17 year old daughter sinking fast

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by ccbteacher4, Jun 23, 2010.

  1. ccbteacher4

    ccbteacher4 Guest

    I have been trying for 3 years to help my daughter,without knowing exactly what is causing her problems. She developed a low self esteem in middle school and since then wants to hang with the wrong crowd. She insisits we are old fashioned and the things she wants to do are what everybody else does. Marijuana, sexual relationships, etc. since we do not allow this behavior there is a constant circle of sneaking around, getting caught, arguing, grounding. After years of this she has sunken into a deep depression/ uncontollable behaviors, cursing at us, knocking holes in the wall, cutting herself failing school, difficulty with friendships, ect.
    We have tried counseling, concerta lexapro nothing seems to make much progress.
    She also has a hypoactive thryroid. I often wonder if it has anything to do with her problems.
    This summer I want to somehow find some answers on how to help my girl. She is ruinning her life and breaking our heart. Also our 13 year old son is suffering because of this.
    Any ideas will be so greatly appreciated!!!!
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there.
    I have a daughter, now 26 got into drugs at 12. Yes, 12. To me, it sounds like your daughter is doing more than smoking pot. I'm NOT trying to bring you bad news, however cursing, putting holes in the walls, violence in general is not really characteristic of just using pot (not that pot is a good thing, but it's other drugs that cause moodswings and violence). My daughter cut herself and didn't do well in school, although she did manage to work and then go to tech school without flunking out (all this while on meth and coke...go figure). I stopped trying to find out what caused it because whatever caused it, her main problem became the drugs themselves. She was also always insecure and wanted friends and, sadly, drugs were the way to go for that. "Bad" kids are the most accepting of all.

    I totally suggest going to a Narc-Anon meeting to talk to other people going through what you are. They have great advice...those who have been there. Basically, at her age, you can't make her stop and prescribed medications will not help her if she is using other drugs and drinking. In fact, one of my daughter's favorite drug choices were ADHD medications that her and her friends bought off the street, tricked doctors into prescribing for them...or stole from younger siblings. They crushed them in pillcrushers and snorted them with coke and other stuff...she told me all this scary garbage after she finally cleaned up (yes, it can happen! She has not used since she was nineteen!). Drug users/addicts (I lump them together) will only stop when they want to stop. Rehab will only help if they want it and most rehabs won't take a seventeen year old who doesn't want to go anyway. My daughter has told me, "Never trust a word a drug user says. Nothing. Not even if they cry and stare you in the eyes.) If I were to guess, I'd say your daughter is probably maybe using some speed too. How are her sleeping patterns? Is she very skinny or does she binge eat then not eat?

    When my daughter was eighteen we found her having a drug party when we came home from an event. We had no idea how deeply she was into drugs until then. We though she smoked pot and had bipolar and felt sorry for her. Well, we still felt sorry for her, but we made her leave our house because we had two younger kids who were tired of the drama and the police coming by. She went to live with her straight-arrow brother who laid down the law and she listened to him. Part of that was because he lived out of state and shse wanted to quit but couldn't do it around her friends. Peer pressure is terrible. The druggies don't let the kids go straight. If you can get her out of town, I highly recommend it, not that she can't find druggies there...just that if she wants to quit it's easier if nobody knows her. It's also lonely. My daughter had no friends for a while.
    I think you should go to Nar-Anon meetings and focus on yourself and your thirteen year old son and lay down the law on daughter. If she is still doing what she's doing (and I wouldn't define it because she will probably lie to you about what's going on) then she has until she is eighteen to think of where she is going to live. The choice is solely in her hands. If she stops her behavior, she can live with you. If not, she will have to leave and found other living arrangements. Sounds tough, but it in my opinion works better than enabling dangerous behavior. If my daughter hadn't had a brother (and SHE called him, not me) I still would have made her leave for the sake of my little ones and herself. She needed to have it rough in order to quit. Making it comfy for her to do self-destruction would have only made things worse...and she's the one who says that now.
    I wish you luck. This is NOT easy. We never even really know the depth of what is going on with our troubled teens (and often young adults).
  3. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Welcome... I know how you feel... I have a 15-y/o who is racing down the same path. MWM is right... You have to make it hard on her... She HAS to know that YOU will not deal with this behavior. Due to Onyxx being 15, there's not a lot we can do but work with the courts... We've really come down hard but I'm sure she is finding ways around. Just watching her behavior. Whatever you do - let her know you love her - but you won't put up with this. MWM knows what she's saying.

  4. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    I think this thread just explained how my daughter tested through the roof for Adderall!!!!!! I wonder if her and her friends are crushing it up and snorting it??? MWM - I swear you just described my difficult child to a T complete with the binge eating and being very skinny....
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Welcome!!! I am happy to meet you, though I wish it was under better circumstances!! This is a great place to find support, info, ideas, and even friends. We do not judge. We "get it" because we have been there done that. We KNOW that it is not because you are a bad parent. (Bad parents don't ask if they are bad parents, or for real help. They often don't even admit there is a problem, or care. At least that is what I have seen.) We won't even complain if you are in an ugly shirt wearing mismatched socks!!

    There may be an underlying problem that she is self-medicating, but there is little use in identifying and treating it at this point. At best her drug abuse would cancel out any medications rx'd to treat the problem and at worse they might combine to create an overdose that would kill her.

    You MUST make her life very uncomfortable. Addicts will NOT stop using until they hit their own personal bottom and want to get clean. There is absolutely nothing that you or anyone else can do to make her stop using. Doesn't that svck?

    You CAN and MUST protect yourself and your other child from her. Especially the other child. I guaran-dang-tee that he knows a LOT more about this than you do. Chances are he has been threatened and/or bribed to hide things from you. It is not uncommon for an addicted child to hide stashes in their siblings' rooms/areas/belongings. When/if the sibling knows about it they have been forced to keep it a secret.

    Every addict says they are "just" using pot. They are lying. You have probably heard the line "How do you know an addict is lying? Their mouth is moving." Sadly it is NOT a joke, or a line. It is a cold, hard truth. It applies to every addict.

    When your daughter comes home high, call the police. When you find her drugs, call the police. When she threatens you, call the police. When she hits anyone, call the police. When she puts holes in the wall or damages property, call the police. When she leaves the house with-o permission, call the police.

    If the police tell you they cannot help you keep calling. It may take a while but they WILL eventually get tired of the calls and take her in. Don't let up on this.

    If/when she hits her brother you must call the police AND report it to child protection. There likely WILL be an investigation. Tell your son that he MUST tell you if she hurts him. That he MUST tell the social worker and/or the court what is happening. If he is reluctant because she might hurt him, tell him you will do anything needed to protect him. Put a good lock on his door, one with a key. Change to a solid core door if his is flimsy. Do not allow her to be in the home if he is there alone. If she comes in when he is home alone have him leave and go to a friend and call you. even if he has to go out a window on the first floor to do so. Provide him with a personal alarm to use if you are in another part of the house and he needs help with her.

    Right now your son is learning that you won't do much if one of your kids uses drugs. NOT that you aren't, but that he doesn't see it making a big impact except by fueling fights.

    It is time for you to attend Narc-Anon or Al-Anon. The groups will give you in person support and let you know you are not alone in this. It will help you set and enforce boundaries and rules. It is crucial that you attend and work the steps. Addiction is a family disease and you have all learned unhealthy patterns from her addictions. All of you need help to break the cycle so that you can live happy lives. The listings of meetings can be found in the phone book or online. Some meetings will be labeled "closed" because they are only for those who have an addict in their lives. "Open" meetings are for anyone to attend. I live in a university town and we get a lot of psychology and sociology students in our open groups because they are trying to learn about addiction from the addicts point of view.

    Al=Anon has groups called AlaTeen that your son would benefit from. Here they are often held at the same time as one of the AA or AlAnon meetings but in a different room or on another floor so that they are kept separate and anonymous.

    I hope that you are able to find a way to handle this.
  6. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    Hypothyroid can cause fatigue and depression and contribute to an inability to lose weight and a lack of desire to exercise. Has she seen an endocrinologist and a nutritionist to help with those issues? She could be self-medicating. I know that if the thyroid issues that hit me at 45 had hit me at 15, I would probably have self-medicated then to deal with the fatness and the sadness.
  7. Bean

    Bean Member

    Susiestar, great advice.

    Gosh, OP, your daughter sounds like mine. Could be hormones. My daughter went to an endocrinologist back in the day because she was having some insulin resistance issues. They gave her metformin. I think it was actually helpful for a while (just having low blood sugar can put people in a rage), but one of her issues was that she never wanted to take care of herself. Finally, after years we took her back and the issue is pretty well resolved for now. If only the rest of her issues were...

    My daughter was overweight, too, and blames a lot of her middle-school issues on her fatness, low self-esteem and the teasing from other kids. But, in the end, we all have to take responsibility for our actions, despite the reasons we can come up with to justify them.

    Ruining her life and breaking your heart, upsetting your 13-year-old very much explains and mirrors my own life, sweetie. Day by day, sometimes minute by minute. BIG (((hugs))) to you.
  8. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    I know kids take Adderall for ADHD, but they say it takes away your apppetite and it's a coveted drug for someone trying to lose weight. Teens who are prescribed this medicine(some) sell it in school. It's very easy for teens to get their hands on. People who have eating disorders love this. I know this from speaking to teens with eating disorders 15 hours a week. If your child is binge eating and very skinnny-( maybe she is purging?) I don't know, but even someone not taking Adderall, who does this-( even without vomiting)- is displaying eating disordered symptoms.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    My youngest daughter has ADD. She does not abuse it. She takes Concerta, which is the drug that kids DON'T like because it's hard to crush. Her doctor told her not to let her friends know she was taking it because some may ask her for it sot hey can lose weight. So that's an issue too.

    Adderrall, however, is $10 pill on the street and IS snorted alone or with cocaine and even some OTC drugs to get high. It's not just about losing weight. My daughter was always very thin. We have talked many times since she quit drugs and she used them for one reason: to get high. Then her and her friends had to take downers to sleep or they couldn't sleep. Vicious cycle. So you got horrendous moodswings from putting a fist through the window (she did this once) to sleeping at inappropriate times (she also did this). School stops mattering. Nothing matters but getting high. Disrespect goes down the tubes. ADHD drugs are not benign drugs and I wish they'd only prescribe Concerta. And, trust me, my hub doles out medications to our youngest, but she's not the type to substance abuse anyway. In the summer and weekends she doesn't even like taking it.

    I am guessing this child does it to get high, even if she also wants to lose weight. If she is abusing Adderall, any medical help she gets will not help her until she quits. And my daughter tells me she was addicted to it and it wasn't easy to quit. She also went on to try cocaine, psychodelics and even heroin twice. All this and we didn't know the extent of it until she quit and told us. We believed she was just using pot a little bit and that her behavior was due to bipolar. She doesn't have bipolar. Now that she's clean the crazy moodswings don't happen anymore. I wish I had great advice, but I really don't. Good luck.
  10. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My neighbor's daughter was arrested this weekend when they stopped the car she was riding in and found adderall in her purse along with vicoden. She has no prescription for it and was charged with drug possession. Yes they crush it and snort it for a quick high. It can be deadly as it increases your heart rate significantly. My difficult child snorted adderall when she was a freshman in high school, then the pot and drinking followed.

  11. graceupongrace

    graceupongrace New Member


    I'm sorry you're going through this.

    Prescription drugs have become a new gateway to illegal drugs. I heard this recently from a group of sober teens who started out using drugs prescribed to them or others. They started with Vicodin, Oxycontin, etc. prescribed for sports injuries and went on to marijuana, ecstasy, heroin, etc.

    Susiestar is right -- users are almost always doing more than they admit to. But until kids are clean and sober, you can't deal with the other issues.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2010
  12. BCt20

    BCt20 Guest

    My daughter likes how Adderal makes her feel and uses it to cope with- anxiety and depression. So it is nearly impossible to treat her depression and anxiety as Adderal interfers with- Seritonin uptake inhibitors is what I think. But the depression medications work slowly and Adderal works quickly. She is getting the Adderal from other students. I struggle with whether to discipline her Adderal taking with not using her (our) car or not. She will lie about whether she is taking it so I use urine drug test at home but now she is starting to say she will not give me a sample unless if it is positive she can still have her car. I am pretty close to giving up all discipline and letting her fight her own emotional battles. She is very depressed at times. She doesn't like doing what would help her like counseling and seeing her MD as is takes too much time away from her social life. I don't know if I will put down boundaries of living with- me at 18. Hard decisions. Any suggestions or comments. I want to do what would help not hurt her- I love her so much.