Reported my 19 yo to his Probation Officer

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

  1. GwenWill

    GwenWill New Member

    I found this site earlier in the week and the posts helped me make some decisions. Here's our story.

    Our charming, smart son started smoking pot while in high school. This spring, during his freshman year of college, he was busted in his dorm room for pot and intent to sell (a federal offense) and suspended from school. With help from an attorney, he got the court charges deferred - if he stays out of trouble for 16 months the charges go away. This summer he's been working and taking classes at the community college and we've been helping him on the steps to go back to the university. With all the second chances, we though he would be scared straight. . .

    But sadly no, he started smoking pot again. This week I discovered a large bag of bindles (tiny plastic bags for selling drugs) hidden in a stuffed animal. No drugs and no scales, but the bindles are evidence to me he's participating in selling again. After taking his car keys, I found the pot paraphernalia hidden in his car.

    This was too much. With much trepidation I asked his Probation Officer if he had flexibility if son was found violating probation. PO said yes he had a number of options to try and scare the the **** out of the kid: put him back on close supervision, require drug counseling, put him in jail a few days and as only the last step, revoke the deferral and send him back to court on the original charges. Today was the reckoning. Our difficult child was called in for a drug test and told all the above by the PO.

    Our son is furious at me. He is scared and thinks it's all coming down because I ratted him out! I hate it my only difficult child is so angry at me. But I had to do something. We keep telling him, whether he smokes pot or not is up to him, but we don't want to finance it! The car, paying for school and a place to live is contingent on his being a student and playing by our rules.

    I don't know how this is going to play out. If he stay clean for a year - no felony. I'm afraid he's willing to risk EVERYTHING to get high. Fortunately husband and I are on the same page. Any words of wisdom from this community are welcome.
  2. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome to our little corner of the CD board. I think that you did exactly the right thing. If he is using, he had no right to expect you to cover for him.

    Stay strong in your convictions . . he can either straighten up his act and stay clean or he should move out and be on his own where he can do whatever he wants.

    I'm sure others will be by to welcome you to the SA forum.

  3. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    I absolutely think you did the right thing.... my story is in various places in this forum.... but my son is now 21 and we have helped him numerous times with rehab etc etc etc. and eventually he kept doing what he wanted and got arrested for violation of probation. He is now in the courts hands and it is a good thing... a bit part of me thinks we should have let it be in the courts hands a long time ago.

    Of course your son is furious with you now because you got in the way of him living how he wants and getting high and you made their be consequences for his behvior. I think it is much better that he face the consequences sooner rather than later.

  4. GwenWill

    GwenWill New Member

    Thanks T and Kathy,
    I know it's up to my son to make good choices or not, but I feel so much better having done something. The therapist said natural consequences are a good thing when dealing with substance abuse.
  5. Bunny

    Bunny Active Member

    I think that you did the right thing. He needs to learn that their are consequences for his choices. Good choices bring good consequences. Car, school tuition, a nice house to live in, parental support. Bad choices...well, he's going to learn about that now isn't he?
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I called the cops on my daughter when she was fifteen because she wouldn't tell me who sold her the pot. I didn't realize she was on other drugs too. At any rate, she was put on probation and it happened again later on. Didn't scare her straight. Wish they HAD sent her to jail.

    Do you think your son may be using other drugs? The reason I ask is that pot is going to be legal soon. I don't like it, but I don't like to be around alcohol either. I think that if my kid was smoking pot and not doing anything else, and I could almost prove it (because one never knows f or sure) I would not take such a drastic step as long as there was no pot in the house and the kid didn't drive under the influence. Obviously, your son has done both. I think you did the right thing under those conditions. But...

    Pot is going to end up much like alcohol. Many people can have a drink and be ok and do it recreationally and not every single day and without getting drunk. I think many people can smoke pot on a weekend night and not need it every single day and function ok. On the other hand, like with alcohol, it is poison to some people who suddenly need it every day and some people even hallucinate on pot. I sort of did because I have a mental illness and pot is cancer to anyone with a mental illness.

    We are not going to have the law to help us much longer (sigh).

    Keep us updated and let us know how it goes. We have all been in your shoes.
  7. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Gwen I agree you did the right thing. I turned my daughter in everytime I found drugs. Once I blocked the driveway of a house where she and a bunch of kids from high school went after cutting school. They were all smoking pot and drinking. The police came and the kids scattered but difficult child and the boys who lived in the house had to go to court. If you don;t show your son that you are serious he will continue trying to get away with everything he can.

    Everytie I am faced with this issue I remember Carroll O'Connor saying to get between your kids and drugs any way you can.
  8. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Amen nancy
  9. GwenWill

    GwenWill New Member

    As I expected, when difficult child got home from work he had calmed down. He works his schmooze better when acting warm and lovable. The red lights went off for me when he "took a walk" between 10-11pm (we've taken away his car.) I presume he met someone. I confronted him when he got home and there was no smell of smoke or booze. He was very quiet last night (his room is directly over or bedroom.) Perhaps some kind of pill. . . sigh

    Hey Midwest,
    I understand what you're saying about pot. But With the deferred felony charge hanging over him, he shouldn't be doing anything illegal. My hope is between his PO and a drug counselor he'll get the message if he keeps doing drugs he's gonna get busted. With felony conviction the college, grad school and professional career he aspires to is gone in a puff of smoke.
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Gwen, make no mistake about it. I agree with you and don't want pot legalized. But I'm already pondering what we'll do once it is.

    I don't blame you for doing all you can. Like I said, I called the cops on my daughter and she was only fifteen. I was pretty tough on her. We have a great relationship now though :)
  11. GwenWill

    GwenWill New Member

    Just like alcohol, weed will be another way some people will destroy their life.
  12. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Maybe we should all by stock in Frito Lay and get rich? :wink-very:
  13. pinevalley

    pinevalley Member


    Welcome to this board. You will find a lot of support here from very wise parents.
    I have a 19 year old son who also started using pot in high school, and he was also selling it to make money to buy more drugs. He started stealing jewelry to support his habit, and he was eventually arrested on two felony charges. My h and I paid for an attorney, and our difficult child stayed in jail for 9 months while a deal was worked out with the judge. The judge sentenced my difficult child to a special probation for drug offenders, and if he stayed out of trouble for 2 years the felony charges can be expunged from his record. This was really a gift to our son, and he had a chance to turn his life around. He was totally clean for 3 weeks after he was released from jail, and then he started using pot and other drugs again. One of the rules of the court was that he had to be drug tested every month, and my difficult child failed 2 of his first 3 drugs tests. His probation offices violated him for testing positive, and the judge sent difficult child back to jail again. He has been sitting in jail for 5 months, while he has been going through a drug treatment program in jail. The judge will probably put difficult child back on probation soon, and he will have another chance to get his life together. However he may decide to use drugs again when he is out of jail, because Nothing is more important to him when he wants to get high. Not family, not the possibility of going to prison, NOTHING. I'm sure that you know this, but the threat of going to jail is no guarantee that these teens will make good decisions about drug use. I am trying to have no expectations at all about my son's future, because there is absolutely nothing that I can do to prevent him from using drugs if he wants to. Please try to find support for yourself during this time, from a therapist, Alanon or a Families Anonymous group. I have found the FA groups to be incredibly helpful, because everyone in the group understands exactly what I am going through with my difficult child. Good luck, and keep posting at this site. It really does help!
  14. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Hello, PV it is so nice to see you again. I hope you are well. We've missed you. I hope difficult children time in jail and sober thinking will put him back on the right track. {{{hugs}}}
  15. pinevalley

    pinevalley Member

    Sig: Thanks for your message. I have been reading posts on this site often, but I have not posted for a long time. This site really is "A soft place to land".
  16. GwenWill

    GwenWill New Member

    Thank you PV for sharing your story. It's frustrating when they throw second (and third) chances away. It's such a waste. My only consolation is knowing some people do eventually get their life together after shocking behavior . . My niece lived in Mexico doing meth with a boyfriend. When she got pregnant, he dumped her and she came home and straightened herself out. My nephew drank very heavily and went to prison for rape. We thought both of them were lost forever. My niece and nephew are now both responsible, hardworking in their 30s and 40s with families. Amazing considering were they were.

    I hope and pray our difficult children will make good choices, but it's their decisions. For me, giving the situation over to God is some comfort.
    Peace to you.
  17. GwenWill

    GwenWill New Member

    Thank you all for the posts. It's a comfort to share with other parents.

    Monday our difficult child is meeting with a dean of students to see if he will be allowed back to college. difficult child presents himself well and will probably be readmitted. The drug counselor said it didn't matter if difficult child lives at home or away for school. They can find drugs anywhere. Counselor said natural consequences of drug use will play out one way or another.

    Our 19 yo difficult child flat out tells us he thinks he's 10 feet tall and won't get busted. We shall see what happens when he's back at school (two hours from home.) He'll still be on probation (hopefully close supervision.) He'll be living in a house we own with my wise, 65yo sister (he's not allowed to even visit dorms.) I'm not giving him his car back (THAT will annoy him ;-P He's two miles from campus. He can ride his bike or catch a free shuttle bus.) This is his opportunity to get back on the academic track toward the professional career he claims he wants.

    I feel I should take side bets! Can he avoid getting busted again? Can he use drugs and be a successful student?

    difficult child thinks he can "manage" the situation. I think we're watching a slow motion train wreck. . .
  18. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    I hope he gets a good and togh PO who can lay it out for him and that your difficult child has enough sense to listen and straighten up. However it may be a bumpy road for awhile.... and letting him face the consequences of his actions, whatever they are is the way to go.

  19. GwenWill

    GwenWill New Member

    Well my charmer son has been accepted back to the State University he was kicked out of for dealing pot. I don't thing he appreciates what a gift he been given. But we had a good talks during the drive.

    He told me about how he sticks out at the probation office; that he figures he's the only one there with a "bright future." He told me about a pothead girl from school he tried to counsel for her bad choices (!) He said she was doing things made her happy at the moment with out thinking ahead (!) It was funny but gratifying hearing MY message about immediate gratification coming from difficult child. All I could say to him is it's easier to see it in other people.

    I'm hopeful he may turn things around, but I'm a cold-eyed realist. I'm supportive, but looking for results. I told him It's crazy: I'm a parent looking for good effort in his school work. But I'm also a parent fearful he's gonna get busted again and get felony conviction.

    difficult child probation officer followed up yesterday confirming difficult child was scheduled for drug counseling. Yeah PO for staying on his case! Today I'm meeting with a lay counselor from church for support for myself. I've been exercising and eating well. I lost 30lb this year and I don't want old coping behaviors to return. Thanks for a place to share. Peace ya'll.
  20. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    What a promising post. I'm glad that you are taking care of yourself. My therapist calls it selfcare.

    Keep us updated.