Jerlee - new to forum 13 year old smoking pot

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by jerlee68, Jan 3, 2012.

  1. jerlee68

    jerlee68 New Member

    I understand that this forum is mainly for parents whose children are now grown, but could I ask a question of all of you that have experience with children who have substance abuse issues? My 13 year old daughter that has ODD/ADD started smoking pot and drinking at the age of 11. She claims that she cannot stop smoking pot because it is the only thing that helps her to calm down. My question is what things have you as parents tried to help your children with as far as treatment options go? What has worked, what didn't? Did most of you have children who ended up trying harder drugs after starting with pot? Is there any medication that you know of that helps control the urge to smoke pot? I would appreciate any feedback and please excuse the fact that I am still trying to learn the abbreviations and lingo on this site due to being new.
    Lasted edited by : Jan 4, 2012
  2. runawaybunny

    runawaybunny Guest

    Hi jerlee, your post has been moved here from our Parent Emeritus forum so that it will be found more easily by other parents that are familiar with the issues you are dealing with.

    Welcome to the community.
  3. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome jerlee. Our daughter began smoking pot at 14. We suspected because we knew neighborhood boys that smoked pot. We did everything we could to keep her away from it but nothing worked. She then began drinking, a lot, mostly beer but then it escalated to vodka or anything available. She did try other drugs from time to time, nothing terrible serious, but drugs all the same. She snorted adderal a couple times I know. If she had not entered treatment when she did I have no doubt that she would have gotten into much harder drugs. Her drinking was the worst problem, she could drink a case of beer a night.

    My daughter is also ODD and we have had issues with her for many years so it was not a surprise she turned to substance abuse. She has told us that it was the only thing that made her feel normal and let her fit in with people. I think that's common among our substance abuse kids, they don't feel right in their own skin so they turn to alcohol/drugs.

    Like so many others here, ours is a sad story of her getting into legal trouble, running away from home, getting suspendedf from college, losing her job, getting kicked out of the house and living with a druggie neighbor for two months until she finally agree to go into a treatment abuse center. The only thing that helped was rehab and subsequent outpatient treatment and a lifelong commitment to staying sober. She is only 20 years old now and it's a tough life for a youg person but she now knows the stakes. No amount of pleading, threatening, begging made her change until she hit her bottom, and it was very difficult to watch happen.

    Your daughter is still young and you can require her to go into drug counseling/treatment. Eventually her pot smoking will cause problems in other areas of her life. She started awfully youong. Irregardless of what many people have said, I don't believe young people can only smoke pot and not move onto other drugs. All of the other young people I know who were smoking pot early are not into other things, a lot moved to heroin which in our area has skyrocketed. The pot of today is not like the pot of the 70's. It is much more potent and is usually laced with other things.

    How are her grades in school? Pot made my daughter very tired and lethargic. She can't possibly be performing well in school or elsewhere is she is smoking pot constantly. Also where is she getting the money to buy it?

    I hope this helps get you started. Tell us more about your daughter and others will be along shortly.

  4. Zardo

    Zardo Member

    Welcome to the forum and feel free to post on this part of the board any time you have questions or issues related to SA. About 1.5 years ago, I was in your same situation with my 14 year old son. Since then, we have been down a very long road and he is making progress, but our journey is not done. Some of the things that help are hard to do as a parent. The biggest turning point for us was that our son was caught with pot at school, arrested and expelled. Nightmare right? Well, it was necesary. Prior to that, he hated us as it was my husband and I versus him and his pot/other drugs. WHen I showed up to pick him up at the police station, he kicked himself for not working with us. Although that one event was very significant, it did not stop him. We have had a year and a half of progress and set backs but with each move forward, the slip back is a little less. At the worst of it, we sent our son to a therapeutic Wilderness program. I would say that was a very effective intervention. What that did was slow him down and get him to look inward a little more rather than raging at everyone around him. It still didn't completely stop the drug use either, but it did have a big impact. More recently, after another "slip" he went to a intensive IOP program near our home. This had a very big impact as he met several kids much further down the road of SA than him, so now we try again. I would say that if she is totally spiraling out of control and nothing you do or say can reach her and she is unwilling to go to an outpatient program, Wilderness may be the way to go. There are programs that take unwilling kids. they come to your home in the middle of the night to "escort" them to treatment. The group therapy they do at Wilderness daily is one of the best ways to reach them. this group of "broken" kids tell their stories and tell each other how out of control their behavior is. Again, it doesn't fix everything, but it slows them down and starts the process of introspection. They return to you able to communicate much better. It's a great start. If you don't have the funds for that (and who does - we used his college money), you must let a natural negative consequence occur, like and arrest or expulsion. This way, society will punish and you are the partner to help them through. Don't try to protect her from being caught. Being caught could be the one thing that gets through to her. Another idea may be that you mandate her to go to outpatient treatment. When I suggest this I oftern hear parents say that their kids won't go.....well, you have to MAKE them go. They want a phone, computer, rides, etc...right? Well, they can only have them if they attend treatment. I have heard many counselors say that treatment works just as well for those that are "forced" to go. The bottom line is, be firm and don't protect. You have some power as far as forcing treatment and if you can afford the big ticket of Wilderness, consider it. It will be a long road with lots of "programs" and support along the way, but it can be done. We are in a MUCH better place than we were 1 year ago....but we too are not done. BEST OF LUCK. Good books to read - "Intervention - Anything but My Own Skin" - "Teens Under the Influence" - "Changing for Good"
  5. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Welcome. I wish I could provide "the" answer you are seeking. Sadly most of us have found that it is a long, long road with substance abuse. At thirteen I hoped that by eliminating his new "bad" friends I would regain my innocent teen. That was not the case even though I literally would stay up all night to prevent them from rapping on his window to talk him into going out in the wee hours. I still wish that I had sent him to live with relatives as soon as I saw what the problems were but in my case I really did not have anyone who was age appropriate and eager to take on a teen. Sigh.

    We started off with a therapist, moved on to an outpatient substance abuse center, then to two residential substance treatment centers...and then he got "caught" with pot and was sent (with no objections from me, by the way) to a State residential s.a. program. I looked high and low for "the" answer but in our case he has made poor choices which improved a bit with aging.

    One thing I learned is that kids who drink before the age of 14 or 15 are statistically likely to become true alcoholics. That has proven true in our family. Sad.

    I don't know how cooperative your daughter is or how well you relate to one another. The problem will not solve itself as you know. I would suggest that you explore all programs and professional help available to you. Sending warm supportive hugs your way. by the way, it is not your fault! DDD
  6. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Welcome Jerlee.....Sorry you have to be here. My son also started smoking pot at 14 and had experimented with alcohol before that. He liked pot a lot more than alcohol. He ended up in trouble at school and we sent him to a wilderness program and then to a therapeutic boarding school. All of that did help postpone some of the major drug use which I think is helpful in the long run. However it did not solve some of the real underlying issues.

    What I have come to believe since then is that kids who at 14 start smoking a lot of pot are trying to escape from other underlying issues... whether they be family problems, unresolved mental illness or something else. My son did have a good therapist at the time but we were not getting to his issues of anger at us and there were some other major issues at the time that we were not aware of. I wish I had understood better about some of his underlying trauma and had gotten at it... because I wonder then if we could have avoided the follow on drug problems.

    So my thought is your daughter is smoking pot for a reason... there is something she is trying to escape from. I don't know what.. and she may not completely know either. I think the best thing to do first is to find her a good therapist (if she doesn't already have one) and start her in some fairly intensive therapy and if it makes sense do some family therapy. If you can get to the reason she is smoking pot now I think you have a better chance of preventing future drug addiction. And the sad truth is, it might not matter or make a difference.

    Once they get older (my son is now 20) I think they really need to choose to get help before anything you do makes a difference.... but at 13 or 14 as a parent you have more influence (even if she acts like you don't) and more options. Do what you can to find out what those options are.

    I think we as parents can get stuck on the drug use.... when at that age what we need to do is look for the underlying causes for the drug use. Later on I think the drug use becomes the major problem but at this young age I would look to see if you can figure out the causes and work on those.

  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Our daughter started at twelve, but we didn't know until she was busted at fifteen. We tried everything, including homeschooling her to try to keep her away from her "bad" friends, but she found ways to do drugs and in her case (not everyone's) her drug use escalated. In retrospect, if we hadn't been so naive, I think we would have sent her to a rehab to get her help plus get her off the streets and away from her (cough) friends. When she was eighteen we did make her leave and getting out of this town really helped her...she did get clean. But it was a long, rocky road. If you can get her into a drug rehab, and try to get through to her to work hard at it, that would be amazing and so hopeful.

    by the way, my daughter has told us she started using drugs because, after we moved to a new town, nobody talked to her at school. She sat alone and was painfully shy. Sadly, the misfit kids are always the most accepting and they took her under their wing. She wanted to be liked so she went along with what they did. But by the time she was really taking drugs, the root cause didn't matter...she was already hooked and our main desire was to help her stop using. So in my opinion it is not always looking at the root cause first simply because a drug fogged brain doesn't do therapy very well. The vicious cycle of drug use/mental illness is like a merry-go-round and in my opinion the drug use makes the treatment impossible. That is why I said an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) may be good. Hopefully, drugs would be monitored carefully there, which they can't be in the neighborhood.

    Good luck!