‘It’s not easy tackling a teenager about drugs’

I was cleaning our son Carl’s room one day when I found some cigarette butts in an ashtray. I was upset because Carl’s only 14 then when I showed them to my husband Ian, he said it was weed. That made me even more upset and worried too. It made me wonder what else I didn’t know about him.

Carl was staying at his grandparents’ house that weekend so I called him and told him what I’d found. He was angry that I’d gone into his room and accused me of snooping. That made me really angry and I shouted at him telling him it was illegal. He hung up on me.

When Carl got home, we were both still angry but I sat him down and we talked. I reminded him that I’d lost my dad to lung cancer but that seemed to be the wrong thing to say as well. He left the house sulking, saying I couldn’t guilt trip him into stopping.

Later that night he came home and said sorry. He said he smoked weed because he enjoyed it with his mates, not to hurt my feelings. He promised to try and stop before he started his GCSEs and we agreed if he hasn’t, he’ll see a drugs counsellor which I know he really doesn’t want to do.

It’s so hard knowing how to tackle kids about drugs. You’re terrified in case they get in to something they can’t stop but at the same time you don’t want to drive them away. At least talking’s a start.
Anon, 46, Stockport, Greater Manchester