what are signs kids experimenting with drugs?

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Jena, Feb 7, 2008.

  1. Jena

    Jena New Member

    hi to all,

    i have never posted here, in this particular area. i often write of my little difficult child who is going to be 9.

    had school mtg. today most of it is under general forum under never a dull moment post.

    my difficult child is going to be 15
    this is wha'Tourette's Syndrome going on now:

    failing all classes
    cutting class (has never left bldg. cut first period and cut last)
    not a behavior problem in school
    yet teachers say she is disconnected not focusing spacing out not engaging in class at all; no level of ampathy was their main word and concern overall.
    this has been gradual downward decline for the past 3 years now.
    school pyschologist mentioned drug use being her age etc. they requested a drug screen be done of which i will do.
    she also is creating a whole lot of drama it seems according to guidance counselor.

    i've looked on web for signs to look for basic stuff perfume, borrowing money, unexplained whereabouts, gum usage, etc.

    is there anyone here who has seen more than just that subtle changes in their children that i may be missing? also is a blood test be enough to test for it?

    my gut tells me she's not her reaction to the implication isn't anger or even her shutting down it's her laughing saying you have got to be kidding me i wouldn't do that??

    so i figured i'd post here and see if anyone has seen anything subtle that i hadn't found on web of changes of behavior appetite, etc.

    at this point who knows

    thanks for your time
  2. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Dilated pupils or bloodshot eyes. Pens taken apart. Rags laying around. Hygiene habits change. Clothing tastes dramatically different all of a sudden. Quick closing of any chat windows (course, teens do this in general, anyway). I'm sure others will come along with more.
  3. Jena

    Jena New Member

    why the pens taken apart what is that?? she has requested gum everyday as of late for school. always drops down windows on easy child always. very secretive. yet her friends they seem so nice and straight
  4. NOLA

    NOLA New Member

    hi - for us it was his change in overall attitude (more of the I DON"T CARE ABOUT ANYTHING & ANTI-EVERYTHING) - at 14 & 15 though our difficult child was still trying to fool us into believing everyting was fine but once we learned the truth & the veil was uncovered he stopped the facade & let it all out

    looking back at some things: little pieces of silver foil, the pens taken apart (everywhere), definate change in not caring about how you look, clothes, etc., smelling funny (not bad just odd), catching him smoking cigarettes & him not even caring, no motivation, no interest in anything except 'hanging out with-friends' - his friends for the most part are really smart and nice one-on-one, its just when they are combined it's bad news, i also learned alot on his myspace & livejournal

    hang in there - you sound like you are on top of things; my main suggestion is go with your gut, if it doesn't seem right, it probably isn't - i stayed in denial way too long
  5. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    The casings of pens are used to snort and smoke.
  6. WhymeMom?

    WhymeMom? No real answers to life..

    My difficult child had bloodshot eyes, extremely difficult to wake up, liked to burn candles, used a lot of matches and had lighters lying around......just to light candles I'm sure...........duh.........
  7. gottaloveem

    gottaloveem Active Member

  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    My difficult child got high only when we were asleep (at least at first) so she looked normal at first. She became oppositional, had lots of meltdowns at home, stopped doing school work, had moodswings, was very disrrespectful, the whole nine yards. Big red flags are a change in friends or hanging with kids who are NOT good kids. Druggies don't hang with the good kids. My daughter had a sudden change of friends.
    My daughter also denied drug use. She would look us straight in the eyes and cry "You don't trust me" so we felt guilty. That was until she was busted by the cops. But then she swore she only smoked pot. Now that she's clean, she tells me she did every drug under the sun, including sampling heroine. Psychiatrists missed the drug use and diagnosed her with bipolar (which she may have, but that wasn't the main problem at the time). At any rate, she hated the BiPolar (BP) medications so she threw them out. I"m sure they wouldn't work with her drug use a nyways. Although she slacked in school, she worked and functioned pretty well. It's very confusing. I used to check her room without her persmission on a routine basis. THe older she got, the more into it she got, the more careless she got.We never found any dope, but we found drug paraphanalia.
  9. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    All of the above. Also be aware that kids sell their adderall pills for $5 each. They are crushed and snorted for a quick high.

    We took our difficult child unannounced to a lab for drug testing several times. They did a urine test and screened for many of the common drugs kids are using. Sadly it came back positive once.

  10. ck1

    ck1 New Member

    For my difficult child I snoop by having a program that allows me to see all of his web activity, including IM's. Also, the signs that I noticed were sleeping a lot more and very grumpy. For him, he didn't change friends or even smoke with his friends, he did it alone because he was self-medicating. Now I think he's dabbling to try to fit in. His friends are a bad influence but the reason he has these new friends is because he switched schools to a Catholic school with a very good reputation. According to my difficult child, it would be nearly impossible to choose friends who aren't using drugs of some kind because "everyone" is and the school is on the smaller side, so I believe him.
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Well, my daughter told me "everyone" takes drugs too, but I know quite a lot of teens who go to her old high school now and most don't seem to be doing drugs (although ya never know). But they are in activities, bright eyed, polite etc. I think drug users do think the world takes drugs as in "everyone." However, I understand that SHE feels it's everyone. During one of her attempts to do better, she went to a church youth group. Yup, you guessed it. Somebody from the group tried to sell her drugs.
  12. Jena

    Jena New Member

    thanks for all the input i appreciate it. i don't think she's using my gut says no (do'nt think that's denial) i'm in too much denial about little difficult child still..........lol........boyfriend doens't think so, dad doens't think so.

    so we're going to lab today she doens't know ofcourse. i think after speaking to boyfriend last ngiht and a friend what we may be seeing is depression is a possibility. not sure though. she is very up and happy with friends no major change in friends nice straight bunch of girls i know all the parents not well but enough to be in contact.

    it's also hasn't been sudden hit from 90 to 50 it's def been gradual downward spiral past 3 years. some have said what's gone on with little one may have alot to do with it. it's been very bad, very bad. we are barely hanging on till next evaluation.

    thanks so much though. i also have to have her tested for mono so i can go ahead and set up home tutoring for 2 hours a day for her if comes back positive.

    thanks so much you guys are great

  13. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    When my difficult child was in high school and cut classes they were smoking pot in the car lot! Not to say yours is but I never knew it until his teachers called and said he was late and falling asleep in class. My daughter (easy child) did the same thing and turned herself around - but my son did not. He started smoking at 15 and continued on - he is in jail now at 24. You are right to consider thinking about it - it happens to even good kids! Good luck
  14. I would suggest not sharing the results of the drug screening with the school. Take matters into your own hands. The school is generally not equipped to handle this and it will just make them think the worst at all times.
  15. Jena

    Jena New Member


    even if the results are negative? i'm getting them tmrw. school is the one who said go get the drug screening done..??
  16. Mikey

    Mikey Psycho Gorilla Dad

    Hi Jennifer. Sorry for coming late to the discussion.

    With McWeedy, the biggest 'sign' was a change in his personality. Where once he'd been an open, friendly, inquisitive, athletic, and affectionate kid, he changed. Slowly, but he changed. He became secretive. He started having friends pick him up at the corner "because they couldn't find our house"; more likely because he didn't want us to know who he was hanging around with. His schoolwork suffered, he was cutting class, not paying attention in class, etc.

    Basically, he changed. And when we questioned him on it, at first we tried to blame it on typical teen angst. Then we thought he had problems with his ADD medications (came to find he wasn't taking them, may have been selling them). Finally, we found out that he'd been lying for the better part of a year about sleeping over at friends houses - in short, he wasn't doing it, and getting them to cover for him so he could roam the roads all night, or skip from one house party to the next.

    He finally came clean after (a) I threatened to have him drug tested, against his will, and (b) threatened to take him to Juvi against his will if he was abusing drugs, lying to us about it, and was unwilling to get help. In hindsight, I wish I had taken him anyway - at that early stage, there was still some remorse in him for making bad choices. By the time wife and I decided to get serious, it was too late and he was already walking his chosen path against our will.

    Ultimately, though, you know your own child. Some here call it "Mommy Radar", (or in my case, "Daddy Radar"). You know something is wrong. Follow up, be diligent, don't jump to conclusions but don't exclude possibilities, either. If it turns out to be drugs, your child is young enough that you may still be able to affect his path. Maybe not, but you have a better chance now than you ever will in the next few years. Lots of good help here, and from other places. Just keep your eyes - and your mind - open.

    My two cents....

  17. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I would not share with school, simply because they will not be able to handle it well. Most schools really don't. And confidentiality is not what you think it is. I have taken the position of a little info being enough for school. You don't know if a teacher is going to talk about it to someone else when another kid can listen in.

    If it is negative, the school may just say she had too much warning, you didn't test for the right things, etc.... Facts don't always make a difference to schools. Just like some docs know the guidelines for treating mood disorders but won't prescribe mood stabilizers no matter what. It is just what it is.

    I hope the school is wrong. The situation with her sister may be part of what is going on. It is probably very tough for her to see all her sis is going through and doing, and how stressed you are.


  18. Jena

    Jena New Member


    shes' clean. no alcohol, no drugs nothing. i think situation wtih little difficult child has made her feel left out. i still made alot of time for her everynight we'd sit drink tea talk go over homework if there was any etc. for past two years. things have def. heightened as of late with little difficult child.

    so i do think that's to blame. day 4 of new rules she's adhering quite nicely. its not easy though man she is difficult just like mom thick headed oh so thick headed...........

    anyway that was a relief. ok i'm taking your advice i'm not telling school unless they ask they haven't. i've been emailng teachers all week no one's said anythng to me as of yet
  19. gottaloveem

    gottaloveem Active Member

    I am SO glad her drug test came back clean.:whew: Now at least you don't have that dragon to slay.:sword:

    Hang in there. I know there are very trying days.

  20. Jena

    Jena New Member

    yes thank you i am very happy and relieved that she is drug free. they say ti doesn't pick up everything but i feel good about it.

    i do think ms. thing has drank though i checked out her myspace tonight she doesn't have beer in her hand yet a boy she's friends with in a picture has one it looks like.

    i let her have acct. but i monitor it so it's clean. she talks in code it's so hard to figure out what hte heck she's talking aobut. need a whole different dictionary..........