Need advice, regarding my 19 year old who smokes pot

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by David645, Dec 30, 2011.

  1. David645

    David645 New Member

    My son who just turned 19, started his Freshman year in college this past Fall. His grades are ok, but he constantly smokes pot and hangs out with friends that do the same. His mom and I (we're divorced but amicable) have talked to him about it, but to no avail. He sees nothing wrong with it, except that it's illegal. He has also experienced depression and has been in and out of counseling and on antidepressants, which he refuses to take now.

    He has a choice to make before the Spring semester begins in less than 2 weeks. I told him that either he stop smoking pot (and not use any other drugs) or I would stop paying his car insurance, gas and meals for college. He would have to get a part time job to support his habit, buy his gas and food. I won't give him anymore money. If he chooses Pot over school and comes back home, he'll have to get a job also, because his mom and I won't enable/support his habit at home either.

    The other option is to commit to stop smoking Pot and submit to a visual drug test every 30 days. If he's clean, I'll continue paying his way through school.

    Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated.
  2. ostate2003

    ostate2003 New Member

    I don't have any advise for you - because I'm caught up in a simular situation....only my 18 year old son is a senior in in H.S. (just due to his age) and won't admit consistantly that he is actually using anything. You can read some of the advise/responses from my post. Just wanted to say you are not alone and provide my best wishes to you. As we speak I'm waiting for my counsler to call me about intervention options. Hang in there, "they" all say it will get better. But regardless, welcome - there seems to be some really nice, caring people here! I hope you find solace, support and or helpful advise!
  3. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    been there done that my daughter left for college late Aug 09 and was arrested Oct 13 for smoking pot and drinking in her dorm. She ended up being suspended from college and having to go to court and that began two years of drinking/drug use, going to rehab, relapsing, getting kicked out of the house and living with druggies and finally going to live in a sober house. She is now 20 and living in an apartment and going to AA meetings everyday and living one day at a time.

    You can place that restriction on him but honestly I doubt whether he will stop smoking pot because of it. He will probably just be sneakier. From what we have experienced, there are kids who can smoke pot and drink and turn out fine. Our daughter was not one of them and we knew that years ago. She has the addiction gene in her and was bound to get into trouble.

    I am not in agreement with allowing young people to smoke pot, but I know many parents who turn their heads as long as the grades and behavior are good.

    I know I'm not much help but we haven't had a lot of success in stopping our daughter, she had to hit bottom and do it for herself.

    Last edited: Dec 30, 2011
  4. David645

    David645 New Member

    Thank you for the encouraging feedback. It's gut wrenching to watch our children (regardless of age) make bad decisions. I hope everything turns out OK with your son.
  5. David645

    David645 New Member

    I agree, that chances are my son won't stop smoking Pot with these restrictions. In fact, with his anger issues, it will probably only make him want to further rebel and do it more. I'm really sorry about your daughters situation. I fear that my son could end up there as well. He was already almost caught by public safety, but he got "rid" of the pot before they caught him. They did warn him that if he's ever caught he will be it's probably only a matter of time. I realize he may have to hit rock bottom, before he realizes what's happening and getting help. I just hope he survives, because he is an experimenter and follower.
  6. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    David welcome. I am sorry you are going thorough this with your boy. You mentioned alot of his things that you are paying for, are you paying his tuition? If so I would tell him he is on his own because it is too big an investment to you, for him to jepordize with his substance abuse. I know it sounds harsh but with pot use comes apathy and a lack of motivation. I can almost guarantee his grades will go down and he will begin to fail if he continues to use the junk. The stuff they use today is not like the stuff of the 70's and 80's. The stuff of today is much stronger and also often laced with other substances for an added kick. If you have noticed his use it is not casual. They can easily hide the occasional use but when they are using more than that, they have a harder time of it and eventually don't even bother to try. It stinks that he is doing this. I am really sorry for your pain. But honestly if you want to leverage something to get him to stop then leverage the thing that means the most to him.
  7. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Hi David, sounds like a tough situation. Just wanted to welcome you and ask the experts out there.... If you say to a kid you are going to test every 30 days wont they just time their use to not be picked up on the test? Would it be better to say you have to submit to random testing? If you refuse it is the same as a positive test??? And lots of you have said that they learn ways to fake the results anyway. Probably would be good to have those here who have been there done that share what those tricks are so you can look for it. Just throwing it out there.

    Hang in there, sounds like he is doing what so many do..... many with alcohol too. Sounds like he could be really successful, I hope he sees the light.
  8. David645

    David645 New Member

    Yes, I'm paying his college tuition, but told him he'd need to get a job and pay for everything else. It sounds like I need to rethink my strategy, based on your advice.
  9. David645

    David645 New Member

    Thanks Buddy, I agree that it would be best to conduct random drug tests, instead of every 30 days. Interestingly enough, my son passed a drug test I gave him a few months ago. He told me he passed by squirting Visine in it. He also told me some other tricks people use to beat drug tests. He intended to stop smoking pot at the time he told me all this but has now returned to smoking it with no intentions of quitting anytime soon.
  10. buddy

    buddy New Member

    gosh, I guess i understand now why some companies have people WATCH them pee in the cup and give it directly. How humiliating but I can see why they do it.
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    in my opinion drug tests are pretty useless. The kids know how to pass them and what drugs to take that don't even show up.

    Are you positive that pot is all he is using? If so, you are lucky for now. It could be much, much worse. Is he drinking a lot too? What types of friends does he choose?

    We stopped paying for anything when my daughter starting using drugs (and we found out). Surprisingly she got off her fanny and got a job. At least, while she was working, she wasn't running around the neighborhood with her druggie friends. However, she managed to pull straight A's in her after high school Cosmetology School, even while doing almost every drug under the sun, including meth. She said t he drugs actually made her focus better and give her more energy to study...go figure. I'd keep a close eye on him. Pot makes one lethargic. If he gets angry and violent, there is probably more going on than pot.

    Good luck. Some kids go through a phase and get over it. in my opinion we help more if we don't enable their "phase" :)
  12. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    It is not difficult to pass drug tests. There are detox kits in the GNC store and you can buy urine or use someone elses. I would take her to a lab in our community and they would check her pockets and not let her wear any jackets or loose clothing. They test the temp but of course they can even get past that. When she went to rehab she found even more ways to pass the tests.

    We did refuse to pay any further college tuition for her. She never went to class and got straight F's. She tells me now that she smoked 24/7 and all she did was sleep and smoke and watch tv. I hope your son is not in that deep, but if he is I agree his grades will start to show it.

  13. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    David - Welcome. I too have been there done that. My son is 20 and is currently in a sober house/rehab place out of state. He has yet to make it to college having barely graduated high school. So these are my thoughts given my experiences with my son.

    Yes there are ways to get around drug tests... we did home tests for awhile and our son would actually pee in a bottle when he was clean, and then save it and use it on drug tests. Disgusting to find bottles of urine later in his room!! We eventually figured that out and patted him down and checked him before hand... but even then I think he found ways.So a clean drug test is falsly reassuring and although pot stays in your system for a month other things are nuch shorter... so he may just switch his drug of choice... alcohol being readily available on most college campuses. And there are plenty of OTC drugs that can get you high, such as robitussen. Our son used that quite a bit too.

    And there are kids who can smoke pot and drink in their college years, and still do well in school and in their lives. My son is not one of them but there are kids who still do ok. So I think I would make it less about his pot use and more about how he is doing in his life.... how are his grades. Is he working and motivated etc. I would make tuition payment contigentn on him continuing to do well in school. I don't think a heavy pot smoker can do well in school... only a casual pot smoker can. I might however tell him given that he is smoking a lot of pot and you are concerned about the issues of driving under the influence, I would stop paying any car expenses. Really you probably should do that for everyones safety and your own peace of mind if something were to happen.

    Reality is ultimatums don't work, you can't force him to stop using. That really has to come from him and it may be him hitting bottom to do that. I know for my son we had to really let him hit bottom before he started getting help for himself.. and I am still probably helping him too much.

  14. compassion

    compassion Member

    I am dealing with a similar situation with 21 year old son. I am insisting he get parrt time job and not doing school this semester. He got security guard D and G training earlier this month. Last semester, he was not going to class ,ended up withdrwing from 2 classes at the end of Oct. Of the remaining two, one was an F and one an A, only because prof gave all an A.He has a job interview on Tuweday for a part-time secuirty poistion that pays 13.50 an hour. I have been saying no to his incessant wants and being very stellar in my boundaries with food, one tan of gas a week and perhaps one movie a week. He was baqdgering me non-stop to get motorcycle,guns. THe hope is he will get this job. He really has not worked since the summer of 2010. I figure my yong adults are taking longer to launch than some but try to stay positve and hopeful and most of all realistic.
  15. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    Not to make light of this problem at all.....but can I just say I could only wish my problem was having my child smoking pot while in college? Purely my opinion, but as long as it is only pot, he is going to college and getting decent grades it doesn't seem like that big a problem to me. Now if he was failing and getting into trouble that is a problem. I am very close to many people who smoke pot daily and are not lazy at all. They are actually more successful than a lot of other people I know. But, purely my opinion. My daughter was using meth, was expelled from school for selling drugs and well, we went through years of hades here. College was a dream I had for her that I hope to see fulfilled one day.....

    Again, my opinion and not meant to belittle the situation.
  16. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Sadly alot of us have been there done that. Some have lucked out and their kids have only gone thru a phase. Many of us have lived thru the horrors of seeing proof that pot is a "gateway" to other substance abuse and consequences that we never imagined facing. I wish you luck in establishing your "line in the sand" and hope it works for your son. As others have said home testing is rarely successful as there are so many ways to avoid detection. We understand how frightening and frustrating this road can be. DDD
  17. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    PG I completely understand where you are coming from. As I said earlier there are many young people for whom smoking pot is no big deal, they get good grades, they hold jobs, they are responsible. And then there are those for whom pot is just the beginning. I believe those are the people who have the addiction gene and they go on to more dangerous drugs and their behavior changes when they smoke pot, they have no control over the substance, it controls them. I grew up in the era of pot smoking, the early days of the hippy movement. All of the people we knew who smoked pot turned out to be very successful people. We were all in college or post grad school. We wanted to change the world. We had to work for a living because for the most part our parents were hard working people who struggled to make ends meet.

    But I am now of the opinion that the pot today is much different than the pot of yesterday and too many times it leads to far worse drugs. The problem is one never knows which person it is going to affect in a devastating way. We can make some predictions based on heredity but it's a hige risk. Given all that, like I said, I know neighbors whose young adult children smoke pot and they are not concerned because they did it when they were young too and had no problem.

  18. David645

    David645 New Member

    PatriotsGirl, I understand what you're saying. I have struggled with the best decision to make on his Pot smoking, hence the reason I'm on get advice from others that have been there done that. My son has also experimented with other drugs, substances and I told him if he continues, he'll become addicted right away and I'll get intervention for him and he'll end up in rehab.
    While in college this past semester, he tried cocaine and inhaling Duster, among other things and was almost caught by the police and suspended. I realize he will probably continue along this destructive path, if he chooses Pot over college, but I feel I need to draw a hard line on it and not enable him in any much as I want him to finish school.
  19. David645

    David645 New Member

    Midwestmom, Thanks for the feedback. My son is a heavy pot smoker and even though it hasn't affected his grades, yet, it's just a matter of time, before it may. He has tried cocaine at least once and some other drugs. He swore he wasn't on anything else, but just experimented and he was finished with experimenting...even though I don't believe him. My son is also a heavy cigarette smoker on top of the Pot. Most of his friends smoke Pot and drink also. Fortunately, my son doesn't like to drink, because the few times he tried, it upset his stomach and he got he usually stays away from alcohol.

    I have heard that ultimatums don't work, but at same time, I don't want to enable him. I call them Options...It's drugs or college, which will it be?
  20. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Ok so he has admitted to using other stuff and to huffing duster.... it is likely he is only telling you part of the story. In general I think it is usually much worse than we think it is. So yes you have every right to be very concerned.

    I agree in theory with your taking a stand, its college or drugs. Problem is it is going to be hard to carry it out... you are not going to know if he is adhering to any agreement to not do drugs. He will probably go underground with it and you won't know he is doing it. I remember once talking to my son about the harder drugs and he said something like "do you really think I am stupid enough to do something like heroin?". Since then he has told me he has snorted heroin twice.... so in fact he was that stupid.

    So whatever line you draw it has to be a line you can see and know if it is being crossed or not. I don't see how you are going to do that with drug use when he is on campus away at college. If he wants to he will get around you. It is easier to tell if he is living at home.... So you need a measure that you can see and believe which is why I think looking at grades etc. makes sense.

    I get where you are I think. I think you are still at the point where you think you can control his drug use... by withholding college funds. What I have come to realize is that I cannot control my sons drug use. I really can't. I can control what I give him and the ways in which I help him. I do not give him cash for anything. Period. I will help him get treatment, I will not help him do things that will lead to drug use..... and I realize that he may abuse some of the things I do for him.

    So I really would think about what you want to do here.... if it was me, I think I would pay for classes (directly), pay for the dorm or apartment (directly), pay for books (directly).... something like that. I would not give him cash or money for anything.

    Even if he is using drugs, if he is going to school and keeping up his grades he is ahead of the game a bit than being on the street totally into the drug world. If he stops going to college what do you think he will do?