01-29-2020 08:46 AM - last edited on 02-10-2020 04:55 PM by Jess1-RO
Hi 👋 My son is almost 17 years old and we have known for a little while that he has been smoking occasionally. We haven’t condoned it but we can’t micro manage him 24/7. This past couple of months it has gotten really out of hand so now we have resorted to basically grounding him. The problem is that we both work so we can’t really monitor what he’s doing when we aren’t home and when we are home he won’t leave his bedroom. I’m worried about his mental health. He won’t really talk to us. Everything ends up in an argument. I’m afraid and drained mentally and emotionally. I’m considering quitting my job so that I’m home. Anyone else in a similar situation?
01-29-2020 02:18 PM
Hi @melinee ,
Thanks so much for posting, and welcome to the ReachOut community. You're definitely not alone - a lot of parents have posted about their concerns about their teens' mental health and using cannabis. I will tag in a few other parents here who may have been through similar experiences as you and your family.
I hear your concern and love for your son in your post, it must be a really helpless feeling as a parent when your teen doesn't want to engage with you like that. There's some good resources on the ReachOut parents page which I've linked to here in case you find them helpful - it includes some ideas for ways to talk to your son about drug use (cannabis is the most current illegal drug used by Australian youth, although rates of its use are falling at the moment), and ideas for how to communicate non-judgementally, to try and keep those lines of communication open.
Is your son at school, or engaged in work/ other study at the moment?
It sounds like this is really taking a toll on you, which is understandable. It can be easy to let looking after ourselves fall by the wayside when our kids are having a tough time, but it's important to remember to take care of yourself.
Sometimes, parents find it helpful to find professional counselling for themselves - there is a free and confidential free and confidential 1:1 counselling service for parents available here , which may be helpful? You sound like a really caring and supportive parent, and that is also a really protective factor for your son as he navigates these tricky teenage years
01-29-2020 04:23 PM
01-29-2020 06:35 PM
Our pleasure. We're glad you found it helpful.
It's great that you've found a mode of communication (text) where he listens/ is more receptive / argues less. Hopefully the traineeship will be good for him. Keep us updated.
02-04-2020 01:28 PM
Hi @melinee ,
Thanks so much for the reply, I'm glad the information was helpful for you
The traineeship sounds like a really positive thing for your son - hopefully it will be a great opportunity for him, and like you say, give him something positive to focus on (as well as keep him busy, which can be helpful!). Communicating over text can sometimes be a great way to broach those tricky topics with teens - it gives them a safe space to think about their responses, and can sometimes be less confrontational than speaking face to face about difficult topics. My daughter is a bit younger and has just got her first phone, and I'm actually already quite surprised by how she will sometimes open up about things over text that she doesn't necessarily want to talk about in person.
Reluctance to seek professional help is very common in teenagers - there are options like text-based services, that can be helpful for some kids who don't like to talk face to face. Or he may just not be ready to take that step yet- the fact that he's communicating with you is really positive though, and having that line of communication open with him is a really protective factor for him. Keep us posted on how you're going- I hope the traineeship goes well for him
02-07-2020 04:56 PM
I am new to Reach Out, my name is Keddie and I too have a son who is working on recovering from a cannabis addiction. My son is now 20 and has been smoking for 3-4 years. He was admitted into a 28 day residential rehab before Christmas, and unfortunately he has recently relapsed after a month being back at home. Deciding to take him to rehab was one of the best decisions we made. We have struggled for years and wanted to re-claim some of our life back, having spent so much time focusing on our addict. Enrolling our young person into rehab didn't come up in a big way with our GP. In the community quite a lot of our friends and work colleagues didn't see cannabis as a illicit drug, regarding it more of a party drug and people can get off it when they like. I totally get that you often feel like your are floundering doing the best you can. Setting boundaries for us was very important and sticking to it. Our son wasn't always good at hiding things, and he did have periods of high use, which was awful. Without going into all the detail it resulted in him having contact with the justice system, relationship breakdowns and him mixing with a bad crowd. For some cannabis users, it can cause psychosis and unfortunately that is was what we experienced. Having an intensive program is great, seeing an addiction psychiatrist is so helpful. I encourage you to get a referral from your GP and take some steps today to start getting your life back and lightening your load. It can get better with the right help.
02-07-2020 09:14 PM
Hi @Keddie, welcome to Reach Out and thanks for sharing your experience here. We really hope that you will find this thread and support from other parents helpful What you have shared sounds really insightful and beneficial for other parents who are going through this same thing. It helps to know that you are not alone.. but also hearing the ups and down of your journey is quite informative. Your family went through a lot, although it sounds like you have made a significant amount of progress. I was wondering if you (or your partner) sought your own personal support throughout this? It can be difficult for parents to navigate these situations and it can take a huge emotional toll. I was also wondering how your son is travelling at the moment? Is he still at home or has he entered another rehabilitation program?
Once again, we really want to thank you for sharing. Your support is invaluable If you feel comfortable, you could comment here (or 'start a topic') with some tips that you would give to other parents going through the same thing.
02-09-2020 11:52 AM
Thanks for your reply. We have attended some support sessions through the rehab provider and had the option to attend further fee for session support. Our son is returning to a rehab facility for another 28 days. We also have received some good advice from our psychiatrist which has helped as well.
Could you help in clarifying how the posting of info is viewed by members of Reach Out. Did my previous post go into a public space or just to the Addicted to weed poster?
02-09-2020 07:51 PM - edited 02-09-2020 07:54 PM
It is really great to hear that you have a number of supports around you. It sounds like your journey is still ongoing and we wish your family the best for your son's upcoming stay. We always welcome you to continue to share any updates
All of the threads on ReachOut are public. Another parent has made this thread titled 'Addicted to weed' which you have commented on. This will notify them and any other parents who have posted on the same thread. We have different thread areas and so users can find this thread by looking through the areas or typing in the search bar. Our homepage also shows the most recently 'active' threads as well.
We always welcome parents to make their own thread so that they can have a space to share their story. Threads can get crowded with lots of parents posting.. and sometimes it can result in a parent not receiving the support they came here for It can also be easier for others to find which is always helpful! We also appreciate parents sharing their experience on other parent's threads, as some parents may not look for other threads.