Caught Teen Using Drugs - Help

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Mom of Teen Boys, Aug 24, 2017.

  1. Mom of Teen Boys

    Mom of Teen Boys New Member

    In May my 16 yr son came home and appeared "off." I grew with with a brother who used drugs and instantly knew what he was up to. We confronted him, at first denied, then when we told him we'd take him to the hospital in the AM for testing and his consequences would be far less if he came clean. He admitted to smoking weed, at first said it was the first time. Prior to this was a good kid, good athlete, good grades, always home at curfew, etc. I was only suspicious as he was hanging out with a couple older kids.

    Long story short, I've urine testing him a few times since and it's negative. However, as an athlete he has a really high metabolism so I'm sure his body processes it quickly. However, in the last couple weeks I've found suspicious things - part of the inside of an ink pen (this is what he confessed to smoking with in May) on the floor of his truck, odd behavior a few nights so thinking smoked several hours before coming home, one night had a lazy eye (not the norm), evidence that something has been hidden in the ceiling tiles in the basement (nothing there now) and a few phone calls to the kid he was caught with.

    I don't have anyone to talk to this about, as I don't want to tell any of my friends. I cannot get this off my mind, literally it's consuming my life. Do I keep testing him, keep searching the entire house every week. I'm exhausted. I watch his money extremely closely (can see his online bank info) and I know he isn't spending much on this. I think it's a fairly recent habit but I'm terrified it will progress. I had a brother who destroyed his life because of drugs and this is all I can think. Please help!!
  2. RN0441

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

    Welcome Mom

    Sorry you have to be here but glad you found us.

    Do you have a spouse or someone that you can confide in so that you don't feel alone?

    My son started abusing weed at 15 and it led to other more serious drugs and he is still fighting it and will be 22 on Saturday. I'm not saying this will happen to you but we never know what this can lead to.

    You've been exposed to addiction so you know what it can do and as parents there is still only so much we can do. He is still a minor in your home so you do have some control.

    I would continue to establish firm rules and boundaries in your home and if he is using he would not be allowed to drive period. These kids can be sneaky and most times you only know half or less of what is really going on. You don't know if it's normal teenage stuff, a phase, or a real problem. That's how we were. Our youngest was the most sensible of all three of our boys and I NEVER I mean NEVER could imagine this would happen to him. I still sometimes think I will wake up and it will just be a long nightmare.

    I would continue to search his room and drug test him at this point. I wish we had been more on the ball with our son. It hit us like a freight train. We had no idea what was going on and both my husband and I smoked in high school so we were not naive at all.

    More will be along to offer their advice. Take what you like and leave the rest. Keep posting and reading. It will give you great insight and let you know that you are not alone. I wish I had found this site when my son was 15. I don't know if it would have changed anything but I think I would have fared better.
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  3. Mom of Teen Boys

    Mom of Teen Boys New Member

    Thank you RN0441. I do talk to my husband about it but he doesn't worry like me. He says he's just experimenting and not to worry. He hasn't lived with an addict, so I don't expect him to understand fully. I too am scared that this will lead to more serious drugs, that's my worry. We told him in May when we caught him that if he was doing it again he would loose his phone and his vehicle, which we pay for. What is the best consequence/punishment? I know we have to be firm on this, but at the same time don't want to completely destroy our relationship. I am having a home security person come next week and am getting cameras and alarms for doors and windows in case he tries sneaking out. I currently set my alarm for several times a night to make sure he's in bed (his bedroom is in our basement - a walk out with a door right there!), hence causing more exhaustion! I know he has to make his own decisions, but how can I get through to him. The sad thing is, he has seen what my brother did to my family and how horrible it was to live through.
  4. RN0441

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

    It's hard to say if it's normal teen stuff. My husband thought that too for a long time even after things got crazy. Obviously you have experienced things your husband hasn't and you could be reacting based on that.

    Now husband and I are on the same page and it makes things so much easier.

    I would definitely recommend that you do NOT say anything you are not prepared to back up or you lose all credibility with your son. You know your son best so you have to do what you are comfortable with. I would not worry about destroying your relationship. You are his parent and not one of his buddies.

    We always wanted our son to be happy and didn't want to upset him. Now I look back and realize how stupid we were. Why did I care if he got upset? That's crazy. As a parent we are only looking out for their well being and your son is very young.

    Do you have any other children in your home?

    I think you should just keep doing what you are doing. Just keep an eye out. He seems to be a pretty good kid otherwise and I know you don't want to ever see that change. Maybe just by him knowing you're "on to him" he'll realize it's not worth it!

    We're here if you need us!
  5. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    I am so sorry you find yourself here and pleased at the same time that you found us. We have a 17 year old son who began much the same way as you are describing with your son. We both thought it was phase and that it would pass. It did not. It is impossible to know who addiction will grasp and who it will not.

    Do know the statistics are 1 In 5 will become addicted and there are many contributing factors and sometimes none. Mothers often are more connected to the changes of their children not always but most times. We all react differently. We almost lost a 30 year marriage going down the addiction rabbit hole with my son.

    My advise is to not throw caution to the wind don't take a back seat to this. You can not exhaust your self. Therapy and 12 step meetings to support family of those addicted are not a bad start. If it is all for not and you skate past this as a phase. Awesome. If not you are laying the foundations for the struggle of the hart only people close to add its or parents of addicts can fathom.

    I say prepare we didn't and again we never saw it coming and never thought it could happen to us. Not out joyous lovely well asjustes beautiful boy. It has.

    This sight and the people here are a God Send of advice. I am in admiration and awe of some members who have been here through 2 generations of addiction. First their children and now their grandchildren either as care givers or seeing addiction rear its ugly head again.

    Know you have support and advice here. No judgment and good compassionate hearts.
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    Last edited: Aug 24, 2017
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    (((((hugs))))) I am so sorry that you had to come find us, and so glad you did find us!!

    In addition to us, please find AlAnon or Narcotics Anonymous Family meetings. The in person support is incredibly helpful. Just knowing you are not alone means so much, takes some of the weight of the world off your shoulders, Know what I mean?? Especially when your spouse doesn't take it as seriously as you do right now.

    As far as consequences, I strongly suggest you read "Parenting Your Teen With Love & Logic". I was quite surprised by how effective their methods are, and how easy to implement they are. One thing I especially liked was that my husband understood the method and what we were doing. So often when we tried things with my difficult child, my husband read the book but just didn't get it. This was sort of instinctively logical to him, and that makes a big difference.

    Please remember to take care of yourself. You really do have to take care of yourself before you can take care of anyone else. Right now you are panicking at the thought of your son becoming addicted to drugs. I totally understand. My brother is an alcoholic with a serious anger problem. My son showed serious rage issues at a young age. I panicked too. Then I had to calm down and figure out what to do. This forum was the best resource I found to help me help my son. If you stick around, it will be a huge help and support for you also.

    This is like a long journey on an airplane where you need an oxygen mask. You have to put the oxygen mask on yourself first. If you pass out because you were putting the mask on your child first, there won't be anyone to help you. Then your child will be left alone with no one to help him for the rest of the trip. If your child passes out while you are putting on your mask, you will get your mask on and then put your child's mask on. Your child won't be harmed and will have you to help and protect him during the journey. Figuring out what is going on with your son is going to be like this. Running yourself into exhaustion isn't going to help anyone, and it will only give your son more time alone to get into trouble while you recuperate. It is time to make sure you are in good shape and ready for the long haul.
  7. Mom of Teen Boys

    Mom of Teen Boys New Member

    Thank you so much for sharing. It helps so much to be able to talk to someone. How is your son doing now? At what age did he start with weed? Has he progressed to other drugs? It's helpful to know others experiences and if you could go back, what would you do differently?

    I will continue to watch his money closely, and no I never give him any money, urine test him and search his room weekly. I did order a hair test and some surface test wipes. I'll be able to wipe his phone when he gets home and this test is supposed to pick up any residue, even when it cannot be seen. I'm determined to stop this!!
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  8. Mom of Teen Boys

    Mom of Teen Boys New Member

    Thank you and I know I need to take care of myself. Easier said than done, unfortunately. I ordered the book, should be here Monday! Any other words of wisdom from anyone that's been down this road would be appreciated. I do think it's fairly early in this game, so what should I do, not do, look out for, where you've found your kids drugs, etc?
  9. RN0441

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


    I don't think you can STOP it if this is the road he is on. If we could STOP it, none of us would be here!! That would be awesome!!!

    If they want to do drugs, they will find a way no matter WHAT we do as parents.

    But at this point of time, you are not sure it's addiction. Some people can dabble and NOT get addicted.

    I think you are truly doing all you can do at this point and just see what happens.
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  10. mof

    mof Momdidntsignupforthis


    Sorry your here! I think you are doing everything in your power you can do!

    I agree, looking back we should have been more deligent. Ours just smoked weed , of curse we did not condone it, and here we are .

    So didend up an over heroine user, sober now but I know this is a long struggle for him and all who love him.

    Stay strong and stay nosy!! Keep posting it truly helps!
  11. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    Our son will be 18 in October. You can search my user name on the site and track my posts. Please do not get down and dispondent with what I am about to say.

    Littleboylost says a lot about the frame of mind I was in when I joined this forum. It should have said Littlemamalost

    My son started experimentin with weed in grade 9 was hard core by grade 11 and into other substances in his grade 12 SR year. He was also selling. He is currently addicted to anything and everything. He has psychotic breaks. He has been out of our home numerous times for breaking rules and refusing rehab. He is currently with us and it is hell. Pure hell! We are waiting for a bed in rehab that we have coralled him into signing consent for. I am in On Canada and they have to consent to treatment and can sign themselves out of treatment. We did this by having him arrested for bringing pot and cocaine into our home and advertising selling from our home. He refused rehab so we put him out. He agreed to rehab on an outpatient basis (not nearly enough for this kid). He broke house rules and continued to do drugs in our home. We rescinded his bail and he was in open custody for 4 days. A youth associattion holds his bail and bailed him out. They pleaded with us to take him home, we did. He ODd, we put him in in patient detox and rehab and he signed himself out we would not let him come home. He begged and pleaded and agreed to increase his rehab to intensive visits. We let him back home.

    He was using drugs again refused a urine test and we put him out again. He was arrested high on Street grade Xanax bars stealing from cars and homes. He could have gone to a shelter, we asked him to come with us on vacation to a cottage for a week to clear his mind. He refused to do either. His choices his consequences. He begged to come home and we said consent to intensive in patient rehab or No way. He consented.

    Present day he is in our home. We no longer try to prevent him from doing drugs, he can't on his own and we are frazzled and exhausted. We drug test to prove to him that he is not clean, as evidence for the need for rehab. He is unstable and volatile, Him being here will not last long, it is bound to be a train wreck any day now. It is not sustainable for us on an emotional or physicals level.

    No one wants there child in a shelter or on the street. There are currently no other options. We have a 1-4 month wait for a rehab bed. No way this is lasting another week let alone a month. He is too unstable for assisted housing or short term foster care and that would end in 8 weeks anyway.

    Our rehab counselor, the youth officer from the local police and his bail officer are preparing a petition to the crown (DA). This petition would put him into a rehab bed as soon as the next one becomes available.

    He also has Conduct Disorder, which I confess I knew nothing about. He could be the poster child! We have never had him clean enough for a proper psychiatric evaluation. Is it all the drugs , is it behaviour and that behavior drove him to drugs? Hard to say and perhaps we will never know. He may have a psychiatric disorder but until he is clean, there is no way to know.

    What I would have done differently. I would not have spent so much time thinking it was a phase and gently educating him. I would take the approach your taking militant NO!! Would it have worked? Maybe, who knows, I would do anything to turn back time and stop the drugs.

    I would have placed him in a private a school. Others have done this some have had success others not.

    I would have not put myself into a spiral of denial and guilt.

    I would have sought out therapy for myself and husband specifically naranon (I go on line my local group is a lunch bag let down), and support forums such as this. I would have met so many many wonderful helpful people so much sooner!

    You will find new ones like us here, and Trojans of the drug and disorders war: who are on there second generation go around with addiction in grandchildren.

    I would have put him in rehab at 15 when he had no choice if he did not stop smoking weed.

    I would have been so much more relentless and militant. Would it have made a difference. Who knows.

    The most important things I have leaned is
    I didn't cause the addiction
    I can not control the addiction
    I can't cure the addiction

    Also learning how to detach with love.
    Setting boundaries
    Not giving in with guilt and not blaming.
    Not to Enable. Some of the things we did I SMH

    Please share this story with your son. I don't believe thene is a gateway drug. I believe addiction is the perfect storm of genetic predisposition and opportunity. Not every one who does drive or alcohol becomes addicted. Not every one who abusers drugs or alcohol in their life time becomes addicted. But that 20% that do is my bucket. Our son.

    The hell and torment are indescribable. I was so depressed I even thought of taking my own life from guilt and shame. When you feel like that, get your butt to a doctor and get help!!

    I could not remember the last time I had laughed. Really laughed. I do that again now. So my final word of advice is don't go down the rabbit hole with the addiction and the addict. Take care of yourself. This is very critical. Worry won't change a thing but the state of your own health.

    Will rehab help. I don't know. If it doesn't we know we will ask our young adult son to leave our home and this time for good. We will have nothing left to provide him. We will not enable him. He will know what process to put in place richer help when he chooses it. If he is clean and sober we will welcome him with open arms.

    We will always love him, never abandon him, and learn to accept that it is what it is. Some say let go and let God. I believe we are accountable for our own choices and our own journey. I am a science buff. I don't follow a specific religion. I am not offended by any religion. I pray, I just pray to what ever is out there driving this Big Blue Ball.

    Educate yourself, don't exaust yourself, build a good network of resources. Take care of yourself.
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  12. pigless in VA

    pigless in VA Well-Known Member

    Welcome Mom of Teen Boys.

    My son is fully aware that marijuana is what made his father go psychotic. Silly me, I thought that would keep him from using it. No dice. Teens tend to think they are indestructible and make a lot of idiotic mistakes. Try not to allow it to drive you crazy too.
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  13. Mom of Teen Boys

    Mom of Teen Boys New Member

    Thank you for your kind words. This forum really help as no one can give good advice on something they've never walked though. I will keep on it and try everything I can in hopes he chooses another path.
  14. Mom of Teen Boys

    Mom of Teen Boys New Member

    I'm so sorry pigless. Yes, I thought that since my son knows the hell that my family went through with my brother he would be more cautious. So frustrating.
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  15. Mom of Teen Boys

    Mom of Teen Boys New Member

    Oh littleboylost - I am so sorry about your son. I very much appreciate your words of wisdom. Do you have other kids? I also have a 14 year old. It truly proves that kids will do whatever they want as we did everything they 'recommend' to keep your kids off drugs. We are good parents, I work from home so I'm here when the kids need me, we talk to our kids about drugs, and what I've lived through with an addict brother who spent 10 years in federal prison for dealing meth. We know where he is and who he is with at all times, yes I track his phone. So I feel like none of this matters, they'll do what they want in the end anyway.
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  16. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    Glad and sad at the same time that he is our only child. Be diligent and do everythibg in your heart you need to do. At least no matter what your son chooses to do, you will be able to comfort yourself in knowing you did everything you could do. And yes we are good parents. Addiction is a relentless beast that crosses all social, economical and racial boundaries. Take care of you and your health. Your family needs you.
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  17. Mom of Teen Boys

    Mom of Teen Boys New Member

    Those of you that have been down this road.... assuming I catch my teen using marijuana again (and it's probably when not if) what form of consequences have you all used? What was really not effective? We are thinking driving, his vehicle, phone, grounding. For how long? And how is the best way to work to gain trust again? If he is caught again we will be seeking help from a therapist/doctor. Does anyone have a child is has been down this road and is now sober? What advice would they give? I want to be prepared ahead of time since I'm certain to be an emotional wreck (on the inside - try to remain tough in front of him) when the time comes. Obviously he didn't learn his lesson last time.
  18. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    We were too soft. If you catch him again defiantly take his car. You don't want him to be a harm to himself and others. Take his cell phone also. If he has a GPS on his phone when you give it back make sure he has the location share on st all tomes.

    Why not engage some form of therapy now? If he has a significant amount on him, (which most likely indicates he is selling). Would you call the police, if they have a youth diversion program be worth considering.
  19. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    My daughter moved on to meth and coke, but quit. We were never soft on her. The car and our willingness to risk her life and that of others on the road went first. Allowance followed. Called the cops on her at 15, her first probation. She was not "just experimenting" but we thought she was because we wanted to think so. Still, we turned her in for pot as it was illegal and we didnt do illegal in our home. She was given parole. It didnt work, but she was a l9t more careful at home.

    At 19 we found her having a pill party in our home and we had two younger kids. That did it. We made her leave and gave her no money and certainly no car. She begged her straight arrow brother to let her live in his basement and he did, but he was even stricter thsn us. If she lit up one cigarette she would have been on the street and knew it so she quit that and eventually all else. She walked in cold Chicago weather to and from work, got promoted, helped clean and cook at home (he had roommates with legally rented rooms in his house) and she had to pay rent and keep quiet so as not to wake anyone. Many more rules than at our house.

    She did all that he demanded of her, aware that one infraction meant the street.

    Eventually she met her boyfriend that she is still with, took out a loan to go back to school for a certificate, got a job and they bought a house together and much later gave me a beautiful grandbaby.

    She swears being strict made it too hard for her to use drugs and she turned her life around. I am especially puzzled when parents not only allow drug users to drive, but pay for them to do so.That I feel is negligent on our playing with the lives of our kids and innocent strangers because we feel bad or because it is more convenient if we dont.have to drive them. Never get allowing them to drive iur cars when we know they get intoxicated.

    Daughter walked. She didnt die of it, but could have died driving or using drugs or both.

    My daughter quit meth and coke (which I thought was just pot until faced with it) twelve years ago. I dont think it would have happened if we hadnt let her know there was no tolerance for that in our house at all...and that her brother was even stricter.

    Sure, we gave her second chances and thirds (but never with the car) and she disappointed each time we got is my belief that although all kids are different, your best shot is to take a strong "not under my roof or you get nothing from us but food" stance early on. It wont work for all, but the odds are better than the "I cant be tough on my baby even for drugs" method. Or the "he said he quit two days ago so Im giving him everything back" method. It took us two sober years to trust daughter.

    Was this easy? It about killed me. I didnt sleep. I cried. But now she is safe and tells me I did it right (not what she said at the time).

    You have no idea what your son may be using, as i did not know about Daughter. You want to do all you can to make any drug use so hellish for him that he wonders why he is even doing it.

    Take the car first.

    Make him get a job for his other toys. My daughter always had a job, even high. I wouldnt fund her drug abuse, even when I thought it was pot snd nothing else. Without a car, she still managed to get to work with friends and biking and she developed a lovely work ethic. She did graduate high school although she cut classes a lot. What a headache just remembering. She refused all therapy/help.

    This is hard stuff, but I have never been sorry we cracked down on her and I am very close to her now.

    Just my experience and opinion.
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2017
  20. Mom of Teen Boys

    Mom of Teen Boys New Member

    Thank you for sharing everyone, again so helpful. What have been some creative hiding places in the home your child has stashed drugs? I keep looking!