I just discovered my 17 yo is doing drugs

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Josie, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. Josie

    Josie Guest

    I am not really a new member, but I changed my name and started over to protect my daughter's identity. We had trouble with our daughter when she was in elementary school, but things had straightened out for the most part. Unfortunately, I recently found out she is doing drugs. I really think, based on all of the evidence, that it is a new development. However, she doesn't seem likely to stop.

    I have always thought, based on her ODD childhood, that if she didn't want to do drugs, no one would be able to talk her into it. On the other hand, if she did want to, I always felt, no one would be able to talk her out of it.

    She has said online that she wants to do drugs and live a hardcore party life. I found some LSD in her room, so I know this is not just talk. And, we aren't just talking about weed and alcohol, though that would be bad enough. She will be 18 in a few months.

    I know we can't just lock her up in her room, but how do you let your teen go out when you know this is what they have in mind?

    Any advice from parents who are further along in this than I am?

    It is hard to know what to do that has a chance of stopping this potential train wreck, without making things worse. So far, she has been mostly accepting of the fact that we are not letting her drive and has not left the house without our permission, but she is starting to get that defiant attitude about it. We live in an area with no public transportation and pretty far from her friends.

    If I didn't know about this, it would seem her life is pretty on track. She has a job and gets decent grades in AP classes. She is applying to some competitive colleges and will probably get some scholarships. I am obviously distraught over the thought of her throwing that all away.
  2. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I'm sure others will be along to offer suggestions and support. All of us know what you are feeling right now as "the realization" moment is not one that can be forgotten. Personally (and certainly subjectively, sigh) I think it may be harder to absorb the concept that teens who are having success academically, socially, competitively etc. etc. make this choice. What to do? There are few choices that work for noncompliant bright 18 year olds. Maybe someone will be more helpful but I wanted to let you know that I'm sorry...and I care. Hugs DDD
  3. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Yikes I wouldn't go back to those years for all the money in the world. My difficult child did throw her college opportunity away and instead did pot/alcohol pretty much 24/7 and then got involved in some pills and other drugs that to this day I still don't know the extent of. I don't know how you head off a train wreck and believe me I tried everything. The only thing that worked for my difficult child is time, time to grow us and realize she blew a lot of opportunities and is now paying for it and will for the rest of her life. While she is no longer doing drugs she is stuck in a minimum wage job and her chances of ever doing better is slim.

    Is there anyone your difficult child respects that can try to get through to her? What are her friends like? Are they into drugs?
  4. Josie

    Josie Guest

    She has some friends that are not, but she has made some new ones who do. She actually looked for people to do it with. It isn't like she was offered it and gave in. Her very best friend does not and has tried to be a calming influence, I think.

    Nancy, I have been on this board a long time and used to think your difficult child was the older version of mine. I thought I had escaped the worst of her story but maybe not.
    Lasted edited by : Oct 22, 2013
  5. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    I can imagine how distraught you are. I once had two "gifted" talented boys who threw it all away for drugs..one is still spiraling. It is such a waste and such a shame.

    The one thing I have heard (not sure if it will give you hope) is that the later the onset of drug use the sooner they stop. Now, even having said that, since your daughter is under 18 (even by just a few months) drug rehab might by you all some time. I don't know. It would at least keep her safe and give her an education about AA and what continued drug use may cost her.

    You might want to consider going to Al Anon meetings...the support can really help give you some insight and answers as well.

    I am so sorry your daughter is using and potential throwing away so very much that she has going for her.
    Hugs to you,
  6. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Well-Known Member

    Oh man, I really hope she doesn't throw it all away. My difficult child is now really understanding the effects of what she threw away. She got her GED at 16 and has never had a job for more than a day. She is now 20 and desperately trying to find a job. She has nothing to put on a resume and no experience to offer. She is having a pretty bad time at it. :(

    I wish I could tell you what to do, but at her age, I don't know. There was nothing we could do with ours even at 15 because she was over the age of medical consent. It doesn't sound like your daughter is getting into any trouble with the law so that isn't an avenue. Is it just LSD that you found? I know it is not good, but LSD is not addicting...
  7. Josie

    Josie Guest

    I just found the LSD. She says she doesn't like alcohol or weed and would never try anything addictive like meth or heroin. Hopefully that is the case. She acts like she has done all the research and there is nothing to be worried about. I wish I thought that. I obviously don't necessarily think she is telling the truth though.

    I would not like it if I found alcohol or weed but I don't think I would be quite as freaked out as I am. She has either progressed pretty far or just jumped ahead to more serious drugs.

    I think we would be wasting our money on rehab at this point because I don't think she is addicted and I don't think she thinks there is a problem. Really the only problem is my fear of what could happen.

    We are taking her to an attorney tomorrow to talk about possible legal consequences if she were caught.
  8. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Well-Known Member

    Honestly, I used lsd a lot in high school along with pot and alcohol. I never knew anyone to have adverse effects, but others on here have... it is still an illegal substance in your home. You have the right to demand she not bring these substances into your home.
  9. NotMyKidd

    NotMyKidd New Member

    I first came to this board 9 years ago when my son was 15 and I discovered he was doing meth. He is 24 now...

    I am posting to you because if you are thinking anything like I was thinking 9 years ago, you are thinking your kid won't turn out as bad as some of the other kids on this board. Yeah, I actually had the naivety and audacity to think that. It's because it was so foreign to me, and he had such a bright future, and we were a "good" family <rolling eyes at myself> that I could not fathom he would continue to make a mess of his life and ours. But, at 24 he is still a messed up human being.

    I'm posting this to you, because I don't want you to fall into the same trap I did. I have believed it Every. Single. Time. he has told me he was clean and was going to stay clean, over the last 9 years. But they can't. They will lie, cheat, and steal to get more. Oh sure, they might get clean for a while and even get a decent job and maintain a decent relationship. But eventually they fall back to old habits and lose everything. My son has had and lost 8 jobs in the last 5 years. He has wrecked 2 vehicles and destroyed another one by not putting oil in it. His car insurance premiums are $550 a month. Guess who pays the bulk of that...

    Now, having said all of that, let me also talk about my daughter. Maybe, just maybe, your daughter will turn out like mine. She too turned to drugs when she was 17, but I didn't know about it. With my son, I knew it within the first 6 months. With my daughter, though, I didn't really know because she did it after she moved out of our house at 17. Her moving out was actually for good reasons - She graduated from hs a year early with honors, moved out, got a good job, and has been a productive member of society every since. She is now 28, is married with two beautiful kids, has been at the same job for 11 years and has been promoted to a prime position, and just bought a beautiful new home.

    But, from 17 to age 20, when her first child was born, she did drugs off and on. Meth. She wanted to be skinny. I don't know how she kept that job. Well, yes, I do - Meth makes you work fast with little to no sleep, so she excelled at her job and no one knew. When she got pregnant with her first child, she stopped the drugs cold turkey and is now an strong advocate against drugs.

    Thank God the drugs in her body did not harm her baby. He is now a bright 7 year old in second grade, reading at a 4th grade level and doing math at a 3d grade level. I hope to God he never turns to drugs like his uncle...

    So, hopefully your daughter will turn out like my daughter. I really do think mine didn't stay on drugs because her reasoning for going on them was different - to get skinny. Whereas my son went on drugs because he is not as strong a person as my daughter. Ah, I could list his shortcomings, but I will save that for another thread, rather than your thread.

    I really, really hope this is not the beginning of many years of tears, stress, worry, anger, etc for you. I hope your daughter realizes a life of drugs is not what she wants.
  10. comatheart

    comatheart Active Member

    My son is also 17. He was an AP student, football player, amazing artist (even winning first place in the whole nation a few yrs back)...

    I'm not even sure when it started to turn exactly. He talks of use as early as 15. We really had no idea. Looking back, there were red flags, but we believed his stories. He struggled with depression, but he kept his grades up and attended school regularly etc. Anyway, at some point he couldn't keep up anymore. The lies escalated, stealing, grades falling, dropping out of activities, crashed 2 cars, went through 4 jobs...at this point we knew he was experimenting more heavily and his psychiatrist suggested we get him into an inpatient substance abuse facility because our time was short. She explained, after he turns 18, we won't be able to make him go. We were actively looking for a facility when he tried to hang himself 20 minutes after my husband confiscated his pipe. He's in rehab now.

    I guess my point is that it can take a bad turn pretty fast. If I were you, the first thing I'd do at this point is take her for a drug/alcohol assessment. They will talk to her, TEST her (I don't think you said if you've given her a drug test to verify that's all she's using? From what I've seen so far in our journey, Drug addicts are EXCELLENT liars!) and then tell you what you should do. Whether that's individual or group counseling, an Intensive Outpatient program or Rehab.
  11. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    My son too was an AP student and varsity athlete who went away to a great school and started using " just "pot and alcohol and made partyng the center of his freshman year. As a result, he lost his motivation entirely, gained an argumentative attitude for the first time ever, became and complete liar and threw his future away. Sure, many kids can balance it- but many cannot. Mine became what we used to call a burnout. He was once a bright, motivated, clean cut kid on his way to a PharmaD. He is now a 21 yo liar & slacker attending (or not) community college, living once again in an apt he tried to sneak past us, with no money left after working 60 hrs a week at $20p/h + overtime all summer. He got a paycheck on Friday & went to visit friends over the weekend & I'm pretty sure he's been sleeping it off ever since. I am at the pause at the top of the roller coaster again.

    I am very concerned that your daughter is so outspoken about this and that she is making a hardcore life her goal. Especially if it's new behavior. Why the change? Could there be some trauma that precipitated it? I hate to even say this- but often an assault can trigger a goal like hers.

    I'd get her into counseling as quickly as I can. Bribe her with the car keys. And honestly, I'd be very hesitant to send her away to school. I'm concerned that her experimentation will lead to full blown drug use once she has more freedom.
  12. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Josie I am wracking my brain trying to figure out who you are (you don't need to reveal that). I agree that rehab is not appropriate right now. I often wonder if we jumped into that too soon but there really wasn't anything else we could do to get her away from that element. She tells me to this day that she was not an addict, just wanted to be free and wild and was able to forget her problems when she was high. To see her now I am amazed at her transformation. She is living with her boyfriend who has a 5 year old daughter he has custody of and my difficult child is so wonderful with her. She tells me how she wants to keep her away from bad kids (they live in an area of town that is very poor and has a lot of problems). She has started the proces of getting two of her tattoos removed because she now realizes they have restricted her employment. She is cooking dinners and cleaning and goes to work every day at 6:15 a.m. When she was 18 and living in the basement of a heroin addict's house I was sure she would die. If my difficult child can turn it around yours can too.

    The fact that your difficult child is doing well in school is a huge plus factor. Getting her into counseling is probably the best thing you can do right now. Hopefully her best friend will stick with her. I know all about the druggie friends they find when they want. Ask my difficult child now and she will tell you how they are all losers, but at the time they were her new bffs.

    I agree it's risky to allow her to go off to college. That was my difficult child's downfall for sure. And yet I also know she will give up her scholarship opportunities, it's a tough call. For my difficult child she had no scholarship and we just wasted a semester of tuition.

    Keep posting, we have all been there and we care.

    P.S. If you've been on this site for a long time then you know the struggles we've had with our difficult child in terms of her adoption and her treatment of us. She has never been so loving to us as she has the past year. She was just over yesterday and hugged me and told me she loved me. She is always telling us how she doesn't know what she would have done without us and how grateful she is for everythign we have done for her. We have wonderful conversations now and she never asks for anything and is very grateful for any help we give her.
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    LSD is VERY serious. Not to throw a rain on the parade, but I know a few kids who became psychotic due to bad trips and a few who had terrible flashbacks. I'd be petrified if my daughter was doing LSD. Just wanted to clear that up. It may not be addictive, but just one bad trip can land you in a mental hospital and screw you up for life. Our neighbor's girl across the street thought she was a witch after taking LSD and was unable to snap out of it before spending a year in a mental hospital and finally being put on antipsychotics. Another girl...a friend's daughter...felt very unreal after LSD and thought she was a ghost. In the hospital, some housekeeper forgot to put the cleaner away and this girl drank it up to try to kill herself and was fortunately found and saved. The hospital was in deep chit. Her father is a lawyer.

    Now she is much older and off all drugs, but sometimes she has flashbacks which terrify her so she is also on medication. Psychedelics mess with your brain and stability and while some can luck out, others can ruin their lives. And lastly a boyfriend of mine took psychdelics just as he was driving on an expressway (he had not told me). When I found out, I begged him to let me out, but he wouldn't. There were two back seat passengers who pleaded with him to let him drive, but he said, "Not my fault, YOU can't handle it. I can!" Well, he didn't and we almost crashed. I had to grab the wheel and swerve the car from hitting one in the next lane. After that, he seemed to realize...and pulled over so his friend could drive. I could go on and on as most of my friends took psychdelic, mind-expanding drugs. I lived in a rich neighborhood and LSD was extremely popular there...and dangerous. Pot, which I also don't like, is nothing compared to LSD. This was the drug of choice in Upper Class, IL.

    Can you get her to agree to go to a drug rehab? If not, there is very little you can do other than make sure you stop the money flow so that she can't afford to buy any drugs and to maybe take away the cell phone and internet so that it is harder for her to connect with her friends.

    At 18, you have other options.

    Sending prayers in your direction.
  14. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    I think you have a hard balancing act to do.... be open to talking to her, listen to what she has to say, and do not overreact!!! At the same time be cautious with your eyes open. I think the fact she is doing well in school, has a job etc is a huge plus and you want to encourage all of that so she keeps it up. If she is feeling good about herself and her accomplishments she will be less likely to turn to drugs. I think offering her some therapy and help is a good idea. I think I would hold off on pushing rehab... because in rehab they meet plenty of others who are into harder core stuff and you might want to hold off on that at the moment.

    I dont have any real answers since my difficult child is a complete mess which you will see if you read any of my posts.

  15. Josie

    Josie Guest

    I am petrified that she is doing LSD. Partly because of what could go wrong but also because I am worried about where this will end. According to my research, only about 2% of high school seniors have tried it. That puts her in the top 2% of drug users! Even if she is just experimenting.

    On the other hand, overreacting could make things worse. When I was a freshman in college and home for a visit, my parents found alcohol in my suitcase. I was 18 and the drinking age was 19. There was talk of cutting off my college money, but that didn't happen. I did not feel my drinking was out of control and I finished college in 4 years with good grades and got a good job. I never developed a drinking problem but I did do a typical amount of drinking for a college kid. If we refuse to pay for college, she might get into even worse trouble, and she will be without a degree for sure. If I had not had that experience as a young adult, my definite inclination would be to cut off her college money.

    It is very alarming to me that she is saying she wants to live a "hardcore" party life. I am not sure there is much to be done to stop it, other than make it as hard as possible for her to do it. We are going to cut off her allowance and gas money so she will have less money available.

    One thing that is different now is that she started taking Prozac in June. We thought she might be depressed. She didn't go out much and she didn't seem to care about her grades. She seemed to have friends at school though. She started going out more with her old friends but also decided to find the new friends that use drugs. Could the Prozac be influencing this? Our therapist doesn't think so, but maybe I should ask the doctor who prescribed it or take her to a psychiatrist? We just got it from a PCP not a psychiatrist.

    She told me today she had decided that it wasn't worth the hassle, meaning all the trouble she has been in. I would like to believe that but I am suspicious. In looking through her room today, I found a bunch of untaken Prozac pills. Prozac interferes with the affects of LSD apparently, so this is a troubling sign.

    Al Anon or something like that does sound like a good idea for me.