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Old 12-31-2019, 06:14 PM
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I would also add that you're not crazy to be concerned about teenage pot use. But they key thing here isn't that pot is dangerous - it's probably the safest recreational drug out there.

The problem is that using any substance to solve a problem is a dangerous pattern that needs to be recognized and managed ASAP. If they're just experimenting, fine. But if they're using pot to solve anxiety, or depression, or just plain teen boredom, then you need to help them find the life skill to do that a different way. That behavior pattern is a bigger threat than whatever the drug is.
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Old 12-31-2019, 08:48 PM
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Yeah I agree HMS - seems really unhealthy
  #103  
Old 12-31-2019, 11:50 PM
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I drank for first time in college.
No drugs. Ever. Iím 53 now.
I was very scared of disappointing my parents. They came from Ireland (had never been to college) so I was first generation to reach that point. Wasnít going to screw it up.
One very big problem in relationships is that people have a set of beliefs and then (often, wrongly) assume that the other person has that same belief.

You were very scare of disappointing your parents so you made sure that you never did anything bad. If you did something, then it would be saying FUCK YOU! to your parents. I don't know why you felt that way, but it's not particularly common (speaking as a parent but more importantly a teacher where I see zillions of kids).

However you were raised or whatever circumstances you were in, or however you happened to turn you, you had this strong reaction. However, your children are not you and you are not your parents. They are not doing this as a giant FUCK YOU. They are much more typical in that they aren't taking your reaction into consideration.

I think the situation would be much easier to handle if you didn't project how you felt growing up on how they feel.
  #104  
Old 01-01-2020, 12:34 AM
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I have to disagree with the idea that teen use of cannabis is no big deal. While I can't use it myself, I have friends who do (It's legal here.), and I'm glad they have safe, legal access to it. If I could use it, I probably would, at least on occasion.And I did smoke it when i was a teen. However, as has already been pointed out, cannabis is 57-67% more powerful now than in the 1970s.

And teen use of cannabis really is cause for concern. Maybe sanguine suggestions that "a little marijuana doesn't hurt" are under-informed.

Quote:
teenagers who reported using recreational marijuana just once or twice displayed increased volume on MRI images in numerous brain regions involved in emotion-related processing, learning and forming memories.
That increased volume is troubling because adolescence is a time when thinning usually occurs. Neuroscientists believe the thinning process makes brains more efficient

And for those insisting that cannabis is less harmful than alcohol, there's this:

Quote:
The researchers said teenagers with worse memory and impulse control were more likely than other teens to use alcohol and cannabis. However, an increase in cannabis use in 1 year was associated with lower test scores that year and also in the following year, suggesting that cannabis could have a lasting effect on their brain function. The researchers did not find this result in teens using alcohol.
I'm not suggesting experimentation isn't normal, and I'm firmly against Reefer Madness hysteria. Furthermore, cannabis really is less risky than other drugs out there. But that's not exactly a ringing endorsement. The fact is, cannabis has real and lasting effects on developing brains. Even if it didn't, kids who are high don't learn much.
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Old 01-01-2020, 11:50 AM
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Forgive my ignorance but in conversation with my sons, they tell me that they will have no problem giving it up now that it’s caused a problem in the family. Is this possible? I know that weed is not physically addictive but isn’t it somewhat psychologically difficult to put down once it’s started?
Last time older son used was end of November. Younger son early December
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Old 01-01-2020, 12:05 PM
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Forgive my ignorance but in conversation with my sons, they tell me that they will have no problem giving it up now that itís caused a problem in the family. Is this possible? I know that weed is not physically addictive but isnít it somewhat psychologically difficult to put down once itís started?
Last time older son used was end of November. Younger son early December
People who have difficulty not smoking marijuana usually have some other kind of problem they are dealing with and are self medicating. Otherwise it is nothing like an addiction, it is not at all difficult to put down once started, that was just one of many lies made up about marijuana.

Please take their word for it and don't do any testing. They don't need to worry about your reaction if they take a random toke at some party. Your fear of marijuana is misplaced.
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Old 01-01-2020, 12:06 PM
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I would also add that you're not crazy to be concerned about teenage pot use. But they key thing here isn't that pot is dangerous - it's probably the safest recreational drug out there.

The problem is that using any substance to solve a problem is a dangerous pattern that needs to be recognized and managed ASAP. If they're just experimenting, fine. But if they're using pot to solve anxiety, or depression, or just plain teen boredom, then you need to help them find the life skill to do that a different way. That behavior pattern is a bigger threat than whatever the drug is.
Why canít they simply be smoking because it makes them feel good? Thatís why most people use it. Why the worry that they are trying to ďsolveĒ some kind of ďproblemĒ?

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I know that weed is not physically addictive but isnít it somewhat psychologically difficult to put down once itís started?
No.
  #108  
Old 01-01-2020, 12:43 PM
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Forgive my ignorance but in conversation with my sons, they tell me that they will have no problem giving it up now that itís caused a problem in the family. Is this possible? I know that weed is not physically addictive but isnít it somewhat psychologically difficult to put down once itís started?
Last time older son used was end of November. Younger son early December
Giving it up was pretty easy. Almost no effort at all.
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Old 01-01-2020, 01:41 PM
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Forgive my ignorance but in conversation with my sons, they tell me that they will have no problem giving it up now that it’s caused a problem in the family. Is this possible? I know that weed is not physically addictive but isn’t it somewhat psychologically difficult to put down once it’s started?
Last time older son used was end of November. Younger son early December
That is actually typical. Most people can say no. (People like me, who have a hard time not smoking, do exist, but are not as common - and I’ll note that even I am quite functional despite my heavy smoking habit).

Rather than worry about them continuing to use (I’ll note that those home drug tests can be inaccurate and they can lead to distrust, so I wouldn’t subject your kids to them; also, pot can show up on a urine screen up to a month after last use), look instead for behavioral problems being exhibited: are they still going to school? Are their grades consistent? Do they still socialize with friends? Do they have interests and hobbies? Do they share parts of their life with you? - I think that a child who becomes completely withdrawn is more worrisome than anything else I can think of, and would probably be your best sign that they may be at risk of falling into a problem lifestyle.

Another thing occurs to me. The fact that the OP has created such a stable and supportive home life might in fact explain, at least in part, why the kids were comfortable defying their parents when they tried weed - unlike, for example, a child of immigrants, who might see her parents struggle and worry, these kids may have a perception that their parents are bastions of strength and security who only come to mind when you need their help. They may be oblivious to the idea that mom might have needed something from them, because mom can do it all.

Last edited by Moriarty; 01-01-2020 at 01:43 PM.
  #110  
Old 01-01-2020, 01:45 PM
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Perhaps, Moriarty. They seemed rattled that it affected me as deeply as it did. When we talked and I said that I was having a hard time moving forward from it, the 17 year old said “I know. I can tell...”
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Old 01-01-2020, 01:55 PM
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A lot of people seem to think they can go by their own experiences in answering these questions, but as some of us keep repeating, it's different for adolescents. OP, how often were your sons vaping/smoking cannabis? For how long have they been smoking it? If they were daily users for an extended period of time, they may have become dependent, as teens have a higher dependence rate than adults. But withdrawal symptoms tend to be pretty mild: irritability, trouble sleeping, etc. It's definitely not the nightmarish withdrawal alcoholics and heroin addicts face.

Again, the crux of the matter in your family seems to be the betrayal you feel and the violation of trust. To that end, you'll need to discuss as a family what's needed to regain your trust. Short-term testing might be one of those things.

But please DO keep in mind that you want to establish the kind of relationship where your sons can confide in you and trust that you're not going to become judgmental or upset. If you don't set out to redefine and rebuild the relationship--which means listening to them and empathizing with them and learning instead of assuming--this experience may just teach them to get better at hiding things from you.
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Old 01-01-2020, 02:03 PM
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Nelliebly, they have been doing it for 10 months. When I asked frequency, they said they didnít know. Not daily. They said not even weekly. Iím guessing when they bought some, they would use it. Whether it came to a few times a week at some points, and then not at all for some weeks.
Again itís almost been a month without for both kids now. Older son last smoked end of November. Younger son early December.
  #113  
Old 01-01-2020, 02:07 PM
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Perhaps, Moriarty. They seemed rattled that it affected me as deeply as it did. When we talked and I said that I was having a hard time moving forward from it, the 17 year old said ďI know. I can tell...Ē
At the end of the day, this will probably turn out well for everybody. Your reaction may have shocked them into some important life lessons : ďI am accountable for my behavior.Ē ďThere are expectations placed upon me.Ē At the very least, they have an excuse to not do something deviant in the future - ďNah, man. If my mom found out, sheíd freak!Ē And I strongly believe that, on a deep emotional level, they are comforted by how much you care what they do. I also agree that marijuana is not benign to a developing brain.

Since youíre talking to them again, it sounds like youíve calmed down a bit. Keep talking to them, donít be Ďdoneí with them, and just remain vigilant about watching for any indications either one has retreated into a dark place (hereís another piece of unsolicited advice - give them the benefit of the doubt that this is just an indiscretion, but take literally any comments about harm to self or others they might make in their future, just in case pot use is some sort of cry for help).

Oh, and once college starts, we may need to revisit this. Depending on who they get as a roommate, there is a chance one of them may come home from freshman year sporting dreadlocks.
  #114  
Old 01-01-2020, 02:46 PM
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Exactly. Exactly this. I quit my career to stay at home and gave them all I could. Reading books, crafts, all that. And I guess you nailed it. I feel betrayed.
Like they took my advice and said ďscrew you. Hope it hurts.Ē I know that really isnít how it went, but....
They seem to be shocked at how Iím handling this. It led to a big blowout in my house that they were not expecting.
Maybe counseling is in order.
There are lots of reasons for kids to smoke pot.
1) They are curious and want to try it
2) Their friends all do it, and they were embarrassed to say "no".
3) They want to piss off their parents
4) They are in pain -- physical or psychological, and are desperately looking for SOMETHING that might help.
5) other stuff

I support the suggestion that you see a therapist to help you cope with your reaction. I also suggest you ask your kids why they smoked. It doesn't sound like it was to piss you off, or they wouldn't have agreed to stop. They would have said, "you can't make me stop".
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And tbh I have no one in my area with similar experience. Everyone is going on about how great their kids are...smart, motivated, responsible and trustworthy. No drug experience at all. Isolated here
They are lying, or ignorant. Your kids got the weed somewhere. Odds are really good that several of their friends are using it, too.

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Iím sorry about your son, Chefguy. And thatís exactly what Iím afraid of. That my sons will also be opioid addicts and will eventually succumb to it. Isnít that a valid concern? I donít get why Iím getting shit for this.
It's a valid concern, but it's pretty unlikely. Pot use is far more common than opioid use, and lots of people use pot and never use opioids.

In fact, my BIL has debilitating back pain, and until medical marijuana was legalized in his jurisdiction, the only way he could get relief was with opioids. Now he uses cannabis products, instead, and has cut way back on his opioid use. Both he and my sister are thrilled that he's been able to significantly cut back his risk of opioid addition.

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Originally Posted by Declanium View Post
Forgive my ignorance but in conversation with my sons, they tell me that they will have no problem giving it up now that itís caused a problem in the family. Is this possible? I know that weed is not physically addictive but isnít it somewhat psychologically difficult to put down once itís started?
Last time older son used was end of November. Younger son early December
People vary, but I know several people who decided to stop using pot, and just stopped. Based on what friends have told me: It's hard to stop drinking alcohol if you do it regularly. It's excruciatingly hard to stop taking nicotine. It's easy to stop using cannabis.

The ease of quitting is one of the reasons I never worried whether my kids tried pot. I would be concerned if one of them were a dope-head, and was high all the time. But your kids obviously aren't that, or you would have noticed.

I think it's great that your kids offered to quit. That means they DO care about you, and they don't want to hurt you. I hope you can find it in you to forgive them for freaking you out, and to embrace the caring young adults you have reared.
  #115  
Old 01-01-2020, 02:55 PM
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However, as has already been pointed out, cannabis is 57-67% more powerful now than in the 1970s.
So?
The cheapo used computer I'm typing this on would have been the most powerful supercomputer in the world in 1967. This years' soybean crop yield on our farm would have astounded farmers in 1967. (But nowhere to sell them -- thank you, Mr. Trump!). Any French wine we could have afforded in 1967 is outclassed by today's cheap California wine.

Most things have improved in the last half-century. That's usually considered a good thing.
  #116  
Old 01-01-2020, 03:35 PM
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So?
The cheapo used computer I'm typing this on would have been the most powerful supercomputer in the world in 1967. This years' soybean crop yield on our farm would have astounded farmers in 1967. (But nowhere to sell them -- thank you, Mr. Trump!). Any French wine we could have afforded in 1967 is outclassed by today's cheap California wine.

Most things have improved in the last half-century. That's usually considered a good thing.
computers and soybeans are not psychoactive drugs.
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Old 01-01-2020, 03:43 PM
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If they hadn't smoked for a month when you caught them, they're not addicted.

I smoked weed at a similar, hard-to-pin down frequency (somewhere between weekly to every couple months) from my late teens to my late twenties. I quit when I went to law school, mainly because it wasn't yet legal here and I didn't want to get busted and not pass the moral character requirements to be admitted to the bar. It was trivially easy to quit, though I did end up drinking a bit more. (But even that was influenced by my environment--I didn't drink at home, only at social events.) I began using it casually again a couple years later, after I became a lawyer and it became legal.

I'm glad you're listening. I know some of the responses here have been harsh, but your choice of words-- saying you were done with them, characterizing their normal teenage rebellion as a betrayal of you-- was rather concerning. I do think there are some valid concerns around teens using weed, especially vaping, and I hope you can educate yourself so that you can educate them. The main points I would want you and them to agree on are:

1) Never, ever drive under the influence. If you do other risky things that require presence of mind, don't do those high either. That includes sex. (At least for now.)

2) Don't smoke/vape/drink/use when you're sad. If you're going to use, do so in a safe place with people you trust, and do it as a way to enhance an already good time, not to take the edge off a bad one. But also, don't let this become a thing you need in order to have a good time. Have fun sober too.

3) Don't lie to yourself or your loved ones. It's posible to be a very high-functioning drug user for a very long time, and it's also possible to lose control even after such a long time. It's one thing to hide from the law, because the law is an ass sometimes, but if you're hiding from your friends and family, or worse yet minimizing in your own mind, it's time to take a good hard look at yourself. Remain vigilant; don't fall into the trap of believing that because nothing bad has happened yet, nothing bad ever will happen. Don't be afraid to ask for help if you're in over your head.

4) Understand the specific risks involved, and give them careful consideration. Smoking anything means inhaling carcinogens and tar, which can diminish your athletic capacity, make you more prone to chest colds and pneumonia, and increase your risk for lung cancer, emphysema, and possibly other health problems we don't know about or haven't discovered the link to smoking. Using any mind-altering substance affects your developing brain in ways we can't clearly predict, but which might limit your intellectual capacity and/or emotional well-being long-term. Using vape pens with artificial concentrate full of additives introduces a whole host of other risks we're only just beginning to understand. The safest way to use weed is to get a vaporizer that uses the natural plant, like a Pax, and don't use it too often. But it's safest for those whose brains are still growing-- really, anyone under about 23--to not use at all.

That said, weed is not meth. Weed is actually a lot safer than alcohol, in many ways-- you can't OD, it doesn't tend to make you more violent, it's not as addictive, and if you vape flower instead of smoking, it causes less long-term damage to your body than alcohol does. It's normal and even healthy for teens to push boundaries and take risks, including by experimenting with substances, and weed is the safest one for them to do that with. Our brains and bodies are ours to use and use up--no matter how well we take care of them, they're not going to last forever. They are for us to live in. Just as you don't wrap your furniture in plastic to keep it pristine, nor should you try to wrap your kids in rules and tests and everything you can think of to keep them from staining their precious selves. They will be adults soon. There's a big world out there full of pleasures and dangers. Your job is not to shield them from it, but to equip them for it.

5) Understand, also, that the law really is an ass. If it's not legal where you live, that's another reason not to do it, or ask least to be VERY careful. You don't want to miss out on opportunities because of a youthful indiscretion. Know the risks, and never assume the worst case can't happen to you.

Good luck, OP.
  #118  
Old 01-01-2020, 03:54 PM
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computers and soybeans are not psychoactive drugs.
Then what's all this I read about young people being 'addicted' to their computers or cellphones, and not getting any physical exercise, doing their homework, etc.?

And didn't the OP say that a punishment for this was taking away their sons' cellphones?
  #119  
Old 01-01-2020, 11:00 PM
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So?
The cheapo used computer I'm typing this on would have been the most powerful supercomputer in the world in 1967. This years' soybean crop yield on our farm would have astounded farmers in 1967. (But nowhere to sell them -- thank you, Mr. Trump!). Any French wine we could have afforded in 1967 is outclassed by today's cheap California wine.

Most things have improved in the last half-century. That's usually considered a good thing.
I should perhaps have elucidated. There are people who don't use weed now but did back when weed generally contained significantly lower levels of THC than it does now and who base their "No big deal" perspective on teen cannabis use on that.

That cannabis contains more THC now may be a good thing for adult users. Again, I have nothing against cannabis. Heck, I was in a long-term relationship with a guy who owned a large grow operation, and I learned a lot from him. Even HE wasn't wild about teens using his products. The evidence strongly suggests THC adversely affects the adolescent brain. The more frequent and more potent the use, the greater the likelihood.

Hope this clears up any confusion.
  #120  
Old 01-02-2020, 04:32 AM
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I should perhaps have elucidated. There are people who don't use weed now but did back when weed generally contained significantly lower levels of THC than it does now and who base their "No big deal" perspective on teen cannabis use on that.

That cannabis contains more THC now may be a good thing for adult users. Again, I have nothing against cannabis. Heck, I was in a long-term relationship with a guy who owned a large grow operation, and I learned a lot from him. Even HE wasn't wild about teens using his products. The evidence strongly suggests THC adversely affects the adolescent brain. The more frequent and more potent the use, the greater the likelihood.

Hope this clears up any confusion.
Do read the linked article, particularly the part
Quote:
An increase in general knowledge about cannabis has also had a huge effect on the quality of the usable product. Back in the í70s, much of the cannabis brought in to the U.S. was a mixture of leaves, stems, flowers, and hodgepodge pieces of the plant. Very little of the brick-packed, mass-produced product was actually the feminized flower (sinsemilla) that we now expect when walking into a dispensary. This means that when people used cannabis, they were not using the plant parts high in tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the most well-known compound in cannabis that produces psychoactive effects. Rather, members of the ďMe GenerationĒ were getting the leftovers.
While Iíll agree that developing minds should avoid alcohol, nicotine, weed and opioids, throwing around statistics does not help. There are a lot of people who are better able to manage pain and anxiety due the legalization of weed. Some day it might be as acceptable to use weed as nicotine or alcohol.
  #121  
Old 01-02-2020, 08:01 AM
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Forgive my ignorance but in conversation with my sons, they tell me that they will have no problem giving it up now that itís caused a problem in the family. Is this possible? I know that weed is not physically addictive but isnít it somewhat psychologically difficult to put down once itís started?
Last time older son used was end of November. Younger son early December
I use cannabis every day, but once a year I'll stop using for a two week "T-break" (tolerance break). My yearly t-break is coming up in a few weeks and I'm actually looking forward to it.

At least for me, it's easy as pie to stop. I just stop. It's still in the house, but I'm not even tempted. On the plus side, cannabis suppresses dreaming and the sudden cessation of use causes me to dream hard. I go from no memory of dreams whatsoever to intense, vivid dreams that are incredible every night.

But as far as stopping, I've never had a problem.
  #122  
Old 01-02-2020, 09:58 AM
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Funny, but I didn't view the responses as excessive "dumping" on the OP.

The OP impressed me as awfully sheltered and naive - and not just about pot, but even moreso about the ability of a parent to affect their childrens' choices and influence the adults they become. Good luck when your kids are out of school and out of your house, and making choices that you not only disapprove of, but also anticipate are likely to result in undesirable fallout down the line - which you will eventually have to share in dealing with.

It is just how life works. There is no rulebook for parenting. So long as you make your choices based on the best info you have at the moment, and that your actions are well intentioned, that's about the best you can do. You, your spouse, and your kids are all going to make any number of choices that you'll later regret, or that you would've handled differently given different info.

IMO, the most important thing to aim for is an "authentic" relationship in which all parties communicate honestly and openly. But, just because you WANT such a relationship, doesn't mean you are going to be able to achieve it.

I remember a presentation we went to when our kids were in HS. The speaker said before reacting, assess your kid's actions on a 100 pt scale, where 100 - the WORST that could happen, is your kid ends up dead. When you adopt an approach like that, anything short of death can be dealt with and come back from. AND, on a scale like that, teens smoking pot is pretty small beer. Especially if they are keeping up their grades/activities/social responsibilities, and the parents didn't even notice it for 10 months.
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  #123  
Old 01-02-2020, 10:21 AM
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OP here and I respectfully disagree, Dinsdale.
Not sheltered or naive. I knew I would have to deal with these issues at some point but thought I would have until college years. 14 was a little bit of a shock to me. And the scale thing you reference 0-100 - uh, I think this is the high 90s. This can hurt my kids...lead to death.

Last edited by Declanium; 01-02-2020 at 10:22 AM.
  #124  
Old 01-02-2020, 10:40 AM
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Why canít they simply be smoking because it makes them feel good? Thatís why most people use it.
Wrong. Many people use drugs to self-medicate something, knowingly or unknowingly. Not all, maybe not even a majority, but many.

It's important to at least ask the question of whether it's a self-medication situation, because if you don't, then you can't be mindful about it, you can't interrogate whether there are better/safer ways to medicate, you don't have a cognitive framework to detect when if your usage patterns start to get disordered.
  #125  
Old 01-02-2020, 10:44 AM
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And the scale thing you reference 0-100 - uh, I think this is the high 90s.
And this is why some people think you're being naive. Smoking pot would fall no where near that high on the majority of parent's list. Teenagers smoke pot, drink, have sex; and while there are consequences to all of them they are not nearly as disastrous as you are making it out to be.
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Old 01-02-2020, 10:49 AM
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OP here and I respectfully disagree, Dinsdale.
Not sheltered or naive. I knew I would have to deal with these issues at some point but thought I would have until college years. 14 was a little bit of a shock to me. And the scale thing you reference 0-100 - uh, I think this is the high 90s. This can hurt my kids...lead to death.
OK - we disagree. But the majority of folk I know - including my spouse and kids - drank, did drugs, and had sex before age 21 - and all ended up gainfully employed, in longterm relationships, free of criminal records or avoidable health concerns...

I smoked a ton of pot starting in my teens, and associated w/ a ton of folk who did so as well. My consistent experience is that your concerns are exaggerated. But you disagree. Fine. I'm not sure based on what, but fine.

I'd probably agree to a rating in the 80s somewhere - due to possible legal/school discipline issues, possible reflection on motivation/achievement, and remote/minor possible health concerns. If your kids are active, respectful, socially doing well with a decent crowd, etc. - I'd have little concern about occasional pot smoking. If they were getting high before school, their grades were dropping, stealing or dealing to support their habit - I'd likely feel differently.

While they are in your house, you are certainly free to lay down whatever laws you wish regarding what takes place in your house. And I would have ZERO objection to telling your kids you allow NO illegal material in your house. In fact, I could imagine I telling them they had given up their expectation of privacy, and that that I might search their rooms. Hell - they are kids. Feel free to check their on-line presence. You are the adult. Make the choices - but also, anticipate the lessons taught, and potential repercussions.

Your family - deal with it how you wish. I've been raked over the coals on these boards in the past for posts I made concerning my family. Some criticism I thought unwarranted. Other, not so much. Welcome to the club.

I concluded long ago that you really don't know what is going on behind the other closed doors in your neighborhood, and that just about every family was fucked up in one way or another. Like they say, if everyone would openly display their problems, people would be falling over themselves to get their own problems back rather than swapping for someone else's.

It will be interesting when your kids go to school. Or better yet, when they are out of school, out of your house, and off your dime - and really aren't interested in your opinions or advice. That time is coming quicker than you might imagine. And reacting as you did in this instance might not be encourage the optimal longterm relationship.

On edit - I really don't know where I would "rate" pot smoking. To be honest, the idea of the scale was sufficient to tell me that anything short of death can be come back from. My baseline instructions to my kids was that I didn't want to be picking them up from the hospital or police station - tho even both of those can be come back from.
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Last edited by Dinsdale; 01-02-2020 at 10:52 AM.
  #127  
Old 01-02-2020, 10:51 AM
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OP here and I respectfully disagree, Dinsdale.
Not sheltered or naive. I knew I would have to deal with these issues at some point but thought I would have until college years. 14 was a little bit of a shock to me. And the scale thing you reference 0-100 - uh, I think this is the high 90s. This can hurt my kids...lead to death.
If you're going to rate something as common and non-damaging as smoking pot as 'high 90s', how much space are you going to leave on the scale for things like using addictive drugs (meth, benzos, opiatess, coke) especially ones with big health risks like needle drugs? What about selling drugs (especially 'not pot'), or things like burglary? Or escalating to violent crime or organized crime (like gangs)? Or some kind of cult, militia, or other isolating and dangerous group?

Like other people have said, the reason you're getting pushback is that you're overreacting to a fairly minor, normal part of growing up (using restricted recreational drugs like alcohol, pot, or tobacco occasionally) as though it's one of the worst things that could happen and a personal betrayal of you. While it's something that should be addressed, it's just not the extremely dangerous situation you're treating it as.
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Old 01-02-2020, 10:53 AM
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OP here and I respectfully disagree, Dinsdale.
Not sheltered or naive. I knew I would have to deal with these issues at some point but thought I would have until college years. 14 was a little bit of a shock to me. And the scale thing you reference 0-100 - uh, I think this is the high 90s. This can hurt my kids...lead to death.

While it is technically true that marijuana can be a contributing factor to a situation which might lead to death, you should also consider the odds of that happening. Think about how many kids try marijuana (a lot!) versus how many end up with serious consequences because of it. If death was a likely outcome, then you would hear of it happening all the time. But how often have you heard about something like that? Surely you have friends and neighbors that have teens now or had them at one time. Chances are, a lot of those kids tried marijuana and/or alcohol and, hopefully, they all grew up just fine.
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Old 01-02-2020, 11:42 AM
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If you're going to rate something as common and non-damaging as smoking pot as 'high 90s', how much space are you going to leave on the scale for things like using addictive drugs (meth, benzos, opiatess, coke) especially ones with big health risks like needle drugs? What about selling drugs (especially 'not pot'), or things like burglary? Or escalating to violent crime or organized crime (like gangs)? Or some kind of cult, militia, or other isolating and dangerous group?

...
Or getting a GF pregnant? Acquiring AIDS/herpes/hepatitits...? Experiencing serious injury - such as loss of limb? Getting interested in violent porn? Getting kicked out of school? Getting a felony conviction? Or even just developing some really nasty habits/opinions/personality traits? Being disrespectful towards women? Minorities? Those less fortunate?

Is occasional pot usage worse than all of those? Or do they ALL fit in the top 90s? Gotta wonder how the OP would fill out 0-95...

OP says se has never done any drug - so she has no personal idea what it is like. Know anyone who smoked? Been around them? But she is NOT naive! Her statements strike me as buying into some pretty extreme anti-drug propaganda.

2d generation Irish. Are some good old Catholic attitudes playing a role here?
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  #130  
Old 01-02-2020, 11:48 AM
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Almost all the kids I knew in high school and college tried drugs at one point, and at least half used them regularly (usually pot but occasionally something else, most commonly prescription drugs). These were mostly middle and upper-middle-class white kids, and most of them turned out fine.

But in my limited understanding of parenting, the problem in the OP's reactions/actions is not being overly concerned with drug usage, but rather that the very strong reaction is far more likely to lead to kids deciding that it's best to just make sure to keep things secret from their parents rather than leading to better decision making. Seems like the best likelihood for improved outcome would be calmness, love, and understanding, without publicizing feelings of betrayal and attempts to instill guilt, IMO.

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  #131  
Old 01-02-2020, 11:50 AM
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I find it quite ironic that the most dangerous thing about weed is getting caught with it.
...
  #132  
Old 01-02-2020, 11:57 AM
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Wrong. Many people use drugs to self-medicate something, knowingly or unknowingly. Not all, maybe not even a majority, but many.
That may be the case after the fact, like in their later teen years or young adulthood when they know what drugs are capable of doing.

But for beginners? I'd say almost all of them are doing it out of curiosity or peer pressure.
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Old 01-02-2020, 12:01 PM
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But in my limited understanding of parenting, the problem in the OP's reactions/actions is not being overly concerned with drug usage, but rather that the very strong reaction is far more likely to lead to kids deciding that it's best to just make sure to keep things secret from their parents rather than leading to better decision making. Seems like the best likelihood for improved outcome would be calmness, love, and understanding, without publicizing feelings of betrayal and attempts to instill guilt, IMO.
Declanium, please read iiandyiiii's post. Your kids didn't trust you enough to talk to you about honestly about smoking marijuana or even just talking about it. In your case it could have been because they anticipated your reaction, which is actually good news and 180 in the opposite direction of what you assumed. This was not a slap in the face to you, they cared about you and wanted to avoid hurting you.

If you want to stay an important part of your kid's lives they have to be able to trust you not to go off the deep end when it comes to the mistakes you make in life.
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Old 01-02-2020, 12:09 PM
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I had a pretty strong reaction, as we can all agree.
It’s kinda hard to walk that back. As per my husband’s recommendation, they are meeting with a MD next week to go over the harmful effects of vaping (which I think again we can all agree is not good for a 15 year olds lungs). From there, possibly counseling. For both of us.
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Old 01-02-2020, 12:09 PM
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ETA: Missed edit window. Meant to say "...the mistakes they make in life." Wouldn't hurt to talk about your own to them also.
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Old 01-02-2020, 12:34 PM
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OP, you kinda remind me of my mother. I remember how upset she was the first time my twin and I went against her wishes when we were 18. She cried a long time and then gave us the silent treatment for a few days.

What was our crime? She wanted us to play our violins for extended family we didn't know, and we refused to do so. The horror!

We had been perfect girls up to that moment. Never went through a rebellious phase. Never mouthed off at her or anyone else. Always did what we were told. Always eager to please. So watching her break down like that both frightened and pissed us off. The former because the over the topness of her reaction made us feel like she was losing her mind. The latter because we felt like my mother was refusing to see that we had earned the right to say "no" without being guilt-tripped by her histrionics.

Now I think drug use is different than refusing to play a musical instrument. But the angry response seems pretty dang similar.

OP, my relationship with my mother quickly went back to normal and eventually she learned not to take my choices in life so personally. But occasionally, her "good girl" mentality rises to the surface and infuriates me. I can't say "damn" without my mother twisting up her face like I just stabbed her in the chest. I know she isn't choosing to be like this, but I wish she would push back on her thoughts a little harder. She has it her head that I have to act a certain way to be a "good girl" and deviating from that means I am "bad". It sounds like you may have a similar script in your head.

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  #137  
Old 01-02-2020, 12:35 PM
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Itís kinda hard to walk that back.
Not really, it's actually pretty easy to explain your feelings, apologize for overreacting, and move forward.
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Old 01-02-2020, 12:47 PM
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Not to mention it gets easier every time you do it.
  #139  
Old 01-02-2020, 12:49 PM
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Well put. No harm in letting kids know mom and dad are human, which includes occasionally acting/reacting "in the moment" in ways we might later regret. Moreover, an opportunity to encourage honest and open communication of everyone's emotions, motivations, etc.

Or you can "stick to your guns..."
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  #140  
Old 01-02-2020, 12:59 PM
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.... My baseline instructions to my kids was that I didn't want to be picking them up from the hospital or police station - tho even both of those can be come back from.
I had a friend who told her sons that she didn't want to hear about it unless it involved a tourniquet or the diplomatic corps.
  #141  
Old 01-02-2020, 01:11 PM
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I'm sympathetic to the OP, because I loathe pretty much everything about pot, but a teenaged boy behind the wheel of a car is statistically a much greater risk. People die from bad teenaged driving choices, and those choices are often simply the result of inexperience. But you have to let them drive.

You don't have to let them smokeódisgusting, and to my mind dangerous because it normalizes smoking. I see it as a gateway drug to tobacco. I know people will laugh at me for that, but I'm quite serious. I think that's a real problem, and I don't care how common a rite of passage it is.

Declanium, I think it's perfectly acceptable to say to your family, "Look, I'm just not completely rational about this issue," and let your spouse take the lead on how the family deals with it. You're getting a lot of good advice here about getting some perspective, but honestly, I think it's okay to be a bit extreme about it. It's just a matter of functionality: you have to respect your kids' choices in an age-appropriate way, and you have to respect your fellow citizens' choices even when you frankly think they're wrong, but you can do so and still think they are bad and dangerous choices.

Here, I think you have to respect that your kids are old enough to challenge your decisions and experiment with choices that don't conform to the family values. That's normal, and that's healthy. You don't have to respect this particular choice, but I think you'll be more effective if you concentrate on the health aspects, as you're doing, and not the slippery slope (what if it leads to...) or psychology (how could you do this to me).
  #142  
Old 01-02-2020, 01:30 PM
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Dr Drake, I’m curious seeing as you also share similar viewpoints on pot. Have you smoked it/tried it?
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Old 01-02-2020, 01:45 PM
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No, I have not. I have never smoked anything, or done any recreational drug besides caffeine. I am a lot less intolerant than I used to be about it, and I would consider it for pain medication if it were necessary (as an edible, though: still not willing to smoke), but I have no particular desire to try it.

On the other hand, most of my friends have at least tried it, and (since I'm being honest here), while I do think a little bit less of them for it, it's really common, and seems to have done them no harm. And I do have a friend who is a recovered heroin addict (I was friends with her sister during that period, but we've become friends since) and a cousin who is an alcoholic spiraling down the drain, so I guess I've learned some nuance about addiction. The ex-heroin addict is a smart woman, and ultimately had the strength and family support to get over it. My cousin is not a smart woman, and while she has the family support, she lacks the inner resources to recover.

I guess it comes down to I don't like it and I don't want to be around it, but I can manage "out of sight, out of mind" for people who seem to be good people and have their lives together. I think that's probably the vast majority of users.
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Old 01-02-2020, 01:55 PM
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I agree. Some people try it, use it for a bit, drop it and never use it again. Others try it, and become habitual users, and it may or may not affect their potential over time. It may not be popular opinion but I hope my kids are the former.
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Old 01-02-2020, 02:07 PM
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I agree. Some people try it, use it for a bit, drop it and never use it again. Others try it, and become habitual users, and it may or may not affect their potential over time. It may not be popular opinion but I hope my kids are the former.
There's a middle ground in there. Some people occasionally use pot, similar to the way people are social drinkers. They aren't addicted, they don't need it, but they enjoy it in moderation in social situations, or even just on their own. For a large percentage (perhaps the majority) it's a choice that has little or no impact on their lives.

You can certainly hope they chose to avoid pot, but you have little control over that. Are you willing to have that impact your lifelong relationship with your kids?
  #146  
Old 01-02-2020, 02:31 PM
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Perhaps, Moriarty. They seemed rattled that it affected me as deeply as it did. When we talked and I said that I was having a hard time moving forward from it, the 17 year old said ďI know. I can tell...Ē
The fact that your sons reacted the way they did and were able to talk to you in a calm manner (I'm assuming) and seem to be showing care for your feelings tells me you're doing a perfectly fine job as a mother. I was a "good kid," but I also did all sorts of stuff my parents would not have approved of. If caught, I certainly would not have reacted with as much empathy as your sons did. in my teenaged years, I was completely self-centered. I couldn't give any less of a shit of what my parents thought of me and if I upset them.

So you're doing fine, and it sounds like you have unusually empathetic and mature kids, even if they are doing pot from time to time. I have daughters 5 and 3, and I'll be thanking God if they even talk to me when they're in their teens, much less act like they're concerned about my approval.

You're doing fine; just take this all in perspective. It's a relatively normal part of growing up (though I didn't do pot specifically until I was 18, but "normal part" refers to doing things your parents don't want you to do, partly in a way to develop a self-identity, partly perhaps as rebellion. For me, it wasn't so much about rebellion as establishing myself as my own person.)
  #147  
Old 01-02-2020, 02:55 PM
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From there, possibly counseling. For both of us.
I really donít understand why you think your kids are the ones who need counseling.

If they donít clean their rooms when you tell them to, are you going to take them for counseling for that? What if they fail a test in school? More counseling?
  #148  
Old 01-02-2020, 02:59 PM
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Wrong. Many people use drugs to self-medicate something, knowingly or unknowingly. Not all, maybe not even a majority, but many.
Wrong. Weíre talking about pot here. Not hard drugs, not pills, not even alcohol. Most people who use do so simply because itís fun and they like how it feels.
  #149  
Old 01-02-2020, 03:20 PM
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On the possibly having reasons for doing it front I'll share that I was a troubled and problem kid but I always hated smoking pot with others because it made me want to go out in the world and it made everyone else want to sit and giggle. Fast forward 40 years and they finally diagnose my epilepsy due to a stroke at birth and offer me a prescription for a medicinal version (unaffordable here so my doc asked if I could grow it).

My point is to perhaps ask the boys what they were getting out of it. If it was sitting around giggling with friends finding deep meaning in junk food and song lyrics then it is bog standard experimentation as done by teens all over. If they report it making them feel more functional then there may be an underlying issue worth exploring medically or psychologically. It is very unlikely but if it is a concern at all it may be worth asking the question.
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Old 01-02-2020, 03:34 PM
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Yeah exactly. Younger one was doing it on his own. Said he was curious but I’m not sure - Hence the counseling for him.
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