Sarah D — March 12, 2023

Our 18 year old son is slowly fading away.  I have had to begin to make peace with the likely reality that this addiction will eventually take him.  It started two and half years ago when he tried pot for the first time.  His problems with school and drama with friends kicked into high gear, and about a year ago he fully descended into severe cannabis use disorder.  We have been proactive in getting help, but the drug is so easily accessible that he has continued to use, even after attending a 30 day rehab in another state.  He doesn’t want to stop – that’s the truth- and until and if he ever does- this will eventually take his life.  It has already taken away his friends, his love of baseball, his relationship with his sister (non existent), a loving relationship with his parents (it is only tension and suspicion and fatigue now- joyless), his plans for next year (was supposed to attend a post grad school – not going to happen), any and all motivation, personal hygiene, physical health (he is gaunt), and mental health (depressed, anxious).

I want to say that there is no other drug involved in our son’s demise.  It is “just weed”- of course, those of us reading this know so much better than that.  But that is the insidiousness of this drug.  In the community where we live, I believe there’s an intractable belief that marijuana is the “safe” drug- that it’s benign.  I am convinced that the fallout of the rising tide of adolescents becoming addicted to it will be enormous- it will break the mental health system and will result in losses that are incalculable.  I say this because my son- in his rare moments of lucidity- tells us that so many kids use it.  I know he’s not the only one.  He doesn’t have CIP yet but I know it’s just a matter of time.

I am despondent and my own physical and mental health have taken a huge hit over the last two years.  I don’t know how to cope.

4 Replies to “Sarah D — March 12, 2023”

  1. My heart is with you. Broken alongside you. This sounds exactly like my 19 year old son. Such promise. Such unbelievable talent and intelligence. Thrown away. Taken away. By THC and, like you, the belief there is likely more going on. I, like you, have had to arrive at some very possible and likely probably outcomes, that I cannot change. As a mom, that has been devastating. You are not alone. ❤️

  2. Just seeing this message- thank you so much. It really does help to know I’m not alone. You aren’t either- I’m sending you love and support.

  3. Oh Sarah – calling out to you from Australia. It is so soul-destroying when they don’t want to stop – that’s the heart of the matter….we can destroy ourselves in the trying and I nearly have, but if they don’t want to they can get it everywhere. I look at posts of my son’s friends finishing their degrees, hanging out with their friends and being physically and mentally well, and it makes me cry because my bright, articulate, creative, sensitive, generous boy is losing everything, and I can’t stop it. I understand how part of you prepares for the worst. It is survival. And another part never truly gives up hope whilst they are still alive. Sending you a warm hug and much care.

  4. Do not lose hope. These young people can be motivated to stop, and they are still young enough for their brains to develop. Unfortunately they need help to make that decision and motivation to do so. They have to want it for themselves. Even though their executive decision-making is poor it is important not to provide a life line that enables them to use marijuana. I always recognized that marijuana kills an individual’s motivation and alters the trajectory of a young person’s life. A year ago my daughter ended up in a cannabis-induced psychosis. She was 35 and had just started vaping marijuana in January as a way to stop using alcohol. I was in complete despair and had to move quickly to have her children removed by the court and put in the care of their father. She refused all help until she was in the process of being evicted and had lost her job and her vehicle. Eventually she ran out of money for marijuana and slowly became less psychotic I did have groceries delivered because she was vomiting and had gotten to a dangerous weight.. At that point she reached out for help and I agreed based on her willingness to get into a program. I had met another woman accidentally at a baseball game and she had gone through the same thing with her son, but 6 months after losing everything, he had come out of the psychosis and went into an outpatient program. He too was able to rebuild his life. I had my daughter attend the same program. She has a very active presence in her children’s lives and is working and has been able to create a home for the children who stay with her 3 days a week. Things are not perfect, but we’re in a much better place. She said she will never use marijuana ever again after waking up for a hundred days sobbing ,because her children were not with her. I prayed a lot and begged my guardian angels to watch over her. I was absolutely certain she would die. I sent her pictures of when she was a child and tried to remind her of who she used to be. I sent her prayers, and I sent her poems, and I had very candid conversations through email . I wanted her to be conscious of what was actually happening because I recognized her delusional thinking prevented her from seeing the reality of her circumstances. I kept trying to touch something in her soul that would respond in a meaningful positive way to my entreaties that she get help. In the end she ran out of money and couldn’t get high and eventually was able to think straight, because she had developed her brain enough to participate in her recovery.

    I’m praying for your strength during this arduous and heartbreaking endeavor to save our children from this horrible drug.

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