How do you get them to realize they have a problem?

How do you get them to realize they have a problem?

feelinghopeless's picture
29 answers

My son is 17 and started smoking marijuana February of 2011 until July of 2011. He then stopped due to playing a sport which he ended up quiting. He got his first girlfriend who was against drugs and didn't do marijuana at all during the 8 months of their relationship except for 1 time which he was caught by us. Then his girlfriend broke up with him. He had struggled with self esteem issues prior to his drug use due to being obese. He was bullied in school and would tell me he didn't care. He put up walls and would continue not to care about his weight. Finally in May of 2011 he realized he needed to lose weight. He has lost over 100lbs in 14 months by not eating much. Back to the drugs.... when the girlfriend broke up with him he spiraled downward into depression, self harm and marijuana again. He was suicidal and was put in a home for 72 hours. I thought this would wake him up but it did not. He is more determined to use marijuana. Tells us it is not addictive. We keep telling him it is illegal, we don't allow it, etc. He lied to us and was using it for over 2 weeks almost daily. We drug tested him 2 weeks ago and told him that if he continues to use it and is not clean in 30 days, he will not be responsible for his entire car insurance bill. He has stopped but now is being very angry and difficult. He won't talk to us, he blames us for his depression, he started smoking about a pack of cigarettes a day now and tells me that he is proving a point. He feels we need to let him make his own choices in life, etc. My husband and I are seeing a therapist for how to deal with him. I am so scared. He swears he will not do any other drug but marijuana. No matter what we try to tell him he fights and has all the answers. I don't know how to make him see he has an addiction problem!! How am I supposed to trust him in a year when he goes to college? He will be a senior this year in high school then off to college. He tells us he is not addicted but acting the way he is only proves he is.

I need advice. How can I get him to realize it?

Answers

dothanmom's picture

I have walked this path with my son, now 18. He thinks he can smoke as much pot as he wants and will never get addicted, that it won't affect his motivation or his depression, or his school performance, etc. Marijuana is very dangerous, and almost everyone addicted to a "harder" substance started with marijuana. When he was 17, we admitted him to a residential treatment program, a very good one. He stayed clean for a while, but the day he turned 18 he refused to take drug tests. Now, his choice is to stay clean or he moves out and supports himself. Since your son isn't 18, make drug testing a condition of his having any privileges at all -- phone, car, Internet, etc. When he's 18, give him a choice -- don't use and get our support, or support yourself. That's what it really means to be an adult. If necessary, tell him he'll be tested in college if he wants you to pay his tuition. It's very tough. My son sounds a lot like yours. we have just removed all privileges -- car, phone, computer, etc. -- and he is just exhibiting anger and immaturity beyond belief. This is what marijuana can do -- whether it's addictive or not, just doesn't really matter when it affects behavior like this. And it is psychologically addictive and physically dangerous. You can't convince him he's not an addict -- you just have to lay down the rules and have consequences, which could include mandatory treatment. It's very hard and very painful.

strgazr's picture

Wow you are a strong mom..( dothanmom)..love it. I need to hear more of this. I always get sucked in to my son's manipulation. My story is very similar to both of yours. I agree with every word you are saying but I still have this scared feeling of implementing it. I know what to do but struggle with doing the right thing for my child. I guess its denial. I keep hoping he will grow out of it...but I know he wont. Thanks for being straight up.

dothanmom's picture

Thank you, strgazr. It is hard....but I have observed that when we are tough (always accompanied by telling him how much we love him), our relationship actually gets better (once he gets through the anger and pouting). Sad but true -- even wonderful bright kids have to know that you mean what you say, or they'll never become accountable for themselves. Our son graduated from high school and is doing a year of community service and internships before he starts college. He has some great opportunities in places such as national parks.....but if he screws up, the consequences will haunt him for life and will always be on his record. WE've told him -- and it's SO hard because we love him so much -- that if he is using and is sent home from any of these programs, there will be NO home to come to -- he's on his own. He thinks we don't mean it, but we do. In June, when he refused to continue to be drug tested because he had turned 18 and wanted to use, we handed him a big envelope that contained his health insurance card, his social security number, a few phone numbers of people he could call, and a reservation for two nights at a nearby hotel. We told him he would be off our health insurance as soon as we could do it, and he'd probably need to apply for Medicaid....told him he'd have no car, so he'd better look for an apartment near his part-time job at the grocery store. Told him we'd pay for his phone for two more weeks, then we'd be cutting it off and he'd need to get his own. Actually handing him the paperwork -- not just telling him we'd do it -- really got his attention. We'll see now if he will stay clean and make good choices. if not.....he's on his own until he wants to live by our rules and make better choices. You just have to be prepared to say you'll do what you say you will do. He was really terrified at the prospects and we think he's trying to make changes. Time will tell.

dothanmom's picture

I forgot one more point about the cigarettes. our son smokes them occasionally and although he knows it's very unhealthy he says "he wants the right to make that decision for himself." Our rules is not on our property, not in our cars (we own the car he drives), not in our house. I occasionally test his urine for nicotine. I've told him that when he is 19 (the age at which he can purchase his own health insurance in our state), he will be off our health insurance if he is smoking -- I'm not paying smoker's rates. I know I may sound heartless -- but when you live your own life and don't let them wound you with their actions, they will be more likely to be accountable for their own actions. They'll realize they can't manipulate you, so they might try focusing on themselves and their issues instead.

strgazr's picture

We are doing it! We've made our plan and we have drawn our line in the sand. 0 tolerance for drugs in our home and property. Total loss of privledges unless he is clean and after 18...(he's 17 now) he can support himself. I may not be able to change his mind about drugs but I have the choice not to help him with those choices. I can't do anything about all the drugs out there...but I do have control over what happens in my home! Thanks for the courage....I hope feelinghopeless has gotten something out of your posts as well. Seriously good advice. Will post how it goes. I have been through this long enough to know this wont be an easy fix and I may lose my son over it, but I can't sit by and do nothing.

dothanmom2's picture

Strgazr, you have given me a much needed boost. The last 18 months have just been pure hell much of the time, and I don't feel like I am making much of a difference in my son's life, or in anything else. One last thought about "losing your son." Think of the consequences if you DON"T have these boundaries....chances are you'd lose him anyway, to the effects of drug use (I don't mean dying, just having it control his life, destroy relationships, etc.). I will tell you that it is VERY difficult because you will probably feel like a canary in a mine -- our son tells us constantly that he isn't doing anything that his friends aren't doing, but their parents aren't crazy enough to be drug testing. The number of parents who "wink" or just say "oh well, they're 18, what can I do?" is just astounding. Either they don't know, they don't want to put up with the difficulty of trying to enforce a no-tolerance policy, or they just don't care. this is not the marijuana of the 60s and 70s; it's powerful and dangerous. You are exactly right -- you can't control the choices, but you won't enable them. There really are more tools than you might think --- college tuition, car, place to live, some financial support, etc.etc. good luck! I wish we had more compatriots in all this.

ivebeenthere's picture

feelinghopeless,

I completely agree with you in that your son is probably using too much marijuana. However, the best possible way to deal with this is to talk to him. I'm a 22 year old male, I graduated from a university with a degree in economics, and I've currently been at my finance job for over a year now. I've also used more drugs than fingers on my hands. I don't really drink, unless I'm grilling or something, and I smoke a cigarette every now and then, usually when I'm having a few beers. I also exercise daily and run 5ks. My point here is that drugs are like anything else, if you use them moderately they aren't bad for you (excluding cocaine, heroin, etc. [the drugs you can physically get addicted to]) and they can actually benefit you. I've had my eyes opened from marijuana alone, but MDMA and hallucinogens are amazing in how they make you think. But yes, they're illegal. And while I don't agree with this at all, it is still fact that it is a crime to use drugs (excluding the obvious ones: caffeine, alcohol, etc.) So this is of course problem.

Mental addiction to a drug (marijuana) is completely different than a physical one. Of course he likes smoking marijuana, anyone that has tried it a few times would. And if he can keep up his daily functions with moderate marijuana use throughout the day or week or month, then there is no real harm done except for it being illegal (and I just want to say I think society has some real growing to do when a plant, nature itself, is made illegal, just doesn't seem right to me).

As I'm still pretty young myself, and been through the experiences of that age, I have a few recommendations that would probably really help the problem you're having with your son. First off, just talk to him. Sit him down for 15 minutes and just talk. Tell him you're not mad, you're not judging, and that you just want to talk and here his opinion. Threatening him is only going to make things worse, I promise you that. Then explain how you don't agree with his actions, but that you understand why he is smoking (it's honestly something I really love in life as it makes me creative and makes me think in a bigger way] so imagine trying to MAKE me stop, I wouldn't be very happy). Go on to explain how it's illegal and that you don't support it being used around you. If he's going to do it, he's going to do it. The only way to stop him is with drug tests and threatening privileges, which is just going to harm your relationship with him. Explain the legal consequences (which is a slap on the wrist in MOST places, as long as you have under a certain amount, which I'm sure he does) and that if he gets into trouble, then he has to deal with it.

Also, marijuana may have played a definite role in his weight loss. Weed has a bad rep for making people lazy, but it also has a rep for making people think intensely about things. And your son probably got to thinking about his gf and his weight gain one afternoon and realized he had to make some changes.

Overall, he's your son, and I know you want the very best for him, but he is 17. He's still in high school, I understand that, but experimentation is just now beginning in his life. If he is smart (which I assume he is) and understands the risks of what he's doing (which you should explain in a conversation matter), then he'll be perfectly fine. I started with marijuana and experimented with bigger drugs (I guess you could call that gateway, but so is tobacco and alcohol, and even caffeine then) and my experiences have been no less than wonderful. I've learned so many things about myself and the world I live in, and I'm really thankful for that. Also, every hard drug I've consumed has been safe and non addictive.

That's my two cents anyways, I hope this helps you in one way or another!

strgazr's picture

Ivebeenthere

I'm not sure I even know what to say to this. You are obviously an intelligent and well written young man and I appreciate your honesty(even though you weren't sharing with me). It makes me sad because I wonder how I will ever compete with this. Life on its own is just not enough anymore, and in this high speed world we just want what is quick and effective no matter the consequenses. We can't find pleasure in life because it takes too much time and effort to look for it...why bother when we can take a pill or puff and be instantly gratified. I would be interested in knowing what your parents think about this. Anyway...I am curious as to why you are on this site...what would even make you think to check out a help site for parents of kids on drugs? God bless you ..I hope your story is as positve in ten years. I hope you are hearing the spirit in which I am trying to convey...no disrespect intended.

dothanmom2's picture

Ditto what stargzar said. People come to this site to post and get support because in some way, drugs have taken a terrible toll on their lives, or the lives of their loved ones. I can't imagine why you are on it and what's more, conveying inaccurate information about drugs being "safe". "instant gratification" -- give me something NOW, something easy -- has become a mantra for today's youth, hence their use of drugs. Too bad the "real world" of human relationships, serving others and making a difference in the world, just isn't enough. If you study some of the respected research on marijuana (universities, medical associations, etc.), it is NOT true that it is "safe"...and just last night, I perused about 10 different websites (from respected sources), all of which listed marijuana as one of the "10 most addictive substances." One of every six teenagers who uses drugs will become a serious addict, higher than that if they have other issues such as ADD, depression, etc. Many others will become dependent, lose their motivation, and have permanent damage to their brain...it DOES cause brain changes that may never be reversed. Marijuana, like alcohol, is a DEPRESSANT so while it may feel good in the moment, it contributes to depression. Read the study about pilots who smoked marijuana --- a week later, their reaction times in the cockpit were still affected. I don't know about you, but I don't want to fly in a plane piloted by someone who has used weed so they can "think more creatively."

ivebeenthere's picture

Haha the advertisements bumped this post, so I'll reply back. i found this site through 'stumbleupon', just came here randomly, saw a question, made an account and replied. The purpose of my post wasn't really to 'support' drugs, it was just to let the original poster know that the best way to deal with this situation is to just talk with her son. Let him give his side of the argument of why he's using marijuana and then you give yours.

And coming back to marijuana, or any drug for that matter. Everything we consume is a drug, everything. Different chemical makeups interact with our body in different ways. Orange juice, believe it or not, IS a drug. Now you just work your way up. Marijuana is not addicting. I'm sorry for everything you've read on it, but having been around it A LOT, this is just simply not true.

'Heavier' drugs, when controlled (like anything else) are safe (for the most part, opiates and pain medications are terribly bad for you, it is VERY addictive because your body is affected by it, not your mind). Yeah you might have an allergic reaction like anything else, but you're not going to die from taking marijuana, mdma, lsd, whatever, and the only addiction you're going to have is mental. Yeah of course you can take too much mdma and die, you can also drink too much alcohol and die, you can eat too many vitamins and have your liver shut down, and you can drown yourself on water. Too much of anything is a bad.

And the point of drugs isn't for instant gratification, you're thinking heroin and cocaine here which I highly advise against. Of course it shouldn't be illegal though, rat poison is legal and that'll kill me. You're missing the point. Most of the people in high level positions in this country, both private and public, have used drugs. And many people use other drugs besides alcohol on a pretty a pretty frequent basis. I like alcohol, don't get me wrong, but if I'm going to have a good time with my friends I'm almost always going to prefer smoking marijuana and talking with them, or taking some lsd (deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) was discovered on this by the way) and just having a one on one, spiritual, whatever you want to call it, experience with another human being. You benefit from your experience in real life once the high is long and gone, and you don't have a hangover like caffeine and alcohol will provide. The point of drugs is that it makes people think. That is the ONLY reason they are illegal. It's still absurd to think it's illegal for me to put something foreign into my body, especially marijuana when it comes to it just being nature. Marijuana has developed as a plant to appeal to human beings, look up the research on that. Humans are naturally an inquisitive species, and marijuana makes does good to the body and mind. It's really quite amazing.

For example, it blows my mind to live in a society as we do today. No one realizes that we're all dumbed down. All we care about is our jobs, and then we come home and read/watch tv/whatever, we drain ourselves out with media and no one really sees what's going on. Look around. There are people in dire conditions all over the world, with little food and in some places little water.. and the U.S. throws billions of dollars of food away a year to keep the market price up on goods. I don't get that. The system we're in now, it doesn't really work too great. We're living in it, so we don't realize that. But people, if we're still around in 500 years, are going to look back on is and say 'what the hell were they thinking?'. If drugs are made legal, people are going to take them and start questioning themselves and their lives. Something just seems wrong with our world. I should not be stressing as much as I do in my life. We have the technology to provide everyone in the world with food and shelter and ease of mind, we have the technology to make ever car on the road electric. We have so much technology, but it's held back so much, and it's ridiculous. I'm just simply saying, if you make marijuana legal then you mark the end of modern day society as people are going to begin questioning this life and why we all have that feeling that something's missing. And we're going to push back to make things better.

I don't know, these are just my thoughts. Life is so incredibly amazing, and I want people to see what I see and feel about life as I do. For example, I think abortion should be pro-choice, as people can do whatever they want to their bodies. But I am highly against it. If i had been aborted, nothing I'm experiencing in my life would have ever happened. My conscious as I know it would have never come into being. So yes, I think life is an amazing thing and that we should cherish it and our relationships. Through drugs, my best friends suicide, and just my relationships in general, I've come to realize that something needs to change.

You can argue against me all you want in what I've said, I firmly believe in everything I've stated above. Oh, and I bet you didn't know that the mountain Moses went up to to get the ten commandments from the Christian god, is covered in hallucinogenic mushrooms. And the mushrooms can date back thousands of years before Moses and they're still there today. Just something to think about.

Anyways, if anyone wants to have an intelligent conversation with me, please don't hesitate to pm me (if that even exists here, my email is joef716 [at] yahoo [dot] com if not). I posted what I posted earlier to help the op, and I still think the op just needs to talk with their child and figure things out in an intelligent way. I don't want to keep these arguments going on here, so this will be my last post. I hope you at least got something out of it.

Joe

strgazr's picture

Dothanmom ...are you there? We did it. We talked to our two sons tonight. So hard. I am in so much pain. He is distraught as I knew he would be . It is so hard when I know I can't do anything to make this road easier for him. He hates us. I can only hope someday he will know we did this because we loved him and wanted a better life for him. He says he will quit but who knows ...I don't think he realizes how hard this will be. He is smoking pot everyday now. My younger son is hurting too...I think this was quite shocking for him but hopefully he will learn before he starts how much hurt this garbage causes. I just needed to tell you this. I want to be a strong mom too. Thanks for listening ...you have helped more than you could ever know.

dothanmom2's picture

I am here, and am sorry I haven't been responding for the last few days. Your son's reaction is completely predictable and understandable; you have exerted control and told him what the "house rules" are. one thing I've learned is that right now, all your points about the risks and dangers -- health problems, legal problems, etc. -- will probably fall on deaf ears. Don't worry about what he says...only watch what he does. Right now, don't try to argue back or make your rational arguments. Say them once and only once . I've made this mistake, trying to present "the facts" and it obscures the desired result -- he gets involved in arguing back instead of hearing the main message: it's against the house rules, it's illegal, and if you do it you won't get our support. Yes, it sounds really tough. We have a saying in our house that started when our son was very small -- "I love you more today than yesterday." Every time we have a tough conversation, or heated argument, after a few minutes I go in and say, "I just want you to know....I love you more today than yesterday." When we told our son (after his high school graduation) that he would have to live elsewhere, and support himself, if he couldn't live by the house rules, he retreated to the basement and literally stayed on the sofa for five days, mostly sleeping and just being totally reclusive. You can imagine how painful that was. But eventually, he said he wanted to go to the family therapist "who will see that I am right and you are wrong." Of course that didn't happen -- it was a tearful and painful session -- but in the end, he agreed to continued drug testing. He has thrown himself a "pity party" most of the summer and we've had to just let him stew. There are some good times - he's taken a couple of short trips with us, eats dinner with us most nights, and doesn't stay mad all the time. Recently he told me over dinner, "you won't change my beliefs." I didn't say a word -- just said, "would you like some more spaghetti?" Literally. You have to let a lot of it roll off your back. You have to just disengage and try to make conversation on other subjects -- you will probably hear things like "I don't want to talk to you about anything," "I hate you", "you don't understand anything about kids today", etc. etc. Don't respond. Be consistent and deliver praise and love whenever you can...about the smallest thing ("thanks for helping with dinner", "you were really nice to our guests tonight", etc. etc.).

I would strongly encourage you to do drug testing. Home tests are not perfect but they are a start. If you have a good lab in the area, or if you can get a doctor to do it and have it covered by insurance, do it. The sophisticated tests can tell if the person is trying to trick the test (dilute their urine, drink some substance to cover it up, etc.). Kids are tricky and determined when they want to use this stuff. The only way he knows if you mean it, is to test him.

the path will be rocky and not always in the right direction. Be calm, firm and don't lose your temper (as I have done sometimes). Occasionally I will print out some sort of really reliable information (from the DEA, a medical association, etc.) about the dangers of marijuana/drugs and just put it on his bed...he may occasionally read it. You don't always know when they are listening to you and hearing what you say.

He may benefit from the opportunity to talk to someone else - a therapist or counselor. Get a good one - one that can help you determine if he is on the road to addiction/dependence, why this is so important to him...at this age they often will talk to someone else more easily than to their parents (as much as we'd like them to talk to us). Interview them before hand. They have to adhere to confidentiality rules, but try to establish a rapport so they will tell you as much as they can without compromising confidentiality...and they'll give you advice. Our son's therapist has been able to get him to listen in ways we can't --- and when we had to impose severe consequences (removing privileges, telling him he'd have to get support elsewhere, etc) he could "melt down" with her and it really helped. Family therapy may help, too. in our case, we have a family therapist in the same office -- they are able to talk and share information which helps all of us.

Also, remember that (despite what "joe" says) that marijuana is a DEPRESSANT -- it feels good at the moment, but the aftereffects are that you are more depressed -- so then you need more to stave off that feeling. Our son has started taking a mild antidepressant and we're hoping that lessens his need to "escape" reality with pot or anything else.
You will just have to endure some times when he is angry and silent -- try to live your life as normally as you can. This is the philsophy behind AA and NA -- when the addict sees that you are living your life and they won't have control over you, or keep you from enjoying your life, they are MORE likely to respond and think about their own life.

I am gratified that in some small way, my comments have helped someone else. It's hard, no getting around it. We aren't out of the woods yet. Basically, he is not smoking pot because he knows the consequences in terms of our support, college tuition, other opportunities. That's all we can hope for at the moment -- the more we can keep him away until he gets some maturity, the better the chance he won't become dependent or addicted during these very formative years while the brain is still developing.

Stay in touch..........the connections help us both.

dothanmom2's picture

Stargazr, here is an excellent -- long -- well researched, factual document about marijuana -- dangers to physical health, mental health, and much more. It's published by the DEA. My son even deigned to read some of it, although he claims to disagree. Maybe some of it sank in.

http://www.justice.gov/dea/marijuana_position.pdf

meddis's picture

It looks like it's hard for him to stay sober. He is actually relying on drugs to get him out of the complicated situations. You should be a serious supporter for him, he needs all the help he can get.

Mjsacra's picture

@dothanmom2 and many of the others commenting on this forum.
I am much more informed of you on this subject, everything I say is factual.
1. Marijuana does not contain any physically addicting substances, as in you can not get addicted to it; you will not have any withdrawal symptoms. You can however in extremely rare cases, get PSYCHOLOGICALLY addicted, which if your child was previously "addicted" to shopping, playing video games, etc, they will be more prone to be psychologically addicted to marijuana. To reiterate, this is in EXTREMELY rare cases, as in if your child played video games for hours on end, and it actually resulted in lack of sleep for them, then they might become psychologically addicted to marijuana.

2. Marijuana actually helps people suffering from depression, if your son is getting more depressed from smoking marijuana, that is because in his mindset he is "doing drugs" when in reality marijuana is hardly a drug at all.

3. Marijuana cannot kill you. Period. You cannot overdose on tetrahydrocannabinol or cannabidiol, the two main compounds found in marijuana.

4. It is undoubtedly true that all hard drug users started with marijuana. But that is not even close to the statistic that you're looking for. A study by the U.S. shows that only 1 in 104 marijuana users end up using cocaine in their lifetime and less than 1 in 104 end up using heroine in their lifetime. That's less than 1%, and it is only because marijuana is illegal. Your children wouldn't even have the option to buy cocaine or heroine if they didn't already buy marijuana from these same black market drug dealers that deal the harder drugs. And let's face it, if your child ends up using heroine or cocaine, he/she would have ended up using it if he/she had used marijuana in the past or not.

5. Marijuana is not worse for you than tobacco, not even close. All of the claims you hear that the smoke is just as harmful. They are using incorrect terminology. Yes, smoke is undoubtedly harmful for you, but that is because you are inhaling heated plant matter, it's going to hurt you. The compounds in marijuana do not cause any type of cancer, in fact, they have cancer fighting properties, especially against brain tumors. This is because the compounds in marijuana, cannabinoids, bond with the CB1 and CB2 receptors in our bodies, and help us to further combat multiple types of diseases which include: AIDS, glaucoma, depression, Epilepsy, ADD/ADHD, Chronic Pain, Alzheimer's, and many more.

6. A big myth behind marijuana is that it makes you stupider and your grades will decline. This is WRONG.
Personal Evidence: I know firsthand multiple kids who have A's and B's and are smoking marijuana.
Factual Evidence: This study: http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/news/20030701/heavy-marijuana-use-doe...
That article talks about the relations of marijuana and memory loss, and the conclusion: there is no link between long term memory loss. But, there is some effect on short term memory loss. But about marijuana making you have bad grades, in a study I read a while ago and I can't find the link, they tested if marijuana makes you stupid and here are the results: high school students smoking marijuana regularly scored the same as the kids not smoking. And even further, college students who smoke marijuana regularly scored HIGHER than students who don't smoke.
Keep in mind, though, marijuana is inhibiting to a growing child, if a 15-year old smokes, they will see differences.

Also by the way, twist ending, I am 17, I am just extremely informed. I actually do not smoke marijuana, but I am pro-legalization. There are hundreds of medicinal benefits for marijuana, and making it legal and detached from the other black market drugs would prevent harder drug use.

And now here are the bad qualities of marijuana:

1. Decreased sperm count, but this is temporary, sperm count goes back to normal 2-3 weeks after 10+ months of heavy(daily) use.

2. It can worsen the effects of mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and a few other mental illnesses that names escape me. But if you have such an illness, I doubt you will be smoking marijuana anyway.

3. Short term memory loss results from continual heavy, daily cannabis use that is gone 4-6 weeks after stopping smoking

ivebeenthere's picture

Well said.

I'm not trying to argue with anyone on the internet. I just want to make it clear that there is more than one side to every story. You may not agree with marijuana or drugs in general - fine. And I completely agree that anyone who is under the age of 21 and/or not mentally healthy should NOT take them. However, I urge you to do your research and educate yourselves and come to understand why drugs are perceived as bad. Don't stereotype your children. Period. Find out why they are taking them and their purpose behind it. You might actually be surprised at what you hear.

Please be responsible parents when it comes to this subject with your kids. These scenarios break relationships; don't let that happen with yours. Be understanding and have productive conversations. This might not make sense at first, but use your concerned emotions to make rational decisions based on facts, not opinions and broken understanding. Be smart about how you handle these situations and realize that drugs only bring out what's already in people in the first place,

Again, I'm not being threatening. I'm just asking you to be a little open and understand that things aren't always as they seem..

Mjsacra's picture

I forgot to mention, I meant no harm or hostility, I just saw this website randomly and wanted to provide correct information.
@dothanmom2 you said you got information about marijuana being a highly addictive substance, and you probably read a statistic saying "64% of all addicts administered to a drug rehab center are marijuana addicts" what that stat does not say, is that when a little 17-year old in high school is caught with a joint, he is given a choice, either go to prison or some other horrible punishment, or go to a rehab center for 6 months. Most children logically pick the rehab center. And so, the stat gets that point for "marijuana addicts". Because 97% of all people administered to a rehab center that are labeled as "addicts" were actually forced to go there by law enforcement or family members, the other 3% are there voluntarily because they are probably psychologically addicted and they know it.

On another note, the information you get from websites, especially the DEA website, is probably biased information, because if they are anti-pot to begin with, they will try to twist the wording of statistics and make them sound horrible. Hence the "marijuana kills brain cells" when it in fact does not, that information provided by the government was actually based on a 1976(maybe different year, not 100% sure) study where marijuana was administered to monkeys to see if they had loss of brain cells. The results said the following: that in 100% of the monkeys tested had brain cell loss in the study.
Now this wording seems that marijuana killed the brain cells, but in fact the study had multiple problems:
1. There were only 7 monkeys tested, which in any test, is nowhere near the number of test subjects needed to get accurate statistics
2. The monkeys were pumped marijuana smoke through gas masks for large periods of time, causing deprivation of oxygen, which will cause HEAVY brain cell loss
3. The scientist, I forget his name, did not collect the data accurately anyway, and even guessed on some results
As you can see, those are pretty bad problems with the test, but it still doesn't say that marijuana doesn't kill brain cells. Here's what does:
A 1994 study, done by the U.S. government to prove the previous study was correct information, was conducted after the results of the previous study were proven to be completely useless, and here is what that test said: that marijuana does not kill brain cells, and in fact it stimulates brain cell growth. This test obviously did not receive as much publicity.
Think about it, would the government really want to flaunt around that they were wrong about marijuana and they wasted hundreds of billions of our tax money because of their error?
Again, I apologize if I see rude or hostile, I am just trying to show you the accurate truthful information.

beingkinder's picture

The kid making the case for drugs is just reinforcing the concerned mother's fears about what will happen so go away and post somewhere else.

Yet to the mom considering the tough love, I say rethink. There is no way an 18 year with no skills is going to manage geting kicked out of his home with mo medical insurance, phone and two nights in a hotel. Its just dumb parenting. Way worse than talking to your kid and trying to understand him.

The words tough and love do not belong in the same sentence and has no proven track record anyway.

Now if a drug addicted person is ruining your life, cut them off by all means but admit you are doing it for YOU and not for them. If you want to do something for your son, find the love part of love in your heart not the judgement part of love, the control part, the my way or the highway.

My 28 year old partied heavily at 19 is now a third year medical student. Yes, older than many in his class but more mature, wiser and a harder worker. My ex kicked him out back then, sent him to rehab and cut him off and as he was paying the bills. All that happened is that my son now does not talk to his father at all. He hated rehab as he was just a dumb kid who drank and possibly did coke at parties but was not an addict as such. He was severely depressed and down on himself, felt alone, powerless over his life and went through as dark a patch as can imagined.

Nothing his father did worked and I was too afraid of the dreaded term "enabler" to second guess him at the time. After about 9 months of this when I saw that was son was desperate, I stepped in and said enough was enough. We were gong to do it my way now. I was going to help him change his behavior with kindness and compassion. Positive reinforcement, love and support, are much more likely to help someone overcome an addiction. In my son's case, it was addictive behavior that may have progressed. Who knows? He was doing what his peers did.

To me the mother above is someone who is using moralistic excuses to degrade her son. I felt my son had it tough enough already so I said to him, come live with me, I will help you and I did. I listened to him, really listened, he went to a psychiatrist and I went to a therapist and together we worked out a lot of stuff that was bothering him. It took time and patience but kindness paid off. We used the skinner method to work on some bad behaviors, positive reinforcement. I was forced to look at myself and my parenting style. We did not judge his father, rather focused on what we could change, ourselves. I had to change too. I also said to make amends with his dad and he has tried a few times but is never comfortable with him and does no trust him and thinks he is judgmental. His dad is very sad as he felt he was doing the right thing but for right now, the damage is done. I am hoping when my son becomes a father himself he will be kinder to his own dad.

I wish you luck but I am not a fan of tough love. There has to be a better way but it takes hard work and good communication skills and less control, my way or the highway stuff.

Mjsacra's picture

"The kid making the case for drugs..."
Not even close to what I'm doing, I don't support cocaine, heroine, LSD, methamphetamines, etc. Nor will I ever. What I am doing is just provide the correct information an statistics to a majorly overlooked subject field. It is not personal, I just wanted to make sure she(and whoever else read my comment) was correctly informed on marijuana's benefits. Because there are benefits. Whether you believe it or not, marijuana is the most beneficial industrial, medicinal, and recreational product we have available to us, natural or synthetic.
Industrial Value:
Hemp is a distant cousin of marijuana, which is outlawed for containing small trace amounts of THC, not even close to the amount needed to get a "buzz" from inhaling THC. But hemp can be used to make clothes, rope, and virtually any other textile product.
Medicinal Value:
I'm not going to go into detail on this because reliable information can be found pretty much anywhere. But some of the diseases marijuana is beneficial for are: AIDS, cancer, chronic pain, anxiety, depression, glaucoma, insomnia, lack of appetite, and many more. Also, a lot of people think that marijuana causes lung cancer. It does not. SMOKING marijuana can be harmful to your body simply because of the harmful properties of smoke, I mean you're inhaling heated plant matter. But smoking marijuana is by no means the only method of administerization. You can vaporize it, which heats the marijuana to a temperature to turn it into a vapor and it has zero harmful effects to your body. You can also put marijuana into edibles to where you are not inhaling anything, you would just add marijuana to the recipe like you would any other ingredient, and you will get the same effects as smoking or vaporizing it.
Recreational value:
What would rather have your kids do? Drink alcohol, or smoke marijuana? If you said drink alcohol, you are mistaken. Drinking alcohol is much more dangerous than smoking marijuana. Alcohol is a depressant, while marijuana is a stimulant. Marijuana does not make people go home and beat their children/wife. Alcohol does. And ask any high school teenager if is it easier to get alcohol or marijuana. My guess is that they said it's easier to get marijuana. The reason for this I because alcohol is prohibited, and any cashier at a liquor or grocery store will have to see some ID if anyone wants to buy alcohol. The drug dealer selling marijuana doesn't care what age they are, all they care about is the money. Because the cashier at the liquor store, is going to get paid his wage no matter what, if he sells liquor or not. The drug dealer, if he doesn't sell his product, he might not be able to pay rent. A big point for people against marijuana legalization say that marijuana dispensaries could open up near schools, and that would cause kids to smoke marijuana. There are 2 things wrong with that. The first is, why in the world would the cashier at that store allow children to buy marijuana? If they are caught, they lose their job. And second, what makes them think the random stranger walking around by schools asking kids if they want to buy marijuana isn't influencing them to smoke marijuana? In fact, he is encouraging them to smoke marijuana.

Also here's my take on what you're doing with your children: your kids probably started smoking marijuana because mean kids at school judged them for being different from others, and so they wanted to do something about it, and the result was rebel with their friends. So you judging them for smoking marijuana, will not help, it will just push them away. You should punish them definitely, but make it absolutely clear to them that you are just trying to help them to make sure they don't get caught up with the law. Your kids have been through situations that you don't know about. The last thing they need is you, their own mother, judging them and chastising them for what they did to fix their problem.

brent arnason's picture

does you're son have any disorders or anything. he seems kind of odd for someone aged 17 and having that kind of behaviour i don't think it is the weed causing this. a psychiatrist will probably help him out.

VWParent's picture

I am new to this site because our 18 year old is using marijuana. We were completely unaware until he confessed to us to clear his conscious several months ago but did so after he had quit. Unfortunately he started again. We caught him and we are now just torn because we don't know how to handle it. He is 18 and going to community college. He doesn't know what he wants to do in life and he is frustrated living at home and to add to that he and his sibling don't get along at all. We are so worried about him. I am worried that he may be suffering from anxiety or depression and that he is using the marijuana as an escape but I just don't know. We did contact our physician and he has an upcoming appointment to be seen by a psychiatrist. He doesn't feel he has a problem. He feels it is not harmful at all because it is a plant. He says medications that doctor's prescribe are worse for you because they are man-made. He was angry today when trying to talk to him after coming home last night high. We took away his car keys but now have to drive him to and from school and work. I have been up all night and crying all day.... so worried and so confused and wanting to help him but not knowing how because he doesn't think he needs help. He says we don't know anything about it because we have never tried it and so we just don't understand.

simpleisbest's picture

I am in the same boat with you, We found out our daughter with depression and on marijuana Feb, 2012.She was senior in high school.We immediately found therapist and psychiatrist for her. After one year battles, she is on medical leave on this spring quarter per her psychiatrist note "drug & A abuse". She said is due to depression. But refused to go to neither dual program (D& A abuse, depression) or program just for depression. Quit seeing her psychiatrist. And, just after my friend put his heart on the table to help her by telling everything bout his depression and tough experience with all illegal things, offering all his helps finding her favorite activities, encourages. He is amazing, amazing guy GOD sending him to help my daughter. There were tearful moments. When we got home after We,3, had dinner together. , she was singing. Guess what? I caught her high that night. What she said is "my life choice, people does it when they are happy". this is not what she told me that she uses it as medicate for depression. I told her " I need adjust my life choice also if this is yours" . After all the unhappy conversions,conclusion was " I don't see what you see, you don't see what I see at this point, because we are in different worlds (drug v.s. clean) " But, reached the point, she would like to be clean for 5 weeks before go back to school and taking test any days I want.

A bright, kind , beautiful, young lady, did so much community services, great Big S , was admitted by UCSB , her favorite school, on great path to her life. Suddenly almost couldn't finish high school. Was looking for 3 jobs in senior years with 3 AP classes due to the financing needs partial for drug and drug social, (now, I think), totaled one car, parking tickets, tickets, concerts, shopping, after one summer, spent all her saving since very little-- $3000. (many over draft fees).
I was under her depression image, and do whatever I could to make her happy. Trust me, we are not a rich family. Gave up any life plans, just wanted my daughter out of depression.Bought her new favorite truck, one trip is alsaka crusie, one trip to Maui, Hawaii. She told me she feels almost perfect last September and was so ready to go to college.( almost one month without drug).

Huge change to me is parenting skills, listen to her, use different communicating methods. It helps too.

But the time at college was really bumpy. was really excited first two weeks for her. Joined sorority which is so expensive but thought it may help her depression, then it would be better than medicines. Then asked us to take truck with her. We feel she use a lot Ms in truck. But to let her know we love her , I told her, " If you need it to see your new doctor, take it but promise me you exercise at least 3 times a day", parking, gas, insurance. How much pressure we can handle, I don't know.3 months, she asked money, $1500 was additional besides tuition and living and foods. partying, drug, drunk, depression, anxiety... She worked so hard at winter break to make money to pay someone whose cell phone dropped in water due to she was drunk and bumped . She told me her trouble. I gave her $800 to settle down it and focus on being happy. We opened new bank account for her with $1200, and she made over $350, which are gone now in one month.I stopped to give her any money because she lives at home now.

To Whom said marijuana opened your mind, I don't believe you! Look around her friends on marijuana now, I don't see even one doing well at college, I am a mom very involved at school. They were so bright, positive kids when they were 9th,10th graders. now due to the bad choice they made, look at where they are now.

Again, looking at her another friends group she was in, 99% kids are in UCB, UCLA, UCSD and don't mention about other top colleges such as Brown, UP,... you know. She was above average in academic in this group before.

My heart is broken for her, even though she was not my daughter, looking at her sink, I will give my hands. the family is falling into parts now too...Losing my job too due to too much time off, none will keep someone there who take off so often.

But, I don't know what to do now, she said she is scarfed and permanently damaged. and, the realty is piled up bills.

To me. tough love maybe a only option now, not sure depressed(not sure) daughter can handle it or not , but open to other suggestions, I want to know if tough love worked to DOTHANMOM2 and STRGAZR. I hope people still are able to see my post on this old thread.. Thanks!

strgazr's picture

Tough love works! Things are not perfect at our house but 100% better than they were. I would hate to see where my son would be now if we didn't implement the tough love a year ago. He hit his bottom as a 17 year old with 17 year old problems rather than his 20's or 30's with much more to lose! Yes, it was the hardest thing to do ...and he hated us for it, but I would rather have him hating us and happy and healthy and productive than loving us and sinking into the black hole of drugs. Don't support her bad choices..let HER live with the consequenses! My heart breaks for you as a mom. Be strong! They won't be mad forever. My son is fine now and getting ready for University in the fall. Like I said ...not perfect but 100% better. I hope this helps.

simpleisbest's picture

STRGAZR, Thank you very much for your response! It gave me a lot more encourages to be tough.
I thought depression caused her behavior troubles. My husband and I felt she is sliding away from her responsibilities too but didn't act because we didn't know we should enforce it when she is sick, Angry easily, with bad mood swings. I feel her depression is caused by drugs mainly. When teenagers start wondering future life under peer pressures, adults responsibilities, it's easier for them to feel too stressful and depressed as most people did. And, it's normal but will grow out of eventually. But, seeking drugs to feel better at that high moment is bad,bad choice. Questions and problems are still there when highs are gone, also piled up more things to do. More stressful, worse and worse. It's painful for her to change, but time to.

You are right! I rather she hates me than lost in drug world. I will get some info from her doctor today, then make a plan what to do next.

It's a tough decision but as long it helps my daughter, I will do.
Good lucks to you too. Wish you all ENOUGH!

Pernilla's picture

THANK YOU STRGAZR and SIMPLEISBEST for your latest comments. Really really appreciate it. It gives us all so much hope that parents finds ways that seem to work. It is a great lesson for us all. I am wondering when you speak of tough love could you be more specific, I really think parents would like to hear more in detail the things you said and the things you did. In regards to depression, it's hard to say what comes first the chicken or the egg. I had depression and anxiety before I started using drugs and was self medicating but it sure got worse as I drank and used drugs also. Pay close attention to her moods swings in association to drug use, it will always be worse on days after she has been using drugs for example.
Also, please do more research on addiction as a disease- if she indeed is an addict, she does not have the freedom of choice any longer. She does not have the ability to choose to make bad choices, her disease is making those choices for her.
Please find ways to get some support for yourself in this through classical therapy, 12 step support such Al-anon and Family Anonymous or Smart Recovery. You can also call the helpline here at the partnership at drugfree.org. Phone number is 1-855-DRUGFREE

Thank you for sharing,
Pernilla
Community Mgr TTGH

Imadethisjusttosay's picture

You guys are the most ignorant, close-minded individuals that I have ever encountered. After reading every single one of your comments, I am about to explode due to frustration. How about you do non-biast research about marijuana? Wow that's a first! You guys are terrible parents if you are reacting this way to you children. Your children! Threatening to kick them out of the house with no support for the use of something that is being used as medicine? I restrain from cursing out of generosity :). But nonetheless, if you were my parents. I would be embarrassed... Terrible terrible parenting...

simpleisbest's picture

On March 10, 2013, before we decided to use tough love. She got in a fetal accident. It's God saved her life. It's a miracle she is still alive. We are still on the tough road.

What I want to tell the parents who are in the same boat with me: Save tough love till the end. Drug abusing maybe just the surface issue. Something deeper is wrong usually. Try to communicate better with them and find out what truly bother them. It's not easy to do. We are out of their picture after they are 18 basically. We love them and want to help them avoid any kinds of troubles. We can't, we have to admit this. They have to learn life lessons from their own experiences.Succeed or failed, they have to get up from where they failed by themselves. Our hands are there all the time but may not be strong enough. Be sure that our kids know that we are here but not super heroes always. Put them in our prayers and leave the main to GOD. GOD has his plan.

To teenagers and young adults, Please, please stay away from drugs! You may not be able to realize the damages to you yet. But, this is one of the only things that you don't want to experience. Don't do it because you see someone does and fine now. Everyone is different and they are just not there yet. Time will tell you the truth. Trust your parents who love you more than everyone else usually. You may feel they hurt you but they intended to help you and truly love you in their ways. You may figure this out till 20 years later. Life is good enough without drugs. You will have ups and downs like everyone in the world. You will have confusions but drugs won't give you answers. STOP using DRUGS NOW if you use. Follow your heart, you will get the answers sooner or later. Youth are the richest in the world. Money can't buy it. We all come to this world once.Enjoy being young and live in healthy forever happiness. You have so much bright, colorful hopes without drugs.

Wish you all enough!

Pernilla's picture

Thanks so much Simpleisbest, You are so wise and I am sorry that you have had to go through this horrible unspeakable heart ache. If you have not yet, I encourage you to call the helpline here at the partnership for drugfree.org and speak to a trained clinician about how your feeling. our counselors speak to mothers like you from all of the country every day and they are here just to listen and just to help if they can-- the call is free of charge. 1-855-DRUGFREE
Pernilla

Margaret132's picture

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