- 6 years ago
Hi guys, I’m torn inside about my little brother and I really need some advice. He’s a freshman in college, 18, and we’re home for Christmas break. I’m a senior at a different school.
Here’s some back story: The summer before his senior year of high school he came to me and told me, “just so I don’t freak out,” that he smokes weed regularly. I really don’t care about weed in and of itself, but I do care that he was (at the time) 17 and as smoking often, about 3-4 times a week, because it is illegal. We live in a state that is notorious for its drug policy, and many judges like to make an example of the first time offenders. I told him I wish he didn’t, but as long as he’s safe and SMART about it his secret was safe with me. My mom is EXTREMELY anti-drug, and my dad supports her but is in the “boys will be boys”, and “if teens want to do something they’ll find a way to” camp.
Last summer, my dad caught him. His car reeked of weed, and my dad went to get some papers out and smelled it. He didn’t tell my mom, but did say that if he got caught by my mom in the future, the consequences would be extreme. That same summer I also learned that he shopliftfs little things, and I told him I would much rather I give him a card linked to my debit account, and whenever he wanted to steal something to please let me pay for it, and he said no and that he would stop. Fine.
This past semester, he got caught by the campus police at his school for possession of marijuana and was handed over to the city police, who formally arrested him. He was in jail for the rest of the day, missed a midterm, etc. He had to call our parents, so of course they found out, and my mom was truly heartbroken. My brother is a really good kid; he goes to a great school, he graduated with honors from high school, and he’s going to be successful, he just smokes weed carelessly. Luckily he was admitted to a diversion program instead of being charged, but the arrest will still be on his record for the rest of his life.
Now we’re home from college, my parents let him go out with his friends, and I have the feeling he lies about his whereabouts and that he still smokes. He’ll leave the house at about 11 AM saying he’s going to the beach, and comes home around 1 AM. He always brings changes of clothes, but never towels, surfboards or anything. One of the stipulations for the diversion program is that he stays out of trouble for a period of a year. I am so worried that he’s going to be arrested again either for drugs or shoplifting, get kicked out of the diversion program, or go to jail.
I just don’t know what I can do. My parents refuse to drug test him, and I guess I support them because he is 18, he’s an adult, and it’s his life and his decisions now. I just don’t want to see him go down the wrong path. I once wrote him a really long letter saying why I think he should stop smoking and how much damage it can do to him legally and in my parent’s eyes, and he assured me he had it under control. Well, obviously not! I’m just incredibly worried, but then my worry just turns to anger and resentment that he is going against my parents, who pay for his school, give him spending money, and let him do whatever he wants. I feel like he doesn’t appreciate what he has, and that maybe going to JAIL (even for 10 hours) would have been enough to scare him out of his habits, but I honestly think he still smokes.
I really don’t feel like I can talk to him. I think that if I told him how I feel he would tell me he doesn’t smoke, but I know all of his friends do and that’s who he “goes to the beach” with all day every day. He also gets very angry when I try to remind him of how much our parents do for us and how much it’s hurting them that he keeps up these habits.
I talked to my mom about it, and she said I should drug test him. I think that’s silly coming from his older sister, but they still refuse to test him. I guess I’m looking for a way either to let go and let him live his life, or some way to try to make him open up and change his ways for the better. Sorry this is so long and rambly 🙁
Edited to add: I really, truly don’t have a problem with drugs, so please don’t suggest to me that his drug use isn’t a bad thing. I know biologically it’s pretty much harmless, but it is still very illegal and he has so much going for him (school, family, freedom) that I can’t really see an alternative except that he stops. And he got caught once! So he’s obviously not careful 🙁