I’m afraid if I’m too tough on my kid he might drop out of his recovery program. Is this fear warranted?

Posted on January 1, 2023 View all news

Intro: 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 and opinions are from clinical staff, teens in recovery, and parents and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Every Brain Matters community. We encourage each person to take what they like and make their own decisions that benefit their families.

The Every Brain Matters community also does not recommend specific treatment programs but we are grateful to share the content from the Cornerstone community as a resource.

To learn more, please visit the support and resource page for families and find support meetings here.

I’m afraid if I’m too tough on my kid he might drop out of his recovery program. Is this fear warranted?

Perspective from Clinical Staff: Depends on the family dynamics to tell you the truth. Some families have lost control of their home to the addict/abuser and need to take drastic steps (intervention, treatment, authority) to regain THEIR home.

Some families are afraid to practice Tough Love (holding themselves and their kids to EXACTLY what the SHOTS/consequences call for) because they are afraid of rocking the boat or don’t see other parents being as tough.

Most people in the program preach tough love but do not truly understand tough love. Addicts NEED tough love to get sober. But Tough Love is not loud, angry, authoritative, cocky, or arrogant.

Tough Love IS consistent, has boundaries, will allow the addict to suffer the consequences, and is driven by Love. Tough Love does not stop when the crisis is over.

Addicts/Abusers NEED tough love for YEARS, if not a lifetime.

NEVER EVER Make decisions based on FEAR when dealing with Addiction/Abuse…It will ALWAYS blow up in your face.  

Perspective from Teen: The meaning of “too tough” is relative. I can tell you that no matter what, your kid has a better chance at being in Cornerstone than the alternative – regardless of what his/her circumstances are in (recovery).

That being said, there are rules in recovery, and in most households to protect the integrity of the group and the home, to help ensure that each is fostering growth. Most kids don’t like rules. I speak as one. I had to get to a place where I thought I needed help – before recovery and in recovery. If I didn’t think I needed or didn’t want it, I never would’ve accepted it.

I spent half of my first year in Cornerstone with a host family, because I couldn’t go back to my family without being a wrecking ball. I almost got kicked out of my recovery program twice in that same time because of my lack of respect for people and the rules warranted such action because my presence was causing great harm to others.

Whether your fear is warranted or not, you have it. Some kids do leave because they don’t want to accept help or have accountability. I tried to but had nowhere to go. I had hit the end of the road, so I came back and have never looked back.

Most kids, who give it a shot, stay. Your fear that your kid might leave is a possibility, but I have two last comments. One, I would work with your sponsor and other parents who have experience on the issue of what is too tough. Second, Henry Ford once said, that “experience is the thing of supreme value in life,” provided that we use that experience to grow. Can you do wrong? Maybe, but I don’t think so if you’re willing to accept help and grow. I needed really tough love; I wouldn’t be here if people went easy on me. I think I’ve seen more death and destruction from enabling parents rather than those who are “too tough”.

Perspective from a Parent: Fear and denial are warranted it just doesn’t serve us. When we start working the program and we are surrounded by other strong parents it feels only natural that we should be as tough in our love and choices with our kids as they are with theirs.

You hear progress, not perfection and that is one of the questions to whom this certainly applies. The absolute worst thing that a new parent can do is to make a threat or give an ultimatum that they are not ready to carry out 100%.

All that said, being afraid is just part of your program. If we as parents are working our program we will overcome our fears and we will make the right choices in giving our children the structural love and the implementation of the consequences behind their choices.

We set the shots; they choose the consequence. Attend Climbers, and talk with winners. The steps are simple, but they are not easy.

Perspective from Teen: I think it’s important for parents to be involved in the parent program and work the steps themselves. I think that being around healthy families will help build a healthy family.

I think that “too tough” is controlling. No faith. All fear.

It took me a while to learn how to have a voice and give/receive accountability. I feel like finding my voice took a lot of trial and error. 

Something that I heard and really liked was to ALWAYS say what you mean, mean what you say, but don’t be mean when you say it.

Please read the parent story for hope and inspiration.

He was my second and last baby born. A pleaser, especially to me. So many times, he would end his sentences with “Right, mom?” He rarely walked by me that he didn’t grab my hand or slide into my lap. He was my easy-going boy who loved everyone, and they loved him. School was easy for him, and all the teachers gave glowing reports about his work and what a great kid he was. Puberty changed his appearance drastically. His hair went from blonde to brown, his voice got much deeper, he got quite a bit taller, and he had grown hair all over his body!! All of a sudden, he was a teenager.

Soon it seemed that he cared much less about our family and more and more about his friends. He started talking back to us disrespectfully. Screaming, actually. His clothing changed. His friends changed. His grades changed drastically. He snuck the car out. We got calls from teachers and other parents about his behavior. He would lie about who he was with and where he was going. We thought it was all part of being a teenager. But then I started finding odd things in his room: pieces of foil, empty bodies of writing pens, lighters, empty liter coke bottles with holes punched in them, and beer bottle caps…

Some of the consequences we gave him included grounding him from his friends and from going places, no computer use, and no phone. Sometimes we did all of those things at once but nothing worked. We set the house alarm to try and keep him from sneaking out. He came home drunk and started a fistfight with his dad in the yard. He yelled curse words at the top of his lungs in the front yard. We found alcohol in his car and we sold the car immediately. He didn’t care. For some reason, we still tried to believe that this was just a temporary situation and that “boys will be boys”. We gave him drug tests, which he continually failed. We tried talking to him. We would beg him to stop. He denied having a problem at all. We wanted to believe him…but the evidence and his behavior told a different story.

We took him to several counselors and tried talking to the school. He began to run away every time we had a confrontation. We got the police involved, but they were no help. He would finally come home but the nightmare would start all over again…we could not recognize this boy as our son!!! Our life as a family, and my life personally, had become unmanageable.

The last time he ran away I talked to a friend of mine who said I should call a woman that she knew who had gone through something similar with her son and had found help. I called her and she told me about Cornerstone, and that her son was doing so much better. I called immediately. In the next three days, we had our son picked up and taken to Sundown Ranch, where he stayed for the next 50 days. He continued to deny he had a problem. His aftercare would include intensive group therapy.

My husband and I had already started attending recovery meetings while he was away. We were advised to learn as much as we could before our boy got home from rehab. We kept going to the meetings, reading all the literature, and talking to as many people in Cornerstone as possible. The parents in the meetings were basically telling our same story with different details, but they also talked about SOLUTION. They were not crying – they were LAUGHING!! For the first time in a long while, I felt hope. I learned about the “tools” of recovery and about focusing on myself and my own program. I listened to what other parents were saying that worked for them. It was in the Climbers meeting that I discovered I was taking everything that had happened personally – as if it were being done to me or because of me. It helped me so much to be reminded that it was not personal, it was a disease.

Once our boy got home from rehab, he bounced out of the Cornerstone program immediately saying he did not have a problem. He ran away and relapsed, came back to the program, and tried again but would then run away and relapse again. He bounced from host family to host family for a long while and finally landed at a host family home on the south side and was attending IOP. Eventually, it became apparent that he was just going through the motions and not really embracing the tools and principles of the program. He got kicked out of Cornerstone. The only alternatives we gave him were to live on the street or to go to a halfway house and continue working a program. He went to a halfway house.

At about this same time, I realized that though I was attending meetings and Climbers, I was still an emotional wreck. A friend in the program brought to my attention that I was being “hesitant” and not really getting involved. The fact was that I, TOO, was just going through the motions. I was basically just showing up. I was not really embracing the tools and principles of the program either! I got busy. I went to all the meetings and coffee fellowships and started feeling a part of the group. I worked on my own personal steps with my sponsor and enrolled in step study which gave me a new understanding of a Higher Power who could do what I could not do alone. I started sharing in the meetings and soon I had sponsees of my own whom I helped through the steps. I participated in all the functions. Getting involved and really doing the work suggested by the program was my turning point and the springboard to my real recovery. I started feeling at peace. I was making changes in myself and getting to the point where I was going to be okay no matter what choices my son made. I had a new understanding of a Higher Power and the support of a solid program to help me make some very difficult decisions. I began to see the next right things to do. I had learned to do things differently and found a new way of living. One day, I realized I was finally able to laugh again.

While in his second halfway house, my boy realized that his life really was out of control and that he wanted real recovery. To get back into Cornerstone, he also had to get busy. One of his requirements was to do 90 meetings in 30 days, which he did with no phone or car. He went to another host family. He started working his program. He got back into IOP with his heart in it this time. He then decided to go back and graduate from high school. He started sponsoring other kids. He has awakened from Cornerstone and now has a full-time job, lives in an apartment, and is paying for his own car. He has self-esteem written all over his face and actions. He has also found a new design for living. Now he, too, can laugh again. Today, I’m happy to say, I have a good and loving relationship with my son again.

Some of the things I have learned through this process are that “love is not accepting bad behavior,” that I just need to try to do the next right thing and leave the results to God, and that God has his own perfect timing and this – don’t give up before the miracle happens! There were many times that I could not have kept going or made the decisions I had to make without the support of this group. Looking back, I don’t know what would have happened had we not found Cornerstone. But we did – and I don’t think it was a coincidence. What started out as a complete nightmare has turned out to be a miraculous gift for which I will be forever grateful; it may have saved my son’s life. But one thing is certain: through Cornerstone, our family and our lives have definitely been changed for the better.

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 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 "I’m afraid if I’m too tough on my kid he might drop out of his recovery program. Is this fear warranted?"

  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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