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Stepson is a drug user...

Parents Support One Another @ = I need help with the following issue:

I have a 16 year old stepson who is always asking for $5 because he is a drug user. When my wife tells him no, he becomes very violent with her and begins destroying whatever is in his path. When we try to get him to earn his money he will reject that but my wife still gives in. I fear that he will hurt her because he is on probation for already assaulting her. It doesn't seem to matter to her because she doesn't want to get the police involved in those moments because she doesn't want him arrested. I feel helpless because if I try to stand up for her she takes his side and we get into argument because she blames herself for his behavior because of her previous marriage. I would like opinions on the matter and see if I can get any helpful advice on what I should do as a stepfather. Please keep in mind that we have a 12 year old and a 6 year old who have been subjected to these outbursts.


Anonymous said...

The first step in helping your teen is to visit your physician for testing of physical or chemical problems. If testing gives no answer, have your teen seen by a psychiatrist for emotional testing. The teen is obviously acting out and most likely doesn't even know the reason. Seek counseling for the teen and the family. Don't allow the teen to run the household. Stick to your guns on the rules of the house. If the problem involves a step-parent and the child is acting out because of the step parent, stand a united front. Don't allow the teen to see that they are separating you. Do not argue in the presence of the teen with the step-parent on the teen's behalf or they will see they can manipulate your relationship and cause problems within your marriage. Most importantly, don't give up on the teen. They need to feel you love them unconditionally. They will need your support tremendously. Attend counseling with them. These are very stressful, draining, and confusing times for the family and each family member will need separate counseling to learn how to cope. Taking these steps at the first signs of out of control violence will help the teen to understand what is happening and that they can get help. Teens want to be able to do what they want and control the parents and household. They act as if they do not want structure and rules but in reality they do. This is how they know they are loved and that you care for their well being.

Anonymous said...

One of the most frequent and troubling issues faced by parents is their teenager child's abuse of "recreational drugs," of which marijuana is most common.

Marijuana is more easily available than ever and children are using it at an increasingly younger age. Teens abuse marijuana more than all other illegal substances combined, including the alcohol.

Those who glamorize marijuana should remember that it is the leading substance reported in the arrests and hospital Emergency Room admissions for teens.

Myths about fun and pleasure act as the motors of vices. Teen culture tends to minimize the harmful consequences of marijuana abuse and exaggerate the pleasure aspect of marijuana. Actually, the society as a whole tends to underestimate its harmful effects. It sees marijuana as a "soft drug," and therefore not as harmful as the "hard drugs" such as acid, cocaine or heroine.

Some baby boomer parents might say, "It's only marijuana." The irony of it is that marijuana is often the precursor for the use of hard drugs. Make no mistake about it. Dependence on marijuana can be a serious and debilitating disorder.

When a teen's marijuana use and related behaviors clash with the rules of school or society, parents are answerable to the school, police and the courts. Parents often clash with each other as to how to handle the problem and often have to miss work for school conferences and court hearings. Family life is disrupted. Quality of work performance goes down.

Children who start using marijuana regularly and frequently from an early age may later experience major problems in their personal, social and emotional development, and consequently, in their education and future career. A regular and frequent use of marijuana from an early age may also play a part in the development of a mental disorder. Therefore, treatment must be sought to the fullest extent.

Many parents have an unrealistic and pessimistic view of treatment for drug abuse. They view it as a costly and lengthy treatment with little promise for recovery. This is not true. Now we have a national study, which confirms that brief and low-cost treatment can be highly effective.

The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration sponsored a study in 1997 regarding the effectiveness of treatments for marijuana abuse. The study titled as "Cannabis Youth Treatment (CYT)," which involved 600 randomly selected teens in substance abuse treatment is one of the largest and most scientifically rigorous studies ever conducted on this subject.

According to the CYT study, the bad news is that teens who use marijuana once a week or more are more likely to have problems at home, school or with the law. The good news is that once they stop using marijuana altogether, these problems rapidly decline.

Another good news is that only six to thirteen sessions of outpatient counseling delivered substantial results. Such counseling led to 50% or more reduction in marijuana use, behavioral problems, child-parent conflicts, attention deficit and hyperactivity behaviors, arguing, violence, illegal activity, school absenteeism, and academic underachievement. These improvements were sustained at least in third of the cases as demonstrated by the fact that one year after completion of the treatment, one third of teens were still abstinent of marijuana use.

Most of the remaining 50 % who did not respond to 6-13 outpatient sessions' treatment demonstrated a varying pattern of recovery and relapse. Some failed to respond to treatment right away but benefited later, some recovered and relapsed and others had multiple relapses.

Drug abuse might have become firmly entrenched in the personal and social life of those who don't respond well to brief counseling. They might lack educational, vocational and social skills to fit into the world of non-drug users. Some have a stronger genetic bias towards drug dependence. Such teens require more intensive treatment programs and follow-up support.