Home » Expert Q & A » Addiction Treatment » Addiction Treatment: Scott Graham

The proof is in the pudding...

  • Asks ...

    I have pretty much flunked out of my freshman year at college after spending the first semester playing video games and getting high every day. My parents were very angry when I told them the bad news but now they are mostly concerned I guess. They want me to go away to some sort of wilderness drug rehab adventure challenge program for a few months before I try again at college next year. I can see that I really screwed things up bad this year but my parents are mostly worried about my smoking weed but for me the weed is not really a big deal and I can kind of take it or leave it….even if I did mostly take it for the last few months. My parents are really straight and they can’t really understand that smoking weed isn’t really such a big deal. To them drugs are drugs and weed might as well be heroin.

    I don’t know what to say. I keep telling them that I don’t really need this whole expensive adventure rehab but they keep pointing out my giant failure at school as evidence that I do and that is kind of hard to argue with. I don’t know how to explain to them that I don’t need rehab? How can I make them see that smoking weed everyday for a few months isn’t the end of the world? The people they are talking to at the rehab are telling them that I really would benefit from coming but I am not sure they are totally unbiased here. I feel like my parents need to hear that I don’t need to go from someone they would listen to, like a doctor or someone, but I am not sure who to turn to and our family doctor is pretty old and I am not sure he’d be the best choice for this. Is there some kind of doctor who is neutral that will evaluate my situation and make some sort of recommendations for what I should do? My parents won’t listen to me but if an expert told them that rehab was crazy I think they would listen to him.

  • Scott Graham Says ...
    Scott Graham

    This 400-year old saying means: results are what counts.

    If smoking pot is really not such a big deal and you can pull it together and keep your grades up then you have proved that smoking put is not such a big deal.

    Before launching into some intensive program it is always best to try less intensive strategies first (like outpatient counselor or coaching or some other strategy).  Then if those fail, you would look for something more intensive.  (The only reasons to skip this and go straight into an intensive residential type program is if there are interfering factors that can only be fixed by getting the "hell out of dodge"  -- like you live in a crack house and want to stop using cocaine).

    My suggestion is that you first make a deal with your parents:  agree on what your life should be like if you are functioning well (paying the rent, no legal issues, steady job, saving money, healthy body, mostly Bs with a few As, etc).  Put it in writing so everyone is clear.  If you go below X then you agree to go to this residential program.  Sign it and stand behind your word if the results prove you wrong.

    You should also make a deal with yourself -- when might you take action if things start sliding?  (And by action I mean getting a counselor or coach or some other strategy -- smoking pot on the weekends only -- I don't know -- some way that if you knew you were going to get Cs and Ds that you could step it up and do something about it instead of waiting for your parents to do it for you -- or to you -- depending upon your perspective),

Featured Experts