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Drug-Using, Abusive Teenage Son

Question:

My 16-year-old son is out of control. He started having behavior issues in elementary school and has been kicked out of school repeatedly. He’s using drugs and believes that I owe him everything, despite the TV, computer, clothes and everything else I have already given him. He constantly calls me derogatory names and threatens to hurt anyone that stands in his way or says no to him. The struggle to live with him has gotten overwhelming, and I'm falling apart. How do I find the son I had?
 

Answer:

This information is included in our Guide to Harmful Behaviors. Click here to see the rest of the guide.

If this is not the son you knew, perhaps drugs are altering his behavior. There are agencies all over the country that will provide you with in-home support and counseling. Just let us know what city and state you are in, and we can connect you with help for you and for your son.

You mentioned that your son is ungrateful for the many things you’ve given him. Those things are privileges that must be earned by demonstrating good behavior. He has them all even though he is treating you worse than anyone deserves to be treated. Don’t attempt to take them from him but do consider shutting off service to his phone and computer.
 
When he threatens to hurt you, himself, or others, call the police. That kind of behavior warrants a psychological evaluation and possible treatment. Do not allow that to continue. You do not have to live in fear.

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