Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Sharcap, Jan 20, 2014.

  1. Sharcap

    Sharcap New Member

    I have a 19 year old son that is a huge pot smoker. It has became worse lately and he is always high. He thinks nothing is wrong because he is doing the best he ever has at his job. The problem is...I lost him as my son and he doesn't seem to care. He has younger siblings that used to look up to him but now they hate when he is around and they don't trust him. We have told him that we don't want him doing it but he thinks he is doing nothing wrong because he is doing well at his job. We told him to keep it out of our house which lasts for a little while but then he starts doing it again. I don't want to kick him out but I feel that right now that is my only option. I want my son back. I offered rehab and he laughed at it. Please help!!!!! This is a boy who went with us on a family vacation 7 months ago and now I don't even know who he is!!!!
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi. I'm really sorry you have to go through this. Are you positive that he is only smoking pot? It doesn't really matter and here's why.

    He is legally an adult which means the only power you have is your own power over yourself. Does he pay rent, help around the house, treat you with respect? We already know he refuses to follow your rules in your house (no, it is not his house too; it is your house).

    Most of us have been in your shoes and we have learned to detach, but that is a learning process as we see our children turning into strangers, criminals, assaulting us both with words and sometimes physically, putting us in danger by, say, having illegal drugs in our house. We can be arrested for that. Is he stealing? Did he recently change his friends?

    Because of his attitude about rehab right now, you are correct. Your only option is to change your attitude toward him, and that often means we have to lay down strict rules that can not be crossed and when they are, we have to be very, very strong and do what we told our adult child we would do. Usually our kids are resourceful and find places to couch surf. Often they are infuriated that we dared to take care of ourselves and not let them get their way, even that meant helping them self-destruct. I have no idea w hat sort of job your son has, but he is unlikely to achieve beyond what he is doing now if he is high all the time. He could even be arrested.

    A first step could be that if he smokes pot in your house or is disrespectful to you or refuses to pay rent or do chores, you cut off anything you are paying for. If he has a job, at his age, he is living mostly by your good graces and should pay for his own toys anyway. It teaches them responsibility. He is not in college so there is no reason for him not to pick up his own bills. Does he use your car? Do you pay for his insurance? Most of us were rather lax for most of our adult child's life and we do everything we can for them and get kicked for it. They stop respecting us at all.

    You may want to read the Rules of Detachment so that you can learn to stay out of your son's drama and resist the urge to control him with threats or long talks or shouting matches. You need to learn to be good to a very important person...YOU. You can control if your son has to pack his bags, but you can't force him to go to rehab, especially if he thinks he is doing swell. You can avoid conflict by refusing to set boundaries, but you will be unhappy that you are being used as a doormat. And your son won't care any more for you than if you'd set limits on him. The only person in the entire world you have control over is yourself. You can't make him act loving toward you again. Usually once they are using drugs they are only loving (and this is unfailingly loving) when they need something from us!

    No matter what you decide to do, and it is a personal decision, always let him know the door is open if he wants to get help, but that this is unacceptable (if it is unacceptable to you) and tell him what you are planning to do about his self-destructive behavior. Enabling kids to self-destruct is not in my opinion a good choice. Sometimes it takes tough love.

    Hugs for your hurting mommy heart. Been there. Have the t-shirt. Welcome to our board, but sorry you had to come.
  3. Sharcap

    Sharcap New Member

    Thank you so much for replying. I am in so much pain about this. I miss my son. He has a good job in retail management. I have told him that if he is pulled over by the police it will change in an instant. I do pay for his car insurance right now. He had his license taken for speeding last year (before the pot use) and has done nothing to get it back (even though we constantly tell him to). Right now he doesn't pay us anything or do anything around the house. He basically just eats, sleeps (and smokes) here. My husband threatened to kick him out once before and he told us he doesn't want to leave (why would he)!! He isn't stealing (yet) but I am afraid that will change. He did change friends recently and he lost his long time girlfriend just before this all started. I am going to put my foot down and keep it there and pray he sees the light. I just don't want the light to be blue and red flashing ones!
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Good for you! Expect him to rebel, maybe verbally abuse you, threaten to hurt himself, etc. In other words, try to anticipate the drama and, if you can help it, don't fuel the flames, so to speak. He's used to having his way and you pay all his bills and he will act indignant when you try to insist he grow up a bit.
    If he steals from the store he works at, he'll be in trouble too. My son had a friend who worked in one of the old Service Merchandise stores and he stole little things until he got bolder and took something big and they pressed charges against him. Yes, he used drugs. What type, I don't know.
    Hugs and wish you good luck, but don't want you to expect miracles at first. It is unlikely he will say, "OK, mom, I see the light." They usually need to have it hit them between the eyes, which is why tough love often is far more effective over just status quo and pretending nothing is wrong until it is too late for that and they are in serious danger. Drug users often sell and they are not nice people. My daughter's life got threatened in her drug days, something she didn't tell us about until after she quit. In our case, we made her pay all of her own bills and gave her zero money and finally asked her to leave when we came home early from a trip and surprised her. She was having a drug party in the house and that was the final straw.
  5. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    As I see it that's one of the biggest problems with pot. It makes one unmotivated and eventually their life crumbles around them. My daughter started smoking pot as soon as she entered high school and by the time she got out she was smoking 24/7 and living in a drug house. Thankfully she never got into any of the hard drugs but we did have to kick her out and she spent time in a rehab center for alcohol/pot abuse. I wish those that want pot legalized so badly could live in our shoes for a week.

    I don't know wha advice to give you or even if I am qualified. He is seeing everywhere aroud him that society thinks pot use is ok so in his mind he isn't doing anything that bad and eventually it will be legal everywhere. The problem is that he is not responsible right now, if he drank the same problems would be occurring. If he continues this road yes he can get into legal trouble. I guess that's why many people want it legalized. But for me the deeper question is that pot use is not benign. Can you imagine someone driving next to you high on pot, or someone taking an xray of your body part or filling your prescription or working the carival rides ir anything else high on pot? Pot impairs your judgement.

    I did not allow my daughter to smoke pot in our house and I searched her room constantly and threw anything out I found. We called the police to help us with her several times when she was beligerent after using pot or because she couldn;t get out to use it. She ended up with several court appearances and even spent a weekend in juvie. I watched her lose several jobs because of pot and the effects it left on her.

    You make the rules for your home and he needs to respect them.
  6. Sharcap

    Sharcap New Member

    My husband took the pot he find once and while my son was home on lunch break he went to look for it. He came and asked me where it was and I said I didn't know. I found out later that he had gone in my room and almost ripped our tv off the wall. I guess he was retaliating for taking his stuff. I am now afraid that if I take his stuff again he will break our things. I told him today that if I find any pot or related items that I am breaking them and/or throwing them away. I also told him that if he breaks anything in my house I will call the police but to be honest...I don't know if I am capable of doing that.
  7. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My daughter would retaliate against us also. I'm so sorry you are going through this Sharcap but at some point you will have to make a stand. You cannot allow drugs in your home. Yes it is difficult to call the police on your own child but sometimes it is necessary. He is making the choice by bringing drugs into your home.
  8. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    welcome to the site, your house your rules if he doesn't want to follow them free to leave...

    Did I get that correct that you pay for car insurance to put an unlicensed on the road? I hope that car isn't in your name because if he had an accident you could be liable.

    Glad you found us but sorry you needed to


    PS I didn't know kids could retaliate; my dad held me by my hair and made me watch him flush my weed long ago never even occurred to me to put up a fight about it.
  9. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time Staff Member

    First, I am so sorry you are on this journey. I hope it is short for you.

    I remember at my beginning when I was so hurt. My feelings were so raw and I couldn't believe he would do lie, smoke pot, steal, take drugs, etc., etc, (it got worse and worse as the years went on in my son's situation). We had not taught him anything like that. He knew all of that was wrong. Etc. Etc.

    It took me years before I realized what he was doing had nothing to do with any of that.

    Now my son is 24 and the problems are very, very serious. It started slowly and then he went off a steep cliff, very quickly, it seemed to me. In actuality the really bad stuff has been over the past four years, but looking back, I am sure it started in high school and I am also sure that is a lot I still don't know and never will.

    One day his girlfriend called and asked me if she could come over and talk to me. Of course I said sure. She was worried sick. For the next 1.5 hours she talked and I listened. My mouth was hanging open. I was flabbergasted. I could believe what I was hearing. He had been living right here under my roof and I had no idea of the things she was telling me.

    It just shows how much we can't know.

    The sooner you can start setting strong limits, sticking to them and working on yourself, the better off you are going to be.

    I believe strongly that pot was a gateway drug for my son's opiate use. Some people may be able to smoke pot recreationally and walk away. I don't know. Others cannot and the problems just snowball. My son is one of those.

    It's so hard to imagine telling your son he must leave if he doesn't follow the rules. It took me about 1.5 years to get there. My ex-husband just got there this past June. But today, he can't live with either one of us and he has been homeless.

    It's the hardest thing I have ever done, but please believe us all when we say that NOTHING we did worked. And believe me I did everything. Rules, consequences, contracts, taking away (you name it) car, privileges, gas money, everything in his room (one thing at a time). We even took the door off the hinges. He had no privacy at all. We talked, cried, begged, pleaded, yelled, negotiated, reasoned, went to counselors, therapists, doctors, everything. He would not cooperate and he would not stop.

    Drug addicts are liars. It is often said: if their mouth is moving they are lying. I believe that today.

    They will steal from you. They will lie to you. They will promise the moon and deliver nothing. They will manipulate you.

    It's just a stall game so they can get what they want as long as they can. And what they want is drugs.

    I hope your case is different but some of the things you have written sound painfully familiar. Please keep coming back and please know there is compassion, help and prayers for you and him right here.
  10. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    I too have been in your shoes and I am still dealing with my burnout (remember that term?) 21 yo son. The abuse of any drug or substance -- INCLUDING POT -- is no joke. I am so tired of the recent press that glorifies legal marijuana use as though everyone who uses it becomes a peace loving, mellow human being who is no threat to anyone, least of all to themselves. While pro legalization people are happy to compare it to the legalization of alcohol; no one is prepared to talk about the detrimental effects on the abusers and the society which has to deal with the marijuana abusers. Somehow, we can grasp the idea of an alcoholic and the problems associated with alcoholism and society is mightily outraged at alcoholics . As a result, the legal limits (of acceptable alcohol use outside of the home) keep getting lower and lower. No one ever mentions how society or parents are supposed to deal with the detrimental effects of of marijuana.

    I can tell you 100% that pot use makes my son quick to anger and hard to deal with. My son has dropped out of college twice and has nothing to show for the last 3 years of his life. He was once a young man with great potential, good grades and a heap of self motivation. He has not been any of those things since he started smoking pot regularly.

    I originally figured that "it was JUST pot" and that he would find a balance like so many other people I know (or knew) who used pot recreationally and without ill effects. That was not to be.

    You have handed your son the control in the relationship. When I was a new poster here; I think it was Star* who told me that by placating my son and not engaging him on the behavior I found unacceptable, I was giving him all of the control. I thought my kid could be an adult and meet me halfway and that he would recognize and participate in some give and take. It doesn't work that way with difficult children. And when they sense they are losing that control, they get violent or outraged or they take off. They will do anything to avoid having the spotlight of blame shone upon them.


    "Son, this is my home and I still have kids to raise here. I have the right to set a standard of living in my house and enact guidelines on behalf of your younger brothers and sisters. It is unacceptable for you to use or bring marijuana into this house.Furthermore, YOU need to respect my home and my belongings. If you cannot agree to live by these standards, you need to leave. The choice is yours."

    I know how you feel, my heart aches for you. But it's time to take control of your house. You need to draw a line in the sand. Please keep posting, we are here for you.
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Not that I"m so tough, because I'm actually a softie when times are good, but I will do all I can to try to dissuade my kids from self-destructing, even if it means they hate me for doing it. I called the cops on my daughter for pot at age fifteen. Little did I know (and you don't either) if it is just pot or more. With her it was a lot more and it morphed the longer she was involved with drugs.

    I also used to routinely throw out the cigarettes in her purse. I know a lot of parents think it's not a big deal, but I wasn't about to have cigarettes in my smoking was a house rule plus she was underage. I would go into her purse all the time, as once she broke the law she had lost the privilege of her privacy, and throw out any cigarettes that were there. She eventually quit drugs AND cigarettes too. Now she hates smoke and her house is tobacco free. I would like to say that kids who smoke cigarettes are more likely to smoke pot and move on. I am surprised at how many parents, some nonsmoking, allow their kids to pollute their homes out of fear of making them angry. Lots of smoker's coughs, short-winded young people, lung cancer and other issues from cigarettes.

    I never felt guilty about going through her things once she was busted for pot. I felt she had to earn our trust back to be regain her privacy. Anything related to any sort of drug or alcohol was thrown out. Yes, we used to search her room too.

    My daughter is now one of my best friends as well as being my daughter. She had to hate me first. I was not high on her "like" list when she was doing drugs and I was "being mean." But now she will say I did the right thing and she would think about what I told her, although I never thought she was listening.
    I agree that you can't allow your son to blatantly reject your house rules plus break the law in your house or he will never respect you and he will have no reason to change his ways.
    Good luck. It's hard, I know. I never did anything without secretly shaking inside and being near tears. I just tried to hide them.
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    Last edited: Jan 20, 2014