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Drug dealing

(50 Posts)
Countfrogula Thu 13-Dec-18 15:58:18

Christ, where to start?
My beautiful 16-year-old son started smoking cigarettes at 13. We were sort of expecting him to have a go at some point and assumed he'd give up after a bout of coughing and spluttering.
He didn't, and continued to smoke despite us trying coercion, anger, giving him the science (in edited, child-friendly form) and threatening and then carrying out various sanctions.
When he did stop within about a year it was because he went on to weed.
Again, not entirely unexpected and we thought he'd quit when we hit him with the dangers to his mental health and the like. We also stopped his allowance so we weren't paying for the damn stuff and banned it from the house.
Scroll forward to last night, when my wife - who has the sense of smell of a bloodhound - followed the scent of skunk to a loose floorboard in a cupboard in his room where she found hash, a mini set of scales sticky with the stuff, some empty baggies and £245 in cash (including two £50 notes).
We confronted him when he got home, telling him we suspected him of dealing. He denies this and says it all belongs to a friend who is dealing but can't hide his gear at home, so my son is doing it for him in return for regular fivers and spliffs.
After a horrible discussion in which his chief concern seemed to be that we'd invaded the privacy of his room, I decided to go to the police - not to shop him, but for advice, not knowing who else to turn to at 1am.
A lovely officer talked me off the ledge and said he wouldn't prosecute ('We don't want to criminalise 16-year-olds') but would refer my son to the police drugs prevention programme. We expect to see a specialist officer within a month or so. On giving my surname, which is highly unusual, it turned out that he knew my son, having stopped him in the street this year on suspicion of dealing. My son only had a small amount of weed on him, so they confiscated it, gave him a bollocking and sent him on his way. This was obviously news to me.
Over to you, Mumsnetters - how do I help my clever, funny, kind, emotionally-intelligent boy (who is also rather lazy and a bit of a follower) to get off this train now before it takes him to a destination he might find it difficult to return from?

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 13-Dec-18 19:42:36

How bloody awful for you. Have you tried talking to AdFam?

C0untDucku1a Thu 13-Dec-18 19:48:50

What advice did the police give you?

Tbh, and totally unhelpful, i have no idea why you expected him to smoke cigarettes and cannabis???

Bestseller Thu 13-Dec-18 19:53:41

Where is he getting it from? It's usually gang related. It will only stop if you get him away from the gang.

What are the police in your area doing about gangs and what was their advice ?

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 13-Dec-18 20:13:00

Tbh, and totally unhelpful, i have no idea why you expected him to smoke cigarettes and cannabis.

I’d be interested in this too. I’ve never expected my DC to smoke or take drugs.

Countfrogula Thu 13-Dec-18 20:21:03

Thanks for your comments.
I've been on various websites - the NHS, AdFam, Frank, AddAction and a couple of others whose names escape me.
We seem to fall between a couple of stools. He's not addicted to a hard drug - he's a recreational hash user and possible dealer, so we don't need addiction advice. We're not sufficiently traumatised to need counselling ourselves, although it is quite fantastically upsetting.
We just out of our depth and are looking for suggestions of responses we haven't thought of.
I don't think it's gang related - or at least if it is, that sort of caper doesn't extend to the end-user strata my son and his friends inhabit. We live in Brighton, where drugs are perhaps more readily available then in many other places. There are also a lot of slightly misguided right-on people here who condone their children's drug use.
To answer your question, COuntDucku1a, don't most kids try cigarettes at some stage? I did. It was the only one I've ever had.

Bestseller Thu 13-Dec-18 20:24:44

The distribution of drugs in Brighton is almost certainly gang related. Where else is he getting dealing quantities from?

Countfrogula Thu 13-Dec-18 20:26:51

From a BBC story in January: 'Data from the UK, US, Australia and New Zealand found 60.3% of people had tried smoking.'

derekthe1adyhamster Thu 13-Dec-18 20:28:44

It's so common in Brighton. I have a 15 year old and some of the kids I know smoke weed also. (Lovely middle class private school kids) No real advice as you know whether your son would respond best to punishment, grounding or education.
Maybe explain that by introducing kids to weed, he can ruin their lives? Appeal to his better nature?

derekthe1adyhamster Thu 13-Dec-18 20:29:47

Gang related in Brighton! My god I live such a sheltered life!

Bestseller Thu 13-Dec-18 20:37:54

Google County Lines. Gangs are on the move, Brighton is far more "likely" sounding than some of the other places that are being targeted.

The Met have had some success in getting this under control, so the gangs are moving to new territory, in areas where the authorities don't have the first clue how to handle it.

Bestseller Thu 13-Dec-18 20:45:05

County Lines from the Brighton and Hove local safeguarding board

titchy Thu 13-Dec-18 20:46:18

Sorry I'm having difficulty getting over the fact that you expected him to try smoking at 13 and then weed - maybe he was aware of your low expectations of him?

Police again. He needs the threat of prosecution and a young offenders institution. Failing that move away.

And stop referring to him as beautiful and clever. It sounds like you've got him on a pedestal. He's a wayward teen.

notaflyingmonkey Fri 14-Dec-18 07:53:10

I have - sadly - been going through something similar recently, and would ask if your DS is in any way vulnerable like my DS? It seems to be a thing (cuckooing) where the dealers get someone vulnerable to keep the drugs etc at their home thereby putting the risk on them.

I had no idea this stuff was so prevelent until the last few months when I have learnt all sorts that I hoped I would never have to, so you have my sympathy.

I have no answers unfortunately. We took away DS's phone, and when he eventually got it back we'd wiped all the contacts etc. But where there is a will... So we are also trying to help him with the causes of this, which is one step forwards, two or three back at the moment.

Bestseller Fri 14-Dec-18 08:13:18

Notaflyingmonkey, it is all very sad and frankly terrifying if you have teens, even in areas that would generally be considered "nice" and as you say, especially if they have any kind of vulnerability.

I'm afraid to tell you that, if your DS is still involved, he almost certainly has more than one phone.

CherryPavlova Fri 14-Dec-18 09:31:47

What you need to do is start behaving like a normal parent.
No, it’s not normal for 13 year olds to try smoking and to,continue for a year.
No, it’s not normal for 14 year olds to take drugs.
You sound quite expert and tolerant of drug culture. That’s not really very normal either.
It might not be an addiction problem now but it pretty soon will be.
Start taking back control. County lines are affecting young people in places like Horsham and Guildford so they’ll definitely be gang involvement in drugs in Brighton.
Search house for any drugs related items. Remove mobile phone (s). Stop giving him money. Start insisting on knowing where he is at all times and setting a curfew that means school or home. Give him a fighting chance at a reasonable adulthood.

CherryPavlova Fri 14-Dec-18 09:32:44

Consider boarding for sixth form - Steyning grammar has state boarding facilities.

notaflyingmonkey Fri 14-Dec-18 09:33:27

Bestseller I've searched every inch of his room and confiscated everything, including his - you are right - Blackberry. I am discovering that he has layers of cunning that I didn't know he was capable of. He is now on lockdown - he can only go out if with me or his dad. But how much longer we can sustain this, I don't know.

We now have police/Social Services/CAMHS involvement, but they haven't been able to help I'm afraid as they just don't have the time/funding/resources.

And yes, before anyone points it out, I know I am a fucking useless parent.

Sorry to highjack your thread OP.

Coronapop Fri 14-Dec-18 09:42:42

If he is dealing he is in serious danger of being imprisoned if a less enlightened police officer deals with him if/when he is caught. I sit as a JP in the youth court and find these cases very depressing. Show him these sentencing guidelines:
www.sentencingcouncil.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/Drug_Offences_Definitive_Guideline_final_web1.pdf
I think you need to take as hard a line with him as you can - for his sake.

AmaryllisNightAndDay Fri 14-Dec-18 10:37:47

We're not sufficiently traumatised to need counselling ourselves, although it is quite fantastically upsetting.

Actually some counselling might be helpful, now or later. You have been minimising the smoking and drug use for some time and hoping for the best, OK you've only just found out how bad it has got so it's understandable but you seem to be in a kind of shock/denial about how serious this is and how badly this is affecting you and your DS. This doesn't look like a quick fix and then move on, it is a long-haul thing and so in the long run you and DW might need some counselling yourselves to keep going.

You say you expected him to try smoking once and then stop. But he didn't - he smoked and continued. And so on with the drugs. It's as if step by step this has become your normal? Even being stopped for possible dealing by the police hasn't stopped him. Instead of getting a fright and taking it as a warning he maybe just thinks it means he can get away with it. But the police suspect him of dealing so if he gets caught at it again he could be in much deeper shit. He is already quite a long way along a path that is very different from the one you followed.

He's not a vulnerable 12 year old so the amount of tolerance he'll get is limited. It was a smart move to get him on the prevention programme but you can't just wait weeks for the officer to call, it doesn't make him immune from whatever else might happen in the meantime. He willingly lies to you and you don't really know what engagement he has with harder drugs. You can't really assume anything he tells you is the truth - the personality traits you describe may make him a willing liar and certainly a very plausible liar if he takes that route.

He is upset that you searched his room? Well he needs to know that he has lost his right to privacy, for his own safety and everyone else's. He's been engaging in illegal activities in your house, he's put all of you at risk. And you are not going to let that happen, you need to protect yourselves and him.

notaflyingmonkey you sound like a very good parent to me, with experience as well as good advice. You are doing prevention and protecting your DS and dealing with causes as best you can. flowers flowers flowers

Theoryofmould Fri 14-Dec-18 11:07:58

Cherry we live with a state boarding school in our area. Trust me there's lots that smoke weed there.

Op you need to take action now, stop reporting your child as a paragon of virtue, he's not. He may be sweet and funny but he has another side to him that's lying and could eventually land him in prison.

You need to do as advised above, lockdown at home, trust nothing that comes out of his mouth, no visitors to your home, no access to money, no phone (although he may have a payg one).

CherryPavlova Fri 14-Dec-18 13:47:43

Theoryofmould . Less about whether children in state boarding smoke cigarettes or dope - I’m not that naive. More about separating him physically from current contacts.

advent12 Fri 14-Dec-18 14:44:27

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Countfrogula Sat 15-Dec-18 00:30:52

notaflyingmonkey - don't worry, you haven't hijacked anything. Your responses have been helpful. Sorry to hear how hard things have been for you - you don't seem a useless parent at all.
Good luck.

BeRightOnMum Mon 17-Dec-18 14:01:40

Wow what a bunch of judgemental people! I live in Brighton too and the majority of teenage boys smoke weed. They aren’t all involved with gangs but young street dealers are. I imagine he’s dealing to pay for his own weed. One of my sons steals money from me to pay for it. I really empathise and wish I had answers. Xx

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