People Have No Idea How Dangerous Weed Can Be


My heart goes out to those that have lost a child. It is absolutely a parent’s worst nightmare. 

My 24-year-old son had his first psychotic break 2 years ago. He was diagnosed with bipolar 1. The weed was not considered that big of a deal. His first doctor even recommended it for anxiety. Two other doctors said he should probably quit smoking but kept giving him mood stabilizers and anti-psychotics.  He had a hard time with side effects and eventually went off all meds and kept smoking and dabbing. Probably daily as best we can figure.

Last Spring he had his second manic episode and break that lasted for 3 months. It ended with a trip to jail for spray painting public buildings. 

Doctor # 3..met with him while he was manic and diagnosed him with cannabis induced psychosis. She put him on a low dose of meds and said she wouldn’t do anything else until he gets sober. Every month we go in and he complains about the voice in his head and the anxiety he has. She says…are you sober? No? Ok…see you next month.

Three weeks ago I told him he was free to live his life the way he chose, but if he chooses weed, he would have to find another place to live. He said, for you mother, I will quit. He did…cold turkey…with one slip…and the difference is incredible.  He isn’t throwing up and coughing his lungs out. He is engaged with the people around him. He is motivated again and talking about the future. He is not 100% but it has only been a couple weeks! 

He does still hear the voice but he is starting to realize it isn’t real and he says he can manage it better now. He says he is feeling better but is protective of weed. He won’t fully commit that it has been a huge problem in his life. He won’t go to rehab but is willing to see a therapist.  He has a doctor appointment in 2 weeks and wants to wait to talk with her. 

He and I are very close and he tells me a lot…very hard to hear most of it…but I am very thankful that he will talk to me. He lost most of his friends through this so I have been it. 

Sorry this is long and probably babbley…we need to get these stories out there…people have no idea how dangerous weed can be. I have a dear friend that smokes…we almost quit talking because I was sharing news stories about the dangers of pot. Just so sad and frustrating. Thank you for letting me get my story out.

Mary is a parent from Washington state.

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  1. Reply

    Mary, I am also from Washington State. Pot is so entrenched in the culture there and people in positions of power/who can make an impact are so accepting of weed they refuse to speak out. Thank you for sharing your son’s story. So glad he’s on the road to recovery. I hope your son can make new friends in recovery. 12 Step meetings saved my brother’s life.

  2. Sally Schindel


    Thank you so much for sharing your story of your son with us Mary. You are so right – we need to get these stories out there. Reducing stigmas and sharing our first hand knowledge of these harms and risks is needed to help others understand the serious mental illnesses that can develop.
    Sending you best wishes for your son’s continued sobriety and healing.

  3. Adriana Ching


    Thank you for sharing. I have walked in your shoes. Its such a similar story. The only difference is mine began at age 15 and is now 21. The first doctor refused to Dx “cannabis induced” dispite being the only positive on all lab work from admission at ER to discharge. First episode lasted a most three weeks at age 19 the second was a week long at age 20 1/2.
    Progress has been made every time, the struggle is real as is the danger of marijuana use ESPECIALLY during teenage years when brain development is not complete. Finding good care providers takes time, trial and error. Getting the patient to care so THEY work takes a lot of energy , love unwavering faith and courage in order to not allow fear to take over. We will never ever give up. My son no longer lives with me but i stay very close to him, support him and love him. He is an amazing man. I remain hopeful and strong and alive sometimes broken and tired but I get up every day ready to face the TRUTH and help. Marijuana is not harmless, it hurts deeply.

  4. Dana Massey


    It is very helpful to read your stories. My 19 is presently in treatment (1,224 miles away) (during this Coronavirus ordeal!) makes for a frightening time. He never showed signs of psychosis but kept making failing grades at college. I am just so tired of how pot has been made acceptable. Thanks for your stories! I appreciate them.

    • Suzanne M. Shealy


      Hi Dana- my son is also in Treatments. He is in California and I live in Ohio. During this coronavirus it’s crazy and he supposed to transition to a sober living home this week. Everything has been postponed and he’s getting very antsy.

  5. Mary


    Thank you all for your support. Saddens me that there are so many kids and families going through this. I rely on my faith..alot of prayer. We will get through it one day at a time!

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