, shucks -- that's what they have REHAB for IF they live long enough AND can afford it!! WHAT A DEAL.