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December 15th, 2009 by Dr. Phil

New Teen Drug Epidemic?

teenDrug1I wanted to make sure you saw yesterday’s startling headline about teenage drug abuse — a report that most newspapers, for reasons I can’t understand, buried in their back pages. The National Institute on Drug Abuse says that after a decade-long decline in teens’ use of pot, the trend is going back up. And get this: Although teens have cut down on smoking cigarettes and binge drinking — thank God — more teens than ever are getting high on prescription pain pills and attention deficit disorder drugs.

You might remember the show I did a couple of weeks ago on this very issue. Parents, you have got to realize that there is a new attitude developing among your kids about drugs. What I found really interesting about this latest study is that this generation of teens doesn’t think marijuana is all that dangerous. Why? The researchers believe teens have been affected by the ongoing national debate over the medical use of marijuana as well as the headlines about the movement to legalize marijuana in various states like California.

What do you think we should do here? I have to say, I’m really bothered when I see marijuana use edging up among kids after a decline for nearly 10 years. And I was truly staggered to see that the use of OxyContin and Vicodin rose among this year’s 10th graders. Tenth graders! What do you think? Are we on the verge of another big drug abuse problem among teenagers? And what do you think we ought to do?

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95 Responses to “New Teen Drug Epidemic?”

  1. Matt says:

    Hello Dr. Phil,
    I am a 15 year old boy, and I agree with most of what you are saying. Prescription drugs, especially when abused, can wreak havoc upon one’s mind and body. I have seen many people at my school go from being good kids to doing Oxycontin every day. It is an incredibly addictive drug. Binge drinking is also a big issue, in my opinion. Excessive alcohol use, especially at such a young age, can cause many liver problems and can stunt brain growth. The one thing I disagree with you on, however, is marijuana use. I admit that I smoke marijuana occasionally, and I find that it actually improves my life. I maintain a near-4.0 average in school, get along with my family very well, am very involved in extracurricular activities, and am of sane mental health. Marijuana enables me to get a perspective on life, it motivates me to try hard at doing things, because when I smoke, I realize the way the world works. You can really only be successful if you put in honest, hard work, which I think not many teens realize. When I smoke, I don’t get “super-stoned” and munch on a bag of Doritos and watch cartoons. I instead take a puff or two, and think about my life and ways I can improve it. Now, you might be saying, “marijuana can be abused”. Yes, it can! But so can junk food, TV, sex, masturbation, and many of the other pleasures in life. You have to not overstep your boundaries and maintain a balance in life, and the rest will come naturally. I think marijuana has the potential to be a mind-expanding and life-improving tool, when used properly. The notion that marijuana is just for losers who live in their mothers’ basements needs to be erased, and people need to understand that humans from all walks of life use the drug, and most do responsibly and safely. No one has ever died from an overdose of marijuana in the history of documented medicine, and THC (the active component of marijuana) is one of the safest chemical compounds known to man. 1000 people die from aspirin overdose each year, while 0 die from marijuana overdose. Studies have even shown that marijuana has very little effect on the adolescent brain. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19278130 Marijuana, in my opinion, is not a particularly harmful drug, and when used in moderation, has little negative effect on people’s lives.

  2. julie says:

    As a teen thought that pot was a harmless drug, I guess because everyone else did and I was brought up with a father and his friends that smoked alot of it (nevr in front of me but I saw it). Biggest mistake ofmy life smoking pot ruined my life, I am now riddled with menatl disorders including agoraphobia (Ididnt leave my bedroom for 11 months at one point when I was 22, OCD, anxiety, social phobias, I can never be alon I am now 28 wih two wonderful children and cant eventake them to the park or school alone. Pot ruins lives and minds and these pro marijana idiots need a wake up call and to stop promoting pot as a safe drug to kids. I think what needs to be done is for these kids to see the damage it does to people first hand, they need to be told that drugs do make you feel good, they are fun, but they can kill and destroy lives. Being told just the badthings about drugs and thn expirencing them and realising that they make you feel great, give you confdence and escape kids disregard all the advice their parents have given them because it seems to be the complete opposite of what they have been told. It is only later when they are addicted and doing terrible things for their fixes that they realise what has happened and by then it is to late. And hollywoo needs to wake up and realise they are a big part o this problem, look at all the od deaths that have been from presciption drugs they are makin this seems cool to kids who look up to them.

  3. prefer anonymous says:

    The other drugs are dangerous, but marijuana is not dangerous and is not addictive. Marijuana is simply not addictive like alcohol. It is not even habit forming like tobacco cigarettes. It would be dangerous for someone to drive or operate machinery while using marijuana, but there is nothing wrong with it otherwise. Everyone was using it during the late 1960s and all of these masses of college students didn’t get addicted to it or to any other drugs. In fact, the generation that smoked marijuana in the late 60s got tired of it on their own and it was a fad that fizzled out like any other fad. People didn’t have to go into rehab to stop using it. I agree, however, that it is probably not a good idea medically for high school students to use it, since the effect on brain development is unknown. I don’t think it should be put in the same class as pain killers, which are prescribed too often even for adults.

  4. prefer anonymous says:

    Pain killers are an entirely different story from marijuana. Our health care system discharges patients from the hospital too early and gives them pain killers instead of the additional rest and nursing care that they require. Patients are being discharged before they have their pain under control. Pain killers are being prescribed instead of physically therapy under the illusion that taking a few pills is cheaper than fifteen sessions of the physical therapy. It is amazing to see the long and detailed justifications that practitioners have to write in order to get permission from the insurance company to start physical therapy, but no justification is needed to prescribe a pain killer. Added to that is the prevalence of unneccessary surgery that often makes the pain worse, rather than better. Several eipsodes of the Dr. Phil show have shown the true cost to society and to the health care system because of the reliance on pain killers as a cost saving measure, and I hope that the new theories of evidence based medicine will take this into account.

  5. Cindy says:

    Julie, don’t blame your disorders on pot use, that’s ridiculous. I know plenty of people who suffer from some of the same things and they’ve never done ANY drugs. It’s high time that people in this society take responsibility for themselves and STOP blaming EVERYONE and EVERYTHING.

  6. Annonymous says:

    Dear Dr. Phil,
    The problem with kids getting addicted to prescription drugs is the fact that their parents never discover about their secret addictions and the warnings signs until it is almost too late.

  7. Janet Davies says:

    Dr Phil,

    Apart from it being illegal, what do you have against pot? I know alot of distinguished, responsible people who are closet pot smokers. Whats the big deal here? I agree with the pro pot posters. Pot is harmless when used RESPONSIBLY.

  8. Patty In Hoptown says:

    Dr. Phil,
    Merry Christmas Eve~
    I think you should worry less about pot & worry more about the prescription pills they are doing~those are by far more dangerous!
    I think smoking pot should be like booze. They have to wait till 21 to smoke pot but it is still no where near as deadly as booze!

  9. Lauren says:

    I wish the world would spend more time then on researching the effects of weed and be more transparent and have the info available [and i would also like to point out that medicinal weed - chronic- is different to the cheap weed that makes you stupid stoned]
    I also found that smoking just opened a whole new world of thinking and it helped me come out of my shell, sort things out etc.
    Not saying that I need/depend on weed in order to attain this, but that it definitely did open my mind and I am grateful for it.
    Couldn’t you do a show exploring the real dangers of weed etc? [also a comparison between the "cheap" and medicinal weed etc].

    I think that weed definitely can be used for the wrong reasons though – escapism etc. and people with unstable mental capacities etc may have a bad reaction – but don’t take me on it, i’m not a doctor – show me some research :P

    I am a 22 year old female who is a regular “stoner” and i am in the process of putting together a business/project of global proportions. a lot of the ideas/planning came from smoking.
    My aim is to help the world.
    And I have the plan and a team , and the right connections and the determination to do whatever I can to improve the economic and social structuring and development of the world.
    The problem? If people find out I smoke, everything I’m putting together to help everyone will be discredited, my name slated, reputation ruined, and I will lose everything.

    Meanwhile alcohol and smoking is sold legally and people die daily thanks to it.

    I’m sorry but what determines whether something is bad and should be illegal or not?

    And its not addictive. My friend and I quit for some months this year and for the first few days you miss it [hey, its nice to smoke - thats why people do it :P same as drinking haha] but then you get used to life without it surprisingly really really easily. I don’t know if I will be a stoner my whole life, but I definitely know I can stop when I want to.

    Instead of wasting money on trying to rid the world of weed they should spend it on one extensive study to actually figure out if it really is something that should be banned.

    I think that if peoples hormones [please forgive me if i use incorrect terms] or emotions etc is out of balance etc and this would also be during puberty then perhaps it is not best to smoke then – or at least not consistently.
    Is there research on the effects of weed on ones personality etc?

    Too often rules are implemented and laws enforced without substantial evidence to back their claims.

    People should focus instead on developing healthy individuals who are secure and informed and able to make their own decisions.

    Please would you share your opinion on the cons of smoking?

    I’m not even ruling out that weed is bad as per say, but so far the evidence I’ve seen does not deter one from smoking weed, if anything I’ve found many encouraging statements supporting its usage.

    Everything in moderation. Everything dealt with responsibly.

    And don’t smoke and drive kids, … oh wait… its not weed that kills. my bad

  10. Anonymous in GA says:

    Dr. Phil, for the last couple years my spouse and I were separated. During that time he spent time around kids, ages 17-22 +/- who were actively using and recreationally abusing prescription drugs. My spouse is now addicted to Xanax, taking 3-5 at night just to sleep. He tried to detox himself but will ultimately have to go to a rehab if he chooses to beat this. I do not support the methods of which he’s getting this drug when the prescription he now has runs out every month, which is basically getting more “off the streets” from people he knows. It started recreationally, now it’s necessary. Kids do not care, some adults do not care. Seems the ones I know and hear about just live to find the next easy high in their life and a distraction. I do not touch the things and never have. I know what it can do and choose not to do that to myself. I do not even flirt with the idea of, “Oh it can never happen to me, I won’t let it.” My husband said that, now he’s a slave to the pills. In the aftermath, he’s in financial ruin. We’ve since reconciled. Financially, I’m paying the bills I’ve always paid since he’s initialy leaving to keep household bills covered. He tries to take care of his own bills that are related to his business as well as our mortgage. We are a few months behind and I fear we may lose our home. We have children, so it won’t be easy if we do lose it. Not easy now but tolerable. This drug has affected every aspect of our lives, from financial, emotional, sexual, you name it. People really should learn to just say no to drugs and get a real life worth living to start with. If they aren’t happy with their lives, they should do something about it, not “take something for it.” Why take the chance, you know?? Thank you

  11. FosterBoys says:

    I’m so proud of the educated posters here. Marijuana criminalization is nearing its end. We’ve been lied to long enough.

  12. There’s two wars w/o end in sight and young folks have seen adult after adult of major public figures let them down. As well, physical education isn’t as hip as use to be when you and I were in school. A good high is how YOU feel after tennis & a round of golf or, ROBIN, after one of her power walks.

    I guess like a lot of things what leads to it is what led to it back then… feeling different or trying to be cool. Not believing “the Establishment.” Wanting to fit in so much that you fall into wrong crowd w/trickle down effect to existing family and friends. I had friends from first grade who as teens got involved in drugs since felt smart because could look up in their moms’ PDRs. Principal told me to discontinue friendship with them. To me, it seemed like if you don’t drink after others or share combs then you don’t take someone else’s prescription unless temporarily insane. Plus, I was a Miss Goody Two Skates…

    Oops I usually do Tour de’ THE DOCTORS on my recumbent bike right now as don’t want to get out of habit. G2G BBL

  13. Heather says:

    What would you do if you knew that BOTH of your boyfriend’s boys were selling drugs? The boyfriend/parent has NO CLUE what they are up to. The eldest drives around with his stash in HIS CAR!!! It’s a terrible position to be in knowing all of this…..

  14. lyn richey says:

    Tell the boyfriend, then if he doesn’t believe you, turn the boys into police or Child protection.

    Save them from future trouble

  15. One of my psychology teachers, in OKC, said not to experiment with drugs because what might not hurt the person who offers to you, i.e., marijuana, might you. I’m allergic to pineapple and some medications yet everyone isn’t. Who do you call if you have an allergic reaction to illegal drugs? Think about it. Will you live if you don’t call someone if have an allergic reaction to drugs a “friend” offers you. Will a “friend” get you help if have a bad trip at risk of being caught? Don’t count on it.

    Also, OKC college psyche teacher, Mrs. Hix, said not to check into psyche hospital to see what it is like faking mental illness because WILL get you a label for life. Use to students would do that. One of teens I spoke of above smoked “hash” while unwed & pregnant. I was SO disappointed in her when I told her she shouldn’t and she said, “I don’t care.” I imagine she’ll always sort of wonder if her son’s handicaps are related to that… Or those who know her do although may not be why.

    It is scary when you are the unpopular one in minority of non-users and run into a nest of users who are more “successful” in careers/school than you. Once they know you are NOT of the same persuasion and don’t use too… very well may outcast you and even fake records to CYA. Know of one man who hid his stash in his ex-wife’s stationery box to say hers if caught.

    Plus, people worry if tell authorities won’t be believed or will be retaliated against. We saw a President of United States say, “NO” he wasn’t with a female intern and first strategy was “nutt slut” defense which IS an actual defense. As a teen… might think telling gets person in trouble instead of realizing not telling could result in more. One teen that YOU helped said safety of her brother & family threatened if he quit ring in Canada.

    A hit put out on me when I was in my 20’s for turning in a BIG drug ring out of truck stop (shown & told uppers in drawer filled with what looked like brown vitamin bottles). Guy in suit proud one of big guys. Remember Police Woman series? I acted interested when proposition since I hate drug dealers for what happened to childhood friend’s son.

    I guess official I gave card to called number on card I was told to call before druggie realized I didn’t use and asked for card back we couldn’t find that I’d hid to turn him in. So drug ring found me & when I said I threw card away they wanted to know what trash can & when couldn’t find card at trash can outside Safeway weren’t happy. Who’d of thought they’d go check? I said, “I didn’t know where card was that might have thrown in trash can outside of Safeway as they wanted card back.

    Fortunately, my two Irish Setters ran off person who dropped led pipe & change of clothes for after did me in so I didn’t get beaten to death with. Oh, and person who propositioned me wore a suit & hung out at trendy place. I saw a friend from Church that night across way witnessing and SO wish I’d asked for a ride home instead of feeling like I’d be imposing since 17 miles from OKC to Norman. A Godsend I wish I’d not missed.

    Since teen I mentioned above had a successful job in her 20’s & asked me to go to a place where backgammon played I thought she’d changed. When I asked her to take me home she said, “Don’t ruin it for me. Guys don’t ask me out often. You can just talk to other person. Just one more hour…” Well, I did keep my clothes on yet he forced me to take a bunch of stuff when figured out I didn’t even smoke pot.

    I actually checked myself into a psyche hospital afraid of what stuff forced to take might do and had never been to one prior. I think I was 23. I’d slipped card he gave me with numbers on it under pants waist and helped him look for card there when he wanted back. My friend burst in saying, “What are you doing? She doesn’t use drugs.” Fortunately, they let us go when man she’d just been with said to forget about card as likely there someplace and he’d find worried noise would result in police called. This was in my 20’s.

    That’s why we need Emotional and Life Skill Education K-12 since our EQ’s are as important as our IQ’s. When a friend suddenly plays guilt trips on you ruining their fun and what can an hour longer hurt… not to worry so much etc. etc. ETC. It just takes an instant to make one of BIGGEST mistakes to rationalize like “friend” you’ve lost to rationalizing that maybe you are a bit judgmental as accused by rationalizer. Well of course users defend what’s getting them high whether from the $$$’s from selling or the addiction(s) ball & chain or both.

    Well, as you see even here, on both sides people want converts. The non-user wants people to learn natural highs and the user is like, “What’s the big deal… Lighten up?” DR. PHIL need a show of ways to exercise NO when friends won’t take NO for an answer for any reason. I SO wish I’d asked person I saw from church, witnessing to others, for a ride home. It didn’t occur to me he was witnessing until too late. I met at church and gave me my first dog, Linda, when I was 8. Watch out at High School Reunions. I think we need an entire show of what to say to pushy friends in various scenarios. You hear about taking enough money for a ride home if go out with a guy… need it for going out with gals too even in 20’s.

    When you’ve known someone since 1st grade it is a grieving process when lose to drugs as a teen and when you remember friend if haven’t kept in touch… mostly think of the good times before a user. Plus, as person who pointed out that even professionals are involved with… she’d worked for same company bout five years then. I thought she’d changed. Who do you tell? What do you do? See, even recently, I spoke up about dishonesty and instead it seemed more a problem I spoke up. (Nothing related to here.) Denial is a false security for bad things have been happening in the world all my life. Sometimes, I got lucky and thought of a way out… yet it helps if you have a PLAN and so we need to teach teens contingency PLANS to get out of popular predicaments.

    Well, something I have to say to everyone that puts down the Goody Two Skates persons in the world like us IS it is just as judgmental to insist a person rationalize. Try tennis & golf and walking for fun for every person I see who gets clean and makes healthier choices rarely regrets the day they did.

    IF you try to be a Goody Two Skates person like I try to… be busy and don’t think you can handle friends using. Ask School Counselor, parents if can… hopefully, schools provide crisis numbers. However, Dr. Phil there are metal detectors in school and the small dealers know bigger and the bigger will silence you. From bullying to coming after you if a big enough ring. NEVER THREATEN turning someone in as most users are dangerous when paranoid… just do what you have to do to be safe and get help from professionals if necessary. Just say not for me… distance yourself… be busy.

    My childhood “friend” above likely convinced them to leave me alone because nobody would believe me since I admitted myself (walked to psyche hospital) after forced to take drugs since had no idea what I’d been forced to take or what would do.

    Fellow Goody Two Shoes persons DO NOT be where people are taking drugs to prove YOU aren’t judgmental because can be drugged and worse. I’m so sick of the NO BIG DEAL rationalizers. Lawlessness begets lawlessness. (Take up tennis or music or volunteer at hospital and BE BUSY if your friends get in with wrong crowd.) Rationalizers are everywhere so… try not to become one of them. Non-users have a right to feel hip since don’t use and if ANYONE is pressuring you or threatening you SPEAK UP.

    It is a lot easier to never get involved even if you are called judgmental and making too big of a deal of it. What kind of a friend expects you to lose yourself and maybe your life in the process? I think its about time Users prove they’re a good friend and quit rationalizing and admit have a problem. So now, Dr. Phil, we need EXPERTS to let teens know what to do if being threatened with including life, like I was, if speak up. Teens need a plan to JUST SAY NO and to be given empathy of how hard it is to outgrow friends yet sometimes be the healthiest thing to do. Teens who use may be scared to quit due to fear tactics by dealer of side effects yet since illegal not know where to get help.

    Next season do shows of people who do get it. That’s what the TV, movie et al industry needs to do. Arm the Goody Two Skaters with tools to be hip not using and how to avoid the snares of pushers touting the joys of their drug use. For the night a friend of mine from church was witnessing across the way another “friend” told me one hour longer at guys place wouldn’t hurt. I hadn’t talked to either in many years & I guess since friend from church in grade school… a guy too… I didn’t know where to begin.

    ONE HOUR LONGER CAN HURT. Don’t be sucked into rationalizing. All the things parents say about not staying out late is ALWAYS true because you’ve seen studies when tired judgement can be as off as when drinking. Keep a healthy diet, regular sleep schedule and have an exercise plan. Many I JUST SAID NO TO asked me what I was high on and it was walking and riding my bike… and I LOVED to roller skate. Researchers have said exercise, like walking, raises endorphin level and oxygenates the brain and its FREE; try it for a natural high. Don’t be a slave to drugs and don’t be enslaved by “friends” who rationalize you into rationalizing.

  16. Merry says:

    I am an 11th grade High School health teacher and I couldn’t concur with you more. It’s alarming what our children think of pot. They truly think there is nothing wrong with it and will argue to the hilt to defend their Pot usage. Even in the face of all their issues they are in such denial and refuse to believe that Pot could be the cause. What’s even more alarming is the talk about their parents getting high too!!! This greatly saddens me. My answer as a teacher has been to create elective courses that deal with feelings and the building of their self esteem and to take students on retreats to do this work even more intently. I also teach them a process called Inner Bonding which seems to work really well.

  17. beth stewart says:

    Hi, Dr phil
    My name is beth and I am from Australia
    I am 35 and I had a very long standing promblem with alchol and drugs but mainly alchol
    I have been straight for 3-4 years now
    I am now going to university to study criminology in 2010

    It is not an easy subject but there are ways to help.
    You see when I was 9 and I had my first drink I dont think ANY thing would have stopped me
    BUT ME
    we are caught up in there are more murders…. the youth is worse today… and we are domed to hell…. Iam not so sure
    there has always people who will rebell and do nasty things or take things to the extreme
    we do have different drugs now and they are worst then ever but I dont believe by throwing our hands in the air and blaming anyone is useful
    It took me to decide to drink, to take the drugs and to go every place I wanted to go and there was nothing any one in this world could do about it-TRUST ME!

    I think making help avaliable is a great step
    From the the day the world had a man walk upon it, we have always had a tribe or society that makes rules or laws
    Now- it is our job to pull the younger ones in and nuture them and make help avaliable for thoes that seek it but there are absolute steps that can be and have been made
    Big,big, big buses that pull into school and educate are invaluable
    I reflected on the education that I had known when I started to get better
    Living by an example is a very powerful tool VERY POWERFUL
    Do never ever ever turn children down when they ask you about drugs or alchol
    The more you make it a hidden bad subject the more kids will push
    I believe educating them on exactly what they do to their system is again invaluable
    Make it ok to come to you when the make mistakes can only help
    I think in the majority of cases if you love your children with all your heart-they often return to do if they lose their way- I know that is easy said not done but it is true
    There are many many dangers but if we install our best and be there and hope to god that they are safe, the chances are they will be ok
    every single person on this earth walks their own path and I dont regret mine
    Iam going to use it to help people
    as you say some time we make good decisions but some times we make bad but if we try really hard to make the bad ones good then and only then do we have hope
    Every one should start by saying to their kids this- i dont always agree with you and it is ok to make mistakes but more importantly no matter what you do i will always love you to death!
    No one has to put up with the bad behavious that goes with these things but we have to give people value and that is the key!
    There is lots of hope! they are lots of people fighting this as the saying goes- this world is a wonderful place and worth fighting for

  18. Paradoxis says:

    I’d be interested to hear you ask Katherine from the Dr Phil family about this topic.

  19. Heartbroken Parent says:

    I wish you would do a show (or direct people to a source) with factual, verified information about the consequences of marijuana use. My parents’ generation told us (as teens – I’m now around 50 years old) wild stuff about what pot would do to us, and we quickly figured out they didn’t know what they were talking about. My husband and I both quit using drugs in our late teens, however, and completely turned our lives around. We married & raised a family, and have lived responsible, productive, positive lives. We taught our kids about the negative consequences of drugs, and because we had good relationships with them, they listened. They were doing so well until a medical trauma in our family, which really affected our kids. Now two of them have floundered, are smoking pot, and believe we don’t know what we’re talking about; they know too many people (peers at work and school, and even, apparently, a few adults at work) who smoke it and they aren’t mature enough yet to see the short or long-term consequences. They believe what they’ve read on the web that claims marijuana is harmless.

  20. FosterBoys says:

    Heartbroken,

    Advocates of marijuana legalization have never said that marijuana is harmless. It is a drug and it can be abused. But not everyone who drinks alcohol is an alcoholic.

  21. Patricia says:

    Dr. Phil,
    I completly understand both sides of the story. I come from a drug infected family and I myself use to spend my days like most teens here in America do. But when I finally had to grew up, I now think that this is what our country is coming down to. It is a battle between teen and adults about drug usage. Do I personally do not agree with the fact that marijuana should become legal or the fact that any child or even adult should be ingaging in this activity? No. People that a currently smoking, can point the finger at me all they want and they can back up whatever theory they have about this drug, but it should never become legal! even within the persription setting. It is highly addictive and leads to may other drug activities and unpertected sex. When you take a recoverying addict like myself and you find out what the hard rock drug was, For an example Speed, you will find a list of druggs that lead to it and marijuana is normally that base drug. With all illegal drug unpertected sex is an issue. It is an issuse because when you are under the influence of any drug you smiply can not think right. Teens these days are hurting and there has to be more done to help positivly influencing these teens. I honestly belive that parents today have no clue on how to help teens with this because thier generation is too busy getting high them selves. It is sick but Someone needs to help these teens!!!! THEY ARE THE ONES YOU ARE GONNA HAVE TO PAY FOR IT IN THE END!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. Seriously? says:

    Try working in a nursing home… you know, those places that people think are only for the elderly to go and die in? Yeah, you may notice that the majority of nursing home residents are people between the ages of 25-65. Why, you ask? Because those who are in their 50’s and 60’s are the ones who smoked pot regularly throughout their lives (they admit to this, by the way) and are now suffering the consequences of their actions. They, too, figured marijuana was harmless and smoked it as much or as little as they wanted. True, some people can quit smoking pot if they want to. That is also true for meth addicts, heroin addicts, alcoholics, etc. If it’s not a drug their system is really prone to becoming addicted to, then they can stop on their own. However, the people a lot are overlooking are those that can NOT stop on their own. You may not personally know someone who’s checked into rehab to quit smoking pot, but that certainly does NOT mean it doesn’t happen. And, often times, you’ll find that people who are addicted to meth, heroin, cocaine, pain killers, and other drugs started out with what is known as the gateway drug: marijuana. The mentality is that marijuana is not harmful. Since that first high is impossible to duplicate, why not try other drugs…

    Those who are younger and in nursing homes (the 25 y/olds I was talking about earlier…) are also, typically, addicted to drugs (including marijuana) and had accidents related to their drug/alcohol use.

    I find it funny that a lot of the pro-pot posters are also avid fans of the drug. Shocking. Reading your posts from a drug-free mind offers much gratitude for choosing not to do drugs. There is so much justification going on here, and it’s really sad! Today’s youth seem to be brainwashed by those who are pro-pot. Your parents say it’s okay in order to justify their own use (or insert whichever elder/friend/role model in your life is smoking pot), so you believe it is truly safe and acceptable. Sadly, that’s false. Recreational use can lead to chronic use. Now, as I said earlier, there are some who can stop on their own volition, but not true in the majority of cases.

    And to Matt, the 15 y/o boy with a “near-4.0″ gpa, way to go! I would like to see you in another 20 years after the effects of “recreational” pot smoking have taken their toll on your mind and body. If you truly believe you need drugs to ponder life and figure out how the world works, then I’m afraid you may really have an addiction there. And to quote from your own post, “You can really only be successful if you put in honest, hard work, which I think not many teens realize.” By your own words, marijuana is not part of your definition of success. Ditch the drugs and unlock your true potential! You never know… that “near 4.0″ gpa just might raise a bit higher. And you may excel in college without your brain being clouded by toxins. Good luck!

  23. FosterBoys says:

    There is so much ignorance out there about marijuana. Dr. Phil, you have been made aware of the manipulation of studies and of the outright lies told. I wonder if that’s why you haven’t done a show on it. You know what the truth is and that just doesn’t jibe with your personal beliefs.

    It is OK to be personally AGAINST something, while accepting other people’s right to be FOR it.

  24. JessicaRoehl says:

    I read this and it wasnt much of a suprise to me considering that I live and breath with highschool students. Im an 11th grader and I see things like this all around me, but thankfully I have never been involved in it. It gets hard sometimes because it is all around you and there is generally no way you can stop hanging out with the “wrong crowd” because lately everyone is the wrong crowd. I really do not thing we are on the verge of anything at this point, I just beleive that the teenagers of today are good at hiding things. Something needs to be done, but what I cannot tell you. I truly do not understand why kids like to get high and drunk, becase the next morning you usually cant remember half the fun you had. but with me and my few friends who dont do the illegal things, we get to remember what we did, and trust me we still have fun.
    If kids could just realize that they are really ruining their lives, then they might actually stop.
    One other thing that bothers me is that the drug and alcohol abuse is a LARGE epidemic among boys, i know its getting bigger with girls too, But when boys get involved in these actions it causes them to be even stupider than they once were. Now all the girls who have spent their lives remember the things they did the next morning, are stuck with these loser boys. I dont know many girls at my school that are happy with this, its hard to find a trustworthy, caring boyfriend when they are all out partyin hard and getting high. I really dont know what to do.

  25. meb says:

    When I was a teen in the early 80s, I smoked pot..not cause I liked the feeling,it was because EVERYBODY else in my click was..wasnt to long after that when I realized I didnt want to be like everyone else and quit!
    I have had 3 back surgerys,my lumbar fusion was done in 11.09…I have been on pain pills..Loratab,for 10 years..people want them, I am hoping to get of them! Now,I am on Roxys,this is a big thing..I dont tell anyone what I get because people will break in your home for them let alone to steal you belongings to get them.People where I live are going to FLORIDA to a pain clinic getting 120 of these,plus others a month.Groups of them,paying a driver or giving a cut of their pills to take them there and back.Plus getting these same meds from a local doctor as well.I go threw hell to get what little I do and I am leg-it. Seems like these scamers got it figured out but our system does not.
    Over time,the rush you get from these meds,goes away,they have to take more and more or snort/shoot more and more.Intill places like Florida stop their Legal drug trafficking it will get worse..
    I couldnt imagine my kids on these meds, I hide mine,not going to give them an opprotunity to get in them. I also dont tell them what I got in the first place.Pain Meds are good when someone needs them, I cant tell you how to stop kids from getting them,but to start; there has got to be a 50 state wide registry that can be logged on to by each doctor before prescribing these meds,to see if this person has gotten any in the past 30 days and then if the give them to them anyway;make it a felony on their part,thats a start!

  26. FosterBoys says:

    Narcotic pain pills are a wake-up call to anyone who can’t understand dependence and addiction. You can’t quit these alone. Cold-turkey can kill you. If I had a choice between prescription pain pills and medical marijuana, marijuana would be my choice. That’s right, I said it.

  27. AlbertMama says:

    I’m a 28 year old mother and I’m hoping that my teaching and honesty with my child will result in him making good decisions as a teenager, with guidance of course, to not fall into the trap of drugs. I view drugs in relation to my child as the same, regardless of addictive properties. Drug abuse is drug abuse! I’m a recovering alcoholic and I know that addiction among children is a dangerous game. If a child thinks that they aren’t addicted, but they’re doing it everyday or to escape or “chill out” from their troubles, well guess what…you’re an addict. I do know some people who actually use medical marijuana, but those people are chronically ill. Children should not be using drugs of any kind period! Children need to be protected, because even if you’re a teenager, you’re still a child and someone needs to be there to say NO!
    All I know is that I hope that I am giving my son the tools he will need to be his own person and steer clear of negative influences. I hope that if he’s in pain I will recognize it and get him the proper help, instead of ignoring it and looking around dumbfounded when I find he’s doing drugs. When children are hurting if we as parents don’t have the tools to help them, then it’s our job to take them to a professional who does!

  28. Zargos says:

    the drug laws are about having POWER OVER POOR AND MINORITIES! PERIOD!

  29. Candace says:

    Once in my local neighborhood, some kids and I were skateboarding around and a 12-13 year old boy stopped us and was like “yo wanna buy some pills from me? I stole them from my mom, they get you ****** up.” I was like no way kid, and the other kids that were with me were like “what is it?” and the little boy was like it’s oxycotton and I was like first off I have no clue what this drug is your selling it illegally and you’re on the drug right now and I went to go leave and I overheard the others say hey let us try it and we’ll let you know if we like it and if we want to buy it. So they took it from the little boy and passed by me and was like the little kid’s an idiot and then I was like you’re idiots for taking it and they were like nah this s*** will **** you up and we don’t have no money so we tricked him. I was like and he’s the only idiot around huh? I can’t believe I stayed around that long but I was tempted to go tell the little boy’s mother but he’ll get caught one day on his own time. And the sister of this little boy is like what 19? and she had weed in her bag one day and she mentioned it and I was like yo catcha later and I didn’t know she was the sister of the little drug dealer boy but she helps him sell the drugs and stuff and I thought wow very influencing on your little brother.

  30. brittany says:

    Teens need to focus more on school and getting into college and their future. Parents need to stop trying to befriend their children and start laying down rules and regulations. Same goes for teachers, a lot of them are getting too comfortable being in the friend zone and not being teachers.

  31. FosterBoys says:

    Dr. Phil,

    I think I understand your dilemma about doing a show on adult marijuana smokers. How do you criticize a drug and its users without disparaging the people you know (and like) who use it? That’s a tough one.

    You could get some really extreme personalities that are unrelatable to the rest of the population so that most people know you’re not talking to THEM.

    You can bring out some experts who’ll say the things you believe, without YOU having to say the words.

    You can find a former marijuana smoker who has turned his life around, whose life was actually, legitimately ruined by smoking.

    It’s a tough one, for sure. Good luck. I don’t envy your position.

  32. Lauren says:

    I still say show me the research and evidence to substantiate all the claims etc. More transparent research needs to be done.
    You can use me as a guinea pig – I’ll smoke weed for years to see if it does ;)
    My friend has been smoking chronic daily since she was 14. shes 23 now. and perfectly fine.
    yes, there are negative effects to weed. as with cigarettes and alcohol. smoking damages your lungs etc. But I would rather quit smoking cigarettes then and smoke that if need be. Cause if you’re a smoker, you’re damaging your lungs anyway.

    At the same time, if weed really is so damaging, could someone please tell us, and substantiate? I would quit if I found it to be fatally damaging.

    for the people in nursing homes due to weed – please could you share stories so I can see how people are damaged?

    too little information being shared with the public on this topic.

    All we ever hear is the war on drugs and how much the government etc makes off of it.

    Watch that documentary on the history of weed, its very enlightening.

  33. FosterBoys says:

    Hi Lauren,

    I’ve enjoyed your posts and your honesty. It’s too bad America is so afraid of marijuana. Americans cling so tightly to the lies that they’ve been told because, strangely, they can’t seem to believe that they’ve been lied to by their own government. Why would the government LIE about this? HA! At this point, most politicians wouldn’t be able to tell the truth if their re-election depended on it.

    The documentary you mentioned is excellent as is, “In Pot We Trust” and “The Union: The Business Behind Getting High”.

    Marijuana was criminalized to eliminate certain “unwanted elements” of our society.
    Marijuana continues to be illegal because the pharmaceutical, tobacco, and alcohol lobbies are omnipotent and don’t want to lose any of their customers to some other drug.
    Studies done which show harm done by marijuana are false, misleading, or both.

    The only truths are:
    Marijuana is not for children.
    Marijuana is not for operating machinery.
    Marijuana is an inhalant and, therefore, can be harmful to one’s lungs.
    Marijuana CAN be abused, just like cheeseburgers, forks, and bridges.

    NERF the world! Outlaw EVERYTHING!

  34. Hope says:

    I Can agree with both sides of the coin here.The thing that really makes me outragged is Im extreamly ill for a number of years and its most difficult to get the help and medications that I myself need despritly but I cant or I have to fight every inch of the way because of all the abusers and the news everyday theres another death and most are people that walk the red carpet and they abuse drugs so badly and we as real patients suffer emmencly and I think that stinks.

    It not fair to me and other sick patients to have to fight the whole entire way till someone helps us if were lucky! These stars,or people that everyone admires are dying and they have the money for whatever there needs are .

    What about sick people ,does anyone understand where im coming from. I have to suffer for others stupidity and there dieing left and right and I have sympathy but enough is enough already.Its not my fault they decide to abuse these drugs with there thousands of dollars down the toilet like its nothing .They want to throw there money away send it to me so I can get the help I need or to a charity like my disease.We really need the help!!! I would love nothing more then to survive this disease and others are making themselves sick and can get the help all they want and People like myself cant and we didnt do this to our self! Go figure.

    Im sorry and Im not talking about the teens Im talking about these so called hero’s,stars,rolemodels ect are showing teens hey look I take drugs and go to rehab to get away from jail time or charges.Thats all you here is Im in rehab now or I cheated on my spouse and my daughter at one time though divorce was normal and I thought I covered everything but you never do theres to much to teach to stop.Im mom I cant stop and wont unless Im not able to.

    Her father and I are married 20 years and she just made that comment I was like oh! So of course I told her alot of couples dont want to put in the hard work that we have put in.Were not married for 20 years for nothing.It will be 21 in march!

    We will always work on whatever it is not just for our daughters sake for us we love eachother and are pretty level headed people and we disagree but were not going to divorce over it.We do whatever we can to help eachother.Of course we get annoyed but we dont turn to a bottle of shots or illeagel drugs .That just makes things worse.

    We need more unity of marriage and see more couples stick it out .Work on it!!! Our kids need stable homes even if its 1 parent do the work it will pay off.We had our problems to deal with but we never really take it out on eachother if we cant change something we just work a little harder.We look to other ways or someone that might be able to give advice and watching the Dr.Phil show certainly helps a great deal.Im serious it does and I admire him and his willingness to help others that he dont even know.All these years hes been taking care of one person or more at a time on a daily basis and if you really open your mind you sure can take alot in and to try and help yourself or someone else!!!!

    Kids say drugs make them feel no pain.WHAT? There pain is home or school or there in trouble and they think drugs are the answer.Listen I was a kid and I had family issues but I never touched drugs never.I was scared of them and seeing funeral persessions coming through our school alot in the 80’s it was very sad and today thats reached a all time high literaly.

    I hope and pray everyday that my child wont touch any of it.Even though Im sick I watch my child very close and I have a fire proof locked box were my meds go so its not out in the open. I know for sure shes not on anything for sure I could tell if my daughter was up to something shes very bad at lying and other.

    I hope in time the suffering will stop and kids will think twice before they try that drug or new fad!!! Please get into a sport or something you have a passion about.My passion is to help others and help them fight the fight of whatever there up against and to bring awareness to my disease that everyone should know about!!

    Thanks for reading my thoughts !!!

    HOPE K.

  35. OMG To the people who justify smoking pot. Its a drug people and should only be used for medicinal purposes only.

  36. Liz Romani says:

    Dr. Phil,

    My Name is Liz. I recently bought a home here in Vincennes, Indiana. My husband and I were so excited to finally have a room for each of our boys. WE went right away putting up the “white picket fence”. Well, as happy as we were, I made the mistake of not researching the neighborhood very well. I saw the picture of happiness from the “outside”. The houses around us looked clean and nice, there was no real dirtyness on our block, so we bought the place.

    About a week later, we were in our front yard with our children (ages 4 and 6) and a man approached my husband and asked if he smoked. When my husband replied “no, man I don’t smoke cigarettes” the man slyly said, “no, dude…SMOKE!” with a little wink, refering to METH!!!! My jaw dropped open, my husband flipped out and started yelling at the man. I ushered the kids quickly inside the house so they wouldn’t hear all the profanities being exchanged by both my husband and this man. Needless to say, that drug pusher will NOT be back to our house or even our block for that matter. i think my husband really scared this guy. Which I am grateful for.

    I was at a loss. I was dissappointed. I thought, how could this happen? I was so scarred for the future of my adorable boys. They’re so wonderful and I will do whatever it takes to educate them on the truth about drugs SO THEY NEVER GO DOWN THAT PATH. I knew there had to be something out there to help. I called my mom and told her this story. She immediately referred me to drugfreeworld.org. I checked it out and was very impressed. Here was the answer. i immediately ordered the free materials and was blown away at the raw data in the booklets and on the DVD I got. This stuff arrived at my door very fast and with everything I leanred about meth, marajuana, cocaine, alcohol, pain killers, inhailants, and the list goes on…I thought to myself, this is unbelievable!!! It really strips the drugs down and gives you not only the short term effects but long term effects as well. The DVD is a documentary of recovered drug addicts telling their stories of traveling down the road of addiction and the stories are so sad, and shocking and full of the TRUTH!!! This is what we need to be getting out to all the parents who are searching for an answer!!! the answer lies in education. and this website provides it free to any parent who wants to educate their child on drugs. I see some parents above asking for the real truth about weed. It’s here!!! Right in the little booklet that is so easy to read and understand. I urge everyone reading this blog to go to drugfreeworld.org and order your information. You will not be dissapointed. I did and I found so much useful info on it that I’m going a step further and am promoting it to our schools and at parent meetings.

    The ONLY way to stop the increase of drugs is to EDUCATE!!!! it’s all about getting to the child BEFORE the drug gets to him or her!! And it needs to start at home. It really does. the parents need to sit down and educate their kids. Arm them with the tools to make the RIGHT choice to be drug free!!! I am doing EVERYTHING I can to inform my kids about the real TRUTH about drugs. If you are interested, go to drugfreeworld.org. You will be glad you did. It can save a life from the torment of drugs.

    A few weeks ago on TV there was a story of a 17 year old girl who died of smoking Fentalyn. What the hell?!?!?!?! First of all, Fentalyn is SO potent. 100% more powerful than morphine. And is only to be administered under direct guidance of a physician and even when it is, it is INCREDIBLY dangerous. Well, one hit and she’s dead!!! Un real!!! It’s so sad. I wish these parents had the tools to really educate her on this. Things like this happen ALL the time where I live and it needs to stop!!! Kids need drug education and it has to start at home. Parents, for the future of our society and the future of YOUR kids, EDUCATE!!!! Dr. Phil, I am one voice. You are an opinion leader. Please speak out about this. Let parents know that they can get the information they are looking for. It’s so important that we do something abou the drug problem amongst our youth. Help them Dr. Phil!! They are asking for it.

    Thank you for listening. Liz

  37. Liz Romani says:

    To any parents out there looking for an answer to “What are the long term effects of weed?” “What is so dangerous about the way an ectasy pill is manufactured?” “What is the reason a person becomes hooked on meth from using one time?” …go to drugfreeworld.org. They have the answers. And you can educate your kids on them. I’m a mother too, and I am doing everything I can to make sure my kids are aware of these dangerous and possibly deadly drugs.

  38. Liz Romani says:

    Lauren, go to drugfreeworld.org. See for yourself. order the booklets. In there, it has all the long term and short term effects of weed. Check it out. It will answer your questions.

  39. Mike laman says:

    I can’t add much to the debate except this: I never used any drugs growing up.
    I’m 54, and I had no money to waste on that. Friends I had never offered it, and I do know many people who used pot years ago and still do, and they seem okay.
    I’ve never seen a chronic drug user who was happy or successful.
    I feel grateful drugs never got in my path. I’m chronically ill with ulcerative colitis.
    It’s hell sometimes, and after 32 yrs. of it, I’d love to be free of that.
    It hit me at 20, and it ruined my life. Young people–pay attention–you NEVER know when your health could be lost. I had no choice in the matter. It happened, and to this day there is NO explanation. I never married, and I gave up on ever having a partner or spouse in my life. A chronic illness is a cross few folks can carry with you. My meds cost over 30,000/yr. I work full time, and thank God I have medical insurance. I am lucky and grateful to be alive, and I wish my life had turned out differently. Your health and sanity are priceless assets. Don’t ever DO
    ANYTHING to jeopardize those treasures. In my case things went bad for reasons
    I’ll never know. Who cares? I do know I would have had a truly wonderful life had this illness not befallen me. There is no such thing as a safe drug–be it pot, aspirin or whatever. I can recall a time when America had a very small drug problem. The 60s unleashed a terrible drug epidemic upon us, and it’s cost us thousands of young and innocent lives. It’s almost ruined America. The Federal govt. spends over 50 BILLION/yr. on the endless drug war which cannot be won.
    Imagine how many jobs that money could create, or education it could pay for.
    Americans need to stop listening to pop artists, cultural icons for guidance in areas of public policy. They are idiots. They have too much influence, and their music etc. is the pied piper of ruin for many young people. Case closed.

  40. Anita says:

    One thing missing from the illegal drug use equation is Informed Consent. If you get a prescription drug, you should (hopefully, but not always) be given all the side effects and possible interactions with other drugs. Any person, young or old, who arrives at the crossroads of whether or not to try a drug for the first time, needs to make a fully informed decision. The web site http://www.drugfreeworld.org has a ton of information, including the new documentary “Real People, Real Stories”. I experimented with drugs in the 60s, but there are facts on this documentary that I sure as heck did not know. I suspect very few people who try drugs know all of the facts. Who is going to inform you? The drug dealer who wants to exploit you to make a buck, even if it results in your life being ruined, or worse? Get the facts!!

  41. julia says:

    I think it is a beautiful thing to see DR Phil help these people with their drug addictions. I want to know what do people do to pay for this treatment? So many of these children are placed on methadone to recover from the heroin, now I feel this is just another addiction that is worst than heroin or suboxen to get off and is controlled by local government which is funded by strict regulations. How are these people whom have no insurance have no capabilities to go to even an outpatient facility. No clinics are available

  42. Richard Bell says:

    I just finished writing a story of life which dealt with my dental problems. However, there is another problem, with us, which I consider to be of even more importance, that of drug abuse. I came to the computer to write about the problems faced by our youngest son, concerning his drug use, but the website had taken down the contact point put up after yesterday’s show about drug abuse.

    My wife, who recently passed away after a lifetime of sufferring, due to her having been sexually abused, as a child, had a confrontation with our youngest son, about his drug abuse. A week or so later, he disappeared, and none of us has seen him since. This was about a year-and- a- half ago.

    We cannot afford the high cost of having him tracked down and treated by any thing like “The Hacienda”. I guess there is no hope for the average family with no money to pay for such things. Therefore, if a child does get involved with drugs, he/she is condedmned to an early grave. It’s unfortunate, but apparently true.

  43. patty says:

    I want to share my story with teens who are using or contemplating using drugs or alcohol. My son came from a middle class family. Although a victim of my divorce, he excelled in the sports arena. He was an accomplished hockey goaltender from an early age throughout post high school. He did suffer from ADHD
    and academics were not his forte.It wasn’r until he was 30 that he was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder. His mind was like a kaleidoscope of thoughts. He once told me he wished he could just turn it off.
    I can’t pinpoint when the addiction started. It began with alcohol and then
    moved on to cocaine and heroin, etc. He endured many intervention programs, but always relapsed soon after. Taking drugs was his way of trying to make himself feel “normal.” Once diagnosed with bi-polar, he was put on several different medications, but he claimed they either made him too hyper or too sleepy.
    I remained in denial for many years. I couldn’t believe this was happening to our family. Society portrays drug addicts as being the scum of the earth. We need to educate people. Addiction is a disease just like diabetes and cancer. Most often it is not treated this way.It is not just a matter of willpower.
    My son, Brian, died of a drug overdose on March 14, 2009, at the age of 35. He was found on the floor of his bedroom. He died alone amd wasn’t found until a few days later. I never got to say good bye or tell him how much I loved him.
    Losing a child is the most devastating thing that can happen to a parent. It is something you never get over and it changes lives forever.
    Please don’t use drugs. Your life is worth more.
    patty

  44. patty says:

    You are absolutely correct, Julie. My son went to a methadone clinic for a couple of years. He was ousted from the clinic the day before he died because he didn’t test clean from other drugs. This was the final devastation for him. The coroner=s report said he died of a lethal interraction of cocaine and methadone.
    Our addicts need more counseling, not more drugs.
    Patty

  45. logansmom says:

    I am so tired of people calling weed a gateway drug. A person does not go from smoking pot and liking to be chill and stoned to doing other drugs for a better high. What happens is this: we will say a sixteen year old person is getting supplies for their party. They send money with their over 21 person for the beer. They go to their buddies house cause dude with the weed is over there. Because weed is a street drug, dude with the weed also has some coke and some X. Put two and two together, people. If the kid could have sent all his money on the beer run, it would have been some other way to get introduced to the chemicals. I am 28. I am a recovering addict. I can tell you from personal experience that weed is NOT a gateway drug. Weed being illegal forces people to seek out drug dealers.

    Budweiser does not grow on trees. Weed does. Figure it out.

  46. Christine Burke says:

    Tell these parents that my son is now 36 and started with drugs when he was 16 I played all the games and said all the nice words like I love you look what your doing to yourself,it means NOTHING to them You must get VERY HARD with these addicted people.My son stole from me money cars you name it I wish I had some one like Dr Phil to help me to maybe have saved my son .He is still using drugs.The parents of these kids are playing games.YOU CANT LOVE ANYONE OFF DRUGS.My son did not care if he put me in the street,I went threw hell and I have no one to blame but ME.PAY ATTENTION TO THE PROFESSIONAL if you really love your children do EXACTLY what they tell you to do.Any one that is addicted to drugs CANNOT be trusted not for a second.I am telling this as sort and sweet as I can,without writing 200 pages of all the thing this child did to me

  47. Amazed!! says:

    Wow, after reading the posts here maybe Bill Mahr is right. We just might be a nation of stupid people!! When you reach for an intoxicant to manage your life you are making a mistake. Legal or illegal, recreational or therapeutic, intoxicants are a crutch. Crutches lead to weakness and dependance. Wake up you morons!! Life is a gift!! Learn to live it with all you faculties operational. The excuses and ridiculous comparisons are childish at best. Also, do you ever think of the contribution to crime you make by providing a customer base to those who would murder to provide you with the product? Sober up and wake up!!

  48. Patty Sanford says:

    Dear Dr. Phil,
    I have watched you since Oprah. After today’s show (2/24/2010) I just have to comment. The show’s title was, ” Are you an Enabler?” I agree with all you do but, I think you MUST get into Codenpendency. As a parent of an addict (who was ultimately, thank God! incarcerated, not DEAD!!!!!! and who now has six weeks left in a halfway house) I always thought, “How can I no longer enable.” It was not until my daughter, the addict, had to, as a process of her phases, read “Codenpendent No More.” (Author: Melody Beattie.) After she read it, she passed it onto me. Dr. Phil I NEVER even understood what Codependentcy meant! This book has been the MOST liberating book I have ever read. Not to mention all the counseling and watching Dr. Phil and all we have done for over 25 years to “help” our daughter has anything clicked as much as realizing how codpendent I was. And my daugher, the addict, liberated me!!!!! As I read this book, I realize I have been copependent since I have my first memory in life. I feel compelled to write you and ask you to make it clear to ALL who enable that it starts with copendpendency. I am CODEPENDENT NO MORE!!!!!! The cover of this book is “Codependent No More…How To Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring For Yourself.” WOW, just that alone opened my “shut eyes.” Dr. Phil, please address Copependency. I FINALLY get how I played such a huge part in our daughter’s addiction! Thank you so very much for your time and attention on such a huge realization that I feel MUST be shared with everyone!
    Sincerely,
    Patty Sanford
    Mother of a recovering addict

  49. Pat says:

    I am going to buy this book friday when I get paid. I left an email for Dr. Phil earlier because I missed part of the show today and I needed to know if I am an enabler and what to do for my son(or not do). He just got out of detox for the fourth time and I am unsure of what to do. He refuses to go to a long term program. He says he wants to go to a day program but we took his truck away from him and don’t feel he should have it back. Of course then its all our fault he can’t work the program and stay clean. I offer to drop him off at meetings but he likes to control everything and wants to drive but we can’t trust him. We have been at this for 2 years now. I was shocked to find out the extent of this drug problem. Pat

  50. Susan says:

    I have a 16 year old son, A drug addict. He uses Pot everyday all day. He goes to school on a regular basis. And in general he is a great kid. I am an enabler for my son. I just want him to graduate high school. We are going through the court system now, He was caught at school with pot. So here we go again. I am a lost mom.

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