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    • natbags
    • By natbags 12th May 18, 1:02 PM
    • 277Posts
    • 333Thanks
    natbags
    Teenager and cannabis use
    • #1
    • 12th May 18, 1:02 PM
    Teenager and cannabis use 12th May 18 at 1:02 PM
    My son is 16 He has recently become involved in cannabis use and we are having increasing problems with him that are just becoming out of control
    The background is that he has ADHD, has always been quite challenging – he doesn’t have the hyperactivity side, just lacks concentration and can be impulsive He does have medication. He is at boarding school and has been since aged 11 – it was suggested by his paediatrician as he had some issues with oppositional behaviour which was mainly directed at me (mum) as dad worked away quite a bit. School has gone reasonably well, hes very bright and clever. He is also very manipulative
    He currently comes home around every 2/3 weeks for a weekend then obviously the school holidays

    Over the last few months he has become involved in cannabis and his personality has totally changed, we’ve tried all sorts of tactics with him to stop this but he refuses and has no intention of stopping (even after a A&E admission for taking some 'dodgy' stuff), then la couple of weeks ago he was found at school smoking cannabis and in possession of it – he was excluded. They have only excluded him for a week as GCSEs are coming up in the next few weeks, however on returning school (after very lengthy conversations) its clear he has no intention of stopping this cannabis use.
    As a punishment I have confiscated his laptop and sadly I can a little of what’s going on – it makes very, very sad reading and I can see he is actively encouraging others, telling many, many complex lies etc… to obtain drugs, money etc…
    When he came home last weekend, my husband collected him from school and on the way home he became very abusive. My husband stopped the car (because my son has a history of becoming violent whist we are driving) my son then told my husband to ‘just !!!! off’, got his stuff and got out of the car. My husband just drove off (as you can probably tell, we are at the end of our tether with this) my husband was almost home (approx. 60 miles) when school called, he had made his way back there. They insisted that my husband return to school to collect him a second time. On arriving on the drive my husband had said to my son I hope you don’t have anything in your bag that you shouldn’t (drugs) and son assaulted my husband on the drive, the police were called, son arrested and the neighbour across the road had this on CCTV and came and told the police. We decided not to press charges, as we don’t want to hinder his future prospects and we hoped it had taught him a lesson. We had a long chat again over the weekend as we are desperately trying to keep the peace to get him through his GCSEs, as any further problems at school they will exclude him permanently, however his abuse has continued and school are still having problems
    We just do not know what to do. Whilst the police were helpful at the time they reminded us that we have to keep him in education until hes 18 and we just don’t know what to do. Our relationship is in tatters and its having such a detrimental affect on my husbands health (he has a heart condition) and my own – we just don’t know what to do? In all honesty I’m frightened of him, terrified of him coming home again and being abusive and violent again and I feel we are trapped with absolutely no help available to us. My son will not entertain any help, as he doesn’t seem to accept he has a problem and hes been referred to CAHMS twice with absolutely no success at all
    We are now so desperate, afraid and worried about the short and longer term and feel trapped
Page 1
    • pipkin71
    • By pipkin71 12th May 18, 2:02 PM
    • 19,360 Posts
    • 87,163 Thanks
    pipkin71
    • #2
    • 12th May 18, 2:02 PM
    • #2
    • 12th May 18, 2:02 PM
    So sorry you are going through this, natbags. It cannot be easy for you, especially as he is your son. As hard as it is though, and however much you want to see that he has future prospects, there comes a time where you can't almost shield them from their actions, even though that is perfectly natural.

    You say this is affecting your / your husband's health and your relationship is suffering. Perhaps now, if words are not enough for him to toe the line and he assaults your husband again, then follow through with pressing charges otherwise he may feel there are no consequences and will continue that course of behaviour.

    I know that's easy for me to say. I'm not in your position and don't know what I would do if I was but in any event, I hope that being able to express how you're feeling is somewhat cathartic as it wouldn't be good to bottle things up.
    There is something delicious about writing the first words of a story. You never quite know where they'll take you - Beatrix Potter
    • natbags
    • By natbags 12th May 18, 2:41 PM
    • 277 Posts
    • 333 Thanks
    natbags
    • #3
    • 12th May 18, 2:41 PM
    • #3
    • 12th May 18, 2:41 PM
    pipkin71 Thank you for your reply, without doubt should he do it again we will press charges x
    • worried jim
    • By worried jim 12th May 18, 2:49 PM
    • 9,321 Posts
    • 14,366 Thanks
    worried jim
    • #4
    • 12th May 18, 2:49 PM
    • #4
    • 12th May 18, 2:49 PM
    Get him to watch this weeks 999 what's your emergency? on channel 4 all about the consequences of skunk use on the users and their families. It doesn't bode well.

    I hope you can get this sorted.
    "Only two things are infinite-the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not so sure about the universe"
    Albert Einstein
    • natbags
    • By natbags 12th May 18, 3:25 PM
    • 277 Posts
    • 333 Thanks
    natbags
    • #5
    • 12th May 18, 3:25 PM
    • #5
    • 12th May 18, 3:25 PM
    worried jim, thank you i will download it and get him to watch - must admit i havent seen it, but I will watch it too x
    • worried jim
    • By worried jim 12th May 18, 3:31 PM
    • 9,321 Posts
    • 14,366 Thanks
    worried jim
    • #6
    • 12th May 18, 3:31 PM
    • #6
    • 12th May 18, 3:31 PM
    http://www.channel4.com/programmes/999-whats-your-emergency

    http://www.channel4.com/4viewers/help-support/drug
    Last edited by worried jim; 12-05-2018 at 3:33 PM.
    "Only two things are infinite-the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not so sure about the universe"
    Albert Einstein
    • Spendless
    • By Spendless 12th May 18, 5:04 PM
    • 20,199 Posts
    • 33,471 Thanks
    Spendless
    • #7
    • 12th May 18, 5:04 PM
    • #7
    • 12th May 18, 5:04 PM
    Whilst the police were helpful at the time they reminded us that we have to keep him in education until hes 18 and we just don’t know what to do.
    Originally posted by natbags
    Whilst I can't help you with your issue. I just wanted to say this isn't strictly correct. Upto 18, kids need to be in some sort of education (doesn't have to be A levels/sixth form can be a college course) or training
    - like an apprenticeship.
    • Primrose
    • By Primrose 12th May 18, 5:40 PM
    • 8,116 Posts
    • 28,363 Thanks
    Primrose
    • #8
    • 12th May 18, 5:40 PM
    • #8
    • 12th May 18, 5:40 PM
    If your son is obviously getting cannabis at his boarding school there are obviously security issues there on how he,s obtaining it and I think a serious discussion with the headmaster and board of governors is well overdue. Also it seems to me that there is a supervision issue here which should be addressed.

    I can see that the school might regard your son as a disruptive influence on other pupils if he,s encouraging them in the use of cannabis but if he now has a record of being admitted to hospital because of its use, then he needs more serious supervision. Could he be kept at school and not let out to come home where his behaviour is now obviously having a serious impact on both your marriage and your husband,s health.

    I really feel for you. It sounds a drastic thing to suggest but do you think him being moved to foster parents would give your marriage some respite and your son the drastic "kick up the backside"jolt he needs to make him realise that his behaviour is breaking his family up? Do you have any other children? If so, all this must be having a terrible effect on them too and their well-being also needs to be considered.
    • nobile
    • By nobile 12th May 18, 10:04 PM
    • 506 Posts
    • 71 Thanks
    nobile
    • #9
    • 12th May 18, 10:04 PM
    • #9
    • 12th May 18, 10:04 PM
    Really saddened me to read of your situation. Unfortunately I have no solution

    I guess with so many posting on MSE about their 'catastrophic lives' because someone said something about them on Facebook and now their life is not worth living etc, I was half expecting your post not to match the title, but the situation is far worse that I expected.


    Could it be Boarding School is the problem? Being away / isolated from family - and that manifests itself in the anger/violence etc?

    Really wish you well!
    • ska lover
    • By ska lover 13th May 18, 1:01 AM
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    ska lover
    Oh god Natbags I do not know what to say - this is a very difficult one.

    We can tell you are obviously at your wits end and I hope I say supportive things and do not trigger any anxiety for you

    I would say at age 16 , even if he was under your roof, you would struggle to stop him from smoking it, if he is determined - yes you could lock him in his room but that won't end well for anyone. You would not be able to watch him like a hawk and if you try you will destroy yourself

    What are his plans at age 18? Will he be moving home?

    It seems like the violence has gone on longer than the cannabis use so there are so many issues at play here

    I know a few people who smoke cannabis regularly, and to be honest, I think they are all trying to escape something and if he has issues such as mental health issues, skunk can massively exacerbate these.

    I think the time has come for you to get professional help, family counselling , or counselling for him alone - I don't know. I see CAHMS have been no help, how about going private for help

    Would it help to bring him home, away from the surroundings he is in? if he is expelled then you may be forced into this anyway
    The opposite of what you know...is also true
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 13th May 18, 2:27 AM
    • 38,749 Posts
    • 35,527 Thanks
    Savvy_Sue
    You may not be able to do much for your son, but you can do something for yourselves. http://famanon.org.uk/
    Still knitting!
    Completed: 1 adult cardigan, 3 baby jumpers, 3 shawls, 1 sweat band, 3 pairs baby bootees,
    1 Wise Man Knitivity figure + 1 sheep, 2 pairs socks, 2 hats 2 balaclavas for seamen, 1 balaclava for myself ...
    Current projects: Poppies, mohair cardigan pattern arrived and going strong!
    • hollydays
    • By hollydays 13th May 18, 8:31 AM
    • 16,164 Posts
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    hollydays
    what do the school say?.
    Do they have any advice?
    • Fireflyaway
    • By Fireflyaway 13th May 18, 10:08 AM
    • 1,859 Posts
    • 2,031 Thanks
    Fireflyaway
    Do you know where he is obtaining the weed from? If it's other kids at school then the school needs to take some responsibility here. If it's at weekends that's difficult, I'm not sure how you can physically stop a 16 year old lad going out.
    My only suggestion is to seek professional help and try to distract him. I'm guessing the weed is being used to make feeling down or stressed? Will be say? Can you get him more involved in sport? The activity can give him focus, get out the anger and release happy hormones. Would he do something with his dad? Could you get him home every weekend? Is it possible he is obtaining weed at school during the weekends? I know at my daughter's school the housemaster takes groups into town at the weekend but they are not watched over constantly. He stays in town but doesn't follow them from shop to shop. They could easily arrange to meet him after going for lunch in a restaurant say, but actually sneak off in between if they so wished. I
    I once met a young man through my previous job. He was at uni and smoked weed but it had caused a psychotic episode and left long term damage. When I met him he had left uni and his football club and just sat in his flat all day reliant on benefits. His speech was slurred and he was drooling. His movements were slow due to the anti psychotic medication and he was too paranoid to leave his flat.
    Do seek professional help. You shouldn't be scared and if need be have him arrested. What if next time he grabbed a knife? You can love and support him but it's impossible to make someone change. He has to do that. The gp may change or add medication that could stabilise him so make an appointment there too.
    • natbags
    • By natbags 13th May 18, 10:38 AM
    • 277 Posts
    • 333 Thanks
    natbags
    Thanks all for taking the time to reply
    The school has non boarders too and hes admitted to getting the cannabis in the local town, at home (our local town) and even whilst we were on holiday. Social services will not get involved unless the child is at risk - and hes not considered to be at risk, as ridiculous as that sounds. I have restricted pocket money etc but he still seems to obtain it from friends
    Counselling/professional help we have tried - he says all the right things whilst there, comes out and is abusive calling us wet. He wont entertain counselling for himself as he doesn't consider it a problem. He is planning to go to college - he applied to a few but I'm not sure we could cope with him at home - I have a feeling that if that happens it will all end very soon and not well
    School are being very helpful and cooperative however they have a large number of children to supervise and whilst they have put things in place they cannot watch him all the time (he is very smart and manipulative)
    We do try to keep him busy focusing on his interests, fishing, trips out, activities etc... but as his personality has changed so much over these last months he will rarely engage. He is our only child
    Last edited by natbags; 13-05-2018 at 12:45 PM.
    • ska lover
    • By ska lover 13th May 18, 4:04 PM
    • 2,769 Posts
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    ska lover
    I have a feeling that if that happens it will all end very soon and not well
    Originally posted by natbags
    I do think you need to start planning for the inevitable that likely he is going to end up back with you... if he doesn't get expelled, he is going to need somewhere to live age 18. I think you need to come up with an action plan how you all will cope

    The only thing for sure is that the current environment isnt working for him
    Last edited by ska lover; 13-05-2018 at 5:25 PM.
    The opposite of what you know...is also true
    • ukwmo
    • By ukwmo 13th May 18, 4:22 PM
    • 56 Posts
    • 97 Thanks
    ukwmo
    You have my heartfelt sympathy and I wish you all the best with your boy. I don't wish to worry you but I wonder if it's just weed he's taking. i'll tell you why.

    I'm having similar problems with my nephew. He's slightly older, 19. I know he's smokes weed, he has done for years. He had an unfortunate start in life. His Mother had her own addiction problems (still has), his Father (my Brother) was in and out of jail and was absent for most of my nephew's life. I've become his substitute Father, if you will, we're far closer than just Uncle and Nephew.

    He started smoking hash (solid cannabis) and weed when he was maybe only 12 or 13 years old. His Mother not only condoned it, she encouraged it because she used it herself. She'd send her own Son out to buy it, she'd smoke it with him, she'd buy him an ounce at Christmas, birthdays etc. Utterly reprehensible on her part.

    To my shame, I walked away from the whole thing. I was embarrassed by them. They were a branch of the family everyone made fun off, always skint, always in Cash Converters selling something, always out shoplifting or bumping their tick bills and getting trouble at their door, always struggling on from one giro to the next.

    But the last year I've got more involved in my nephew's life. Truly he's damaged goods. He's told me things about his upbringing that no child should ever have seen. He's a poor soul.

    Anyway, I'm drifting.

    He's still smoking weed. Says it chills him out. Last six months I've seen his behaviour while he's "onit" or "mad with it" (West of Scotland parlance for getting high or extremely drunk). And, to be fair, when he's smoking weed he's extremely chilled out. Calm, relaxed, quiet ... when he's smoking weed you know he's going to be well behaved & there won't be any problem with him. It's just an observation. I'm not excusing it or widening in out into a debate on cannabis use. It does calm him down.

    But when he's taking other stuff, his behaviour is extremely volatile. Locally there seems no shortage of cocaine, or "prop/council", also there's a never-ending supply of "blues" (Valium ?) plus prescription painkillers (Tramadol mainly). He's also dabbled with tablets that give a LSD type trip.

    It's when he's taking cocaine & valium, combined with alcohol (Buckfast wine, or cider, anythingg really) that he becomes really difficult to control. He's up he's down, threatening to batter people for no reason, threatening to damage property, steal cars and all the rest ... and I'm no prude but his language is shocking, never to me but when he's on the phone to his gf, friends, even random people in the street.

    Anyway, I've decided we're going all in to sort him out. That's another story.

    I just wanted to say that, if your boy can get weed, trust me he can get his hands on everything else going too. It might be something you don't want to think about and I don't blame you for that. But it's a different world our boys live in nowadays. Most of us are too innocent that way and don't see what they're up to.

    Anyway, just be mindful there might be more to it. His behaviour suggests that to me.
    • tacpot12
    • By tacpot12 13th May 18, 5:52 PM
    • 1,201 Posts
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    tacpot12
    Your son is a young adult now, and is testing his boundaries. At the moment he is finding that there are not many boundaries to his behaviour. You can put some boundaries in place, but you cannot force him to change his behaviour. This is his decision, and you probably need to accept that he is unlikely to change it soon.

    Your decision is whether to allow him into your home. You say you probably could not cope - I can see how much of a dilema this for you. You probably know you can't cope, and this is why you are fearful of what will happen.

    I was going to ask if you could rent somewhere for your son to live. You might sell this too him as being a good thing if you can rent somewhere close to the college he wants to attend, but I think it quite likely that he will trash the place and you will be left with a very large bill. Even so, this may still be a good option to discuss with him. He might react favourably if you suggest that you think is old enough to try living on his own. I would definitely involve him in the discussion as to what you are going to do; you need to start adjusting to the fact that he is growing up.

    I do sympathise with you and wish that this goes well for all of you.

    I can offer a ray of hope; I know a young man with ADHD who used cannabis at the same age as your son, but has now stopped. He is now at college and making steady progress on a vocational course. I don't want to say on a public forum what it was that worked for him, as this could identify him. I'll send you a private message.
    • Judi
    • By Judi 13th May 18, 6:02 PM
    • 16,410 Posts
    • 72,346 Thanks
    Judi
    Anyway, I've decided we're going all in to sort him out. That's another story.
    Please share how are you going to do that?
    'Holy crap on a cracker!'
    • z1a
    • By z1a 13th May 18, 7:37 PM
    • 1,389 Posts
    • 1,333 Thanks
    z1a
    The op already said school was recommended because of his oppositional behaviour.Can you not read?
    Originally posted by hollydays
    Yep, I can read, and I read that as "Doctor says I can do without the inconvenience of my child, so I'll pass the problem to somebody else."
    • Judi
    • By Judi 13th May 18, 7:39 PM
    • 16,410 Posts
    • 72,346 Thanks
    Judi
    Yep, I can read, and I read that as "Doctor says I can do without the inconvenience of my child, so I'll pass the problem to somebody else."
    Originally posted by z1a
    So you would go against medical advice?
    'Holy crap on a cracker!'
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