19 yr old and marijuana use

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Exhausted sad mom, Oct 29, 2018.

  1. Exhausted sad mom

    Exhausted sad mom New Member


    This is the first time I have used a forum like this. I have a 19 year old son that started smoking marijuana years ago and I've tried everything in my power to contain it and the effects it was having on him. He barely graduated high school ...he has 3 brothers who have all moved out and started careers and families and at times ( thru the teenage years ) I struggled with them too but never to this degree. He is not close with any of them. He moved in with his Dad when he was 18 (which killed me) because he despised me and my rules. His father is in law enforcement and after a year of the same similiar struggles ...he threw him out twice ..my son left there and is now living with a friends mom ...I've never met her...with no car. His Dad kept the car because he found marijuana in it and it's registered in his name...as I said he is a police officer. I am not naive to marijuana in today's day in age ..it is everywhere and maybe if my son had just dabbled in it here and there....I could understand more. But it changed him...he puts it all over social media. And he told me he does not fit in with our family and wants to be left alone to live his life how he wants to live it. He said I just don't want to be a part of this family anymore. We have no legal means to him as he is 19. What do I do ? I feel like a total failure of a mom. I just can't get it together. I have offered counseling ...I've tried everything. He said marijuana makes him feel better and it's his life to live. He works at a warehouse and had been fired from 4 jobs. He has terrible friends. I don't even know who he is anymore. Thank you in advance for any advice.
  2. Tired out

    Tired out Active Member

    Exhausted sad mom, your son sounds pretty much the same as mine. Mine is 21. I wish I had words of wisdom for you. All I can say is to take care of yourself and find things that make you happy. Hugs.
  3. CareTooMuch

    CareTooMuch Active Member

    Same son, just 20 years old. Does okay at holding a paying job, wastes time watching ridiculous videos meets with friends to smoke pot , no real drive. Some low grade legal trouble It's just so sad such a waste of a totally brilliant young man.
  4. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Welcome. Well. My son is 30 and he is the same. Ever since he began the weed, he is stuck.
    Your son has some stuff going for him. First, even if he doesn't hold jobs, he is working. The other, is he is independent. You may not like how he lives but he is holding his own, on his own.

    This is saying something for him, and for you too. It is hard to let go, and to let them stand on their own two feet. I think you are handling this well. Let him make his own life. Give him distance. See what he does with it. It is very hard for us--because they are our whole lives. But this is what has to change. Like others say, use this space to build a life that you love and make yourself your own center.

    These things evolve, if we sit quietly in ourselves.
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  5. Enmeshedmom

    Enmeshedmom Active Member

    I feel your pain. My son graduated at the top of his class and all his teachers told me that he was made for college..... But he would rather smoke pot with his “friends” and work part time at jobs that don’t require he pass a drug test. I started attending alanon meetings back in January and I find it very helpful. I need to learn how to be ok no matter what he is doing or not doing. I really like what Copabanana said about things evolving if we sit quietly in ourselves. They are young still and I believe that they are still looking to defy us not realizing how self defeating it really is. It’s kind of like watching a train crash in slow motion for me and i can’t push him off the track, but there is plenty of time for him to get out of the way if he decides to. They can turn it all around and probably will eventually, I think for me I’ve been just watching and waiting for any sign of that and it’s kinda like the watched pot analogy.
  6. Exhausted sad mom

    Exhausted sad mom New Member

    Yes exactly...and I'm struggling so hard to get past this...and I'm powerless as a Mom because he is 19. Thank you for your message.
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  7. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Except for "He said I just don't want to be a part of this family anymore" this sounds like I could have written it. My son was 17 when the trouble began. He's our only child and his dad and I are together - dad is even a quasi-cop...a prison guard turned case manager, so in the same basic field. He did graduate high school, but spent a year at college getting stoned in the dorm and begging for money. He stole from us while working and while getting an allowance! He hung around with horrible "friends". He would quit or just not work. Eventually, at 19, we put him out of our home.

    After many dramas, including a fire and moving back in with us briefly, he took what money he had saved for a new apartment and went to Colorado to be homeless in the land of legal weed. BUT - he wasn't homeless long. He met a really nice girl, moved in with her, found work, and at this point, two years later, he has a fiancée, an apartment, a job (his 3rd...but 3 in two years is way better than how he was).

    Yes, he is still smoking pot. I don't like it, but where he is at least he won't get arrested.

    Your son is still very young. There is hope he will get himself together. But, he is also a grown man and you have no power over him. The best you can do is accept that this is where he is right now. Leave the door open, but don't enable and don't assist or approve. You are NOT a failure as a parent. You have three other capable adult kids to prove that you are not.
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  8. Smithmom

    Smithmom Active Member

    My son is a weed addict also. Same story. Mine's 27 now. Hasn't changed. I try to live by the AA theory...God grant me... At 27 I'm trying to accept. My son historically has held down a job for a year or more at a time. He's not violent or committing crimes. He's kind to people and animals. He's lived on the sofa of one of two older women since I kicked him out at 19.

    I look around and see many, many older adult males who have gone down this road. And I mean men in their 60s and 70s. They haven't lived up to their potential. But some have long term marriages and children. Those have rental homes and jobs with periods of unemployment.

    I will never allow it in my house so we agree that he will never live with me again. There is this huge, basic disagreement between us. But we have a relationship. We speak about once a week which usually ends in a disagreement for other reasons. I accept that this may be the best it will ever be. I am still working on accepting that this is all his life will ever be. But that's about my hopes and dreams for him, not his.
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  9. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    Welcome exhausted. I’m so sorry you find yourself here. My eldest is turning 33 and still is on this path, which probably will not comfort you. He does not live with me - I can’t have him here - and has chosen to live on the fringes os society. I have had to learn I cannot change it. BUT your son is young, and many can and do change, especially if drugs are the primary problem rather than a symptom of deeper issues, or if underlying mental health issues are addressed. So I would not give up hope just yet.

    What I would do is give yourself permission to take a break. He is not living with you, so he is not disrupting your daily life right now. Give yourself permission to enjoy that peace. Give yourself permission to put the burden of worry down for a while. It will always be there, but you don’t have to carry it continuously. Put it down. Your son does not know or care right now whether you are worried about him or not, and your worry will not change the outcome one bit. As Copa says, just sit with things. Take care of yourself. Hold onto your love for him, but live your life. He is on his own path right now. I pray for you that he finds his way. Some of our kids seem to have a need to take the hard road.
  10. Helpless29

    Helpless29 Member

    I’m so sorry you are going through this , I wish I had answers but I myself feel like I failed as a mom to .My son is 15 teen and now lives with his dad, he is out of control. Abusing weed , pills, robbing etc .He is younger then your son , but I noticed he consumed my life, he was all I thought about everyday/all day.He was all I talked about hoping I would get some great advice & I would be able to change things , I searched the internet for answers & found this page. It has helped me a lot!.I have tried many rehabs for my son, counseling etc. All I could do now is let him learn from his mistakes, no matter what I do he won’t listen, you might need to distance yourself from him & take care of you as hard as it is. I still struggle daily so I understand your pain :( keep posting here it will help to connect to people with similar situations .Hope it gets better
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  11. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    This is the story of my life.
    This is the only answer.
  12. Smithmom

    Smithmom Active Member

    Re-read your post. As you know from your older ones, at some point you need to let go. You can't control your older ones and presumably don't try. Surely they have friends and maybe spouses you don't like. But you live with it, you adjust, you accept. My question for your thought, why is this different? Because it's illegal? Because they are moving forward in life and the youngest isn't? If its this, then at 19 I think it's premature. Many people flounder for a few years till they find their way. Maybe quantifying what bothers you will help you cope.

    You said that you just can't get yourself together. Can you not function normally? Go to work? Follow your usual schedule and activities? I think we could offer better advice if we understood how badly this is disrupting your own life.
  13. startingfresh

    startingfresh Member

    exhausted mom, you are definitely not alone. My son is now 19 and started with smoking weed around age 15. I am not sure I have any advice because through this journey I have seen that no matter what we do , he is set on his path. We did everything we could possibly think to do. (my signature goes through all that) He moved out around 18 and now at 19, he is finally self aware enough to see that weed caused him a lot of problems and is doing very well. I know the feeling of being consumed by worry about him. Every conversation revolved around him and it was just dark and depressing ALL THE TIME. It sucked the joy of life right out of me.

    Everyone here has great advice. I am working myself to follow it. ;)
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  14. Exhausted sad mom

    Exhausted sad mom New Member

  15. Exhausted sad mom

    Exhausted sad mom New Member

    Thank you for your response but I'm a little taken back by it. Yes I agree with you at 19 ..he has alot of growing and maturing to do and yes because it is illegal. But mostly it changed my son and not for the better. It's not a let me do a little at a party ...it's a constant on his life...his moods changed...got fired from 4 jobs....lack of motivation and his self esteem plumetted. He has also experimented with zanax and acid. I can't get it together because he is just doesn't look well....sound well and isn't the same kid I raised right now. I know we don't have to like all of our kids friends or spouses but it's easy to see who can contribute to his problem or help him. It's just hard all the way around.
  16. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    This is the case for my son, too. He is 30 now. Ever since he began the weed, he has been stuck. But he has other stuff going on too. He has body dysmorphic disorder and anxiety. And he has not worked for at least a year, and even before that, only sporadically. He gets SSI which permits him to not work. He prefers homelessness to working. That is why I say that your son's working and his independence is positive.
    I feel the same way.

    Let me see if I understand what Smithmom is saying.

    I think she is suggesting that our adult children make their own lives, and that if we remain so psychologically tethered to them, it is hard. Hard for us and hard for them. ​

    Some of us have a hard time. I do. I have a very hard time with any vulnerability of my son.

    I am seeing that I was over-identified with my son. I experienced his vulnerability too intensely as a way to not feel my own. Is this good or optimal or healthy for either me or my son? No. But I am not the lone ranger in this.
    I think smithmom is suggesting here, that we as humans do not grow up in a linear fashion. There are fits and starts. We fall. And we get up. And sometimes the most together-seeming people crash and burn. Adults that make their share of mistakes and learn to get up and brush themselves off and readjust course, often learn to be more resilient. I think Smithmom is encouraging us to try to learn to tolerate our kids vulnerability as they learn to mature. And that it is not an on-off switch. I hear her as encouraging me to tolerate his learning to own his life and to live it.

    But the thing is this. What in the world can we do? You can be like me and try to over-control the situation. But I am here to tell you that it does not work. I am not saying you are doing that. I am saying that I did.
    Smithmom, I think, is telling us this: We are responsible for our own lives, our own functioning and our own feelings.

    To the extent we suffer unbearably because our adult children are floundering can be a message in a bottle about ourselves. That we are the ones that may be floundering. And that we are the ones that may need help. And that we need to help ourselves.

    I am only speaking about myself here.

    This forum is really about us. How we can recover ourselves. The suffering and floundering of our children is the trigger, the catalyst. This can be a wake up call to ourselves. I think that is what Smithmom is telling me.
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2018
  17. Smithmom

    Smithmom Active Member

    Yes to what Copa said. I apologize for being direct. I was suggesting that we might be able to offer better advice if we understood better what you meant.

    Not being able to "get it together" I find difficult to interpret. At times in my life that meant I could barely get the kids to school and make meals. But that is my definition of those words. I was asking what that means to you.

    I am not in any way condoning any illegal drug use which in my definition includes non-prescription use (or prescription obtained by deception) of any substance. I understand better now your concern. With regard to my weed addicted son his moods do not fluctuate and his self-esteem has not decreased. Nor, to my knowledge, has he used other drugs though I know they have been offered. Mind you, it would not surprise me if he had. But I don't believe he uses anything else, and that includes alcohol. In fact, tonight he called me sober from a frat house major holiday party which historically would have included at least a lot of alcohol.

    Weed came to prominence in the 60s. Not everyone who used it then continued to use it over their lives. Not everyone who continued to use it destroyed their lives with it. Certainly many did both. What I'm saying is that in my observation over the years there are some people who can use it in the way of social drinking. But that's not everyone. Personally I believe that those who are able to keep it in the context of social drinking use it as a relaxant, like alcohol. They don't have mood swings because of it. They don't become unable to hold down a job because of it.

    So why some people and not others? Personally I think there are people whose chemistry/ genes/ unknown cause make them addicts. Before there were other drugs in this country they were called alcoholics with similar results in terms on inability to hold down a job and reach their potential. In the Orient they may have been opium addicts. These lives are sad. No parent wants this for their child.

    I am saying that at 19 your son's life isn't written. Certainly there are signs of trouble. What can you do that you're not doing? Better minds than mine will have suggestions.
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  18. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    Yes. This is beautiful.

    It is really hard to watch our children flounder at any age. But I think Smithmom is right that it is too early to tell what shape your son’s life is going to take or whether marijuana will continue to be a major problem in his life. Not that his path isn’t concerning, but that many young people do go through this as a phase they grow out of rather than the beginning of a life of ruin.

    In the meantime - I think you will find it helpful if you can find ways to disentangle your daily emotions and functioning from his choices. He is going to do what he is going to do, regardless of whether you are sitting on the floor in a puddle of tears and worry or going about your day and finding things to take joy in. Your worry and wallowing in pain are not helping him and not helping you.

    I know how hard it is to put down that burden on constant worry. Sometimes holding onto our worry makes us feel connected to them when other connections have been severed. We feel like if we let go we are severing that last connection, or giving up on them somehow. Sometimes we feel like we would be bad mothers if we allowed ourselves to let it go. Our identity is tied to our motherhood, and therefore to Our children’s choices. Sometimes we punish ourselves for perceived past mistakes by wallowing in pain now. None of this is helpful or healthy, for ourselves, for our children, or for our relationship with them.

    Perhaps it would help if you wrote down all of your worst fears and projections for the future. Really define what it is you fear will happen next. Take it all out to its logical conclusion.

    And then let it go, for now. Perhaps even a ritual burning or another ceremony. Give all that over to your higher power if you believe, or simply to the universe. Acknowledge that none of it is in your control.

    What you know, right now, is is he not holding down jobs. He is smoking weed and you would prefer he didn’t. He is living with another family that allows him to make these choices. But none of those things are immediately life threatening. Right now, he is safe. He is making choices you do not agree with, but they are his choices. Some of those choices may have unpleasant consequences for him, which he will have the opportunity to learn from if you don’t rescue him from those consequences. (I really hope you can resist the urge to rescue him.)

    You can’t control his life or his choices at this stage. You just have to let him live it. What you CAN control is your life and your choices - including how you choose to let this affect you.

    Sometimes people on this board call this process “changing the channel”. Acknowledge your worry and pain, and then set it aside. Change the channel and think about something else for a while. Give yourself permission to still find things to take joy in even if you feel your child is not alright.

    This isn’t easy. I’ll confess I’m struggling with it this morning. But you deserve to have peace and a life of your own that doesn’t revolve around your worry for him 24/7. It does not make you a bad mother if you put the worry down for a while.
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  19. Exhausted sad mom

    Exhausted sad mom New Member

    Thank you all for your comments....listening to everyone's struggles..although I wish none of you were, is rather comforting. I talked to my son today and I'm not sure what to make of it....but getting high is his escape from his own fears...lack of confidence ...his girlfriend dumping him...anxiety...and more. He told me getting high keeps him numb. I got upset offered to set up counseling ....go to the doctors with him ....but quickly corrected myself that he has to want help for him...that i cant do it for him....He sounded terrible...I told him I loved him...he repeated it back. Saying extra prayers tonight.
  20. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    I just posted a poem (if you can call it that) about addiction on this forum. It is very enlightening.

    That is the difference between partying a little and what OUR kids (adult children) are doing. If they were partying a little we would not be here.

    Addiction is the evil that changes everything and yes, it is a disease.