Need advice: "can I just smoke a little?"

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by enzo, Jun 21, 2012.

  1. enzo

    enzo Member

    difficult child is trying to comply with our rules, and has been mostly good at home. Problem is that his positive peers are now smoking pot instead of drinking.(runaway pot use was difficult child's downfall earlier this year). Positive peers are all responsible achievers who can be responsible the next day...difficult child wants to know why he cant be trusted to "use socially" in moderation.

    we've told him that smoking pot is against the rules of the house, and he needs to accept that and figure out how best to deal with it.

    We do think (cautiously) that our intervention caught him before he went too far down the road, and the depressive catalyst has passed, but we know the "demon" is just sleeping.

    Does anyone have a similar experience where pot use was moderate and under control after intervention? Or do we need to stay tough and hold the line...
  2. AmericanGirl

    AmericanGirl Guest

    As a parent, I could not condone this, especially in my home. Even more so, with someone who has experienced mental health issues and/or addiction in the past.

    My son has asked me repeatedly why I can drink and not become an alcoholic (I do not drink in front of him nor do I keep alcohol in my home whenever he is here). My answer is that I didn't get the gene and he did. I know it is hard, especially at a young age, to think, "I can NEVER do something again." But, my reading in recovery hasn't ever run across a reputable treatment protocol which says you can imbibe in moderation.

    Besides, and even more basic, I never understood how I could tell my child it was okay to break some laws and not others.

    As always, just my two cents...
  3. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    Hi Enzo,
    I believe you have to stay tough and hold the line, esp. because your son is 16 and still a minor. In our experience, once pot use became a huge issue (grades affected, disruption and chaos in home, other drugs experimented with, etc.) it was clear that our son cannot "casually" use pot or any other kinds of substances without his whole world falling in on him.
    Our son had to experience losing everything he valued before he came to this realization, and he's only 18. He is home from freshman yr. of college, and spends most of his time alone or with our immediate family because EVERYONE he hangs out with is home for summer, and is either drinking or using drugs recreationally. Our son goes to therapy once a week, and has also passed all the drug tests we've given so far, but let me tell you, it's a daily struggle. When he returns to school in the fall, he will have no one but his peers, who all use "casually" and otherwise, and it will be a challenge, not just in the fall, but for the rest of his life.
    He is trying so hard to be good, but he is in self imposed exile right now to stay away from temptation. He knows he cannot live here, or even function normally if he continues to use. The dilemma is who can he socialize with if everyone is doing it? He has to get a handle on that.
  4. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    You have to stay tough, no matter how hard it is.

    I am an anomaly - I did get the gene for alcoholism. I canNOT stop past a certain point and will just go on and on. So my solution was to never go that far. As a child I remember my Dad rolling his car. He was drunk. I wasn't told he was drunk, but somewhere inside I think I knew... I just don't put myself in that position. (I have a couple of times, and it was not pretty the next morning.) My limit? One or two beers, or one or two glasses of wine - or HALF a cocktail. I know what will happen - so I don't go there.

    BUT - it would be oh so easy for me to do it. TOO easy. (I tend to get hooked on whatever - tobacco, relationships - someone called it an "addictive personality" and it's true for me.)

    I had a friend. A recovering addict. He could not touch even NA beer. And somewhere along the line he convinced himself he could handle it. I haven't seen/spoken to him in 12+ years - and I'm pretty sure it's because he's no longer with us.

  5. Based on your difficult child's diagnosis I would say absolutely not. He has ADHD which makes him impulsive and less likely to control 'urges' and he's had past depression. He has already abused and I believe would go right back to abusing again. I just had a conversation yesterday with a therapist and your difficult child description sounds like my difficult child and he said that kids like my difficult child are very likely to start self medicating.

    Hold your ground - but explain the medical side of this to him. If he is in a good place right now then he should be able to understand the reasoning behind what he can and can't do.

    My nephew suffered from an autoimmune disorder as a teenager - his doctors told him that he could not drink - not even one drink - the medications he was on and alcohol would destroy his liver. So, there was a medical reason for him to abstain and he understood it. Can you treat this like that with your difficult child? Get him to understand his medical diagnosis and how it would be a bad combination with drugs or alcohol.
  6. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Hi Enzo, Given that your son was already on the runaway pot train I suspect that he cannot now use moderately. I know when this came up with our son (and still does actually) I tell him that yes some people can use moderately but I don't believe you are one of them. Some people can and can still live productive lives and some can't. It has already taken you down a road and shows that you can't. Unfortunately you don't really have control over whether he smokes pot or not, and he may try to see if he can do it "once in a while". I definitely would not condone it or allow it but we all know he may do it anyways.... so I don't think you need to become the pot police but I do think you have to continue to keep an eye on his behavior and how he is doing with the rules in general. If he starts to get really off track then bring up the pot discussion again. I would keep your cool around the whole issue. And my son told me plenty of times that "other" parents allow it, that I was the "only" one who didnt... of course talking to the other parents blew that idea.

  7. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    I don't think that's a "permission" you can grant:

    You may use illegal drugs in our home as long as you do it in moderation.

    Seems like an awfully slippery slope to me - and one you don't want to start sliding on! JMHO.
  8. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    "Sure. You can smoke anything you like as long as it is legal."

    (which is a way of saying yes and no at the same time!)
  9. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Stay tough and toe the line. Yes, some people use pot socially and are ok with it. Your son was not. Furthermore, it's illegal. Finally, it stays in the system for 30+ days which means he will likely always test positive which could put you in jeopardy should he drive & get in an accident.

    No means no. Every time we compromised with our son or gave him a second chance-we lowered the bar. It got so low, it eventually crushed us.
    I know how hard you want to appear reasonable & likable and how weary you get when you're constantly enforcing rules. But that's his problem, not yours. If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything. {{{hugs}}} I struggle with this A LOT.
  10. chloedancer

    chloedancer New Member

    In addition to everything stated, marijuana can increase anxiety and paranoid thinking.
  11. mrsammler

    mrsammler Guest

    I smoked pot pretty often from 18 to 20 and so did just about all of my friends. At a certain point I just got sick of it--the sameness of every day and evening, mostly, and the extreme self-consciousness that pot induced (in the pot of the early 80s--I'm told that that aspect of it is dramatically reduced in "modern" pot--and I just quit cold turkey one day and never looked back. I'm not saying that anyone can do this--obviously you've got to really want to quit, and to be sick of smoking pot, as I was. But my point is that my friends were all very surprised and skeptical when I first quit, but after it was clear that I was serious about it, they left me alone about it--no teasing or goading, and in fact several of them told me that they really admired my self-discipline in being able to quit so suddenly and fully. I.e., if your son argues that "everyone else does it, so how can I not?", it's possible to argue that he might be surprised how easily his "friends" will accept that he has quit (and maybe even secretly admire him for being able to do so) if he just keeps his explanation simple and emphatic ("I just don't enjoy it anymore") and sticks to it. That was my experience, anyway: a clean break with very little social pressure about it (even from a peer group that was just about all pot-smokers) if he keeps it simple, emphatic, and consistent.

    But giving in and letting him smoke "a little"? I'd never do it. Let's not kid ourselves: smoking pot is almost invariably what leads difficult child to worse drugs, worse behaviors, etc. It's the gateway.
  12. Zardo

    Zardo Member

    Hi Enzo - I must have missed this when you first posted this, but I think this is a great topic and want to share my view. As you know, our difficult children are the same age and have similar stories. We too were faced with this and I assume as high school moves on, we will continue to be. When my difficult child first came home from his boarding school, we caught him using in the middle of the week, in the morning, at home alone. He said he no longer has a problem and ws just planning occasional use. We took a hard line - NO DRUGS IN THIS HOME. We then told him that since he broke the house rule, back to IOP. In hind site, it was a blessing because spending the summer with the IOP group was a life saver for him and us. I don't believe he was ready to "go it alone" as he claimed to be. With him in IOP, the summer went fairly smoothly. Do I expect the he will never smoke again, probably not, but if he does and we catch him, we will remind him of the house rule and react with an appropriate consequence. If we suspect regular use, it will be back to IOP; if we suspect that it's more "social" use, we would probably do something like grounding/no driving for a period of time. We will never back off that message.
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    There are actually nice achievers who do NOT smoke pot. And there are some who do. But if he tried, he could probably find a group of nice kids who don't indulge. I have fraternal twin nieces in college who are very nice young adults, never got into trouble, and in college they still don't get into any trouble and pull mostly A's. They are both very health-conscious and take great pains to eat healthy and exercise and not put toxins in their bodies. There are other kids like them, often athletes who want to take good care of their bodies (I know not all athletes do). Maybe suggest finding health conscious kids? My youngest daughter is like that too. She is 16. She makes fun of "losers" who drink and smoke. These three can't be the only ones. Honestly, not everyone in the world smokes pot. And some don't drink either!
  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Actually, I wouldn't say this because I don't want my kids being ok with cigarettes either and they wouldn't be allowed to smoke indoors. Although it's not illegal to smoke cigarettes, legally you can't buy or smoke until you are 18, but a lot of kids AND their parents break that rule.