14 yr old son smoking dope !!!

Rhonda - posted on 11/19/2009 ( 20 moms have responded )

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just found out today that my beautiful, talented straight A student, is smoking drugs !!! OMG I have no clue as to how I am to handle this
anyone have any wisdom to share with me?
I am devastated !!!!

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Daphne - posted on 11/20/2009

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I am a social worker who worked with teens and I am also a mother of 2 young girls. Here are a few things to think about that relate to my experiences and education on the topic:
1. Get as much info as you can. who what where? Most of the time it will be at school or after school if your child is a latch-key.
2. Talk to school staff to let them know what you know. Teachers are usually aware of who your kids hangs out with and may have an idea as to what may be happening. Since your child makes A's they are probably wanting to know what is going on or may have started to see changes. It probably just started if he hasn't gotten in trouble yet.
3. THIS IS A BIG ONE: Many parents don't look at the underlying reasons for drug use. Many kids have depression or another illness and they are using the drugs to cope. Do you have a family history of depression? Could there be any abuse? See a counselor for help in this matter. More common than you think.
4. While it is good to go over the consequences of drugs, studies have shown that the biggest reason that kids did not do drugs was that they felt they would disappoint their parents.
5. Let him know you love him, but NOT his choices. Let him know you are going to fight to make sure it does not happen again even if he hates you at times. You are NOT a friend but a parent. REAL love for him means you are going to test him often( kits are available at most drugstores-wallgreens) You will go to his school every day during lunch if it means you will know he won't take off and smoke pot. Tell him you are working closely with the school to keep informed. Real love means that you will let him feel the natural consequences of his action. Let him know you will not "save" him if the police gets involved. He has lost trust and will need to earn it back. You will help, but he ultimately chooses.
6. Make sure to also help him find other activities that will replace the pot. go with him to food bank or other service oriented activity. Let him see things from another perspective. And most importantly...KEEP HIM BUSY!!!!!
7. IF you have another child in the home....TALK TO THEM TOO. They may be affected by the family problem and feel anger and abandonment. They may feel like they can't talk to you about their problems since they see you struggling with your affected child. They often get ignored by sheer mental exhaustion of the parent. This is a FAMILY problem not just one of your children's problem. Don't give the drug user the power. Take it back and set up strict boundaries. For everyone's health. Easier said than done, but a counselor can help. Always do family, don't just send the "problem child" It only makes them feel worse about themselves and the cycle of escape to drugs continues.
Hope this helps! Feel free to ask any more questions or clarification.

Sharon - posted on 11/24/2009

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I agree with Daphne but I wouldn't leave my son in the same school. Its to hard for them to avoid their "friends".

I would jerk my child out of school so fast his head would be spinning. He would then be enrolled in an alternative school, online school or private school.

Thela - posted on 11/23/2009

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My beautiful straight A / B student had the same struggles. First order of business is to pray and pray some more. Then, administer that tough love...put your child on lock down and set strict boundaries. Take away anything of importance and let her earn it back through a successful recovery. Be strong! She needs you the most right now...so do not make it about you!! Much love

Becky - posted on 11/20/2009

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First of all, don't be too hard on yourself and don't yell at him cuz that's not going to help. I would talk to him and tell him you're concerned and see what is going on in his head as to why he did it. If there is something else wrong, see how you can help him with that. If he was just curious, I would make sure he knows how dangerous that route is and do everything to build your relationship with him so he can talk to you about anything and have good things instead of this bad thing in his life. :-) Good luck! You must be devastated and worried! Keep reaching out for help and don't give up! Good thing you found out and that you are worried and care for him! :-)

Charlie - posted on 11/19/2009

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watch those A's disappear , smoking before their brain is developed is detrimental to their mental health i know from watching several friends in high school do the same thing , try and refocus him .

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Listen, listen, listen. Find out why and then be gentle, but firm in your persuasion for them to stop. If you overreact, it will only push them further in. Above all, PRAY for Holy Spirit wisdom and influence with your child. ...Signed, the voice of experience.

Tuscaloosa - posted on 11/24/2009

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Is he still making straight A's. I asked because I went through alot growing up. I started smoking pot at 16. I graduated making A's & B's with no support really. I still smoke, but it causes trouble getting jobs. I've been to college, almost finished, maintains a 3.33 GPA. Doing pretty good, just hard to quit smoking. If u feel it's a problem, get him help now!!!

Joan - posted on 11/21/2009

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I must admit, when I was asked to join Circle of Moms, I chuckled to myself. My daughter is 21 and I am going to be a grandmother soon. I read a few posts and thought many of the posts involve small children, instead I should start a Circle of Grandmoms- However, today circle of moms was on my email and I am compelled to comment. My motherly advice is this, (from experience of course) Insist on a zero tolerance policy. Communicate and inform of the effects and affects. Have your child drug tested, weekly, monthly, whatever it takes to let them know you are serious. I would bet the friends he keeps have plenty of influence. As parents, we are responsible for them until the age of 18. Keep one foot up their butt! Keep your emotion out of it- you are the parent.

Tammy - posted on 11/20/2009

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I agree with Daphne Corder's comments.

I would also add as a concerned parent every chance I get I search the childs bedroom, backpack, duffle bag if in sports, and any hiding place you can think of such as is there a ceiling access to the attic in his bedroom, pant or coat pockets in the closet, items stuffed inside a shoe or couch? under the matress?

Talk to siblings often they know something but won't tell you. Be creative in your questions you will be amazed what you may find out even by asking the child in question indirect questions.

Be very careful about getting the police involved because that can get you in trouble as well. Figure out what's going on if at all possible.

We are fortunate enough to have a dog that is a certified narcotics K9. We have the ability to find drugs first hand. So our kids better know better than to even think about doing drugs! We are in OHIO so if you need further info I'd be happy to talk to you. see us at actionk9drugdogs.com.

[deleted account]

yes daphne!! that was great to read, i was a pot head back in the day, my parents never confronted me about it.. i dont know if i hid it well enough or if they were just in denial..luckily i was too afraid to try any other drug.. i smoked a lot from 19 to 22, then i met my husband who was in the Navy, he told me that he couldnt make me stop, but also let me know that he couldnt be around it AT ALL.. so i stopped b/c i knew he was the one for me!! thank God, now 29 and havent smoked since then.. but it is something that i think about how i would handle, we have 2 boys, and i hope that i handle it the right way if it comes up, i plan on just being upfront about drugs, sex etc..

Becky - posted on 11/20/2009

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i would follow him to school and see for yourself what he's doing at lunch! Keep it up, go to the school and see how you can get help, etc.!!

Lydia - posted on 11/20/2009

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Unfortunately this isa problem most of us will have. Good time to give them a real education on drugs and drug use. I was an mild user but stopped on my own so I doubt I am the best person to talk to my daughter about it when it happens - however my close friend took years to kick the addiction. She also spent some time in rehab to kick addictions to more dangerous drugs so I guess a talk from her based on her research and her own life experience would be a better source of information. Find someone who has lived it and regretted it and ask them to talk to your child,if you cantget an ex-addict then talk to your local police station and ask if one of them would help discuss the consequences of drug use with her.

Jenny - posted on 11/20/2009

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You have to do the hardest thing a parent could ever do!! And that is tough love! That means calling the police having them arrested!!!! My son started at 11 - I was devastated as well. I blamed myself which made it worse. I did all the punishing - therapy - different schools. Without a real consequence unfortunately they are not going to learn!! My son is 17 and in jail - I put him there! It was the HARDEST thing I ever have done in my life - but it was the right thing to do. I should have done it years ago. It is harsh - but he is getting his GED next month - and he now knows what is in store as an adult if he continues illegal behavior. If you do tough first thing your child has a better chance! Good Luck!

Leah - posted on 11/20/2009

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I was a teen pot smoker and my parents didnt come down hard enough on me. They yelled and ranted & raved but i was like " WHATEVA, i need to make my own mistakes"! STUPID STUPID GIRL!! I think that you need to make sure you are as well informed as you can be about pot etc before you say anything to your boy.

You need to sit him down and see whats happening in his world (there might be external stressors and he is looking for an escape), is there bullying, peer pressure? Are his friends doing it? Maybe talk to his friends parents to so a combined approach to the whole peer group can be achieved? Its really hard because he will find any way to do it, lying, sneaking out, gaining a lil bit of trust back from u then using it against you...i did the whole shebang.

I think as long as you can maintain communication most kids will come through it ok. Just dont let him cut himself off..

Jacque - posted on 11/20/2009

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who has the most influence with your child..you or your husband..that person should have the talk with the child..frank honest discussion about the downside of drugs. get all your information from people that Know the truth and explain to your kid your disappointment, your fears, and that while marijuana in itself is not as bad as 'cheese' or some other hard drug it can lead to them. I have never met anyone that did drugs that didn't start out on marijuana.

Rl - posted on 11/20/2009

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Hi Rhonda, I can only imagine how devastated you are. I have a 14 year old straight A student and there are always things that can go wrong. I would try to have a very matter of fact conversation to discuss how you were at that age and then I would say how it is soooo different now. They are putting more chemicals in to get people hooked on drugs and provide information about the dangers of marijuana. Next I would tell the child your position on it and why you have taken that stance. I would then let them know that I am there to help them quit and finally it would be the difficult job to discuss what is actually tolerated in the household. Also don't threaten if you won't follow thru, but if you are not firm about drug use, it will escalate.... Good luck and god bless!

Michele - posted on 11/20/2009

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I'm worried about my son who is the same age and is usually a great student. How did you find out about the drugs. I worry because sometime my son comes home with almost his whole lunch intact and I know he doesn't like the school food so I'm wondering what he's doing when he's supposed to be eating lunch. He always claims that he just wasn't hungry (a teenager who isn't hungry isn't normal).

Sandra - posted on 11/20/2009

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Oh bless you, I will add you to my prayer list. I agree with Renee. This is goig to call for Tough and I mean really tough love. My parents went through it with my sister. I have had two that started drinking and smoking cigerettes (I believe more). Our thing was they were under age and were getting it from older friends and at school. There are kids whoes parents don't see anything wrong with their kids smoking and drinking "as long as they know where they are and what they are doing". is what these parents told me. So You get to be the "bad guy/person" and lock down your child. Start with talking to get information. I did that and mine ratted out their friends so I knew who to watch and Ban from being around my children. Get outside help, Do not feel bad about going to a counselor. I have gone to counseling a couple of times in my life and once was to get help to deal with my eldest one drinking.
Take care and know you are not the only one, Sandra Mayes

Renee - posted on 11/19/2009

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I am just jumping in here because this could be me in four years too. And this really struck me as to how would I handle it. I guess I've seen the show Intervention way too many times but I see the only thing that works on that show is TOUGH LOVE and I mean tough. No excuses, no nothing. First he is a minor, how is he getting the drugs, where is this happening, in your house or somewhere else? Drugs are illegal and he could among other things get arrested. This is no laughing matter and I hope someone with experience really jumps in here. I would institute a no tolerance policy. I would filter out the friends that are bringing this to your family's life. Also, what else is he experimenting with? That's another question that I would want the answer to. He is not a college freshman trying pot for the first time he is a minor and just barely a teen. My advice is be the parent you are in charge seek help online there are many websites devoted to this subject for parents. Good luck and take care.

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