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What Should A Parent Do When They Know Their Teen Is Using Pot?

This is my story, I have a son currently in residential treatment his issues were greater than “just” using drugs. But substance abuse is one of his issues. I have an older son that I know used drugs (marijuana) in high school and we had to deal with the authorities for a related issue. My youngest son, my baby, who has basically been “my trouble free son” blond hair, blue eyes, when he was young would hold my hand,  is now a freshman in high school. His grades recently tanked and today I found evidence that he has been smoking pot

Dealing With Teen Pot Use

Am I surprised? No, I really am not surprised. Am I disappointed? Yes, I am disappointed. I really thought I would not have a drug related problem with him in high school, he has always been very self confident.  What does a parent do when they “know” their teen is using pot?  You would actually think that I of all people, with the hours of family therapy, books and conferences would be a professional at this by now and have a confidence to deal with these issues. Think again, I really do not. Good on advice for others but when it comes to me, I fall apart.  In fact when I found the evidence, I thought what am I going to do now?  Maybe I should give myself more credit,  because I did not “freak out”. Which I think with teens is the worst thing you can do. If the parent stays under control and confident then your teen will not freak and hopefully you can have an honest and open conversation. This is where we are – When he returned home from school today, I went into his room and told him what I found point blank. I did not involve his father, I did tell him, but I just dealt with it. Then I did not say anything, silence, we must have stared at each other for five minutes, when he started to talk. He told me he was not a “pot head”, that he just started and did I “not expect to have these problems, he is in high school”. I told him what my concerns were, his grades had dropped and that is a big  indicator of drug usage. I also reminded him of what we have experienced as a family with his brother and that I had reason for concern. He told me he understood.

Helping Your Teen Move Past Pot Use

At the same time I did not want to go into all the health risks with using drugs because I know they get that in school. But I did talk about his age and the importance of brain development during this time in his life and that if he screws it up with drugs now, it can affect the rest of his life. I also stressed that it is illegal and he can get into big trouble if caught.  Well, after all was said and done, we were both in tears, I told him that I loved him and I wanted to be honest with him about what I had found. I wanted him to keep his integrity but also realize that he had somewhat lost my trust. Due to this he has lost some privileges and to get them back he has to bring up his grades.  About the drug usage, from my personal experience I know  I cannot control that. He is going to use drugs if he wants to no matter what I say. The most I can do is be a parent be diligent and speak with love and logically to him about it. Let him know I will not tolerate it and that I am keeping an eye on him. What I don’t want to do is close the door, where he does not feel like he can talk to me.

If you would like to know more about therapeutic boarding school and other residential programs for troubled teens, please contact a family counselor at Zion Educational Systems for guidance.  To get started click the button below!

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