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    I’m a mother – here about my 18 year old son. Forgive me for the long story.
    I had a boy. He was amazing – bright, cooperative, enthusiastic, athletic. I never had to check on his homework. He always had lots of friends.
    But we moved when he was in 9th grade. He made the baseball team and new friends. He got his braces off and became “kind of a big deal” at his new school. He was happy but all of a sudden, he didn’t seem grounded?
    By 11th grade, his school work had dropped off. His personality had changed – he was rude and disrespectful. We found a couple of clues as to use of pot but he denied it. As his mother, I focused on his falling grades and started nagging him – sometimes yelling at him for not doing his work.
    12th grade continued even worse – in the fall he broke up with his girlfriend and seemed depressed. Then a new friend starting hanging around. It seemed obvious they were high together but we couldn’t prove it. His group of friends was limited to the same 4 boys including this one boy.
    I continued to get after him about his school work and grades which were horrible. As it turned out, he almost didn’t graduate. From honor student to barely making it through in two years. He was angry at me for nagging at him.
    We found out that the parents of one of his friends were allowing this group of boys to do pot at their home. The father had decided to teach his son responsible use of drugs (d’uh) and when the other boys started showing up he let them all have a place to do drugs so they would be “safe”.
    In early spring my son got stopped for speeding and an empty plastic bag was laying in plain sight of the officer – who arrested him for possession of marijuana.
    He was put into a diversionary program where he had to stay clean for six months and attend two meetings a week and he could have had the whole incident expunged. But he continued to hang around with the same friends. At one point, we caught him in our home drinking with one of his older sister’s friends. My husband kicked him out.
    After two weeks, I got him to come home so we could help him complete his program. But he lied to us regarding his attendance at meetings and he was still hanging around with the same friends. I continued to nag at him. Constantly lecturing about his future and how a record would affect his ability to get a job, travel, compete in sports etc. I couldn’t keep my dislike for his friends to myself – constantly telling him he needed to stay away from them – especially the one friend.
    That particular friend appeared to almost infiltrate every aspect of my son’s life. He changed colleges to go to the same one as my son – even transferring into one or two of the same classes. He got a summer job at the same place as my son and at one point they tried to get an apartment together. It was an odd situation as that boys father had a lease on an apartment he was trying to get out of and he was encouraging my son to move into the apartment. I talked to the father and told him the situation and said the apartment wouldn’t work for my son – or our family financially but he still pushed it. I finally ended up threatening to get the police involved if he didn’t back off.
    But by then my son had been kicked out of the diversionary program and had to reappear in court. He pleaded guilty to possession but the judge gave him an opportunity to convert that to a probation before judgement plea in 60 days if he basically went back into the program, got clean, attended 4 NA meetings per week.
    He was on track for all of two weeks when something must have changed and he started hanging around with that same boy plus he leaves the house sometimes and doesn’t come back until 3 or 4 in the morning. Two weeks ago, they got stopped at 3 in the morning and the other boy got busted with a larger amount of pot including pipes and a scale.
    The police dropped the intent to sell charge in return for the other boy rolling over on some other person. There are still 4 other charges against him right now. Although our son was not charged with anything, they took his name and driver’s license info – and he is on probation.
    Again, I continue to nag at him – get upset with him about everything. He’s not been in compliance with his probation (number of meetings) yet he still says he’s going to appeal for the probation before judgement. I think he’s going to jail. He says it’s all my fault because I won’t leave him alone and I’m constantly on his case. I feel like I tried to support him but every time I back off and he seems to be doing okay – we get blind sided with some other incident or extremely bad decision.

    Is it me??? Did I nag my son into hanging out with the losers? I feel that any normal person would have backed off at the first brush with the law – and would have done what they could to get rid of that. But he has continued this into a nightmare that just won’t end – and gets worse and worse and worse. On top of it, he continues to defend his friend who I see as a slimy, druggee, loser (and dealer).

    What should I do?



    I can’t tell you what you should do other than seek some support for yourself. We have a Friends and Family forum–substance abuse here. There you will find others that have gone through similar experiences and they can share with you what they did to get through it–for themselves.

    As an addict in recovery, I want you to know that you didn’t force your son to do anything. You didn’t cause it, can’t control it, can’t cure it–his addiction. If he wants help, then he must seek that for himself. You are right in that most “normal” or non-addicts probably would think twice if they got into trouble with the law….but the same cannot be said for the person who is in active addiction. Drugs come first–ALWAYS! Your son is 18 now so whatever he decides to do–let him deal with the consequences. Love him, but don’t enable him. Pray for him if you believe in prayer.

    I do hope to hear more from you. Sober recovery has helped me tremendously with my own recovery as well as NA and a few other programs. We do recover.



    I’m an addict in recovery. I made my own choices. I eventually realized and accepted that I am just like my drug addict friends…..a drug addict not necessarily a loser.

    Shame and guilt are some powerful emotions. So powerful, in fact, my own shame and guilt held me in denial of who was actually responsible for MY behavior.

    As an addict in active addiction it was more convenient for me to blame anyone but myself for my choices. My motivation was to keep up exactly what I was doing! I was determined to be the master of my destiny…not realizing “years later” would actually come into fruition. My fears of rejection and abandonment had me acting out in approval seeking behaviors. I put on the front that I fit in and kept busy being sure others didn’t reject me by doing things or sharing things others liked or wanted. I excelled in school….till I started using drugs…then I passed with just enough credits just barely doing what ever was required to pass…I’d lost interest. I was too busy “partying” and attempting to control my own life to care about school anymore. What would I need school for? I had become my own decision maker.

    I went on to use drugs for many years….until I couldn’t feel love. Not knowing or being willing to admit I was my own problem with my messed up thinking…my life was on the edge until I couldn’t stand living a lie anymore. All the hiding my activities…just to keep it up was no way to live. When my spirit felt vacant and I just couldn’t feel love anymore I surrendered. I became willing to learn to live a different way. There were plenty of consequences such as getting arrested, doing jail time (at one point 9 months straight after violating probation with more drug charges)…all the way to facing 6 to 10 years! I got help and made it through an intensive outpatient treatment program (with counseling). I had lost jobs, I stole things, I cheated people and manipulated…and more. I managed to not go to prison that last arrest and it really opened my eyes. The reality of addiction is that we don’t stop with out having had some painful consequences. We differ in degree of sickness and rate of recovery, too.

    I found there is no shame in admitting I’m an addict….the shame is in NOT admitting it.

    There are thousands and thousands of recovering addicts today. I have been clean and in recovery for several years now.

    We do recover.

    No one is responsible for an addicts active addiction except the addict themselves. Addicts surround themselves with enablers…for obvious reasons, they want to keep using!

    Do your own due diligence and learn how to not enable your son. That is the best way you can love him.

    Visit the Family and Friends forum.

    Educate yourself and seek support along your own path. Coming here is a good start.


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