In Denial No More

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by sun, Apr 30, 2013.

  1. sun

    sun New Member

    Hello and thank you for being here,
    I have suspected for a year that my child is using drugs but I chose not to see it or admit it. Now I have proof, have seen marijuana and other items in his room and smelled it almost every day for the past week. When my H and I confronted him he said that pot is totally safe, non addictive, and all natural. I am angry that he chooses to do this in our home after we have said we do not approve of drug use. I removed the drug paraphernalia from his room today and he became very angry. He walked out of the house and has been gone for 2 hours. He is 18, a senior in HS and has D's and F's. We are worried he won't graduate. I hate this and do not know what to do.
  2. kennedyland

    kennedyland New Member

    You sound like I did thirteen years ago when I first learned my son was doing drugs. I urge you to get counseling today. You need counseling for yourself and a plan for how to deal with this situation. Since he is 18 you may be limited in what you can do to resolve this issue.

    Two things need to be realized. First, the decision to stop doing drugs is his choice. Second, it is up to you to choose how to respond to that choice. My son was 15 when we learned of his drug use. We put him in a hospital program (twice), halfway homes, a sober high school, and personal counseling. It cost thousands of dollars. All the money I'd saved for college was gone before he was 18. None of this worked because of one basic limitation -he didn't want to get sober. When he was in the sober high school he got some of the best drugs he ever had from his fellow students. When in a group counseling session all the teens in the group were going to the bathroom, one at a time, and snorting cocaine. When he failed a urine test he said, "When I turn 18 I'm going to do whatever I want and you can't stop me." Sadly, he was right. He had a ton of education on drug rehabilitation, he chose-and continues to chose- to ignore it.

    So what can you do? The answer isn't one you will want to hear, but it is very necessary. Kick him out. No money, no car, no home. Until he concludes that it is better to give up this "totally safe, non addictive, and all natural" drug, demonstrate tough love. Do it today. I also live in Minnesota. If you'd like to talk, send me a private message with your email and we'll discuss this.
  3. nervous

    nervous New Member

    Sorry you are going through this, I really have no advice but am dealing with the same issue. My son is using Pot & Xtacy plus othere that I'm not sure about. What I am realizing is that while we are dealing with our children's issues we need to take care of ourselves(easier said than done)

    Sending hugs & support your way!
  4. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hi sun, I love the name. Glad you found us, you will find many parents here who understand what you are going through.

    I agree with kennedy except for one point. Your son is still in high school and it's important that he finish and graduate, so kicking him out at this point is not an option. Hopefully he can bring his grades up enough to do that and it is very close to the end of the year. I would tell him how important it is that he finish high school and try to work out some way you can survive. After that he is 18 and an adult and if he deosn't want to abide by your rules he can find alternative living arrangements.

    My daughter was 14 when she began smoking pot and she still feels it's harmless. She has been on her own for the past three years and she is struggling. She just barely finished high school just like your son, and she has a difficult time finding and keeping a job, all minimum wage jobs. There's nothing I can do about it and believe me we have tried, but in the end we did have to make her leave.

    Try to find an al-anon or families anonymous group near you and go to some meetings. Connecting with other parents in the same situation is the only thing that has kept me sane.
  5. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    Hi Sun,

    I agree with Nancy that son needs to try hard to finish up High School and graduate on time.

    I remember how scary it was when I found out my son's were using drugs. They were around 13/14 at the time and getting kicked out of school, sent to alternative school or jail school was horrible!
    husband and I put them into Drug Rehab. Young difficult child stayed at Rehab for 4 months while oldest was kept for 6 months.
    My oldest is sober now after spending time in prison for stealing while on Meth. Our younger difficult child just got out of prison in December and is living with us now...time will tell if he can get completely sober.

    I do know that I have heard that the Later the onset of drugs use the sooner they quit! That may give you some hope.

    Have you ever attended any Al Anon meetings yet in your area? I think you might really benefit from what they have to say and teach.

    Am glad you found us...
    Remember to take care of you and husband.
  6. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Welcome. Glad you found us but truly sorry you even had to look. Yes, we have been there done that too. I understand the shock that you are expriencing. Truthfully (even tho I had raised two sons who discovered pot in an earlier generation) I had the hardest time wrapping my head around the grandson's use and the quick repercussions. Like many here I was so proud that he as a gifted student and a super athlete AND polite to a fault AND handsome as heck.

    The truth was he was drinking and smoking and traveling an alternative road with kids I did not know or like. Sigh.
    Like some others we sent him to three rehab programs. We thought it would open his eyes. Sadly he learned a bunch of new things about alternative society. Each family and each difficult child is different.

    I do not think now is the time to kick him out. There is still a chance that he could graduate and that is important even if he just skims by. What I THINK I would do is tell him that he only has x months until graduation and you all want him to get that diploma for the sake of his future. I THINK I would tell him that you will not have drugs in your home. Likely I would tell him that IF he brings drugs into your family home...he has to find another home and take ownership of his choices BUT that you love him and pray that he will think about his decisions at this critical time.

    Very important. You and your husband have to get on the same page NOW. That is critical. One can not be enabling and the other trying tough love. Find a common ground with your husband and make sure you both understand that a united front is the ONLY front that has a chance. I am sending very very caring and supportive hugs. DDD
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I would like to offer that he may be doing more than just smoking pot if his grades are that bad, unless he has always been a bad student. Often the kids will cop to pot, but not tell the entire story. When my daughter was using drugs, she was busted twice for pot and we just found pot and the equipment that goes with pot in her room so we thought that pot was all she did and we were semi-relieved about that. If we had known the full extent of her drug use, we would have freaked out since drugs just wasn't a part of our lives....ever. Not even when others used to do drugs in my high school. Don't get me wrong about pot. I think it is very dangerous to many people and it definitely is a Gateway drug and there is often stuff put into the pot...I am very against it.

    Since Daughter quit, we learned she had also been doing meth, ecstascy, ADHD drugs (the kids crush them in pillcrushers and snort them alone or with cocaine), and she even tried heroin, which is making a big comeback. I don't want to scare you, but I do want you to be aware that he MAY just be smoking pot, but this also could be the tip of the iceberg. Beware of weird sleeping hours, weight loss, moodswings, over-the-top anger, friends who also advocate drug use, stolen money (for drugs) and general poor choices.

    My daughter started smoking pot first. She was twelve. I didn't realize that it is less common to quit if you start early, but that makes sense. Still, in my daughter's case, she did quit at around nineteen. She has since been clean and we have learned a lot about her drug use and the drug use of other kids, at least as she knew it back then (she is now almost twenty-nine).

    I think your son should graduate too. After that, he is 18, your house...your rules. I am not sure what I'd do if my child were smoking pot but also being respectful at home and doing well in other areas of life. I certainly would ban smoking this or keeping any stuff in the house. If your son is really giving you a hard time, I think you have no choice but to show him the door at 18. And I do think you need to tell him you won't allow him to do anything illegal in your home, whether or not he thinks it's ok. Does he have a job? He is old enough. We cut off our daughter's money supply as soon as we saw that she was smoking cigarettes (she has even quit cigarettes). After that, she had to put up with minimal stuff until she turned sixteen. Then she DID work because she got no allowance. It was helpful in the long term to make her get a job...she has a really good work ethic now.

    Does your son has realistic plans for his life after high school if he graduates?

    I agree that you should go to Al-Anon or Narc-Anon. They REALLY helped me when I felt hopeless and alone.
  8. sun

    sun New Member

    Dear Nervous,
    Thank you for your support and I'm sorry to hear that you are going through the same thing. Lately I come home from work and feel paralyzed, just sit on the couch watching TV or reading FB posts. I agree I need to do something for myself to cope with all of this. It sure doesn't help that we are getting snow in May! Thanks again. Take care.
  9. sun

    sun New Member

    Hi Midwest Mom,
    I have worried about other drugs besides pot, too. I'm not sure what to look for though, I think he has friends that do other drugs. He had a job but quit so he could concentrate on bringing up his grades, but that did not happen. Today he texted me and said he was going to look for a job after school. My 20 year old and his girlfriend said they would offer to help him bring up his grades and get assignments turned in and I'm grateful for that.

    Thank you for your insights and advice. It helps to hear other people's stories.
  10. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    How many weeks does he have left until graduation? If it is six or eight, for example, I wouldn't attempt to identify the drugs and get him to stop right now. Likely I would stress with a circled calendar or a backward calendar that he just has to MAN UP for x number of weeks, accept the families help and get that diploma. Meanwhile, of course, no drugs in the house or cars...preferably no drugs in him.

    in my humble opinion the reason that grades plunge is because our difficult children can not maintain their focus on school, the discipline to go and meet the criteria AND smoke pot or do pills or whatever. Therefore exploring the drug issue in depth AND trying to climb the grades up etc. likely would be overwhelming and the easy answer is spend all day doped up. It is next to impossible to multi-task when you are stoned. Sigh. DDD
  11. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Hi Sun,

    I too have been there and done that.... you can certainly find the details of my story in various threads on this site so I wont go into all of it now. Yes to there probably being more drugs that you are aware of.

    These are my thoughts based on my experience. Dont put yourself in the role of police... it doesnt work and just gets in the way of any kind of relationship. Avoid a power struggle over whether he is using or not using. You absolutely have no control over whether or not he uses drugs. Do be clear about your boundares around his behavior... so yes he needs to follow the rules of common decency in your house, including not bringing drugs into your home. If he is seriously using drugs chances are he will not be able to do this for very long. Do find an alanon group for parents, this has been an incredibly huge help in my own journey. Do let him know you are concerned and that you will support him when he wants help. Continue to let him know you love him.

    If you do end up kicking him out... be prepared for that to be hard. Dont kick him out to teach him a lesson or to try making him stop using. It may not work and then what? Do kick him out if he is not following the rules and your home and life starts to feel like a war zone... then you are doing it for your own sanity and well being.

    We had to kick my son out at the age of 18 and I do think ti was the right thing to do and the only thing we could do at the time. We have a younger daughter and we had to protect her from what was going on.... but it meant he has lived a lot of different places and more recenlty (now he is 21) spent some time literally homeless and on the streets. This was very hard on me as well as on him. He did finally go for help (again after many other times) and is now living in a sober house..... but I keep coming back to I have to let him know I love him and will support him in helping himself.... but i cannot control his drug use.

  12. enzo

    enzo Member

    We elected for "truth over harmony", and keep it very "real". We go through his stuff, monitor who he hangs with, and he knows we reach out to other parents with info on their kids. He likes living at home, and the comforts of his family. And he knows we love him, but we dont hesitate to get in his face and he usually backs down. Taht being said, we've called the cops to our home if he starts throwing things or physically intimidating. We are currently not letting him complete his driver ed, and we joke that by the time he drives, the cars will be hovercrafts like the Jetsons. Not sure what happens when he turns 18...he wants to go to college, and we will likely do a gap year...its a tough job..