In your opinion, is pot the gateway drug?

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by dixiegirl40, Sep 9, 2012.

  1. dixiegirl40

    dixiegirl40 Guest

    For those of you whose difficult child's are using more than pot and alcohol, my difficult child's drugs of choice, did your difficult child's start using pot first. I've been having this argument with my difficult child a lot and he says that I'm really uninformed. I never did any type of drug growing up. I wasn't rebellious either so he feels I can't relate. Where part of that is true we all have issues and I've got my share they just don't include substances. He just acts like he's on more than pot. His mood swings are terrible and his attitude is worse. I've home tested him but all it's ever been positive for his pot. I'm still new to this and need advice. Just wondering how many of your difficult child's started with pot and alcohol but progressed to more.
  2. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Hi Dixie,

    I heard once that cigarettes are the gateway drug!! In my sons case i think that was true. He always says pot is his drug of choice and that may be true, but fact is he will use anything to get high and has used a lot of different things.

    Your son wants you to believe that smoking pot and drinking are no big deal everybody does it. He wants you to believe this so that he can continue doing it with no recriminations from you. It is also in his best interest ( in his mind) to have you believe he is not doing anything else.

    So the problem with drug testing is there are lots of things that dont show up or stay in your system a short time...lsd for example. There are also lots of over the counter drugs kids use that are not tested for...such as robitussen. And ther are synthetic forms of pot such as spice and K2 that will not show up on standard drug tests. So drug testing can give you a false sense of security.

    Now that does not mean every kid who smokes pot or drinks is going to end up with a major drug problem. I did some experimenting back in the day and i never had a substance abuse problem...gee i barely even drink now!

    My advice is to pay attention and give consequences for his behavior....failing school, being nasty and agitated, not being responsible, getting in trouble with the law, etc. i think that tells you more than drug testing.

    And as others on this board know i speak from experience. We tested my son plenty and he foolednus plenty...and he has gotten into spice to avoid showing positive on court ordered drug be honest smoking pot is safer than spice.

    I think one key thing is why the kid is drinking or smoking pot. If it is a purely social thing that is one thing, if itnis to escape and deal with feelings and problems that is the sign of a real substance abuse problem. That is why one of the questions is do you use alone.

  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I heard cigarettes too, but next to that definitely pot. They start with pot and often move on. Kids who don't smoke cigarettes tend to be less apt to get into other substances too though.
  4. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Yes it was for my difficult child. I believe that for people who have addiction problems it is a gateway drug. I know there are many people who used pot and never went on to anything else, but I believe those people are not addicts. My difficult child is always looking for the next exciting thing and pot alone would just not satisfy her craving for thrills for very long. Also pot smoking introduced her to many other druggies who did more than just smoke pot and she would never turn down an offer to fit in with the low lifes.

  5. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    For difficult child-bro, it was alcohol first. He says for some of his friends, it was tobacco first. Some went from that to pot, others went straight to "other stuff". For a person with a tendency to addictions in the first place, ANY of the addictive substances can be a gateway to the others.
  6. Ephchap

    Ephchap Active Member

    I'm one who has unfortunately had first-hand experience with that in dealing with our difficult child. He started pot at probably 14 years old. He was also running away and not attending school during this time, so we signed him in against his will to a psychiatric hospital/substance abuse residential facility for 4 months. The drug use started up again at age 16, and again, it was pot. One night, one of the boys from his private all boys school (I only mention this to reiterate that drugs are everywhere; our son said it was easier to get the drugs at the smaller, private upper class school than it was at the huge public school; not only easier to get, but better drugs. Sigh) took out some crack cocaine and offered it to my son, who of course, did not turn him down. That night was the beginning of a 6 week spiral into he##. He used more and more as the days went on, and to support his now expensive habit, stole from us, stole our car to go buy drugs, and ended up with a felony on his record after just turning 17.

    So my answer is a resounding YES. The pot use puts them in with other drug users, and it ultimately introduces them to other drugs. Even when my son was smoking the pot, it consumed his life after a while, and school and responsibility became secondary. It changed him.

    Hugs to you. Substance abuse is all encompassing; it's everywhere and it affects everyone around the user. It's not an easy road, that's for sure.

  7. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    For those who become addicted... It could be anything. If you are hearing "just pot" - do NOT believe that!!!

    For instance - I was very very addicted to cigarettes, and to be honest if I smoked "just one" I'd be right back to more than a pack a day - in a day. I can't drink, because I have no tolerance for the out-of-control feeling or puking, so that's no good. And pot did nothing for me - and I had no urge whatsoever to pick up any other kind of drug. But nicotine? Whew. Yeah.

    When I got pregnant, I stopped smoking. I cut back on caffeine - but not by a lot - because well, smoking is worse for Bean than caffeine - and I could NOT do both. Alcohol was easy, since I didn't drink much to start with.
  8. dixiegirl40

    dixiegirl40 Guest

    Thank you for all your answers. This site has been not only an outlet for me but y'all have educated me more than any doctor, book, or web site because you have lived it, unfortunately.
    The last few days have been ok. It's sad when you don't want to get your hopes up and can't enjoy your difficult child when they're behaving, even a little bit.
    He's been smoking cigarettes since he was 14. Something I just learned and explains why his asthma never gets better. I watch his grades even though he failed two classes last year and is a senior this year. He fights me everyday about his schoolwork. He's so smart but doesn't do his work and doesn't apply himself.
    Weed has ruled his life for awhile now and now that I know cigs were first and the more parents I talk to I believe tobacco is a gateway drug for people like our difficult child's. Still praying and hoping for better days to come...sigh.