To the Mother Whose Son Is Smoking Marijuana

I got this email from a listener after she heard a call I took on my radio program.  She titled the email “To The Mother Whose Son Is Smoking Marijuana.”  It speaks for itself:

Today you gave advice to a mother who found out her 16 ½ year old son is smoking marijuana.  You advised her to get him into a residential treatment program.   You stated that drug addicts lie, and she responded that she didn’t “see” him as a drug addict.  I am afraid she will not take your advice, and she may be in my situation in the future.

Today, I write this with a broken heart.  11 years ago, when my son was 17, I, too, found out that he was smoking marijuana.  He was on the academic honor roll and participated in sports – he wasn’t a drug addict!  I tried to get him into a residential program, but was told they would not accept him at his age unless he committed himself.  I took him to a counselor that the high school recommended and had him assigned a probation officer until he was 18.  I thought just like her that he was not a drug addict in my mind.  He grew up to be a responsible young man who owned his own business, but he continued to smoke marijuana. 

Six months ago, I received that phone call that no parent wants to receive.  My son was dead at the age of 28 from an accidental drug overdose (oxycodone), which the coroner told me is the most abused drug today.  I do not know if this was the first time or the hundredth time he used the drug, but I vowed that if I can save one child or one parent from experiencing what I am going through that I would share my story. 

Dr. Laura, you were correct.  She needs to deal with the issue NOW, while she still has some control.  My son was not a “drug addict” either.  The coroner called it “recreational drug use.”  Children need to know that tennis, hockey, and soccer are recreations, not drugs.  I hope that mother heeds your advice so that her son does not end up where mine is today, guilt-ridden and questioning “should I have done more?”