18 year old moved out or so it seems


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Husband and I have been warning son for a long time that he needs to find a place to live other than with us. He is 18. He has a full time 8-5 job and is quite responsible as far as the job goes. Yet he continues to smoke weed daily and seems to be getting worse and worse as far as the rest of his life goes. He stays out late after work and doesn't ever let us know when he will be home. His bedroom and car are a complete mess, filled with old food and cigarettes, trash etc. He loses everything from his drivers license to keys just about everyday. He is rude to his siblings and refuses to join in any family events. He also helps himself to anything he needs from family and doesn't take care of things. He lies about taking things and then I find them in his car. He now also smokes cigarettes and although I cook for the family, he stops and gets fast food instead . We get calls about his speeding and running stop signs from neighbors. We have been through much more difficult times with him throughout high school with him and because of that we have just been happy that he has a good job and seemed to be headed somewhere. We have talked with him about his substance abuse and how we would be willing to help him with whatever he needs to get help with that. He refuses any and all help.

But after a particularly ridiculous week of things going missing and complaints from siblings about the weed smell, we asked him to leave. We have offered help in finding a place but he does not want our help. He up and left without a coat or anything. From his bank account withdrawals, I can see that he spent the night driving around here and there. I am sick with worry as he does not seem to have the sense or clear thinking to take care of himself. I don't post often but I do read all the struggles and appreciate all the great advice I read. He has friends but would rather suffer than ask anyone for a place to stay. I don't know if he went to work or not and am trying to decide if I should check. He has less than 100 dollars so I imagine I will hear from him when he needs money. I do feel its good for him to start feeling the pain of his choices. I don;t want to continue to make it easy for him to blow hundreds of dollars on weed and fast food because he doesn't have to budget for fixed living expenses, etc. Right now he only has to pay for his gas and insurance for his car . He does pay us rent but he tells me to pull it out of his savings which is money he was given over the years that I have tucked away and he can't access. So he doesn't feel the pain of it at all.

Does anyone know of transitional type housing for young people who are ready to leave home but not really ready for the full responsibility of being on their own? I imagine a place with some freedom and some supports? I have looked into job corps but since he is employed, don't think that would work.


Well-Known Member
Hi Star,

I don’t know of any transitional housing for young people.

That sounds like a great idea, though.

My step-son has usually rented a room in a boarding house, but they are not specifically for young people, they are for anyone who wants cheap rent and is willing to share a bathroom with strangers.

If it were me, I wouldn’t check up on him.

He drove around all night (probably waiting for you to call and beg him to come home). You called his bluff.

So, he spent a few dollars on gas, and he is going to be tired at work this morning. Not a big deal.

If he blew off his job, that’s on him. He knows better.

It is a big deal that he is stealing from the family. It can’t be allowed to continue.

I would allow him to figure things out for himself. If not now, when? Let him do it, and maybe learn a lesson from this now, when the stakes aren’t that high. Maybe this will save you years of rescuing him from one situation after another, and him not learning anything, and continuing on the same path. This may be the greatest gift you could give him right now.


100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

Are you sure that your son is just smoking weed? The reason I ask is that his behavior sounds like he could be using more than just weed. My son started with weed also but it did escalate to other drugs. I am not against smoking it at all (I did when I was younger) but some cannot smoke it just like some cannot drink. Some can become easily addicted which truly changes their behaviors. It did with our son.

I agree with AppleCori. It's good that he is experiencing living without his cozy bed and food and disrespecting your home.

Good luck and keep us posted!


Active Member
Rn, I too wonder if he is using something other than weed. But so far, thats all I have discovered. And I am pretty thorough. BUT, what would you look for as clues for other drugs? He takes out large chunks of cash and blows through it very fast so thats certainly concerning. He leaves signs everywhere of his weed use and lets us all know its just a plant, blah blah blah. No sneakiness there so I just don't know. He already had major executive function issues and now with all the pot, his mind is beyond scattered.

AppleCori, yes I agree with everything you said. He needs to face the consequences of his choices besides me nagging him. I couldn't help myself and drove by his work and Thank God his car is there. That job is his lifeline and he seems to understand that. At least with that knowledge, I can stop obsessing about him for today.


100% better than I was but not at 100% yet
Our son was not good at hiding anything. He didn't even try after a while. Did not care. The job is good for him but if he is spiraling down as you suspect, he will eventually lose it.

If you ever get to the point where you let him home - and I don't know why you would at this point as he isn't going to decide to change from one night out - you could make drug testing one of the rules! We never had to because we KNEW but if I didn't and I suspected, I would drug test.


Well-Known Member
My daughter brought home pot but never the meth or cocaine e she was using. What we find is not the whole picture. After my daughter quit I was shocked by the life she had lead.i had never suspected the stories she told us. She was really in harm's way. Living in our house doesn't make them any safer because their associates on the street are so dangerous and they dont hibernate in our home. They see the dangerous guys. They may be dangerous themselves too. But they do steal from us. Not good. Housing them doesn't shield them.

They are only safe when they decide to quit and dump the drug crowd completely as my daughter did. And she moved out of town to ditch them as they harassed her and threatened her. She never told anyone where she was once she left. She had drug dealers after her. Did we know? No.

Parents know very little. We can't save them. The cold and rain is the least of their problems. The very least.
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Active Member
well, he rolled back in late last night asking to stay the night. In my ever conflicted mom state, I was happy to know that he was going to have a good nights sleep in a warm bed and said yes if he followed the house rules. He has a place for the next month lined up and so was gone bright and early. Appears he packed up a laundry basket full of clothes and without a goodbye is gone. He is playing the hurt me role. He doesn't acknowledge that his behavior is why we asked him to leave. He would rather tell himself that we don't love him, etc. I know its not the truth but wish he would at least not lie to himself.

Somewhere- its for sure what he is doing when out and about that has me so concerned. He drove out at 11 on a Sunday night and returned an hour an a half later. I am certain its him buying drugs. praying its weed (never thought I'd say that) and not something else. He doesn't try to hide it at all. Found a huge container of it in my basement. Mind you that container was one of my storage ones he swiped. Drug tests have always shown weed and I can see that weed alone can steal your life and your focus if you abuse it the way he does. In my mind, I have something to dig for when he is here. I can look into his eyes. I know nothing when he is gone. But here he continues to slip and not face consequences so he had to leave. Just hard. And younger child who is one of my biggest reasons for forcing this is now giving me a guilt trip for asking him to leave. No winners here.

Lost in sadness

Active Member
Starting fresh, I know your worry all too well. Can’t live with them and can’t live without them. It’s an impossible situation which appears to just shift the focus rather than make anything ‘better’. For what it’s worth I think you are doing the right thing. It’s certainly not easy and there is always the worry that our choices push them down a worse path but my experience of ‘allowing’ the bahavoiur says that it gets worse anyway and making it easy just makes it worse. It isn’t easy and you are not alone!! Xx



Well-Known Member
Staff member
Hello and welcome. While 18 is very young, if he is working a full time job he should be able to live on his own and function as an adult. Remember that 18-year-olds have served in the military and fought and died for our country. He is not a child.

If your son refuses to follow your rules of no drugs in the house, he should find a new place to live. Period.
He refuses any and all help.
Then it is time for him to learn from the school of hard knocks.

The truth of the matter is that you can't control him or his behavior. The only thing that you can control is your reaction to his behavior. Have you tried therapy or support groups? Many of us have found that we needed outside support to learn to set boundaries and stay firm.



Active Member
18-year-olds have served in the military and fought and died for our country

This has helped me tremendously. Thinking about this gave me some perspective that I really needed. Put that together with the fact that my son has a very good job and seems to do very well with that ,I need to work hard on those boundaries and letting him fly. I check out the Codependent no more book. I am starting with that yet I do need to get to therapy to help myself. I have spent so many years trying to fix him, I've lost me. I know it, after reading a few chapters I cried and cried as that is whats wrong with me. I'm not crazy, I'm codependent. Its been a tough week. I miss my son and I have been very worried. Yet my home without chaos is amazing.

Its been a week and yesterday he called. He asked me if he could stop by and visit the dog. Said he missed him so much. He stopped by for about 2 hours, took the dog for a walk and was very pleasant. He was chatty and sober and upbeat. He then asked for a hug and was out the door. I see that this is what we all need for healing. Short bursts of contact where we all have an exit. Not sure how he can do it long term as he doesn't make close to enough for housing in our area. But I am so very thankful for today.