new I paranoid?

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by MomOntheEdge, Feb 4, 2015.

  1. MomOntheEdge

    MomOntheEdge New Member

    Hi everyone
    I've never been so relieved to find an on-line forum as when I found this one. I have 1 child - 16 yr old son - Difficult Child is an understatement. Oppositional Defiance Disorder, plus just enough Narcissism to really make it fun. Here we go - I'll try to make it short, while not leaving anything out.....
    Difficult Child smoking pot on a daily basis (maybe 5-6 days a week), started heavy use about 8 months ago. Was skipping school, ignoring curfew completely, telling me rules that he doesn't like don't apply to him, lashing out verbally when I refuse to give him money, manipulation to the tenth degree. Got suspended for a day from school for having paraphanalia on him - I put him in 3 week outpatient behavioral therapy for drugs and ODD. He made a big joke out of it and caused trouble with the other teens in the program. Completed the program - no medications were prescribed (he won't take them anyway) - and now curfew is being obeyed, and outbursts are much better - then starts stealing/drinking all the alcohol in the house and leaving the evidence just right out in the open - even after grounding and phone removal, and laptop removal and bedroom door removal for having sex in the house with his (older) girlfriend - still smoking pot and stealing cigarettes, alcohol, and I believe he stole my Xanax prescription and likely sold it (I have anxiety disorder and need the Xanax when I travel for work). So...Newest development - while looking for a lighter in his room, I found 2 hollowed out pens with the ends melted. Of course my fear was Meth use - so I confronted him last night and all Hell broke loose. He was so offended and hurt that I would suggest such a thing he was crying in hysterics (drama is his middle name...or should be) and he refused to go in for a drug test to his caseworker from outpatient.

    I felt terrible for accusing him of such a thing. He idolizes my brother who is a recovering Heroin addict (8 years clean YAY!) and said he would never try any hard drugs because he knows his uncles story. He has admitted to trying Acid numerous times, plus Molly, and then this drinking thing that came out of nowhere - not stealing just beer, but polishing off almost full bottles of Tequila and Vodka and then filling them up with water!!! We don't usually have hard liquor in the house, but there was stuff leftover from Holiday parties, etc.

    I guess there's no way to make this a short story. Back in October he was complaining of anxiety and panic attacks so the doctor prescribed Lexapro, which he stopped taking after a week, and a 30 day Xanax script that I could hold onto for him in case of a panic attack - yeah he sold that whole bottle as soon as he could get his hands on it. Now I have all medications, cash, and his phone kept in a safe under my bed at all times. Again - something that thoroughly OFFENDS him. Please. I need some help. Maybe I'm making mountains out of molehills and this is all normal teenage crap. Anyone?

    Thanks in advance. I raised him 100% alone and I can't help feeling like I royally screwed this up somehow.
    I got married for the first time 2 years ago and while that is nice and I love my husband - it's hard to go through this with someone who is not as invested in him as I am.
  2. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Well-Known Member

    Oh yeah, they can deny with the best of them!! My Difficult Child could honestly make me question myself on whether the sky was blue...they are good - real good.

    Melted hollowed out pen is most definitely drug use and not the normal teen stuff. Of course he would not go for a drug test! He would be busted!

    He could be smoking pills or it could be meth. You do realize that molly and meth are pretty much the same? Molly is normally made of meth, bath salts and MDMA.

    My daughter's doctor was meth. She lost a ton of weight really fast and looked like poo. When she relapsed those were the physical two signs we had. She was extremely argumentative, lazy (which made no sense - taking speed you would think she would have at cleaned her room!), and often I would come out of my room to find her passed out on the couch when she was supposed to be up taking care of her son. I would scream at her to wake up only to come out five minutes later and she was asleep again. She wouldn't look for a job no matter how much we were on her case about it. Man, looking back, it was hades here!!

    My opinion is that outpatient is a joke. My Difficult Child went to a couple of those types of places - useless. But it is hard at 16 because a lot of places won't accept them if they don't want to be there. My Difficult Child would get herself kicked out each time. FINALLY, she reached a point of really wanting help and is currently in a long term residential program. I finally have hope, but she will be 22 this year and we have been dealing with issues for many years at this point...

    I am sorry you had to find us but you found quite the site here!! This place has been my rock all these years...welcome... <3
  3. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Your story sounds so familar to me. My daughter began smoking pot and drinking at age 14. She had always had a problem with following rules and there wasn't a week at school that I didn't get a call or note home about her behavior, from second grade on. By the time she graduated high school, and believe me she just barely graduated, she was smoking pot 24/7 and drinking every day. There were certain homes that were unsupervised and she knew them all. We had her picked up by the police and charged on numerous occasions. She was suspended from college her first semester.

    I'm wondering if your son complained of anxiety hoping he would get medications that he could sell. He is a minor and he is flirting with some dangerous things. You may have to involve the police at some point. The sad thing now is that with all the talk about legalizing pot so many kids think it's fine, that it will be legal soon anyway. For my daughter she allowed pot to take over her life, failing school, losing jobs, stealing for money to buy pot, lying, etc. All we could do was hold her feet to the fire and allow her to finally see the awful life she would have if she continued. She was homeless and living with druggie friends for a while.

    The good news is that she is a very responsible person today. She put herself in a very difficult financial situation and gave up a lot of opportunities along the way that could have made her life easier but she is doing much better now and no longer uses any drugs.

    I'm sorry to say but you probably have a few very difficult years ahead of you. My daughter was the poster child for ODD. Stay firm.
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  4. MomOntheEdge

    MomOntheEdge New Member

    Oh boy....I know I'm in for a long haul. Parents of teens really have their hands tied in a lot of ways. I can't call the cops because I never have proof of anything that I can show them - well actually now that I have this melted pen and the tin foil bowls that could be turned into the police... If it was just smoking weed on the weekends, and making good choice otherwise - I wouldn't make a big deal about it honestly. But the defiance and the combativeness is making me pull my hair out! I feel there would be physical signs of Meth use - and there is none. He's not losing weight, or looking nasty (besides the way teenage pot heads normally look), and he's not super hyper or super passed out.

    That's interesting about Molly being a combo of Meth, Bath salts, and MDMA - I had no idea. I thought it was more like Ecstasy. I'm not as aware as I thought I was. I guess I'll have to wait it out until the next situation comes up - maybe I'll take the melted pen to the police to see if they can test it??

    thoughts on that? Anything I can do with the police about the drinking? I never catch him in the act - I just find the evidence later.
  5. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Exactly. Like I said pot and drinking consummed by daughter's life during those years. I'm not sure I would contact the police for driking in your home. Lock all alochol up or better yet take it completely out of your house. If you find he is drinking elsewhere contact those parents if you feel they are approachable. I have contacted the police when I found out about drinking parties.
  6. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    We never knew the extent of our daughters drug useage until she quit and told us. We were stunned and scared just thinking of it. You will not know for sure. He will not fess up to an ything more than pot. The pen is for snorting. What he is snorting is anyone's guess. I did call the cops on my daughter for smoking pot in hopes of getting her help and also so she knew we took it very seriously and that it was not ok with us at all. From age 12-19 were a freakin' nightmare, but she did quit and she did it on her own.

    When your child dumps his drug friends, you will know he quit. It is lonely to quit. My daughter had nobody for a long time.

    Question: Does your son drive? If so, why? Aren't you afraid he'll kill himself or somebody else?

    As for this being normal teenage stuff, it is not. I have raised four other kids to adulthood and have had some problems with my oldest son, but drugs were not part of it. None of my remaining kids caused me ANY grief in their teen years. Their friends were nice kids.

    Your son is acting like a disrespectful drug addict. I am a huge believer in tough love, especially since it worked for my daughter. If it were me, I'd cut off all the money as I did my daughter when I found out about the cigarettes. That's right. I am very anti-smoking and would not give her allowance to buy them with and whenever I found them in her purse, i nto the toilet they went. The pot and alcohol were not negotiable. She is now thirty and when she was a teen not every c hild had a cell phone. She had a pre-paid cell phone, for emergencies only, a waste of our money sine she ran down the half hour increments the first day. But if she were being brought up now, I know myself and she would have to pay for her own cell phone, internet, and all else besides cheap but clean clothes and nutritious food. That is the minimum of what we have to do for our children and if she would break the lawl, then her life would not be pleasant. She tried to throw us off track about the drug use, but we found her having a wild party so she had to leave. That is when she quit. She was in a new state (we sent her to her straight arrow and kind of arse-hole brother who she knew would put her out if she even lit up one cigarette). She was lonely. Her brother made her work so she walked to and from Subway in all weather and became a manager. She met her boyfriend. She wasn't as lonely. She grew up slowly but was clean. It took us at least three years to believe she'd stay clean, but it's been over ten years and she and boyfriend have a house and just had a gorgeous baby and she has quit. And there was no drug she didn't at least try. She loved speed and to snort it, especially ADHD medications crushed in a pillcrusher, along with cocaine. She also did psychedelics and meth. And she tried heroin twice so I learned that you don't necessarily get hooked on heroin if you try it once or twice. She didn't.

    Today she is regular, boring housewife, no longer 90 lbs. due to the drugs and no longer lazy and crazy (hey, I'm a poet and I didn't know it!). Look, ya gotta laugh or you'll cry a river.

    Al-Anon helped me so much I can't even express it correctly on paper. I would have fallen apart without the great people who helped me through this. I honestly thought she was going to die. At the same time as going to Al-Anon, I had my regular therapist who I use for my mood disorder. I still thank them in my mind every day. Don't try to do this alone. It's too hard.

    Your son is getting to the age when he can do legally what he wants to do. You have hard decisions to make. Are you going to cut off any allowance that may be spend for the drugs, the magnitude of which only he and his drugs know? Are you going to still pamper him by paying for his cell phone and internet? Driver's Ed? I would make being tested clean for a year at a laboratory and seeing a doctor (psychologist) every week a mandatory fact if he wanted to even take driver's ed, let alone drive your car. My advice is further, do NOT BUY HIM A CAR. It is not helpful to buy our entitled, drug using kids their own cars. They usually get into many accidents that we are responsible for since our names are on the car. Don't reward him for going the wrong way. Make his life boring. Make taking drugs very boring. Make it hard for him to get around to see his druggie friends. If he'll go, put him in rehab and tell him very sternly, he will be leaving at eighteen if he doesn't take it seriously. Now not all parents can do that or want to do that. This is just MY advice and take what you like and leave the rest.

    Do you have other kids? Remember that they deserve a peaceful house, as do you.

    He is still young. There is still time. Tough love. No matter how he throw s a toddler tantrum and tells you he hates you, he will respect you more inside if you don't enable his behavior. We have to do whatever we can before they turn eighteen. After that, well, since legally they can do what they like, many of us have had to show our children the door and many have been homeless or gone to jail.

    Being nice and understanding does not seem to work with drug challenged children.

    ANyways, I said my piece. Please take good care of YOU. YOU matter as much as him, and you need to have a life outside of his drama...your friends and family who respect you, your hobbies, you likes, your guilty little secrets (we all have them!!!) and just sniffing the flowers Think about today, not ten years from now. We don't know what will happen in ten years.

    Hugs for your hurting heart and soul.
  7. MomOntheEdge

    MomOntheEdge New Member

    I have read many of your replies to other threads and I truly commend you for being so willing to share your stories and advice with all these moms and dads like me who are feeling hopeless and INSANE.
    Difficult Child does not drive yet - but he is just about to finish drivers ED, and I know his girlfriend (who I am VERY suspicious about) is letting him drive her car a lot - even when she's not with him (I secretly hope he gets busted driving with no license so it will get the law involved). I would not let him drive any cars until I have peace of mind that he is not driving will under the influence. My brother almost killed himself by nodding out behind the wheel 10 years ago when he was a heavy heroin user. I'll never forget it. I don't give my son an allowance - because frankly he's never met my qualifications to earn one. I give him $5 here and there for McDonalds - only when he's been having a "good week". I lock up my cash now since if there is $10 in my purse - it vanishes pretty quickly. Bu then I think...hmm - maybe I spent it somewhere and forgot. Maybe it fell out of my purse and blew away... what is wrong with me???

    No other kids in the house - he's my only one, the king of the castle. He has my full attention most of the time, but he abuses it usually by talking me into driving him somewhere or giving him something - even if it's just more data on his phone,,,,

    Right now he has no phone, no computer, and no bedroom door - so things must be pretty boring at this point. I'm running out of things to take away! Hi TV and his skinny jeans are next I guess.... I found another pen today with the end all melted - I'm taking it over to the police station in a little bit to have it tested. If it's something other than pot...what then? Where do I send him for rehab for teens? Will they take him without his consent?
  8. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Ask the police if they know of any place.

    Understand your son will not change until/unless he wants to change.

    Start taking care of yourself. In the end, we all become empty nesters and have to live our own lives anyway.

    I did not think kids snorted pot. My guess is he went ballistic when you asked if he was using more than justpot because it struck a nerve that he didn't like. They never tell us all they do and even drug tests don't show every drug our kids use. And the kids know what to use that doesn't show up.

    One last thing: Don't feel guilty for asking your son if he was using meth. He could be, even if he stamps his foot in indignation. In fact, that is sort of the way they tend to act when we nail it. He is probably using more drugs than you know. When you see a hallowed out pen, you have every right to ask about it. Your hosue/your rules/he is still a minor kid.

    Do not let guilt rule you. And find him a safe place to rehab. Once he is there, it is up to him whether or not to take advantage of the services offered. But you can feel good that you tried to help him when you still could. All we can do is lead a horse to water. We can't make that horse drink.

    Huggles for your hurting heart. We are with you.
  9. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    Hi and welcome,

    Your post could have been written by me when my son was 16. I also found empty pens all over, as well as other paraphernalia. He only tested positive for pot, with a full spectrum home test I bought in CVS. However, he was using meth also, but it must not stay in your system as long as pot does. In either case, it doesn't matter. He will lie if you ask him, so why bother? If it quacks like a duck... My husband made our son do the test in front of him, but if I were a single parent, I don't know how I could expect to do that. I can tell you that you can drive him to the police station and at your request, they will drug test him. I don't know how you'd manage that, though - you'd have to somehow get him out of the car and into the police station willingly - probably not going to happen. We invested in a full home alarm system, and set it every night because son was escaping out of the house after we were asleep. Lock your purse, house and car keys up in your room. Invest in a lock on your bedroom door that you can lock with a key when you leave your room. He won't be able to go in there and take anything of value. Isn't this sad? It's like living in a prison, but you have to do this. Remove the TV and skinny jeans. Take the pen to the police. This is warfare. If you're not giving him money, then he's getting it from some other means. No matter how manipulative he gets, you have to stay strong. We're here for you.

    Our high school had an excellent guidance dept. and mental health professional. They put us in touch with a psychiatrist who actually helped. The professionals at school got involved and we had meetings together with son. He was verbally and sometimes physically abusive - he smelled all the time, and his room and sheets had an odd, almost metallic odor. He'd kick our doors and walls and make holes everywhere. His skin broke out, he looked awful, and he lost a lot of weight. He was no longer himself; he didn't feel like our son - he didn't act human any longer. We were at our wits end - our home life was hell and we were always 2 or 3 steps behind what he was doing. Schoolwork was a zero. I felt like I had to play detective all the time. We live in a nice neighborhood and one of the dealers was an older teenager across the street. I remember running outside like a psycho screaming at this kid, and his mother for not doing anything. I became as insane as my son had become. My husband thought I was going to have a stroke. The good/bad news is they're always stupid enough to get caught eventually. Collect and hide any lighters, paraphernalia, etc. you find. If a police officer escorts him home, show the officer what you've collected, and tell them you would like him drug tested at the precinct. If he steals anything of yours, press charges. Our son managed to call CPS on me because he told the guidance counselor at school I hit him. When CPS interviewed me, I pulled out a large box of all the drug items I confiscated, and showed them the holes in our walls, and gave them a tour of his room. They closed the case, but if I hadn't had that evidence, who knows what would've happened? Find a resource at the school who will give you advice of where and whom to turn to next. Visit your son's pediatrician or even your own medical doctor an ask their advice. Inpatient treatment centers don't usually take kids your son's age unless mandated by the courts. I'm so sorry for what you're going through, and I wouldn't wish this on anyone.

    In our case, when son turned 18, we stopped supporting him entirely, unless he pulled it together. He had a taste of what the real world is all about, and we had finally agreed to stop chasing him and let consequences catch up to him. He's pretty much straightened out, but his personality is very manipulative and narcissistic whether or not he is using drugs, so we have a cordial, but somewhat distant relationship. But he works a steady, responsible job and goes to school full time, and has to cook and clean for himself, and go to the Laundromat, and food shop, etc. I will tell you that I do not ever want him to live with us again, even though he's not using meth. Too much water under the bridge.
  10. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    He is a minor, they don't need his consent, just yours. There are drug programs for adolescents. You can do a web search in your area or call some of the drug progrmas in your area and they may be able to refer you. There are probably several outpatient programs for teens in your area. Residential programs are harder to find. But start looking now so you have a backup plan if and when you need it. Like many I found myself looking for a treatment program in a crisis at 4 in the morning after she came home so drunk she urinated on the bedroom floor thinking it was the bathroom. I wish I had started looking sooner.
  11. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    I didn't read the replies. But what you child says is ALL BULLSH#T. Know that and you can really help him. I know you want to believe his strong and fierce.... Get him help. It's not the easy route. Hugs.
  12. stressedmama

    stressedmama Active Member

    Tough love, like MWM said. You only hurt your son when you enable him. Addicts are very resourceful. If he's not getting the money from you, he's getting it from someone else. My Difficult Child admitted to spending her days (when she wasn't at work) standing at the ATM machine telling people her card wouldn't work and begged money all day. I think she said she scored over $1000.00 in one day doing that. Flabbergasted does not come close to describing what I felt when she admitted that.

    I'm so sorry you are going through this. I'm glad you found this site...we all ended up here basically the same way. Researching, looking for answers, searching for some glimmer of hope.

    We are here for you. Hugs!
  13. MomOntheEdge

    MomOntheEdge New Member

    This is exactly where I'm afraid that I'm heading. He has only punched one hole in the wall so far (yay for me...ugh). His Girlfriend is trying to break up with him and now I'm more afraid that this first heartbreak will send him over the edge into destructive-land. We will see - this weekend looks like it might get interesting.
    I took the pens and the other odd paraphinalia to the police station - they weren't very helpful and honestly, they made me feel a little foolish. They said they could only test the pens for 1 thing so I had to give them an idea of what to test. I said I didn't know, and they decided to test it for Heroin - negative. They said he's probably just screwing around and it doesn't seem like a big deal. That really hurt me. It's a big deal to ME damnit. I don't want to wait until he gets arrested or is in the hospital!! I'll keep searching his room and being suspicious - I feel like a lunatic but I don't want to be looking back in 2 years and thinking...hmmm maybe I should have paid attention to those PENS!. Thanks for your story - it's so good to know I'm not alone. If I could fix his narcissism that would get me halfway there, but there's no cure for that.

    hugs back to you. Thank you to infinity.
  14. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Well... technically, no cure.
    You're right, YOU can't fix it. If HE wants help for it (a few do), there is help.
  15. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Ignore whatever idiot at the police station that acted like it was no big deal. They were being idiots. This is a big deal. The pen and foil bowls are signs of a LOT more than pot and alcohol. As to his being hurt because he would NEVER because he admires his uncle, that is a giant load of manure that is designed to make you feel bad and not question him again so that he can continue to do what he wants.

    It is actually good that the enabling older girlfriend wants to break up. He won't have access toher car or her $$ or whatever else she is providing.

    Do not EVER EVER EVER trust a doctor who gives a teen a xanax rx. There is absolutely ZERO reason to give that to a teen, esp one who is using pot or booze or acting out. There are TONS of other medications that are FAR better choices for treating anxiety, even for treating panic attacks, than xanax. Especially for treating anxiety and panic attacks in teens. I have dealt with anxiety, panic attacks and medications for several decades and I have yet to find a responsible doctor who would rx xanax to ME, much less to a teen (trust me, I was not a teen when I first needed medications for anxiety and even then the docs used other medications than xanax). Why? Xanax is a VERY short acting benzodiazipine. The shorter acting a medication it, the more addicting it is. It gives you a short period of feeling no anxiety and feeling rather goofy and without worry, and then you come down and need more. The medications that work better don't make you feel that way and last longer. They relieve the anxiety but don't make you feel goofy/high the way xanax does. They have a far lower risk of addiction and a far lower street value. If I were you, I would ask my own doctor for different medications to try for when you travel and I would not EVER have xanax in my home. I would keep it at my office for if I absolutely had to take it on a trip and I would NEVER fill a xanax rx for my child. Esp not since your child is using substances to get high.

    I would fire the doctor who gave your teen xanax, seriously. It is a completely irresponsible thing for a doctor to do. I am floored that a doctor would even consider it today, esp given your son's history.

    Keep being suspicious and don't buy his hurt act when you question him. Don't let him out of the drug tests again with that act because it is just an act. There is no way that he has ANY room to act hurt after the things he has done. Just taking your xanax rx is a serious FELONY as is selling his rx or even taking it all in a few days. The pen and the foil bowls are signs he is using drugs seriously. Don't let him fool you or bully you into leaving him alone.
  16. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    I second what Susiestar said about the police. I didn't have that reaction at all from our police. As a matter of fact, they even sent an officer over to our house to talk calmly yet authoritatively about what lay ahead for my son if he continued on his path. It did no good at the time, but I did appreciate it, and I didn't feel marginalized or foolish at all. The police also knew my son from that day on, and he always felt like they were just waiting for him to slip up. To this day, when he comes home for a visit, he always remarks about the police in this town who are so vigilant. I'm sorry you had such a frustrating experience.

    A mommy-gut feeling is usually right. Go with your gut. Gather as much information as you can, and do your best to get between him and the drugs. This is so hard, but it's the right thing.
  17. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    My story is similar in may way to Janes.....We had my son in many programs... when he was 15 we sent him to a wilderness program and then to a therapeutic boarding school. MWM is right they wont really change until he wants too..... BUT when they are young, drug use is not good for their developing brain. So I really believe that even though doing that did not solve the problem in the long run, it gave him 18 months without drugs for his brain to develop. I really think fi we had not intervened then my son would probably be dead now. So when they are under 18, look for ways to intervene if you can. So yes look at what programs are available in your area and what you can afford. Call the pediatrician for ideas, and there is a lot of info on the web.

    As far as the police.... call and ask if they have a youth officer. If they do call them... they often are more informed. There are great cops and their are lousy cops.... who knows who you got. They dont sound great that is for sure.

    After he is 18 it is pretty hard to intervene and that is the time to really let things fall as they may. If he continues on a drug path he probably will get arrested at some point and then the system gets invovled. That sometimes is a good thing. Some courts have drug court and that can be really helpful.

    My son is now 23 and at least for the moment seems to be getting his life together. But he has had some really tough times int he process....some time in jail and some time on the streets. Definitely very very hard to watch for me.

    So as others have said, in the middle of all this you have to find ways to take care of yourself. Find a live support group for parents such as alanon. Along with this website that has been a lifesaver for me.