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Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by CatMat, Sep 15, 2008.

  1. CatMat

    CatMat Stressed Out!!

    Wow.... After reading some of these posts I almost wonder if I shouldn't be somewhere else, as I dont' think my situation is to this degree..... yet!
    I have a 15 year old who I feel is heading down a road of substance abuse. I know he's tried pot and we have found it on occasion. He has also drank on occasion, but neither one do I think does he do on a regular basis. He does smoke cigarettes when ever he can get his hands on them.
    He's ADHD and struggles in school. He is not on medication any longer and when he was it didn't really help much. He's had a boat load of behavior problems, which I feel have been fueled by his relation ship with his dad and earlier years in elementary school being bullied. More so the first issue. His dad and I have been split up for 11 years now and up until about 3 years ago his life has been unstable as far as relationships go. He is now married to a very upbeat woman who has a ton to offer, however I feel the past 8 years prior to that, he was more of a freind to my son rather than a father, and often blamed us for my son's behavior issues. Or the schools for not providing our son with what he needed, instead of addressing the behavior itself as a parent often accepted it and blamed others. Now in his new marriage his wife I think has started to demand that our son accept the responsibilities for his behaviors which his dad has also jumped on board with as well, but has also started to really get on our son's case doing so to the point of verbal abuse (which is only a speculation based on what I went through being married to him for 11 years and what my son has been saying is going on)
    My son now has refused to go back to his dads for the 50/50 placement that is court ordered, and resorted to running away when we tried to force him to go. I no longer try to force it and the running away has halted. But dad and step mom are none to happy with us. I've left the ball in thier court letting them know I am willing to work with them in any other way to work out the issue, but can not kick him out to try to force it as that hasn't been effective. Dad also has denied being part of the reason our son is acting the way he is, and I've also told them until he realizes he is that the problem can't be solved....

    Although school is better this year so far (only three weeks into it) than the past few years and we have been able to address some of othe behavior issues, I am still concerned about the pot and cigarette use, and know the tables can turn back as easlily as they've turned for the better.

    I've read some of your postings and in the heat of some of our issues with him have been at our wits end not knowing what to do next with him and also knowing we can not tolerate his behaviors in our home.

    It's like an emotional roller coaster and we are on the hill heading up again..... but afraid of the down hills.

    Looking for advice or suggestions.....
  2. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Hi, welcome to the site! You found a soft place to land.

    Good on you for being on top of things. So many parents deny that there might be a problem until it has spiraled out of control.

    My first suggestion is that you may want to also post something in the "general" forum, mostly because there is a lot more traffic there. You will get many more responses. In fact, I rarely come to this forum at all anymore, but I saw your name "CatMat" and the "cat" caught my eye.

    Pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee, and join us!
  3. katya02

    katya02 Solace

    Welcome, CatMat! A few things came to mind while reading your post ... such as, it's really good that you're picking up on the pot and drinking as a problem now, and not dismissing or denying it. If you've found pot 'on occasion' then he's used it a significant amount, i.e. keeping a supply himself, not just trying it once at a party. This will not go away, so be alert and monitor his friends, his activities, and his room (yes, take his room apart down to the threads. I know parents differ on this but I believe that while a child is a minor and in the family home they have no absolute right to privacy. Qualified, yes, as in bathroom privacy; but not absolute. The house belongs to you, the room belongs to you, and you are legally responsible for him.) It will be important not to let him triangulate you and his father; hopefully you will both be able to keep communication open.

    Good luck and keep posting!

  4. Ephchap

    Ephchap Active Member

    Hi CatMat and welcome to our little corner of the board. Yes, many of us have had extreme difficulties with our teens and drugging and alcohol abuse. However, they all started out with the "only now and then" use as well.

    As most of us have discovered, unfortunately, when we find drugs or find out they've been drugging, it's usually only the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. There's usually a lot more use going on.

    In my area, there is an outpatient support group for teens run by United Way. I believe they split them into ages, and some come a few nights a week, etc. It gives them a chance to talk with others their age about staying away from drugs, and they encourage those who are trying to stay drug free to socialize. These are usually kids who have gotten into trouble, either by skipping school and being caught with the drugs, etc. It's just a thought/suggestion, but it might be helpful to him.

    It does sound like things are going better, but I applaud your being cautiously optimistic, knowing it can turn back around. You seem to have a handle on things right now, which is great.

    Drugs were one of those lines in the sand for my husband and I. My son was a Freshman in high school when he began the skipping school and smoking pot. For my son, everything is always to excess, so while his friends he partied with went back to school come Monday morning, my son would continue the partying, and start to be too tired to go to school. That escalated, and we actually had him sent to a 4 month locked residential facility. In my son's case, he didn't leave us any options - we could see that things were just getting worse and worse and we tried to nip it in the bud.

    After those 4 months, he did come home and stayed clean for almost 2 years. Unfortunately, the drugging began again and escalated totally out of control, which resulted in him being arrested. We were fortunate that we found a great dual diagnostic (psychiatric - such as ADHD and substance abuse) facility, where he spent 10 months. As I said, with my son, the drugging always escalated.

    Everyone here has been down this road, although everyone's child and story are different. For some, making them submit to random home drug testing works. For others, the child just keeps pushing the boundaries and continues the drugging.

    I commend you for trying to get a handle on these issues now. Again, welcome.


    TYLERFAN New Member


    I think you are doing the right thing by not forcing the 50/50 custody thing. I also beleive you have enough evidence in your favor should Ex bring you to court. You made some very good calls so far.

    By the way, you don't have to have an extreme case to be here. Alot of us experienced long periods of semi-difficult child behaviors over the years. Most of us old-timers had to suffer alone..... This is a great site for support no matter what the issue or how big or how small.

    We are a family, especially the sub-abuse forum.