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Ryan LCSW
Ryan LCSW, Mental Health
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 872
Experience:  Individual and Family Therapist
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Hi , My son will be 16 in a week. A couple of days ago he

Resolved Question:

Hi ,
My son will be 16 in a week.
A couple of days ago he came back home and I could clearly see heavy eyelids and suspected he has taken something so asked him to clear out his back pack. I discovered a cannabis cigarette. By his own admission he had smoken this for the third time in the year. The first time we found him out a few months ago and had a long chat with him and thought he had not done it again. Then last week we were in Morocco at a club where someone offered him weed and he took it. He claims he liked it the last time so he went to buy it and has tried it all by himself in a park the third time, when we caught him out.please help us understand!
Roopa
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Ryan LCSW replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for your question Roopa. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'd like to help you out.

I'm sorry to hear about what you've been going through with your son, and I can certainly understand your concern. Although fortunately cannabis itself is not as dangerous as many other substances, there are still several warning signs here that are worth taking seriously. The fact that he is putting himself in potentially risky and illegal situations is very troublesome, as well as the fact that he is starting to use cannabis on his own and by himself. Often when people use cannabis to self-medicate for anxiety, depression, or other problems, but if your son is otherwise reasonably well adjusted, it's possible that he just likes it too, and is experimenting like many teens do. Regardless, the concern is always that this will go from experimentation to regular use or more serious substances, so you are right to take this seriously.

At this point it would seem safe to say that your son would benefit from meeting with a counsellor about this. There are counsellors out there who specifically work with substance abuse, but most professionals who work with adolescents would be able to address these concerns with your son. You've handled this the right way so far in terms of restricting your son's privileges. However, at this point since the problem continues to persist, it would be worth having your son evaluated to see if there are any personal issues contributing to this, and how to best approach those problems.

Overall it is a good sign that you were able to talk to your son about this and that he was able to be open with you. Right now there may not be cause to be overly concerned if this has been limited to a handful of incidents. At the same time, it is obviously important to take this very seriously as you have been, and the next step would be to enlist some outside help.

I definitely wish you the best with all of this and if there is anything else that I can do to help, please let me know.

Ryan
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi ,
As much as I appreciate your answer I would like to know a bit more abou choosing the right counsellor, what should be their credentials? And also what would be the right words to support him and keep him on the right track until I find the right people to deal with him,
Thanks,
Roopa
Expert:  Ryan LCSW replied 1 year ago.
No problem Roopa, I'm glad I can help.

As far as a Counsellor goes, you are looking for a Psychologist or a Counsellor who has at least a masters degree and license in their respective field. They should have experience working with adolescents, which is also one of the most important factors in your search.

As far as supporting your son in the meantime, right now this seems to be mostly a quest for understanding. While I do think it is appropriate to maintain the rules and consequences you've put in place, you also don't want to alienate your son or distance him by putting a wall between the two of you or punishing him too much when the punishments aren't working. Right now I assume he already knows that you are concerned and he continues to experiment anyway, so there may not be anything specifically you can say that will lead to perfect results.

Sometimes the best thing you can say/do is to just be there for him to support him, spend time with him, and allow him to feel comfortable talking and opening up to you in general. In order for him to get on the right track, it is important to figure out what exactly is behind all of this, so the goal is to create an environment where he understands the consequences of his actions, yet he can still have a conversation with you about it.

Sometimes that's a difficult balance, and even if you do everything perfectly you may still run into these types of problems. However, that relationship of open communication is more important than finding the perfect words for this situation (which may not exist anyway), and as long as you are able to continue having these conversations with him and he is still being honest with you, that means you are certainly doing something correctly, even though it hasn't yet given you the desired results.
Ryan LCSW, Mental Health
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 872
Experience: Individual and Family Therapist
Ryan LCSW and 3 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Ryan LCSW replied 1 year ago.
Hi again, I haven't heard back from you so I hope that I was able to help you out. Feel free to send me a follow-up if you need any more help, otherwise I'd appreciate it if you'd leave me a positive rating so that I'm compensated for my time. Thanks a lot and best of luck with your son.

Ryan
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Ryan,
How are you?
Ibhave already given my credit card details to the site management yesterday, so they should have paid you,
Please let me know,
Best Wishes,
Roopa
Expert:  Ryan LCSW replied 1 year ago.
Hi Roopa, your payment has likely been received by justanswers, but in order for me to receive credit you would have to leave me a positive rating. There is certainly no extra charge for this. Thanks for your help and I apologize for the misunderstanding,

Ryan
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Had done that as well Ryan but will do so again,
Roopa
Expert:  Ryan LCSW replied 1 year ago.
Thanks Roopa, for some reason it has not shown up. I can email customer service on your behalf since there may be a glitch if you have already done so. Sorry about that and thanks again for your help.

Ryan

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