What is the most important skill parents should learn to help a child with a substance use disorder?

Posted on June 6, 2022 View all news

The Every Brain Matters community understands how difficult and painful it is when you have a child or loved one with destructive behaviors such as using marijuana or any drug. We also know that each family navigates recovery and healing in different ways. Applying valuable tools from many types of effective support systems. The information given here is taken from one of these reliable systems.

We are grateful that the Cornerstone Team Counseling community addresses these tough recovery questions and is allowing us to share their insight with you. Since it is beneficial to hear different perspectives, the following answers are from clinical staff, teens in recovery, and parents.

To learn more, please visit The Every Brain Matters Support Section or click under the meeting tab to find more information on our support meetings for parents and families.

Note: The following are quotes from real people and some may use language and/or terms that may not be accepted by some readers. A glossary of terms is listed at the bottom of the page.

What is the most important skill parents should learn to help a child with a substance use disorder?

Perspective from Clinical Staff: Utilizing the Shots (consequences from the rules you set up in your home) as guiding principles which in turn will help you follow through with exactly what you say you’re going to do.

The shots are the most effective tool for you to regain your serenity and the power back in your home. The shots are there FOR YOU and they will ultimately help your teen learn through having consequences to their unacceptable actions and behaviors. 

Most parents like to talk, lecture, and reason/convince their teen into changing. This method does NOT work! People change because they HAVE to change which typically is facilitated by consequences. 

You as a parent have a huge role to play in enforcing those consequences or letting them off the hook. 

Perspective from Parents: Work your own program!!!! Utilize your sponsor, educate yourself through reading ALL suggested materials, attend as many meetings as possible including Climbers, be 100% on board with enforcing the plan of action/teens program outlined in family appointments and reach out to your area counselor for input when you feel lost or in doubt (they do know more than we do).

Also, learn what it means to detach with love from your teen. Enabling only prolongs the hardship for them and you will keep your family from the healing and growth recovery can give you all. 

Learn as much as you can about addiction, parent-driven recovery, and the tools of the program!

Perspective from Teens: Honestly, just be open-minded. There are a lot of counterintuitive approaches and tools you will hear in the program which will require you to do things differently in your home and life. 

These changes will challenge your teen and they may go through a bunch of emotions while adjusting to a new way of doing things as well as experience the emotional rollercoaster of getting and staying sober. As a parent, I can imagine that it is hard to watch that without wanting to jump in and make it easier on them or help make excuses for them to not work hard for their sobriety. 

The biggest help you can be to your child is working your own program and NOT theirs! Hold them to do what they committed to doing ESPECIALLY in the moments that they begin telling you they don’t need to work as hard as when they first got in. 

Remember that addicts are MASTER manipulators. We want to cut corners and find people who will co-sign this for us. When you are honestly working your own program, WE know and your teen will recognize it. 


We hope that you find hope and encouragement from reading this parent story.

My life was always kind of messy even from earliest childhood memories, being exposed to things & situations that later in life I hoped to protect my own children from. I developed survival skills the best I could, with little or no self-esteem. From my teens to my late forties, marriages & children in between all the time surviving on my own evolving survival skills, carrying all emotional baggage, character defects, coping the best I could along the way, along with self-medicating.

Depression began to set in during my mid-thirties while married and having children, along with the continued self-medicating, my first marriage failed after approx. 7yrs, leaving 2 children in the wreckage, neither one of us at the time were parent of the year candidates in my mind, but I felt as though I was less worse than the other, so I pursued & was awarded custody of 2 young boys. Not too far down that road I began to realize somethings got to change, I was going through the motions of life with what seemed like the weight of the world holding me down, somewhere around 1999, I cried out for help to a God I did not really know, or not sure I believed existed, He gave me the strength to get up off my knees and continue in life.

As time flies my children approaching their teen years, I parented with a lot of fear, resentment towards my children’s mother for perceived lack of help in raising our children, around this time my oldest son began getting into trouble in & out of school, the younger son began really struggling emotionally as well but did not get into trouble, we spent any extra money we had on Dr. visits & medication for behavior problems, (all of us) I never attending college for lack of interest, self-discipline & money, I held descent paying jobs but always struggled financially never being able to put away money, and always worrying about the next financial hurdle, let alone retirement, but those fears were always present being able to pay the bills & not end up homeless.

My children became the sole reason for my existence. Eventually, I could no longer ignore my older son was using drugs, and getting in legal trouble, at this time he was about 16yrs old, leading up to this there was a lot of craziness in our lives, emotional & physical abuse, ignoring my youngest son because of the drama with the oldest. I realized I was becoming crazy trying desperately to fix my kid, I heard about

Cornerstone (recovery community or APG in Houston Texas) through one of my child’s friends’ parents, I attended a meeting and decided this would “fix my kid” I tried to make him attend but he refused saying he could quit on his own, well he failed his first drug test, his refusal to attend Cornerstone or quit using led to him leaving the house, it was a very traumatic time, we both said a lot of hurtful things to one another I believed everything he said about me being a worthless piece of crap parent, I was heartbroken, I had pretty much raised him on my own it hurt really bad.

The night he left the house I found myself crying in a parking lot of a store I was going to enter, I asked God did he even know what was going on in my life did He even care, a few days later while waiting to enter the sanctuary at church, a man that I recognized but did not know his name came up to me & asked what was going on with me last Thursday, (the same night I was in the parking lot crying to God) he said I came to his mind and felt a powerful need to pray for me, I did not realize it at first, thought it was a weird conversation, some crazy Christian, later I realized it was from God letting me know He did care.

I continued to attend the Cornerstone meetings and be the parent without a kid in the program, just another one of the many awkward uncomfortable feelings I began to deal with myself at these Cornerstone meetings, I did not like hugging, sharing, talking after the meeting, attending coffee, functions, climbers or getting a sponsor but I did keep coming to the meeting, so my growth was slow, I did not jump right in with both feet as I have seen others do.

Eventually (yrs.?) I decided to get a sponsor and start working the 12-step program, I decided to be honest, fearless & thorough as I worked the steps, I realized that although I was deeply religious at church, and yes, it did make me wonder about this cornerstone rule to refer to my God as “my higher power” how this program could work without letting Him in, I now realize & accept the reasons, and realized I was not trusting God as the program & 12 steps taught me, funny here I thought I knew better about my God, and really, I knew very little, in a lot of ways I connected with God more through the program than I did at church.

I learned to trust God more, give Him my worries, let Him be in control of my life, I started embracing the love of the group, even wanting to share this little light of mine with others. I had realized how shyness, fear, low self-esteem, and shame had ruled my life and no longer was useful and I started to change, the miracle, gift I had heard others talk about was in fact happening to me, my lifelong affair with anger, as relating to fear became less, then almost non-existent, I started getting self-esteem, and really for the first time started loving, liking, and taking care of myself, as I worked through all 12 steps, I began to have healthy relationships in all my affairs, all the time improving my conscious contact with my higher power.

My son did eventually come willingly to Cornerstone, mostly for himself but also am sure from the changes he seen in me, and how I dealt with him now, I am grateful for the recovery he gained, he even attended IOP, before relapsing, then spending some time in jail, I no longer focus on his recovery or addictions, he has his own journey and I have mine, my relationship with my younger son has improved & became healthy (not perfect) I have made amends to the past & present. I am learning to live life on life’s terms, not knowing or worrying about tomorrow, but knowing I have the tools & faith to face it, embracing the love that is all around me, willing to reach out to others.

Yes, I have received & embraced the miracle, the gift of recovery, I am eternally grateful for Cornerstone, and how this program has helped change my life, my son, and a ripple effect to family, friends, coworkers, I do not want my old life back (in reference to before my child started using) my problems started way back and my life has been changed profoundly, I have a new life, freedom & the “courage to change” to live life the Way my Higher Power intended, freedom from self-destructive behavior. I am now able to be a conduit of God’s love in life; this is what God intended for me, living a happy, victorious life, sharing my strength hope, experience & love with others, just as others had done with me on this journey. I feel God in this program, He is in the daily moment of my life, I am realizing life’s about trusting Him, He loves me, and sharing that love with others. I now believe & trust with God all things are possible, it is all about His love, sometimes I think “I got this now” then God reminds me of this new journey I am on does not end, I must remind myself of progress not perfection and this is a life.


Glossary of terms:

Addict: An old term used to describe a person with a substance use disorder that is not currently socially accepted anymore.

Al-Anon: A twelve-step organization that provides support and hope for families affected by another person’s marijuana use.

Awakening: A term used after Completion of the 12 steps and the requirements of the Cornerstone community. Like a graduation but it’s viewed as a “spiritual awakening”

Climbers: an interactive educational group for family members to bring issues, questions or concerns, and receive direct feedback from a counselor and other family members. As well as learn tools of recovery to help you and your family. The Every Brain Matters community offers a Climbers meeting every Wednesday.

Destructive Behaviors: Self-destructive behavior is when you do something that’s sure to cause self-harm, whether it’s emotional or physical. Some self-destructive behavior is more obvious, such as: attempting suicide. binge eating. compulsive activities like gambling, using harmful drugs, gaming, or shopping.

IOP (Intensive Outpatient Therapy): treatment programs used to address addictions, depression, eating disorders, or other dependencies that do not require detoxification or round-the-clock supervision.

Mar-Anon Family Groups: A twelve-step organization that provides support and hope for families affected by another person’s marijuana use.

Parent-Driven Recovery: Tools that Work is a must-read for parents of substance-abusing teens. You’ll learn how to maneuver through the chaos to create a harmonious family life. Even if your teen is not ready or willing to change, there is help and hope.

Recovery: A return to a normal state of health, mind, or strength. A healing process.

Shots: A term used in the recovery community is called Couerstone Team Counseling. It’s a customized list of rules and consequences each family makes for their homes. To learn more, attend the Every Brain Matters Climbers meeting on Wednesday evenings at 7 pm Central time. A list of our meetings is at this link.

SO: Stands for Significant Others, a term sometimes used when graduating from an IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program) after making amends to our “significant others”, or people we have harmed.

0 thoughts on "What is the most important skill parents should learn to help a child with a substance use disorder?"

  1. Regina, I am so proud if you. You are keeping lil Briabs memory alive by saving others. Love you, stay strong

  2. Thank you for sharing your Brian with all.
    I hope you find grief healing fir yourself through what you are doing to help others. Wishing you peace.

  3. I am not sure how to say what is in my heart after reading this.
    I am so terribly sorry for the loss of your precious son.
    I am scared for my son who was recently diagnosed.
    I am scared for all the moms out there who are or will deal with CHS.
    Please keep raising awareness.
    You are amazing and are making a difference.
    xo

  4. You are an example to all of us, Regina. Thank you so much for sharing your story and your son with us.

  5. I dont want medical marijuana to be legal anywhere but now more than ever, especially in my city (Pittsburgh, PA)

  6. As the mother of a forever 18 year old because of my child’s marijuana addiction (severe cannabis use disorder was the psychiatrist’s diagnosis), I absolutely believe in the facts and recommendations in this article. This is NOT the same pot I knew of.

  7. I used to think marijuana/cannabis was harmless. I started smoking it in the 1970’s.
    I was wrong. Using the “soft drug” in my 20’s reduced my ambition and created other negative consequences. When I became a parent of a teenager, I knew pot was not healthy but didn’t think it was very serious. My wife and I had a zero tolerance stance, however, I wish we had read the above article back then, to know how to proceed. Most of today’s high THC pot is a “hard drug.” My family’s very sad story is proof of that.

    Thank you, Dr Collier!

  8. Dear Sonia,
    Thank you for sharing your dear son’s story. What a heartwrenching journey for your whole family. What a beautiful son. Such a terrible loss.
    It must not have been easy describing what his last days were like but it’s important for others because most people don’t understand what psychosis is. Your descriptions vividly describe what its like. Hopefully your words can help others to recognize the signs.
    Bless you. So sorry for your loss.

  9. Thank you for sharing this story. I’m so sorry for the loss of your son. I went through my first episode of psychosis. It scared me so much. Your story will help others as they struggle with this. Thank you for sharing. God bless you!🙏

  10. I will pray for you, Sonia, and I hope you find comfort and peace in our Lord.

  11. Sonia I am so sorry for your loss. I know you have had other losses and I am truly sorry

  12. I am deeply sorry for your loss. such an unfortunate loss, Much more research and further investigation and this topic are extremely necessary with a claim that the cannabis itself was the cause of his death. Was he already suffering from some sort of mental disorder? even something as simple as depression? I have so many questions about this topic of “CIP”. Its causing a stir in the cannabis industry with these claims need to be backed up by some sort of research. They don’t give out warning fliers out when you buy a bottle of 99 bananas but now, because of storys like this the industry is forced to now hand out fliers. Just really makes me wonder about this world like are we really analyzing everything rationally. Cannabis is medicine for many people and for most they absolutely could not do without it and when used properly is extremely safe and actuaclly beneficial for the body; but just like prescription drugs and even alcohol are bad for you if abused. I hope we can all look forward and not be so close minded to facts rather then speculation. education is key. God bless.

  13. Dear Rita,
    I am so sorry for the loss of your dear Brian. Thank you for speaking out about this. Too few understand there are any risks to these products. There should be warning labels–both on the products and on billboards. Everyone has a right to know.
    You are helping so many today. A heartfelt thank you to you.
    I send you light as you journey through your grief.

  14. Rita….
    Too many people… it never happened in the 70s from low dose marijuana. Now families are left with a lifetime of pain when today’s cannabis dosages approach 100 times the therapeutic recommendation of marinol
    There are no roadblocks, no guardrails.
    Lets work together on stopping this drug from continuing its march through our young people at the hands of a few evil people.. and make no mistake they are evil.
    I am so so sorry… we all grieve at the loss of every person.

  15. Dear Sonia, I’m sooo sorry for the loss of your beautiful boy💔 All 3 of my daughters went through CIP-each time was worse than the sister before…my last adult daughter is 28, she went through it with mania for 8 very long months..and just like all of the CIP individuals, was able to fool everyone, doctors, nurses, law enforcement etc. She is home, safe, and out of the psychosis state, we’re beyond Thankful to God for bringing her home to us..We have a road ahead of us, she’s very depressed and anxiety ridden due to the destruction she caused over that time period, she also wishes she wasn’t here😭 My Prayer is that one day soon she will realize just how fortunate she is to have made it out alive🙏🏻🙏🏻 My heart hurts for you and all the other parents whose babies can’t come home anymore and my continued Prayers for all is that God Took Your Babies home with him where they’re now safe and away from the enemy🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻 Thank You for sharing your beautiful boys story and May God Be With You and Yours Always🙏🏻❤️🙏🏻🙏🏻

  16. Thank you for sharing your story. All the hype before the legalization of marijuana at the states level that marijuana is safe as being “plant-based” and now every dispensary has billboard signs everywhere has done irreparable damage, especially to the young people so much so that changing the users’ mindset is almost impossible.

  17. Thank you for sharing your story. All the hype before the legalization of marijuana at the states level that marijuana is safe as being “plant-based” and now every dispensary has billboard signs everywhere has done irreparable damage, especially to the young people so much so that changing the users’ mindset is almost impossible. Sorry for your loss.

  18. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I have just begun this journey with my son AND husband. I’m trying to learn everything I can and help educate them as well as others. I am so incredibly sorry for your loss.

  19. I’m sorry for your loss. I have been suffering from the same symptoms and going to all possible doctors until one of them asked me if I smoked cannabis and told me about the symptoms of CHS. I was very surprised because cannabis helps me a lot with my psychological disorders of depression and anxiety. I know what to do now

  20. Excellent advice – I wish I had read this article when my sons were in high school. But I’m linking to it on the website of my non-profit, Be the Influence (www.betheinfluence.us) and including it in my “420” newsletter going out today on 4/20/22! Thank you for this resource.

  21. Jesus Christ can rescue you and heal you. He can make you a new person. My husband and I spent 14 years in the New Age psychedelic counterculture in San Francisco in the 60s and 70s. And later, after we became Christians, Richard worked for 30 years in locked psychiatric wards. Some of those voices you’ve heard are undoubtedly demons. Christ is the answer you need. Turn to him. Check out our booklets, “The Cross & the Marijuana Leaf” and “Psychedelic Seduction” at lighthousetrails.com.

  22. Please continue to raise awareness. As I struggle and I know firsthand. We should choose to acknowledge facts and not just pop culture .

  23. This is so heartbreaking. Thank you for sharing Randy’s story. He has so many similarities to others I’ve heard about who suffered with CIP: paranoia with roommates, being asked to leave, convinced MJ was saving him, etc. We are so grateful you are speaking out. Peace and comfort to you and your family.

  24. We have a similar story. We are witnesses to the deterioration of the mind that THC causes. Tragically, our 27 year old son was successful in his suicide atempt in 2013. We believe he had been using marijuana since age 13, as that is when we began noticing negative changes in his personality at that age.
    When he was 17, we put him into residential treatment; however, within 3 weeks of his return home, he began using it again.
    I agree 100% that a big lie about marijuana is being promoted throughout our country. Those states who have legaized its use, will pay a huge price as rhey will lose generations of youth who had once had great potential and thrir mental health cases will soar. I imagine that they already are, but that the staristics are being hidden from the public.

  25. He kept his story real, very helpful to me as a grandmother of two grandchildren addicted to marijuana and suboxone. This story gives me hope! I hope there’s a group in Florida close by.🙏

  26. We are going through the same thing. Our 18 year old is having a psychotic break due to cannabis. It is horrifying. He has had horrible depression for years and every SSRI and SNRI that he has tried, has not worked so when he got his medical marijuana card, we did not push back. Big mistake. This is a horrible drug that many kids cannot handle. Beware and educate your kids as to the dangers of marijuana.

  27. My son also killed himself on 8/13/22. Within a week before he completely changed. We found vaping product partly used that included THC 0, Delta 8 and Delta 10. I completely believe this product caused Psychosis in my son which caused him to kill himself.

  28. Dear God, he was just a baby. I’m so just distraught that Alex paid for his mistakes with his life. This is so incredibly unfair. Thirteen year olds simply do not have — cannot have — the emotional maturity to grasp the potential consequences of using illicit substances. My own son is paying a heavy price for his foray into Delta 8 and God only knows what other substances along the way. He is suffering from psychosis that is not getting better; we fear it has become a chronic condition, schizophrenia. He was a brilliant, talented, happy kid. We as a society cannot afford to lose our kids like this.

  29. Oh Sue I had no idea all of this was happening. . I can’t begin to imagine the pain both of you must have gone through I know there were times I was impressed to pray for you but didn’t know why. Now I wish I had been listening better and praying more. Now no matter what I said, it isn’t enough. Thank you for being strong enough and so grounded in your faith that you have had the courage to write this.
    My heart bleeds for you and I love you very very much. Elaine

  30. Oh Sue, When I read this I couldn’t stop tearing up.
    You and your family went through so much. I tried to put my feet in your shoes and don’t know how you survived, but GOD. What a peace to know that at one time he asked Jesus to come into his life. Now he is free from all the awfulness of drugs and what it can do to a wonderful healthy young man who had so many dreams and plans of college, a degree, a wife, a family, children, grandchildren.
    When I hear what all the drugs are doing to young people, I know many families must be going through the same terrible experience you endured.
    So glad you were blessed with the day you and Spencer said your last last good-bys and the love you shared together.

  31. Thank you for sharing your story Phyllis. I am heart broken to hear about your son. Prayers for you and your family.

  32. My Dear Sweet Sue, God Bless you for wanting to help others by opening up and sharing your experience. It was a long road Spence traveled and he knew you were always there, even though he was often so ugly in his behavior towards you. I too am so glad God gave you that last visit.

  33. This is my story and thank you so much for caring so much too help not only me but for others as well, it’s all good.

  34. This is my double first cousin,we grew up together and we smoked a lot of pot together.I myself often wondered if it wasn’t all im his head.I drove a tractor trailer and Kenny as i call him would often ride along with me.He was sick alot,I felt so bad for him and it was extreamly difficult to watch.He is a tuff ole boy.Ive seen him in a few battles including a few with me.Getting punched in the face didnt even faze him.He was like a brother to me,so yea we had a few run in’s.He dam sure held his own.But this sickness was beating him up bad,it was scary and very difficult to watch.I love my cousin,probably more than he will ever know and im so glad he found the problem.Im proud of Kenny he and me were both headed down the wrong road.He is a beautiful soul and thank the good lord we didnt loose him over something like this.Ive been smoking since i was 9 years old we just grew up in houses were it was as comon as water.I often want to stop smoking myself but i battle anxiety thats pretty extream.Im sorry someone had to pass for my cousin to find what was wrong.I just sit back and wonder how many lifes will be saved because of Brian.May god bless his family and his death might be the reason my beautiful soul cousin lives on.I love you cuz,can’t wait to come catch some more catfish with you.God bless

  35. I’m unsure whether or not you got my last comment as I’m having phone difficulties & a screenshot can’t be sent.
    Please contact me as I’d like to give my observations/input as a retired educator on informational articles and research that I’ve done over the last 40+ yrs. Also, pass this along to the other relevant organizations listed in your ad or that might be interested.

  36. With the mega demand for and supply of Marijuana in the US and Australia these psychosis cases must be occurring daily in our Public Hospital EDs and Psychiatric Units. Can someone please reveal to Every Brain Matters the reason why medical doctors and psychiatrists are not sounding the alarm and taking cannabis prohibitive action modeled on anti-tobacco education warnings.

  37. Hello Dr. Stuyt, I became addicted in my early 20s and suffered a marijuana psychosis at age 25. This was around 1970, when THC was about 3%. I’ve struggled with mental illness ever since, and now some 50-years later, I take 3 antidepressants (two at maximum daily dosage) and see both a therapist and a psychiatrist.

    gfs

  38. Thank you for sharing this all-too-familiar progression with cannabis becoming a gateway to harder drugs, now laced illegally with killer substances, like fentanyl .

    May Catherine rest in peace and her story be a powerful learning for others.

  39. Thank you for sharing this all-too-familiar progression with cannabis becoming a gateway to harder drugs, now laced illegally with killer substances, like fentanyl .

    May Catherine rest in peace and her story be a powerful learning for others.

  40. I think you are missing the point if you think cannabis simply leads to more serious drugs. Cannabis is the destruction drug. It kills the brain and the person as we know them never returns. The damage is done. The idea of calling it the 1st death is brilliant as that is what it is. I understand this journey all too well as my son has experienced the first death and even though he lives on physically he will never be the same. The light in his soul has gone out. There is hardly anyone left. The medical field cannot help as they experiment with different treatment options to no avail and eventually the victims give up on treatment. This is reality and so you go home every day hoping he had the will power to go on to fight another day. The sadness never lifts and hardly anyone understands your pain.

  41. Do not believe that is effective at all. Not just only not particularly effective, but I have seen this in many clients and in a family members. When people self-medicate or use a so-called prescription which is nothing more than a fraudulent voucher per se, they frequently use it to treat depression, anxiety, etc. However, cannabis is known to make these conditions worse and to provoke them. Well most drugs have side effects the side effects of the drug are completely unacceptable and the fact that it’s used recreationally more than proves the point that it would be nearly impossible to sort out a dopamine seeking intoxication as opposed to the remediation for the very conditions that it provokes and aggravates and increases.

  42. My son 17 already has 2 episodes it’s horrible I don’t know what to do, he won’t stop the weed. He acts completely different. It’s really difficult to find help.

    He won’t stop smoking the weed, like he doesn’t understand what happened to him.

  43. Thank You for sharing this story. My daughter was just diagnosed. It was very scary.

  44. This is complete rubbish. Research shows Some studies showed that cannabis products reduced the number and/or intensity of different symptoms, including hyperactivity, attacks of self-mutilation and anger, sleep problems, anxiety, restlessness, psychomotor agitation, irritability, aggressiveness perseverance, and depression. Moreover, they found an improvement in cognition, sensory sensitivity, attention, social interaction, and language. The most common adverse effects were sleep disorders, restlessness, nervousness and change in appetite. Source: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34043900/

  45. That baby boy yeah that was me pops I never knew and tried killing itself I never knew you said the same as that thing I did and all those times I tried I couldn’t even get that right but you’re my dad man I’ve been through the same thing man I remember staying up for days smoking methamphetamines smoking Molly snorting coke smoking crack smoking synthetic cannabis overdosing three times and now look man I’m sober a year and 11 months I’m sober yes I smoke marijuana but I also believe marijuana has benefits and disadvantages so I just want you to know I truly thank you man every time you told me that you understood what I was going through you really did I love you man you’re my pops

  46. I am so sorry. This industry is devastating the world with its lies and faulty science, poor quality control and general nonsense. I can’t say what I want to say but it would include a lot of four letter words, and ugly language because I am filled with anger. RAGE, more specifically, at the people who are making tons of money at the expense of sick and hurting people. God Bless you and keep you and I will be praying for your healing.

  47. Juli Shamash – “almost all opioid users, started with marijuana” were is your proof? This is nothing but an opinion Cannabis is NOT a gateway drug, it has been debunked long long ago!

  48. Thank you Rik! What an honest share about your struggles and triumphs. I really appreciate reading about what’s it’s like to use marijuana every day. It gives me a better understanding and compassion towards my qualifier. I am so proud of you for running your Mon MA meetings!!!!!Thank You!

  49. I see you said you child was diagnosed with ADHD.
    Did your child take ADHD medication?
    What Medication was prescribed to them?
    How long did they take the medication prescribed to them by a doctor?

  50. Dear Emma,
    So sorry for your son. This warning was out 9 years ago, and psychiatrists have improved in places like California where the problem is too widespread to ignore. But most of the USA doesn’t understand and children/ parents are not warned. Your story is beautifully written and it goes with this article which is in 2 parts. https://poppot2.wpengine.com/2015/02/01/mental-health-care-fails-addiction-treatment/. We need to bring you on as advocate who can demonstrate the story.

  51. My son who is 40 had 2 episodes back in 2019 due to marijuana and what we now know is cannabis induced psychosis. He knew if he continued, he would lose his wife and 2 kids. So he stopped. That is until July 2023 when him and his wife separated and he got a medical marijuana card and started vaping it. He is so out of touch with reality right now that we can’t get him to listen to us and will not get help. I have reached out to the police to do a wellness check and they go out to his house and say there is nothing they can do, because he had a medical marijuana card and is in his house. His gas has been turned off due to not paying the bill, and he thinks it is because his thermostat is broke. After his daughter went to check on him, she saw where it looked like he had tried to start a fire on their wood kitchen table, but then put out. The police and mental help line people there is nothing they can do unless he is a danger to himself or someone else. If lighting a fire on a wood table isn’t a danger to himself, I don’t know what is. I don’t know where to turn for help or what to do. I am concerned he isn’t eating, sleeping, and has no heat in the house and it is 26 degrees overnight. If anyone has any suggestions or can help, please let me know.

  52. MADE a COUPLE of TWEAKS:

    A friend involved with Every Brain Matters asked me if I’d consider writing a paragraph or two on my experience with a loved one with a Cannabis Use Disorder.

    My loved one is a good friend, who I’ve watched smoke cannabis daily, then stop for a few days or even a week or two, only to fall back into using. They have struggled, and I have struggled. Sometimes, when they haven’t been using, I wish they would use, but then it means interacting with someone who’s in an altered state of mind while I’m not. It’s a roller coaster of emotions ranging from sympathy, anger, frustration, disappointment, concern for their well-being, and fear. It’s a lot, and it can be isolating..very isolating.

    Who do I talk to? Do I talk? What do I say?

    What are some of the things that have really helped and made all the difference? Getting support for myself. In particular, a weekly, Saturday morning support group via Zoom. There we share our experiences; the things which have helped and as importantly, the things which have not.

    There’s a wide range of support available, and I encourage anyone to seek out support and that fits with you. There’s a saying, “Pain is unavoidable, but suffering is optional”. Don’t suffer in silence, and don’t think you’re alone, because you’re not.

    Another helpful saying is, “I didn’t cause the marijuana use, I can’t control the marijuana use, I can’t cure the marijuana use.” It was the beginning of detaching with love from my loved one and taking responsibility for myself, not my loved one’s addiction.

    At the moment, my friend hasn’t used cannabis for a couple of months, and while I’m pleased for them, I’m also cautious and wary. For better or worse, I simply see them as an “untreated addict.”

    Whether my friend/loved one is using marijuana or not, my job is to keep the focus on myself, so I’m able to continue taking loving care of myself, and keep giving myself the support I need and deserve.

    Ana B., Canada

  53. Aubrey
    Excellent presentation of the facts. I have continued to evaluate SAMHSA’s grantmaking guidelines and it allows allocations to non-governmental entities. Secondly, I believe we have a strong case for not allowing funds for prevention to go to States that actively market marijuana, like mine in California.

    I am going to pursue it further. If we can capture part or all of those funds for a valid prevention program, I think we can start the process of effecting a change in drug policy to protect our youth. The existing federal drug policy focused entirely on treatment is a joke.

  54. Hello you sweet mama. You are an amazing and courageous mother for taking the strength needed to post this. I can’t imagine anything worse for a mom, but thank you for sharing and helping and serving. I am actually a 40 year old mother and teacher, and I was using legal cannabis vape pens for insomnia. I was sick for two months before I figured it out from researching on the Internet- the docs couldn’t figure it out. It is hell to go through. We need to fight for more education about how strong these new forms of marijuana are.

  55. Thank you Mr.Hill for sharing your horrifying experience. My daughter had psychosis to a lesser extent and she is now in a recovery program. I am sharing your story with everyone I know who thinks weed is “harmless”. I am absolutely spreading the word about this destructive substance.
    May God bless you and your girlfriend and her mother who are staying by your side. Praying for you and sending blessings and peace.

  56. Yes, You as many other mothers and fathers in this nation are appalled at what is in front of us – the destruction of the brain and well being of our children – The joy of teenage life of our daughters and sons is at risk just because a policy and media is pushing on them weed ” Marijuana and THC ” as a harmless and recreational drug that can be get in easy way, changing the course (for worse) the life of many families and forever. WEED IS WRONG and THC is killing our children. We need to atop this Now.

  57. Javonte,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story. This is a haunting and remarkably similar to those I’ve heard others tell. It means a lot that you’re speaking up. You will help others and prevent needless violence, death and suffering.

  58. The information provided here is relevant to my position as a cancer control specialist, as vaping is a major problem in my area of Kentucky. Suicide is also on the rise as well.

  59. I am experiencing the same thing with my 22 year old son who is complete denial. Please send me some resources who he can talk to. I feel he was totally brainwashed when he was young about THC that it is harmless.

  60. Thank you for so bravely sharing your story, Ethan. God bless you on your journey. Your story is happening to many, many young people. We need them told to help people understand.

  61. Hi There!

    I am so sorry for what you have been through and so glad to hear that your daughter is doing well.. My name is Crissy and I’m the Director of the Parent Action Network. We are an initiative of Smart Approaches to Marijuana and we work directly with parents and families negatively impacted by the legalization of marijuana. We provide education and training in today’s high potency products and give you a voice and prepare you to use your story to encourage policy change at the state , local and federal level. We are currently working very closely with Pennsylvania advocates and legislatures to change policies and hopefully prevent recreational legalization. If you are interested in sharing your story and advocating for change in your own community/state please contact me at [email protected] We also have other advocates in Pa. that we could connect you with. I hope to hear from you. Again I’m so sorry for what you e been through and I admire your willingness to edu are others. Best, Crissy Groenewegen

  62. Ethan, your article is the best firsthand account of what it feels like to be in psychosis that I’ve ever read. Thank you for sharing your story and giving hope to the MANY teenagers and young adults who are addicted to marijuana (in all its many forms) and experiencing CIP. This truly is going to be the next epidemic in America and we need to get the word out. You should consider going to speak at assemblies at middle schools and high schools and sharing your story/warning/hope!! I will be forwarding this article to all my friends, thanks again.

  63. I knew from the day I met you how special you were. I think we often define “courage” as something we did in combat…but writing this article is the ultimate courage. You are one of my hero’s brother!
    todd

  64. If you would be interested, Ed Shemelya, National Coordinator and Director of the National Marijuana Initiative, will be special guest speaker Tuesday, March 5, 2024, 1:00 at Wayne County Community College District, 21000 Northline, Taylor, MI 48180.
    Courtesy of AARP, Chapter 4676.

    Mary Sobran
    Program Chair
    734.374.2515

  65. Ed Shemelya will be our guest speaker, Tues, March 5, 2024
    at Wayne County Community College District.

    The National Marijuana Initiative National Coordinator will be AARP’s special guest to dispel misconceptions and raise
    awareness of issues to improve public safety and knowledge
    regarding marijuana.

  66. Thanks for sharing your story. It is really helpful in understanding the progression that follows when your loved ones begin usingTHC. Such a devastating, tragic and exhausting problem that breaks families apart. Very glad to hear about his recovery and I hope we can hear about his full recovery and success story some day.

  67. This story is tragic, but you should have some relief in knowing that Florida passed a law banning Delta-8 THC. We hope the governor will sign the law and it will be banned throughout the country. The 2018 Farm Bill which legalize hemp must be revised.
    (Delta-9 THC is still a problem and vaping has been a great way for youth to hide their THC habit.)
    Your story shows that treatment does not guarantee that recovery can be permanent.

  68. Hi Jennifer, my heart is also broken right now. My 17 year old is in a mental facility as well. This is his 3rd admission since Feb 13. I am also so scared. I’m heartbroken because like you, I can’t comfort him, I can’t hold him. My prayers are with you. I hope god is merciful and heals our babies ❤️ Sending you strength.
    Ginny

  69. Thank you so much for your vulnerability and strength in revealing this very important story . You have suffered greatly but still have great compassion and understanding. I commend you and hope people realize how dangerous marijuana can be.

  70. The ridiculous concept of “Harm Reduction” was conceived of and implemented through the Drug Policy Alliance, financed by George Soros. His motives are not to reduce harm. He is on record in his book The Bubble of American Supremacy stating …. “Prevention is the single most important dimension of the responsibility to protect.,” so he knows what works. He has been in control of drug policy since he put Obama in office and for 16 years, through 3 administrations, there has been no attempt at PREVENTION. He should be held accountable, along with all the politicians he has corrupted, and his assets should be seized as retribution for all of the lives lost and destroyed, and environment harms to the planet.

  71. Dear Paul,
    Thank you for sharing your experience to help others. My thank you also to Kurt for allowing you to share this.
    My heart goes out to both of you as you recognize Kurt as the victim of this drug. We need people like you to help others understand how dangerous THC can be.
    My son died by suicide blaming his severe cannabis use disorder for killing his soul and ruining his brain. From a discussion I once had with him, I believe he feared he could become a danger to others, perhaps leading to his suicide.

    Thank you for helping others.

  72. My daughter has tried to kill me in phycosis from THC and almost has ! If I was an avg 62 year old I would be dead! I have been an athlete all my life so being thrown down stairs and off decks and my head hitting tile I was ok! Strangled beaten the list goes on broken nose jaw on and on! It’s not my. Kid
    I mis my daughter so much😓😓😓🦾👣🙏👣

  73. I’m so sorry for all
    Your family has endured due to this poison it helps to have the terrible unraveling made sense of I wish you had found this group and these resources sooner to support you but it’s never too late to share your family’s tragic story to help others These kids have no idea what can happen to them with marijuana use it’s horrendous unintended consequences on so
    Many levels I hope this article gave you some peace in knowing there are many of us out her that understand what you have and are going through
    May comfort always be with you Sending love to you

  74. Reading about the devastating impact of Delta-8 THC on this family is heart-wrenching and sheds light on the serious consequences of unregulated cannabis products. The personal account shared here emphasizes the urgent need for stricter regulation and awareness of the potential dangers associated with Delta-8. It’s evident that this substance can have severe effects on mental health, leading to psychosis and disrupting lives. The courage to speak out about these experiences is commendable and serves as a crucial reminder of the importance of informed decision-making and responsible consumption. This article has deepened my understanding of the risks posed by Delta-8 THC and underscores the necessity for comprehensive measures to protect individuals and families from such harm.

  75. This heartbreaking account vividly illustrates the devastating impact of delta-8 THC use on individuals and their families. Through the lens of a parent’s anguish and concern for their son’s well-being, the article powerfully conveys the urgency of addressing the risks associated with this substance. It’s a poignant reminder of the importance of informed decision-making, regulation, and education surrounding THC and CBD products. The personal narrative not only raises awareness but also prompts reflection on the need for responsible industry practices and robust safety measures. This story underscores the imperative to prioritize public health and safety over profit margins.

  76. Reading your story was deeply moving and informative. It’s heartbreaking to hear about the struggles your family has faced due to the effects of delta-8 THC on your son’s mental health. Your candid sharing of personal experiences sheds light on the serious risks associated with this substance, highlighting the urgent need for greater awareness and regulation. Your bravery in speaking out serves as a powerful reminder of the devastating impact unchecked substances can have on individuals and families. Thank you for sharing your story, and I hope it inspires others to advocate for safer practices and regulations surrounding THC and CBD products.

  77. So honest and brave. Admirable and strong. You will get there Michael, I love you!! Your cuz, Lori

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