Hi everyone out there. Please could someone help me, I have a 17 yr old son (18 next week)who is habitually smoking pot and I am concerned he might be starting to experiment with mushrooms. He does ok at school and plays sports, but I notice his attitude towards us has changed. He admitted he does this but is unwilling to stop "at this point." We have grounded him in the past etc., but that did not help matters. We talk with him a lot and have considered not giving him an allowance ( he does not have a job) as we know he must use some of this $ to support his habit. We also are considering taking the car, he borrows ours, as this also enables his pot smoking. I don't want to go overboard and I want to keep lines of communication open, but I am at a loss as to what to do. It was once in a while at a party, to seeking it out more and more. Please advise, I am afraid for him and this path that he is taking. College is around the corner, next year, and we are trying to motivate him with that, it is a very difficult and stressful time, while he apologises for upsetting me, he will not stop, or is it he cannot stop.
you know you're full when you have to chew mashed potatoes
OK kiddo - I hurt for ya. I have been down this road with my oldest. It may be that you have a budding young addict on your hands or you may just have a rebellious son trying to test the limits.
The good new is that in about 95% of these situations everything turns out OK as maturity just seems to "happen". That, however, does not help your current situation.
He's 17. He is going to do whatever he is going to do. Try to see that he gets a smile and a hug each day and knows that in spite of his youthful indescretions you still love him.
Taking away the allowance is a good idea. If he wants to get high at least he can get a job and pay for it himself.
Any women in the picture? When they start smoking dope sometimes they make bad decisons regarding women.
Hope you guys get through this OK. As I mentioned, I have been through this too. Not to scare you, but in my case it resulted in jail time, rehabilitation and military school. My situation was a bit extreme but the good news is that even with all of that drama things turned out just fine and I have a healthy, happy 22 year old son that is a fine young man. Keep posting here or over in the "parenting issues" forum.
Those who dispense tough love to their children now should be prepared to receive same back from them in 30 years.
You cannot help a person with drinking or drugs unless they want to be helped. Since he does not have a job I would consider taking the car back since he is risking the lives of many people when you allow him to drive under the influence. If he wants to borrow the car for a night that is different but "permanently" letting him borrow the when he has no job just doesen't make sense to me. Where is he getting the money for gas and insurance for the car? Is his allowance that big that he can afford all of this plus his drug habit too? Openly offer to get him help to kick his drug habit but if he refuses don't push the issue. I am going to tell you 2 stories about drug users that you can feel free to pass on to your son during your discussions. A life long friend of mine smoked pot for years. When he was in 6th or 7th grade he tested out to be a very gifted person basically one who could well have been a genius. After high school when I went on vacation to visit him and his girlfriend it was sad to see how much of his knowledge he had already lost due to pot killing off so many of his brain cells. The second story has a sadder ending. My husbands brother abused drugs and wound up losing his own business as well as distancing himself from his family. When he finally kicked the habit and decided to get help it was wonderful. He was given medication to help control the flashbacks etc and he was a wonderful person to get to know. When he skipped his medication you could tell in an instant as his whole attitude and behavior changed. In November of 1989 he stopped taking his medication and his mind went haywire. He became paranoid without his medication and wound up commiting suicide on December 28 of that year. Even though he had quite taking illicit drugs for quite a while...............in the end they still wound up killing him do to the flashbacks. Please tell your son that even though he thinks he can control it and that nothing will happen that something most definately can happen even once you stop doing drugs. If he says he can control it please tell him that that is what my brother in law always thought too butttttttttttttttttt........it didn't work.
I know what you're going through. My daughter started this same crap at 15; she's now still on pot at 35 and had a son out of wedlock 4 years ago whom we adore.
I would not give him a cent. Ever. But I assure you that they have ways of smoking it anyway. For instance:
they hock things for money. They exchange things for pot. They are Given pot by "friends." See if you notice things missing. I think my D's habit started out of heartbreak; her dad was abusive.
She has a VERY LOW self esteem and it affects ALL her decisions. These people are burned out hippies. You just have to hope he grows out of it. My H never made her go to college; I don't know why. He never made her get therapy except for 2 sessions then she quit. Now HE smokes pot and he's 63 (we divorced). She is "drawn" to the have-nots of the world. And most of the time, these people get her into trouble. She calls it being "not stuck up." She'll go 3 days without smoking and always tell me like she's proud of herself.
I say: don't give him any money, know who these people are he's hanging with and get him drug therapy.
I will share my story with you about my brother that is very scary & has a very sad ending. At the age 15 he started getting high & unlike you my parents were too involved in themselves to even notice that he was useing until he was about 16. At the time they finally got a clue they reacted with anger & the whole family faught for about 8 months & then finally (after my brother running away several times) my mother decided that the entire family go for counseling & Bill (my brother) should go to drug therepy. My father thought this to be a waste of time & Bill made promises to stop so then my parents had the attitude that everything was going to be OK!? Needless to say that Bill's choice of drugs went from pot to heroin. My parents got ****** & threw him out of the house. I continued to have a realationship with my brother behind my parents back (I was 13 at the time). I knew that he wanted to get better but he had no means of doing so alone & he had no idea where to turn & in all the confusion & turmoil he lost his job & his drug use went from a week-end habbit to one that he had everyday. He soon lost his job & was desperate for $ & help. My parents turned their backs on him & he started stealing things to hawk for the drug habbit. In a very short time (3 months) he had nothing left to his name & was in debt to dealers up to his eyebrows & was in big trouble with them. He ended up being involved in a robery where 3 people were killed. At that point my parents decided that they would try to help in with the attorney's fees & everything from buying 3 expensive suits for him to wear during his murder trial. They toof off of work every Tuesday to go to the county jail to see him & spend time with him. They took me out of school once a week as well. They told me that Bill really needed our love & support at this time. (IRONIC HUH?) Needless to say that at the end of the murder trial Bill was found guilty & was given the death penalty. He was executed January 25th 2001. The only good thing that came of this whole situation is that I have never so much as touched a joint in my life out fear that I would really really like it & then end up a junkie just like my brother. I wish I could tell you what you should do but every situation is different. But please, do not make excuses for him & do not make it easy for to get to the drugs! Stop giving him any money what so ever & if he wants money & a car to drive then he needs to get a J-O-B! He is plenty old enough to learn a little responsibility & this could also help him grow up a little. Your son is at the age where he thinks he is ivinceable & nothing is ever going to happen to him. He is going to have to learn on his own that things can & will happen to him through out his life. Maybe you taking these things away from him will be a small taste of reality & it could help in your situation. I do not mean to sound to hard but I just think that with love, patients,guidence,a ton rules to follow, & a set of parents that knows where the child is every minute of the day then it becomes very very hard to continue this habbit. (I could be very wrong here guys) Think about it & do what your heart tells you to do. I don't think that any of us want to scare you about what can happen but very rarely does "just pot" stay at "just pot". Pot is the first step on the ladder of drugs from what I have seen the rest are much bigger & better & people try them a couple of times & they are hooked.
You & your family are in my thoughts & prayers. Hang in there & be tough with him. I believe that "TOUGH LOVE" works better than anything. http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/heart.gif Kim
Yesterday is the past, tomorrow is the future, today is a GIFT, that it is why it is called the present.
......and that's all I have to say about that.......
I also believe "tough Love"Is the way to go.In fact since he will soon be 18,pack up his stuff,set it outside & tell him to leave&get a job.How do you know he didn't make a copy of the keys to the house,car,whatever.He will hock anything he can get his hands on,just for drugs.
Sorry to hear about your son. I just wanted to share a little bit of my knowledge in hopes it will allow you to rest at ease just a little bit. Studies show that pot does not lead to harder drugs. It's all about the high the person using wants. I think anyone who starts at a minor drug such as pot, then moves on to something extremely dangerous such as herion, crack, cocaine, etc. HAS to move on to higher things to keep the high they want. Most teenagers smoke weed every now and then, at parties and such, with their buddies, then that's the end of it. I don't know one friend of mine that smokes weed AND does stuff like herion. You just don't see it often.
Please don't think I'm giving you an 'excuse' not to worry about your son, but unless he has some very serious problems, I don't think he's ever going to move on to any hard drugs from smoking pot.
I know how it feels to have someone you love doing drugs. My cousin does all sorts of drugs; shrooms, acid, herion, cocaine, and God knows what else.
The only downside of situations like these is that the person doing the drugs has to want help, or want to stop. Even if you sent him to a rehab, he would only go to get it over with if he actually didn't want to stop using. He has to want the help before he can ever get better. Take care, and do everything in your power to make it hard for him to get his hands on drugs. There are plenty of things you can do.
I suggest that you take away all his perks now, and tell him he can earn them back when he shows you that he is acting responsibly, if he does it before you decide to never give them back.
He will likely throw a fit or pretend he doesn't care, but at his age, you must let him learn his own lessons.
Don't let him tie you into what he is doing. Make sure he knows that you won't participate in anyway in helping him feel like he is doing OK with his life, when he isn't. He isn't going to feel or look so big to his friends when he is broke and can't get the car.
You have no way of knowing what else he has been doing or will do, and in my mind that isn't the point.
The point is the direction he HAS taken is illegal and very irresponsible and fruitless.
If you take a strong stand and he keeps headed that way, he can move out, and you will know you did all you can do for him. He will have to learn in the school of hard knocks. OR, hopefully, his bad friends will fade off, and he will get a clue, and get himself turned around. Plenty of kids do, when their parents take a stand.
The key word here is HE has to want to turn his life around, and you cannot make him do it. You can only stop fueling the momentum.
You may be surprised at what happens, if you can do this without anger or angry words. The first time I gave my son a consequence, without being angry, my son looked at me like I was crazy. He said, "You aren't even mad at me! Why are you doing this?" I just told him, "Sit in your room and think about it".
I did this because I had been very frustrated with his not listening to me, and a book suggested that kids think we do things because WE are angry, not because THEY did something wrong, when we are reactive. So, instead of reacting, I had sent him to his room, while I gathered myself together and made a decision what his consequence was, and then calmly told him. Later on, he came to me and said HE was wrong and deserved his consequence. It really felt good.
Don't think it was easy to do, because I really was furious with him. But I was determined to discipline myself so I could discipline him! Let us know what you decide to do.
[This message has been edited by friend (edited 09-10-2002).]
To AshleeD.............apparently you didn't read about my once genius friend who has killed so many of his brain cells off with his use of pot that he doesn't remember simple things that he should know as well as more complex things that used to be a snap for him. And yes people do use pot and other drugs at the same time more often than you think. When I was single I often hung around with a group that did pot as well as other drugs often. It is such a shame to see a brain wasted from pot use or worse yet the nightmare of suicide even after you quit using pot and other drugs.
Ashlee & all other young people out there who think that pot is OK, please take these stories to heart & know that you are damageing yourself everytime you "take a hit". We are not trying to preach at you but more often than not one DOES lead to another. We are just trying to prevent other families & friends from being hurt by drug abuse, what ever the choice of drug my be used.
Thanks to everyone for your thoughts, help and advice. I so appreciate any words of wisdom. Ironically, it came to a head last night, we spoke at length and while he says he loves us, he is not willing to quit and said he does not care how we feel about it. In his own words, we have to love him the way he is.
I am so hurt, cried all night, but we decided as parents, not to allow this to break our family. Ofcourse we continue to love him, but we won't enable him. No more allowance and the car will have to be off limits, it makes no sense to make it easy for him, I just don't want to alienate him.
Thankyou all again, Skinny
you know you're full when you have to chew mashed potatoes
I am 38 and I have to agree with Ashlee on this. I mean, all you know that he's doing for sure it weed. It could or could not turn to harder stuff, but I don't think everyone should just assume that it will. I think saying things like "He will hock anything he can get his hands on,just for drugs" is a bit harsh at this point.
I wonder how everyone would react if the young man was having a few beers each night. Alcohol is much more addictive than marijuana and causes alot more crimes such as drunk driving and violence. You don't hear of too many people smoking a bit of weed and then going out and beating up their wives or girlfriends.
I guess all I'm saying is to keep things in perspective. Sure, if you are against the marijuana use then take away his priveleges if he is living in your house...that is your right of course. But he's going to be an adult, at least legally, very soon and you are going to have to let him make his own decisions about what path his life will take him down. But not everyone who smokes weed is gonna become a junkie, and even if they do experiement with other drugs not everyone who smokes weed is going to like the effect other drugs have on them.
Why would you EVER want to take the chance with your own child? Yes drinking is just as bad if not worse than pot but I do not believe that drinking is her concern. I do not think I have ever heard a good story about drinking or drug use of any type. If he refuses to stop this behavior it sure seems to me that he is additicted to the stuff & she seems to think that he has also tried shrooms, hmm......I wonder what he will want to try this week end? Since they have decided to make it hard for him to get the money for drugs what is he going to do now? He has 1 of two choices to make. Either quite the drug use or steal or hawk things to get the money to buy the $hit. Oh or I guess he could get a job, but that usually means 2 weeks before a first paycheck. What to do in the mean time?? It is just a very scary thing to me & I hope that at least 1 person can get something from our stories.
......and that's all I have to say about that.......
Of course no one would ever want to take a chance with their own child. But it's not her choice at this point, it's his. I understand her concern but to come on here and tell her that using marijuana is going to lead to him being a lying, stealing junkie just isn't true. Yes, it can lead to harder drugs, but it doesn't have to. That is up to him....if he has an addictive personality or if drug and alcohol addiction are part of his family history then he has a good chance of ruining his life. But if he is a strong person then he will know when to say NO. Not everyone that smokes weed is an idiot incapable of making their own decisions. Just don't yell FIRE when all you have right now is a little spark. The spark may put itself out before it gets out of hand.
You do have a good point Lady, but like I said it is just a very scary situation & I think we are just trying to help Skinny to try & figure how she help her son or hendure his drug use in anyway. I have an uncle that smokes pot 4-5 times a day & as far as the family knows that is the only drug he uses. This man is 42 years old and getting high is the most important thing in his life. When there is a family dinner he shows up just as the meal is being served (my Grandmother calls him & tells him to come over at that time), he eats & then he might hang around for an hour at the most after we finish dinner & then he is off to his apartment again so he can have his next high. So you are absolutely right. Not everyone who smokes pot will end up in trouble, but it is just not a good thing to do. We do not know of the habbits or personality of Skinny's son so it is hard to say how he will be able to handle this drug use. I do agree with you that we should not yell FIRE at this point & I did not want to scare her at all! I just wanted to share my storie & let her know that not everyone who gets high can just stop it at that. It is glad to know that there are truely people out in this world that can get high on an occasion. I have never known one of those people myself so that is reasuring to know that it is possible. I did not mean for this to turn into a debate I just thought it might help her to know what to look for as in actions of her son. He is almost a legal adult & it is very hard at this point (as a mother) to try & control his every move. I just hope & pray that he is able to make the right choices in his life.
Take care, Kim
......and that's all I have to say about that.......