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Posted by msrose
Tue, May 24, 11 at 18:08
|I've been seeing this toilet paper roll in my son's room that has one end covered with paper towel or toilet paper. It smelled kind of perfumey. He had some friends over while I was out of the house the other day and when I got home this toilet paper roll was sitting in the middle of the dining room table. I had this funny feeling about it, so I threw it away. This morning I found another one that he put saran wrap on the end of and he had it sitting in a bowl (saran wrap end down) with Palmolive. I can't for the life of me figure out what's going on here, but I just feel like it's not good. I haven't asked him yet, because I figure he won't tell me the truth. Just wondering if anyone has a clue what he's doing?
|Sounds like some sort of huffing device. Any glue, freon, air canisters, etc around?|
|If you said it was wrapped with tin foil I'd say it's being used as a pipe. But Saran Wrap & Palmolive? I'm stumped. What's your gut telling you? Trust that. |
As for the one stuffed with TP or paper towel - that's used for huffing.
Confront him and don't take "it's nothing" for an answer. What else is going on? Any other behaviors that have your radar up? Sudden need for privacy? Cough?
(((Laurie))) - been there - do not question yourself - question him. Please let us know - believe me - you are not alone.
|This article talks about toilet paper rolls.|
Here is a link that might be useful: huffing
|Well, your instincts are spot on. Often, those who partake of the herb will want to find a way to keep the exhaled smoke scent at bay. It is possible to make a device out of a toilet paper roll with something porous stuffed in at the bottom (like fabric softener sheets), then exhale through the tube and the smoke will filter out through the scented substance. (That would be the tube in his room). That way the 'rents smell Bounce instead of weed. Perhaps for the DR tube he has combined the detergent with water and is hoping it will act (or has acted) as a filter, with the smoke bubbling through and taking on the scent of the detergent. But I'm not sure the saran wrap is doing him any favors. Are there holes punched in it, by any chance? |
Kids think they're so clever, in a "my simple, uncool parents will never know how clever I am, just watch as I leave this out on the table and they never catch on" kind of way. Or maybe he was too stoned to remember he left it on the table. Either way, good on you for having your eyes open.
Or, he could be a cunning, nefarious little dude who isn't getting high at all and is wanting to take you for a ride just to see what you'll do. I'm not sure which would be preferable?!
|ahhhh. well, even a mom who has been there learns new tricks. Just asked my son - he says the tube with dryer sheets or tp in it is used to cover the smell of smoke - either cigarettes or pot - they user exhales through the tube and the paper captures much of the smoke and odor. When you say it smelled perfumey, like a sweet pot smell or really perfumey?|
|Well, the good news is you know what he's up to. Don't let him say you're crazy or imagining things. Your gut is right, so stick with it. |
DD2's exBF had a friend that huffed. They were behind him in the car once - on the interstate, no less, going 70+ mph - and he starts swerving, etc. Finally runs off the road. He was huffing the air cans (like you buy to clean your keyboard). He had passed out. Luckily, he just ran off the road and didn't hit anything or kill anyone in the process of driving, huffing and passing out.
Huffing is a prelude to doing other drugs, for most. It is also very deadly. Many die each year and for many of those, it's their first time.
Sorry you're having to deal with this. ((hugs))
|If he is huffing, it is very dangerous. I would confront him and/or call the pediatrician to ask for advice. They see everything and would most likely be amenable to seeing him right away for a talk at the very least. Not worth the risk to ignore. |
It may be rough for a while-he'll be angry, but don't give up or give in on this one! Also, recognize that he may not be thinking clearly if he is doing this a lot, so you will be talking to a high brain, not your son's normal brain. That adds to the difficulty and is why I think going to the doctor may be the best choice. Good luck!
|I think you're on to something jakabedy. At least I hope you are and it's not the huffing. We have been arguing alot about him smoking pot. I've let him know that I can smell it, so he may be trying to disguise it. He has a friend that was put in rehab earlier this year because he was huffing and taking prescription drugs. The friends parents came over and had an intervention with my son, because we didn't know if he was doing it also. He swore he just smoked pot and I haven't seen anything that makes me thing otherwise, but I don't want to be the stupid mom that doesn't see what's right in front of her face. I don't remember seeing any cans in his room, but you better believe I'm going to go searching for it now. BTW, I didn't see holes in the saran wrap. |
Thank you so much everyone. I just have to say being the mom of teenage sons sucks. Don't get me wrong, I love both of my boys dearly, but there has been nothing easy about raising either one of them.
|dlm2000 - It's definitely perfumey. |
Maybe he figured the paper towel at the end was still letting the smell out and he figured the saran wrap would keep it trapped in better?
Now that I'm better informed I'm definitely going to confront him. I may actually acuse him of huffing (just in case) and then if he's really using it to cover the pot smell, I think he will probably confess to that.
|This article about How to smoke weed in your dorm room, mentions the toilet paper roll thing, and other ways that kids will try to hide the smell of pot being smoked. Probably a good article for parents to read to be one step ahead.|
|msrose - |
If he is already a pot smoker, then I would guess that is what he is using these things for -- to mask the smoke scent. I have mixed feelings about pot, but I draw the line with minors who live at home. It just shouldn't be allowed. It isn't necessarily a "gateway drug" to harder things, but it does cause one to get stupid and lazy, and to find comfort in the whole "420" lifestyle where they all support one another in the belief that they have the secret and it's the straight folks who are missing out. This is not a positive direction for a youngster, and can keep one from playing sports and extracurriculars, from getting (and keeping) jobs, and from having a productive, healthy life, in general.
I have a 30-y/o stepson who remains a big pothead, as is his 32-y/o wife. No kids (thankfully), but they live hand-to-mouth and I see no solid future for them at all.
|Freebasing coke, crack, meth. When burned, these drugs smell kind of sickly sweet.|
|Not knowing your son, it's hard to know what's going on here, but I think it's really odd that he's leaving this stuff around for you to find. Why risk the confrontation? Wouldn't you hide this from your parents? I sure would. Maybe you forget once, but 3x? Maybe the intervention with his friend's parents got to him, but he doesn't have the courage to stand up to his peers. If you "bust him", you get to be the heavy and he can blame not smoking or whatever on you. Teenage years are tough and I think it's a time when who their friends are is very important. If the friends come from homes that share your values, it makes things a lot easier.|
|((msrose)) When my stepson lived with us he had those tubes all over his room. I KNEW something was up (he also wore this REALLY stinky cologne) but DH was in denial. I am not a fan of weed, but for adults living on their own, it's one thing. For kids living at home, it's entirely another. |
I wish I knew the words to advise you with. I was a raging witch to my SS when he was here, but DH did the head in the sand thing. Later, SS got into a LOT of trouble and I think he's clean now, but it was a tough road. Raising kids is NOT easy.
|I'm just here to say I'm not going to project what it is... I just want to say that anyone who makes it through parenting teens should be eligible for Sainthood. (The only cure for teenagers is time.) Been there. Done that. (((Hugs))) |
Hears to being a standup parent! I know you will do what you need to do. Just don't fall for his bull#@*!.
|I too think it odd that he is leaving this stuff around for you to find - seems like he is asking for you to help him, perhaps because he knows he is in with the wrong crowd and needs you to stop what he feels he can't. |
I am not anti-pot per se, no more than I am anti-drinking, but both can be trouble if overused or they become a lifestyle choice as discussed. Underage drinking is a bad thing, but even worse is the pot because it is an illegal substance period. He needs to understand that it is not just about drugs and those issues, but also what ONE drug conviction can do to your future, particularly if you want to be a teacher or lawyer, for example. Or even go to college and be eligible for federal student loan money.
Hugs to you, and my admiration for being a parent that meets issues head on. You obviously love him and care about him, because the easier thing would be to just walk away.
|As a mom who's been there done that with my youngest, I think the pot is making him careless which is why he's leaving things around. Did he act shocked when you found it? |
I was dusting DS's room, found a pipe under one of his trophies, he said it was a friends. Sure. lol
Does DH know about this? If not, get him involved. Some way, some how, get that kid off pot NOW. Because at his age it definitely leads to harder drugs.
|Do not ignore your intuition. When anyone is using (anything), they will lie, make excuses, whatever you want to call it and tell you what you want or can tolerate hearing. Best of luck with this. I have too many friends with now grown children who have gone through some tough times when their kids.|
|I have to jump in as someone being on the other side of what being stoned can do. Nine years ago my daughter, her husband, and 10 week old baby were hit head-on by 3 boys who were stoned. She called us on her cell saying they were trapped and we got there before emergency personnel. Within 5 minutes we arrived to a horrific scene. Leaving out the details of what replays in my mind, two of the boys were dead, my son-in-law was trapped and broke everything from the chest down, my daughter had a broken ankle and colarbone. Today my grandson today has 20-25% of brain matter left but scrambled, and my daughter now has a broken heart as do we. |
My point is that it doesn't matter that it does or doesn't lead to harder drugs, teens just are not mature enough to handle mind altering drugs or alcohol (some adults too) but especially with peer pressure today. Please don't wait to see what your son is up to. Confront him today and do whatever you have to to save him. He can hate you now and maybe thank you later.
I often wonder why first or second offenders get a short jail time or have to do community service when they should be sent to live with a damaged family and see what the consequences could be.
I'm sorry this is happening to you, teens are so hard. I'm sending a big hug and hope you can stay strong. Maybe you can talk to his school counselor for additional help.
| ((Msrose)) - I just wanted to say I'm sorry you're going through this. |
Natesgram - That's terrible. I'm so sorry!
"I often wonder why first or second offenders get a short jail time or have to do community service when they should be sent to live with a damaged family and see what the consequences could be."
Just a general statement here but I agree. I would think something along those lines would have the ability to make a larger impact.
|Pot does not always lead to the use of stronger/harder drugs. I am in no way advocating its use by msrose's young son, but have to say that there are many very successful members of society who smoked pot in their formative years. That said, the scenario posed in msrose's initial post, as described, does not sound like pot use to me. JMHO. |
I haven't read every response as I am short on time, but if it were my child, I would have his/her urine and blood tested immediately - without notice to my child - regardless of the explanation of what the toilet paper tube is/was being used for.
I am sure many will think that the testing suggestion is going overboard, or is over the top. Unless you have watched either a friend or family member deal with the death of a young adult due to drug misuse, you may see it differently.
natesgram - my heart goes out to you and your family. I cannot imagine your daily pain. Our local high school has a car on display that was wrecked in an automobile crash involving the use of alcohol by an underaged teen. It sits at the entrance to the high school, so that every day the students drive into the parking lot to attend school, they are reminded of the result of mixing alcohol/drugs and driving.
|Work, I agree with you about drug testing. That is a great place to start. Then there is no question whatsoever about what is going on. |
Natesgram, I am so sorry. I knew there was something tragic about Nate but I don't remember what. He's an angel on earth.
|I hesitated to respond to this as I am not a parent, but I have worked with children for years. I think work has given excellent advice. I would not accuse, maybe not even ask, but follow her advice on testing. After test results, go from there. |
I have seen first hand what drug abuse can do to a teen/young adult and have a distant relative in prison right now - all stemming from this problem. Don't wait, take action now. My heart goes out to you and also to you Natesgram for dealing with this.
I also think that alanon (or whatever group it would be dealing with drug abuse - family members) would be a good source to contact.
|Natesgram, I am so sorry. What a terrible thing to have happen. |
I do have to respond to everyone who is ambivalent about pot smoking or may think it only matters if your son is over-indulging. I don't think that is the issue at all. Sure, there are millions of successful folks who smoked at one time and many who continue to smoke. No big deal. However, it IS a big deal for a kid who could end up with a felony conviction for being in the wrong place at the wrong time doing the wrong thing. This is hugely serious. Consequences can be as much as 20 years in jail, most of which will probably be suspended, but who wants that hanging over his/her head? Felonies NEVER go away unless you are able to get a pardon (need to pay a lawyer AGAIN to petition your governor) and that takes years. Try getting any kind of job unless you have a friend willing to take a chance on you. It will change your son's life forever. Ask me how I know...
|How do you know, Cyn? Spill it!|
|Laurie, I'm so so sorry you're going through this with your son. It's incredible what parents face these days with their kids. You've gotten a lot of good advise here from people in similar shoes, I hope whatever happens ends well. |
Natesgram, like others I extend my sincere condolences, I can't imagine the enormous loss you've suffered and my heart goes out to you and your family.
|Well, we finally had our confrontation this afternoon. I told him I had been doing some research trying to figure out what the toilet paper rolls were for and one of the things I came up with was huffing. He immediately told me he was using it to cover the smell of pot. What I thought was tissue paper turned out to be dryer sheets like some of you mentioned. He admitted to being more careless lately because he's going through his first heartbreak. I know that's not an excuse, just repeating what he said. I knew he had recently broken up with his girlfriend, but I thought he just got tired of her. Turns out she was cheating on him and he's been trying to numb the pain until school is out and he doesn't have to face her anymore. He still doesn't feel like it's that big of a deal because "everyone" does it. He feels like he's making good grades and working hard at his after school job. He knows some of his pot smoking friends probably won't amount to much, but he feels strongly he's going to do something with his life and if he wants to smoke a little pot in the mean time, why not? I stressed that it's illegal, but like all kids, he doesn't think he'll get caught. After his friend went to rehab that's when he decided to start going to church and really working on his grades. Whenever he started dating this girl is when I had a feeling his pot smoking increased and he stopped going to church. He's not the type to do things because he's worried about what his peers will think if he's says no, but he is more likely to join in if his friends are doing it around him. The mother of the boy in rehab actually drug trested her son on a regular basis. Apparently you can buy home testing kits at the drug store. I really believe pot is all he's doing, but I still may buy one of those just to make sure. He knows how mad I am and that it's not acceptable in mind for him to smoke it in our house or anywhere else. The truth is I can't really stop him when he's away from home. As far as his father is concerned, we've been divorced for about two years and the reason I finally divorced him is because he was never involved with us as a family, so it's up to me to handle this alone. I usually share alot with my mother, but I don't want to share this with her so I really appreciate all of you helping me out here. |
Natesgram - Your story breaks my heart. I'm so sorry that happened to your family and I do appreciate you sharing it with me. I hope you don't mind, but I printed it out and made my son read it.
|Cyn is absolutely correct. Being in the wrong place at the wrong time can affect your life forever. With my stepson it wasn't a felony, but a misdemeanor. He was 22, and out on his own. It still causes problems when job hunting, and virtually eliminates entering the military. It can also keep you from getting student loans, and if a minor, you could lose your drivers' license. If your son thinks he is being "smart" and "careful" tell him that everyone thinks that. But when pulled over late at night (sober) for supposedly "weaving", just because you're in your dad's beat-up old work van with plates from the "urban" county and you are in the "suburban" county and it's late at night. A kid gets nervous, and might grant permission to search the vehicle. And a little bit of pot might be found. And then there you go on a 1-3-year odyssey of court, rehab, pretrial diversion and drug testing. |
I think what is troubling me more is that he is using the pot to numb the pain of his emotions. To me, this is more serious than a kid who lights up for a lark. It means that he lacks an effective coping mechanism without turning to the pot. A lot of what is addressed in rehab is the triggers for turning to the substance of choice, and developing a healthy coping mechanism. Even though pot isn't technicaly an "addictive" drug, I think some form of rehab or counseling could be good for him.
|While I agree that rehab is a great thing, it only works if the person that needs help is ready to receive it. You mention being divorced from your son's father. Does your son maintain any relationship with his father? |
I know it may unbelievably hard and perhaps not at all doable, but if at all possible, would it work to involve your ex? I have no idea of your family dynamic, so just throwing it out there as an idea of someone (your ex) who may be willing to be involved in helping your son figure things out? Just thinking/hoping that somewhere down inside of a man who checks out on his family, may lie an interest in doing what is best for your DS at this particular time?
I am definitely praying for you.
|having worked in adolescent substance abuse in the past, i can only say that most often the parent has little or no idea as to the extent of the problem and the child is often in denial themselves. they may 'lie' either to stay/get out of trouble or to save their parents from heartache, etc... what your son is saying might be the truth, but could very well not be. |
i would probably keep accusations/confrontations to a minimum and would not do 'at home' drug testing---if you're concerned, i would bring him to a doctor for drug testing and would take urine results with a grain of salt because there are lots of clever ways to skew results. i would most definitely at least talk to his doctor, become as informed as possible about drug use and keep my eyes wide open. support groups can be very educational and helpful.
|jakabedy - You're right about him trying to numb his pain with pot. I wasn't even thinking about that, but I do think I need to discuss it with him. He's under the impression that only a felony would get in the way when you apply for a job. So, you have to report a misdemeaner also? |
work_in_progress - He occassionally see's his father, but there isn't much of a relationship. In the past his dad's way of disciplining is telling the boys they're nothing but a piece of s**t or something along those lines, which I actually think has led to some of my son's acting out. Even though I was married for almost 22 yrs, I was a single mom the whole time, so there's no way to bring his dad into this now. Thanks for the prayers, though.
busybee - Why would you not do the at home test? Is it because he could alter it more easily? The mom I know made her son provide a sample with the door open, so she would know he wasn't doing anything to it, but I don't think my son would go with the door open even if I had my back to him.
|busbybee - I was suggesting laboratory urine and blood testing, not home. Secondly, how would a person alter either test? I thought these were the two no fail to disclose tests, short of a strand of hair dna, etc. I would really appreciate your input. Thanks.|
|There are things you can drink, etc that can alter a drug test. I don't remember what it is my cousin would drink. I have heard high doses of Bvitamins, juice flushes, etc. A hair test would be better than a urine test. |
I work with graduate students and there is a question on the application that states "have you ever been arrested or fined for a crime other than a minor traffic violation". If this is marked yes on an application it must go through administration and the applicant must provide information on the violation, etc. Application can be dismissed. So, there's something else to consider.
|i personally wouldn't get involved in at home testing because of the role i would have to play with my child---i think there's certain things best left to a 3rd party... abuse/addiction is called a family disease because of all the sticky family dynamics,etc that take place concerning it...i think parental drug testing can feed into all of that. not to mention having to observe the urine stream, etc to really have more reliable results....and why do it if it's not going to done in a foolproof way... |
there are lots of way kids/adults try to get clean results. certain drugs metabolize out of your system quickly and if not used recently, will not be detected, so denial of use. having a clean sample handy to swap out with current-and yes, 'they' will warm it. taking certain vitamins, meds etc, etc to try to change the makeup/color or the urine along with trying to flush your system. adding things(even water) to the sample to mask results...who knows what else these days! it's been almost 20 years since i've worked in the field...
i found it very interesting that a nearby amusement park that my son applied to last summer required hair strand drug testing...i don't know if that was mandated by their insurance company or if it was just their own policy. they took a 100+hair strand sample down to the scalp... and i'm not sure what drugs, besides thc shows up in hair...but i guess they don't want to put up with and take a risk with user shenanigins...
|msrose, I don't have any advice but I wish you well in dealing with this difficult thing. |
natesgram, I am so very sorry about this. You and your family have had to be extremely strong. Hugs to you.
|No idea what's available now or if testing has become more sophisticated, but flushing products were readily available at health food stores back in the day and they were quite effective at masking pot use.|
|busybee - That's actually kind of funny that they used a hair sample at an amusement park and when I applied for my job at a hospital three hears ago, they used a urine sample.|
|I just want to say how much I appreciate all the compassionate responses regarding Nate. It has indeed been a heartbreaking experience but at the same time we are so blessed to have him. |
msrose, I have absolutely no problem with you letting your son know about Nate. It sounds as if your son could use some counseling to find better ways of coping with dissapointment or heartache. As adults we know that he's going to be facing a lot more than his latest breakup. Maybe you can talk to your family physician or the school counselor and get advice on how to get him tested correctly and I would set severe consequences if he didn't pass. It would be easy if you could just be his friend but you don't have to be, you just have to be his parent (the hardest job on earth). Stay strong. Hugs to you.
|Natesgram, there are no words to express my feelings as I read your story. I hope that all of us think about your family, pass along the story as appropriate, and perhaps save even one person from a similar tragedy. Thank you - what a strong and loving family you are.|
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