My name is Pamela. I am the divorced mother of a soon-to-be 21-year-old son.
Before THC, my life was hard. I was my son’s sole physical and emotional support with little financial support from anyone else. Looking back, that was Disneyland compared to what came later.
My son was diagnosed with ADHD and a mood disorder when he was 8. He was doing quite well with therapy, medication, and a high school specializing in kids like him. He even was accepted into the college he’d wanted to attend since he was 12.
Four years ago, at 17 years of age, my son discontinued his medication and began using THC. It took me a while to catch on as I watched his behavior morph into something alien. He was combative, violent, unmotivated, extremely paranoid, and thought the Nazis were all over Colorado and were out to get him.
I found dabs in his room, apples, spoons, tin foil, pipes, etc. I did some research and learned what THC does to the 17-year-old brain. His therapist then counseled him on this, but it was too late.
My son was eventually evicted from our home. Over the last four years, I can’t even recollect how many suicide attempts he’s made and how many revolving-door, 72-hour holds he’s been on. Nor can I recall the number of times he’s “fooled” police or psychiatrists. I say “fooled” because I believe the medical community and police knew better.
April of 2020. Sam could no longer tolerate the fear of the Nazis being after him and ran to L.A. on a $14 plane ticket. Because of the pandemic shut down, he lived in the streets or on the beach. Sam trekked around LA county by bus, getting THC anyway he could.
He was in jail for eight months and was just released to a dual diagnosis facility. If he fails, he will go to prison. Since he’s been forcibly clean, I’ve been able to talk to him about how he got where he is. He no longer blames his parents or anything else. He admitted for the first time to professionals that he has a mood disorder and what medication he was taking. However, he still is in denial about THC.
I want parents to be aware of how powerful THC is and to stop calling it “weed”. “Weed” implies it’s safe, and it is not safe.
Parents need to know that the marijuana industry has hidden up to 90% THC in vapes, snacks, beverages, tampons, mascara, and lip balm. How easy is that to conceal from parents and teachers? Kids can use, and no one will know.
Know the facts.
Set tough boundaries and stick to them.
Find a 12-step group and this group for support.
Pray a lot.
Click the links for more information on Cannabis Induced Psychosis and Cannabis Use Disorder, please go to the Every Brain Matters science section to learn more. To find support and help, please visit our resource page for families and find support meetings for families here.