College age daughter experimenting with drugs

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by holdinon3, Dec 10, 2013.

  1. holdinon3

    holdinon3 New Member

    Hi Everyone, my 19 yo college daughter has recently told me she tried LSD for the first time. She called me when she was coming off the drug and was very introspective and a bit scared. She also told me the boy she has been dating recently is a heavy drug user and gave her benzos and God knows what else. She is a very smart kid academically and on the Dean's list but she recently broke up with a long term boyfriend from high school and it really knocked her off her center. This past summer, upon learning of this boys indiscretions, she attempted suicide by drinking vodka. Luckily, my husband intervened in time, and she was ok. She also has ADHD with depression and anxiety. I am oddly glad that she is open with me, and I try to help her in understanding how dangerous her current behavior is becoming and how she is putting her life at risk. She has recently split with the current drug using boyfriend and has some sadness over it despite knowing it is the right thing to do. She is seeing a psychiatrist and a counselor near her college, but she admits she is not fully forthcoming to them about her drug use. She feels she is addicted to marijuana and uses it almost daily mainly to self-treat her anxiety even though she is on an SSRI for that purpose. She is my oldest, and I have 2 younger children at home. I almost cannot believe this is happening because she never used drugs in high school. I am worried to death about her, and I don't know what to do. I am very scared that she will do something stupid and end her life as she does not have much experience with drugs and may not know her limits. I don't know how much I should talk to her and listen to things that she knows I don't approve of, but I want her to know she can come to me for help if she needs it. She is not good at making friends in general so I know I am a big support in her life. I feel like I walk through my days in a fog feeling helpless and confused because I don't know what to do or how to help her.
     
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there. You're in a tough spot with her living away from home. Not that it's great when this happens and they are at home either. I will tell you what I'd probably do in your situation. It doesn't mean you should do it, just what I'd do.

    First off, I'd want my daughter to come home and go to school here rather than away. If she is shy, maybe she is one of those kids who is better off at home. My one daughter who used drugs was very shy and that was one reason she told me she used them. If you are paying in any way for her college education, you have a say so in where she gets her education and if she is self-destructing in college, I personally would not want to pay for that. I wouldn't want to help pay for someplace where my child was acting dangerously. LSD is not the same as pot. I don't feel either drug is good for you, and pot can be dangerous to some people, but LSD can play with your mind in a serious way, especially in somebody prone to anxiety/depression. I would not be able to forgive myself if I allowed my daughter to live at school and something happened with LSD or any other drug.

    The second step I'd take would be to try to encourage her to go for counseling specifically to stop using drugs. Her antidepressant will not kick in if she smokes pot every day and then uses other stuff besides. That sort of neutralizes the effect of the antidepressant. Pot actually is more of a downer, I believe. I would make a "sober only" rule at home. That's kind of what I did and when my daughter would not obey the house rules, she had to leave and find somewhere else to stay, which she did. From there, she quit. Even cigarettes.

    in my opinion another problem with your daughter in school now is that her peers know she is somebody who uses drugs and she may be under increased pressure to use them. How good is she at saying "no?" She sounds like basically a good kid who needs a different direction in her life right now, even if it means postponing college for the meantime and focusing on becoming healthy. Now if she refuses to quit using drugs, that's when "tough love" comes in. Hopefully she won't need it.

    Suicide is always in the back of our minds. You are not alone. Although it happens all too often, it still is not the rule.

    I am sorry about your hurting mommy heart.
     
  3. holdinon3

    holdinon3 New Member

    Thank you Midwest mom. This is the first time I've put my feelings to (cyber)paper and have not discussed my daughters situation with anyone except my husband. It is a big burden! I still can't believe she is doing this stuff, and I need to work on my own denial of thinking she will be all better soon. I am completely overwhelmed.
     
  4. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I have no Great wisdom but I can assure you that my #1 easy child and my #2 easy child tried drugs very briefly in college. I was absolutely shocked. I have no idea how much influence I had or didn't have but the philosophy I used was "you are now young adults and will be encouraged by others to do drugs, have indiscrimitate sex and ??? who knows what else.When you go to bed at night and when you head off with others take a few minuts and TRY to solidify "who do I want to be and why?" You are wonderful human beings and you do not need to add garbage to your life. on the other hand, YOU are in the drivers seat now. Love, Mom
     
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Since she was late to drugs, she may be just experimenting and she COULD be fine soon. I would take some action to help her now though. It sounds like you have a good relationship, which is a blessing. She may be willing to let you help her. Not many of our kids gave us that chance. I think it is also great to keep the lines open, even if you cringe at what she says...at least you know. I think you must have been a very good mother and very caring and understanding toward your child. And I'll bet shyness is a big reason some of our kids start with drugs...I also think that if that is their reason they have a better chance of quitting because they are not doing this to rebel against us but rather to gain acceptance and feel more comfortable in their skin. Nice letter from you to your daughter!!
     
  6. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome holdin, cyberspace is a bit scary but I can assure you we are a very protective and supportive group. From the description of your daughter she sounds so much like my oldest. She also has anxiety and is on an SSRI and has a hard time making friends and has a very difficult time with every breakup. I was always worried about her using drugs to escape her low feelings of herself but it was my younger one that that got into drugs. To this day my older daughter feels she doesntl fit in very well in society and I worry so much abotu her. She is so smart and pretty and a down right good person I just wish she could find the right person to spend her life with.

    Back to your daughter. You are very fortunate that she confides in you and you want to keep that communication going. I'm glad she has split with the drug guy. I am more concerned with the lSD than I am with the pot, although pot can cause serious problems as I found with my younger daughter. Encourage her to be honest with her therapist and most of all to keep talking to you. She sounds like a great girl and I just have a feeling she will be ok. But of course you want to make sure her drug use does not go any further and that she deals with her insecurities. My daughter has said several times she wishes she could take a pill and go to sleep and never wake up. That breaks my heart. We are so close and I just wish I could help her feel better about herself, she has so much going for her but she doesn't reaalize it.

    You see I don't have much advice but I sure understand your worry.
     
  7. holdinon3

    holdinon3 New Member

    <3 Thanks for the kind words regarding my parenting. I have been doubting myself and wondering where I have gone wrong with my daughter. My daughter assures me that I was/am a good mom (unsolicited by me) which was so kind of her--I guess she just sensed that I needed a boost in the midst of all this chaos! Along with her shy nature, she is struggling to find a major that suits her. She is hard on herself and thinks she should know what she wants to do with her life even though she just turned 19 in her 2nd year of college. I try to get her to avoid looking at the big picture (which can overwhelm any person) and concentrate on the present semester, but she can't seem to "reel" it in.
     
  8. holdinon3

    holdinon3 New Member

    Nancy, I know the heartbreak of seeing your child suffer with low self esteem and the feeling of hopelessness. It's so sad yet hard to comprehend as a parent of a smart, beautiful child. My daughter is academically gifted, tall, beautiful, funny and has a voice like an angel. She does not see any of these attributes. The pain I feel when she is suffering is visceral but I know this is not a good way to be. I am trying to be more objective because I will be able to see things more the way they are rather than the way I would hope they would be in my denial.
     
  9. Josie

    Josie Guest

    I don't have any advice but wanted you to know you are not alone. My daughter is an academically talented high school senior, hopefully on her way to college, who is also experimenting with drugs, including LSD. The LSD is so shocking to me. She does not share details of her life with me at all, but after we discovered the acid in her room, we did talk to her about it. The more we talked about it, the more I felt like I was sort of giving her permission, which obviously, I am not. I share your terror over the future for her. She has never found her niche in high school and I worry she is going to find it in a hardcore drug crowd.

    I think it is a hopeful sign that your daughter is talking to you about it.
     
  10. holdinon3

    holdinon3 New Member

    Try to get her help while she's living with you and still a minor, Josie. It's a real challenge when they turn 18, and you have no rights or access to conversations and issues that come up in therapy.
     
  11. Josie

    Josie Guest

    She is turning 18 in a few weeks and I don't think she would tell the therapist everything anyway. We took her to an attorney when we found out about her drug use. He talked to her alone and then to us, and she didn't tell him everything that I knew, even when he directly asked her. I have been trying for years to get her to help herself and she hasn't. Sadly, I think I am just going to have to watch this train wreck happen.

    I think it is a good sign your daughter is willing to talk to you and go to the therapist and psychiatrist. On the other hand, I have found it to be less stressful to not know all of the details of what my daughter is doing. It seems the more I know, the more upsetting it is.
     
  12. holdinon3

    holdinon3 New Member

    I am grateful that she trusts me enough to confide in me. I try not to judge and just give solid feedback on the dangers of what she is doing. I don't trust that she always tells me the truth. I'm just going along day by day. She will be home for break next week, and I'm not sure I'm happy about her being home for a month. I intend to tell her that she needs to be clean while in our home. I don't want her to even come home stoned having done it elsewhere. I hope we can co-exist without drama for my younger kids sake.
     
  13. holdinon3

    holdinon3 New Member

    My daughter, with encouragement from her psychiatrist, will enter inpatient treatment for bulimia and substance abuse. We hope to have her admitted by Monday. She remains at school as the treatment center is closer to school than our home. My feelings are so mixed as I see all her friends coming home from college for the holidays. I see my happy FB parent friends chatting about their excitement for their college student coming home and baking cookies and buying presents. I am filled with shame, embarrassment, sadness, shock at how this could even happen, disappointment, anger..... I love her more than anything and will help her until my dying breath (but not enable) but this is a first for me, and I do not know how to act or what to do. She will be in treatment for the holidays. I feel shell shocked yet I am relieved she is getting help before her problems escalate. At this point, she has a shot at a happy, productive life. I don't know how to face the world to tell them my honors student, musically talented, beautiful daughter is in rehab for dug abuse. I hope I don't sound shallow, but this is a very honest question.
     
  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hey, appearances are great, but don't tell the whole story. Not that you want to wish bad things on your FB friends or anything, but you don't really know what is going on with their kids. In fact, they probably don't know what is going on at college either. I've learned not to trust appearances or envy others because I don't really know their journey. I only know mine.

    It is good that your daughter is accepting help. There are plenty of kids who get messed up in college and come out of it. I am sending prayers to you and your daughter that she does really well in the program. Try to enjoy your holiday, in spite of your daughter's problems. Not all teens are willing to get help. You're one step ahead of the game there!
     
  15. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Thinking of you....and the important thing is you do have a good relationship with your daughter and she talks to you. That counts for a lot..... Sounds like she is going willingly which is huge. As far as others on FB etc., parents often dont talk about their struggles. A couple of years ago I got a call from the mother of a friend of my easy child daughter about the prom. There were some family issues there and she was telling me how much her son thought we were such a great family, that easy child could really be herself etc. Of course all great stuff to hear.... but I said to her. You need to know we are not the perfect family!!! I told her a bit about my son which of course she (and her son) knew nothing about! So here she thought we were this wonderful perfect family because she knew nothing about what we had been and were going through with my difficult child!
     
  16. holdinon3

    holdinon3 New Member

    Thank you MWM and toughlovin.
     
  17. holdinon3

    holdinon3 New Member

    We withdrew my daughter from college. She will be home for the time being until she can demonstrate maturity and drug free living. She came home today for the holiday, and we told her she was not returning. It was not pretty. At the recommendation of her psychiatrist, we removed her from the place where she could use drugs freely, and she will be monitored at home with no car and no money from us. She has much work to do to regain our trust and return to college. This Christmas is going to suck.
     
  18. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    When is she going into treatment? I know it seems like this will be an awful Christmas but on the other hand the elephant in the room is no longer being ignored and she will be getting help. Rally round her mom, stay strong. I know it hurts but family support is so important with these issues. Keep us posted.
     
  19. comatheart

    comatheart Active Member

    That sounds like a good plan. I'm sorry your Chistmas is going to be uncomfortable. Hang in there, you are doing the best thing for her!
     
  20. holdinon3

    holdinon3 New Member

    She has been home for 24 hours and it has been unbearable. She is in complete denial of her problems and threatens to have a friend pick her up and move out. She has threatened suicide. We have decided to admit her inpatient rehab on Thursday. She agrees because she thinks it will be better than living at home. Oy!
     
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