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Marijuana is not benign

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Marijuana is not benign

My son has been sober for one year tomorrow. He is 19. His High School diploma is finally in the mail, he strives daily to keep on track with AA meetings and the support of a wonderful recovery house in Newport Beach, California. Without the help of professionals, he might be lost to us today. 

My son promoted the use of marijuana as  a benign habit that helped him get through his days at school. He used daily for almost two years before I realized he was addicted, and how often he was using. His depression was worse, not better. He dropped out of life his senior year of High School and refused to eat dinner with the family, attend mass, participate in family functions and became more moody and thinner as each week passed. His psychiatrist prescribed medicine for his ADD and depression which compounded the affects of his marijuana use, and visa versa. The doctor told us the marijuana was not contributing to his deterioration. Its a lie, he kept using more and more, and adding other substances. He had a dramatic breakdown and wound up in a mental hospital with habitual users of strong substances. He will tell you today that he was addicted to marijuana.

We had to go out of state to get him the care he needed. El Paso, Texas does not have an inpatient substance abuse center. It has been very expensive for us, and the fights with the insurance industry are ongoing. The mental health parity act has helped somewhat, and we have to appeal constantly. But our son is strong, on a path to wellness, has finally finished high school, and is holding down a part time job. This summer he will apply for college. We pray with thanks every day that he is here here on earth with us. His hard work, and our perseverence at getting him proper care, has created this success story. 

Recovery is not a straight path, it requires pateince, education, and a willingness to let go. With the help of professionals our son is recovering, and so is the family. I miss him terribly, but I know he is in a better place with excellent care, maturing and trying to keep himself well.

There is a path to success and recovery, but it requires hard work, both on the part of the patient, and his/her family.

This Story of Hope was created in celebration of recovery and to let families know that there are pathways to hope and healing. The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids is the only nonprofit organization dedicated to helping families who are struggling with their son or daughter's substance use. Please consider sharing this page so that families know where to turn to for help, and that there is always hope.

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