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Supporting and not Enabling

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answered 07:59 AM EST, Wed October 30, 2013
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anonymous anonymous
My son is a heavy marijuana addict. He smokes all day long. He is not employed and he has no interest in changing. For personal reasons I do not want to ask him to leave though at 26 he is a legal adult. He is not diagnosed but he is definitely struggling with mental health issues on top of his addictions. He will not see another counselor. At this moment in his life I just want to keep the peace in the house as much as I can and try to help him move in the right direction and also help him with a harm reduction approach. He is basically ambivalent about cutting down his marijuana smoking. He agrees that he smokes more than he should but he is not willing to do anything serious to try to cut down (like see a counselor or go to NA meetings (He has been to these before and he did not care for them). I would like to help him cut down but I can’t come across as threatening or he will rebel against my wishes. Can you advise me on some baby steps I can use to get him to gradually move in the direction of cutting down?

Jim LaPierre Says...

Hi there - thanks for your question. My first thought is where is your son getting the money to buy a lot of marijuana? If he's not working how does he afford this? My guess is that he is living rent free and not having to maintain other responsibilities. I would urge you to move slowly away from supporting his lifestyle on a financial basis.

It seems likely that his marijuana use is an attempt to cope with an underlying mental health condition. My focus would not be on trying to reduce his use - my focus would be on his taking responsibility for himself and for him to grow up. My heart goes out to you - it sounds like this is very stressful and perhaps heartbreaking. I'm simply saying that pot is very unlikely to be the real problem in your son's life. In ay respect, he needs to mature and become more responsible

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