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Old 09-25-2014, 03:00 PM
 
2 posts, read 1,593 times
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My wife and I just had a pretty horrific weekend due to our 17 year old son. If nothing else, I would just like some anonymous advice/stories.

My son just started his senior year of high school. He has always been a good kid. Good grades, lots of friends, happy etc... no out of the ordinary problems until now. He has been experimenting with marijuana and alcohol for about 2 years now. While of course we prefer he completely abstain from marijuana and alcohol, we also understand that almost all teenagers will encounter these substances at some point. We advised him on how to be safe and educated him on the effects these substances can have. Up until now, he had been pretty responsible.

Last Saturday night, he arrived home at about 2 am from a party at his friends house. This was unusual because he usually sleeps over at a friends house when he goes out to a party. We would rather him stay at a friends house on nights where we assume he will probably be drinking because we don't want him driving home with anybody who might be intoxicated. My wife and I were awoken to the sound of him vomiting in the downstairs bathroom. After he was finished throwing up, I forced him to sit down in the kitchen to drink water and explain himself. Before we even made it to the kitchen, I noticed that his nose was bleeding and his pupils were dilated. After about 10 minutes of denial and more vomiting, he admitted that he tried COCAINE at the party. Needless to say, we were horrified. This is without question our worst nightmare. Marijuana/alcohol is one thing, but a hard drug is quite another. He swears that this was the first time he tried it but we don't know what to believe anymore. He's still in high school for crying out loud!! While I don't necessarily think he is on his way to an addiction, I still don't know how I should feel. He is a great kid in so many ways but I feel like he simply disregarded everything we have been teaching him all these years.
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Old 09-25-2014, 03:39 PM
 
12,913 posts, read 19,782,209 times
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First of all, take a deep breath, and realize the fact that your son admitted he used cocaine is a positive sign that your relationship with him is strong. Now, lock him down, and admit to yourself that you turned a blind eye to things you were willing to write off as normal teen experimentation, despite their being illegal. Tell him as much.

If he has a car, he loses it. Partying? Forget it. He has shown that he is too willing to take risks. I'd take that stance until January, and then loosen the reins a bit, but with the understanding that you will drug test him.

Save him.
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Old 09-25-2014, 03:59 PM
 
32,538 posts, read 29,319,241 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattie View Post
First of all, take a deep breath, and realize the fact that your son admitted he used cocaine is a positive sign that your relationship with him is strong. Now, lock him down, and admit to yourself that you turned a blind eye to things you were willing to write off as normal teen experimentation, despite their being illegal. Tell him as much.

If he has a car, he loses it. Partying? Forget it. He has shown that he is too willing to take risks. I'd take that stance until January, and then loosen the reins a bit, but with the understanding that you will drug test him.

Save him.
This. Read it and DO it, OP. This is spot-on advice.

I'm always amazed at parents who think it's OK that their underage child is getting high... then are surprised the problem gets worse. You taught him it was OK to get high because, golly gosh, all teenagers experiment. (Actually, no. Many don't.) DO THIS to correct it.
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Old 09-25-2014, 04:00 PM
 
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It's really difficult to know how and where to draw the line between "reasonably responsible" illegal activity on the part of an almost legal adult, but I'm quite sure that, in my house anyway, being out of control and essentially defenseless after putting a powder up your nose is way over it.

I agree with Mattie that fessing up is probably a good sign, but you do have to make a proportionate response to this (you know how to handle better than we do). Taking a chance of getting caught in possession of alcohol, or even marijuana is one thing... But if he gets painted with a broad legal stripe for cocaine possession then that would be an event that could or would alter the course of his life - and he's still completely your charge.

Note: Cocaine isn't detectable for very long with urinalysis. Hair follicle testing is somewhat affordable for parents. If he cuts his hair short that's probably a bad sign, but he may forget about armpit hair and/or pubic hair.
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Old 09-25-2014, 04:12 PM
 
11,614 posts, read 19,707,814 times
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Originally Posted by dadjason33 View Post
....I feel like he simply disregarded everything we have been teaching him all these years.
He is not disregarding what you have been teaching him. He is doing exactly what you have been teaching him. You have been teaching him that drug and alcohol use is ok.

Luckily, he is only 17 and he obviously loves and trusts you enough to tell you the truth about what happened. Now you need to start supervising him more closely.
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Old 09-25-2014, 04:42 PM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
39,024 posts, read 37,656,456 times
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Originally Posted by Momma_bear View Post
He is not disregarding what you have been teaching him. He is doing exactly what you have been teaching him. You have been teaching him that drug and alcohol use is ok.
Correct.

Stop calling it "experimentation."

No more sleepovers, no more parties. You need to do what Mattie said, then ask your doctor about family addiction counseling in your area.

I could tell you stories about the friends of my 18-yr-old sons whose parents thought drinking and marijuana were normal parts of the high school experience. But right now all but one are only about lost basketball scholarships, military school, and alternative school.

Only one was able to pull her son out of that lifestyle. She did it by taking the problem very seriously and starting family counseling THE NEXT DAY.
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Old 09-25-2014, 04:46 PM
 
Location: Mount Laurel
4,146 posts, read 8,374,773 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dadjason33 View Post
My wife and I just had a pretty horrific weekend due to our 17 year old son. If nothing else, I would just like some anonymous advice/stories.

My son just started his senior year of high school. He has always been a good kid. Good grades, lots of friends, happy etc... no out of the ordinary problems until now. He has been experimenting with marijuana and alcohol for about 2 years now. While of course we prefer he completely abstain from marijuana and alcohol, we also understand that almost all teenagers will encounter these substances at some point. We advised him on how to be safe and educated him on the effects these substances can have. Up until now, he had been pretty responsible.
I find this troubling that you put experimenting with alcohol and drug for past 2 years starting @15 and "pretty responsible" in the same paragraph.

He needs help and so do you. Whatever method you are using isn't working. You need professional help. Look for a 311 service in your area and give them a call.
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Old 09-25-2014, 04:50 PM
 
Location: Bloomington IN
5,862 posts, read 7,082,141 times
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OP--I too had teenagers much like your son--great grades, very involved in school, friends we liked, college scholarships, etc. I had the conversation many, many, many times about drinking (or other stuff) and driving. For me, that would be the MOST unacceptable behavior in this situation: driving while intoxicated or most likely with someone that is intoxicated. Despite all of the designated driver stuff that has been promoted for decades now, teenagers don't get it.

I was brutally honest with my kids. While we reminded them of the legal ramifications at 17, and even more importantly at 18, I flat out told them how it would impact me should they be hurt or die as a result of driving intoxicated. I was reminded them that addictions run in our family. I told them how it would affect my life should they die as a result of drugs. Time for a little honesty at your house.

I've even been in a position similar to yours--a child experimenting with marijuana. If as a parent you experimented as a teen, it seems hypocritical to tell a teen not to do what you did. The thing is, you've learned from the past so it's not hypocritical. It's called the wisdom of age. My spouse was able to share what he learned from his days of experimentation.

You've given him a long leash in the past. It's time to shorten it. I would explain to him that you've done so, and HE did not act responsibly with the long leash by using cocaine. He took advantage of it. First thing--no more driving for awhile--even if it's inconvenient to you or your wife. Next up, grounding for a month or so. If he receives an allowance, he is now cut off for awhile. Finally, I would inform him that you will be randomly asking him to take a drug test. There are home kits. Decide and communicate in advance what will happen should he fail a drug test.

With children this age we have to make very difficult decisions, but we have to remember we are the parents.
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Old 09-25-2014, 05:32 PM
 
Location: Georgia
4,514 posts, read 3,772,562 times
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Slippery slope, there -- you can't condone weed and alcohol as an "expected rites of passage" and then be surprised when they take it to the next level. "Every kid" may run into it -- but not every kid succumbs, so please stop rationalizing. You made a mistake, and your kid is paying for it. At least he was upfront with you.

Time to start parenting. No more parties with those friends. In fact, I'd be tempted to talk to the parents of the kid who gave him the cocaine and tell them what happened -- but realistically, that probably won't end well. I agree with rrah -- there needs to be consequences. Random drug test, grounding, losing license, etc.

You know, one of the things we try to "scare" kids with is dying from DUI, etc. But they are very sure it will never happen to them. What I told my kids was that "If you die in an automobile accident and you were DUI, I will be sorry and heartbroken -- you won't care, you'll be dead. But what usually happens in cases like this is that some innocent person dies -- the person in the other car, the person in the backseat -- and you end up with a regret that stays with you every day for the rest of your life. Every. Day. It twists your life in ways you can't imagine. And that's AFTER you get out of jail . . ."

THAT got their attenton.
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Old 09-25-2014, 05:37 PM
 
15,824 posts, read 18,434,141 times
Reputation: 25604
Your whole post is pi--ing me off. Seriously, experimenting.....TWO yrs isn't experimenting, its using, and alcohol and other substances create a dependency, its called addiction. You educated him??? You should have put the breaks on him.....I hope that you get him into a treatment facility asap. IMO you let him down 2 years ago with your permissive acceptance. Don't let him down now. He needs help asap. And so do you.
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