I'm afraid to give my daughter ADHD medication. Help?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by MidwestMom, Apr 19, 2010.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    As everyone knows, I had a daughter who abused meth and ADHD medications were a big part of it. She would put the drugs into a pillcrusher and they'd snort them alone or with other drugs. It was her main drug of choice before she quit. Fast forwards...

    I have a lovely thirteen year old daughter who is a easy child. She has shown nothing but disdain for drug users and is very different from her older sister. She doesn't drink either or have wild, crazy sex or any of the fun things young teenage difficult child's can do.

    We are testing her for ADHD. She asked for the test. She said, "Mom, I have it. I can't concentrate." This is her third plea for an evaluation. She does have Learning Disability (LD) problems and is labeled Learning Disability (LD) at school. Her grades have steadily been going up and last report card was especially exciting as she almost made the honor roll. She is also a top athlete at school. I know that some kids with ADHD have server social problems, but this kid is the only child I've raised who is friends with everyone and very popular. Obviously, she has zilch social problems...she is a very level-headed kid and a great friend (except for the times that she's not...lol...anyone with a girl knows what I mean). But she's kind. Ok, enough of lauding her...she is by far the easiest child I've raised and the most balanced. If she has ADHD, and she was YOUR child, would you still give her medication for it? If so, why?

    This child is very disorganized. Her room is a disaster. Because she is such a good kid and I know it's hard for her, I really don't press for her to keep it neat. She does forget to bring things to school and I run them over for her. She goes to the Resource Center every day and has a diagnosis of Auditory Processing Disorder. Is it worth it to rock the boat? I'm afraid she'll get moody on stimulants or even start abusing them.

    Please help. Your opinions will help me be more objective. I've already decided that Adderrall will not be an option. Thanks! :D
  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    How is she being tested for ADHD? You may know that the tests are not perfectly accurate in diagnosing ADHD.

    Stimulants for ADHD are quick in and out. You will know within a short time whether they are working or not. We just did a trial of Concerta for my son J and discovered within two weeks (one week at 36 mg and one week at 54 mg) that it did absolutely nothing -- positive or negative. So the psychiatrist pulled him off. No harm done whatsoever.

    If she has ADHD and you don't treat her for it, she is the one who suffers. If she becomes moody, you discontinue the medications or try a different one. If she is level-headed, I don't think there is great risk for drug abuse.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2010
  3. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    You've been spooked by previous bad experiences.

    I can only assure you from an Aussie perspective, but I believe there are similar checks and balances in the US. Basically, the pills are provided by a specialist who monitors the child's weight and other growth parameters. The prescriptions have to be registered with the government as well as with the pharmacy. We can't doctor shop, nor can we pharmacy-hop. Any variation from very narrow parameters and questions are asked and the pills risk being stopped. At the slightest hint that there is a drug problem developing, the kid is already being seen by the person they most need, who is right on the spot to deal with it.

    Kids who get involved in drugs will find whatever they want, wherever they want it. And they will take it and use it in quantities way beyond the amounts prescribed. It's another world entirely.

    Do not judge this child by your previous experiences. Kids hate that, it's unjust, unfair, and harmful to your relationship as well as your mutual trust.

    I think she is very aware of herself and her problems. She is very involved in managing herself as far as trying to identify a possible problem. She has asked for help. She is pushing for it. She won't be doing this in order to get access to drugs, because it's a lot easier to get access to drugs by performing a few simple sexual favours. Getting the pills through a specialist, is actually NOT the way a junkie (or potential junkie) wants to go. Nosirree.

    So let her follow through on this. Help her get assessed. If stimulants are prescribed, follow through. Support her. Help monitor her progress and see if they help. if they won't help, then she won't want to keep taking them.

    If it turns out that she has ADHD and the pills help, then actually, the chances of those same pills working on her to get her high, are remote. Besides, if she really wants to do better and the medications help her do better, she won't want to jeopardise this by abusing it all.

    Don't hold back. I have every confidence she will go ahead in leaps and bounds and be even more of a easy child.

    And if by chance I am wrong, then she will already be under the care and close supervision of exactly the right kind of doctor to help, fast. I think that's more than you had with your older daughter who was a problem.

    Out of curiosity - what does daughter #25 say?

  4. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    Everyone is different, and I am glad you are getting her checked out, especiallys since she is so concerned about it.

    Depending on what the evaluation shows, you could go with a daytrana patch, harder to abuse and if you don't like how it is effecting her you just take it off. It will take a few hours to clear her system, it is not instant, but would that make you feel safer in regards to abuse?
  5. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    I would try it. She is telling you she has a problem and wants help. It is possible this is holding her back academically, even though you are ok with her academic progress. I think it is unlikely she would start abusing them since she is anti-drug now.
  6. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Go for it... Just be observant! And a suggestion, I have found this to be very helpful with Onyxx around... YOU dispense the medications (if they are necessary). That will also ease your mind about oevrdoses, too.
  7. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I think you've been given very good advice here. There are other medications besides stimulants that might help her, too. Something to consider if you're really adverse to the stimulant route.
  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I would go for it too. One thing you should think about. A person's brain that is actually ADHD doesnt process stimulants the same way a non- ADHDer would so there is a far less likely chance she would abuse this particular class of drugs. They would make her feel normal instead of high. Not exactly what a person is looking for in a drug to get high with!

    Thats one of the reasons Jamie can drink coffee by the gallon and never get jittery.
  9. graceupongrace

    graceupongrace New Member


    I agree -- lots of good advice here. One other thing you should consider: studies show that kids with ADHD that goes untreated are actually at greater risk for substance abuse.

    My difficult child is also very bright, very social, etc. But he just cannot focus well in school without his medications. Like others, we tried a few different medications & doses before we landed on the right one. He takes Vyvanse, which he says makes him feel better than Concerta. I also saw a much greater improvement with the Vyvanse -- and it lasts 11 or 12 hours vs. 6 to 8.

    If your easy child does have ADHD, the medications can also give you both an opportunity to work on the organizational skills that will help prepare her for adulthood.
  10. aeroeng

    aeroeng Mom of Three

    ADHD is not a behavior issue it is an attention issue (which can cause behavior problems). easy child used Concerta and it worked well for him. With it he could pay attention better. It should not zone the kid our, or give them a "high". If it does, change medication quickly this is not working for you. I once meet a 18 yr old who was angry at his parents for not starting the ADHD medication earlier, as he felt it would have made his high school years much better. (higher grades less behavior issues). I never liked the medication, but it did help.

    As far as the drug dependency/miss use concern goes. It does not sound like an issue with this kid. You should still monitor it. Watch her take it and control what she is getting. Many times the ADHD dosage is very low in comparison to what someone needs to get high. I have also read that sometimes individuals start to take drugs just because they don't feel right, and are self medicating. But, because they are doing it on their own without Dr. support or guidance it leads to drug dependence. Good luck. post questions as they arise, and don't just take any drug without doing your own research and observations.
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Well, I and all of her teachers have been given the Connors test and I suspect there will be a computer test, much like our neuropsychologist used, scheduled for her too. I would not be surprised if she as ADD (without the H). Yes, she is asking for help in a very calm, logical way. She has always been concerned about her inability to pay attention. I like the idea of the Daytrana patch.

    Thanks for all the thoughtful advice. It will be interesting to see how her teachers perceive her attention span. She is a motivated kid and wants to go to college and to do better in school so I will have to give her every chance.

    Step, I never let my kids take their own medications. But my oldest daughter who abused drugs didn't even have an ADHD prescription. She bought it off the street. Kids steal ADHD medications from siblings or others...and they sell it. It upsets me, but this child doesn't seem to be prone to that (of course, everything is a risk). Her half-brother by birth (she is adopted) is on stimulants for ADHD and he isn't in trouble. Her birthfather is a drug addict who has spent most of his life in jail because of crimes related to drug use. That's where I get scared...but she seems like she inherited the best from both of her birthparents...her birthdad's good looks, height and athleticism and her birthmother's pragmatism and good nature.

    Thanks again, all.
  12. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    MWM, the Connors and computerized testing can add evidence for or against a diagnosis of ADHD, but it is not 100 percent diagnostic. In other words, you can't rule ADHD in or out based solely on this testing. Just FYI.
  13. confuzzled

    confuzzled Member

    MWM, the Connors and computerized testing can add evidence for or against a diagnosis of ADHD, but it is not 100 percent diagnostic.

    mine has long been diagnosis's with adhd....and scored exactly 50 on the connors computerized test, right in the middle---so at this point neuropsychologist cannot r/i or rule out adhd.
    i felt it would be a more accurate portrayal of HER in action, vs those stupid questionaires that are so subjective...case in point, each teacher did one for her, and each individual survey scored differently, and were STRONGLY biased by the person doing it....surprise, surprise, the teacher that was convinced she was doing things intentionally scored her as ODD, the teacher that sees her crying regularly scored her heavy on the ED issues, the one who says she daydreams all day long made her the poster child for ADHD, and so on...and thus, they were relatively inconclusive. so the computerized test was *my* holy grail...roflmao...leave it to MY kid ;)--and told me not a darn thing.

    i'm only telling you this just in case---it was diagnostic of exactly nothing for us--and i had VERY high hopes to r/i or rule out so we could treat accordingly (i'm not a huge
    fan of medications unless proven necessary, and our concerta experiment was a disaster, obviously for other reasons than your dd13).

    i'd listen to her. you say she is very clear and justifies her position, and from what you say, she sounds like she shows some clear add-in like tendancies--- and, lucky for you, she's old enough to articulate how she feels.

    but it also sounds like you are jumping the gun re:medications....i'm NOT getting the sense you have the results of the connors survey or the computerized testing yet. hopefully both will come back as undeniably clearcut one way or the other for her. i'd see what happens with the two before stressing over the medication decision.

    and, as others have pointed out, she's not your DD25....but i certainly get your apprehension!
  14. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I would give it a try. She's asking for help, you'll find out quickly enough if the medications work or not, and it may be beneficial for her.