20 Year Old Son Using/Selling Drugs But...goes to school and has a great job

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by CM66, Jan 18, 2013.

  1. CM66

    CM66 New Member

    My wife and I have been been faced with a difficult decision. Our 20 year old son whom lives at home, goes to school full time and works full time, continues to use and sell drugs. We've read so many story's on this forum of parents who have children with drug related disorders, lazy, don't want to work nor go to school. Our son doesn't quite exhibit all of those behaviors. About 1 1/2 years ago we discovered he was using and selling drugs (Marijuana to be specific). We established some ground rules and consequences for not adhering to them such as removal from our vehicle insurance policy, stop funding his tuition and finally eviction. We also implemented random drug testing. Things seemed to be going ok up until last August when he came up positive on a random UA. We explained to him again that we wouldn't tolerate drug use and that he was a risk to us being on our insurance policy. We removed him from ours and he obtained his own a week later which cost him significantly more. That was in August of 2012, again, things seemed to be going ok up until a couple weeks ago when we noticed him changing; his personality was becoming rough and he was standoffish and secretive. All of these signs we'd seen before and raised the red flag. So we decided to search his room and discovered a decent size bag of Marijuana buds, a pipe and a box of baggies.

    We both feel we must stick to the rules and consequences we laid out and the time has come for him to move out since he fails to follow the rules we have established for our household. The difficult part is that he's not lazy, he's a hard worker and is only 4 months away from his aircraft maintenance certification he's been working on for the past 20 months. Our family is not struggling to make ends meet, we have what we need and even things we want. We don't throw money at our children as we believe they need to earn it...however, the route he has chosen to earn extra income is not only unacceptable to us, it's against the law.

    We would love to hear your opinions and suggestions.

    Two very concerned parents
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Assuming you live in the US... (laws are different here in Canada, for example)... because you can be held legally responsible if drugs are found in your home, you need to protect yourself.

    He is an adult, working, well able to take care of himself... and NOT respecting you, your home, and your reasonable rules (well, the rule about "no drugs in the house" is definitely a reasonable rule... I don't know what ALL of your rules are... )

    Staying at home after you become an adult is a privelege, not a right.
  3. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    OK I have many jumbled thoughts on this.... my first thought is for the two of you to get yourself to a parents alanon group if you can find one. We have been going to one and it has been a great help to me. You may have read my story on this forum and so may know that my son was homeless for the last 4 months and just got himself into treatment. Having a kid who is homelss on the streets takes it toll on you and is just heartbreaking and so a part of me wants to tell you to avoid that if possible.... only because it is so hard. And yet in our case I know letting my son be homeless was the right thing to do because he had to find his own way and this is his journey, and enabling him was not going to help him. And he finally did hit bottom and went for help. Time will tell if this was the final bottom.

    Your son sounds more responsible than my son in that he is going to school and working and so is more successful in life right now... that is a good thing. I can see why you do not want to jepordize any of that. However selling drugs is a serious crime and he could end up in serious trouble if it continues.... so he is putting his own future in jepordy, and there may be nothing you can do to prevent that. Letting him continue to live in your house knowing he is selling drugs, puts you at risk but also enables him to continue on this path.

    So I think you are doing the right thing by sticking to the consequences and rules you have laid out... but realize that by following through it may be a tough road for you for a while, and it may take him a while to turn things around. And it may get worse before it gets better... that is the hard part. Get as much support as you can and hopefully your son will figure out quite quickly that the path he is on will lead him quickly to nowhere.

  4. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    You are doing everything right. You have set the guidelines for him living in your home and he has violated them. He is going to school and working full time so I assume he can find living accomodations that he can afford. You know what he is risking and you have done everything you can to guide him in the right direction but he is choosing a different path. It's time he learn to take responsibility for his choices in life.

    We would not allow our daughter to live in our home and use drugs so she had to leave. She is not going to school and finds it difficult to follow rules and keep a job so she is struggling but my husband and I have worked too hard to risk loosing everything because of her poor choices. We love her very much but won't allow drugs in our home period.

  5. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    Hi and welcome,
    A few questions: He's working full time and attending school full time - so I assume he's earning some money. Dumb question, but why would he feel the need to sell drugs? I know that sellers are users who need to fund their habit, but if he's on pot alone, it's not all that expensive.
    Also, where is he selling these drugs? It's a sketchy business, even just marijuana, and he is probably aligning himself with some bad hombres. How do you know some armed wacko won't just show up at your house? Do you have an alarm system? It's dangerous for you and your husband, and any other children you may have. I've been there done that and remember being scared out of my wits. Someone he sells to may also drop a dime on him to the police, and if he's picked up for selling/distributing, he can kiss his aircraft future job goodbye. It is SO not worth it, and I'm sure you're very frustrated.
    It's also a little disconcerting to read that he uses and sells drugs and is inches away from being an aircraft maintenance worker! Sigh. I hope if/when he gets a job he is drug tested frequently and randomly!
    Aside from that, I think you and your husband are doing a good job. TL recommended Al anon, and that's excellent advice.
  6. CM66

    CM66 New Member

    Thank you all for taking time to reply back..means a lot when your world feels so empty. Its reassuring to hear that others feel we are making the right decision by forcing him out the door. We only hope and pray that be realizes his choices were bad and makes a commitment to change.
  7. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    And remember that if he doesnt realize this now he may realize it in time. He may at first be angry at you but that doesnt necessarily mean it will last. We have been through the wringer with my son, many ups and downs and many treatments and at times I have felt it was really hopeless and that he would die..... and yet last week he reached out for help asked for a bus ticket (which we did get him) and took a bus 36 hours to get into treatment. And at this point I dont think he is angry with us because we have been there over and over but will not enable him in his drug use. It can be quite a balancing act to continue to let them know you love them but wont accept certain behaviors. So whatever his choices are now, keep the door open to your relationship with him.

  8. CM66

    CM66 New Member

    Thank you all for taking time to reply back..means a lot when your world feels so empty. Its reassuring to hear that others feel we are making the right decision by forcing him out the door. We only hope and pray that be realizes his choices were bad and makes a commitment to change.
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    in my opinion you MUST follow through with the consequences. It is one way to be sure that he truly understands that this is not okay. Alanon is a great thing and I strongly, strongly encourage you to attend some meetings. Or the family groups at Narcanon.

    As he is holding a job and going to school full time, he should be able to support himself in a cheap apartment. This is a natural, logical consequence for having drugs on your property (in his body or out of it). You could pay some very heavy consequences if he is found to be selling drugs from your home. First, the cops CAN seize your home because it is used to traffic drugs. Not terribly likely unless this goes on for years, but it CAN happen. Having the drugs in your home, esp wth the baggies, means he is selling and that your property is being used to traffic drugs so it can be forfeited.

    You are not to that point and hopefully won't get to that point. The really BIG danger is that other drug users or dealers might show up with weapons to steal the drugs and money and anything else of value in the home. You don't want that risk. It is not something that someone who loves you should put you at risk of, in my opinion. I would probably tell him that straight out.

    It is good that he is not the type to sit around and do nothing. He will have an easier time of it in his own home since he is that way.
  10. rudyb

    rudyb New Member

    Please forgive me if it feels like I am hijacking your thread. This is my first post and I chose your thread because it really resonated with me. My older son sounds much like yours and I am really struggling with how to approach things.

    He is currently a college senior, very bright, excellent grades, generally mature. Never really misbehaved during hs and was always been more like an adult than an adolescent. This past summer we learned that he smokes a lot of pot and has for awhile. He also drinks and I suspect does a bunch of other stuff that his husband and I don't want to know about. His attitude toward us varies from moderate appreciation to borderline contempt, particularly when we attempt to discuss his drug use. Of course, his pat response is that he has excellent grades and our "feelings" won't change the way he has chosen to live his life.

    His father has made it very clear that if he is arrested, he is on his own. He knows that I agree. He has not had any brushes with the law that we know of. We are pretty sure that he does not drink and drive but are not so sure of using pot and driving, which has me pretty concerned.

    He claims that he is trying to stop smoking and has been seeing a counselor at school. I don't think he smoked much if at all over break. He is pretty honest if you ask, primarily because he thinks it's fine. His arrogance makes me concerned that he has or is willing to take bigger risks going forward.

    His tuition is paid, apartment rent is paid and he has a small meal card and a debit card for food and incidentals. Having read a bunch of posts this morning, I now realize we cannot give him any money. I want to drive down to campus and take our car away from him. He will claim that he needs it to do research for his honors project but we've been hearing that for awhile. I think finding his way by bus or one of his "buddies" would be fine; husband is not so sure. My thought is why wait until something does happen.

    Like the OP, we are not struggling to make ends meet but didn't throw money or things at our children. We have paid for college and in retrospect wish we had made him get at least a pt job during the school year.

    He will likely be furious if we take the car. Is it the right thing to do?
  11. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Rudy, you're in the home stretch. He's a college senior with excellent grades, he's mature, has never misbehaved, has no brushes with the law, is seeing a counselor at school and you don't think he used while at home over break?? You've drawn a line in the sand that he is in his own if he gets in legal trouble...

    I don't mean to be glib... But I'd leave well enough alone. A college senior; so he is an adult. While I realize and validate your concerns with using and driving; I would express those to him and NOT abruptly take away his car. in my opinion, it's too late in the game to change the rules and the goal is in sight! He'll graduate soon and then it's a natural transition for him to become self supporting. Many people use marijuana recreationally and are ok- just like many people can drink socially and be ok. You are not seeing other signs of addiction and a great many young adults outgrow their youthful transgressions. I hate marijuana and dont excuse the illegality of it, but its socially acceptable in many circles and is legal in increasing states.

    It may be a good time to review with him the career/future altering potential impact of a an "OWI" or a possession charge. And remind him that job offers may likely include drug testing... My h is in sales and just had to take a drug test...

    Again, I empathize with your concerns. But there's a real risk that a sudden, strong reaction will seem strictly punitive to him and could be an over-reaction and/or throw him from the frying pan into the fire. We took a very strong line with our 20 yo and it backfired in many ways. I wouldn't risk it when your son seems to be thriving.
    Lasted edited by : Jan 21, 2013
  12. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    rudyb, your situation is very different than the OP's situation. The OP's son is still living at home and bringing drugs into their home. The only problem that I can see with your son (at least a problem that would mean you should intervene) is if the car is in your name under your insurance which could make you liable if he has an accident while impaired.

    In that case, I would consider putting the car in his name and making him pay for his own insurance. You can explain that you are not comfortable with taking the chance of him having an accident while under the influence since he has flat out told you he will continue to smoke pot. Make it a logical consequence of his behavior.

    Otherwise, I would leave him alone and let him graduate. Hopefully, he will do as many others have and go one to an adult life leaving the college partying behind.

    You might want to start your own thread for more advice.

    To the OP: I would make a stand that you will not allow illegal drugs in your home. If he is working fulltime, he should be able to rent a room or share an apartment with someone while he finishes school. Again, this would be a logical consequence of bringing illegal drugs into your home. You don't have to allow it and shouldn't allow it for your own safety and the safety of younger children in the home.

    by the way, we recently had to get a temporary protection order against our daughter to force her to leave (and consequently go to rehab). The judge told us that her bringing an illegal drug into our home (in her case . . . heroin) was an automatic reason to grant the protection order against her. You also need to check the laws in your state. In my state, you cannot force someone to leave your home if they are a legal resident and that includes adult children that don't pay rent. Here, you have to go through the eviction process to make them leave.