Dear Amy: My 20-year-old son lives with me. He is a good person.
He works (although I would prefer that he go to school, but that has to be his decision).
He has been smoking marijuana for some time now, and his behavior shows it.
He justifies his pot smoking by equating it to my having a few drinks on the weekends.
I have asked him numerous times not to smoke in my house, and he continues to do that.
Last night our family dog got into his bedroom, and while removing him from the room I found my son's stash of psychedelic mushrooms.
I flushed them and left my son a note that he can stay in my home only if he gets counseling, otherwise he has a month to find somewhere else to live. He says he'll go.
I have put him out in the past, but I found out that he was living in his car.
This is breaking my heart, but I can't just sit here and allow his behavior.
I need some help and backup that I am doing the best thing.
Dear Devastated: Your son's pot smoking is not the same as you having a few drinks on the weekends, because, well, to start with, marijuana is (still) illegal. At 20, he is also under the legal drinking age.
Regardless of whether your son accepts counseling, you should seek it for yourself.
Nar-Anon hosts support meetings for family members of drug users; check nar-anon.org for one close to you.
You will need support to face the challenges ahead. Unfortunately, you cannot make your son's choices for him. You can only try to influence him, without enabling him.
Without free housing from you, he'll have to face the reality of couch surfing or living in his car.
Keep the door open to a relationship but do not allow him to manipulate you. Let him know that the only choice you will financially support is sobriety.
Dear Amy: I have a problem with our best friends.
When they come to dinner at our home, they'll talk about their financial planning, how concerned they are about retirement or their latest trip (cruises, trips overseas, etc.).
They have generous retirement pensions from government jobs to look forward to.