Our son, by his own admission began using at the age of 15. Started with weed and progressed. In the beginning all of the natural responses from us were present. DENIAL!!! Of course no way he was an addict or even using as a recreational distraction. At the time we observed strange behavior but it was attributed to "boys will be boys" and we weren't even looking for drug abuse.
After all he was smart, extremely intelligent, you know the straight A student, never a problem with school work, learning came naturally. This was a kid that took pre-calc and trig as a sophomore, numbers were a piece of cake. Teachers in parent conferences told us he was a gifted public speaker. Communication was never a problem with him either verbally or the written word. In this he had a talent that served him well. As I look back these were tools he used to his advantage and we ate it up. Manipulated by a smart kid that happened to be an addict too.
I don't know all the circumstances of how he progressed but he has admitted he moved quickly to the "next level". Time wise I don't know the exact sequence so I'll just list some of the drugs I know he has admitted to using in high school, college and beyond. Cocaine, meth, mushrooms, all sorts of pills uppers, downers, fentynal patches, vicodin, oxycotin, xanex. As a dad all I can assume is that if it can be smoked, snorted, injected or swallowed he has tried it.
Oxycotin is his current "drug of choice". He has moved long past swallowing a few pills, it goes straight in by needle now. I need to qualify that at the current time he is trying to quit and says he is clean. Terms of his house arrest requires a weekly drug test and so far he is passing them. I'll get into the issues with the law in later writings, it's practically a book in itself.