Don’t know how to make my son stop using drugs

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Don’t know how to make my son stop using drugs

Post by Pinkswim » Mon Jun 24, 2019 10:03 pm

My husband and I don’t have any idea about drug use. Our son is 21, when he was 16 he had an episode where he reacted badly to taking marijuana and ketamine and he was in hospital overnight. We were horrified and shocked to find out he had been experimenting with drugs and we made sure he received counselling etc. Took a long tine for us to trust him again and not keep checking up on him but since then he has completed his a levels, and completed three years of a physics degree, he is now just waiting for his final results. He has still had a very hectic social life during this time but we had hoped his drug use had stopped. Three weeks ago he had been away for a festival and I checked his bag for dirty washing. I found a clear small bag that had clearly had a powder in it and a cigarette with 1/2 the tobacco removed. I confronted him with this and he admitted he had had marijuana and ketamine. His attitude is there is nothing wrong with using these drugs, everyone does and he has still managed to achieve what he set out to even while using drugs. He says he only uses every few months when he goes to concerts. I don’t know how true this is he always seems fine but I don’t know the first thing about drugs. To me drugs are disgusting and should not be used, am I being naive?? He is not going off on drugs binges for days. I do not know what to do?? He is 21 ! I cannot keep him in or ban him from taking these drugs. I have spoken to him and to be honest I lost it and told him how disgusting I thought he was. I do not want to lose my son. I am worried sick and cannot sleep for worrying he is going to end up dead. He has never listened to anything we have said to him , he has always thought he knows better than everyone e because he is very clever. Please please any advice from anyone been in similar situation?

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Re: Don’t know how to make my son stop using drugs

Post by gloria1953 » Tue Jun 25, 2019 6:07 am

Hi Pinkswim

I am afraid that your son is right - kids these days use ketamine and grass the way the older generation drink cocktails. I call ketamine the stupid drug - they look like absolute idiots when they take it, particularly when they are in a k-hole.

However, you need to put this all in perspective. Taking drugs on occasion does not mean you are an addict. Most people can take them recreationally and continue with their lives - others sadly cannot. The thing about addiction is that you don't know whether you are an addict until you are one. People rarely die because of ketamine use - the main danger is from drinking and doing it as it can slow down your heart rate. Since your son is not going to stop using it on your say so just make sure that he is educated on how to take it.

There are some young men - for some reason it is young men - who have have psychotic episodes because of heavy grass use. Excessive use of ketamine can and does cause kidney damage. My son used drugs heavily while he was at university and still managed to get a high 2.1 and a first on his dissertation - can you imagine what he could have done without them?

I don't buy the gateway theory about drugs btw. Most people grow out of it. My son did not become a heroin addict because he smoked grass. He was an addict because he was an addict. He is clean now four years and his career is back on track but he will always be an addict. He is one of the unlucky ones and has to fight it every day.

The signs you must look for erratic behaviour, always being broke, selling property, stealing from you and the ability to function. Having said that many addicts can function at least for a while until they can't. This is all you can do. If he lives with you you can insist that he doesn't get high in your home but you certainly can't control what he does outside the home.

Of course in an ideal world one would not take chemicals to feel good but that is not the way life is. Hopefully your son is telling the truth about his occasional use and it is something that he will grow out of. Meanwhile, you might want to do some research on ketamine so that you know what you are dealing with.

I hope that this helps.


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Re: Don’t know how to make my son stop using drugs

Post by Bette » Tue Jun 25, 2019 3:01 pm

Hello Pinkswim
Welcome to FA!

Gloria's post is very informative.

I would also say that the answer to your question-
"Don’t know how to make my son stop using drugs " is that one of the things we learn in this FA program is this - we cannot change what other people choose to do or think, whether addicted or not, until they themselves decide to.

No amount of pleading, crying, shouting, bribing, lecturing or any other attempts by me, made my son change the behaviours he chose around drug use (or anything else!). None whatsoever! In fact, it is my belief that those behaviours that I thought at the time would make a difference, actually delayed any opportunity that might have spurred him on to acknowledge that his choices had consequences and risks.

I have since learned to respond in a kind and calm way (hopefully! I sometimes fail!) with words such as
" I love you son. You are an adult now. You are able to make your own decisions. I may not agree with them, and I will not allow.... (A B or C) in my house, but I realise that I have to accept that you will make your own choices. I hope with all my heart that those choices will be the right ones for you."

Responding in this way helped me to accept that sometimes things happen in life that I don't like, and am even fearful of, but that I cannot control. Another thing we learn in FA is that to counteract that fear we may feel, we hand over that fear to a Higher Power, whatever that may be for us as an individual.

There's more info on the main website linked at the top of the page and booklets etc to buy for a small amount via the website too.

I wish you and your family well pinkswim!
Wlitf (with Love In The Fellowship)

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Re: Don’t know how to make my son stop using drugs

Post by Pinkswim » Wed Jun 26, 2019 2:28 pm

Thank you so much for the very informative replies. I know you are both right, my reaction to this coming back to us again is anger and I am one of those parents who does everything for her kids and thinks their happiness is my responsibility. I need to learn from what you are saying and I will try to deal with this better but it will be hard. I really am hoping he does well in his results but part of me also thinks that if he does, then that will give him less reason to try and stop.

He is broke at the moment and he is selling some of his designer stuff online to raise some cash but he has never stolen anything or even asked us for any money although we do support him financially anyway, paying his phone, letting him use my car etc.

His girlfriend spoke to my younger son about the drug use and said she is worried she is never going to have a normal life with him, have kids etc and he should mention this to us (she is using too but basically says she only does it because he does!!) This makes be think that it could be worse than what we think but then she might have a hidden agenda, I don't know what to think. I may sound selfish but I don't care about what she is doing, my focus has to be my own son.

As I said he seems pretty normal, I have never seen him look under the influence of anything and they nearly always come back to our house after being out etc. Its a real stress although reading some of these forums no were near as bad as what some people are going through, I just don't want it to get that bad!

I will take your advice on board thank you so much.

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Re: Don’t know how to make my son stop using drugs

Post by Poetry » Fri Jun 28, 2019 8:26 pm

It's excellent advice, Pinkswim. I can't add anything except to say, stay on the forum. There is one point above, although all are spot on, with which I heartily agree. You can do little, even though you think you can do lots. No two people could have tried harder than my husband and I to stop our talented, well qualified, high earning son from using, as we devoted two years of our lives to rescuing him, yet he took no heed. I realise this is not what you want to hear, but it might comfort you to know that even when they do (IF they do) totally succumb, you can still live your life with some degree of success and fulfilment, because my family and I are learning to do that.

For now, you are in shock, but that will pass. I identify with everything you say, recalling being at that point myself. If your son is merely using recreationally, he may well be fine. If not, you will find ways of coping. A year ago, I could not see how I was to continue living, but I am in a far better spiritual place now. I have found the forum to be such a support. Poetry.

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