Go ahead and line up for the "I told you so's..."

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by CAmom, Sep 13, 2006.

  1. CAmom

    CAmom Member

    Well, you were right, he WAS doing a lot more marijuana than we suspected, and that had to account for an ENORMOUS amount of the problems we were having, i.e., lack of motivation including regarding going to school, disrepect, easy irritability, and raging.

    The day after he turned 17, he got involved in illegal activity with three "friends." Although one of the boys set the whole thing up, and my son wasn't involved in that part of it, nonetheless, he did nothing to stop it, so he's being considered an accessory. He and the other boys spent a little over a week in Juvenile Hall. This was my son's first brush with the law.

    He's home now on "house arrest." Since he has been home and off all marijuana, he is like a completely different person! I had forgotten who my son was. He is no perfect angel by any stretch of the imagination, but we can actually communicate now without him going off into an angry tirade.

    Of course, some of this is related to his intense relief about being allowed to come home, even though it is VERY restrictive. But, I have no doubt that being clean of marijuana MUST have a lot to do with this.

    So, all of you who told me that I might be wrong about the effects of marijuana on my son were right. I was judging by my own and my friends' occasional recreactional use of marijuna when we were much younger when we used to smoke a couple of puffs, sit around and giggle, and snack too much. I simply couldn't relate to marijuana causing such a personatlity change in my son. Now, I know he was smoking at least one or two entire marijuana "blunts" a day, and, by his own admission, his life revoled around his "highs," and anything that came between him and his pot was an enemy, including me.

    Of course, I know we aren't out of the woods. Being away from his buddies on house arrest keeps him from having to deal with the peer pressure. LUCKILY, when he is off house arrest, he will continue to be on probation and have to undergo routine drug testing. I can only hope he will continue to have the intense fear that he has right now about the possibility that he will automatically go back to Juvenile Hall if he tests positive for marijuana and that that will keep him away from using it again...

    So, line up ladies...I'm ready for the "I told you so's..."
  2. mom_in_training

    mom_in_training New Member

    "line up ladies...I'm ready for the "I told you so's..."

    CAmom, I can assure you that there is nobody here that will be lining up. I was thinking about you today and almost posted to see about an update. Sorry things have gone this far with your difficult child but you know this might just have been what he needs to turn things around for the better. I have been through plenty with my difficult child and she is 17-1/2 and it is even hard for me to be able to say that she will make good choices in her future. All we can do as parents after we have already given it our all to save them as well as provide the necessary tools is just hope that they make better choices. Of course we continue guiding them but we parents do not have the power to change them, Nobody has that power, It is up to the individual to change willingly once they recognize that they have to do something different for themselves. Or it might just take your difficult child getting caught doing something illegal or somehow being involved to get them on the right path. My difficult child was smoking marijuana a while back and to this day I still do random drug testing and so far she has tested clean. But I can tell you that her personality did change quite a bit and she lost interest in school, old friends, disrespected me and other adults in which she had never done before. It was crazy. Thank you for the update. Hopefully his trip to juvenile hall has sent a messege and he will start making better choices.
  3. judi

    judi Active Member

    I sure won't be in that line!

    I am so sorry that it came to this. Sometimes, our kids have to learn the hard way. And...some of our kids don't learn the first time. My son has been in juvie twice and adult jail once and he currently has a warrant for failure to appear because he didn't do 4 hours of community service. It is hard.

    You are right...that for now, on house arrest, he is doing much better. I certainly hope that continues. However, for my son at least, once he was back with his friends, the pot started again, and we're in further than before.

    I hope your son learns from his mistakes. Please don't ever feel that we will be judgemental - many of us have been through a lot with our kids.
  4. WhymeMom?

    WhymeMom? No real answers to life..

    No "I told you so" here. Just glad you have a better understanding of your son. Hope he can learn the lessons as a 17 year old since the consequences become greater as an adult. Thinking of you and hoping the best for you and your family.

    TYLERFAN New Member

    No "I told you so's" from us.
    Sending big hugs of support /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/big_hugs.gif and prayers.

  6. SunnyFlorida

    SunnyFlorida Active Member

    CaMom, we're just glad you came back and updated us :smile: There's not a one of us on this board that doesn't feel like you do.

    We've mostly all been there done that!

    What we've learned is that not only is the pot different nowadays than previously, but many people's reaction to it are different. Some of our difficult child's who have mental illness tendencies, actually bring on their original episode (ie my difficult child).

    The trick now is to keep your difficult child off pot and for difficult child to realize that he cannot use it.

    My difficult child 1 refers to using pot as sitting in the corner like a marshmellow. "it's the only thing that relaxes him"

    BS ?where is that hothead icon when I need it!
  7. gottaloveem

    gottaloveem Active Member

    Sorry to hear that your son had a brush with the law. I hope they keep him on probation for a long time. I also hope this episode scares him enough to learn from his mistakes and he makes the necessary changes.

    I am glad he is more pleasant to be around. Mine was always more pleasant when he wasn't doing drugs. Although in our case, it was other drugs that made him unbearable.

    Enjoy him while he is drug free and hopefully he will like the new him and will continue to make the right decisions.
  8. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    This is probably the only place where you will never hear
    those words! You'll also not be blamed. Most of us have
    been there done that. Most of us have done our very best and have been shocked that it wasn't enough to protect them.

    Some learn fast. I hope your son is one. Others, like mine, just can't seem to stay away from the friends who are
    determined to lead an alternate lifestyle.

    Sending crossed body parts and supportive hugs. DDD
  9. CAmom

    CAmom Member

    Thank you all for your continued support. Okay, I really did know that I wouldn't hear "I told you so's" from any of you and that you would continue to offer the same support and positive thoughts that you've done all along!

    I sincerely hope that this will be the wake-up call my son has needed. He's always been the kind of person that never gave much thought to verbal warnings. It seems that it has always taken a really "in-your-face" consequence to make any kind of impact on him. This certainly has done that!

    Last night, I heard part of his side of the conversation with a friend which sounded as though they were trying to cook up a plan to meet up. This is impossible because, as part of the home detention program, my husband drives him to school and I pick him up. Period. No stops. No one, including his and OUR friends can come on our property, not even to the door. He is not allowed to set foot outside our house, not even in the yards. Yet, I could hear that they were plotting to somehow get around this. Then, to my stunned surprise, I heard him stop and say, "This is stupid--of COURSE I'm not going to meet you! Do you think I want to go back to Juvenile Hall???" Hallelujah!!!! Finally, SOMETHING is happening in that space between his ears!!!

    Nonetheless, I'm not so naive as to think that this is the end of our troubles. In time, I'm sure this event in his life will fade into the background, at least somewhat. The good thing is that he is now on medication because the court directed that we have his ADD reevaluated and medication started if the MD directed. Because of what he feels is also an element of ODD, he started my son on a very low dose of Zyprexa, and I believe it's having a positive impact.

    We're all glad, including my son, that he will probably be on probation for at least a year so he will have to be accountable to a probation officer in regard to staying away from pot, hanging with old friends, etc.

    So, we're hoping...
  10. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    I hope that this is the wake-up call your son needs. Hopefully your probation program works better than ours did as a deterent----difficult child did not learn a thing from his brushes with the law except how to be sneakier---

    I have seen some kids who it took only one time to learn....Praying that yours will be one of them.
  11. neajle

    neajle New Member

    I hope that he does GET IT. Although, when I drove my son to school and picked him up I thought everything was fine. Then later I found out that he would take off and skip some of his classes to hang out with friends, but always be back in time for me to pick him up. I had no idea what was going on. Just hoping that he isn't scheming something like this.

    Sending you hugs and prayers.

  12. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    A word of caution from the been there done that club. PO will probably want drug tests....should anyway and if not, YOU should demand drug tests.

    Since your difficult child is on medication it can upset the results of the tests.

    Here's the caution:

    Try not to give him any slack. See if you can get drug tests that determine WHAT drugs are being taken. I suggest this because when my Rob was being drug tested he tested positive all the time and it was "written off" as a reaction to the medications he was taking. That was probably part of it...........but it came out later that he was taking advantage of our "acceptance" of his dirty tests and was still drugging :frown: .

    You are in a honeymoon period now. Don't drop your guard until it's earned.

  13. CAmom

    CAmom Member

    Thanks--as for leaving school, he can't--he's on an ankle bracelet, and his home-confinement PO is VERY strict.

    We received a letter today from my son's teacher commending his performance in school. "His attitude in class has improved and he is amoung the best students that I have. As a whole, he has been a pleasure to have as a student." It's been a long time since I've heard anyone compliment my son. This teacher, by the way, has known him for two years.

    Yes, I know this is the honeymoon period, but my husband and I have seen such an incredible difference since he stopped pot and/or started this medication, that we made a pact that, at the first signs of any sort of backsliding, we'll be taking immediate action. We feel like we've gotten our son back and have no intention of letting things get back to where they were, no matter what it takes.
  14. mom_in_training

    mom_in_training New Member

    Wow Camom, "that we made a pact that" Great news about the teachers report and awesome that you and husband have made it a pact to jump in to put an immediate halt to anything that you suspect that can very well become trouble for difficult children future. It is quite a task to keep up with our difficult children. I can tell by your post that you are much calmer. Lets just hope that your difficult child keeps doing what he is doing. It sure makes life allot easier for everybody to include him. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/big_hugs.gif
  15. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Im going to say something that may sound strange. Im gonna say that Im actually thrilled for you guys.

    Im thrilled that whatever happened to your son has managed to somehow positively make a change in both your son and in you and your husbands outlook for him. If a minor brush with the law at 17 is what it took to do that...well...so be it. Sometimes change is a bit painful but positive things result from it.

    I so hope this is a lasting change. I really sense that you are a much stronger person now. You are ready to stand strong to fight for your son. Good for you. He will make it now.
  16. OTE

    OTE Active Member

    Your posts continue to be so familiar to me.... just like my difficult child. When mine isn't using, and pot is his drug of choice, he CAN be a delightful person to be with. Mine can also be obnoxious just by nature if he's not getting his way. But that's a whole other discussion.

    I do want to repeat something I said a long time ago...pot exacerbates any underlying mental illness. So this is not a common reaction to pot except to mentally ill people. People with no mental illness react as you suggest that you did. The point is that it acts as a depressant to the non-mentally ill and a stimulant to BiPolar (BP) people. So when he says it makes him feel high, I doubt he's referring to the numbing effect that you experienced. He's referring to the fact that it makes him happy, energetic, excited. Many years ago my kid referred to it as being on a roller coaster 24/7.

    in my humble opinion any stimulant for ADHD is still not a good idea. But the Zyprexa is great. It treats both mania and acts as a mood stabilizer. What I'm suggesting is that you keep up with the psychiatrist but also get him into psychotherapy to understand his own mental illness. In the long run if he doesn't accept and understand it, know what signs to look for in himself, it will always have control of him...drugs or not. The younger he is when he learns to cope with his own body the better the long term prognosis.

    What I'm suggesting is that just like my difficult child, his drug use is not only addiction unto itself in whatever way the brains works to that effect, but also an attempt on the child's part to mask the symptoms of his mental illness. eg when he's not getting the "natural" high of his mania he is looking for the "high" (the excitement) in drugs. With mine, as bright as mine is, he also has LDs which are difficult to deal with, particularly in HS when they want him to write papers and reports. Living with those pressures is another reason mine gets high, to escape his problems in life. So learning through psychotherapy to cope with pressures head on rather than through escape is another life skill that may be helpful to yours.

    Studies say that a good long term prognosis to mental illness AND to rehab requires several approaches simultaneously. So I strongly suggest psychotherapy for your son in addition to medication.

    I'll try to say it another way...have you seen the more recent long term studies of people who have had the stomach stapling surgery. They maintain the lower weight but many end up with other kinds of addiction. When food is no longer a comfort, escape, they turn to other things like alcohol, drugs, gambling... So even if we can get our kids off drugs, they're still looking for another way to solve the feelings that contributed to the drug use in the first place. A 12 step program can serve as a form of psychotherapy and a support system.
  17. Ephchap

    Ephchap Active Member

    CA Mom,

    No, there won't be any I told you so's here. We've all been down this road, so we understand.

    I also understand the great feeling of getting your son back. I'm glad you now see that the pot affected your son in more ways than you thought possible. That's why when people say that pot is not a big deal, I totally disagree. Like your son, pot made my son a totally different person. It consumed him and his life.

    I do agree with OTE above, that it would be very beneficial for your son to continue with a psychiatrist and therapy. Getting at the underlying reason that the pot made him so different would be beneficial in getting through this.

    Glad to hear things are going better.
  18. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    I haven't been down this particular road but I can say that talking about our kids stumbles on the path of life is why we are all here.
    I don't know anything about drug abuse but I know that if we don't hear the truth from those who been there done that, then we tend to believe what we want to believe. been there done that.
    You are with friends.
  19. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Glad to hear he seems to have gotten the kick to the head he needed. Is he going to be seeing a therapist to talk about why he felt such a strong need to get high all of the time? People don't get high all day long unless they are missing something.

    An ankle bracelet, huh? That's a wonderful deterent to running off! :wink: Parents of teens should be able to rent those at the corner store, if you ask me!
  20. CAmom

    CAmom Member

    Thanks for all the positive feedback!

    We do feel stronger now...of course, it helps to have the law behind us. For some reason, maybe related to whatever short circuit or no circuit accounts for ADHD behavior, my son has always been oblivious to social cues unless they were intense. For instance, a mildly angry face and mildly raised voice that would have stopped most kids in their tracks at various ages went right over my son's head. If he didn't see a SEVERELY angry face and hear a VERY loud, angry voice, he simply kept on doing what he was doing. I don't know how many times it was suggested to me that we should have his hearing checked. At 17, he hasn't changed much. But, this incident has been the REALLY big kick in the fanny that he must have needed to get his attention. Too bad we couldn't have done it without the system, but, there it is...

    That said, it isn't easy for any of us, having his PO drop by at any time. For example, the last time he was here, he sent my son back to his room to change his shirt because, apparently, wearing baby blue is forbidden for someone on home detention because it's a "gang color" in certain nearby towns. This was in spite of the fact that my son is not allowed out of the house and would have no opportunity to show gang colors even if he did belong to one, which he doesn't! When my son indignantly but mildly responded that he was NOT a gang member, so why couldn't he wear blue inside his own home, that PO slapped handcuffs on him and read him the riot act about being disrepectful. I was floored! But, this was literally the first time in my son's life that I have seen him completely intimidated by any type of authority. He completely shut up (rare for him...) and answered only "Yes, sir, no sir" when spoken to. This is probably also a first in his life as he is a consumate "negotiator." So, as much as I hate the intrusion of this PO in our lives, I think it is something else my son really needed, and it's going to have a huge impact on his life in the future.

    But, beside all that, you know what's really scary? The fact that, over a period of about three years, we saw our son going gradually downhill yet didn't really "get it." We weren't in denial--we knew he was smoking pot. Yet, we missed the tremendous impact it was having on his life and blamed it on the usual teenage stuff combined with his ADD issues. This is why my husband and I made our pact because we can't afford to let a situation like this on slip up on him or us again.

    Thankfully, drug testing will be part of his probation, and they don't just test for the presence of marijuana (and other drugs) but expect to see a continually-decreasing level over time. He knows that, if he smokes even a bit of pot, the levels won't drop as they should. In many ways, I think he's relieved to have
    "big brother" to answer to, although he wouldn't admit it.