Weed use

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by evafirefly, Mar 30, 2009.

  1. evafirefly

    evafirefly New Member

    I'm new to any forum & want your wisdom in dealing with my almost 18 y.o. son's weed addiction. He feels his only problem is me, his parent & the courts. 2 & 1/2 yrs ago he did a 6 wk. outpt. tx program when I found out he was using & I had him see a counselor to deal with hisdepression/anxiety issues, never tx with medications. Then about a yr ago he got a possession charge, wanted to pay the fine, but I insisted on transfer to juvenile court & tx. Recently admitted he has been using daily this whole year, his way of saying f.y. to the system and standing up for his beliefs. He had been in an outpt 2 x a wk treatment this year. His P.O. thought his program was testing & visa verse and he faked tests by using a cleansing product "Striped". He is now locked up in juvenile detention for failing the terms of his probation. He will be released home with electronic monitoring to participate in drug court and intensive outpt. tx. He is well liked by teachers and peers, he has a full time job and is graduating, not the greatest grades, never has. Any advice on getting him off weed?
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    If he doesn't want to stop, he won't stop. It's not easy to quit daily use of pot (assuming that is really all he is using as far as drugs go). I had a friend once who used pot daily for about ten years and it was hard for him to get off of pot because it is psychologically addicting. He had to go for serious counseling to quit and he did it because he had just had a baby with his wife and he felt he was slacking off in the work department by smoking weed. He was in his 30's! He did quit, but it was a battle as he was so used to lighting up first thing in the morning, etc. He became quite successful after he quit.

    The only thing you can do to motivate your son, since obviously even being caught by the cops didn't do it, is to give him an ultamatum and tell him he quits or he smokes pot on his own--he leaves the house, supports himself, and then it's up to him. He seems to have a very "entitled" attitude. "I feel pot should be legal therefore I will smoke it even if it's NOT legal and, Dad and Mom, I'll do it in your house too." I'm not sure how long I'd tolerate that under my roof.

    Often drugged up kids need a strong dose of tough love. We can't make them quit. They have to want to quit. If they are too comfortable often they don't find a reason to quit.
  3. recovering doormat

    recovering doormat Lapsed CDer

    My 16 y.o. was smoking heavily (several times a day) at the time of his admission to a six week dual diagnosis diagnostic program at a facility in eastern Pennsylvania. He detoxed, had psychotherapy and group therapy, and is home with us now getting tutored by the school district and attending once a week substance abuse counseling. He swore up and down when he was pleading with us to let him come home rather than transfer to a residential treatment center,as the diagnostic program recommended, that he wouldn't smoke or go back to his old ways again, that he really wanted to change. It was the opinion of the staff at the diagnosis program that he wasn't yet addicted to smoking weed but that his recovery was fragile and he couldn't go back to his old friends and routine.

    Well, he's beenhome 7 weeks and although his tests come up clean he has admitted to smoking a few times with old buddies. He has a curfew set by his juvenile probation officer but he has violated it several times and has left the house without permission (he is not a huge kid but he is still physically stronger and has greater stamina than me and my ex, who are both middle aged and out of shape). If he wants to leave the house, I can't physically stop him. I can't be with him 24/7, nor can ex-husband, though we tried in the early days whenwe first brought him home.

    He's only 16, as I said, but let's say he's about to turn 18 and we're in the same situation? Using drugs or alcohol is a deal-breaker for him living with either of us. If he were to persist, I would tell him to go find someplace else to live, and he doesn't get a dime from me.

    I have learned the hard way with my older child, an 18 year old daughter, that tough love is the only way to deal with some children. I have a tendency to rush in and shield my kids from discomfort and pain, and it has been a detriment to the whole family.

    It's incredibly hard to be firm with a kid who is messing up and really let them feel the consequences of their decisions. I once attended a support group meeting where a dad, a former cop, described how he and his wife decided to let their son sit in jail for a couple of days rather than bail him out (again) as they had in the past, for a drug violation. It shook both them and their son to the core, but he stayed out of trouble after that.

    I wonder how I would be in the same situation. Easy for me to say I'd kick my son out of the house and wouldn't help him in 22 months if he refused to straighten out.

    You can make yourself crazy, like I have during the past year, trying to stay on top of your kid 24/7, or you can learn to detach and let him feel the weight of his decisions. I haven't done it yet, but I'm told groups like Al-Anon and Nar-Anon help family members cope with their loved one's substance abuse without enabling it or getting destroyed in the process.
  4. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I don't think it is actually appropriate for someone who was unsuccessful to "give advice" to someone seeking success. :redface: on the other hand, you asked. ;)

    Your son is 18. He will be graduating in a matter of months, I assume. You and authorities have not been successful in getting him to stop the weed. He is "politely" giving the finger to everyone.

    As a parent you are rightly proud of the "good kid" parts that he has from the nurturing and love you have raised him with. So...what do I think you should do?

    I think you need to sit down and decide will you or will you not tolerate the stress of having a drug user in your home. Most healthy parents here make the decision that they will not live with the addiction atmosphere. If your heartfelt choice is to live a healthy life in your home then you need to tell your difficult child "son, although we love you, we are not prepared to live a lifestyle that includes drug use". Your graduation is on xyz. You need to make plans and choices on where you will live after that date. We will be glad to help you seek out alternative living arrangements in advance so it will not be unnecessarily stressful."

    He has a choice. Stay at home and follow the rules. Move into his own home and follow his own rules and take his own consequences. If you don't waiver...he'll know in his heart that he has to choose one way or the other. Only he can decide. Sending hugs. DDD
  5. evafirefly

    evafirefly New Member

    Thanks for the replies, they and reading other posts make me realize that there is no magic bullet, that not enabling, loving with detachment and taking care of myself are important. I realize that only if he wants to change will it happen. He did spend 6 days in juvey and got home yesterday. 19 is legal age in my state and he is a ward of the state now and enrolled in drug court & on electronic monitoring. His judge is no nonsense and I really believe cares and wants to help kids into recovery. He will be going 4 days a week for 3 hrs a day to treatment & report to the judge directly once a week, random ua's 2 to 3 times a week, etc. It will be a tough road from him, but he's paying for "playing". He won't be able to go to the college he had planned on this year as it takes 9 to 12 months to complete drug court. He's happy about small things since being home, like Q-tips and soft beds and chairs & knows he has to "pay" and says he isn't going to do anything to get into trouble. I can only hope and not enable. I have gone to 6 meetings of al-anon and have found it helpful and supportive, learned about the 3 C's, you didn't cause it, you can't control it and you can't cure it and how the user uses your anxiety and anger to manipulate. It's tough to see your kids screw up!!!
  6. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    Absolutely. My son is 25. He has been using drugs since he was 15. We went round and round about it. It was first pot then pills then booze. We sent him to rehabs, had him involuntarily committed 3 times, sent him to counseling, career direction counselors, GED classes, outpatient intensive classes, vocational rehab, etc. and nothing has helped. So the last time he came home (coming home is a mmistake) we told him no pot, no coming home drunk, etc. well he did anyway, we cant trust him here - he knows everyone in the neighborhood that would do drugs - he has gotten fired from his wonderful job he had three times - so he just sits home and smokes pot - I dont think so. So right now he is in jail - again - for possession of marijuana and petty larceny - so he gets 10 days! Whoa! He needs a treatment jprogram to be court ordered - he has had thata before. Anyway, mypoint is - you get to a point that you have to do tough love or go crazy. It is hard - but necessary for them and for you.