17 yr old son, defiant and using


Thanks, lol. How appropriate ;-)

I just found the list of abbreviations, guess I should have checked there first. Thanks again


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By the way, I remember when my grandmother took me to go see a therapist. I didn't open my mouth, not a word, for the whole hour. The second time I went, I didn't open my mouth again and he ended the session 10 minutes in and basically threw me out of his office, lol. My grandmother was like, what the hell was that about, why did it end so abruptly? I said "grandmom, I didn't want to waste your money, let's go. " lol.


Active Member
Let me further explain, I was 14 years old at the time and I felt EXTREMELY uncomfortable and the therapist did nothing to break the ice, so I didn't say a word. What a crappy therapist. However, about maybe 6 years later, I went to therapist and they couldn't shut me up. Still, no real help. That's why I lost faith in the mental health system. Hopefully I am proven wrong because my difficult child is in a psychiatric hospital right now. I am answering other peoples post just to get my mind off of that right now.


Well-Known Member
Getting mentally healthy is hard work and takes a long time. It is common to be speechless at first. Nobody can make a person talk. I don't believe that therapists use the silent treatment much anymore, but, if so, find another one who doesn't.

Of course, if one who has problems doesn't talk to the mental health professional, one can not change or improve on his/her problem behaviors. The causes of it and insight into it just are not usually within ourselves. It took years and decades of hard work and refusing to quit to get from my point A to Point B. I had mental health issues, traits of borderline personality disorder and learning disabilities and I had two choices: 1/Be miserable and fail at life or 2/Let people who may be able to help me, help me. Cooperate.

I chose the second choice. Giving up/quitting was not an option to me. I was going to learn different ways of coping so that I could overcome, to the max that is possible, all of my difficult hurdles. On top of my problems, I had no family support. It was me, myself and them...those who gave me their knowledge. Some of their suggestions were worthless. Some saved my life. Literally.

You can not be helped in therapy in six sessions or twelve or in a year...if the problem is deep. You, however, are not equipped to solve it on your own either. Without hard work, a willingness to be vulnerable, and hard work...and a strong eagerness to have a good run on earth, you won't...if you are dealt bad cards in the DNA department.

rc606, you probably never had to go that extra mile to live a happy, normal life. Your son is struggling and needs help, more than just your love. It isn't enough to teach him to cope and to help him grieve the loss of his mother. You don't know how to do it.

Your son doesn't want help. He wants to stay like his is; steeped in his self-pity and self-destruction. And your agreement with him about therapy makes it easy for him to dismiss the option.

I really don't think that not trusting the psychiatric community is an option for those of us who need to learn to cope differently because of mental health, substance abuse or personality disorder issues. If we never give professionals a whopping chance, we are doomed to have no resources beyond those that we know...and those resources are not helping us.

There are bad therapists that you don't click with. So what? Find another, one you do click with. Find one who does cognitive behavioral therapy or, better, dialectal behavioral therapy. It's a teaching experience then. You learn new ways of thinking and coping...healthy ways vs. self-destruction and misery. I like teaching a lot better than plain talk therapy, although I have used talk therapy as well. Never stop learning or growing.

If our adult children had not quit on themselves, they would not be where they are now. And if I had not given myself a chance, I would be where they are. I would not even know HOW to be peaceful, let alone have any peace of mind. I did not understand how my own thought processes made my life difficult. I did not realize there were ways I had not even thought about before.

I really hope both you, rc606, and GuideMe think about this. That also brings up medication. It also saved my life and, no, I am no drooling fool. I am active in my treatment...always have been...and refuse to take medications that make a zombie out of me. I am in control of my treatment these days, but I don't think that I've got the entire psychiatric community figured out. Great minds are always advancing mental healthcare forward in ways I am not privy unless I open myself up to treatment.

Honestly (take this as me being amused) I think men fight getting help, on the whole, more than woman do.

I don't think that is a good thing.

Your son has a lot inside of him that he needs to purge and you only have until he is eighteen to have any influence over him at all.

GuideMe, I also urge you not to quit on yourself. You can feel better; be stronger. If I can do it, anyone can. But you need to have the want and need to purge yourself from your unhappiness.

Sending warm thoughts to both of you :)
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I will never give up trying to help my son, and want him to talk to someone, even if it's not me. I'm even going this week to see a child psychologist to see what my actions should be in this situation. Short of physically manhandling him into a therapists office, not sure how to get him there.

Thank you MWM for this insight, and advice...it's much appreciated. I love this forum already, lol.

Tonight, my son's girlfriend's Mother called me and told me that she found weed in her daughter's backpack. Which is no surprise because she called me a week ago and said that she thought that my son and her daughter were smoking together. So, we came together and confronted them at the same time, both kids went insane and started cussing us both out. The call this evening was tense because she told me that she had texts from my son asking her daughter to go in on buying weed from the kid that lives right down the street from ME. The Mother went on to explain to me that my difficult child told her that I'd been smacking him around for years, which she admitted was hard to believe...because I'm not that way.
I honestly think that hurts more than anything, because while there have been times that I'd love to beat his tail, I never have. She also added that their other little girl (13 yrs old) said that my difficult child tried to get her to smoke pot with the older sister and him. She ended the call with, "I like your son, but he's not welcome at our home, and our daughter can't be at your home with him". I fully don't blame her, either. I'm so ashamed of my son right now.

When I discussed the details of this call with my son, he said "I swear to God, if you two break us up...." but didn't finish the sentence. My reply was, "what, you'll do what?"
Then he clammed up and the eyes glazed over. I let him digest it for awhile and then went back in and explained to him that if he really cares for this little girl, he should clean his act up and prove that he can be better. And to show them (her parents) that he's not some dirtbag kid, but rather a young man that wants to do the right thing for himself and their daughter. Then told him that I thought he was still a good kid who is making some bad decisions, but he can turn it all around....and of course that I loved him.

I do have a question, should I speak to the parents of the kid that's selling weed to my kid? I almost feel obligated to do so, but feel it might fall on deaf ears as they aren't model parents. But who is, right? What I don't want to happen is to bring any danger to my family if this kid get's busted, because he's a minor also and is buying it from someone who might be angry that their "business" was affected because of my actions. Thoughts?


Active Member
She also added that their other little girl (13 yrs old) said that my difficult child tried to get her to smoke pot with the older sister and him
I just want to say, I think the girlfriends mother is blowing the whole weed thing out of proportion. Over reacting much? Um yes, I think she is. I know I might get slammed for that, but that's just my opinion. However, when I read the above quoted sentence about the 13 year old sister, that is not cool. You don't get little 13 year old sisters or brothers to smoke weed. That's crossing the line. That is a no-no. He should know better than that.

do have a question, should I speak to the parents of the kid that's selling weed to my kid? I almost feel obligated to do so, but feel it might fall on deaf ears as they aren't model parents.
I wouldn't. Absolutely not. Also, I don't think there is any real way to stop your kids from smoking weed either. It's a battle that you will not win, period, unless you are a parent who is lucky enough to have your kids in a straight line, and if we were those types of parents, we all wouldn't be here. Pick and choose your battles. However, don't cheer him on for smoking weed either. If you catch him with it, scold him and flush it down the toilet. How I would handle this situation is , "listen, your girlfriends parents don't like you smoking weed with their daughter. Knock the sh*t off." That's it. There is nothing else you can say. He is 17 , almost 18. What else can you really do? They can be doing so much worse, save your breath for then god for bid if it ever happens. You make a big , huge deal about weed, then you will never be taken seriously. Weed is nothing to kids (and most adults) these days and this is coming from someone who does't smoke weed ever.


Well-Known Member
rc606, when I found out that a 35 year old man sold pot to my daughter I called the police. It actually turned out he was our next door neighbor and I learned later he sold lots of drugs to my daughter, not just pot. The thing is, our kids tend to confess to pot, but not to other drugs they may be taking.

I didn't know that when I turned this guy in. I really don't have any tolerance for grown ups who mess with minors, especially my own child. That meant my daughter was on parole, but it is not on her record. Sadly, it did not change her drug use either. That had to come from inside of her and it did...not so far into the future...a few years. Heck, I didn't even allow my kid to buy cigarettes or smoke in our smoke free house. I used to go into her purse and toss out the cigarettes. I have no idea if it helped, but when she quit drugs, she also quit smoking. I know most parents here tolerate smoking, but in my house you don't smoke. If you come in with cigarettes, and you are my daughter, I will dispose of them. If my daughter got mad at me, well, I was mad at her. I think in her case it really helped to take a stand. It has now been ten years (or more) since she has used drugs or smoked cigarettes. So that is what worked for me with my daughter. She is a big easy child now and we are very close. It was not like that after I turned her in, but she did grow up and do quite well with her life.

Unlike some, (GuideMe is not alone in her thoughts on pot) I think pot is a bad thing and I also wanted my grown kids to know that if you break the law you get into trouble, and don't look to me for money to bail you out. Meanwhile, I wanted to stop this 35 year old from selling drugs to other minor kids.

I would tell the parents of the kid who sold the weed to your son even if he is a minor. These are the years when the child can be helped, but only if the parents know. I would want to know if my minor kid sold drugs to my kid. And the part about bringing the sibling into it...well, I would feel I had no choice morally but to inform the parents of that. I would want the child's parent to be able to think about what to do to intervene.I was never lenient at all about kids and weed. It often means the kid is using a lot more than weed, but we don't know it. And I'm not one who feels weed is harmless. It was not harmless for me who has a mental illness. It made me paranoid and brought on depersronalization/derealization...a common disorder for weed to kick up.

If you have any latent mental illnesses, such as bipolar or schizophrenia it can trigger that. And it leads to other sorts of drug misuse. Weed is often laced with other drugs and of course now there is legal weed, which is twice as scary.

I am very tough on anyone doing anything illegal under my roof. So far it has paid off. No jail for any of my kids to date.

Good luck. You have hard decisions to make with varying opinions here...take care. Go with your gut.
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rc606, I just wanted to put in my two cents on the therapy issue. I also have a defiant 17-year-old son who will be 18 in a couple of months. Because of a history of misbehavior at school and elsewhere, we put him with a private therapist at age 12. He refused to talk at all, and it was embarrassing for me to sit there with him and be at a total loss to get him to participate. It was no better when I left the room.
We quit after a couple of months of weekly staring sessions. He was prescribed Concerta (Ritalin) at this time, which helped slightly. After a while, he refused to take it.

Then at age 14, the same type of issues led to him seeing another therapist. Again, he wouldn't talk or cooperate. He said he was only going because he knew it made me feel less guilty as a parent, and he hoped I was happy that I had tried, but he wasn't going to talk. Again, discontinued after a few sessions.

Just before he turned 16, he started having panic attacks and was getting very disturbed and scared by them. He had once casually mentioned wanting to go to an inpatient facility, and a few weeks later we took him against his will after a particularly bad episode. He was furious, and threatened to escape, etc. He refused to cooperate, said everyone there was stupid, etc. He was there for 5 days. He was prescribed some medications that he refused to take.

The panic attacks continued, behavior had not improved, etc. My husband and I were at a loss of what to do. Several months later, (still age 16) he asked me if he could go to therapy. He's been going to the same therapist now for over a year, and he refuses to miss a session. Even if he's been missing work, class, etc. and is sick in bed, he'll get up to go to therapy. Although he still has issues, he's improved a lot since he first started. A year ago, he was a high school dropout with no job who slept most of the day and played video games all night. Since then, he's got his GED, is taking classes at community college, and has a part-time job. He can still be rude and disrespectful, but the really bad days are few and far between compared to a year ago.

So the moral to my story is that I think therapy is very useful, but I think it would be very difficult for it to have any effect if the person isn't a willing participant. That's been my experience, anyway. I think if you approach your son and talk about the issues he's been having and that his losses and life changes would be hard on anyone, he might agree to see a grief counselor or regular therapist. Just let him know it's an option and you'd support him 100% if he would seek that kind of help.


one day at a time
I would take any steps to interrupt the cycle of buying and selling pot. If your son sells it, it is a felony. And most people who take drugs, sell drugs.

My son now has two felonies for selling pills. It's really hard to navigate the world with felonies, but not impossible of course. The day I found out he had two felonies, I thought I would die.

Pot is not an okay drug in my book. For addicts it is a gateway drug. For everyday users, it is at least a demotivator.

Don't be afraid of your son's anger. He's going to be angry at you. At the same time, I'm really glad you watched the baseball game together.

Warm hugs. We're here for you. This is a tough road, and I think you are doing the right thing getting all kinds of input and help from people and professionals. Don't stop. Find the energy to intervene right now as much as you can.

amelia d

Hope outweighs experience
This is almost a no-brainer: contact the police. You can go into the station, speak to an officer (our area has officers assigned to specific high schools) and let them know that this kid has been supplying pot to your son. He may be a dealer, or just a buddy of your son's who is "helping him out". Doesn't matter. If he is selling to your son, he is probably selling to others. While the police are often unmotivated by a single user like your son, possession with the intent to distribute changes everything. I also agree that it's never "just pot". I know that many people feel like it's not a big deal, it's not as dangerous as alcohol...whatever. It's a gateway drug (like it or not), it reduces their motivation, exacerbates depression and it's illegal. Even in places where it has been legalized, you must be 21 to partake. I have seen the issues pot has caused my daughter. She tells me she uses it to "escape" and "de-stress". I also saw her grades plummet, her mood change, her activity level collapse and her circle of friends change. Some people can smoke it and still succeed, but so many get sucked in that they don't realize how their behavior has changed.
Your son doesn't sound like a bad kid. Like I said in an earlier post, he just seems lost and sad. He's still grieving. The pot use just keeps him from addressing the underlying pain he's feeling. Address this head-on. You owe this kid down the street no loyalty, and you have other kids at home that are watching this play out. Stand strong. COM is right ..he's going to be angry, but at least you'll know why.

Good luck


I have been insisting on therapy for my difficult child for a long time. Where it has back fired is that we've been through a LOT of mental health professionals…. due, largely, to resistance then somehow I finesse things so he/we go back again…. and that lack of consistency isn't great. But, just to toss out another possibility, my kid does aways talk. If he shows up, he talks. Sometimes they do….

Earlier in this thread someone mentioned dialectical behavioral therapy-- that's a treatment modality that I think the world of. And it doesn't require a lot of/just talk-- traditionally, it's once a week individual then once a week in a group skills class.

…another thing that has helped break down resistance is by framing things as there is nothing wrong with you, difficult child, it's me. I need help communicating with you (when we have done family therapy)…. family can be either easier or harder depending on the person/time.


Thanks all! Today, my son's school called me at 9 am and said that he was at school, but that he left with his girlfriend, in one of his pot smoking friend's car. The girlfriend's mom said that she told her that they were "running away together". Wow...just wow. She called the police immediately!

I waited until he didn't come home from school and then called the state police and filed a missing person's report, in case he didn't show up again. Wanted to protect myself from any truancy issues, etc.

Once I heard he wasn't at school today, I went to the school and spoke with the principal and a counselor, which we will have him speak with during his elective classes. This evening, he still hadn't come home and the state police showed up to file the report and get all his pertinent information. Once they started digging and looking for him, he turned up about an hour ago at one of his friend's house. This is one of his "good" friends too, and this kid called me and told me he was there talking to his Mom about life. I'm glad he's talking to someone, even if it's not me.

The trooper asked me if I'd contacted the Court Designated Worker to see if we can get him some help, going forward. Gave me all the info and I'll contact them tomorrow. I just hate to "put him in the system", but if he's going to go down this path then I want to use every possible resource at my disposal to stem this tide. The trooper also asked me if I was okay with my son spending the night with this family...to cool off. I said sure if he is in school in the morning. I'll be there waiting with the principal and counselor. This isn't negotiable anymore!


So my difficult child didn't come home from school today. I found out he's with one of the kids he gets high with. One of his friends (who is a great kid) messaged me and told me who difficult child was with and that he said he wasn't coming home until Sunday.

I don't even know what to do anymore....

I called the Court Designated Workers office today to seek options. They feel I should declare him an "uncontrollable minor child" then take him to them for drug testing. If he refuses to come with me, they will issue a warrant for his arrest. I'm so scared to put him in the "system" but if I don't intervene then he'll get into the system on his own.



Well-Known Member
My daughter was on parole twice. It isn't on her record though because she wasn't eighteen. What are you afraid of by involving the court and police? I always wanted my daughter to fear the consequences of drug use. And it didn't work. She used until she wanted to quit for reasons of her own.
But at least she realized that nobody would bail her out of any trouble she got in.
She never got into trouble with the police after she turned eighteen. I think she realized that she was on her own if she did get into trouble.
I called the cops when my daughter was on the streets after curfew or sometimes I didn't even know she was out and she'd be brought home by the cops.
Are you one of those people who's afraid of the government? I'm not asking to deride you. I just want to know where you are coming from.

In the end, if your son does stuff like this at eighteen, he WILL end up in legal trouble and you can't do anything about it. And it won't get erased from his record. I think you should talk to a lawyer to check your options and seek advice. I know I'd never have been able to sit around and not call the cops if my daughter left the house for several days. I'd be too nervous. I'd have to find her. Period. The cops were at my house a lot. Sometimes we invited them to help us. Sometimes Daughter was breaking the law so she got brought to us.

I have a pretty good feeling about most cops. Yes, I know there are bad ones. I think that most, dealt with respectfully by us, can be our friends and helpers when our children are minors. We have many police friends and husband's dad was a cop. Our youngest daughter is in school for criminal justice. Seventeen is a much better time to ask for their help than to have them get into trouble on their own at eighteen. The cops no longer go to you at eighteen. Now it's all on them. If your son is living with you at eighteen and disappears for four days, you can't ask for help. That's when the hard choices come in...you have to ask yourself if this is something you can live with or if he will have to leave for the peace and sanity of the majority of your family. It is such a terrible decision to have to make.

What a difference a year makes.
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Well-Known Member
I dont have any tried and true hard and fast answers because everyone is different and I dont think there are any clear answers. So a lot of it is listening to your gut, thinking it through and trying to do the best you can whatever you decide to do. That being said I will give you some opinions based on my experience. You may have seen my story here.... but we have struggled with issues with my son since he was an early teenager. I too didnt want him involved in the "system" and we did a lot of various treatment programs when he was a teen. He somehow eked by and got his HS diploma.... and eventually at 18 we had to kick him out of the house to protect ourselves and our younger daughter. His behavior was not violent but was threatening and he was flagrantly disobeying all of our rules!

Anyway in the end he got invovled in the system on his own (several arrests). He now has a felony on his record.... for a whole bunch of stupid things. He has been in rehab and been in jail and has now left the state to avoid a warrant.

Boy telling the short story makes him sound like a hardened criminal which he is not.... he is a drug addict and does really stupid things when high. He is my son and in spite of it all I love him.

So I totally and completely understand all of your angst and not knowing what to do.

So one of the things that really helped him I think (he would disagree I am sure) was being invovled in drug court.... He spent 6 months clean and sober and was doing well in a good very strict court ordered program last year. I was so hopeful. I think it really helped him until he decided not to obey the rules anymore and things went down hill.

So all that said I think getting the system invovled can be a good thing. It is scary and it is scary if they get a record.... but the courts are more lenient with young kids and young adults... it gets harder and harder as you get older. My son is now 23 and its getting tougher.

So I think you should do what you have to do while he is still a minor. Let the system get invovled, they might actually help. Plus when the system is invovled you can be the supportive loving parent and let the courts be the tough guys. Sometimes it takes the system to make them realize there are serious consequences for their behavior. My son has been the most willing to get help right after he has been in jail because he does not want to go back to jail and that is a motivating factor.

The other thing is find a good parent support group for parents in our situation. For me I found a wonderful parents alanon group which has been hugely helpful to me. You need support, this is not a journey that any of us intended or want to be on.



Nooooo, I'm not anti govt so to speak, but I just hate the thought of them helping deal with my kid. It's like we've all said, if we don't get them involved now as a minor they'll be involved as an adult for certain.

How long should I wait for him to be gone before alerting the authorities? I have a really good idea of where he is going to be tonight, and it's a safe place. It's where he is now that concerns me, I know he's getting high right now. Do I just let him stay gone for a day or so then get the state police involved again?