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Support threads - is there an alternative to "Off The Beaten Track"?

(71 Posts)
Maryz Thu 05-Jul-12 10:17:57

I think OTBT is a great idea - the non-googleable bit etc, but all the threads get deleted after a month, which kind of defeats the purpose if they are long-running support threads.

I spend a lot of time in teenagers, where atm a major problem is people coping with their teens using drugs, usually cannabis. There are loads of threads on it, and I've been considering for a while starting a "support thread" where people could dip in and out, we could collect links for help etc.

Being the parent of a drug user is a very lonely place to be. If your child has other problems, you get a lot of rl help and support. But the moment you mention drugs, no-one wants to know you. Your child is the local "drug dealer", parents talk behind your back, everyone thinks you must have done something wrong, or you are a bad parent. Your younger children suffer because parents won't let their kids come to your house etc etc.

The trouble is, every one of these threads is derailed by some fuckwit who wants to push the "cannabis isn't addictive, it is a harmless drug" agenda. While I accept that cannabis (like alcohol) is harmless hmm to some people, to some others it is a real problem. I wouldn't go on to, say the Brave Babes thread and say "you are all talking shite, I have a glass of wine every day and I'm fine and here are 999 links showing how good red wine is for you", but people do this about cannabis all the time.

Every thread gets derailed and turns into a fight, which doesn't help the op at all.

I was going to start a thread in OTBT, but it will go and we would lose any links, advice etc.

Frankly, I'm getting exhausted trying to answer all the threads sad. But I don't want to ignore them, because the people posting them are desperate, as I used to be.

I had no advice or help from anyone, I couldn't post here at the time because I felt like I was the only one in the whole world with a son who was a drug addict. But it seems there are many parents like me.

Anyone got any suggestions?

OliviaSvelteMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 05-Jul-12 11:19:39

Hiya Maryz
Thanks for this - we will take a look and have a think.

Tee2072 Thu 05-Jul-12 11:49:48

I, personally, don't really understand why OTBT is deleted after 30 days. Surely just being un-searchable is sufficient?

Or am I missing something?

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 05-Jul-12 12:35:30

Hello. Thanks for the suggestion. Would folks like an OTBT topic that doesn't get deleted after 30 days, then? In addition to the gone-after-30-days one or instead of?

Maryz Thu 05-Jul-12 12:40:44

I think you would have to check - maybe an OTBT that doesn't get automatically deleted, but the op has the right to ask for the thread to be deleted?

Something like that?

I'm not sure really. I've just lost my temper again at someone who has joined specifically to derail otherwise supportive threads. Which is exactly what happened a year or so ago - in fact it might be the same poster under a namechange.

I'll post over in teenagers and see what people over there think.

RandomNumbers Thu 05-Jul-12 12:54:12

90 days rather than 30 days could be an easy solution, wirh option for deletion by request to HQ before then?

Maryz Thu 05-Jul-12 13:01:24

It wouldn't solve the long-term support and help thing though, random.

Where we could collect links etc and people could read through other people's experiences.

If it automatically went splat every 90 days it could leave people who come along towards the end of the 90 days feeling pretty upset - they post, and the next day the whole thread implodes, iyswim?

Would it be possible to ask for individual threads in otbt to be left there? And make this clear in the heading; that they could be kept at the request of the op? Or does the entire topic have an automatic delete timescale thingy [technical term]

ThisWeekonFancyPuffin Thu 05-Jul-12 13:04:47

I think posts in OTBT shouldn't be automatically deleted, but option to have them deleted at any time should be there.

Think that makes sense


Tortington Thu 05-Jul-12 13:23:51

i like this idea, my oldest son is addicted to weed. This might be ok for him, and this might be his choice, and he might not be going out and punching people etcetc. BUT the effect it has on the larger family is enormous especially when you have other children who can be influenced by their big brother, or he steals from you, regularly. If as a parent you have ever felt a complete and abject failure, if you look at your grown up child with the sam breadth of love you looked at them with when they were 4 years old and then you feel your heart fall to the floor. Then you know how i feel as a mum. To have grandparents not ask about him becuase 'he's a deadleg' true words. or buy him xmas presents.


Maryz Thu 05-Jul-12 13:32:55

Sorry Custardo sad, there are a lot of us.

It's awful, because if your son had some other problem, or was ill in some other way he and you would get massive support. But drug addiction seems to be completely taboo amongst everyone who hasn't experienced it. And people always just think the easy thing to do is "blame the parents".

GetOrfMoiiLand Thu 05-Jul-12 13:36:02

Oh shit I am sorry custy.

Maryz your posts about your boy have been heartbreaking over the years.

I totally agree that iyt needs something to try and prevent the 'pot is greeeeaaat' numbnuts from completely stamping all over the support threads.

Maryz Thu 05-Jul-12 13:39:33

Thanks GetOrf.

You see, I don't get why they do it.

I wouldn't go on an alcoholic support thread and post wine is good for you, or go on a sleep thread and say "oh, ffs, just put him to bed" or go on a thread about depression and post loads of links to sites which say anti-depressants are bad for you and you should just buck up and sort yourself out hmm, or on to a home-ed thread and tell everyone to just send their children to school.

I just wouldn't do it.

GetOrfMoiiLand Thu 05-Jul-12 13:41:45

I know - I am sure these tossers prowl the internet and look for things like this. Usually those posters have never been seen before.

It must be so hurtful when they come on and say 'no this stuff doesn't have any mental side effects' when the evidence of those side effects is standing right in front of you. How dare they?

AnyOtterForTennis Thu 05-Jul-12 13:41:50

Not just the 'pot is greeeeaaat' numbnuts, but also the extremist "Alldrugsareevilthereforeyourchildisevil" twonks who just want to spout their view without thinking of the family going through this.

How about OTBT for sensitive topics which stay put, and OTBT 'Lite', deleted after 30 days, for the quiches who just want to chat without clogging up the main board and attracting haterz ?

Tee2072 Thu 05-Jul-12 13:42:01

Oh Custy, I'm so sorry to hear this.

I think the solution is to not delete OTBT unless asked to do so.

I do want to say, though, that the depression threads have gotten exactly that kind of posting. Depression, it would appear, gets as much help as drug abuse. This is part of the reason I don't post on MH any more.

In any case, OTBT would be perfect, if they weren't deleted.

Maryz Thu 05-Jul-12 13:45:11

That's interesting Tee (though obviously not good). Maybe there is a need for more threads like this.

I wonder if also threads could actually be labelled SUPPORT and then we could ask for the twunts' posts to be deleted. As it stands, although they are spectacularly unhelpful and upsetting, they aren't actually breaking the guidelines so can't (probably) be removed from the threads in the main topics. But if it was clear from the start that it was for support, not judgement or arguments about legalities etc, then reporting would be easier.

Same would apply to mh topics. And I'm sure a DV "what to do and how to go about it" thread there would be useful - again no-one wants to set up a new one every 30 days, but being able to send people to it would be useful.

IvanaNap Thu 05-Jul-12 13:46:01

Can you also ask for any thread de-railers to be deleted by MNHQ, should they occur? Not 'freedom of speech - so long as it's not personal insults yaddah yaddah' but a very clear 'if you post off-topic you will be deleted'? Or am I not thinking that through enough hmm

IvanaNap Thu 05-Jul-12 13:46:47

Could you just ask for stickies within OTBT?

IvanaNap Thu 05-Jul-12 13:47:36

x-post with you Maryz RE:deletions grin

Alameda Thu 05-Jul-12 13:48:12

am surprised people still defend cannabis, it feels a bit retro - think some of my teachers might have been stoners but we were encouraged to see it as a relatively benign thing and maybe it was then. There were loads of people with cannabis psychosis in hospital with me last year, usually there would be about one in twenty but there were at least eight on one ward. Unless that is just because there is not much to do in Suffolk?

Hope you find a way of sharing support and ideas here OP.

SerialKipper Thu 05-Jul-12 13:48:27

Oh I like OTBT threads disappearing after 30 days. Otherwise stuff could still be read by someone determined to look for it.

Long-running threads are particularly vulnerable to stalking, because once a stalker has identified that X is a member of a particular support thread, they can just sit and work through as many of those threads as are available. And people are more likely to have given more away given the illusion of greater privacy.

And if you have active derailers (wtf? good grief!) then the more determined ones will still pitch up on the undeleted OTBT threads.

If this is primarily about links and oft-repeated advice, then would some sort of permanent MN advice page be better? (I'm sure that would have it's own complications.)

Tee2072 Thu 05-Jul-12 13:51:42

The problem with a MN Page, is HQ's liability. If it's posters giving advice, that's one thing, MNHQ doing it is a whole 'nother ball of wax.

Maryz Thu 05-Jul-12 13:52:34

They do alameda, you'd be surprised. Apparently we are hysterical trying to stop our young teenagers smoking dope, because it never did anyone any harm, and in fact is very soon, apparently going to be a wondercure for cancer and every other disease on the planet.

And isn't addictive, or a gateway drug, or anything hmm.

Stalking wouldn't be a problem for me Serial, I'm used to it wink, but I can see that it would be a problem for some.

Ho-hum, I dunno? Anyone got a solution?

Maryz Thu 05-Jul-12 13:53:13

And what Tee said about MN advice. They can't say things like "Calling SS doesn't work because they don't care" and other useful stuff like that grin

Tee2072 Thu 05-Jul-12 13:55:45

Well, they could Maryz...but it wouldn't be very smart! grin

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