Friday 30 January 2015

My 18-year-old blames me for his drug-taking

I am extremely worried about my 18-year-old son, who I recently found out is smoking hash on a very regular basis. I found out through reading his text messages, so he could deny nothing, but he has the attitude that it's no big deal.

He insists that he doesn't smoke as much as the messages made out and that he is going to stop.

He says it's my fault that he is rebelling, because I always did too much for him!

I know myself I am strict and always used to question who he was with and where he was if he was out. It took him a long time to make new friends when he went to secondary school.

When he did eventually meet up with a nice bunch, he also met another gang through the band he started to play with. I think he got into smoking drugs with them.

He says he is not stupid enough to start taking anything heavier but, as far as I am concerned, he has already taken the first step in the wrong direction.

His dad and I split up before he was born and the relationship between us has not been good.

He is very close to his dad but he is more of a friend to him than a parent so I just feel I have no back-up whatsoever. What can I do?

I can imagine that the situation you find yourself in is increasingly common for parents around the country.

Hash and weed, the two most common forms of the cannabis plant, are easily available and are becoming an expected part of teenage life.

By way of explanation, hash or hashish is the name for a block of cannabis resin. Hash is created by harvesting the trichomes, or little sticky hairs on the plant, and then compressing them into a hard block, or paste, of cannabis resin.

Cannabis, in this hash form, tends to be more potent than the dried leaves and seeds of the plant. It is the dried leaves and seeds that are known as weed, dope, grass, pot, among other names.

No matter how the cannabis is prepared (dried or resin), the most common way to use cannabis is to smoke it.

So, 'weed' gets rolled into a cigarette-shaped joint, using tobacco papers, either as pure dried cannabis or is added to some tobacco.

I'd guess that you have been very upset and scared since discovering that your son is smoking hash.

You may feel disappointed with him, or even with yourself. Many parents in similar situations feel like they have failed in some way, as a parent.

The manner in which you found him out, by reading his personal, and I assume private, texts suggests that you don't trust him. I wonder how much he trusts you in return. You also mention that your son seems to think that you have been over-protective of him.

Irish Independent

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