20 yr old moved out, we suspect he's on drugs

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-11-2012
20 yr old moved out, we suspect he's on drugs
15
Sun, 03-11-2012 - 2:29pm

Our 20 yr old is an only child. We've been having trouble with him lately drinking too much & then driving himself home in the middle of the night. Even though he's 20, we've told him as long as he lives under our roof & drives our car, he must follow our rules. He regularly ignores his curfew (2am). We also know he smokes some pot, but don't know how often. We most recently took away the keys to his car & he is only allowed to drive himself to work . So apparently he got tired of being told what to do, so he got himself an apartment & moved out. He moved out 4 days & didn't even bother to give us his address although we do know what apartment complex he's living in. We are certain this will lead to only more drinking & heavier drugs than just pot. He also dumped his girlfriend of 3 years by simply

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-01-2001

Why would you give him the car?

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2000

I think you need to step back and let him make his own choices as tough as it is. Obviously let him know you love him and, should he choose to follow your house rules he's welcome back home (although I'd make him sign a contract with the rules spelled out so there's no misunderstandings). I think ekmama had some good advice as far as the occasional gift card, invite him for dinner, etc. Since he needs a car to get to work I don't think I'd take that away from him but you're right in signing it over to him. That means on top of rent and groceries he'll have all the car expenses (gas, insurance, repairs, etc.). My almost 22yo ds made LOTS of stupid choices between the ages of 19 and 21, similar to the choices your ds is making. Much of that time he wasn't living at home and frankly - it was easier that way. I'm starting to see glimpses of maturity now but it just takes some kids longer to mature than others. Hang in there and keep us posted.

Pam
Avatar for deenow17
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-12-2004
Like the others have said, it's time to treat him like an adult who is making his own decisions. Do not let him have the car. My DS had a DUI at 20 & we are lucky he didn't kill himself or anyone else. He smashed through 2 cement posts & no one can believe he didn't kill himself when you saw the car.

I know the fear you are experiencing right now at the thought of not watching him & guiding him. I was so frightened that my DS would kill himself but unfortunately it's his life. You can offer to be there to help him emotionally, buy him staples & open your home to him. I would watch him to ensure that you don't need to do an intervention. While I'm not a supporter of any drugs, I did learn through rehab with my son that smoking pot does not mean someone will do other drugs.

P&PTs to you. My DS grew up after his DUI. it made a major change in his life as it scared him. I actually let him drive my car this week when I was sick & needed to get home. It's the first time in 5 yrs, I have let him touch my car. He drives now like a little old lady. He is very careful in fact so much, he drove me crazy as he was driving slower than I would.
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Sun, 03-11-2012 - 10:15pm

How often do you think he will want to visit you if every time he sees you he gets a lecture on drinking & drug use?

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-16-1999
Sun, 03-11-2012 - 10:46pm
Sometimes moving out and having to be solely responsible for oneself is the best growing up experience there is. Kids are *supposed* to become independent of their parents. Don't set him up to fail though. If he needs the car to get to work, I think you are setting him up to fail if you take it away without giving him some other option. And you never know, he might surprise you and do well on his own. In any case, its a lot easier on mom if they are doing their shenanigans somewhere other than right under your nose. Btdt with my son 27 - about a year ago we asked him to leave our home because it was too much stress on me to have him stay. He had moved back home after his marriage failed but after 15 months of watching him make bad choices we told him it was time to make bad choices in his own home. Don't know if he has really shaped up or if its just that we don't see it anymore, but things are definitely better between us now. BTW, he did get a DUI just being before he moved out, probably one of the better things to happen to him - really opened his eyes to just how far he'd sunk.
Good luck to you.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-11-2012
Mon, 03-12-2012 - 10:54am

Thanks everyone for your advice. We were kind of leaning in the direction of hoping he gets a DUI in order to learn a lesson. We're worried about the heavier drugs because of his moodiness. He is usually a happy-go-lucky guy, but suddenly he acts like he hates us, couldn't wait to move out & dumped his girlfriend without even telling her.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2000
Mon, 03-12-2012 - 12:27pm

Honestly - no, I wouldn't get involved in trying to give him a 'good scare'. He knows your stance on drinking and drugs. He knows that it's illegal to drive under the influence. I'd really step back and let him make his own decisions. As someone else said - how likely is he want to come around if all you're going to do is lecture him on drinking and drugs? Let him know that you're there if and when he does need help but try to keep your visits fun and relaxed. Did he dump his gf after he found out she was pregnant? He's going to have to do some planning and budgeting because whether or not he and the gf get back together he'll be paying child support for 18 years and hopefully he'll have a relationship with is child. The ds of a friend of mine is in that position - he and his gf broke up when she was pregnant and at 22 he's 2 1/2 years into paying child support every month. He does have a relationship with his son, which his mom is thankful for.

Pam
Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997

I tend to agree with this.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999

Did she already tell him that she's pregnant? That could certainly be a cause for his moodiness.

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999

I have to agree with everyone--the parents are TOO involved.

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