Monday September 22nd 2014

Signs my son is a drug dealer

“Desperately need to talk!”

Several months ago, I got a Facebook message from an old high school sweetheart. It read, “Desperately need to talk!” Its funny how your past can hunt you down now-a-days with all this social media. At first I was hesitant to respond. For me, the past is ancient history; I’m not that same guy. Anyway, I sent her my cell number.

Why did she call me?

Easy answer. I was a drug dealer in high school during the 70s. I sold marijuana and cocaine. I had a car and new clothes. I ate out every night. I had the hottest chicks. Bad boys always do. I rented hotels for parties. I had a scale and a drawer full of money. And I never got caught. Well, strike that, I became addicted to heroin and barely survived.

“My son is a drug dealer…”

Of course, the next day she called, frantic, whispering, she said, “My son is a drug dealer. He’s 18, told me he’s been dealing since he was 15.” She rambled on, non-stop, “How did I not see it? I should have figured it out! He quit basketball. He loved basketball. We thought the reason his marks went from B’s to C’s and D’s were because of girlfriends. Ya know, that thing that happens to boys.”

I let her go on for two reasons. First, I felt her pain and disbelief. But the bigger reason I shut-up was because I was trying to enlist a healthy response that wouldn’t offend her. And then she yelled, “Richie, are you there? Are you listening?”

But before I could complete my sentence she jumped in again, “I’m kicking myself in the ass. He had a new iPhone, an iPad, and the clothes. He had three pair of True Religions, said they were his friends. They cost $300 dollars a pair.” She took a beat, I could hear her filling up and she said, “How stupid could I have been?”

Finally, when I was convinced she was through, I talked. But I didn’t have to tell her anything. I was like a good therapist, just shut my mouth and let the answers to all the questions unfold naturally. She got it. She missed it. She chose to be blind. She realized the mindset, “Not my kid,” is for morons.

Shame and guilt for parents can be avoided

But most of all, she felt guilty and full of shame for allowing it to get to this point, the truth killed her. Parents of drug users can often feel this way.  She no longer could hide that which subconsciously she always suspected. Now, her 18-year-old son was in jail.

Don’t be a moron

Now my rant, if you’re Catholic, you know the story of John the Baptist. Everybody thought he was nuts. He came before Christ and yelled and screamed warning to everybody. Funny, but I like to consider myself the John the Baptist of drug addiction. So I’ll tell you what my high school sweetheart told herself. Don’t be a moron.

IF your son:

  • has lots of friends dropping by without notice
  • has the newest electrical gadgets on the market
  • has expensive looking clothes
  • has a phone lit up like a Christmas tree with calls
  • leaves shortly after each call
  • loses interest in sports or studies

THEN, your son is most likely a drug dealer.

Throw trust and privacy out the window

You have to be proactive if you don’t want to lose your boy. Check for good hiding places in his room, the garage, or basement. Don’t even consider the “trust and privacy” bull crap. This isn’t a relationship. You’re his parent!

Confront him.

Confront him

Confront him.

Watch his reaction. You know your boy! Don’t lie to yourself anymore and you’ll never have to call and old sweetheart from high school.  Have any questions or feedback? Is your child addicted to drugs?  Please write to us below.  We try to respond to all comments personally and promptly.

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13 Responses to “Signs my son is a drug dealer
Drug test your kids
3:36 pm January 18th, 2012

This is a great article that I will be sharing across the board socially. Excellent insight that I think many can relate to. “Not My Kid is For Morons” is the exactly what we all need to realize, it’s all of our kids, and we do need to confront them.

Aces Counseling
9:08 am January 25th, 2012

Many parents are truly anxious whether their children are dealing drugs or not. The information you have provided as well as the firsthand experience you shared are very helpful. It is a great insight especially to those who are going through the same case with their children.

John Lawrance
12:16 am March 4th, 2013

My daughter told us our son is selling drugs, hash, we searched his room and found lots of money and small plastic bags and a set of micro scales. He is 18, we are going to tell him to leave the house tomorrow, is that a good course of action ? We know that he has been using dope for a couple of years and have been trying to address this, but with no success, we think he really needs a sharp shock. What do you think ?

3:14 pm March 4th, 2013

Hi John. A child who is doing and dealing drugs requires consequences. At 18, he can decide whether or not he wants to stay with you and adhere to certain agreements (no drugs) or go out on his own. I’d also suggest family therapy for you and your daughter. You can check out more on this issue here:

Jodie Jones
6:16 pm December 23rd, 2013

I am on the verge of a nervous breakdown, heart attack, or stroke. I am very serious. I am lost, so very very lost. Our (now) 18 year old son (his birthday was two days ago), has a beautiful heart. He loves me and I know it. We have a very loving relationship and I would just die of heartbreak if anything ever happened to him. Despite this, he has been a challenge for several years now, and we have given into the fact that he is a pot smoker. He parties with his friends every weekend, and I thought it was just some beer, pot, nothing more. He never drives – always has a designated driver. He has called me before. We have tried relentlessly to get him some help, however he will not go to any counseling. We cannot enforce any rules in the house, as he just breaks them anyways. Yet with all this said, he says he loves me and hugs me every single day. We have a very unique relationship. Anyways, last night my husband snooped on his cell phone and what we discovered actually made me throw up around 2 in the morning. I have been sick ever since. He is a drug dealer. Not just a little weed to a friend here or there, but a bonified dealer of massive amounts of pot. Mushrooms. Acid. Ecstasy. He cannot refute this. It is in black and white on his phone. We were up until after 2am reading all the messages. My son is the “go to” guy. I am devastated, heartbroken and scared to death. For him, but also I imagine our home life could be somewhat in danger now. My husband wants to kick him to the curb. I see his point, but I love that kid so damn much that this breaks my heart. I at least want to wait until after Christmas, but he does not. There has been too much lying and disrespect, total disregard for house rules, etc., over the years. My husband is DONE. I am too, but how do I kick my baby out, this young man who used to wrap his little arms around my neck and say “I wuv woo mommy?” How the HELL do I do this? How did this happen???? Our daughter, (she’s 19 now), is the opposite. Never had ONE problem with her. We were good parents! I don’t understand. What if he’s out on the street in the winter, how will he stay warm? Will he be safe? What if he needs to increase his income to pay rent? He will likely turn to more drug selling. How can I do this? Oh God, Oh God, please someone help me….I am so desperate

11:56 am December 26th, 2013

Hello Jodie. I’d suggest that you call in a family counselor immediately to help you figure out what steps you want to take as parents. You’ll need professional advice and intervention not only to address the drug use, but also to act on the criminal nature of your son’s activities; he can go to jail for dealing. Seek out a specialist with experience in adolescent/family addiction issues through the APA’s psychologist locator: Then, surrender to the process and things will fall into place. You cannot control your husband’s reaction, nor your son’s. But you can control your emotional state and set up some goals for yourself. Best of luck and my best thoughts are with you.

4:49 pm January 29th, 2014

I am suspecting our 16-year-old son is dealing pot, like to his friends. He doesn’t have new clothes or anything like that, but I’ve noticed some sketchy behavior and am very suspicious. I asked him outright but he said no, he wasn’t. He has been smoking pot for a year or two now, and doesn’t want to quit. His choice I guess. But I told my husband, who I don’t think agrees with me, that if he chooses to continue down this path, he’s out of the our house when he turns 18. He says quite often (usually when he’s mad) that as soon as he’s 18, he’s leaving, and well, what he doesn’t know is yeah, if he’s still smoking pot, etc., then he’s out. He thinks he has it so bad here, but he will find out different. Do I want him out on the streets? No, but I will not have him living in our home if he chooses to engage in illegal activity. Notice how many times I used the word choose(s). He knows right from wrong and is choosing
wrong, and he needs to own up to his choices and discover the consequences. I have felt sick to my stomach so many times and it does hurt when your child whom you love basically turns against you, but coddling and enabling won’t help. I have to remind myself of that every day.

10:59 am January 31st, 2014

Hello Terese. I’d suggest that you consult with a family counselor who has experience with adolescent drug abuse. His pot use can be a sign hat there’s something off within the family dynamic. Drug abuse is often a systemic signal for dysfunction. To face this issues together as a family can strengthen your bond as a unit, rather than isolate and blame others.

10:17 pm February 27th, 2014

my son is in total denial… hes loosing weight and that’s a worry… is extremely angry… to be honest i do not believe kicking him out is an answer.. my brothers son years ago was the same.. even worse… had no fear of anyone… they eventually told his to leave in no uncertain terms.. he did and soon afterwards took his own life.. much of my sons so called secrets were discovered a couple of times when he left open his Facebook page…. it said it all.. question is can i tell Facebook about this or am i wasting my time… (hes 19) i just dont know how to handle this. his older brothers did drugs years ago but are now married with children… my two adult daughters never did drugs… last words to say …. drugs split our family right down the middle.. daughter against son etc etc . and im now living alone as my wife and i split up. i felt i always stood up to protect the innocent in my family.. wife went other direction… thank you.

6:47 pm June 24th, 2014

Our 23 year old son just got fired and kicked out of his house. I was told by his boss that he was running meth using the Company van he was supplied in between jobs. His boss found out because the phone which they supply also had texts and voice messages galore. ….pretty stupid drug dealers/customers if you ask me.

To make a long story short, our son worked for this same company before and was caught using herion so they sent him home to get cleaned up and offered him his job back once clean. Try as we could he refused to go into rehab. He did go into a 4 day detox but was very sick. Meanwhile his job is trying to hurry up and get him cleaned up and back to work. He is or was their most skilled and valuable employee and super smart bordering on genus. After he couldn’t take being sick he started using more and more and since he did not work he had more time to get high so he liquidated everything. My husband put him to work in our construction business but he too had to fire him after finding drugs and perafenilia. He got very thin, lied all the time and total BS would come out of his mouth. He was so angry and not accountable for his mistakes. None of us knew who he was anymore. His brother had us fly him to where he lived and helped get him clean. So he comes back and starts working for his old Company again and they issue him his van, gas card and celll phone again and provide him with a house. Talk about enabling, and they don’t drug test him. Then they wonder why he slipped so bad this time.

So, now he is out with no vehicle, no home, and no money. His employer is going to keep his last two paychecks for damages. We confronted him via email as he has no phone. We will not take him in again to be lied too, deceived, and snowed again unless he fesses up and goes into rehab.

Any suggestions please we are so worried and love him so much. He has so much to offer and so much potential. This is so hard as he was doing so good before he came back.

8:07 pm July 24th, 2014

Thankyou for sharing this. It helps to hear that we are not alone in this.

1:08 pm July 25th, 2014

I’m in the same situation as many of you. My son is selling drugs. He is 17. He’s been in treatment on numerous occasions. He is on probation. I am going to try to make him not able to screw up his life since he won’t help himself. I am telling him today that if he doesn’t stop selling and using (he passes all drug tests and says he doesn’t use)…..I’m going to make sure all of his drug contacts “think” he’s working with the drug task force. There’s no trust with these people and I believe he will lose all his “druggy” friends. I got all of his “contacts” from his cell phone and facebook. All of the contact numbers are on our cell phone bill. All it will take is getting a prepaid cell and texting that, to everyone on his list. He claims he is worried that if he turns in his seller that he will be killed and they will hurt his family. We told him we are willing to take the risk. We live in a small-very rural area. I hope that the threat to do it will be enough but if I have any suspicions, I will do it. Any thoughts?

1:32 pm August 8th, 2014

Hi Everyone, I have found my Son now 18 smoking weed over the last couple of years and have confronted him in every possible way. He admitted he was smoking and stopped on these occasions and his attitude improved, he got back into his training and was in great form.

Last week or so he has had no work and suddenly he is out of the house all the time and grumpy as hell and cant get up in the morning. This morning after he left for work ( back at work last 2 days) I went to wash his clothes and low and behold in his pocket was a box with 22 empty weed packets a lighter and in his waster bin a plastic back with a lovely even square cut from it….square was also in basket. I now think he is dealing, another thing I found was ID belonging to someone I have never heard of…….so im also wondering if he is theiving?? help any ideas etc. Husband will kill him when he hears this. I have texted him a told him what i have found and exactly what I feel in respect of this latest find! No reply aft 4 hours!

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About Richard Farrell

Richie Farrell won the du-Pont Columbia for the HBO documentary film, High on Crack Street: Lost Lives in Lowell. That film inspired the 2010 major motion picture The Fighter that went on to win academy awards for Christian Bale and Melissa Leo. Farrell also wrote the bestselling nonfiction A Criminal and an Irishman: The True Story of the IRA – Boston Mob Connection and his memoir What’s Left of Us: A Memoir of Addiction has been optioned for a movie by Channing Tatum. For more information, to sign up for his monthly blog, ask questions, and get weekly video blog updates, please visit: