I saw your sons story on the news about a month ago. First off, I am so deeply sorry for the loss of your son. I can’t imagine the agony and the loss. I’m so, so sorry. Thank you for educating people, and especially young people on the dangers of dabbing. This is extremely important work that you are doing.
Our 18 year old sons’ story is eerily similar to Johnny’s. Before he became addicted to dabbing in the past six months, he was a very bright, loving, articulate, kind, intelligent, talented, considerate, polite and funny young man with a super bright future ahead of him. He has a mother and father who have adored him from day one, and two sisters who love him very much and many friends, unfortunately, many who dab high THC and use pot – in our state, perfectly legal, at least for those over 21.
He has never suffered any abuse from either his mother or father, or anyone else – except for what I would consider normal arguments between a teenager and his parents in his later teenage years. He has had some minor underlying anxiety during covid, and the past few years of HS, but nothing he was ever treated for and he never mentioned suicide before a few months ago when he started dabbing daily and heavily. Once he started dabbing high THC concentrates, his behavior very rapidly changed and became very, very disturbing. He turned into someone we don’t even recognize at all.
We feel that he now has Cannabis Psychosis, Paranoia (the govt. has bugged my phone, people are spying on me) and even some Schizophrenic type symptoms – grandiose feelings, disorganized thinking, not making any sense, saying very odd things. His anger is through the roof, he punches himself in his face, punches holes in the walls of our house. He blames all of his problems on his mother and I and will take responsibility for nothing (YOU guys have a BIG problem, not me). Last night he told me he wishes me dead, wants me dead and hopes I soon will die. Before this, we had what I would describe as a loving and close relationship, not perfect though, but no relationship ever is.
He is now suicidal. The police have been called nine times to our house due to his threatening suicide – in just the past three months. He is now completely unrecognizable to us. His eyes look different, his mannerisms are different, he has lost a bunch of weight and his anger at us is off the charts, especially when we say no to his demands. Dabbing THC is legal in our state!
He has been on three 72 hour holds. The 3rd 72 hour hold resulted in transfer to a behavioral health and addiction hospital where he stayed for three nights. They recommended he go to a partial hospitalization program at a different behavioral health and addiction hospital closer to our house, 9-2pm five days per week. We think he needs full hospitalization for detox from this high THC dabbing. He is scared to death of any group type therapy or hospitalization, even partial hospitalization where he gets to live at home. He called the new hospital for a phone assessment and told them that he was fine, just suffering a little bit of anxiety and that their program wasn’t right for him. His lying has been pathological and compulsive and continues to be.
About a month ago, he crashed his car by running a red light, multiple witnesses said he was doing over 100mph in a 45mph zone. He crashed into a woman’s car at around 40mph, totaled his car and hers. He didn’t check on the older woman he crashed into, he then left the scene of the accident, ran into a nearby store and assaulted two workers there, threw a ladder at one worker and grabbed the other man’s eyeglasses after the man dropped them and he then broke them in half. He blames this all on hitting his head in the accident, not the THC. After his accident, I went through his car at the towing yard and found 3-4 empty containers of weed, two empty containers of dabbing THC wax, multiple vaping pens and a blowtorch on his seat. He denies being high when the accident occurred… I believe otherwise.
Over the past few weeks, when he asked to borrow one of our cars (I took him off of our insurance after his car was totaled as our insurance premium skyrocketed) and when I said no, he started violently punching himself in his face. He then tried to rip a heavy duty metal hangar for a bird feeder off our deck saying he would stab and beat himself in his head with it. Then he punched a hole in the wall of his bedroom and ripped up some things in his bedroom. All MY FAULT according to him. I made him do it because I wouldn’t let him use one of our cars in his condition. It couldn’t possibly be the high THC dabbing to blame.
He currently has a warrant out for his arrest for missing court dates for speeding tickets. All of these behaviors before dabbing would have been absolutely and undeniably unheard of for our son, as he has always been a polite, kind, compassionate, loving, considerate young man. We have never had any sort of problems like this with him before and never any involvement with the police.
We have kicked him out of the house six times over the past three months, letting him sleep at home on occasion, the last being three nights ago and the previous 4-5 nights before that. He stays up all night and is extremely angry at us, this is all our fault, banging on our door, volatile, screaming, crying, blaming us for everything, and more. We had to kick him out again as we can’t live like that. It has gotten to the point that we are now concerned for our own safety, not knowing what he is capable of with his extreme behavior. On one occasion he ran out of the house, screaming at the top of his lungs at my wife “My Mom is a fucking psychotic bitch”, over and over again. That tidbit is one of so many since he started dabbing high THC concentrates. All of this behavior would have been absolutely unheard of for our son, pre-dabbing.
After his car crash, I got into his iPhone and read through all of his texts. He had texted the word/action of Dabbing 80 times in the previous 10 weeks plus 45 times words like “bud, pot, weed”. These were all things like “I’m dabbing with XXX at XXX Park”, “come dab with me, I’m at XXX’s house”, “can I buy 2 grams of wax from you”, “lets dab and then go skate”, etc. He obviously had been driving high as a kite many times as many of his dabbing texts occurred in his car. In the hospital stays he has tested only positive for THC. His doctors and our psychologist and family friend who has a lot of experience with meth, suspected meth based on all of his behaviors. Based on his own texts, he had dabbed high concentrate THC 1.6 times per day, every day, seven days per week the previous 10 weeks. That’s what his texts went back to as he had gotten a new phone.
He is now homeless, has no money, no job, no car and won’t seek help because he doesn’t have a problem. All of this would have been inconceivable to us pre-dabbing. The police tell us “Sorry, there is nothing we can do except another 72 hour hold”. Dabbing high THC concentrate wax should be banned in CO. We are at our wits end with him, with no clue of what to do. Do we attempt to get him into some sort of interventionist type program involuntarily?
I feel like I am in a race and a battle to save his life, but it appears there is nothing I (we) can do. Everyone says to keep our distance and not give him any money, don’t enable him, etc. We have been doing that but it is a dilemma as we love him so much and we want to save him and protect him from this poison that is ruining his life. We know it’s the drug, the THC that is causing his erratic and very strange behavior as his behavior rapidly went downhill at the same time as he started dabbing THC. He often (daily) says how much he despises us, how we have abused him his whole life (all untrue and all delusions). I want to help him, protect him and save him from himself, yet I can’t.
Everyone tells us to not give him money, they say he will use it for drugs – He says he will only use it for food, “he’s starving to death and WE WON’T HELP HIM!”. Nor should we give him a place to sleep as that is just enabling him – even our psychologist has been saying these things. My son says “I’m homeless because of YOU”. I have told him that we will drive him to court dates, a job – if he gets one, and to treatment and that’s it. That only makes him madder.
I have spent hundreds of hours and many sleepless nights researching dabbing THC and addiction in general. I have forwarded many, many scholarly medical research articles on the dangers of dabbing THC to our son, including the one about Johnny & his family, all to no avail.
3 Replies to “Sean K — June 17, 2021”
Sean. Your story is extremely similar to ours with our 20 year old son. You have to get him on a longer involuntary stay at the hospital so the antipsychotic medications can start to work. I’m not sure what state you are in but in PA, the Court was able to involuntary keep our son for weeks until the meds took effect and he realized what he did to himself. If he’s not taking care of himself and his needs, you can probably be the one to commit him. Our son was away at college on one of his psychotic episodes and the social services in that county visited him at the police station and committed him. That agency went to every court hearing after that to insure he stayed committed until he got better on the meds. We now have our son out at PACE recovery in southern California for a minimum 3 month stay to tackle his high thc dabbing habit. Not sure it’s going to work but we are starting to see signs he if coming back to normal. PACE is only for young men with this exact issue. Being on the beach and having fun things to do on the weekends was the big selling point to get him to agree to go but you have to tackle the psychosis first and foremost. Medication is the only way to break him out of this. If you are not sure where to turn to commit him and get him on a longer stay than 72 hrs., maybe your county mental health office or the local hospital can advice you. Here in Pittsburgh we have the Resolve Mental Health office and they actually came out to our home to help commit him once. You can probably call Resolve and ask them if your locality has a office and services that are similar. Sorry you are going through this but I feel your pain.
Yet another similar story. Our son (20 as well) became psychotic after ingesting a 50 mg edible on his birthday (6/10) while he was also going through a dab cartridge every few days. He became increasingly paranoid and angry (180 degree turn from his usual gentle nature) to the point where he was so aggressive I had to leave my own house. The police were no help – going away was actually their suggestion and when I tried to come back he had decided that he owned the house and paid the mortgage (when he had just quit his job the week before because he thought all his co-workers were talking behind his back). The county health department was no help because he had to be the one to ask for help and he didn’t think he had a problem. My best resources were found at treatment centers – talking to everyone I could about what was going on and it was through that I discovered intervention. We hired an interventionist to research a good treatment facility for him and went through the intervention process – it wasn’t a smooth path, he ended up leaving the treatment facility the first night but fortunately because he was so disoriented in a new town he was hospitalized the next day on a 3 day psychiatric hold, followed by a 14 day hold where he is now. Progress on the meds is slow but we know he’s safe and we have a 45 day treatment facility lined up for him after. This time I hope he stays.
Sean, we met yesterday at the #StopDabbing Walk. I’m so incredibly sorry that this is happening to your family. I’d like to meet up and offer a support group for other parents.