Freshman in college started smoking pot, drinking


New Member
Hello group, and thank you in advance for any advice. I'm in a bit of a unique situation. Long story short, my 19 year old son, who is technically my step son from my former marriage whom we got custody of at the age of 3 due to his mom on drugs, is in my eyes more my son than either of his parents (mom only had him 3 years and dad was deployed 5 of the 10 years we were together). When we split (due to his infidelity) I made sure that he knew i was divorcing his dad and not him. We've remained close, he was still coming to my house just as the other kids would on our custody schedule, despite him not legally required to (bio mom refused to let me adopt him). In fact most people are surprised if they find out i'm not his true mom, as he is treated just as much as he is my own. I financially support him equally with his dad in college (no help from bio mom). Ok...with that out of the way.

He is an awesome kid, one of those that gets along with anyone from the age of 3 to 83. Very outgoing personable and was generally very honest. Actually asked at the age of 17 to go to party where they were drinking and wanting to know if he could drink too if he stayed the night. Of course we couldn't condone it but applauded his honesty.

He went into college this year and initially was doing really well. Had a great supportive positive girlfriend of close to a year. Seemed to really hit it off with his roommate and was generally in good spirits. Then dad and current wife spring divorce on the kids bc dad caught cheating again. Despite this happening to us as well we get along really well as co-parents, and though I don't agree with the lifestyle of dad realize thats his demons to deal with. However, since this things started spiraling out of control with son. He and girlfriend start having problems, he's a bit more distant and not home as often, got a public intox charge $800, later found out that the drinking has been a pretty significant issue, and more recently found out that he's smoking weed. His grades this semester have went down the drain and girlfriend decided best to take a break from him bc its not her lifestyle.

Here's my dilemma...I found out about the pot from his girlfriend who genuinely cares about him and is scared of the path that he is going down. He's started to lie to me though when I've asked him about these behaviors and I don't want to implicate her since she is the one positive force in his friend circle so I don't want him to shut her out if I told him it was her that told me. But here's the worst bio mom is still drug user, 3 kids 3 dads, lost oldest to us, lost middle to his dad. Been in jail couple times due to drugs. Most recently moved to Colorado since it legal. So son decided wants to go visit mom (aside from her coming down for his graduation last seen 2 years ago...and only 2nd time she's ever came to town to see many games and events missed). Find out from girlfriend that he's been smoking all weekend with her and mom sends him home with bag of weed. Trying to convince him to come stay with her in Colorado, considering transferring to school there, etc?!?

We've been really good about not trying to trash mom, and rarely if ever have we said anything negative about her despite REALLY WANTING TO!!! But i know he needs to make his own decisions of her and have always hoped that he would be able to see the support his dad and I have given him in comparison to what she has done. In some sense I know he knows, but the sun still rises and sets in her eyes. I think he is so starved for attention from her that now that they have this drug thing in common the pull of her will be really strong.

Anyways my question for do I tell him this clearly is not a path he wants to continue on with the already negative effects its had on his school and relationships, when his bio mom uses and supports use? And how do you confront him without implicating his girlfriend as the one who told me?

sorry for the long story but wanted to give some background :)


Well-Known Member
Hi. Sorry for your pain.
Sadly there are no magic words to convince anyone to do anything. He probably is very aware of anything you can tell him and he either disagrees with your viewpoint or doesn't care. Change has to happen through himself.if there were special words that changed others we would not be h ere. He is of age and legally you can't tell him who to see or what to do. If weed is illegal in your state (here it is still a misnomeaner) you can call the police but pot will soon be legal everywhere and this step could destroy any trust you have.

You have to decide if you want to stop paying for his toys and fun and weed. If he is 19 and not in school and able bodied there is no reason he can't work and pay his own bills. Or move out and do things on his own dime and in his own place,, not yours.

Again, I am very sorry.
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100% better than I was but not at 100% yet
Agree with SWOT. I don't think there is anything you can do to draw him away from his bio mom even if she is a bad seed.

He has to see these things for himself. We can't force someone to think the way we want them to think. It doesn't work that way.

You have to detach and take care of yourself. Hopefully someday he will realize how much you love him and be back in your life.


Well-Known Member
This is my concern when my son gets older. His bio mom was severely addicted to cocaine, which means he's at high risk for addiction. We've tried to explain to him that he will never be able to smoke pot, drink, etc. without risk. Even just having a beer could lead him down that road. Once he gets in high school, and especially college, he will be socially ostracized for not participating in that lifestyle. Based on my own college experience, you won't have any friends unless you're a heavy drinker and party girl. I was a very light drinker and lost many friends because of that. It's not as bad at a Christian college, but it still happens.

Just keep trying to educate your son about genetic addiction. You may have to show him the data and well documented evidence of this.


Well-Known Member
Crayola, i have two adopted kids who had addicts for parents. One was born with crack in his system. The others father was a chronic addict and alcoholic. Neither take drugs. Now Sonic didnt choose college and you dont know yet if your son will be a good fit for college either . Dont worry yet. He may do better at a more mellow tecnical school, for example, or just working.

My youngest had no drugs in her system but birthfather was in prison for drugs more than once and she did go to college and lived in a dorm. She did not party or even drink until this year and is very moderate about drinking. She wouldnt even date any guy if he smoked pot and she is going to become a cop. She looked up het fathers mug shot without telling us and told us she decided she felt sorry for him but she would never be him. Ever.

Keep talking to your son. We did to both and obviously it worked. Youre doing great. We told both kids "other kids can experiment and maybe be okay but its in your genetics to become an addict." Its never too early to bang the point home. We had talks all the time. My son is 23and his friends drink casually but he never even tried alcohol. No partying for him either. He says it smells terrible.

I wish you the best with your precious little one. You are smart and he has a great chance of getting it because you talk to him and watch him carefully and are on top of him. I admire you.
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