Hi....I am new and have a strange dilemma.

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by LuvsLabs, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. LuvsLabs

    LuvsLabs New Member

    Hi....I am new and have a strange dilemma.

    My 20 year old daughter is in her 2nd rehab in about a year. I visited her yesterday. She told me that she wasn't an alcoholic. I didn't object even thought I thought she was full of you-know-what. However, she has never said that to me before --- even though the first rehab, the halfway houses, etc. I just let her talk. She said she had drank on and off but didn't start at 14 as she said earlier but at 17. She admitted to being drunk a few times. She denied drug usage except for what I had been told before so that matches.

    We forced her to go to rehab after she got a DUI and then a few months later, was failing school and telling us she had a drinking poblem. I asked her why she went if she wasn't an alcoholic. She said life where she was wasn't working out so she thought a change of geography would help. This rehab was in a major city and we live in a tiny town. She's always had HUGE HUGE self-esteem issues. I'll admit to snooping for a while and seeing her brag about a lot of crazy stuff that I know she never did. So, she is now saying she did the same thing but with drinking. So her story matches her previous history of lying and trying to be someone she isn't. During high school she always acted angry at friends who were drinking a lot, partying, etc. She wasn't. I chalked all that up to her being judgmental and feeling left out. She wasn't friends with anyone in the wild crowds until the last few months or so before rehab.At the same time, a lot of what she has told us about her usage seems impossible as she claimed all these wild nights out but I know she was home with us. Sure, she could have snuck out, etc. but I doubt she could have carried on as she claims without us not EVER EVEN ONCE catching her. We never once found alcohol or drugs or ever saw her drunk. I don't understand how she would have gotten the money for as much alcohol as she claims to be drinking -- like a case of beer every day before she went to rehab. Nothing is missing from our home. Sure, she may have pocketed some cash here and there but she couldn't have stolen much from us. No one ever told us she was acting out --- in this small town, stuff gets around.

    In our talk....She didn't ask me for anything. She didn't even hint. She did say she had major problems in her relationship with G-d and knew that had to change. She also said that she had allowed other people's opinions to control her life and her world. She was really calm and not defensive at all. She ended up in the second rehab last week because she got thrown out of the halfway house. This time it was for stealing another residents property. She called and told us she had been drinking and stole because she was drunk. We took her back to rehab.

    I just don't know what to think. I don't know what to do.
  2. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome luvalabs. I can't tell you whether your daughter is an alcoholic or not but the fact that she got a dui and has been kicked out of one rehab for stealing and has admitted to drinking excessively tells me something isn't working right. I will tell you that when my daughter went into rehab at age 19 we were shocked at what we found out she had been doing when we thought she was safe in bed. Towards the end we found her sneaking out but she had been drinking and smoking pot since age 14 and we never saw her drunk until the end. She also was drinking a case of beer a night and I have no idea how she got the money for that except I do know she stole money from us in hindsight. She also has announced she is not an alcoholic and just likes to drink. But she has lost every job she has ever had either because of drinking or drug use or stealing.

    Excessive drinking causes one to make poor judgements and disrupt their lives. If her life is being negatively impacted by alcohol then she is an alcoholic. Have you spoken with her counselor int he first rehab to get her/his perspective? What she in school or working before she went to rehab? Was she managing her life successfully?

    Are you second guessing whether you should take her out of rehab? She hasn't asked to leave so it would seem that she believes she should be there. How much longer is the program? When she comes out, if she does not stay in the program, you will quickly see whether she has a drinking problem or not.

  3. LuvsLabs

    LuvsLabs New Member

    thank you, Nancy.

    no, i am not thinking of taking her out of rehab. The program runs 3-7 more weeks, depending on how she does and what she needs.

    she refused to allow us to talk to the first rehab much at all. Her life has always had issues. Shes smart but lazy. She has always had trouble fitting in at school and other places. She has morphed herself into different personas to fit in, thats one reason why this makes sense to me. Also, i have seen her facebook messages where, for over a year or so, she has regularly lied about things to get attention. She tells some she has been in prison plus many other run ins with the law. Most of these could not be real as our paper prints arrests and we oukd have known. It is like she's trying to be bad. But other messages show her as we see her and as I believe she acts in the community.

    she told me the stealing was because of two people she was with and that they egged her on. She stole a shirt which is too big for her and not really her kind of clothes. Am not excusing what she did. Just saying i dont think she stole it bc she wanted or needed it. I think it was for attention. She's acted up for attention since she was little even though she got plenty at home.

    thank you for replying.
  4. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Hi LuvsLabsI have limited experience with substenance abuse, but wanted to add my hello.

    It's common for people with diagnosed and undiagnosed neurological disorders to self-medicate with alcohol and/or drugs. I read your post earlier today but was pressed for time so may have forgotten that you addressed whether you daughter previously has been evaluated for a neurological disorder(s)?
  5. LuvsLabs

    LuvsLabs New Member

    Hi Sheila, she has been assessed. No results showing she has an issue. She is on antidepressants though.
  6. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    To me idea of a kid pretending to be an addict doesn't really sound that weird. In my country it has always been common for kids to lie that they have drank more (and more often) than they have. It is also common that kids pretend to be drunk while in reality they have drank quite little. There is even special word in our youth lingo to describe the state there a kid pretends to be drunk from drinking energy drinks (not even alcohol.) Same happens with sex by the way. Kids try to sound more experienced and more bad a** than they are. I can easily see how it could get out of hand and out of socially acceptable limits for this kind of bluffing for a kid who craves attention and who may have difficulties with finer lines of social appropriateness. My difficult child has teetered that line often. In the end he did develop an addiction (and that he was quite good keeping secret) but before that (and probably after that too9 he made up stories of this type and some of them went over the line his peers would think were appropriate bluffing. But again, social skills issues are big problem for him.

    What i have gathered it seems that in the USA there is a huge rehab and recovery scene and when the addiction or substance abuse problems come up there are very clear cut procedures. Send a kid to rehab, sober house after that, twelve step groups even several times a week, new sober friends etc. And advertising for all that (I have to say that some ads and tv programs from the topic do make rehabs look rather inviting and nice places to be.) So I can see how for some kids with trouble to fit in and with feelings of being stuck could see that lifestyle rather alluring option compared to their reality at home and school.

    I of course can not know if your daughter faked at least part of his substance abuse problem, but I'm quite sure there are many kids who have done that. It is just too enticing option for certain type of kids to some not to try it.
  7. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Very interesting. I don't recall anyone having that quandry before. Certainly it could make sense that she has "issues" of some undetermined nature and in lieu of saying "I think I have psychiatric problems" she could easily say "I have addiction issues". Her reward for those statements is that she is in an oasis and not having to face the often cruel world. She could be telling the truth but I would hope that the Tdocs and psychiatrists at the facility would be able to identify hwe needs. As far as your needs.....I'm sending hugs your way. DDD
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    While this isn't something I have heard many people talk about, it seems to me that it would be a logical thing to have happen. Not a healthy thing, but a logical problem. I can see how someone who is having a hard time coping and wanting more support could reveal a sub abuse problem to get parents or loved ones or even their insurance company and doctors to give them physical, emotional and financial support. Sort of a Munchausen's syndrome with a substance abuse angle. Rather like false sexual assault/abuse allegations.

    By claiming to have a sub abuse problem, you get family willing to let go of bad behavior, to spend thousands to let you go somewhere for a few weeks/months for rehab and then more money to let you live in a sober house and to attend further treatment. People are willing to babysit your kids so that you can go to meetings and they don't complain even if you need babysitting every night or a ride every night. You get interesting, dramatic people to spend time with at meetings and therapy sessions. You have people changing their behavior so that you don't feel uncomfortable.

    If people don't change their behavior around you, you can have a big ole hissy fit and claim they don't love you and they want you to relapse. You can behave VERY badly and have people forgive you very fast as long as you claim to have relapsed. You can even get criminal behavior either not reported if it involved loved one or you can get the courts to pay for rehab and not put you in jail. You can get that to happen one time in one jurisdiction and if you move around enough you can get this done more than once. I know addicts who have had theft, prostitution and even child neglect excused time and time again as long as they get 'treatment'.

    Often parents will not make you leave home or they will let you come back home so that you don't have so much pressure and you can go to more meetings and can embrace sober life. You don't have to work because your job now is 'recovery', so you get some or all expenses paid with very few requirements to fulfill.

    I can completely see why someone might do this. It wouldn't be that hard to do, in my opinion. Generally if you claim sub abuse people then look at your past behavior and attribute any/all bad, criminal or socially inappropriate behavior to your sub abuse problems. Just like if you take someone totally sane and send them to a psychiatric hospital, they usually end up with some diagnosis regardless of what symptoms they do or do not report. There have been more than a few researchers and journalists who have done this and gotten the same results.

    I don't really know how you should handle this. Follow your instincts as they are a parent's best guideline to handling kids, in my opinion. I do know that for a while my bro claimed to have been a victim of something esp horrid and later, during rehab, he confessed to making it all up. I wasn't surprised because the person he accused, who did this to other people, was in another part of the country when he claimed it happened. He pulled the name from a news article or three. This was one of the most devastating things he revealed to my parents. to have him lie on that scale about this issue completely threw my parents into pain, confusion and devastation. in my opinion it was harder to hear this than to hear his claim of abuse, at least for my parents.

    I think that few rehabs would admit this is a problem because they either care more about the insurance money than the patient or they think the claim is false. I know several people hwo work in rehabs that think that every person on the planet is addicted to something. At one point one of these people tried to convince my family that I was addicted to books. This person thought I needed inpatient treatment for 90 days to recover from this. I was working full time, parenting without major problems, active in my community, and this person had actually never even spoken to me. She 'knew' I was addicted because I usually had a book to read when I took the kids to the playground. Period. That was her entire argument. My mother laughed at her.

    Rehab IS big business here in the US. Sub abuse is a huge problem, esp as some rx medication use is now considered abuse in some areas even if it is prescribed and monitored by a doctor and the medications are taken exactly as prescribed. I am sure there are places that would cover up any instances of false addiction claims simply because it would hurt the bottom line. I also think there are MANY sub abuse treatment providers who would claim that statements like your daughter made are a symptom of denial and this would make them think her sub abuse problems were bigger and more serious than your daughter has claimed when she was claiming the sub abuse problems. I don't have a clue how to figure out how to identify and handle this issue reliably.
  9. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Hmmm I think I have a slightly different take... so your daughter is 20 so is beyond the teenage years of just adolescent posturing... of course many of our kids are immature but then that is a problem in itself. It seems to me that either she has some mental health problems, causing her to create such extreme drama that she is lying about a substance abuse problem or she actually does have a substance abuse problem and is in denial about it to you and maybe to herself. Many of our addicts here deny they have a problem... and I certainly think time in rehab can enhance this feeling where they probably meet people with a more serious substance abuse problem then they have.

    So the fact she is in treatment is a good thing and hopefully they can help her figure out if she is getting the right kind of treatment for whatever is going on with her.

  10. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I agree with TL. I guess maybe it happens that some fake addiction but I've never seen it. From my experence most young people go to great lengths to convince themselves and everyone else that they are not addicts. Who wants that kind of attention? on the other hand once they get into rehab they see people much worse then they are and they begin to think their problem isn't so bad.
  11. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Mentally unstable person? Or person who for other reasons acts out seeking attention. I have to say I have seen much stranger ways to look for attention than fake addict. And for others addict may be just much more acceptable option to mental illness. Much easier to say you are alcoholic and that's why everything goes like it goes than admit that you are for example bipolar.

    And let's face it, when talking about young persons one of the easiest ways to shock your parents is to claim you for example use heroin. And some kids do a lot for shock value. Around here there was a time when attention seeking kids claimed to be devil worshippers because certain religious group managed to get their people to media and even schools to warn kids from devil worshipping and crime related to that. After media attention died out, so did our prevalent 'devil worshipping problem' among our kids. haven't heard about any kid claiming that in years.
  12. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    You have really seen people faking addiction that often? Who would have thought.