studious clever teen using drugs

(65 Posts)
Claybury Sun 27-Oct-13 18:57:32

Anyone have experience of a teen using drugs and working really hard for GCSE almost as if to prove drugs aren't harmful ? Maybe among his druggie friends he IS the smart one ? ( he has told me he is the least likely to develop a drug problem because he's the clever one...- to which I replied perhaps that means he has the lost to lose?)
Btw he's not exceptionally clever, he thinks he'll get A's in most subjects, he has no other hobbies or interest/ no sports. Does his homework then goes out on a weekend. Says things like ' I got an A in my French mock, can I go out later?

By drugs I mean regular weed, plus mdma / ketamine / speed / 2cb during summer holidays. He thinks it's all fine, he's in control, doesn't smoke on a school night.

wakemeupnow Sun 27-Oct-13 20:33:25

No .. I have the experience of teen taking lots of drugs and dropping out of school.
IME nothing a parent says or does will stop a teen who wants to take drugs , so be thankful that at least he still wants to succeed academically and hope that the drugs don't fuck him up too badly confused

dexter73 Mon 28-Oct-13 06:37:36

My brother took loads of drugs when he was younger. Straight A's at O level, then failed his A levels rather spectacularly and spent several years bumming around doing nothing. Of course he thinks it is fine and he is in control at the moment, but what does he really know about it?

antimatter Mon 28-Oct-13 06:41:11

where does he get money to buy them?

dexter73 Mon 28-Oct-13 06:56:25

My brother got the money from dealing and he also stole it from my parents.

LadyCurd Mon 28-Oct-13 07:01:04

As the sister of a bright academically able boy who got into cannabis during his a-levels and is now lives as a shell of a 27year old schizophrenic then I saw be very very careful.

DrankSangriaInThePark Mon 28-Oct-13 07:04:52

It doesn't really matter if he's studious and clever if he's a druggie does it?

You almost sound proud.

I'd be grounding him, checking he really is getting all these As and speaking to the school, frankly and honestly, about his drug problem.

Featherbag Mon 28-Oct-13 07:24:40

If he's taking what you say he is, passing his GCSEs is the least of his problems - staying alive long enough to do his A levels is. I'm an A&E nurse and IME it's these cocky 'clever' kids who end up taking too much, trusting the wrong person or being too reckless. They end up in ICCU if they're lucky. I can remember spent a good portion of a shift standing holding open the airway of a young man who'd taken too much ketamine - the only thing between him and suffocation was my hands. It wears off quite quickly but it doesn't take much time without air for serious injury or death to occur.

Smoking cannabis regularly at this age is making him more susceptible to any predisposition he may have to mental illness. Again, I've seen too many young men totally fucked up by this, including members of my own family. You just can't tell who'll have no ill effects at all, and who'll end up with serious mental health problems.

He's just not as clever as he thinks he is if he reckons he can do all of this without risk.

sashh Mon 28-Oct-13 07:50:14

Being clever does not stop you developing mental illness or an addiction. Or getting a criminal record for that matter.

MrsBennetsEldest Mon 28-Oct-13 07:57:23

He's not clever though is he?

headoverheels Mon 28-Oct-13 08:35:56

I went to a private school in a London with a lot of pressure on achieving high academic results. Most of the girls I knew took cannabis and ecstasy, but still got good A levels and went on to university. I don't think any of them went on to develop a serious drug problem. Their drug use was restricted to the weekend, they worked hard during the week.

MaureensWhites Mon 28-Oct-13 08:39:08

Did they take drugs because of the pressure headoverheels?

Ehhn Mon 28-Oct-13 08:41:08

The biggest problem with drugs at that age is that the developing mind is much more vulnerable than the adult mind.

Between my siblings and myself, we have a lot of experience of a variety of drugs. But we were all adults when we began, which is something my eldest brother insisted on. Drugs can be dangerous; ketamine especially so (wrecks your bladder/kidneys). Also, for us it was about partying in our twenties, which makes them less "gateway" - whereas younger people sitting in parks/each other's houses are doing it for the sensation and so may seek a stronger sensation.

So, as someone Who is comfortable with the idea of drug taking and hasn't had to witness the bleak side of it which medical staff and addiction therapists do - I'm still not keen on what your son is doing and you are not unduly worried. Sorry not to be more positive.

KissesBreakingWave Mon 28-Oct-13 08:47:16

Not at his age, but I took quite a lot of fun stuff at university and got good results. That said, I was using a lot of it as performance enhancers. You can learn so much more if you don't have to sleep much...

Got a perfectly good degree.

Got excellent GCSEs as well. The ballsups at A-level were all my own native incompetence.

headoverheels Mon 28-Oct-13 08:56:36

Maureens, I really don't know. I would say a bit of experimenting at that age is fairly normal whatever your school is like? Maybe being based in London meant we were a little less sheltered than some teens? This was in the late 80s / early 90s btw.

Just to be clear, I rarely took drugs myself, just an occasional smoke of cannabis.

I tihnk your son is too young to be smoking regularly, let alone take those other drugs.

Where does he get the money?

He might think it is all under control, but it is a slippery slope.

lljkk Mon 28-Oct-13 08:58:42

Where is he getting the money to pay for his "experiment"??

I had a long druggie phase about 12-13yo & went off them forever from 14. Only turned into a high achiever after that. Top results, etc.

15yos do think they're invincible, sadly.
I would ask the school for advice.
Luckily we have no shortage of family stories of addicts to scare entertain DC with.

Claybury Mon 28-Oct-13 09:00:06

I'm terrified about what my son is doing. ( not almost proud as one response says, though i understand misinterpretation can happen when we are typing ) I am fully aware of the dangers, done lots of internet research and have spoken to drugfam counsellors, have spoken to his tutor ( who had a pastoral talk with him) and my son haas been seeing a drug counsellor for a year.
Thing is , how to convince a 15 year old who really does think it's 'normal' ( most 15 years old do NOT do drugs) - among his friends it may seem normal to him, he has not had any bad experience to back up what his parents tell him.
The fact he started so young has devastated me, but other than being tight on curfews and not giving any money what can I do? After GSCE next summer is a huge concern for me because honestly I think the exams are the only thing he cares about more and the school work is keeping him sensible at the moment. ( I think he smokes cannabis a bit, the other stuff was in the at parties/raves summer hols just gone)

My frustration is when he says to me that he is a good student with 100% attendance as if that justifies his drug use. Obviously that is not logical to me, but in his mind doing well at school totally justifies his attitude to drugs Which seems unusual.

I guess typically trouble starts at a' level with kids like this. My fear is things have to get a lot worse before they get better and I see no way to prevent this.
He thinks I don't understand because I have never smoked weed, but I would imagine those parents on here who have might not want their teens doing it?

Strumpetron Mon 28-Oct-13 09:06:48

I was exactly the same as him at his age, very intelligent but a drug taker. I hid it very very well though, my mum would have killed me stone dead.

I think the situation has escalated this far and he's of that age, it's going to be difficult to get out of it. I cannot believe he is taking speed and ket, those aren't the usual drugs of choice for a 15 year old (if they have a preference). Those are hard, party time drugs and it's really worrying how he sees nothing wrong with it. I honestly feel for you this must be so difficult. He's bound to resist everything. I think this is the time were you need to come down hard. No fucking around. He's taking the piss trying to justify it to you.

lljkk Mon 28-Oct-13 09:09:40

It was normal in my social circle (30+ yrs ago).
to be honest, I had to change schools to get into a less druggie set.

Are there any celebs or other types who he looks at as role models? Scientists or sporting types, whatever? I just wonder if you could point at some famous people and say "Do you think drugs are part of their lifestyle and how the got where they are?"

I stopped smoking MJ because it made me so stupid I couldn't even hold a conversation. Too embarrassing!!

lljkk Mon 28-Oct-13 09:11:16

THEY got where they are, sorry, I always leave y off that word...

dexter73 Mon 28-Oct-13 09:15:19

My parents tried everything to stop my brother taking drugs but nothing worked and he did eventually stop in his mid twenties. I think the deaths of 2 of his friends from drugs had a lot to do with him stopping.

MilllyMollyMully Mon 28-Oct-13 09:21:01

Tragically, he's not going to be clever for very long, is he? sad sad Can you get him into another school? I would move him asap. It's his life on the line - how come he doesn't understand that? He needs to read the neuroscience. Without sounding harsh, he might just as well stop going to school anyway if he continues with the drugs. So sorry for you. Try and get him into a state boarding school or any residential rehab place.

Claybury Mon 28-Oct-13 09:39:35

I would send him to boarding school if that would help. However I think it would be naive to think there are no drugs in boarding schools!

He has expressed interest in changing schools in 2014 for sixth form ( totally possible ) 'just for a nice change ' and I'm wondering if he wants a new start, new friends. However we live in London and he has a wide social group from different schools so I can't say the if current school is the issue. He keeps his friends well away from me.

I need to get him away for the summer though.. ..if anyone has any ideas. Prepared to spend £££ on this.

I only discovered a lot of what has been going on by thorough regular searching of his room. It is easy to hide as strumpeton knows.

flow4 Mon 28-Oct-13 10:36:09

There are a LOT of kids doing this. It is not 'normal', and it's definitely not safe, but it is commonplace.

I know literally 80-100 young people who regularly smoke cannabis or skunk - all my friends' kids as well as my son and his less 'respectable' friends. I know dozens who use m-cat, and more who have tried it once or twice.

My DS1 was similarly taking anything he could get his hands on at 15. Cannabis, skunk, m-cat, mushrooms, speed, cocaine, ecstasy, random pills... Tbh I am grateful I didn't know about most of it at the time, because just knowing about the skunk he was smoking - and then the m-cat at 17 - was worrying enough. He didn't care about school or his GCSEs, so underachieved, and spent a year or two messing about, getting stoned, and getting into trouble - including getting arrested on suspicion of burglary, because the police know that many young people who regularly take drugs are stealing to fund it. sad

I smoked cannabis myself and have tried other things, and have friends that use or have used various 'party drugs' without ruining their lives - so I was (am) quite pragmatic about drug use, and well informed and able to talk openly with my son (I recognise he doesn't always talk openly to me) and ask friends for advice when I've needed it.

My own DS has passed safely through a period of heavy use, thank goodness. The only hospital trip he's needed was for alcohol. He still smokes cannabis, but not daily, and rarely uses skunk. He doesn't use m-cat any more. He'd probably take other things if they were offered to him at a party...

I now have a few key thoughts...

Openness is safer than secrecy. (On the 2 occasions he has frightened himself, he has told me, so I have been able to help him).

Young people know drugs are dangerous. They just think they are invulnerable. And they think that drugs like cannabis are safer/less often dangerous than alcohol, or other accepted risks like driving motorbikes.

There are two types of users: those who take drugs to wind down from busy lives, and those who take drugs to switch off from lives they hate. Most of the young people in the first group keep themselves safe and are f

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