My kid would never be involved in drug abuse.
Like thousands of other parents around the nation, that’s exactly what I believed…at least until the glass house shattered and came crashing down on our heads.
Corbin was a happy-go-lucky teenager who never really wanted for anything. My husband and I worked our butts off to give him the best life possible; we wanted to make sure he had every opportunity to succeed and eventually build a great “grown up” life. Drugs were never even an issue…or so we thought.
Family Growing Pains
Once Corbin entered high school, he started running around with a whole new group of friends. We didn’t think much of that; I mean, we all make new friends and join new cliques in high school. But my husband and I noticed that none of the “new” friends wanted to come over to our house – at least not longer than 20 minutes here and there.
When we questioned Corbin about his new pals and who their parents were, he didn’t really have any answers for us. In fact, he told us that most of the time there was no parental supervision at their houses.
In hindsight, that should have been a huge red flag for us.
The Call No Parent Wants to Receive
We’d started limiting the time Corbin spent at his friends’ houses, but he was 17 years old and had his own car, so we certainly didn’t know where he was every second of the day.
Noticing the Warning Signs
Needless to say, there were a lot of fights in our home about Corbin not being where he said he’d been, days we learned he’d been laying out of school and just his overall change in attitude.
The sweet and considerate son we knew had seemingly been consumed by this angry teen that now stood before us.
Needless to say, there were a lot of fights in our home about Corbin not being where he said he’d been, days we learned he’d been laying out of school and just his overall change in attitude. The sweet and considerate son we knew had seemingly been consumed by this angry teen that now stood before us. It broke my heart; I felt helpless.
And then one night, we got a phone call that would alter the course of our lives.
At 3:07 a.m. on April 11 the phone woke me and I immediately knew something was wrong. My husband answered the call and all he kept saying was “yes, I understand” to the person on the other end.
When he hung up, he looked at me and said, “Corbin’s been arrested. He wrecked his car and they found cocaine in the glove box.” I don’t remember much after that.
Slapped with Reality…and a Potential Record
When we picked Corbin up from the jail, my child stood in front of me and wept. He kept saying how sorry he was and what a mess he’d made of things. I certainly couldn’t disagree with that assessment.
Once we made it home, we had a devastating conversation with our son and learned that he’d been abusing cocaine on a daily basis for three months. He was addicted and we never even knew it…though looking back on the situation, we should have.
Corbin’s lawyer asked the judge for what’s called a “diversion.” Essentially, he entered an intensive rehab program for minors and, once completed, he will be placed on supervised probation for a period of time. Should he violate probation, he can be charged as an adult…giving him a felony record that will haunt him forever.
All things considered, I think that’s a sentence that is more than fair.
Pay Attention to Your Kids and Gut Feelings
Things aren’t like they used to be when we were their age – there are more drugs and temptations out there than we can imagine. There were signs we should have picked up on and actions we should have taken…we just didn’t know how at the time. Our family learned that the hard way.
No matter how angry our teens get or how inconvenient it might be for us to be pro-active in our parenting, we owe it to our kids to be involved in every aspect of their lives – whether they want us there or not.
Getting – and staying – involved in their lives is the only way we can protect our teenagers from the dangers of the world…but sometimes those dangers come in the form of their own inept decision-making skills.
Additional Reading: Teens Using Pot for Medical Reasons More Likely to Become Addicted
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