Pubdate: Tue, 26 Jan 2016
Source: Hamilton Spectator (CN ON)
Copyright: 2016 The Hamilton Spectator
Author: Gary Direnfeld
Page: G5

Family Life


Q: Our son has a drug problem. He uses marijuana daily. He continues 
to bring it into our home even though we ask him not to. His grades 
have dropped drastically and we don't like the friends he hangs out 
with. He argues that marijuana is harmless and uses information from 
the Internet to support his point of view. Clearly our arguing is 
going nowhere, but we don't know what to do and we don't want to kick 
him out of our home. What more can we do?

A: Your son has learned you are impotent in dealing with him. Not 
only is he smoking marijuana daily, but he's bringing it into your 
home against your wishes. If common sense and discussion would have 
worked, this problem would have been solved by now. Your son is 
painting you into a corner and using your own good intentions against 
you. His drug abuse has not only overtaken him, but you as well at this point.

There is likely precious little you can do to influence your son in 
the present circumstance. He presents with a pseudo-maturity, which 
is a polite way of saying he is too big for his britches. With 
pseudo-maturity, he thinks he knows everything and indeed has an 
argument for any threat to his way of thinking or behaving.

These are not situations that turn around easily. If you are not 
ready for more intrusive intervention, then your son will likely 
continue as he is, as there is nothing happening to alter the trajectory.

Reality testing may offer an opportunity for him to re-evaluate his 
point of view. This comes with him having to support himself and his habit.

While you do not have to kick him out, you do have the right to set 
the rules for living in your home. If he cannot or does not follow 
the rules then he, by behaviour, is choosing to live elsewhere and 
you can help him to relocate.

As long as he continues to have a free ride and rein, he will.

It is not your responsibility to find him an alternate residence. It 
is just that he is no longer welcome into your home under the current 

If he does choose to remain at home, then you should also require him 
to attend drug treatment and he should be tested for drug use several 
times monthly for the next several months to be sure he isn't using.

Dealing with a drug abusing teen isn't for the faint of heart. It 
requires fortitude on the part of the parent; otherwise, the teen 
rules. In view of that, you should seek support for yourself too.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom