16 year old daughter using?

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by al77, Jul 7, 2013.

  1. al77

    al77 New Member

    Hello everyone. This is my first post and the reason I joined this site.

    My daughter is 16, turning 17 next month. At a young age she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and more recently with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). She's had her problems in her very early teens (eating disorder, cutting), but we managed to solve them.

    At 14 she had a very rebellious stage. We caught her with weed & pills and we went straight to counseling and strict supervision. She improved a lot and she regained our trust in a few months.

    But since October or November 2012 she's been acting strange. She's been very secretive, quiet and she's been going out to ''meet her friends'' a lot.

    Anyways, here's the problem. Last week I found a small baggie of beige-brown powder in her room. I instantly freaked out and started crying but still didn't mention anything to her. I did some research on what the powder could be, and the first possible things I found were meth and heroin!
    I just need to know how to confront and ask her?? What do I say?? What do I do?! What if she is doing meth?! :sad-very:
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Well, I had a daughter who used drugs too and I'll tell you how I confronted her. You can do it another way, but I didn't see any need to be delicate about it. I would show her the evidence and say, "What's this?" I even called the cops on her once. by the way, expect her to lie to you. "It's not mine! Somebody must have planted it on me" or "I'm holding it for a friend" are two extremely popular lies they tell us.

    You have two years to do something. I don't know if you can. My daughter had to be shown t he door when she kept doing it past eighteen and my two little ones knew it and the police dropped by a few times terrifying the younger kids. My daughter quit drugs at age nineteen and she was pretty into everything too. This is what we did and it couldn't have been bad because things ended up good, fortunately (I thought she'd end up in jail or dead).

    First of all, has your daughter lost any weight? Does she stay up during the night and try to sleep during the day? This is common because they use the drugs while we sleep then often are tired when the drugs wear off during the day or, as my daughter has told me, they take tranquilizers so that they can sleep and often it's during the day. Weight loss is a red flag for Meth and speed, such as any ADHD drug being abused. They cut them up in pillcrushers and snort them alone or with things like cocaine. So once we found out about the drug use, and the extent of it we did not know, we searched her room all the time, tried to keep her in at night (not easy) and stopped all the money. We made sure she had clothes and food and everything else was on her dime because she used everything else to buy drugs. She did get a job at sixteen and I think that helped her in the long haul because she has a good work ethic, however I'm sure she used some of her work money to buy drugs. But it least it wasn't our money. We did not let her drive our vehicles after she cracked one up (this was before we knew she was using again). We did not want to pay even one penny to help her drug life. There were no drug tests then or we would have used them, however they are unreliable.

    If you suspect something's up, it probably is. Do you know who her friends are? Do they seem like good kids? Usually druggies hang with others who do the same. How are the school grades? How is her attitude?

    If you can, I would get her into a treatment program, although I'm not convinced they are very helpful unless the person wants to quit. But at sixteen it is almost impossible not to want to try everything we can do. When they turn eighteen, we have no legal rights to our grown children.

    One last thing. Take good care of yourself. And to learn how to do this while your child is struggling, please do yourself a favor a nd try a nar-anon or Al-anon meeting, even if you sit there without talking or even if you are not religious. It is a philosophy that is not only for religious people. It teachers us moms how to actually take good care of ourselves and have good times while our children are in crisis. It teaches us how to detach and explains how we can not control our children...we can not really control anyone except ourselves. I honestly didn't know that until I started going to a group called Codependents Anonymous. I thought my behavior and actions could change other people.

    I am so sorry you are going through this. It was just awful for me so I know how it is for you. We are here to listen and try to advise you...take what you like and leave the rest.
  3. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I have not dealt with heavy drugs so others will be along with more complete responses. My grandson became an alcoholic and daily pot smoker in his early teens. I immediately began to seek our substance abuse programs that I hoped would take care of the problem. Three programs, and alot of bucks, later I accepted that only he could make the changes necessary. He did end up with police involvement etc. and it was hellacious.

    My advice will be limited to you. Do not panic. Do not cry. If you have a husband or SO get on the same page and plan what steps you believe are best. If she is compliant by nature I would suggest exploring substance abuse programs that "might" help her. Many of us completely understand your fears. Sadly, one other note to add, IF she is now a drug user the chances are very great she will be a convincing liar. Digest the basic facts on substance abuse, read thru this forum including the archives to make sure you really understand what others have done with and without success, and then formulate a plan that you can implement with-o waivering from the goal. I am sorry you have joined us but glad for your sake that you are not alone during this scarey time. Hugs DDD

    PS: All of us panic and cry...just don't let your difficult child see you do it!
  4. al77

    al77 New Member

    She's lost some weight, but nothing drastic really. And I should've kept a closer eye on her sleep schedule, because I don't know really... She's been hanging out with her ''usual'' friends if I can say so and they're all very clean-cut. But of course there's a possibility of her having some friends we don't know about.. Also, her grades have dropped slightly... Her attitude is alright, except for her being secretive and not talking to us enough.

    Anyways, me and husband had a talk and decided to confront her tomorrow. I'll see how it goes.
    Thank you two for the advice, I appreciate it. I'll keep posted, if that's alright.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Please do. We have been there and will be happy to support you. Remember...don't necessarily believe her. You may have to check her Facebook, her room, her car, her cell phone...we need to sneak to save our kids sometimes. Nobody likes to do it. But sometimes we have to do it. One last question. Did you think that maybe money could be missing or is she selling things that were once dear to her? They do that, often, when on drugs, to have spare money. Now she may not have to if you are still giving her money. And I hope and pray it is nothing, but you will have to be diligent and just not take her word for it. My daughter would cop to pot smoking, but never told us about the heroin or meth or ADHD drugs, etc. Many kids know parents won't freak over alcohol and pot so they will say, "Ok, I use pot and drink sometimes, but everyone does." Keep an eye on that weight loss. Can she get up for school without trouble?

    Big hugs!!!! Do come back!
  6. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome al77 and I'm glad you found us. Things have been a little quiet around here lately probably summer vacations, but it will get busier so stick around.

    I'm glad you and husband are going to confront her together. Do not give her the baggie or let her destroy it. Lock it up somewhere until you know what you are going to do. Before you confront her though know what the next step is. If she says it is not hers don't believe her. All of our kids have used the excuse that they were holding it for their friend. You can ask her to have a drug test. I found a lab that does drug testing and since she is a minor they should give you the results.

    But in any case stay calm and make sure you and husband are on the same page and support each other.
  7. al77

    al77 New Member

    Well, today husband and I confronted her and after what seemed like hours she actually admitted that the baggie was hers. And she told us it's heroin.
    She's only 16! We don't know what to do now. I mean, I knew it could be something like that, but I feel both, husband and I hoped and prepared ourselves for a more ''innocent'' substance..not heroin!
    I also checked her phone and found some guy (no name, just some initials), that she frequently called. I didn't find any messages though, she deleted all of them..
    I'm crushed. What do we do now? Put her in a treatment centre right away?
  8. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Yes. Call her doctor, get a recommendation, have her drug tested ASAP for documentation, and get her into inpatient treatment as fast as you can. And keep her phone away from her.

    I do not mean to frighten you; but time is not on your side. In my own experience and from what I have learned, the shock of being caught & the desire to be cooperative quickly wears off and our kids tend to become argumentative and/or flee. At 16, she will be out of your parental legal control soon. Heroin is serious. She needs help and needs be far away from her current peers.

    She's using serious addictive drugs. Addiction is a monster that takes over our children. Addiction creates skilled liars; she will charmingly lie to your face in order to keep up her drug use. She will say all the right things to you. You cannot believe her. Make a plan, do not tell her and do not deviate from it. You need to get her into treatment quickly. Please don't wait.

    I know you are reeling. I am so sorry for your pain and I will be thinking of you in the days ahead.
  9. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Absolutely! Even if she says she only did it once. You can see all the phone calls to the initials person....it is more than once! I do not believe ANYONE can stop heroine on their own. Well, I suppose you might hear 1 or 2 stories of success.....but most cases take serious programs to recover.
  10. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Well-Known Member

    Get her into Treatment if she will go!! We have been trying for years for ours. She has finally been court ordered to rehab. If she is willing, definitely get her in...
  11. al77

    al77 New Member

    Well we went to take a drug test right on Monday and the results came back today. She tested positive for heroin and benzodiazepines. She's leaving for treatment on Friday and will stay there for a month. We've also decided to enroll her in school in a smaller town, to get her away from any possible bad influences.
  12. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Way to go warrior mom! Now.....stay strong! Stick to the plan. It could save her life! Hugs! I know you are hurting. Put it aside until she gets there. Then go do something just for you!
  13. al77

    al77 New Member

    Thank you all for the help. I appreciate it.:)
    She left today. I hope so much this will do her good!
  14. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Good for you!! You did the right thing. My daughter was 27 when we found out that she was shooting up heroin and had to use an interventionist to get her into treatment.

    I think that your idea of sending her to a different school in another town is a great idea. I don't remember the name of the book but I remember that the author said that the single most effective thing you could do was to move your drug using teenager away from their current group of friends. He even recommended splitting up the family for the time being if that is what it took.

    Yes, I know that a teen can get drugs anywhere but hopefully after treatment and follow up therapy she will be able to pick a different kind of group to hang out with at her new school. by the way, follow up therapy and continued drug testing is a must in this situation. Thirty days is just the beginning of her recovery.
    by the way, we were told by the police that heroin is making a big comeback. It is cheap and easy to get.

  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm going to ditto Kathy. My daughter was a drug user who wanted to stop, but every time she did, her druggie friends, who suddenly didn't act so friendly, would harass her, even threaten her so she would get scared or just give up and find some dope for them. A note: According to my daughter, if you use, you sell. Period. It's part of the drug culture. So anyway, since she didn't quit and we found her and her "friends" having a drug party in our house, we packed her bags.

    My daughter was extremely lucky and did have common sense. Instead of roaming the streets or staying with her druggie friends, she called her straight arrow brother from another state and I heard her begging and pleading with him to come and get her. I don't know how she talked him into it because he is VERY straight and doesn't deal with drug nonsense, but he did it with the warning that if he even caught her smoking a cigarette in his house, he'd kick her out in Illinois (another state).

    She was able to kick the habits once she got out of town. It was really strange, really fast, and she did not use rehab. She even quit cigarettes. She had no car so she had to sit home and think about her life and walk to and from work because Brother wouldn't let her live there without a job. Seems that getting away from these "friends" is a good idea. My daughter describes them as relentless in their quest to keep her in the fold. I'm not painting her innocent, but it can be very hard to quit while surrounded by those who believe "misery loves company."

    Al, after this experience, we moved to a nearby small town in which about forty seniors graduate each year. Not all small town schools are this well behaved, but the cops in this town have told me the biggest problem they had was when the kids TP'd somebody's house rather extensively after homecoming. There are kids who do drugs, but everyone knows who they are, which makes it harder to hide it from parents. If it's a nice group of kids who are inclusive of newbies, it's like a family. My younger kids did MUCH better in smaller schools. Neither of them use drugs or even drink or smoke cigarettes. I am crossing all my fingers, toes and even eyes for you.
  16. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    So glad she is in treatment. Heroin and benzos are heavy stuff. If the treatment program has a family program I highly recommend it. Thirty days will go by fast and you will need to know what to expect when she is released. She should go into an outpatient program and most probably a twelve step program. This is just the beginning, she and you will need a lot of support but you did the absolutely right thing.

    When our daughter was in treatment we learned that the age of the clients in treatment facilities continues to get younger and younger.
  17. Prayfort23

    Prayfort23 New Member

    You sound like I did when I first found out! It's a sickening feeling. Meth is NO JOKE and can destroy in a short time.
    I would confront her, she will deny. Then take her to rehab.
    My daughter is 20. Meth, could have killed her. She's in rehab now 45 days and doing awesome. Thanks me that I saved her life.
    It's so scary but you have to take control. She's 16 so you still have the power!! Good luck and stay strong!!
  18. Prayfort23

    Prayfort23 New Member

    Yes!! Take her to treatment! I know heroin is so scary, just the word. She needs help. Not only physically but mentally. They will give her that at rehab. Being around other clean drug addicts will help her. You also should go to alanon. You need support in how to act towards her and what to do.
    You still have the power. She will have to buy into it but if its a good treatment center they will help. I'm so sorry. I hate drugs and how they destroy. Don't let them. Save your daughter.
  19. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    For heroin and meth I'd take her to treatment, definitely. I'd have nothing to lose.

    Actually, my daughter DID try heroin so I guess it's a myth that if you take it once you are addicted because that's all she did it and she was never addicted to it. As for meth, I swear it almost killed her. She was so skinny and I thought she was going to die. Every day I am grateful for her chubbiness of today.

    (((Hugs))) and we're here for you.
  20. al77

    al77 New Member

    (I decided to just post on this thread, I didn't want to start a new one.)

    It's B's 17th birthday today. husband and I went to visit her and she seems to be doing very well in treatment. She cleared up many things for us and has been doing well in therapy. She gets out on the 11th this month and although B seems to be in great spirits and is doing great, I'm still skeptical. I'm really worried that she may just be putting on a smile and going along with things but doesn't plan on stopping doing drugs. She proved before that she's a good liar..

    Of course we'll try our very best to keep her away from 'sketchy' places and after treatment, she'll be attending meetings twice a week and weekly check-ins with a counselor, but I still can't know for sure, she can just as well find something at her new school. And she will if she wants to..

    I really have a feeling she might be lying. I suppose I'm maybe just paranoid (I sure hope so), but I want her to stop so badly. I want a normal, happy life for her..I don't want her to become a homeless drug addict.

    And again, thank you all for your help.