First, hello to everyone and I hope I find some support here. From browsing a bit, it looks to be a caring group. I'll apologize in advance that this will be a long post. I'm posting in this forum, because I know some substance use is involved here, although I'm not sure if it's the cause of the problem or just a symptom. I suppose some background is in order. I'm 50 years old and the mother of one child, my son, age 18 as of last April. His biological father was my first husband. I married poorly the first time. I only knew him a few months before we married. He was a high school drop-out and, as I later discovered, an alcoholic. He seldom got "drunk", but he drank all the time, if that makes sense. His father also had a dependence on alcohol. We divorced while my son was just a baby and I remarried right after his 5th birthday. My husband is a wonderful man. Stable, dependable, caring, a former marine, hard-working, and a good father. He adopted my son when he was 7. We hadn't seen from his bio-dad since we'd married and as it turns out, he'd taken up stealing as a calling soon after we split and only a few months after the adoption he hung himself while in jail awaiting trial for something. My son has no real memories of him. I have never spoken ill of his bio-dad to him and he only found out the truth of his dad's death in the last couple years. He had never asked. When he did, we told him the truth. Around age 16 my son changed. He's always been a difficult kid. He hasn't ever really fit in anywhere, never had many friends, has not been "happy". He was always a solemn child, not a smiler, you know? He always had a tendency to obsess. When he was really little it was trains, then it was star wars, then it was video games. I mean that he almost literally would do nothing else and play nothing else. He did, however, spend time with us, watch TV or what have you, with us. He never joined clubs, had no interest whatsoever in sports of any kind, even when little, hed play one season and never do it again. He took karate lessons for a few months, to dojo closed and he refused to go anywhere else. But he began spending more and more time locked away in his room or with friends. We really thought it was just the teen thing. He still made decent grades, although his teachers universally thought he was lazy. Hes VERY bright, but the kind of kid that wouldnt do homework, or would do it and not turn it in. By mid-term hed be getting Fs. By finals hed bring it up to Cs, Bs and even As. The older he got the more he changed. His old friends were replaced by new and we were concerned by his friends, they were slackers for lack of a better word. The long-haired, baggy-pants, kinda-maybe stoners. But, he assured us, he wasnt doing anything wrong and he was never in trouble, kept his curfew, etc. Then shortly after he turned 17, we found him stoned on synthetic pot when we came home from church. After he straightened up, we searched his room, and found nothing else, but he left home for a week. He came home when he realized no one would take him in. We did a few family counseling sessions and thought things were better. We suspected it was still going on...but we both work, we arent home all the time and cant really monitor him 24/7. At the same time he was selling things, his guitars (hed quit lessons anyway) and his X box. Anyway, after his 18[SUP]th[/SUP] we (about June his birthday is April) found out hed stolen from us by returning some items wed bought for home improvement to the store. Again, he left home and returned in a week for the same reason. While he was gone he sold his laptop and $125 headset wed JUST bought him and a psp hed just gotten. He came home broke, saying someone had stolen his $ at a house hed been at, and in such a state we badgered him until he agreed to go to the ER. They diagnosed him with depression and prescribed an antidepressant. We got him a counselor and he saw her all summer, but as soon as he got to college he stopped the medications. Again, we thought things were better. We knew he was still smoking pot, but hes over 18 and we cant stop that. We forbid it in our house, and he always said he didnt in the house, but our house would smell funny, not really like pot, but I guess the synthetic doesnt really have that smell. Through all this time we also fought his temper. He has a horrible temper and since he was a young child has had what could best be described as tantrums. He was kicked out of daycare at 3 for them. He saw a child psychiatrist for a time back then. He was never diagnosed with anything. Since about age 17 he took to punching holes in his door. He was finally told that if he did it again, had a screaming fit toward us, hed be out. It nearly came to that, but things settled down. In August, right before he left for college, we discovered hed pawned his dads guitars. We got them back, but there was no way we werent going to catch this his dad takes a lesson every week! He said he needed the money to help a friend (un-named of course) which is his default answer. I should mention that through all this hed gotten a small allowance, $15 a week in gas and $20 cash. Hes never had a job. He said hed looked, but when he refuses to cut his hair or wear appropriate clothing for interviews or listen to us when we tell him HOW to job hunt....well of course he doesnt get hired. We debated, seriously, about sending him to college. Its a 2 year university 4 hours from home. We sent him, because we wanted him AWAY from our town and his friends, most of whom are drop-outs and on probation. We told him if he stole even one more thing from us, wed call the police. He was getting $50 week spending money and was always broke. We pay for his dorm, but he says he hates the food so he buys fast food all the time. He came home about every 3 weeks...he got high as soon as hed get in town, I might add. Then in Sept he came home to sign his $700 student loan check (after the university takes their share) and we discovered that BEFORE the guitars, hed stolen our archery equipment and pawned it. Were also missing his dads PS2 and a number of DVDs. The ONLY reason we didnt call the police was that it was done before the guitars. His father wanted to keep his car at that point (in our names) but I couldnt face it. So instead we cut his allowance to $25 a week and told him to stay gone until Thanksgiving. Our hope was that with so little money hed #1 not be able to come home on the sly and then get stranded (it takes about $40 gas to get one way) #2 not have any money after gas and cigarettes for pot. He was also told he better get nothing less than Bs or Cs or we were taking the car. Of course, he is always dead broke and begging for money. In the last couple of weeks, weve been advised hes failing. I thought that would mean hed be coming home and I actually drew up a set of rules to give him over the holiday. Now hes saying he doesnt want to come home. His big idea is to move to Colorado (he didnt say WHY Colorado, but I can guess) buy cheap land hes found on the internet, and live off the grid in an RV with this other guy hes met down there that also hates college. When told he would NOT be taking our car out of state, he was ******. He apparently planned to enroll in next semesters classes and then take the $ and run instead. I reminded him that he only gets about $700 after the university takes their share (Oh, his prior $700 is in MY bank account at the moment). Again, he was ****** because his friends get so much more in student loans we make too much for him to get more. No matter what he does, we are on the hook for his student housing, because we guaranteed the lease, to the tune of $680 per month. Im just lost. He was supposed to go to school and get an education and hopefully at least meet a little better class of stoner. (A joke but you know what I mean, people who actually want an education!) but instead hes just so out there. I dont know what to do. Do we take the car? Do we stop his $ altogether? Do we give him his student loan money and say Thats it. Do what you want. He wont listen. He says he cant find work down there. He wont come back and says he cant find work here. But he wont change anything TO find work. He wont consider a different college. (The one hes in put him in nothing but computer courses in his major no general studies not exactly what Id thought was wise, but I couldnt change it.) How do I get him to see reason? I dont know if its the pot or if hes just...lost it. All I really know is right now I wonder what I did wrong. We set reasonable rules, we gave him love and respect and hes just completely turned away from us and its breaking me apart.