“How do I stop my son from smoking marijuana while he is away at college?”

Hello, welcome to Tips on Teens. My name is Kent Toussaint, licensed marriage and family therapist,
leading two organizations here in Woodland Hills, California, Teen Therapy Center and also
the non -profit organization Child and Teen Counseling, where we help kids, teens, and families
live happier lives. I come to you every Wednesday at noon on your lunch break to answer your parenting
questions. And here is today's question. How do I stop my son from smoking marijuana while he
is away at college? That's a fascinating question. It's a layered question. There's a lot going
on. Obviously, this parent is concerned for their son, who is, I assume, 18, going off to college,
and away from home, and there's no limits. There's nothing to stop your son from smoking marijuana.
You're right. There isn't. I don't think there's anything you can do. I don't think you can stop
him if he's you know you're in California, and he's in Florida There's not much you can do and
that's scary for a parent It's

very scary But your son has made it to college And I think it may be time to let him go and have these
experiences And that's tough because you may be really worried if he already had the marijuana
problem in high school And now you're afraid he's going to take it to college and now there's
no limits. That's really scary and And I encourage you to let him figure this out. Let him fall
on his face. If the worst thing that happens is he drops out of college because he flunks, because
he's partying too much, comes back home, that is not the end of the world. You can rebuild from
that. You can rebound from that. That could be the smack in the face he needs. On the other hand,
if he gets through college and he's smoking at parties and fraternity parties here and there,
again, not the healthiest thing to do, but there's not much you can do. You can't go and ground
him from going out to parties. You can't, you know, check in on him and make sure that he's in his
dorm room by 830 every night. That's

not realistic. Now, I've had other families who say, hey, my son's in LA. He's going to a college
in a dorm room. He's 45 minutes away. He comes home every three or four weeks. We're going to test
him. We're going to do drug testing on him, and we're going to make sure he's not smoking weed.
You can do that. But again, remember, he is an adult, he is legally an adult, and how is that going
to fly? And if you do decide you're going to do this, you have to have a very clear plan of what you're
going to do if he tests dirty. Are you going to pull him out of college? That's probably not realistic,
you probably don't want to do that. What kind of consequences, limitations can you give him?
Are you going to take his phone away so now he can't call you? You know, so it's it's it's a delicate
balance of how much are you going to hover over him and watch over him? How much you just let him
go and learn from his mistakes? I do encourage you if you have a really concern about this there's
an organization

called Allen on which is basically like a 12 -step alcoholics anonymous support group for relatives
of Addicts if you think your son is an addict you may want to start going to these meetings to help
you Start learning how to set those clear boundaries and recognize what you can do and what you
cannot do Because when we start trying to control things we can't control it drives us crazy
And that's why I think maybe part of what's going on right here, but I understand your concern
It's very scary to have your son go off and be in this dangerous world and do things that you know
are unhealthy and unwise There's just maybe not a lot you can do about it if you think that your
son's drug use is getting to a point where he needs serious help, you may need to get an intervention
going on. And there are people who are professional interventionists who come in and bring
the whole family together, and they intervene, and then you have to have a plan to get him into
treatment. You know, that can happen

too. And that's okay. If that's the course you guys need to go, taking a semester or a year off
from college is not the worst thing in the world. People do it all the time. People take gap years
to go traveling here and there. You know, people take gap years to go into recovery. It can happen,
and it could be, for some people, the best thing for them. This is not an easy question to answer
because there are no clear answers, unfortunately. But I understand your concerns. Keep talking
about it, reach out to your therapist, reach out to your community for support. Let your son
know that you may not support his smoking, but that you love him, no matter what. And be there
for him, even when his choices differ from what you agree with. That's our question for today.
Keep the questions coming, we love them. We'll be here next Wednesday at noon answering your
parenting question. If you've got a question, email us at tipsonteens at teentherapycenter
.com or just direct messages right here on Facebook.

We love your questions and we'll see you next Wednesday at 12 o 'clock. Bye bye.

A huge concern among parents is that their teen might be smoking weed. Even when they’re living under the same roof, it’s’ difficult to always know if and when they are smoking. But what about when they go away to college? What advice would you give this parent?

Here’s this week’s #TipsOnTeens question:

“How do I stop my son from smoking marijuana while he is away at college?”

Tips On Teens is a vlog that our Clinical Director, Kent Toussaint, hosts every Wednesday at 12:00pm on Facebook Live.  He will be answering parenting questions submitted to us by you to our email at TipsOnTeens@TeenTherapyCenter.com.  Send us any questions you might have about parenting kids and teens and Kent will be answering them every week!

Head on over to our Facebook page every Wednesday at 12:00pm to watch LIVE!  Check out our page here – https://www.facebook.com/TeenTherapyCenter/

If you have more questions or would like more information, please contact our Clinical Director, Kent Toussaint at 818.697.8555.