Cut-up staw--used for anything besides Cocaine?

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by CAmom, Sep 21, 2007.

  1. CAmom

    CAmom Member

    I found a piece of a plastic straw in my son's bathroom after he'd had several boys over while we were out of town.

    Obviously, my first thought is cocaine, although the straw is larger than a normal straw and not angled at one end. And, I don't believe these boys could afford the high price of cocaine.

    I did find that our supply of Alka-Seltzer cold medicine looked as though one or two had been taken. I'm wondering if they could have ground those up to snort, IF such a thing is done to produce some sort of high.

    OR, the cut-up straw could be totally innocent, but I don't think so... Any ideas?
  2. Sunlight

    Sunlight Active Member

    cut up straws can snort lots of stuff. ant snorted ritalin that way.
  3. Sunlight

    Sunlight Active Member

    You already know about the dangers of illegal street drugs like marijuana, cocaine, and methamphetamine. But did you know that some teens are abusing legal products like cough medicine, to get high?

    Q: What is cough medicine abuse?

    Cough medicine abuse is taking extremely large doses of cough medicine to get high. The "high" is caused by taking a large amount of dextromethorphan, which is often abbreviated DXM, a common active ingredient found in many cough medications. This sort of abuse -- whether it's called cough medicine abuse, or dextromethorphan, or DXM abuse -- can be dangerous.

    Q: What is dextromethorphan?

    Dextromethorphan is a safe and effective active ingredient found in many nonprescription cough syrups, tablets, and gel caps. When used accordingly to medicine label directions, the ingredient dextromethorphan produces few side effects and has a long history of safety. When abused in large amounts, it can produce a "high" feeling as well as a number of dangerous side effects.

    Q: What are the effects of cough medicine abuse?

    The effects of the abuse of cough medicines containing dextromethorphan vary with the amount taken. Common effects include confusion, dizziness, double or blurred vision, slurred speech, loss of physical coordination, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, rapid heart beat, drowsiness, numbness of fingers and toes, and disorientation. DXM abusers describe different "plateaus" ranging from mild distortions of color and sound to visual hallucinations, "out-of-body" dissociative sensations, and loss of motor control. Side effects can be worsened if the dextromethorphan-containing cough medicine being abused also contains other ingredients to treat more than just coughs.

    Cough medicine also is sometimes abused in combination with other medications, alcohol and illegal drugs, which can increase the dangerous side effects.

    Q: What cough medicines contain dextromethorphan, or DXM?

    There are well over 100 OTC medicines that contain dextromethorphan, either as the only active ingredient or in combination with other active ingredients. Some examples include Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold & Cough Medicine, Coricidin HBP Cough and Cold, Dayquil LiquiCaps, Dimetapp DM, Robitussin cough products, Sudafed cough products, Triaminic cough syrups, Tylenol Cold products, Vicks 44 Cough Relief products and Vicks NyQuil LiquiCaps. There also are a number of store brands that contain DXM.
  4. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Some will snort anything that they can crush up... :frown: you can take a q-tip and run it through it and see if it has any residue..

    They can also use the straw to :censored2: up the smoke of something, "chasing the dragon" "foilies" if they were burning something on foil, crack, crystal meth etc... but the smell of that is pretty strong.

    Good luck
  5. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    There are many things that can be snorted. A larger straw is often used to s u c k up smoke from pipes and the like (crack, grass ...). It is a way to share the high and makes it cheaper.

    Sounds like leaving him alone were not all that successful. I'm sorry. Were these boys you had given permission to come over? If not, what you are going to do or have done as a consequence?
  6. CAmom

    CAmom Member

    Meow, leaving him home alone was probably a mistake, but we knew that. He probably had good intentions about not telling anyone that we were out of town. However, the word got around as it always does.

    We were told by one of our local police officers who was keeping an eye on things that there was an "incident" which didn't involve our son but occurred from our home when two boys arrived at our house, having heard we were out of town, and one of them began to have a bad reaction to mushrooms they had taken earlier. Our son told them both to leave, but idiot #1 couldn't get idiot #2 to do so and ended up having to call for emergency services to remove him.

    It was obvious that he had had more kids over than the one or two at a time we asked him to limit himself to, and I'm sure that they probably partied in one way or another, although he did clean up after himself/them before we returned home, and there were no complaints from neighbors about undue noise or suspicious activities.

    However, the fact that this incident with the two boys on mushrooms occurred at our house and would never have done so had we been home is enough to convince us that we need a professional house-sitter in the future. Our son has also said that he agrees that he isn't "ready" for the responsibility as things got out of hand as they did the last time we tried this.
  7. Merris

    Merris New Member

    Personally, I wouldn't let my difficult child alone in my house and he's almost 19! No way, no how. Too impulsive. It may not have been YOUR son doing anything wrong. It may have been the kids that were there. My difficult child would let anyone do anything if it would make them think he was "cool".

    Have you asked him about it?
  8. ck1

    ck1 New Member

    CaMom: Do you plan on giving him a drug test? That is supposed to be done occasionally anyway, right? Then you'll know for sure, at least about the drug test. Also, I was going to ask the same thing Merris did...what does he say?

    I hope you at least had a great time while you were gone???
  9. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    As I said, I'm sorry it didn't work out. I was hoping it would. But the big question now is what, if any, repercussions are there for your son? Does he get away with just saying he's sorry, etc.? You know he is very good at saying exactly what you want to hear but that doesn't mean a darn thing. Whether he meant for it to happen or not, he needs to learn there are consequences for bad choices. It really doesn't sound like he has learned this yet.

    I agree that a drug test right now would be a good idea.
  10. CAmom

    CAmom Member

    Merris, actually, he called and told us about it and said that he "did the best" he could under the circumstances, telling the boys to leave and readily admitted that he made a mistake by allowing one and then two kids over which led to more than he could handle.

    Sadly, this is what happened the last time we let him stay home alone.

    I can't say that anything really bad happened, but the potential for bad is what is so scary and what he just doesn't seem to "get." Or, he gets it, but, when the kids are all clamoring to come over, he folds.

    All he's said since is that he isn't ready for the responsibility and doesn't want it again anytime soon. I think this is mainly because the boy's behavior who was on mushrooms was so over-the-top that it freaked him and the other kids there out.
  11. CAmom

    CAmom Member

    Ck, well, we had a nice time for the most part but worried about what might be going on. However, we had our local police force patroling (we live in a bedroom community of only about 1500 people with a police force of six, so they're able to do this service for us...), and our neighbor who also has a teenager was keeping her eyes peeled, so we felt somewhat confident that nothing too terrible would happen.

    PLUS, our son is a control freak, particularly about his home, and really doesn't like more than one or two friends over at a time. I think the experience made him feel very out of control, and that scared him. Whether it's enough to scare him into NOT telling anyone he's home alone in the future, I don't think we want to take the chance.

    At the risk of being blasted by many, we don't and never have done drug testing for several reasons. Now, when driving comes into the picture, that will change.
  12. ck1

    ck1 New Member

    Of course, I don't know your son at all, so I could be way off base on this. But, if my son said something like that (that he's not ready for the responsibility, etc...) I would take that as code for, "thank God I got away with it this time, if I tell them I don't want to do it again that sounds responsible so they won't question me anymore, plus, I know I'm really not ready because I just proved it to myself!" I could be very wrong, but that's what I would think and I would definitely give him a drug test.

    Since he called you right away though, that is a good sign, maybe he's slowly learning???
  13. gottaloveem

    gottaloveem Active Member

    I doubt the alka-seltzer was snorted. I can't think of any other reason to have a cut off straw in the bathroom except to be used for drugs. Since you know that there were other kids over, it doesn't mean your son was snorting anything. However, I agree with the others that a drug test is probably due.

    Phew, I am glad the kid with the mushrooms is OK.
  14. CAmom

    CAmom Member

    Ck and Gotta, I'm not sure he's learned much...he went through a very similar scenario a year ago when things got out of hand...again, he wasn't directly involved, but kids ended up at our house as part of their "escape route" since it was known that no adults were home.

    Gotta, I doubt that our son was snorting anything, as least at this point. But, someone must have been. It all adds up to the same thing, in my opinion, a lifestyle choice that my husband and I won't tolerate in our home.

    So, next time, we'll be sure that, whatever illegal activities he and/or his friends are engaged in, it won't be here.

    We're also glad that the mushroom-taker is okay. HOPEFULLY, he learned a lesson.
  15. SunnyFlorida

    SunnyFlorida Active Member

    Although there were some negatives that happened while you were gone, and you knew there would be, it sounds like there were some positives as well.

    That's a good sign that difficult child called and talked with you. It's an even better sign that difficult child realizes, or says he does, that he doesn't want the responsibility any more. It also sounds like he realized how quickly things can go from zero to sixty!

    It sounds like good judgement was used by calling for assistance when someone needed it. Mushroom kid will have his own consequences.

    I remember husband and I left our difficult child's home for a weekend many years ago. Things got out of hand and escalated. They wanted to handle it on their own but sister in law took over.

    Instead of bringing the hammer down on them, we chose to not allow them to remain in our home alone at any time. We also discussed with them, calmly, that things could have gotten worse and their lives and our property were very important to us. We restricted their use of our property until they could show good judgement and took care of things to our expectations. I gotta tell you though, this incident with my difficult child's occurred probably about 4yrs ago. It's only been in the last year that we've allowed difficult child 2 to use our property (boat) by himself. It takes....time, time for them to learn that our way works, and our way preserves the property.

    Too bad difficult child's are so hard headed.
  16. KFld

    KFld New Member

    My son used cut up straws and pens to snort heroin. Heroin is very cheap to buy compared to cocaine. That is why it has become the drug of choice to so many. It's cheap at first, until you get addicted and need to purchase it every single day.

    Keep an eye on him. Is there anything in place where he will be drug tested periodically to make sure he's on the straight and narrow. What if he ever tests positive, does he go back to the facility he just left???

    Hopefully for your sake it's nothing, but the mention of cut up straws gives me a huge knot in my stomach.
  17. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    CAmom - I'm sorry it didn't work out.

    Do you still have the straw? If you really want to find out, your local police department can test it and find out exactly what kind of drug residue, if any, is in it. Different tests for different substances, but basically all they do is put a small drop of a chemical on it and see if the color changes.

    If they really want to snort something they can use all kinds of things - like the barrel of a ball point pen or a rolled up dollar bill.
  18. CAmom

    CAmom Member

    Sunny, I think your thought about how it takes time for them to see that our way works says it all. My son simply isn't there yet.

    I also tend to feel that, under the circumstances, he handled things as well as could be expected.

    As far as consequences, we really didn't leave him any hard and fast rules other than keeping the responsibility of the house and animals foremost as that was the "job" he agreed to do. The house was surprisingly clean, and the dog and cat were fine. It goes without saying, however, that he will not be given the responsibility again anytime soon--we all know that. That, and the loss of several days' pay due to our early return strikes us as the perfect "natural" consequence.

    Last night, he brought up the straw and seemed truly curious about where we found it and whether it contained anything. Now, I know I've said that he's a great schmoozer, and he is, but this sort of what I might consider blowing a smokescreen isn't his style. I sensed nothing more than him really wondering which of the several friends that were in and out could have been using it and for what.

    Time will tell...
  19. CAmom

    CAmom Member

    Karen, the straw is worrisome, but I haven't seen signs of anything out of the ordinary in my son until that, even a pot high, although I'm fairly certain he's smoking pot occasionally (although not at home).

    We have no immediate plans to drug test but will consider it if and when we see any changes in behavior and most certainly before we allow him to drive.

    Since the group home was court-ordered placement in lieu of sentencing for his juvenile crime, sending him back there wouldn't be an option. And, this program wasn't directed to treatment for drug or alcohol use, although there was a component of the program that dealt with those issues. If he were to begin demonstrating druggie behavior again, it would be up to us to find him some sort of treatment and him to agree since he's 18.
  20. CAmom

    CAmom Member

    Donna, no, I didn't save it as it was a huge straw that didn't seem as though one could get enough suction to snort anything through, and I didn't smell anything. But, I'll be on the lookout from now on...