Can't understand why 15 year old won't see what could happen


oops. crazy computer
CRA is child requiring assistance. We did it because we don't know what else to do. So, now son has probation officer and a lawyer and we go back to court in 4 weeks. He refusing to see the severity of it. He is still doing exactly what he wants to do. On the day of court, before leaving school to go, he mouthed off to a teacher. We have meeting tomorrow and I think he's being suspended for at least 5 days. Then we went to court, which sucked. Basically, he was told that he has to stop smoking pot and has to follow all rules of school and home. He went out the next day after school. At one point he came home with friend to get his skateboard and while in the house, stole $60 from husbands wallet. Back and forth stupidity all night long and he finally got home, but holed up in his bedroom, all the while denying he took the money. The friend who he was with ratted him out to my other son when asked so we know he took it. The next day, when he was supposed to be taking out the trash, he took off. He called to get a ride later that afternoon from husband (I was at work) and then holed up in his room again. He refused to do anything or even speak to my husband (I was at work) Now here we are on Sunday, and again, he is holed up in his room. Finally got him to wake up at 11:30, but wondering why I even bothered. He is so angry and won't do anything that needs to be done.
We are going to call Probation Officer tomorrow but problem is he just does not care what happens to him. He was told that if he can't get his sh** together, then he could be referred for a group home, residential treatment, foster care. He actually asked about it to probation officer. I don't know what he's thinking. Does he seriously think that if gets outplaced then he can continue to smoke all the pot he wants, see all his friends and can continue failing school? I really think that he does and smoking pot is his priority right now. He doesn't care about anything or anyone else.
Is it an underlying mental problem that would make his mind work this way? He has been struggling with anxiety since he was little. Now we see some depression, ADD, and who-knows what else because we haven't gotten him formally tested (waiting for appointment). I don't know about marijuana addiction. I don't think it's so much a physical addiction, as psychological, but that doesn't make it any easier.
How can we make him see the severity of this? How can we help him? We have him going to going to counselors, which he hates. He is totally determined that nothing will help. Nothing has helped, and nothing in the future will. We keep trying. I think we found a good psychiatrist last week, but we don't see her again for 2 weeks. He sees his regular counselor tomorrow. We keep trying to talk to him. He won't. He really won't talk at all to me. I am bad guy #1. This is all my fault in his eyes. I can take it. I don't like it and I am totally crushed and heartbroken by the whole thing, but I accept it. It's easier to blame me. He refuses to take any responsibility for anything. I can't imagine that deep down he must be concerned about his mental health, about his drug use and the world crumbling around him. I can't imagine he doesn't feel it, but I don't see it. All I see is anger, defiance, disrespect, failing. All I see is the future and how bad it very well might be if we can't get through to him. I can't even see getting through high school, let alone college or holding a job.
How can I help him? He's so young. I want to believe that I can save him.


Active Member
Search for Conduct Disorder symptoms. Also Oppositional Defiant Disorder symptoms. The second one (ODD) can be remedied with reading books on the subject and giving mostly positive feedback to the kid. (Works like magic!) However conduct disorder pretty much needs 24/7 constant supervision and residential living.

All I can say is supervise him as much as possible. In a residential setting he would not be allowed to go off on his own - be by himself or be with other kids without being supervised. That much supervision may not be possible in your case if both parents work. But do what you can. (Also parents DO need to sleep!)

Also report everything to the probation officer and ask what to do. Ask what you can do to more closely supervise your son and ask if he thinks that is a good idea or not.

And do get him tested - I know, easier said than done! Hang in there!


Active Member
kt - I wish I could answer your questions. I just want to offer that you are not alone. I am right here with you. My son too has been taken over by his desire to smoke weed. He is willing to suffer any and all consequences as long as he can smoke. He has quite sports and given up plan to go to college although he still manages to do ok in school. I have given up taking him to pyschiatrists because he is nasty and rude to them and won't take any prescribed medications. Even at 16, they can't force him to take medications and that is really all they have to offer. He feels he has the drug he needs, weed. He does see a psychologist and right now that is all we have. I heard him up at 7 this am making food, probably sneaking out to smoke. And he has been asleep in basement since. I went down there and found food all over and empty red bull cans. I am livid and spending my day trying to distract myself from worry. If I get angry and confront him on anything, he tells me that weed is all that keeps him alive. Otherwise he would kill himself. And yes, his doctors know how he talks and not one person has a single answer for us. He has to be willing to help himself which right now he is not. My only thought is a 30 day out placement for substance abuse that hopefully insurance would cover. I pray for you that CRA helps you.


Well-Known Member
Psychosis (schizophrenia for example) causes an inability to know reality from fantasy. You are perfectly sane with ADD, depression and anxiety. Ivee had that all my life. These disorders may make you feel so rotton that you don't care if you do bad things, but you are well aware that they are bad and that there could be bad consequences. Impulsive kids may not worry about the consequences until they happen, but are not unaware. Stealing makes me think of drug use that is beyond pot. I dont think kids need to steal to get pot...not sure though. Stealing usually means higher level, more expensive drug use. Yes, they are good at hiding degree of drug use.

So (and I am open to correction) my understanding is that psychosis is the only psychiatric symptom where you truly may not have a clue about right or wrong.

Here's another possibility, although it is not a psychiatric problem. It is a medical problem. Fetal alcohol spectrum is brain damage and also causes an inability for the afficted person to understand right from wrong. Often they end up in jail with no idea why. Then, after release, they do the same thing again as they do not learn from their mistakes due to brain damage and very tiny short term memories. They are not at fault and basically need 24/7 care so that they are kept from committing crimes. It is a horrible condition with no helpful treatment so far. Read "the broken cord" by michael dorris. That says it all about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS).

Any other disorder other than dementia, well, the person knows what he/she is doing us wrong so the law will not be kind. One can be mentally ill and obey the law. I am one of the mentally ill who never thought to break the law.

Wish our government had good places for very sick people, but we dont and it makes me very angry.

Hope you find your answers,sweet one. You are honestly such a great person. Big hugs. Hoping, hoping...


Well-Known Member
He is totally determined that nothing will help. Nothing has helped, and nothing in the future will

He has been struggling with anxiety since he was little.

Now we see some depression, ADD, and who-knows what else because we haven't gotten him formally tested (waiting for appointment).

I hope this doesn't sound harsh. But I'm going to answer from a kid's perspective, not as a parent.
Of COURSE he has some depression. If you've had to struggle for years with anxiety plus who knows what all else, and nothing has ever helped, it's a natural pit to fall into.
Technically, there can be anxiety without a cause. Usually, in kids at least, anxiety has triggers. They (the anxieties) get downplayed by teachers, made fun of by kids, and ignored by adults. So the problems don't get fixed, the anxieties get worse, and before long, you're bullied by both students and teachers.

Stop looking at it as a "behavior problem". Yes, his behavior IS a problem. But it is not THE problem.

Have you read "The Explosive Child" by Ross Green? (sp?)


Thank you, all.
I haven't read "The Explosive Child", but will definitely look it up.
Its so strange, I had been looking at it as a mental or behavioral problem first and foremost that lead to the marijuana abuse, but now I think its switched. Or not. I just don't know. How could a marijuana addiction make someone wants to throw their whole life away??
I am pretty sure it is just pot with him. He has been tested.
He has been hospitalized twice now. I don't know why either time the doctors couldn't give us some insight. Its like spitting in the wind with son and the whole system. I know he needs help, and trying to get these "professionals" to help us to get it, but it's not happening.
On top of it all, I find myself so full of anger towards him. Of course I love him so very much, but right now I cannot stand to even look at him. One side of my brain knows how ridiculous that is, that he is sick and needs help and isn't making these decisions in his right mind. But then there's the other side of my brain. I just can't get it. How much hate and disrespect can I take from him? How can he not have any control over any of the decisions he is making? Why doesn't he see it and want help?

Thanks to all of you, though. I am so happy to have found this place to help and to vent. I am on here a lot and wish I had something to offer others. Its so hard because I'm such a mess myself, but I do support and feel for all of you.

worried sick mother

Active Member
Is there anything to take away from your son like a car or a phone, video games, tv , etc..? He is young and obviously needs help. How does he get the marjuana? I would hide all money, medications, and anything valuable that could be sold. If you have an alarm system, I would set it so he can't go out and smoke weed. If no alarm then put dead bolt locks and and keep the key on you. Don't let him make you accept smoking marjuana as ok. It's not ok!! It can lead to other drugs if it hasn't already. You still have some control over your son at this age and if you accept this behavior now it will only get worse. Give him consequences and stick to it. Call the police if he gets out of hand, maybe they will take him to a psychiatric hospital and get him help.


Thanks. We have taken away everything-phone, tv, video console, music equipment. He bought himself a broken up iphone from someone and uses that with wifi. No phone service. We do hide everything possible. We put a locks on our bedroom door and his brother's door. Medicine cabinet is all locked up. We even have a footlocker with a padlock on it where we store all the snacks! Husband doesn't want to install lock on fridge, but I think we should. When he managed to steal the $$ this last time, husband was out working on car and son wasn''t home so he just threw down his wallet, not thinking. DUH. Stupid move on his part, we both realize this. Don't know where he is getting his money. Pretty sure he is dealing. I know he makes computer music that people buy, but that doesn't really make a lot of money at all. From what I have garnered through my snooping, he has got to be dealing based on pot he has bought. I search his room regularly.
We actually have called the police on him, twice. The last time he was taken to the hospital. Nothing matters or helps. Right now, he is home because he got himself suspended for 3 days (much more lenient than I would have dealt out). He says he is quitting smoking and going to try harder in school because he has to (probation officer). I guess time will tell with that one. We go back to court in 4 weeks. He gets drug tested in 3, I think.
He is so young, but he is so full of anger and resentment. He used to be such a sweet boy. For the past 6+ months, he has gotten to the point that he just does not listen no matter what. He makes his own rules. He leaves school and just ignores phone calls, then comes home when he wants. He has snuck out a few times. Last weekend, he came home at 1:30 in the morning. I:30?! He is 15 years old. Insane.That was before we went to court. If that happens again, we can just call the police now. I am hoping that the CRA is going to scare him straight. Sometimes I think it will, but other times I think he just doesn't care. Today, when he was angry he said he wants to be emancipated, that he doesn't want to live with us. We really aren't that bad. Our rules are simple. Do your best in school, respect for all, and no drugs. How does he even know about emancipation? Does he really think that any judge anywhere would grant it?! He just doesn't have a firm grip on reality. He really believes his own BS and he is totally firm in his beliefs. I just don't get it and I don't know how to help.

I really appreciate any and all words of advice and support. I am grasping at straws. I just want my son back. thanks


Well-Known Member
Sounds like my teen when she used, which started with pot at 12. Although she was not mean to us, she.lied, stole and denied her deeds. I'd drive her to school, she'd walk in and then right out the back door after attendance was taken.
School was frankly too large to keep track of her and she was my.last.kid to go to a large school.again. She would jimmy her window, get out, run the streets at night, get caught by the cops) and brought home. She was on parole twice but was under 17. We kicked her out when we came home and found her having a pill party in the house at age 19. Hardest thing to do. Her last words were "ill hate you forever!"
Well its been twelve years she got clean and we are close, but isnt something you forget. Tough love saved her. She will easily say so.
I hope you too have a happy ending. It is so hard to be tough on a beloved child, but a drug user needs that or they have no incentive to change.
Take care of yourself. Thanks for sharing.


Active Member
I know that desperate feeling of worry and sadness. I often feel totally lost on what to do.

Your son is young, so I can imagine it feels desperate trying to find him help. I work with parents who are in the same boat, and the only thing I can tell you is that I admire the fact you are not giving up. It takes huge courage to keep going. Your anger is totally normal. It's hard to understand his actions. I guess you have to hold onto the fact that you know he isn't well, and that he isn't trying to hurt everyone.

That is what helps me. I know my son is in pain, and even though it feels like he is just intentionally hurting us, he isn't.


Crazy Cat Lady
First of all, to become emancipated in the courts' eyes, he has to prove that he is able to support himself.

I had a bad 2 years at 14-15 yrs of age. Bipolar and hormones all over the place. I was raging, though it never occurred to me to curse, hit my parents, or break things. Lots of screaming.

At 15, I was earning enough $$$ and waiting with bated breath to be old enough to drop out of HS, so I could go to work full time.

I could've become emancipated by 16 as I could meet the legal criteria.

That said, I grew up a lot when I hit 17. Had met the man I knew I was going to marry and we had already sworn "troth" to each other. Made up with my parents, and stayed on until I turned 18 and husband and I became formally engaged and moved in together (much to my parents' disgust)

I had been contributing to the household from the time I turned 14 and got my 1st "real" job. When Stu and I found an apartment that would rent to us without a co-signer, my parents presented us with the money from all the years I'd paid rent, and dragged me out shopping with that money to ensure that I properly outfitted our new home. She paid out of pocket for the exterminator to come out and do something about the roaches.


Thanks so much! It gives me strength to hear from all of you. This is so hard, but I'm so grateful to have this place to vent, complain, whine and get so much help and support.
Off to counselor with son soon. He doesn't want to go, as usual, but hoping he will go anyway. Second day of suspension tomorrow, but fortunately husband is home. Said he was okay today, did some chores, ate, but lots of complaining. Doesn't understand why husband won't leave him home alone tomorrow. Hmmm......NO. He's going to have to suck it up. Yikes


100% better than I was but not at 100% yet
Hi KT and welcome!

Your situation now sounds like us five years ago.

My son started going downhill at 15 with marijuana also. Prior to this he was a fun, happy, loving boy, straight A's in 7th grade with little effort. Got expelled at 15 for selling marijuana in boy's bathroom. It was not enough to spit at but he would not cooperate which I later found was due to him being terrified due to anxiety which we also didn't realize he had. He got quieter as a teen but our older sons were quiet so I didn't think anything was wrong until this happened. He kept doing stupid things and not learning from his mistakes and didn't seem to care much. There were some minor legal issues. It was all BAFFLING to me.

We put him a very expensive 30 day rehab at 15 (and in for his 16th birthday) and I thought my problems were solved. Ha. He was fine for a while. At probation officer's recommendation, he was tested and got into an alternative school on a 504 Plan due to anxiety; was told he has an above average IQ and was too advanced for Special Education classes.

After that he ended up being put on a benzo for his anxiety which I did not realize was addictive and could be abused. WHY would a psychiatrist do this??? This was my first experience with any type of prescription drug. I didn't even know WHAT to ask. I didn't know WHAT I did not know. He then started to abuse those and sell/trade for weed so was doing both plus drinking. Same thing with ADD medications - said he was borderline ADD. I continued to give him the pills because the doctor kept thinking he'd start using as prescribed and my husband was telling me to stop it all along. Finally after some time and another rehab it was over. No more and we forbid them. He had to try SSR's for anxiety although they naturally don't work as well but they also cannot be abused. He did some talk therapy (as we call it) but nothing seemed to help much or for long.

When he was using he was never mean or abusive to us. But did steal and lie. Anyway he would be sober on and off for some time, mostly sober but really never did anything with his life. Early this year went on a binge with benzos again and went back to rehab and is now in sober living in Florida. He will be 21 in August. I'm heart sick that he isn't living with us anymore and probably never will again but from this forum I learned that he probably could not be with us and be sober at least for now and who knows how long. That was evident now that I look back.

He has been sober for 2 months and has a job and is slowly learning to be an adult. We love him so much and hate to see him struggle like this. I really would have done ANYTHING to help him but NOTHING and I mean NOTHING worked prior to this.

Everyone's story is different. Looking back I don't know anything we could have done that we didn't do and not sure what would matter anyway. This is his life journey. Good luck to you and take care of yourself and your other family members because all of this is exhausting.