input from a functional user?

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by hcs712, Jul 12, 2013.

  1. hcs712

    hcs712 New Member

    hello, everyone. I realize this is a forum used chiefly by parents, but input from a child I think could be very useful, especially when talking to your own children about drugs is awkward ( which it almost always is).

    I am a 17 year old male, senior in high school. I have a solid 3.5 gpa, play in sports leagues here and there, scored a 32 on the ACT and I smoke marijuana recreationally. ive been caught by my parents before and been in anything from intensive outpatient programs to weekly drug counselling. I have never even come close to being in trouble with the law, as I'm not doing stupid things like smoking at school or selling. I probably smoke three to four times a week and am able to function perfectly normally. I use a vaporizer which is far less harmful for the lungs, and that allows me to stay physically active and not put my health as risk quite as much as traditional smoking does. the only
    other drug I've tried is mushrooms, which is less harmful than both marijuana and alcohol. I have been using marijuana for about three years.

    I realize that not every kid can control their use to where they can function and not get led into harder drugs. however, if you suspect that your kid is using marijuana, don't instantly jump to conclusions. If you put them on lockdown and start testing for THC regularly, you're going down the wrong path. I've seen countless kids my age smoke recreationally and do fine, but then start getting home tested and get into harder drugs that aren't typically tested for, like cough syrup, pills, or "spice" ( synthetic marijuana that is extremely dangerous and harmful) or alcohol. the approach you take can directly impact whether your kid becomes responsible or stops using, or if they spiral down the path towards harder drugs. in my opinion, having known many kids who have gotten caught smoking, the best thing to do is talk to them. encouraging responsibility and safety is far more important in the long run than trying to "show them who's boss".

    legality will of course always be an issue when it comes to drugs. but running a red light, driving after you've had a bit too much to drink or being drunk in public is also illegal, and I know plenty of adults who do that. if I were a parent, I would rather my child smoke occasionally than get wasted at parties with alcohol, because it's more impairing and just as much of a gateway drug as marijuana. not to mention that it's extremely common for high school parties to have alcohol readily available.

    please don't just write me off because I'm a kid. I've witnessed these things first-hand and I think it's important to be cautious when dealing with a child who you think is using marijuana. If grades slip and motivation is gone, that's one thing. but I feel strongly that if someone can smoke and be functional like me and many other people, taking harsh actions can be detrimental to you and your child's relationship and their overall sense of self esteem and confidence.

    so in conclusion, I ask, what would you do if your child was a functioning recreational pot smoker?
  2. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    my choice? 100% Rehab and community college. At least in 20/20 hindsight. My kid WAS a functioning, honor roll, varsity athlete, (State champions!) starting at his first choice,competitive university AND a recreational pot smoker until he wasn't anymore. And guess what? You have no idea when that bell tolls. Your guarantee is just 1 time- you get to choose to use pot that very first time. After that? Drugs get to choose to use you and you have no control or idea if it will be your second time or 2000 time. It's a roulette. And when drugs choose you; they win.

    Stop while you still can. Run for your life.

    A 21 year old pothead is really sad. Plenty of 40 something potheads who are even sadder & more hopeless. Pot will never allow you to be on top of your game; and at 17 why would you settle for anything less?
  3. hcs712

    hcs712 New Member

    if you're constantly high, maybe not. but smoking on your down time, I don't see why it's that bad. there are far worse things to be doing, and if you can be cautious and responsible, I don't see the trouble. all of us can control how cautious and responsible we are with drugs. there is such a thing as quitting. just because someone does it a lot doesn't mean they always will. you have to choose drugs before they can choose you, and sticking with marijuana and using caution makes it far easier to make it your own choice.
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    It's an old argument... but one that is more myth than reality.
    Almost nobody can control how cautious and responsible they are with drugs.

    1) you don't control the supply, so you never know if you'll end up with a tainted supply

    2) you don't control your own body's reactions to the drugs, so you never know when you will have tipped the balance from "in control" to "addicted" - and addiction can happen on many levels, not just physical addiction.

    3) as with anything that alters our mental state, we become less aware of it's impact on us. Yes, legal medications can be just as big an issue - but those are "supposed to be" under the direct supervision of a physician who is "supposed" to know what to watch for. (yes, not all physicians manage the medications right either - and yes there can be serious problems as a result)

    At 17, you feel invincible. Like most 17 year olds (yes, I'm the parent of teenagers...) you think us "old folks" don't know what we're talking about, especially about things like drugs. You don't realize that many of us came of age in the "golden age" of drug use... we've been around it all our lives, just as you have... but we've lived a few more years and seen a few more things happen.

    Why would drug use (legal or illegal, and considering alcohol and tobacco as legal drugs) be so important to you, when it has so many potentially devastating consequences?

    That's essentially the stand I've taken with my own teenagers.
  5. hcs712

    hcs712 New Member

    I don't think parents are stupid about drugs. I'm certainly more than willing to listen to what they have to say, otherwise I wouldn't ask for feedback on a forum. but the generalizations like that ALL teenagers feel invincible is why so many of us discredit what parents say. if I felt invincible I'd be trying other drugs, but I know the dangers of harder drugs so I steer clear. it's not that it's important to me to smoke. I feel perfectly fine going weeks or months without smoking, but when I need a way to relax quickly after a day of work or a week of school, it helps. I only go through about 1.5 grams a week, if not less. as for things that are laced, every bit of research ive done talks of pretty tell tale signs of a bad batch. and vaporizing reduces that risk further, because of different points of vaporization. I'm not saying it's not possible, but laced batches seem pretty uncommon and easily detected. the point of my original post was not to say " let all of your kids smoke all the time" it was to be careful with countermeasures. harsh consequences, from what I've seen, lead to things far worse than a bit of pot. the drugs should not be the focus of life, which is the part where parents should step in.
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    They do. Every one of them feel that way on some level, and about certain aspects of their lives. That doesn't mean that any one teenager will even try tobacco, much less other substances. There are so many ways to feel invincible.

    How do I know? I felt that way too. I was so doggone invincible that I was way above being stupid enough to even be around where recreational drugs (including alcohol) were used. I never broke the speed limit or drove crazy. The list is really long. But... all those things that "adults" said about real life... didn't apply to me. *I* could handle things myself. And in reality... I very narrowly avoided major disaster, more than once. Bad enough to scare me. Bad enough that some of those things still give me nightmares. I had to learn - as every young person does - that the rules of life apply to every one of us, including me.

    Give yourself another 10 or 20 or 30 years... and you won't see it the same.
    But for now... no. You will not believe, because you don't have the perspective that only time and experience bring.

    Look at it this way: In this example, I assume you are sober and clean. Would you drive down "main street" at extreme speeds at 3 a.m. (when nobody is around)? What are the chances of something going wrong? (very low) What are the chances of being caught by police? (higher than the chances of something going wrong) If the chances of something going wrong are so slim, why would the police stop you?
    ... They will stop you, because the consequences of something going wrong in that scenario can be devastating to you and to others.

    I treat the use of recreational drugs the same as excessive speed or any other dangerous behavior. There is more to risk than probabilities.
  7. hcs712

    hcs712 New Member

    My main point is not whether or not doing it is okay or safe. it's that how it's dealt with is important. throwing a kid in rehab and taking everything they have because they experimented or smoked sometimes can lead to a worse path than being a pot head. immediate harsh consequences have shown me nothing but negative results, and more harmful drugs than marijuana. talking and asking why is so much more effective if you actually care about your child. if it's not necessary to put them through the embarrassment and humiliation of rehab, why do it? connecting is, in my eyes, a viable remedy. relating to one another and developing mutual respect and trust is more beneficial to both parties than getting in a shouting match or trying to prove who's stick is bigger.
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Why do you need to use any drug at all? Depressed? Anxious?

    I'm not one to use drugs for any reason. Yes, that includes alcohol. If you are so well-adjusted, why do you need it?

    Also, as parents, how do we know our kids just "experimented" with pot? My daughter did and it lead to many other drugs, which she kept hidden. There is no up side to smoking pot.
  9. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    "There a far worse things to be doing"? Oh my, I've never heard that argument before! Lol. I'm sure I must have said it to my own parents. Point is there are far better things you could be doing. At 17, you should be out and about having healthy, summer fun on a Friday night in July.

    Instead, you're posting on a "parents of substance abusers" message board trying to enlighten us as though we are ignorant or naive. Really?
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Sig, it's a weak argument too. There's a lot BETTER things he could be school work, sports, hanging out with STRAIGHT friends...the list is endless.
  11. GwenWill

    GwenWill New Member

    Hey input,
    Doing drugs can have natural
    . My son got arrested and kicked out of school for dealing weed. A mature and reasonable response should have been, "I better lay off the stuff." But my 19yo is still smoking knowing he could be convicted and have a record. Any advice for him?
  12. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    And my daughter was suspended from college after only being there for 6 weeks because of smoking pot in her dorm. And that began a whole series of problems for her that she has not yet overcome and that was three years ago.
  13. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    True. But I don't know ANY kids who have a solid healthy relationship with their parents based on mutual respect and trust, who need to be involved in recreational drugs (legal or illegal).
  14. hcs712

    hcs712 New Member

    I am not trying to tell any of you that doing drugs is okay. I realize that drugs can have their own consequences. midwestmom- you can't know if they just experimented. but if they did just experiment, and the initial response is rehab and total cut off from the world other than school, it leads to harder drugs faster.
    I'm trying to help, not tell parents they don't know what they're doing. who wouldn't be concerned about their kids getting into drugs? if kids want to get high, they will. I'm truly sorry about your kids that have gotten themselves into trouble because of smoking pot. but, under the impression that you have all tried measures like counselling and therapy, it is next to impossible to control it. but an initial overreaction causes worse things than pot. I'm trying to share what I've witnessed to try and help, not tell any of you that you're misinformed or naive. if drugs start to cause serious problems with things like school, yes intervention is the right option in my eyes, at least if they're still in your house.
    insane- thank you for being the least judgmental... I realize it's rare but my mother and I have that kind of relationship. because she knows I do smoke now and then, she is tighter on me. we talk about it, and we agreed on no smoking on school nights or in the house. and those have held. no one NEEDS to be involved in drugs, just like no one needs to drink. but life is difficult, probably more difficult than I yet know, and the occasional solace of smoking, like having a drink for many adults (other than being alcoholic) knocks the edge off quickly enough to relax. again, if a kid wants to get high, they will. we all know that. Ive just seen parental reactions throw kids overboard into worse things. that's all.
  15. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    I kind of agree with this. And not only concerning more dangerous drugs, but 'dropping out of life.' Problem of course is, that it is difficult for parent to know, how much your kid is controlled by drug and how much they control the drug use. Or even less to predict future.

    I mean fast majority of kids experimenting with pot or alcohol turn out just fine, but some get taken away by substance abuse. How can one know, which group their kid belongs? I think it is always negative when you take a kid out from that 'fast majority' and the natural flow of their lives moving on. Single them out and keep them back. Reduce their expectations for themselves. It can be awfully difficult to catch others after being held back, most don't even try but end up living at the fringe of society. In some cases that may not happen, if you don't take them out from that flow. But problem of course is that none of us can predict future that accurately, that we would know the best option with our kids.

    My kid's addiction issue wasn't substances and it was clear that his addiction controlled him and he didn't have much control, but we too faced a problem on how to deal with it. How completely cut a kid out of the world? How much let him have rope to hang himself because he did had some things going for him. I assume that if I would have been here during the time of those decisions and asked opinions, most would have recommended us to to take much harsher line and restrict him much more. Not let him out of home, three hours away, without much supervision, living alone with other teen boys, doing his school work independently and chasing a pipe dream in sports. And all that with extra baggage of ruined reputation, bad social skills to begin with and understanding that life would be very hard for him there. If someone would ask my advice in similar situation, I would likely say to restrict much more, take everything away - or at least would had before our own experience with this choice and after seeing our outcome of it. We chose to let him chase that pipe dream, try to keep him in that flow that would take him further and for now it hyas worked for us, at least as well as can be hoped.
  16. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    So what, exactly, are you advocating here?

    I cannot speak to every family, but *this* forum is populated with parents and relatives who care about their children very much - and who have often tried many, many different kinds of solutions over many, many years to deal with their childrens' issues - drugs and alcohol among them.

    If "just talking" was the solution - I don't think any of us parents would be here.
  17. hcs712

    hcs712 New Member

    obviously there isn't a sure fire way to know anything. but I believe that a kids life will go in the direction they choose for it to go. influencing it with love and concern, as the best of parents do, is important. My mother talked to me about being conscious with my decisions, and without her loving concern and logical discipline, I wouldn't be honest with her and I probably would have tried other drugs. if I can lead a productive life, the leash loosens. if grades slip or stealing becomes an issue, the noose tightens. it's next to impossible to get a teenager to be completely honest, but the closer you get the better. I think letting your kid chase the dream was the best thing to do, although admittedly ive never been a parent. I think that because if they still want to chase that dream, efforts to change the dream will likely be in vain.
  18. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I agree that if a kid wants to use drugs he will use drugs, however, Suzir, you have never dealt with the fear of drugs and your child. Gambling is a different ballgame. I know why these parents overreact.I've known kids who died of drugs. Their parents thought they were only using pot but they were fooled.

    I think you do make one really good point, Suzir. I don't think rehab is worth t he expense if the child is still unwilling to quit, or thinks it's not harming him, or is addicted (either physically or mentally). I never did put my daughter into rehab. I monitored her and she betrayed our trust so she had to leave at eighteen. She got off of it herself. It is almost impossible to tolerate living with a drug user. They usually end up getting an invitation to either straighten up or leave. But I don't think rehab is all that effective for stubborn children.

    So on that point I agree with this poster. Nobody will quit, adult or child, if they want to self-destruct until they desire to no longer do it. There are 40 year old alcoholics dying of liver disease and their families may have gone broke trying to get them to stop drinking. Pot is newer. We'll see what new and wonderful diseases this "harmless" drug will end up causing. Nothing? People thought cigarettes caused nothing too.

    At any rate, I get his point. Sadly, he is one who is choosing to continue on the road that leads to nowhere. But I do think that rehab only works if the child goes willingly.
  19. hcs712

    hcs712 New Member

    daisy- just talking isn't the solution necessarily, but my point is that it should be the first option. in a lot of cases that time has already passed. but in cases that is has not, letting a kid figure life out themselves is a good way to combat problems. of course if it poses a serious problem then just talking isn't the solution. but like many parents have experienced, experimenting usually isn't game over.
  20. hcs712

    hcs712 New Member

    midwestmom- I'm glad you see where I'm coming from. I know better than to think that marijuana is entirely harmless, which is why I keep it in moderation. chronic use can cause emphysema and lung cancer, although less common than with tobacco. I know the day will come when I stop using, and honestly I think that day is soon. most kids can figure out when to give it up without rehab, and that costs far less.