Pot and Alcohol

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Billiesue, May 25, 2017.

  1. Billiesue

    Billiesue Member

    My 18 year old sons' dad and I have been divorced since he was 5. We discovered our son was using pot when we started smelling it in our home. We then began searching and found at his dad's a bong, crusher and a paper towel roll with coffee grounds. A method of disguising the smell I have found. Dad and I who have never got along confronted him and did a drug test. He only tested positive for pot. We all went to a therapist. Shortly thereafter at my house my husband smelled pot during the night. He confronted him. Son denied it. The next day he left and didn't come home that night. He had previously ruined a phone in a kayak (it was in his pocket). I had got him a new one. His car was in the shop because the motor was blown. He was driving his dad's truck. The next day a strange car pulled up in our driveway and his phone was pitched out. We found his dad's truck at a meeting point for him and his girlfriend. Dad took the truck home. So he was without phone or transportation now. Upon reading the messages on the phone, we found he planned to live with a friend and friend's girlfriend for 150.00/month. Son had a job delivering pizzas. He tried to get a loan for a car but was unable because he had no credit. On talking to his girlfriend, he regretted not packing more clothes, deodarant, he was about out of weed. He ended up calling me and wanting to meet with me and Dad. He has been having full blown panic attacks. As this was our first dealings with this we were thankful when he did come home with me. Things went well for about 2 weeks. No more pot findings, no smells. He refused to go to therapy. Then he came home drunk. I heard him arguing at his girlfriend. He was saying, "Get the F.. out of my car," so I intervened. According to girlfriend, he had been drinking with friends and when she wouldn't let him drive home he became angry at her. It was obvious he was impaired. I tried to get him to just come inside. When I asked if he was high, he became angry and said he was leaving. I told him the car was in my name and he absolutely would not. So he took off walking. Through the woods barefoot in neck high weeds. He was still gone the next morning. We looked for him on fourwheeler and drove the roads. I finally had to call the police to find him the next day. Police brought him home. He had walked over 5 miles barefoot without phone, money or a plan. His Dad was there by that time and did very little in the way of getting angry. He wanted to go to school and he did. Shortly thereafter called and wanted to go to the hospital, with chest pain, migraine and pain in his side. We did go. Five hours later, the hospital discharged him. Pretty much gave him fluid. He did test positive for Pot. I told him he had caused alot of grief. I said if we have one more incident you either go to therapy or you can't live here. He said he would go stay with Dad. I told him he could but his car would stay here and his dad could put him on his insurance. I worked the next day. The Friday before mother's day. When I got home, he had moved in with Dad. I had got him a tux for the prom, which was Saturday, paid for the flowers, and girlfriend's ticket. He wouldn't come by to see me with girlfriend before prom and didn't even take their flowers. He barely speaks to me through text. His dad is not near as concerned as I am and thinks he is just being a teenager. He is now working with his Dad, (Dad is a contractor). He drives one of his trucks. (But Dad drives it some too.) Son told me he loved me and did not blame me. But refuses to go to therapy. Now son barely speaks to me. I do pay his phone bill. Have considered cutting that back but don't want to lose all communication.
  2. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Im not sure how to answer so I hoped somebody else did first but I dont want you to feel ignored.

    He is 18, legal age whether he is mature or not. You have little leverage. I would not let him have the car. He can work for his own car. I never get buying anyone who abuses anything a car. If he kills somebody while drunk or high, the car is in your name. Sell it. I would.

    Make him or dad pay for his own tux, prom tickets, or name brand clothes. He is old enough and has enough money to buy weed and who knows what other drugs? He can buy his own leisure items too and that leaves him less money for drugs and booze.

    Ok, now the facts. He left your home and Dad is ok with him doing these things under his roof. There is nothing you can do other than let him face consequences once he gets into trouble. Dont enable him even if Dad does.

    You can only control one person...you. Not your son or ex. So you can choose to still love your son, of course, but to detach from his decisions, the consequences and his outcome. You can choose to go on with your life and still laugh and have fun and have gratitude for your loved ones who behave well and are good to you. Dont let son fill up every space in your head. Obsessing/crying wont change him or ex. Most of us learned to detach to varying degrees.

    Others should come along. Do nice things for YOU today!!
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    Last edited: May 25, 2017
  3. Billiesue

    Billiesue Member

    I so appreciate your reply. I feel, as someone else said, that I am grieving the child I thought I had. Three months ago, I didn't even know this problem existed. Blissfully unaware. I am still in shock. I have texted him daily so he knows I am still here and love him. I get little to no reply. He does occasionally say, " I love you too." My other son is currently number one GPA in his 10th grade class and just won junior class president for next year. I don't understand how two children raised the same can be so different. My 18 year old wrestled 3 out of 4 years of high school and is so handsome. I don't understand this abuse to his body. I was hoping to see one positive story where a kid has turned it around on here, but I haven't yet. Of course I am sure we all write more about our worries. I am not sure when these panic attacks started. But the two I have witnessed, he broke out in sweat so much I got a cloth to wipe his head. He has never been disrespectful to me before the incident where he came home drunk. It is shocking. His dad has had cancer and is currently in remission and I think is afraid of losing his love. Neither will listen to me. I liked what one person said about imagining me placing his hand in Jesus hand and praying for him to take it from here. I sure don't know what else to do. Prayers for you all and all our children battling this.
  4. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I have four grown kids, all raised in the same house and very different. Three were adopted. Dna is a part of how we turn out, moreso than parenting. The kids are exppsed to so much more than us after they turn even ten as well peers matter more to them than we do in pre teens and up. They have a huge influence.

    I wonder about drugs. I have true panic disorder, not due to drugs, and i seriously wonder if your son is using stuff that gives him symptoms and/or withdrawals such as Xanax or some kind of opiate or speed. Not everything shows up on drug tests. A sudden change all around in a teen, other than severe mental illness, is usually drug related. And usually not just pot. We want to think its just pot if we dont see evidence of more. Often we ate wrong. They are good at hiding what they use. Been there.

    Regardless, you have another son who is doing great. Dont make the mistake of edging him out for the son who is not doing well. The younger son needs you and deserves your attention.

    Your oldest knows you love him. Right now, at 18, that no longer matters enough to set him right. Kids of all parents go through a lot in this age of divorce, step parents, back and forth living, and less stability. Most still thrive. Your son is chosing not to. Your youngest had the same challenges and is still doing well.

    Take time for yourself. You cant control your son or ex, but you can control yourself. Most of us never know completely what goes on when a child turns in the wrong direction. It does you no good to guess and ruminate and it is harmful to you and both of your sons if you get sick trying to figure it out.

    Do you see a therapist? Many of us find that immensely helpful!
  5. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    Hi Billiesue

    Welcome and sorry you have to be here but know that you are so blessed that you have found this forum!

    My son has been down a dark road since 15 that started with booze and weed. I know what it is like to have your child turn into somewhat of a stranger right before your very eyes. It takes a long time to figure out what is even happening!! At least it did for us. I often wondered (and still do) "how did we get here"??

    Our son's drug use escalated unfortunately and he is still struggling at almost 22. It really sucks the life out of you.

    It's nothing you did or didn't do. Our older two (we each had a child when we married) were in divorced homes and they turned out great. Our youngest is ours together and he is the one that is struggling. He had a very good life and he will not deny that.

    Be happy that he has his father and that he can go stay there!! It's better if it's not right under your nose. Maybe this is something that will pass and I pray he will not use stronger drugs like my son did.

    Oh and FYI marijuana CAN cause anxiety so that could be what you are seeing also. It can temporarily ease anxiety also but can also cause it.

    There are success stories on this forum but you don't see them as often. Your son is young and hopefully he will figure it out. You do need to have FIRM boundaries with him and take care of YOURSELF.

    You will get great advice and support here.
  6. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Your story sounds just like mine did when my daughter was that age. It's the pot and drinking taking over. My daughter was beligerent and nasty when smoking/drinking. We took her car away for two years. She went to rehab and lived in a sober house for a while. Today she is 26 and much more mature, had a decent job but still smokes pot and drinks. She no longer lives with us and that is a good thing. We can have a relationship without the fighting.

    Sometimes they have to learn the hard way.
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  7. Billiesue

    Billiesue Member

    Nancy, was curious if the rehab helped her? Is she working now and if so, how does she pass a drug test?.. RNO, sorry to hear your son is still struggling. Did he ever go to therapy? You are right. It does suck the life out of you...Somewhere, we are also concerned about possibility of something psychiatric. My son has a first cousin with schizophrenia. The walking 5 miles floored me. No shoes or money. I asked where he was going. He said, "Well I thought you all would come looking for me." I told him he could get some medicine for anxiety and depression. girlfriend says he gets depressed at times. He says those medicines are addictive and he doesn't want to be on them. I told him those medications are legal and regulated by a doctor. Alcohol at your age and pot at any age is not and you don't know what you're getting. No reply back on that. There is just no reasoning with him right now, ( at least when he was still conversing with me). ... You know, when anything else is wrong, you seem to have support from work friends and extended family. But when drugs is the issue, you feel alienated because you can't share it. People just don't have much compassion for someone who has got on drugs.Or you are afraid for too many people to know because it might hurt them somehow. I am thankful to have people who have been there to speak too. Thanks for all your replies.
  8. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet


    I've done everything but move heaven and earth. In patient, outpatient, therapy, psychiatrist, psychologists, social workers, juvenile detention, juvenile probation officer etc. I drove him anyplace to get help. I researched and turned over every rock trying to figure it out. That is my nature.

    It is a shame that we have to feel isolated and shamed by substance abuse/addiction. My husband does not want anyone to know about our son's last incident but my therapist said THAT is exactly what keeps it stigmatized. He feels that we should not air our dirty laundry. It is nobody's business, family business, etc......

    Our son's life is our dirty laundry sadly.

    I do remember when I worked at a high school as a registrar before my youngest son had any issues; I also thought that the kids with issues MUST be because of poor parenting. I really did. I am humbled now.
  9. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Heres a good story but I have to go to work so not much time.

    My daughter started using drugs at 12. You read that right. At 19, after two times on parole and us thinking wrongly that she was mentally ill and no longer using, we came home early from a two day vacation where she was supposed to be just watching the dogs, and we found her throwing a pill party.

    With a heavy heart we made her leave. Her last words to me were "I will hate you for the rest of my life!" It was very hard to do.

    She called up a very strict, conservative relative who came and got her and drove her to the next state and said she could live with him in his basement as long as she paid rent, cleaned, cooked, got a job (she had no car), and never use drugs under his roof. One cigarette and he had no problem throwing her to the cold streets in Chicago. She knew he meant it. He also had leased tenants renting rooms. She had to be quiet.

    Her life started changing that day. She cut ties with her drug friends, walked to and from her job in the cold and did what she had to do. Hard drugs and cigarettes became a thing of tje past. She met her boyfriend of now twelve years and he shuns hard drugs and cigarettes and she quit cigarettes too. We gave her no money nor did her relative. She was on her own. Tough love. Tough for her and for us. Her father, my ex, was on board too. We wanted her to quit and felt this was the best way. Usually, we did have doubts.

    She took out a small loan for a two year college, bought a house with boyfriend, worked, had my precious granddaughter and has lived a typical housewives life for years. We are very close. I just got back from visiting Chicago. When I ask her how she quit meth, cocaine, speed, psychodrelics, cigarettes she says, "It is too hard to use drugs. I used willpower. .Boyfriend sat with me and helped"

    She was 19. Now she is 33. I am so very proud of her.
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    Last edited: May 25, 2017
  10. Billiesue

    Billiesue Member

    RNO441 Same. Definitely humbling. I certainly don't love him any less. It as if your child jumped off a cliff into shallow water and broke his leg. Yes he knowingly did it. But as his mother who loves him, I want to help him out of the water and fix the leg. Although with drugs, it seems as if you help them, you almost push them off the cliff yourself. It is discouraging to hear that therapy doesn't help most of these kids.
  11. Billiesue

    Billiesue Member

    SWOT- Bless your heart for that story. Gives me hope. I am proud of her too!
  12. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    Well like my son's therapist at his rehab said - she's a former addict and cleaned up when her parents STOPPED it all - you do not parent these kids like you would a normal kid.

    It's almost like you do the opposite of what you would do normally or else you are ENABLING. It's truly mind boggling. I was like HUH?? when I first learned of this many years after it started. It's hard not to enable a minor to be honest.

    Walking the tightrope between enabling and helping is very difficult.

    It doesn't sound like your son is SO bad and I am hoping you have seen the worst of it. The hardest part in my opinion is when they are minors and start this crap.

    That's just my two cents!
  13. Billiesue

    Billiesue Member

    Of note, my younger son did not see their dad for three years because he didn't like the girlfriend. They both originally spent more time with me. When my younger son stopped seeing Dad, my older son felt sorry for him and decided to go week to go every other week. Younger son does do outings with Dad, encouraged by me when he got cancer. But lives totally with me.
  14. Billiesue

    Billiesue Member

    Thanks RNO. I'm sure we will be talking more.
  15. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am sorry you have to deal with this. I know it must be hard. I would pull back some. I would not text daily. Just maybe once a week. You don't want to be following him around chasing him for affection. Just giving him a reminder once in a while that you are there. I would give him a set amount of time that you will pay for his phone and then I would stop paying for it. The more that you pay for, the more money he has to spend on drugs and alcohol. I know you want to be connected, and it is a trade-off. Only you can decide what is and is not worth it to you.

    Please, PLEASE do not give him the car. Please give it to your other son who has good grades and has earned it. Or sell it. But do NOT allow someone you know is drunk and high and strongly inclined to operate a vehicle while impaired to have the car. If you allow him to have the car, you are giving him a lethal weapon. One that will likely harm both himself and others. Love your son enough to keep the vehicle away from him. If he takes the car without permission, love him enough to report the car as stolen.

    Yes, you read that right. LOVE him enough to report it as stolen. It could save his life by getting him off of the road sooner. It also could teach him to not take your vehicle without permission. He is 18, old enough to know better and old enough to be accountable for his actions.
  16. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Billie, she was so skinny with facial sores I thought she was going to die or end up in prison. Meth is a monster. Cocaine. She crushed ADHD medications and snorted them alone or with coke. She even tried herpin but thinks she didnt get hooked due to fear of needles so she snorted, did not ever inject with needles. It was bad. Until she quit, we really were not sure what she used. She swore it was just pot then she swore she had quit. She told us after she quit.

    For your own sake go to Al Anon or see a therapist. This is too hard to fo alone. I would like to adf more but at eork and phone goes away ehrn i start at 5. Just keep praying and dont give up. On your son or yourself. I did not in any way expect this from my daughter.
  17. Billiesue

    Billiesue Member

    I wouldn't mind talking to a therapist. Although I feel I am holding up ok. Talking to you all helps a bundle. I feel like I should save my money for if he decides to go to therapy. I may get to that. I did go see the therapist for advice that I took him to once. Also chatted online to him during our heated moments for advice. ( He is a recovered addict as well). Susie, I hadn't planned to give him the car unless he came home and went to therapy. I feel he and Dad will have a falling out. They don't usually go long working together before they do. I feel guilty saying, I have been less anxious with him there because he was going out every night to get girlfriend and getting in late. I go to work at 645am and was trying to wake up to make sure he was as he should be when he came in. Even every other week it was wearing me out. Then that night he walked off about did me in. I'm to old, (45) to stay up all night worrying! Although of course I worry about him and feel guilty even typing that I am more at ease with him over there. I just know, I physically can't do anything with him and his dad can if he will.
  18. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Why do you feel guilty that you have more peace of mind when this very difficult person is not in your home? He is 18, not 8. He is old enough to join the military or go to college or work full time without messing up. Naturally you feel better when he isnt around.

    Giving an addict a car before he has been clean is a death trap for him and others on the road. Why not let him buy his own car when he is clean and works? He will appreciate it much more, take care of it better, and you will have helped keep one petson who drives intoxicated (they all do) off the road.

    I urge ypu to go to counseling for you, not for your son. How do you cope? How do you rebuild your life and live in a healthy manner for you and for him? Go to your county mental health center. If you are religious, see a pastor. Dont neglect yourself for your son. Counseling alone, more for your benefit than his, is probably not enough to get him to quit using. You in my opinion should take care of YOU. You cant fix him. Only he can do that.
    Last edited: May 25, 2017
  19. Billiesue

    Billiesue Member

    SWOT, Sometimes I'm glad he is there. Sometimes I just have an overwhelming sadness because I miss him so much. I am floored that after 18 years, he could just turn his back and forget me. I am not against counseling. So far, I have coped by talking to my husband, Mom, Dad and brother and lots of praying. It may prove to not be enough. This is all been pretty sudden for me and I am learning more all the time. You all make good points about the car. I don't think I'll have to decide though. His graduation is next month and I don't even know if he will talk to me there. It's like being there through all the growing up years and being robbed of the joy of the first prom and now graduation. I know it's small potatoes considering. But I am so angry that drugs and alcohol just take so much from families! But you are right. It is hard when he is the first thing i think of as soon as i wake up. My son doesn't talk to me anymore. And then the reasons he is not. My Dad came from a very large family and grew up very poor. He is a fantastic saver and has always helped my brother and I whenever he could even as adults. Certainly they are not wealthy. I know we are his life. As a young adult Mom and Dad never had any help and have been married since age 19. I have always been that way for my kids as well. It is hard to stop. But so far I think I've done well. I've only known about this since about March.
  20. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member


    The rehab stopped the downward spiral she was in. I am convinced if we had not done that she would either be dead, in jail or on much harder drugs. She was very immature and couldn't hold a job. Thankfully she never progressed beyond pot and has had the same job for 2 years now and must have stopped smoking while she was looking. There is nothing I can do about it. She knows we don't approve of the pot and we have talked about her drinking. I worry all the time, but she goes to work every day, they love her there and she seems to be manging her life in her own way. The thing is we had to let go, encourage hewr when she was moving in the right direction, and not put up with any abuse.

    We have a very good relationship now. She tells us all the time how grateful she is that we stuck by her. We adopted her and her birthmother has always used alcohol in excess also. I believe it is genetic with our daughter. My only hope is that she keeps it in control so she can be self sufficient. We have come a long way from those late teen, early 20 years.