difficult child Self-medicating with Pot?


Psycho Gorilla Dad
From the Substance Abuse archive:

"Self-medicating is very very common for BiPolar (BP) and for ADHD. As an experienced and well read Mom of ADHD kids I can attest to the fact that the legal medications often are not effective for teens. So, just when the kids are facing that mega challenge that all kids face, their medications don't do the trick and
substances do. Sad to say..compliance is not easy to come by even with easy child teens. With disordered kids it must be darn rare for the kid to "want" any help getting rid of the very thing that makes them feel good! DDD

Before we "knew" that difficult child 1 was smoking pot, we already knew he had problems with ADD medications but his symptoms had "mysteriously" started lessening. After he came clean with us, we immediately went to our family doctor who was also treating the ADD. doctor says that he has an "astounding" number of ADD/ADHD kids who won't take their medications, but smoke pot like crazy. And from his point of view, it seems to help. He's certain that some researcher somewhere will find a legal THC derivitive that will be an effective treatement for ADD/ADHD.

Maybe, maybe not, but it sure bears thinking about. For me, I can honestly say that difficult child 1 got better (not "good", but better) grades when he went to school stoned than when he was on his ADD medications.

Anybody else notice this in their kids?



Mikey, I just read your response to my note listed as," What I was afraid of." Our sons do sound VERY much alike, sad to say. I really liked your insert about the coach, map, guideposts. So true. And, like you, we/our son seemed to skip a step along the way.

From teachers' reports, our son didn't smoke pot before or during school so I can't comment about the pot/school performance connection.

Also, my son only smoked pot at friends' homes, not here, so we would only catch a quick glimpse of him when he came home for the evening.

What we did notice, when we had a chance to notice, was that it definitely seemed to mellow him out, and he was, quite frankly, much easier to be around when he was feeling the effects.

His pediatric neurologist also told us that many if not most teens with ADHD, bipolar, and similar issues do self medicate. In fact, his treatment approach was to give our son medications that targeted the same neurotransmitter that pot does. Still, our son also mostly refused legal medications in favor of pot, and even questioned us about why we'd spend $350 for a 30-day supply of his medication when he could buy himself a $5 bag of pot. He really was truly flabbergasted at our stupidity...


New Member
It seems to be the norm. However, when my oldest quit smoking it, after a while, he was truly a different person. It was so amazing. My youngest also just tested positive at his Residential Treatment Center (RTC). So he also joined the ranks.


Psycho Gorilla Dad
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Loris</div><div class="ubbcode-body">It seems to be the norm. However, when my oldest quit smoking it, after a while, he was truly a different person. It was so amazing. My youngest also just tested positive at his Residential Treatment Center (RTC). So he also joined the ranks. </div></div>

I agree, because I recently saw my difficult child 1 when he was weed-free for a week. We had a "family vacation" to Orlando for Christmas. As a trip, it was totally miserable, but we had nearly two weeks together as a family. No drugs, no booze (no fun, either), but we were together for the first time in a long time, away from home.

And a remarkable thing happened - both my sons "returned", at least for a while. Younger pothead son went back to his loveable, flirtatious easy child self, aspie older son actually opened up a bit and treated the rest of the family with some love, and even laughed a bit. easy child daughter didn't know what to make of the fact that both of her brothers miraculously reappeared from the ether.

Of course, it didn't last much past the day we got back. But for a week or so, I had my kids back. Maybe that's why I'm too stupid to give up hope yet. But I understand what you mean - when my difficult child 1 stopped smoking for a while, he went back to his easy child self.

God, I hate the stuff. But if it wasn't pot, it would be something else. Some kids have a hellbent passion for self-destruction, and would resort to slurping boiled elephant-dung if that was all that was left to get them high :frown:

Sorry I drifted off topic, but my difficult child 1 is acting out right now, and it's been a long day. Thanks for the reply, and my best hopes and prayers go to you for your youngest. If my son were any younger (he's nearly 18), I might be putting him in a Residential Treatment Center (RTC) as well. But he's so close to his majority, both his therapist and his regular doctor say that's a bad idea for now. Pot and drugs are not his biggest problem, only symptoms of the real issues at hand.