18 yr old daughter has started smoking pot


New Member
Hello everybody,
I'm new here. My 18year old daughter recently moved out to pursue a life smoking pot and possibly other drugs too. I'm in shock. She graduated from high school last year and everything looked so promising for her. She got admitted to a great college and was so eager to start her new life. After a few months though she fell in to a deep depression and tried to overdose on Xanax. We took her home and she started therapy and medication. I felt things were going pretty well this spring and she went to community college and worked on the weekends. Little did I know though that she had started smoking pot to deal with the depression. Without telling us she made plans to move out and now lives with a friend from high school who has been doing drugs for several years. She is very active on social media and there I can see her everyday smoking pot. She has no plans to go back to school or work. She managed to save up some money from working in the spring. Her rent is cheap so she can probably get by for quit some time like this. I'm terrified. My husband wants to sit back and wait until she reaches out to us for help but I feel that she is still in the beginning of this and that we need to try to reason with her. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


Well-Known Member
Staff member
Hello and welcome! I hate to say this but I agree with your husband that you have to wait and see what happens. She is a legal adult and self-supporting so there is nothing you can do.

The first year of college seems to be the downfall of many of our kids. Yours is still very young so there is hope that she will find her way.

In the meantime, concentrate on you. Find a therapist and/or a support group to help you through this time. There are also some good books about co-dependency and setting boundaries with adult children that would be helpful for you to read.

Here are a few to get you started:
Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself
Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children
Don't Let Your Kids Kill You: A Guide for Parents of Drug and Alcohol Addicted Children



Active Member
There are different levels of subatance abuse. Is she just experimenting or does she have an outright addiction. May be to early to say. Dropping out of school and living recklessly doesnt look good. Have you read David Sheff's book Beautiful Boy? Highly recomended.

Unfortunately, there isn't much you can do. She wont stop doing drugs for you or your husband. If she does, she'll go right back to it. She has to want it.

I think it's important to let her know you're concerned. Maybe suggeat she see a counselor and help her find one. If you haven't already, stop giving her money. If she'll submit to a drug screen, that might help give you piece of mind. Not sure if she would or not?

Please know you are not alone! I came here a few short years ago concerned about my own teenager's Marijuana escapades. It's been the worst ride of my life since. Over 10 hospitalizatuons, 4 trips to rehab, 2 life intervening stays in ICU, permanent nerve damage and loss of use of a limb all before the age of 20.... If I've learned one thing in these last 3 yrs, it's the 3 C's are absolutely true.
1. You didnt cause it.
2. You can't control it.
3. You can't cure it.

Take care of yourself! That's all you really can do. If you don't attend alanon, I highly encourage you to. (((Hugs)))


Well-Known Member
Yeah, she probably or COULD have gotten depressed BECAUSE of using drugs. They cause all sorts of menal health issues and I was shocked to learn that I had no idea when my daughter started using drugs, how deeply s he was involved, and nothing we said mattered. They don't listen to us much at eighteen. She is on her own too. You can't do anything and anything you say she will probably think is "old person thinking." I'd stay out of it or you could make it worse. She may WANT help one day, but be too proud or rebellious to say, "I told you so."

Drug screens are useless because many drugs don't show up and the users know which ones so they can use and still test clean.

If you want support, I'd go to an Al-Anon meeting. That would probably help you more than anything you can say to your daughter at t his point in time.

If your kid is suddenly friends with drug users, they are using drugs and probably the same drugs. Drug users don't hang around with sober people just like non-drug users don't usually befriend heavy drug users. Like hangs with like. You can pretty much tell where your daughter is at by who her friends are, but if you get involved, you may cut off your communication with her for good and she is still very young. You can't make her stop though. Eighteen is legal.

I hope things get better. In the mean time, be good to yourself and see a private therapist to learn how to cope with being helpless to help (so to speak) and/or go to Al-Anon. Don't try to do this alone. And come here. We will support you.


New Member
Often times, abuse of drugs starts because there is a mental disorder they are trying to self-medicate. Truly - you and her father should just let it be - let her do what she will do and do not help her. Not financially and don't allow her to live with you or have any access to your immediate family or household. She is an adult. She was offered college and an education. Now, she has to get a job and work like everyone else. If she doesn't get that now, she will be like my daughter whose 30, addicted to opiates (went to herion) has lost custody of her child. (Her choice!) And now facing B&E and theft of our home while we were gone on vacation and unauthorized use of one of our vehicles.

Yes, that is how far it has gone and she behaves like a teenager. This said, I truly think pot is one of the most mild of all drugs and should be legal for those 21 and older, does less harm than alcohol. And we truly don't know what our kids do. My daughter told me that she didn't use heroin, later she did, then she has changed when she first used several times. Changes when she started using pain pills (I have my suspicion of when it started). Truth is not one of their things they tell - fabricated stories to make us feel sorry for them. We want to "fix" them because they are our children. But they are not. They are adults now and have to grow up.