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I have a great 18 y.o daughter. She gets decent grades, she's responsible, and she’s a pretty good person in general. But some things she does lead me to believe she's using drugs. It started when she was around 13. One night I was walking past her bathroom and I heard her throwing up. I asked her if she was alright and she said she was fine. I happened looked through my medicine cabinet and noticed almost half a bottle of tynol (sp) PM gone. I still wasn’t convinced that she took them all. I didn’t want to embarrass her by bringing up that I heard her throwing up so I never mentioned it. Over the years Ive noticed other things. My husband and I have been given cough medicine w/ codeine for bad coughs and we have a few bottles. Now I noticed all the bottles have been watered down. Im thinking shes taking some out and replaceing it w/ water so we wouldnt notice. Theres also sleeping pills, and other sleep medications that are missing. Not much though. Shes very smart at not taking so much that we notice. Some days she'll sleep for about 18 hours straight. I especially dont like that part since she usually gets up at 4:00 in the afternoon and it screws up her sleep schedule. She seems to know a lot about pot too like drug slang and passing drug tests. I've searched the desk in her room and didnt really find anything but drawings of pot leaves and bongs. Im not sure if shes actually smokeing pot Im thinking maybe shes just curious and looks this stuff up on the internet. How do you know if your kids using drugs? What are the signs? I know this probabily all points out that shes using drugs but before I bring it up w/ her i want to be sure and have actual proof. I dont want to accuse her for something she doesnt do. Thank you
 

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It sounds like you need to follow your intuition on this. Since she's 18 you don't have much legally that you can do (someone correct me if I'm wrong). If she were younger I'd say to talk to her pediatrician or school counselor.

Honesty is the best thing. Maybe approach her in a very loving, non-threatening way and just ask her if she's been using those meds and ask her if she wants to talk about it. Express your love for her on a woman-to-woman level, not parent-to-child.

Good luck mama!
 

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OK- a few thoughts. If she's experimenting with drugs by abusing prescription medication, then yes, she's curious, but almost certainly not in contact with a dealer, and her peer group probably don't use drugs recreationally. Both of these things are big positives.
Am I right in thinking that Tylenol is the American brand name for paracetamol? Because if I am, it doesn't have any benefits recreationally- but a 13 year old would probably be daft enough to take several to make a period pain, or a routine stomach-ache, go away. The same with the cough mixture- only a teenager would bother using a cough mixture, and if she did, it would probably only be to help her sleep. I think you've jumped to a lot of conclusions here,
Pot imagery is a huge part of counter-culture these days, just as the campaign for cannabis legalisation is one dear to the heart of so many liberals over here. I'm not saying that she doesn't smoke dope, but at 18, as long as she knows about the potential side effects, I'd trust her judgement. I'd also ask how you feel about going through her room- maybe at 18, it's time she had her privacy?
The sleep thing- I hear rumours that sleeping until mid-afternoon is normal for teenagers- something to do with brain development at this time of life. Certainly, so many people complain about it that I know it isn't just your family

Maybe one thing you could do would be to ask her to join you in a yoga class, or Tai Chi- spend some time together as friends, but help her to learn some alternative relaxation techniques.
HTH- but seriously, it sounds like you've done a good job and raised a fine young woman. All you need to do now is to open the lines of communication between you so that she can come to you when/if she needs help.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by flapjack
Am I right in thinking that Tylenol is the American brand name for paracetamol?
Yes, that's it. The generic name of the drug in the US is acetametophin (I'm definitely NOT spelling that right!). I found this whole business very confusing when I first moved to the UK. Something you have to watch out for with Tylenol/paracetamol is the possibility of overdose leading to liver failure. It's not super common, but can apparently happen even at relatively low (over)doses.

Thinking back to when I was 18 (it wasn't actually that long ago - I'm 26 now), I used to sleep all I could. I think it was partially to do with just being a teenager (flapjack is right, teens need more sleep than the rest of us) and partially because I was depressed. I just couldn't bring myself to get out of bed.

I was also smoking pot occasionally (less than once a month), and really enjoyed it! It was lots of fun and I'd still do it if I knew where to find some.
:

So my thoughts would be to worry more about the possibility that she's self-medicating for depresion (i.e., If I can just sleep all the time, then I don't have to deal with any of this) than the ramifications of occasional marijuana use. Darshani is right, you should be honest and not at all threatening. She's not going to open up to you if she senses disapproval right off the bat.
 

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there's nothing routine about a recurring stomach ache or menstrual cramps so bad they need medication. Is it possible she's in physical pain? Don't dismiss her complaints of abdominal cramps. If she says she hurts, she probably does. I did many of the same things you describe your DD doing as a teenager, all because my belly hurt and nobody would listen to me or believe me when I told them and tried to get help (medical or otherwise). I was just sent to psychiatrists instead, which didn't help at all. You said these things started when she was 13? Was that around the same time she started menstruating? I've had menstrual cramps so bad they made me throw up, too. It wasn't until I was 29 that I was diagnosed with endometriosis, and by then it had gotten very severe and the pain was debilitating.
 

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I would ask her straight up. Don't be threatening and get angry, but it's important she get help if she is using drugs. Pot? I wouldn't be all that concerned but the pill thing yes…

I did a lot of drugs as a young teen, which wasn't all that long ago so I am pretty up to date on what kids are doing. Lots of pills, that's big. It might start with whatever you can find around the house and then you end up snorting oxycontin. I wouldn't wait around to find out, I'd ask her now. If she isn't doing drugs than great! But if she is it is best to be able to offer her help before it gets out of control.

I may sound overly alarmist to be concerned, but I watched all my friends go from taking their parents medicine to snorting prescription drugs to shooting up. I did my share of drugs but I was lucky that I never got in too deep. Not everyone is so lucky...

Quote:
The same with the cough mixture- only a teenager would bother using a cough mixture, and if she did, it would probably only be to help her sleep.
Actually the point of the cough syrup is to get a cheap trip… Lots of teens down cough syrup (robotussin in particular) for that reason. I'd be concerned about that.
 

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Hugs to you mama.....

I would sit down and talk to her women to women..express your concerns...share your love...that is truly all you can do...

Addiction(I am in no way suggesting that your dd is an addict) is frightning for loveones and even more frightning for the addict. I was raised in a 12 step family, grew up in the music industry..My mom ..my brother have fought addiction as long as I can remember..Now..I worry about my DS(21)..BUt I know that choosing to use and choosing to get clean can only by choosen by the one who is using.

Your daughter my be defensive when you talk her or she may be very open..
I would lock Meds you have that are mind altering( things that make you sleepy...pain pills..anything with codine...

Blessings to you..take care of yourself mama...

edited to add...I am not sure if I would ask her is she was using..(why give her a chance to lie...when a person is in active addiction, to say"I am not using" is the norm...just tell your concerns..what you have noticed missing in the house..)
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by CrunchyMamaToBe
I was also smoking pot occasionally (less than once a month), and really enjoyed it! It was lots of fun and I'd still do it if I knew where to find some.
:

: You live in Cambridge, don't you? I believe the dealers hang out on Parker's Piece! Ahem
:
 

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I'd address it with her too and if you are both open to it, explore options like some mentioned and even have her see a naturopath or something.

From what I've read, I'd be concerned that she may have pain (as someone else mentioned) and trying to get rid of the symptoms with pain medication.

I'd also be concerned that she continues with pills and it could lead to further prescription addiction down the road.

Encouraging a healthy lifestyle will go a long way towards keeping her healthy mentally & physically.

I agree that it's time to really talk about the pain she may or may not be in and what is really going on with her.

Good luck.
 

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I think it's pretty obvious that your daughter has been using drugs (and trying to hide it from you) for five years. Is there a reason you have never said anything to her before?

Consumer drugs were the big thing when I was a teenager (and I took my share of them) and, imo, they can be just as dangerous as street drugs. I know people who got addicted to consumer drugs and had problems just as large as they might have had had they gotten addicted to street drugs. This is not something I would take lightly or easily dismiss.

I agree that you should not ask your daughter whether she is using drugs. I think you should tell her that you know she is. I would not tolerate ANY drug use in my house (other than using medications in the manner in which they are prescribed), so if it were me I would tell my 18-year-old that as long as she wishes to live with the family, eat with the family, and socialize with the family, she will not be using drugs. I would also request that, if she wishes to continue living with the family, she be screened by a drug and alcohol counselor. I would also ask her whether she thought she would benefit from some regular counseling.

If she denied the drug use or refused to seek help for it, I would request that she find another place to live.

I am sure I will get jumped on for being overly harsh, but drug use is a very serious thing to me and I would not tolerate it in my home and I would not enable my child by allowing them to continue living with me while using drugs and refusing to get help for it.

Good luck to you.

Namaste!
 

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I can understand your concern and think you should probably have calm, reasonable, non accusing conversation with your daughter about your concerns. Perhaps you can do some reserach ahead of time about the dangers of abusing OTC drugs (which seems to be the main concern) She may not be receptive but at least she'll hear you. Hopefully it's nothing and she's not really "using" but only experimenting a bit. With all you've said it just doesn't sound like she's a pothead, just a teenager. I could have slept all day too at 18.

With that said, you've noticed this behavior for 5 years and are just now saying something? And you've resorted to searching her room? If I was your daughter I would feel so violated knowing my Mom dug through my things looking for evidence.(especially at 18) Perhaps you could have said something earlier.

One thing struck me in your post. You said that once you heard her throwing up and then looked at the pills. Do you think maybe she just happened to get sick? Perhaps she just wanted to handle it herself and not have you hover (I know my mom would have). I wouldn't necessarily equate that with drug abuse.

I hope that things work out okay. She sounds like a great kid overall and I'd give her the benefit of the doubt and discuss your concerns non-threateningly. take care.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by calpurnia
: You live in Cambridge, don't you? I believe the dealers hang out on Parker's Piece! Ahem
:
Oxford. Ahem. :LOL
 

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First, go through your medicine cabinet and throw out everything you don't absolutely need. Move everything but aspirin, advil and regular tylenol to a lock box. She does need access for cramps and headaches. Then calmly tell her that you know what she's been doing, and it's going to stop. Offer her your help. If you think it would matter to her you can tell her that it's illegal to take something prescribed by another person. I would give her the phone number to a few counselors and let her know that you'll pay for the appointments for her. But I'd put it in her hands to make the appointment for now.

HUGS,
Heather
 

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Another vote for just asking her. She may lie of course, but on the other hand she might tell you the truth and you would be able to help her.
When I was her age I started having problems with insomnia. I used whatever my parents had in their medicine cabinet just to help me get to sleep at night. Lortab, xanax, cold medicine, cough medicine, whatever, as long as it made me sleepy. I was not using drugs recreationally at all during this time. This could be what's going on with her, or her cramps could be severe like another poster said.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by dharmamama
I think it's pretty obvious that your daughter has been using drugs (and trying to hide it from you) for five years. Is there a reason you have never said anything to her before?

Consumer drugs were the big thing when I was a teenager (and I took my share of them) and, imo, they can be just as dangerous as street drugs. I know people who got addicted to consumer drugs and had problems just as large as they might have had had they gotten addicted to street drugs. This is not something I would take lightly or easily dismiss.

I agree that you should not ask your daughter whether she is using drugs. I think you should tell her that you know she is. I would not tolerate ANY drug use in my house (other than using medications in the manner in which they are prescribed), so if it were me I would tell my 18-year-old that as long as she wishes to live with the family, eat with the family, and socialize with the family, she will not be using drugs. I would also request that, if she wishes to continue living with the family, she be screened by a drug and alcohol counselor. I would also ask her whether she thought she would benefit from some regular counseling.

If she denied the drug use or refused to seek help for it, I would request that she find another place to live.

I am sure I will get jumped on for being overly harsh, but drug use is a very serious thing to me and I would not tolerate it in my home and I would not enable my child by allowing them to continue living with me while using drugs and refusing to get help for it.

Good luck to you.

Namaste!

This would make me so angry. What if she ISN'T doing it? How would she feel, being told to find another place to live, for something she didn't do?
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by kirei
This would make me so angry. What if she ISN'T doing it? How would she feel, being told to find another place to live, for something she didn't do?
Well, the mom did say she believes she's doing drugs. I'm not advocating just walking up to your kid and throwing them out for doing drugs if you don't know that they are doing them. If this mom knows her kids is doing drugs, I don't think she should ask her if she is. I think she should tell her she knows.

My mom asked me several times whether I was doing drugs (when I was using both consumer and street drugs). I said no. I had a good relationship with my mom, but I was not, at 17, going to say, "Hey Mom, thanks for asking! Yes, as a matter of fact I am doing drugs, and I welcome the opportunity to discuss it with you!" I think it's rather unrealistic to expect that most kids are going to want to discuss this with their parents.

Drug use can destroy people. You can't love someone out of a drug addiction. If this mother's child has a drug problem, a loving talk about it isn't going to change things. My mom knew in her heart of hearts that I was doing drugs or she wouldn't have asked me. She should have TOLD me she knew and DONE something about it. But she didn't want to make me angry or make me think she didn't trust me. She was more worried about my anger than my drug use, I guess. I see that as a bad parenting move. Luckily, I was able to move on from drugs on my own. Many people are not.

If told this mom what I would do if it were MY child and I knew he/she were doing drugs. It can make you angry if you want, but it's not about you.

Namaste!

Ps. I personally don't think that people should use mood altering chemicals to get high. At all. But I know that some people can use mood altering chemicals and not have a problem with them. The scenario this mom described scares me more than had she told us that her kid sits on the couch on saturday night and smokes a joint. I would be less inclined to believe that the occasional pot smoker, who doesn't try to hide it, has a drug problem than I would the secretive drug user who has been at it for five years now! I did a lot of drugs, but I did NOT start at 13 and I only used drugs for a little over a year. This child's age when she started and the apparent length of her drug use, as well as her secrecy, scare me a lot
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thank you everyone for the responses
I do think if I were to bring it up w/ her that she would lie about doing drugs. Shes a good kid but shes no angel. Throwing her out has crossed my mind but I still dont have proof that shes into this. Im starting to think maybe I am jumping to conclusions. But even friends at school call her a stoner. When I ask her why they call her that she says she doesnt know or that other people tell her she has "that stoner vibe" The only other thing I notice her speech is slurred on some nights and she seems really tired. But thats still not good enough evidence. I think. Would drug testing be to dramatic?
:
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Panda602
Would drug testing be to dramatic?
:
At 18 that isn't even an option unless she gives consent.
 

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You can't force a drug test on a legal adult, which at 18 years old your daughter is. The sleeping all day wouldn't phase me at all-teenagers have different sleep needs and that is completley normal. In fact I've never met a teen who didn't do it at least occasionally.

But you do know that you've seen medications go missing in your home, and you've heard her throwing up and she didn't mention it. That strikes me as something to worry about. I would be more worried about a medical problem and approach it with her from that angle. Tell her you need to talk to her, that you've noticed certain kinds of medication disappearing and are worried about her. She might be dealing with something(abdominal pain, menstrual problems, insomnia, etc..) that she hasn't talked about. It might be something that's only occasional, so she thinks it's not a big enough deal to worry about. Maybe she didn't want to bother you with it. Maybe she thinks she should just be tougher enough to deal with it. So make sure she knows that anything like that should definitley be seen by her doctor, if it's enough that she's resorting to someone elses Rx it's serious enough to take it to a proffesional.

But do not, ever, accuse her of taking them, tell her you know she did it, unless there is absolutely positively zero chance on earth it wasn't anyone else. Could it be a friend of hers or something? Without her knowing? It's possible. And don't go through her stuff anymore, please, for the sake of your relationship with her. I still don't trust my mother, at all, with anything even remotely private or emotional or serious, because she did that. And I would get lectured about stuff I really wasn't doing!

Hope you get it resolved soon.
 

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I would be worried about possible medication abuse. I agree with the pp's who said she may have a physical problem that's causing pain that she may need help with. I also worry that perhaps she might be depressed (in which case, counseling would be very good.) I wouldn't worry too much about the pot, although she may be smoking a lot of it if she is in fact depressed. I wouldn't kick her out if you did find out that she's doing drugs, because this will not help her solve her problem, only make her depressed and want to do more drugs to take away the pain of having her family throw her out. Family is supposed to be there for you when you really need it, and if you are having a problem with drugs, you need the support of your family. And locking up the medications is kinda ridiculous, it isn't like she can't just stroll down the street and get some more. Anyways, scrambled thoughts from a tired brain.
 
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