Enabling and Co-dependency

I have a 16 year old son who is addicted to marijuana. He has been using since grade 9 and is now in grade 11. He is a chronic user through the day -before school and before he goes to sleep. I recently had the police charge him with assault against me when my husband and I tried to throw out his marijuana and bong that we found in his bedroom. He became very violent and pushed me and punched 2 doors. This was October and the courts have now ordered him to get anger management counselling and substance abuse. He is still using and I feel that the counselling will not be enough. I feel he needs to be in detox and then rehab for a period of time. His father is an alcoholic who is not drinking at the moment but has never had counselling himself and my son has a lot of anger issues towards his dad for times when he was drunk and mean. My son now has anger towards me for having him charged. He rebels a lot, doesn't seem to try at all in school and failed 3 subjects last semester. All he seems to care about is the marijuana. How can I truly help him? He is so unhappy and angry most of the time. Any suggestions? I have found more marijuana in his bedroom recently. He just doesn't care what we think. I love my son and am worried beyond belief.

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Apr 26, 2012
Still so worried
by: Anonymous

He has been in the youth court system since October, as I called the Police when he became violent after I tried to remove his marijuana and paraphernalia (pipes). I regret calling the police because they have forced him into Anger Management and Substance Abuse counseling and it hasn't worked. He end his 5 sessions and they may want some more. He refused to go to these sessions, for the first 3 months which is why it is still going on.
My problem is I cannot get him to stop smoking it in the house. I have even threatened to call the police and he replies that he would run away and we would never see him again. I also found a scale in his room and I questioned him about it and he said that it is for weighing what is given to him in case someone is trying to rip him off. Just talking to him about all of this was making him so angry, so I can see what you mean about it being 10 times better than any girlfriend. He is risking alot for this...which is the true meaning of addiction, isn't it?
This all sounds so awful.

What do you think I should do. I told him that if he is trafficking, that he could get anywhere from 14 years to life...which he laughed and said, "Have you not heard of Decriminalization"?? His Dad says that we have to just leave him be and if he hangs himself, then that has to happen before he can be helped. My problem with that is ....it is like you know that a truck is going to run over your child and you want to do everything in your power to prevent it...but you feel powerless. He was so resentful for the first 4 months after I called the police and I think he would truly hate me if I do that again...any suggestions at all would be helpful. I just feel that the police/courts do fall short of helping with addiction because as you said, they have to want the help.

Mar 08, 2012
Emotional Attachments
by: Don

Your son has a couple of high risk factors that suggest addiction is his "cross to bear" in life...and yours too unfortunately.

High risk factor #1: He is the male child of an addicted parent.

High risk factor #2: The addicted parent is male (if his paternal grandfather is also addicted that is another HRF)

High risk factor #3: He started using between ages 12 & 14.

These things point to a genetic predisposition toward addiction - i.e., it was bound to happen.

He would tell you I am stupid and don't know what I am talking about for saying this, but he has attached to Marijuana on an emotional level - he LOVES it and TRUSTS it and protects his relationship with it as if it were the girlfriend of his dreams.

Ever try to break up a love-struck teenager and his girlfriend? Good luck with that! Addiction to pot is 10 times as powerful.

He is unhappy partly because others are interfering in his relationship and partly because the pot affects mood and memory (sometimes causing anxiety, depression, and school problems among other things).

Getting him into treatment when he is not ready to face his addiction is a very LONG-SHOT at best... partly because the right kind of treatment no longer exists or it is out of reach for the family financially.

At worst, it does more harm than good because the unsuccessful, aggressive, adversarial experience anchors in a deep resentment for those who would try to control him. That wound would need to be healed before treatment could be effective.

My best advice is to get educated, get support, get God, and hunker down for the journey. And realize (Maybe with help for yourself) that you didn't cause it, you can't control it, and you can't cure it!

If you do these things you will be fit and ready to respond effectively when those motivating crises "just happen".

Blessings & Prayers,

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