Another reason not to smoke pot

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by recovering doormat, Sep 26, 2009.

  1. recovering doormat

    recovering doormat Lapsed CDer

    Havent' posted in a while since difficult child 1 & 2 are relatively stable, it's easy child going through nightmare puberty who is graying my hair and grinding my teeth in my sleep.

    But even though difficult child 2 is finished with his juvenile probation, is currently attending substance abuse counseling and going to school consistently, he hasn't completely stopped smoking weed. He just doesn't do it enough to go above a certain level when his urine is tested weekly or every other week. The levels have been going down, his counselor says.

    But the damage to his lungs is serious. He has had asthma for a few years now, but it has been relatively mild. It got worse a couple of months ago, we had him put on maintenance medications, and he was doing fine. Then a couple of weeks ago he had a major asthma attack while in my car on the way to the orthodontist. His rescue inhaler wasn't working and he needed to get to his nebulizer, quick. He was nearly in tear of panic by the time I turned the car around and got him home, the whole time he's swearing that he'll never smoke weed again.

    Fast forward to this past Monday, when he came down with a cold (probably passed on to him by his girlfriend) and stayed home from school. Next day, he's even more congested, runny nose, looks a little feverish. Wednesday, he's in the doctor's office. His oxygen is still a bit low after three nebulizer treatments but they send him home and tell him to come back first thing in the morning for a recheck. That night he has to sleep sitting up in bed (he lives with dad nearby) and borrows his father's CPAP machine (for sleep apnea) so he can breathe, but he only sleeps about 10 mins at a time.

    Thursday morning back at the doctor's his oxygen is so low that it's a done deal, he has pneumonia, maybe Swine flu, and he's being admitted.
    he's got an oxygen mask on and is being given steroids and antibiotics via IV. When he takes the mask off to speak or eat, the machine starts beeping obnoxiously because his oxygen levels have dropped below 92 (at 88 or below you pass out).

    The doctors and nurses have given him the talking to of his life about how his recreational pot smoking has impacted his asthma and affected his lung function. The damage is not irreparable, but considering what it is going to cost dad and I for out of pocket medical expenses, and him missing over a week of school, it's a pretty darn big inconvenience.

    I can only hope that the boredom of being stuck in a hospital bed on a weekend night while all his friends are out having fun, will stick with him a while.
  2. maril

    maril New Member

    Pretty scary. Good luck to difficult child 2 and I wish him a speedy recovery from pneumonia. Hopefully, this experience and continued subs abuse treatment will have a positive influence. Does he attend NA meetings? It seems that the 12-step program and having a sponsor can provide additional support. My difficult child has attended meetings but has not committed to finding a sponsor; I wish he would.
  3. maril

    maril New Member

    Hey, RD: Just checking in to see if difficult child 2 is better now? It sounds like you have your hands full. Hugs to you.
  4. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

    At that age they think they will live for ever. I never thought mine would start smoking cigs since their dad took them to see what smokers' lungs look like.

  5. recovering doormat

    recovering doormat Lapsed CDer

    My last post was back in September: difficult child 2 had been hospitalized with pneumonia for a week and we found out via the toxicology tests that there was PCP in his system. A shock to all of us, especially when the hospital pulmonologist said the drug actually "ate" away some of his lung tissue.

    You would think that this wouldbe enough to scare a kid away from pot for a lifetime, but no. I don't think it was more than two weeks after his release when he started smoking again. In the beginning, just enough to stay under the urine test radar (they dilute their urine with drinking a lot of water and cranberry juice or wheatgrass juice). Then he stopped cooperating with the substance abuse counseling, stopped going, or only went to group meetings where he wouldn't be tested.

    Fast forward to New Year's Eve: he showed up at my house with two friends asking if he could get a ride to a party a few blocks away I agreed and went off to take easy child to a party on the other side of town, while difficult child 2 and friends waited for me (party was starting late, or something). I didn't notice anything amiss until he called me for a ride home from the party (early, like 11 p.m.) and sounded really smashed. When I got him in the car, his two friends seemed fine but my son was completely intoxicated, said he'd had vodka and beer, maybe some weed. I don't think the parents were home at that party, or perhaps the kids were just hanging out in the basement. I found out later that a mutual friend had gotten them some vodka, they had consumed it with cranberry juice in my house while I was out driving easy child to her party. I later found a gallon jug of cranberry juice in one of the bedrooms. At first I was going to let him sleep if off at my house,then take him back to his dad's but he was so loud and obnoxious I couldn't have him in my home, especially when his younger sister came home. I woke up my ex, it took a while to get our boy in dad's truck because he had started to undress to go to bed and it was well below freezing outside. He slipped in his stocking feet on my uncarpeted stairs and hit the edge of the treads full force with his back, shoulders and hips, and even that wasn't enough to register. the next day he had no hangover and no pain. He thought it was a big joke.

    I told him, no more rides from me, certainly, no money for food or busfare either. He'll be 17 in two weeks and has never had a job. He knows how to glom on to wealthier kids who have cars and access to alcohol and drug, but who also must have social issues, because they are friends with him.

    difficult child 2 lives with dad, but we have joint legal custody. Physically, neither of us can compel him to do anything he doesn't want to do. Dad chooses not to make any effort to help his son. He puts frozen pizzas in the fridge and keeps the house warm, but he's either working or sleeping (anger adn depression issues he refuses to confront). That's the extent of his parenting.

    difficult child 2 completed his one year probation last September. A phone call from me could reinstate it. Why don't I do it? Every effort I make seems so futile. And the worst part is, that my anger only lasts so long, and then I find myself feeling sorry for him (that he has to live with his dad, who is a miserable person). I'm exhausted from expending energy to help someone who is fighting it, and an angry, passive-aggressive ex who undermines my efforts at every turn.

    Pretty much everyone tells me to detach. The problem is that I tend to act based on emotion rather than reason. Last night son called me to ask for a ride somewhere. I flat told him no, I was disturbed at his behavior at New Years, and I wasn't giving him rides or money. He was silent a moment, said okay, and goodbye. But he still doesn't get it. He knows if he waits a few days I will be cooperative.

    His drug counselor and I communicate via email or phone calls because I have easy child also seeing her as a pre-emptive strike. easy child hasn't smoked since October, though I think she might drink if she had the opportunity. It seems to be the thing that 8th graders do at her school. Ugh. I hate being a parent of teenagers.

    I'm going to ask the drug counselor tomorrow to meet with her team and either discharge difficult child 2 or find a more intensive program. this voluntary showing up if he feels like it is not working out.
  6. Iamwipedouttoo

    Iamwipedouttoo New Member

    Oh geez. I have a 17 year old daughter. I am certain she's been smoking pot and drinking occasionally but I haven't caught her in the act yet. The therapist says some experimentation we shouldn't worry about and she doesn't think that difficult child is using more than typical (my question is what the heck is that? I am writing that down for our next session. Seriously).

    All I know is all of a sudden lots of bob marley Tourette's Syndrome and Jamaican references. I told difficult child I didn't like the drug references when I saw the shirt and she acted like she didn't know what I was talking about. I have facebook and some of her friends pages aren't set to only friends! Didn't tell her that of course. The T-shirt one of her friends made was pretty interesting...named their school, picture of bob marley and the tag line "dedicated to HIGHer education". I'll spare you her comments.:surprise:


    <hugs> to you. Raising difficult child teens stinks. I'll pray we both make it through and they come out the other side productive adjusted adults.

    EDIT: I have the same issue with detachment. It is so hard to not be there for them. At what point can you just turn your back, especially when you think you see some progress?
  7. recovering doormat

    recovering doormat Lapsed CDer

    Look, most of the kids I hung out with in high school back in the seventies had smoked pot at least once by the time they graduated, including moi. I have to admit some hypocrisy on my part when I get irritated with therapists who say some experimentation is normal. Problem is, the weed that is available now is way stronger than what I tried in my freshman dorm, and it's been laced with anything from PCP to Heroin. Both of my difficult child's became more than casual smokers, they threw themselves into it with gusto. difficult child 1 got more depressed as the PCP laced pot interacted with her antidepressants (Zoloft) and other mood stabilizers (she's been on a lot of different things, only drug that has helped is Prozac and Yaz (birth control pill but side effect is that it helps with PMD). My son was smoking three times a day last January when we placed him in a facilty to detox. They both still smoke but not the quantity they did before.

    The Bob Marley tee shirts, the constant weed references in the music they listen to, the glorification of being stoned in popular movies, it makes me nuts. Fortunately, difficult child 1 has outgrown that, and difficult child 2 can't wear that stuff to his high school.

    by the way, all three of my kids are wonderful to get along with as long as everything is going their way. Since I've introduced some boundaries and tough love, they call me "psycho." It's music to my ears.
  8. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Back in the "old days" husband and I both smoked pot fairly regularly. We both quit when he went into the service.

    Fast forward to the last couple of years of his life. He was having major problems with both pain relief and nausea/loss of appetite from his disease and his medications.

    On one hospitalization, the floor nurse actually came in and SUGGESTED that her experience with pts had shown that marijuana use could be really helpful for the type of sx d was having.

    It certainly did help greatly, but it came with one major caveat: be abolutely you get the stuff from someone who grows it for his/her own use. He was told in no uncertain terms what "today's" pot might contain.

    by the way, he did not smoke it. Part of the chemo he'd had had damaged his lungs very badly. He took it in soups and teas and quite often actually ground some up and put it in the empty gelatine capsules you can get at some healthfood stores.

    in my opinion? I think that marijuana is a good medicine, provided it is regulated by pharmaceutical laws. And, if we legalize it? Well, it's something else we can tax.

    They were cutting weed back then, too. I had a rather scary experience where I smoked some 'Thai Stick" which is whole buds sort of marinated in raw opium tincture. I tripped for two days straight
  9. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm having the same issues with my difficult child. She was smoking three times a day at college until she got caught int he dorm bathroom with two other girls and a guy (in a woman's bathroom). She was cited, had community 24 hours of community service to perform in two months, had three drug/alcohol classes to go to, have to be evaluated for substance abuse, undergo drug testing, enter the court diversion program and was kicked out of college. She is now back home and just flunked her first parent imposed drug test. The pot level was very low and she claims she smoked after her last drug test three weeks ago. We have told her that if the next drug test is not clean she is out the door, must find another place to live.

  10. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    RD, have you thought about joining an Alanon or Narc anon chapter? I don't have experience with either but so many other board members speak so highly of them. It sounds like you do need to detach more from your difficult children, but it can be a herculean task without support. Alanon and Narcanon might provide you with some concrete strategies you can implement. May help you detach from your angry ex-H as well.

  11. Red Chief

    Red Chief New Member

    Now I must admit that I smoke pot. I only do it after everyone has gone to sleep. It helps relax & enjoy the end of my night before I go to sleep. Helps me sleep too.

    That being said, I hate the fact that my easy child has started smoking. Thankfully she waited until she started college & is out on her own. We noticed the same thing that iamwipedouttoo said above. Bob Marley posters & T-shirts, etc. My wife is very nosy, so she'll still go thru easy child's purse when she comes over & is away from it. Once she was quite surprised to find a pill container filled with weed & pills. I wouldn't let it concern me, but she got exactly a 0.00 GPA last semester. She's got a free ride scholarship and she's about to blow it!

    If my easy child is like this, I fear for the future of my difficult child. She is too much like me. I remember what I was like as a teen, and the **** I put into my body. I'm afraid she's gonna be like I was, only with serious mental issues and a bad attitude.
  12. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Is it your opinion that the children do or do not know that you smoke pot at night when they are in bed? With my family anbd friends, their children always knew where the stash was and how to use it. No matter how young they were, or how well the parents tried to hide it.
  13. Red Chief

    Red Chief New Member

    easy child definitely knows I smoke, and knew where my stash was because she's stolen it from me! The first time we smoked together, I rolled one, & she saw my hiding spot & helped herself a few days later. Of course, since she's out of the house it was an easy thing to find another spot.

    My difficult child knows that I smoke, because they day after easy child stole my stash, I hid my roach jar someplace else where difficult child happened to find it the very next day. :sad-very: I keep it out in the garage. It is always locked, and difficult child knows it's off limits because she always rifles through the junk, bringing in old toys & such that were put out there for a reason. The day after I re-hid my jar, she took her mom's keys & went into the garage the next morning to find baby clothes to put on the cat. I just happened to put the jar with the baby clothes. When I saw the baby clothes & asked where they came from, I immediately went out to the garage to find my jar missing. I asked difficult child about it & she showed me where she put it. I told her what it was (she seemed genuinely surprised). Then we had the talk. I told her why I did it, told her it was wrong, etc. I took the angle that adults get to do things that kids can't; like drinking, getting married, driving, and so on, so I better not ever catch her doing it, until she's grown up. Pipe dream, I know.

    I don't honestly know if difficult child really knows how to use it. She's NEVER seen me do it, but I'm sure she's picked it up from TV, just like how my Mom busted me cutting up chalk like coke & making lines. I saw it on TV, I didn't even know much more than that.

    difficult child doesn't know where I stash it, because it was out of reach & sight in the garage. I also rotate between several hiding spots now (to keep it away from easy child). difficult child is a very smart girl, so I'm pretty sure she knows what I do after she goes to bed. There have been a couple of occasions where I went out there not knowing she wasn't asleep, and have been met at the door by her. I know I stink to high heaven (no pun intended) when I come back in, so she's smart enough to put 2 and 2 together.
  14. Bean

    Bean Member

    Hmm. Interesting observation with the water. In the last stint that my daughter wasn't locked up, she kept a gallon jug of water around ALL the time. I'm sure it was to dillute her urine.