Off the wagon, again....

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Mikey, Apr 24, 2007.

  1. Mikey

    Mikey Psycho Gorilla Dad

    Well, 4/20 wasn't much of a problem, but 4/21 (Saturday) was. However, difficult child seemed to respond to our enforcment of the house rules without too much fuss.

    Or so we thought.

    Yesterday, wife came home at 4pm to find difficult child cooking up pot peanut butter crackers in our stove! And it's not like he didn't know his mom was on her way - wife called 10 minutes before to let him know she was coming home to help him get ready for a job interview at 5pm.

    Of course, the moment wife walks in the house it reeks of pot, and difficult child has the gall to stand there with a stupid grin on his face and say "I'm just cooking some peanut butter crackers"...
    ...Like my wife doesn't know what pot smells like. :grrr:

    Well, like Saturday, crackers go in the disposal, pot goes in the toilet, car is searched and that pot goes in the toilet as well. difficult child still gets ready for job interview while all this is going on (and somehow gets the job).

    My son isn't stupid. He knew he would get caught. It's almost like he wanted to get caught - maybe to provoke a fight, maybe to get back at us for flushing his weed and grounding him on Saturday, I don't know. But this was a deliberate, in our face "F___ You".

    wife was furious, wanted to kick him out on the spot. I tried talking to him, but the argument had already been in full swing for 20 minutes before I screeched into the driveway to prevent murder. At that point, difficult child's ODD was in full gear, and there was almost no talking to him. I followed him around while he was getting dressed, and managed to get in a few questions. But as soon as he was done he left for his interview, then disappeared until curfew (actually was home 30 minutes before curfew).

    Yep, pot is a major problem, and now it's time to deal with it. But I can't help but feel this episode was about something else. When I asked him if he thought pot was worth risking the progress he'd made over the last three months, he replied "what progress?".

    I said "Hasn't your life been better lately?" (which I thought it was, since he seemed happier and appeared to be proud of his accomplishments). He said "No, only your life is better because I'm not getting into trouble. I can't hang out with any of my stoner friends, I haven't slept over anywhere for over two months, and the only person you approve of that I'm around is my girlfriend. Nope, my life sucks, but your life sure has been better".

    I then asked "So if you're so unhappy, what would make you happy?" Stupid question, I know, but I wanted to get him to come out and actually say what he thought to keep the conversation going. He outflanked me with his reply, though. He said "Think of all the things you don't want me doing, all the things you say hurts you and Mom, all the things you say will damage my relationship with the family, and you'll know".

    I asked "so pot is worth throwing away your relationship with us and all the good things you've accomplished in the last few months?" He replies "If you say so. I like pot - that won't change. All that will change is that I know now to never bring it into the house, never let you know when I'm using it, never tell you where I am or who I'm with, and never let you know what I'm doing. And you can't stop it".

    So, I guess the gauntlet has been thrown. I'm meeting with his therapist today to discuss strategies for difficult child's session tomorrow night (assuming he'll go). Don't know what will come of it, but the doctor's initial thought is that this isn't about the pot, but an anger response over what we did over the weekend. In a wierd way, it's almost like using pot and deliberately choosing that lifestyle has become a weapon for him to use against us.

    I feel like I'm playing a shell game with a streetcorner hustler. Which cup has the peanut? Or, in other words, what's the real problem here? Pick the wrong cup, you lose your money. Pick the wrong issue to address, lose your chance to help your son.

    My head is still reeling from this. But I guess it's time to take the bull by the horns and do what has to be done. I just need to make sure I'm taking on the right bull.

    :nonono:

    Mikey
     
  2. KFld

    KFld New Member

    I'm about to run out the door to take an early lunch break and take a walk on this beautiful day here in CT, but I just wanted to say first, and I'll say more later, that I don't believe his therapist or anyone is making a big enough deal over the pot. It's time to stop figuring out what the real problem is and why he's smoking pot, he has to stop in order to live in your house. Trust me, you do not want to be sitting here typing to us a few months from now trying to figure out what is behind him using heroin, crack, or any other substance worse then what he's already using. You need to make it clear that he has to follow your rules and stop using drugs, whether it be once a week, once a month, or once a day, or he needs to move out!!

    He has set the stage for more manipulation and hiding what he is doing. I said that yesterday, be careful he doesn't just get more creative about not getting caught.

    I will be back soon, after my walk :smile:

    And by the way, pot peanut butter crackers?? Whatever happened to the hash brownies :smile:
     
  3. Mikey

    Mikey Psycho Gorilla Dad

    Hi Karen. I agree, it's now time to take on the weedmonster. Everyone agrees. Just trying to figure out next steps.

    and re: "And by the way, pot peanut butter crackers?? Whatever happened to the hash brownies?"

    Brownies you actually have to cook. This other way, you simply mix the pot in peanut butter, smear it on some crackers, and bake it for a few minutes to get the THC oil to mix with the peanut butter and melt into the crackers. According to my son, it's lot's easier.

    Funny story about that, too. When I was talking with the intake coordinator at a local Residential Treatment Center (RTC) about possibly sending my son there, I had to describe what his problems were and what he was currently doing. When I told her about distilling his own hash oil, she'd heard about that. What she hadn't heard of was the way he was using it, i.e. consuming it sublingually, under his tongue (he learned that little trick from his sublingual vitamin B supplement).

    To say the least, she was surprised (which was saying something for a woman who's dealt with teen substance abusers for over 15 years). Her comments were "my, what a creative young man you have".

    :hammer:

    She then proceeded to tell me that she couldn't take him on as an inpatient because he was an adolescent, and unless he was found to be a danger to himself or others, they couldn't "lock him in". So they only take adults and adolescents who actively seek rehabilitation, or adolesecnts who are are in crisis. Smoking pot, being a smart-A** to your parents, and being defiant don't count.

    So they won't take him. Neither will any other inpatient Residential Treatment Center (RTC) for three states around. All that's available is IOP, which he probably won't agree to go to because he doesn't think he has a problem.

    Ugh. Well, let's see what his therapist comes up with. It might be time for the intervention he said might be necessary, only we don't have the threat of forced inpatient treatment to use as persuasion.

    Mikey
     
  4. KFld

    KFld New Member

    O.k. I'm back from my walk now. I wanted to just keep on walking!! It's so beautiful out.

    Anyway, I guess it's kind of hard when they are just using pot, because I think most rehabs don't consider that a reason to need rehab, which is a shame. If they could stop that before it goes into anything worse, they could save many people some headaches.

    You have to come up with some kind of plan at this point now. Ignoring the pot smoking as long as he was doing everything else right just isn't working. Seemed like it might for a short time there, but his behaviors just proved otherwise. I think he caught onto the fact that if you are seeing progress in other areas, you will ignore the pot smoking and now he's just pushing it to see what else you will ignore.

    Camom may be a good person to talk too. Her story sounds much like yours. the program her son ended up in sounds like it could be doing him wonders. I know her difficult child was placed there by the court system, but she may be able to give you some pointers on how to look into the type of program her son is in.

    Until his therapy tomorrow, is he grounded? Or is he on the loose until then? I think something important to figure out is how to get the point across that you and wife are calling the shots. Don't let him know that you wait until your therapy appointments and see what she tells you to do all the time. He needs to feel this is coming from you.
     
  5. Sunlight

    Sunlight Active Member

    I dont know what to tell you. my son was a big drug user. me finding out just made him go underground more with it.
    I would let him know you will seek and destroy all illegal substances and remind him when he is 18 he can find his own roof. he doesnt seem to care about your rules.
     
  6. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Honestly, I wish I knew what to say---in the end, you have to live with your choices, your son has to live with his. Mine also was for a long time just a "stoner" but like so many he moved on to bigger and "better" things. Yours still has a chance---whether he chooses to change or not is not up to you---But, that doesn't mean you have to allow his defiance and disrespect in your home.
     
  7. CAmom

    CAmom Member

    Karen, funny you should mention me. I was thinking, when I read Mikey's post, particularly the wording his son used, how very similar his and my son sound!

    In terms of what to do, I was thinking back on the advice our psychotherapist gave us last summer (although he misunderstood and was laboring under the assumption that our son was 17 rather than the 16 he actually was at the time and would not be turning 18 in a month but 17) which was to give him nothing and "let him go!" At the time and a couple of weeks later, when "letting him go" resulted in him getting himself into legal trouble, I really felt that that was bad advice.

    Now, I can see that no matter what we might have said or done, the result probably would have been the same, UNLESS we had used our psychotherapist's "last-ditch-effort" plan which was to admit that he was out of our control and send him off to a reform type treatment faciltity.

    My only regret is that we didn't do that at the time. I'm not a doomsayer by nature, but I really believe that a kid who is so blatantly defying his parents and the law is bound for trouble.
     
  8. Mikey

    Mikey Psycho Gorilla Dad

    Thanks CAMom. Unfortunately, there aren't any "reform" type facilities that will take him. He's too close to being an adult, and is "just a pothead". Not enough justification to put him in inpatient against his will and keep him there. Only the courts can do that.

    And it may come to pass that the courts will get involved. Unfortunately, I just got back from my appointment. with difficult child's therapist, and according to "the law", there isn't much I can do right now. I can't kick him out until he's 18 AND out of school (dropping out counts). He's still in school, just got a much better job, is keeping up with his bills, basically leaving me with nothing I can legally use to eject him from my house (not that we've decided to do that yet). So for now, it's a mexican standoff for the next 12-14 months, unless he chooses to move out on his own (which he said he wouldn't do, because "he can't support himself yet").

    At this point, I don't know what my options are any more. All that's left is to actually call the police the next time he has drugs, report him as a runaway when he breaks curfew, etc... But unlike getting caught "on his own" for doing illegal things, those actions would give him even more reason to be angry and resent us - feelings that he already uses as an excuse to act out would only be strengthened.

    There really are some days when I wish I'd payed more attention in sex-ed class to the birth control sessions...

    Mikey
     
  9. KFld

    KFld New Member

    Please don't take the stand that there is nothing you can do. There is plenty you can do to get the point across that he is now allowed to behave like this in your home.

    Take away every priviledge you possibly can. Don't allow him to drive, take the t.v. out of his room, video games, etc. Let him know this is your house. If he is going to treat you that way, then he doesn't deserve any priviledges. You need to tell him straight out that as long as he's living in your home, he's not allowed to smoke pot and come and go as he pleases. You may not be able to kick him out, yet, but you can show him that you are the boss and you make the rules. He's not worried about your feelings and disrespecting you so you have to stop worrying about how every action you take will make him disrespect or resent you. You've tried being Mr. nice guy and he's already treating you this way. You are his parents, not his friends.
     
  10. Mikey

    Mikey Psycho Gorilla Dad

    Good points, and we're probably at the point where they make sense. wife and I will discuss this evening and try to present a united front. Still, it hurts that in order to address this current issue, we'll have to do things that will cause him to abandon or otherwise sabotage the progress he's made in other areas.

    I did have one thought, though. Summer was already going to suck for us, but is only about a month away. Should I wait to play the tough-love card until after the school year is over? That way, he can't sabotage his grades (and himself) to retaliate against us, and he'll be settled into his new 800.00/month job (which he could lose if we wanted to, uh, "be nasty" about it).

    Should I play damage control for another four weeks? In all honesty, if he keeps up this current trend once school is out his behavior probably won't be much different whether we punch his privilges ticket or not. But at least he'll have more to lose, and can't deliberately hurt himself to get back at us.

    Unless things get DRAMATICALLY worse (and even now they aren't as bad as they were late last year), I think we can ride out another four weeks (teeth gritting, eyes squinting, fists balled, etc...)

    :grrr:

    Thoughts?

    Mikey
     
  11. CAmom

    CAmom Member

    As Karen said, you can still take everything away--this is what our therapist meant by "give him nothing and let him go." We, also, in CA couldn't lock our doors against our son as he was only 16--almost 17--at the time.

    However, there were many situations (refusing to get up for school, obviously "high," staying out later than curfew, etc.) in which he broke the law which would have allowed us to call our local police (six officers in a 1500 person community who are very tuned into the kids personally and would have been happy to help), but we didn't take that opportunity, mainly because we were afraid that doing so would irrevocably damage our relationship with our son. Of course, he was very well aware of this and used it against us quite cheerfully.

    Instead, we basically did nothing but lecture, negotiate, plead, etc., all of which he earnestly agreeed to or with and then went out and kept doing what he was doing.
     
  12. KFld

    KFld New Member

    That is a tough one Mikey, but I do know where you are coming from. I would hate to see him not graduate, but I would also hate to see anything worse happen to him, due to his behavior, before then also. One thing you have to remember is, you are not sabotaging anything. He is making these choices on his own. I was fortunate that my son just finished school and graduated before the you know what hit the fan in our house. The only thing it did sabotage was that we had gotten him to sign up for some non credit courses at a local community college because he wanted to start his own commercial cleaning business at the time. His alternative ed. school, since he had all his credits, was actually the one who made this an agreement for him to be finished with school in January. They were going to make him come the rest of the year and take nonsense classes, unless he signed up for some business classes at the community college, which he did. He was halfway through the classes when we first hit him with the drug testing which we foolishly decided to do on a day that he was supposed to go to class, just a few hours before. He could only miss 2 classes and had already missed one. Well of course because we made him angry and we were accusing him of using heroin and demanded he let us drug test him, he took off and didn't go to class. It bothered me at first, but in the end he was a heroin addict and the most important thing ended up being getting him into treatment and the class became the least of our worries. If he hadn't gotten treatment when he did, he might not even be alive, never mind owning his own cleaning business.

    You and your wife need to prioritize and be comfortable with whatever you choose to do. Nobody can make these choices for you. I know there are many parents here who's children did not graduate because of the choices they made, and some have gone onto later continue their education and get their highschool diplomas.

    You could wait it out if you feel graduation is the utmost importance, but you have to be prepared to face anything else that could happen in the meantime that could be prevented with some type of intervention. You two have to come up with a plan and stick with it and don't beat yourselves up if it doesn't go the way you thought it would. Follow your hearts and do what you feel is best for your family.
     
  13. Mikey

    Mikey Psycho Gorilla Dad

    Hi Karen. He's not graduating (that's next year). But this is the first semester in several years where he's actually accomplished anything. A 95% in Algebra II? My kid? We were floored. I'd really just like to have that one semester of A's and B's behind him so that he doesn't have another reason to feel moody, depressed, and then use that as yet another excuse to act out. Something positive he can look back on with pride, if he ever chooses to do any real introspection.

    But then again, I really don't know what to do. Every drug test he's ever taken has only showed pot, and I'm not really concerned that he'll go off on a new path in the next four weeks. Right now, I think we've just gotten to the point where everything else that can be improved without going after the pot has been addressed.

    So it's a risk to wait, but how much of one? We're thinking that the school year isn't when he'll ramp up his difficult child antics. So far, he values school. If anything, it'll be summer when he has way too much free time on his hands that he'll really let loose with the nukes.

    Or so we think. Anybody have a Magic 8-ball I can borrow? Or an old Ouija board?

    :faint:

    Mikey
     
  14. PonyGirl

    PonyGirl Warrior Parent

    Hi Mikey, I don't really have much other advice to offer but just wanted to jump in and say I hear you. I feel your pain.

    It hurts that our children choose this, and it compounds the pain when we find no outside help. Residential Treatment Center (RTC) won't take him, shudder at Law Enforcement, etc.

    (((Hugs))) and do what your gut tells you is the next right thing. For the record, I am one who tossed high school out the window in favor of saving my kid's life. He was, however, much more out of control than you describe your son.

    Peace
     
  15. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    My husband and I were not successful with the various interventions that we tried. I hate to suggest any specific actions because so
    much depends on the personalitites, the communities, etc. etc.

    I will say (reluctantly) that it is obvious that you and your wife are doing the same thing most of us have done. You are giving your best shot at finding good things about your difficult child. We
    have all done it. It has been the collective experience of the
    CD family that it is best not to get distracted by the good
    choices...somehow it makes the situation bearable...but it also
    buffers the dangerous and rough edges of drug addiction choices.

    Almost all of us have had sons who were brighter than average,
    many more handsome than average, lots who were more polite than
    peers etc. etc. Oh yeah, many of us have kids who were not only
    "good" athletes but "outstanding" athletes and students.

    It doesn't matter!

    Once the cannabis becomes important (there's no doubt your difficult child
    is dedicated to his drug use) then you have a criminal in your
    midst. It is tragic. It is true.

    Try not to rejoice to reassure yourself. You all are in deep doo
    doo and there is no easy answer. Sorry. DDD

    PS: Karen and I met online when our sons were 13 or 14. Her son
    moved from pot to heroin. My son moved from pot to more pot and
    booze and criminal charges based on his addictions...not based on
    violence...based on "seeds" and a roach clip etc. It's ugly.
     
  16. Mikey

    Mikey Psycho Gorilla Dad

    Thanks Ponygirl. The scary part is that we don't know how bad it really is (or isn't). UA's say minimal pot use (only), several different psychs and docs say no other problems other than ADD. So, even though he acts like a big pothead and only wants to hang out with stoners, it seems his real game is that he's hell-bent on defiance and establishing his turf in my house. Pot IS a problem for him, but I think it's equal parts addiction and using pot as a weapon against us.

    I dunno, but I guess we'll figure it out. Like being pregnant, once you're in it you have to see it through. And one way or the other, we will get through this.

    Mikey
     
  17. Mikey

    Mikey Psycho Gorilla Dad

    Thanks, DDD. I understand and agree. We're past the point of hyping the good, hoping it will pull up the bad. We're ready to start actually tackling the bad - just trying to find a way to keep the good as well, since we think that substance abuse is only part of the problem (although a major part). Wish I could get him into one of those treatment facilities that deals with multiple issues at the same time (SA and other issues). But he'd have to agree to go, which he won't do.

    Blah. :rolleyes:

    Mikey
     
  18. Mikey

    Mikey Psycho Gorilla Dad

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">My son moved from pot to more pot and
    booze and criminal charges based on his addictions...not based on
    violence...based on "seeds" and a roach clip etc. It's ugly.</div></div>

    God help me, but I almost think that's what it's going to take to get my son's attention. It also seems to be the only way he'll end up in treatment as well, since he won't listen to reason (what teenage drug addict does?)

    Having had several family members involved with "the law" in various degrees (some good, some bad), I know that any run-in with the legal system can be bad. So am I a horrible parent for sometimes wishing he'd get pulled over with a bag of weed on his front seat?

    Mikey
     
  19. Terryforvols

    Terryforvols Member

    Mikey-

    I just have time for a quick response as I'm leaving work. #1 - Stop trying to be his friend (been there done that), it hasn't worked and it won't work. #2 - The progress made has been YOUR progress, he said so and it's true. Also, been there done that. We thought our difficult child was "doing great" at times, but it was just smoke and mirrors. Deal with the pot issue, it is an issue!! Good luck!!
     
  20. mom_in_training

    mom_in_training New Member

    " So am I a horrible parent for sometimes wishing he'd get pulled over with a bag of weed on his front seat?"

    No!!!!! Wishing that does not make you a horrible parent, Actually that would be the desire of a loving and caring parent that wants so badly to save their difficult child. Its just a way to assure that he will be forced into getting the help that he needs at the hands of the authority figures is all.
    I went through the same thing with my difficult child but my difficult child went from pot to heavier drugs. I too was hoping that she would get caught by the police with the hope that she had tons of illegal drugs on her. If this would have been the desperately needed wake-up call for her then so be it, It could very well be the one thing that saves her life. We as parents do not have the power to change our difficult children thinking, All we can do is guide them and provide the tools that can aid in guiding them towards the right path and even that comes with no guarantees. Its all a matter of people regardless of who they are realizing that they have a problem and comes to the conclusion that what they are doing is not working and decides to do something different. Nobody has the power to change another person regardless of who they are. Ultimately it will be your difficult children choice to change his ways. I have no answers as far as when you need to really lay the law down,(Tough Love). Its a matter of what you and wife are comfortable with but if it were me having to do it all over again, I would do it just the same as I had in the past letting go of the thoughts of "Oh she is doing so good in this or that and I don't want to :censored2: that up for her". Hellllooooo, Drugs are illegal and its their choice not yours. Drug use is not acceptable period in my household and I chose to not protect her from the natural consequences of her bad choices from occuring. I randomly drug tested my difficult child, I would search her room, I would call the police if I had found drugs on her or in her room, I would call the police if she were out past her curfew. It just gos on and on, All I know is that I did not raise her up to become the person she is today and I will not take responsiblity for her bad choices. I did what any loving and caring parent should do, Provide all of the necessary tools along with my support in the hopes that she would grasp on and become a decent human being.
     
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