Ds totally lost the plot because I stopped him taking a bong to school !!!

(87 Posts)
justbreathe Mon 01-Oct-12 20:12:00

My Ds 16 has completely lost it.

I took him out of school for an appointment today , he went off into a shop to get something and left his bag in the car. He had been being really suspicious with his bag so I had a look inside and found a large bong. I asked what the hell he was doing taking a bong to school... I know a lot of kids at his school smoke dope and he knows I dissaprove.
He went completely crazy at me invading his privacy and looking in his bag, and that if he wanted to take it to school he would and it was none of my f**ing business.
He refused to give it to me and ran off and either stashed it or gave it to a friend. I went after him and threatened to go into the school and tell the head. We talked or rather he shouted his head off, dented the car and spat ... He totally .lost the plot and went quite insane for a bit.
As he was in no state to go back into class and I wasn't sure if I wanted to involve the school I decided to take him home.
He is still really outraged that I went prying into his stuff and adamant that he will take his bong to school and smoke dope there if he wants......
I am completely flumoxed at his violent outburst/stupidity/ total lack of respect for any rules. should I tell the school ? I haven't found them very supportive in the past and they already know he's a smoker.
I am furious and want to punish him but also fear he is on the edge and If I go in too hard he will leave home and move in with his dodgy friend and his drug addict mum.
He really is convinced that its ME who has the problem and the fact that he is bothering to go to school and turning up for class means that he should be able to get stoned in his free periods !!!

Chubfuddler Mon 01-Oct-12 20:14:36

Bloody hell. Obviously you're not in the wrong. You need to speak to the school, and provably your GP too. And tbh if it was my child, whilst he was at school I'd take his room apart looking for drugs paraphernalia and burn the lot.

Blu Mon 01-Oct-12 20:23:07


Poor you.

I have no experience of this at all, no teen yet.

2 issues, really, one the drug taking per se and two, him going off on one like that and denting the car.

I wonder whether it would be worth caling one of the drug advisory lines if there is one for parents coping with a drug using teen. I'm not saying that a bit of dope smoking by a 16 yo is necesssarily a huge problem by itself, I would be hypocritical to say that. But how to talk to him about his behaviour around it and get him to understand the risks and boundaries, also your parental responsibilities.... it's a teen Taming excercise, or 'how to talk to your toddler so that they will listen' type ting.

Sympathies, though, it sounds very upsetting and worrying.

His reaction implies this may be more than a bit of harmless experimentation.

I have no experience of parenting teenagers, but I have been with a drug addict. Dope was the last thing to go when he got clean.

If I was in your shoes I would definately involve the school. What are they doing to tackle the problem?

Get advice from a drug advisory service. We have FASA here in Northern Ireland. Im not sure whats available near you.

Might be harsh with this one, but I would also contact my local community police officer for advice. They are unlikely to charge him with anything for a first offence and if hes not dealing, but maybe they could talk some sense into him.

You say he has a friend who you think is also doing this...thats a tough one. You cannot push too hard or he will just leave as you say, but links with this friend do need to be broken. Aswell as links with anyone else who could be dealing.

Im sorry you are in this situation. Please dont pander to his whim for fear of driving him away. Theres a balance to be struck, but you do need to deal with this fully.

Maryz Mon 01-Oct-12 20:40:12

I agree with wannabe sad.

But, be careful of involving the school. We told the school that ds was involved in dope and he ended up being expelled whereas the suppliers and the guys he smoked with just denied it and stayed angry. So you need to think this through.

It does sound as though he is smoking more than the odd joint - going apeshit was always a sign that ds was using heavily.

What is the school's punishment for taking cannabis into school?

justbreathe Mon 01-Oct-12 20:58:02

I think Ds has become a habitual smoker but is totally in denial about any negative effects. He is prone to violent angry outbursts, they have been going on for the last 3 years.... I think he's been smoking dope for the last 2.
He has just gone back to the school having spent the last year at another school retaking the year he failed. He seems to be happy there and has lots of friends though never seems to do any work....
I have tried taking him to see a therapist about his anger issues ; that was last weeks drama......they basically told him he could go and talk to them whenever he wanted but that as he was 16 it had to come from him.. ..DS has no interest in talking to anyone.....
I really want him to stay at school as If he leaves he will just hang around with his dodgy friends who don't go to school. I don't want school to label him as a druggy loser.

When drugs are concerned the main priority is getting drug free IMO. Everything else can be sorted after.

He isnt just going to stop one day. If you dont want to tell the school then dont. But please get advice from professionals and see it through.

Dope can be a slippery slope.

Maryz Mon 01-Oct-12 21:21:16

Unfortunately (and I have lived through this), you can't stop him.

You can scream and roar and test him and stop his money and search his bags and report to the school/police or not, but imo you can't stop him.

The difficulty is that you want him to stop, you want him to stay at school, you want him to get help, to talk to someone. Unfortunately, it doesn't sound as though he wants any of it sad.

So I can only offer you lots of sympathy and tell you to look after yourself while you wait it out.

If it is any consolation at all, ds1 (now 18) appears to be finally sorting himself out a bit, which I thought would never happen.

justbreathe Mon 01-Oct-12 21:58:09

Thanks for all the advice everyone.
Unfortunately I think you are right Maryz...I am glad your ds1 is sorting himself out.
I have to try to keep that vision of the lovely man I know my Ds could become. If he was my partner and not my son I would have walked years ago ... AS mothers we don't have that option. I love him whilst I hate his actions. I want to kick him out of my life and be rid of the stress of him whilst I want to nurture and protect him. Above all I want him to care about himself , he clearly doesn't

Maryz Mon 01-Oct-12 22:33:56

I grieved for years for the son I lost sad, the person he might have been.

It nearly killed me, but I have had to learn another way of life, and learn to live with the cards I have been dealt.

I still love him, I still worry myself sick about him, but I have stopped trying to stop him destroying himself. As a result we are (bizarrely) getting on a lot better now - possibly helped by the fact that he is (very slowly) maturing.

Cannabis destroys so many lives, it is very sad.

Be nice to yourself. When he pulls through this (as most of them eventually do, believe it or not), you need to have survived without losing yourself, if that makes any sense. I found counselling for me really helped.

Sorry, I probably sound very negative. I hope someone comes along with some practical solutions for you smile

Witco Mon 01-Oct-12 22:50:44

Listen to MaryZ, she speaks for a lot of us on here!

flow4 Mon 01-Oct-12 23:15:33

I've had similar experiences with my DS too, justbreathe. I very definitely agree with Maryz: don't involve the school unless you are certain they do not have a 'zero tolerance' policy : bringing a bong into school (and getting caught) would lead to immediate permanent exclusion at my DSes' school. And being kicked out of school will not help at all.

IME, the irrational loss of temper is either a skunk come-down (after 24-36hrs - and it's Monday, so the timing is right for that) or it's M-CAT. The latter is really nasty, and I had a truly dreadful 6 months when my DS was doing a lot of it. There's not a lot of info around about it - last time I looked, it wasn't even on Frank. The 'tell-tale sign' I finally pinned down was that he smelled like a cross between oranges and toilet cleaner, and he got a pink rash on his cheeks after he'd taken it. It lead to a lot of stealing, as well as violent outbreaks.

Like Maryz I'd recommend counselling and looking after yourself. In the end, I realised that's not a luxury - it's a survival essential.

Like Maryz's son, mine seems to be coming out of it a bit. I'm not counting my chickens, but he's back in college full-time, and studying, and getting up in the mornings. I had no real hope of this, even as recently as a month ago. For us, the turning point seemed to be getting him away from our area (just for a fortnight) and going to stay with old friends of mine who have teenage daughters: he was away from drugs and 'bad influences', was on fine form because he wanted them to like him, and 'remembered' what it felt like to be a well-adjusted, engaged, pleasant young man... He seemed to be reminded of what it felt like to be a 'normal' teen rather than a dysfunctional one, and he liked the feeling. He started believing that maybe he could have aspirations and do things successfully - which he hasn't believed for two years or more. It was just long enough, and at the right time, to give him courage to go back to college... He's grown about 4 inches since he got there smile And I'm keeping my fingers very tightly crossed...

ShirtRipper Mon 01-Oct-12 23:36:18

I'm shocked that your 16 yo would take a bong into school, I agree with searching his room and confiscating anything illicit.

Cannabis isn't harmful, and it doesn't ruin peoples lives at all. Teenagers will experiment and I think even though it's of little consolation to you op, there are much worse and more dangerous, harmful and damaging things he could be engaging in. For example pornography, legal highs, alcohol ect.

At least he does smoke pure too, The most dangerous thing about consuming cannabis is consuming with tobacco and studies do show that smoking cannabis pure poses no risk to lung health.

"Cannabis isn't harmful, and it doesnt ruin peoples lives at all."

You can have my very first biscuit for that little pearl of utter tripe.

Meglet Mon 01-Oct-12 23:49:51

What wannabee said. I know a few people who screwed their lives and health up by skinning up for breakfast, dinner and tea.

flow4 Mon 01-Oct-12 23:58:02

shirt, don't even go there. Here, you are surrounded by parents whose kids have gone very seriously off the rails because of skunk. Personally, I make a clear distinction between that and other forms of cannabis, but there is absolutely no doubt in my mind, from direct experience and what I've heard, that skunk is messing with some kids' heads and causing serious problems. To say it "isn't harmful" is ignorant and just plain wrong.

ShirtRipper Tue 02-Oct-12 01:29:16

Skunk and other forms of cannabis? Care to elaborate please?
And also" From direct experience and what you have heard"... right.

justbreathe Tue 02-Oct-12 06:14:22

There's a difference Wannabe between a spliff of an evening and a bong for breakfast !

I'm seeing a whole generation of Dc who are constantly stoned , it makes them apathetic, disorganised, chaotic, paranoid, agressive, violent, hopeless , bored and boring. Dope keeps you stuck , its a way of pushing life away. Its robs all the young vitality out of them and makes them feel hopeless so they just smoke more.

Flow4 ... I hadn't even considered M-Cat. He told me on Sat night at a friends he had drunk too much and was violently sick but couldn't remember anything. He'd stayed the night at his mates and had all his friends clothes on. He told me he couldn't remember or find his own clothes when he'd woken up in the morning! He's never been a drinker and he didn't seem hung over at all. He could well be trying other stuff sad

Not sure there is a difference tbh. It ruins peoples lives. Period.

Maryz Tue 02-Oct-12 08:37:12

I have also seen many, many kids whose lives have been ruined by being constantly stoned.

They seem to sort of stop their development at the age they start. For ds1, he and his friends started at 12/13, and so have wasted six years of their lives.

Only one out of their group stopped and did well. The other nine are in various states of disorganisation, addiction, homelessness, a couple are complete drop-out, a few have mh issues and two are dead sad.

All threads on cannabis are invaded by fuckwits. I have asked mnhq before for a safe place to talk about this; I will ask again for some sort of support thread, free from the "cannabis never did me any harm, I'm a happy stoner idiots".

Could you have been directing that first bit at someone else justbreathe?

I think my stance on drugs is quite clear here and your words to me make no sense.

CouthyMowWearingOrange Tue 02-Oct-12 09:01:25

Here's a view from the other side. I was that aggressive, smoking dope in school time teen.

I had a lot of issues with bullying, smoking dope stopped all that. I didn't want to stop because it would have dropped me out if the 'in' crowd, which would have meant getting bullied again.

Peer pressure in a school with a lax regime against drug taking is IMMENSE. More so in schools with a zero tolerance policy.

I once found it hilarious to take a pot plant (LITERALLY a POT plant) into school and sit it on my desk and fall about in hysterics when my sweet, innocent, God fearing Geography teacher would compliment me on my lovely pot plant...

I only sorted myself out and stopped being such a knob when I fell pregnant with my DD just before I turned 16. I stopped smoking dope whilst pregnant and breast feeding (mostly because I stopped smoking full stop while pg).

But I took up smoking dope again by the time she was 7mo. (I stopped bf at 6mo).

It wasn't until I was 21, and had 3 DC's, that I stopped smoking dope totally, and grew the hell up.

(Note, I only smoked it when my DC's were in bed, outside, not around them, not a complete twat).

I haven't had any weed for <<Counts>> 10 years now, and I'm 31. But I had to want to stop.

People DO come out the other side in the end, most of the time. All the dope fiends I hung around with are now married with multiple DC's, very respectable, some on PTA's etc.

I would 1) Do regular room searches, and bin any drug paraphernalia. 2) Have a talk with him about his future. 3) Go for tough love and explain that he can only live with you if he is either in education of some sort, or work.

Good luck.

CouthyMowWearingOrange Tue 02-Oct-12 09:02:06

That should read "more so THAN in schools with a zero tolerance policy."

flow4 Tue 02-Oct-12 09:45:12

wannabe, I think justbreathe was talking to shirt... It gets confusing round here when it's busy and we can barely see for the smoke! wink

justbreathe, I can tell you more about what I've found out about M-CAT if you like...? But only if it seems relevant smile

shirt, skunk is artificially modified to increase the amount of THC. They do this by removing (all or some of) the cannabidiol (CBD) to make 'space' for more THC. There's good and growing evidence that CBD is the 'positive' bit of cannabis and THC by itself is not so good: it seems that it's the CBD that has the therapeutic uses, including as an anticonvulsive, sedative, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotector, and also that it reduces or controls the psychotic effects of THC.

The clearest overview of differences between Skunk and 'natural' herbal cannabis that I've found is here.

The most accessible/impressive bit of media I've found is this video , which I think is really interesting.

If you want more info, there's plenty out there. If you Google 'cannabidiol' you will find countless medical studies suggesting it's useful stuff. If you Google 'THC' you'll find a confusing mishmash of opinions. Many people writing about 'cannabis' don't understand its pharmacology, and aren't aware of how different skunk is.

IME, the people who come on here and say "I smoked cannabis and it never did me any harm" are generally talking about their own weed-smoking youth - and they were not smoking skunk. Most people here are not distinguishing between skunk and other forms of cannabis; but the adults I know who smoke both all agree they have different effects, and many have stopped smoking skunk because they do not like what it does to them.

As skunk becomes - increasingly - the easiest form of cannabis to get hold of - and in many areas, the only form available - I predict we're going to see more and more problems. SKUNK IS HARMFUL in many many cases.

CouthyMowWearingOrange Tue 02-Oct-12 09:48:42

As a former skunk smoker, I agree that it is harmful, and leaves you with problems for a few years AFTER you stop smoking it. I found pot harder to kick than the speed I was also addicted to.

My ex smoked cannabis in different forms since he was 11. He didnt grow any facial or chest hair until he came off it at 22.

It led him to steal from his parents to the point they had no choice but to kick him out. They had to take out a non molestation order. He was homeless for years and spent a lot of that time in a YOC due to breaking the non mol. He got three GCSEs and even he says he doesnt know how. He ended up living with a convicted paedophile until he finally got sheltered accommodation.

I got him clean. I moved him away from where he lived. I accidentally got pregnant and I had to deal with his moods, abuse, paranoia, anxiety, stress, depression. He was agoraphobic for a time too.

When he did stop he had a relapse and had hallucinations, a panic attack and thought he was dead.

He is now clean. Has a job. Drives. Is a father to his daughter. So he came good.

That doesnt mean it didnt have a lasting effect on his life. He regrets every minute of it and always will. He used to tell me it wasnt addictive and did no harm. Now he cant believe how stupid he really was.

And it didnt just affect him. Im in a lot of debt from that time. Not to mention the emotional scars.

Sorry if thats a bit of a hijack OP.

justbreathe Tue 02-Oct-12 10:24:13

sorry wannabe , I think i confused you with shirt there...*

flow4* that's very interesting stuff about skunk . I had no idea about that. When I was younger we smoked weed but I stopped B4 all this hydroponic skunk came on the market. When DS first started smoking I didn't approve but didn't realise quite what effect the weed he was smoking would have on him .

couthyMow Thanks for you honesty. I think for my Ds it has a lot to do with fitting in and being seen as cool. He struggled with school when he was younger, was a bit adhd and I think the dope helped him chill out and make friends with the cool kids...

What effects does M-cat have ? He's into raves (though only been to about 3) so probably encountered a whole world of chemicals that I have no idea about.

justbreathe Tue 02-Oct-12 10:30:50

sorry to hear what you've been through wannabe sounds like your ex was lucky to find you. Not a highjack at all. Its very supporting for me to hear that i am not alone with all this

I just wanted to explain why I maybe came across a bit gung ho with the police etc.

I know that when mine are teens I would move house to stop them taking drugs of any kind. Its honestly my worst nightmare.

I do realise that not everyone can or does have that same attitude. But I truely sympathise with what you are going through!

ShirtRipper Tue 02-Oct-12 12:06:56

You cant really blame somebody's mental illness on cannabis. That is beyond ignorant and just shows how small minded and bigoted some people are.

I have mental health issues, I use cannabis to help alleviate the symptoms of these issues and have been using the evil super skunk or whatever you want to call it since I was 13 years old. I'm now 27 so if anyone was going to suffer with the much hyped and non existent cannabis induced psychosis I think it would have been me, as I already suffered from a eating disorder and ocd ect.

. I must point out for the numpties on here that my mh issues have been apparent since before then, so cannabis use is not a cause of this at all.

I haven't ruined my life, I am a tax paying, otherwise law abiding citizen and I don't hurt anybody. I wont stand for stupid myth perpetuation when it damages legitimate medical users and tars us with a brush of disgrace and shame. We have nothing to be ashamed of, Its a bloody plant, it is non toxic with no lethal dose, has never killed anyone and is the safest medicine known to man.

The funniest thing is the hypocrisy of some posters that think nothing of getting pissed thrice weekly and don't see that they have a drug problem that is more serious and damaging to self and also society as a whole, and they attempt to justify that by harping on about legality.

I love how the points I made about alcohol, porn ect were ignored too.

Chubfuddler Tue 02-Oct-12 12:13:22

Using skunk since you were 13? Oh no that won't have had any effect on your mental health. No sireee.

And even if it hasn't, that proves nothing. My FIL has smoked 30 a day since he was 14. He doesn't have lung cancer. Doesn't mean smoking isn't a cause of lung cancer. Just means it hasn't got him. (His macular degeneration is of course in no way linked to smoking of course).

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There is always someone on these threads who knows that skunk is great and we would all be better off smoking it.

The reality is, many families have been devastated by the effects of skunk. That included mine.

ShirtRipper Tue 02-Oct-12 12:48:31

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It isn't some kind of medicine. It is a very strong, illegal drug. My son was a really sweet, imaginative, kindly boy until he started smoking it. Ten years later, he is totally unrecognisable and all that promise has gone.

He doesn't think it has had any effect on him either.

Laura, Im really sorry to hear that sad

ShirtRipper Tue 02-Oct-12 12:53:40

Chubfuddler Tue 02-Oct-12 12:13:22
Using skunk since you were 13? Oh no that won't have had any effect on your mental health. No sireee.

And even if it hasn't, that proves nothing. My FIL has smoked 30 a day since he was 14. He doesn't have lung cancer. Doesn't mean smoking isn't a cause of lung cancer. Just means it hasn't got him. (His macular degeneration is of course in no way linked to smoking of course).

Ok, first part of your post is judgmental and rude, It could be taken as bullying, I already stated that my ed and ocd were apparent before but whatever, just manipulate a conversation to go your way, and fwiw cannabis is nowhere near as damaging as tobacco. Why don't you use google and prove yourself wrong?

Chubfuddler Tue 02-Oct-12 12:54:20

I think most of the people on this thread have direct personal experience of it wrecking lives, actually. If you bothered to read the thread properly you might notice. Perhaps skunk inhibits reading skills too?

Shirt, a part of your last post to me could be called bullying.

More so than what chubb posted.

ShirtyKnot Tue 02-Oct-12 12:56:58

I cannot believe that on a thread where posters have given heartfelt testimony of how their children, and their families have suffered due to skunk, that anyone would think it was appropriate to come onto that thread and belittle, criticise and be generally rude to those posters.

It makes me wonder if you're high?

Thanks, wannabe . It's been a long road and we have tried every avenue we can think of but we have come to end of our parenting involvement with him now. We helped him to leave home at the beginning of the summer and he can sink or swim by himself now. It hurts but not so much as having him here and never having a minutes peace.

ShirtRipper Tue 02-Oct-12 13:01:07

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ShirtRipper Tue 02-Oct-12 13:02:06

wannabedomesticgoddess Tue 02-Oct-12 12:56:07
Shirt, a part of your last post to me could be called bullying.

More so than what chubb posted.

Care to elaborate?

Shirty There is always someone on these threads who says that it's great.

Funnily enough, the 'chatting shit' remark from ShirtRipper is what DS1 always says if you disagree with him. Skunk doesn't make you terribly articulate grin

I can only imagine how hard it is for you Laura. I can still wrap my DD in cotton wool. Its my worst fear.

But you have done all that you can now. I hope one day you will get the son you remember back! It can and does happen!

Chubfuddler Tue 02-Oct-12 13:04:37

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EldritchCleavage Tue 02-Oct-12 13:07:34

Shirt, seriously, why are you on this thread? You seem to be taking it very personally, as though people decrying dope smoking are specifically attacking you.

And your sole experience proves little. It is an anecdote, and no more.

Can't you at least have some empathy for the posters, especially the OP, so worried about their children?

ShirtRipper Tue 02-Oct-12 13:07:59

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I could elaborate. It would involve a lot of copy and paste.

But I wont. Because it wouldnt get any of us anywhere. You are right. Sitting there in your smoke filled room. Telling the world that they are wrong.

I could be angry at you. Or offended. But Im not. Im worried for you and I feel sad for those around you who have to watch this everyday.

ShirtRipper Tue 02-Oct-12 13:09:54

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The only heckler on this thread has been you Shirt.

flow4 Tue 02-Oct-12 13:21:43

shirt, if you have been using skunk for 14 years, you really ought to get yourself some better information. There's a lot of evidence that cannabis can adversely affect your mental health. You're deluding yourself if you pretend there isn't. Using it doesn't cause mental illness, but it increases risk for many people, particularly those who start using it young. For example:
- Around 1 in 10 cannabis users have unpleasant experiences, including confusion, hallucinations, anxiety and paranoia.
- Adolescents who use cannabis daily are about five times more likely to develop depression and anxiety in later life.
- If you start smoking it before the age of 15, you are 4 times more likely to develop a psychotic disorder by the time you are 26.
- People who have a family background of mental illness are more likely to develop schizophrenia if they use cannabis as well. People suffering from schizophrenia are likely to experience a worsening of symptoms.

(A couple of sources:
A well-informed 'head' website
Overview of MH issues from RSPsychiatrists
And have you watched the video I posted above? It really is interesting)

FWIW, I agree that the occasional bit of bush does most people no harm and can have therapeutic effects - but that seems to be ONLY the CBD/THC varieties, not skunk.

If you don't want to stop smoking cannabis, switch to a strain that isn't skunk.

justbreathe Tue 02-Oct-12 13:50:12

Wow .... at lot of emotion out there about this subject.

Adults can of course choose what substances they want to put in their bodies and so long as its not having a negative effect on those around them, (though it probably is ) then that's up to them.

We are talking here about children with developing minds who are just finding their way in the world. Who are already dealing with the hormonal emotional rollercoaster of puberty. They are being seriously screwed up by this drug. They are destroying the relationships with the people they love and need , giving up on their education, getting into stealing and petty crime to feed their desire to smoke more.

Sure there'll be some who manage to deal with smoking and still succeed in life , but there are clearly many who can't and won't.

Maryz Tue 02-Oct-12 14:26:38

I feel sorry for you shirtripper.

Just like my son, you feel that cannabis is improving your life. You don't realise that it is making it worse.

You argue that cannabis doesn't cause mh issues - well it certainly can make them worse.

I have reported this thread to mnhq because I want them to see why it is so difficult for parents who are struggling with their teenagers to talk about it here sad. What should be a supportive space is taken over every time by an argument.

flow4 Tue 02-Oct-12 14:28:13

justbreathe: M-CAT...

Bear in mind it's a relatively new drug, and it's illegal, so a lot of the 'information' is actually anecdotal. I spoke to a drugs agency a couple of times, who said not much is yet known about it.

M-cat is not particularly a club drug. It was a 'legal high' until very recently, so easy to get hold of (sold as 'plant food'). It used to be very cheap, but it's got more expensive since it was made illegal. My DS (it turns out - I didn't know at the time) first had it when he was 13, given to him by 15yo friends. Round here it's very, very widely available and even 'nice middle class problem-free' kids hmm have tried it.

People I've spoken to about it (including my DS and a couple of adult friends who have tried it) report a range of responses from "it's nice" to "yeah, it's alright" to "it doesn't do much for me" to "it's horrible stuff". I guess its quality varies widely because it is mixed differently. It is snorted.

While a person is actually taking it, it seems to be a euphoric - people have told me it's a 'party drug' like E. But its effects are very short-lived - just minutes. It is very, very compulsive and hard to moderate: once you start taking it, you can't stop until it has all run out, and if someone comes along and offers you more, you'll take it. I found out about my DS's m-cat use because he took £90's-worth in one evening, and gave himself sweats and palpitations that made him think he might die, so he woke me up for help. sad

It is also a dis-inhibitor, like alcohol. I have seen kids on it do very stupid things on train tracks and railway bridges; but more seriously, some kids have done illegal things like burgle houses and steal sad

Medically, it is a stimulant. It increases heart rate, pulse and often respiratory rate too. A couple of people do seem to have died taking it, from heart failure.

When a person is getting it out of their system the next day, their body reacts pretty much as it would to other nasty toxins: sweating, flushed cheeks and chest like a viral rash, mild diarrhoea or a dodgy tummy, a lot of sleeping... It's hard to tell this from alcohol or other drugs of course, but I picked up one or two 'tell-tale signs': most kids seem to get 'glassy eyes' and my son also gets flushed pink cheeks.. Users also smell really funny - sort of citrusy but unpleasant - like toilet cleaner and oranges. confused (My son used to come home early in the morning and jump straight into the shower to try to hide that). I also suspect dramatic mood swings and aggression following an m-cat 'binge' - but I have to admit I can't be sure whether that was the m-cat or the skunk or the combination of the two.

For my son, it was quite disastrous (one or the other or both). The compulsive/dis-inhibiting effects were worst. It was so compulsive/he got such a habit that he stole hundreds of pounds from me, and sold many of his possessions, and some of mine and his brothers. He also committed one burglary - not for the money, but taking an item from a friend's house because "it seemed like a good idea at the time". sad sad He was also short-fused and violent on a couple of occasions. I was also worried (though I knew it wasn't a big risk) of him dropping dead of a heart attack.

The reason I thought it might be worth making you aware is that my son's very worst behaviour coincided with heavy (more than weekly) m-cat use. Also, his skunk smoking increased while he was doing m-cat (I think because the two drugs 'balanced' each other in some respects) so the skunk-related problems were worse too. He was completely illogical and irrational when he was on it - and the kind of 'losing the plot' craziness you describe was characteristic. So it's worth considering...

Maryz Tue 02-Oct-12 14:34:08

I've started a thread in site stuff if any of you want a look. We need somewhere we can talk about this without it degenerating into an argument.

No-one would go on a support thread for alcoholics and say "why don't you just have one drink". It is unfair that every thread on this topic is derailed.

Maryz Tue 02-Oct-12 15:04:47

Sorry, Laura, I missed your post among all the derailing. I'm really sorry about your son.

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 02-Oct-12 15:11:29


Thanks for the reports - and we're really sorry that this got derailed.

We think we've dealt with the issue now - do please let us know if it recurs though.


justbreathe Tue 02-Oct-12 15:14:12

Thanks flow4 That's really informative. I will ask Dc if he's heard of it and see what comes up in the conversation.
DC is very open about what he gets up to because he doesn't really give a f*ck what anyone thinks!
Sounds like you've had a tough ride. The description of crazy angry outbursts certainly fits...... DC lost the plot so much this summer when he got angry that he jumped in a swimming pool, under the cover, with all his clothes on and wrecked his mobile phone ! That was because we wouldn't give him 2 pounds when we knew he already had 40 quid ( a sum he didn't realise we knew he had) ! I think you are spot on about the come down,,, I've never thought of it before but most of his outbursts happen the day after he's stayed out at night.

Maryz Tue 02-Oct-12 15:17:40

Could you have a look at my thread in site stuff, please Rowan.

Because this happens every time cannabis is mentioned. And even though the posts are often deleted, the thread remains a mess (and it upsets me, which of course if very important grin).

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 02-Oct-12 15:19:39

Will do, Maryz

We have gone a little bit further than deleting posts this time though <taps nose>

Maryz Tue 02-Oct-12 15:22:29

Goody smile


flow4 Tue 02-Oct-12 15:25:38

What Maryz says IS true, Rowan - it happens every time. Deleting posts (or even kicking people out of MN, which I don't much like as an idea) only deals with the immediate problem... Someone else will always come along to say something very similar sad

Chubfuddler Tue 02-Oct-12 15:25:53

I fail to see how telling someone they seem to be a very unpleasant person is a personal attack. Ho hum.

Maryz Tue 02-Oct-12 15:30:56

particularly if they are being a very unpleasant person Chub. It's factual, surely, not attacking confused

justbreathe Tue 02-Oct-12 15:31:54

Maryz , sorry to hear what you've been through with your Ds . I appreciate your efforts to clean up this thread ! Where is site stuff ? I am quite new to mumsnet .

I am finding all the support and help very comforting, its really helping ... thanks.

Im not sure why my post was deleted either...I really dont remember being nasty or breaking rules.

But ho hum.

Maryz Tue 02-Oct-12 15:39:10

My thread is here justbreathe.

I'll try to set up a proper thread tonight.

I have to go and do taxi duty for ungrateful teenagers now grin. I'm glad the support helps (even if my advice isn't actually any use) - I found just realising I wasn't alone helped me in the early days.

flow4 Tue 02-Oct-12 15:58:28

Oh justbreathe, that kind of craziness sounds sadly familiar sad
I've had DS hiding inside the airing cupboard (aged 16, not 6)... Dismantling the PC and trying to hide the monitor because I'd confiscated his Playstation controller... Barricading himself into the house with brooms... Stealing £20 cos I refused him £1... Jumping out of the window and running off into the night when I said his friend couldn't stay... confused exhausted

Maryz Tue 02-Oct-12 16:33:56

We have had episodes with golf clubs, one awful day when he decided to camp out in the snow in December, we have holes in all our doors and in the walls in his room, he has broken his fingers numerous times, and there was a horrible episode involving ds2 and a hurley sad.

Not to mention the running away and sleeping rough.

Nearly all the episodes occurred 48 hours after a major session (so usually Sunday night/Monday morning) or after an attempt to give up, where he would do really well for a week, struggle for a week and then flip.

I would feel so sorry for him if I wasn't so angry. Mostly, though, I just feel sad at the waste.

flow4 Tue 02-Oct-12 16:42:55

Oh yes, I forgot about the holes in the doors and walls and windows. I've had a lot of other broken things too. After a while, some of it just gets to seem normal. hmm sad

Our 'flash point' used to be Monday, morning or evening. Obviously my DS was doing more partying on a Saturday night than yours, Maryz hmm Now he's back in college (3 weeks and counting smile ) it's been much calmer smile

Maryz Tue 02-Oct-12 16:51:09

Well ds is (touch wood) back in college. It's very strange, and my fingers are sore from being crossed so much.

justbreathe Tue 02-Oct-12 17:30:40

I have broken panels in doors, broken doorframes , broken table and chairs. He seems to develop super human strength chucking things about then he'll storm off and hitch to his mates house, The scariest is when he loses it in the car.

He's never hit any of us but will bang his own head on the wall and punch himself. His voice is a major weapon and once he starts he will go on and on and on Sometimes he will curl in a ball and cry.

These fits can be triggered by the tiniest little thing.... I can't believe I never sussed it was a comedown, I was starting to think he has psychiatric problems or was bi-polar.... Ironically when he is stoned he's actually quite pleasant ! All my friends think he's a charming, articulate young man, hmm

Ha, I'd forgotten about holey doors! Sadly, mine was either drugged or drunk or both, all through the week so we didn't have much in the way of come-down other than early mornings.

justbreathe Tue 02-Oct-12 18:55:51

jesus , just had a phonecall from Ds to say he has lost his laptop. He was listening to music on it outside school and somehow managed to walk away , leave it in the parking and not think about it till hours later. So thats' another crisis he will get depressed and angry about sad

Chubfuddler Tue 02-Oct-12 18:59:27

Does he not see at all that he wandered off and forgot about his laptop because he was stoned?

justbreathe Tue 02-Oct-12 19:30:04

i don't think logic comes into it chubfuddler

flow4 Tue 02-Oct-12 20:13:45

I have had thought 'psychiatric problems or bi-polar' too, justbreathe sad TBH I think the boundary (i.e. between this kind of drug-reaction and an 'episode' of mental illness) is so blurred that it is meaningless. Just last week, DS1 walked in on me telling off DS2 (who'd spilled water near my laptop), and started to defend him. I told him to mind his own business, he kept shouting at me, I told him to "shut up" (I know. blush No-one can accuse me of walking on egg-shells!) and suddenly he was raging through the house, kicking over chairs, smashing a hand-made fruit-bowl, throwing things around, breaking a curtain rail and swinging it at things, screaming "c*nt, b*tch, f*cking whore" etc., and (thankfully) storming off into the night... sad It all happened within about a minute, and writing it now sounds even less real than in felt.

Um, breathe, I don't want to make you paranoid, but my DS used to tell me he'd 'lost' things (and money) and it took me ages to work out he was actually selling them (or spending the money). Not only a laptop but also clothes and even shoes. It ought to be pretty easy to tell though: if he's as angry as you'd expect him to be, you probably don't need to be suspicious hmm

Maryz Tue 02-Oct-12 20:45:51

Yes, I have also thought bipolar. There is no doubt that ds suffers from depression/anxiety, but while he is smoking dope there is no hope of either getting him to the gp or, even if I could get him there, persuading anyone to give him any legal drugs hmm.

We got ds1 a punch bag a year ago and it has made a surprising difference. When he is angry he goes off and really pounds it, and then comes back in a lot more reasonable. The downside is that it has come out of the wall a few times, and has bashed a hole in the plaster behind it, so our kids room (sort of utility/tv room) looks like a bomb has gone off in it. But since we got it we have far fewer holes in walls.

ds never sold much. He was never cute enough (or sober enough probably) to manage that.

justbreathe Tue 02-Oct-12 20:48:50

That sounds truly hideous flow ! I know what you mean about the surreal quality of crazed outbursts.
I don't think he's sold it as I know he has 100 quid in his room. Also he's upset because he's lost all his music ,photos schoolwork etc. Surely he'd have backed them up B4 selling...hmm

Nahla321 Tue 02-Oct-12 21:17:07

No I would definitely not involve the school unless if was completely necessary. Tbh there is not much they can do and if it stops him doing it in school then he will find a way to do it outside of school. I would just try and keep a very close eye on him and were he is going on evenings and weekends etc.

flow4 Tue 02-Oct-12 22:27:34

Yes, I would have thought so. That's good then smile

Sorry, that sounds rubbish: of course it isn't good he's lost his laptop; but I mean it's better than the alternative scenario I was imagining, with him selling it for drugs and lying to you about it...

That's the thing I hate most about what's happened in the past year or two: the way totally outrageous happenings come to seem normal... sad

Mellower Tue 02-Oct-12 22:35:02

I have not had experience in Teenagers as mine is just coming up to this, I do have experience in weed, sadly.

My only advice is counselling preferely a laid back one who has also been on weed and then come off it to scare him and tell him the truth about what weed does as many believe it is not addictive and doesn't affect you, whoever made up this story, well it is not true.

Try get him off the weed ASAP!!

I really do feel for you. I have spoke my 12 year old about weed and what is does and why he cannot smoke it and had all the questions about how it makes you feel and hopefuly I have scared the life out of him, I certainly hope so.

It is very difficult to get a truculant teenager to do anything that they don't want to, let alone a teenager who is smoking skunk and potentially quite violent.

We tried to access counselling for our son but he refused to engage at all. After all, he felt good when he smoked it, so in his mind, why would he want to give up? Where was the incentive?

I'm sorry about the laptop,justbreathe . Do you live in the sort of place where it might be handed into the school or police station?

Mine was disorganised before drugs so you can imagine how he was when he was smoking this stuff.

justbreathe Wed 03-Oct-12 12:29:41

Mine has always been disorganised too. I think it unlikely to be handed in. I told him to put up a reward on facebook but will he get it together to do that ?...hmm Hoping that as his life unravels more and more he may realise that perhaps smoking has something to do with it ! or maybe it will just add to his conviction that its all shit anyway so may as well get stoned.

FreckledLeopard Wed 03-Oct-12 12:39:12

Sorry to hear about all the issues you're suffering justbreathe. I think there's a world of difference between the odd toke of a joint after dinner at a dinner party, when you're in your twenties, and a daily skunk habit from aged 13 onwards. A boyfriend of mine went totally down the drain owing to cannabis - threw away his degree, dropped out of a PhD, and is, I believe, suffering mental health problems now too. And my god, he was so, so brilliant. It's such a waste.

I don't suppose you have any kind of option like 'Turnabout Ranch' or some other programme like that in the US? Am guessing, though, that if your DS is over 16, then you can't force him to go to somewhere like that?

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