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Old 09-04-2012, 04:10 AM   #1 (permalink)
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18 year old daughter using?

Good Morning,

I am writing this with a heavy heart as are most I would assume when they come here for help. My daughter has been changing for the past few months. I thought that it was just from graduating high school and searching for independence; however, I'm starting to believe more is going on.

My daughter turned 18 in June and immediately started talking about moving out. I encouraged her to save her money and in September when winter rentals are plentiful, to look then with a friend for her own place if that was what she really wanted to do. (We live in a resort community, so winter rentals are offered in the off season long term). She chose not to save money and although she had gotten a lot of money from graduation, she started receiving notices from her bank that she was overdrawn. When questioned, she said that since she was a new member at the bank they hold the checks for a long time and some had just not cleared yet.

I was skeptical but not suspicious at this time. Almost 3 weeks ago, she moved out the day after she totaled her car by running it into a tree. She said she slid off the road. Her dad got angry and yelled. She used that as an excuse to move out, saying he treated her horribly.

She has been withdrawing from our family. I have tried to keep in contact these past three weeks and she hardly responds. Yesterday, I went to confront her and her pupils were pinpoints and she seemed so different. Her attitude has been hardened and she shows no emotion. I'm afraid she might be using Opiates after doing some research, but wanted some insight from people. What should I be doing???
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Old 09-04-2012, 05:23 AM   #2 (permalink)
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madkarma,

I am so sorry for what you are going through. Addiction is a chronic, progressive disease that involves not only the addict, but everyone who loves them.

The good thing about your situation is that your daughter has moved out, and is financially independent. That makes your role clearer - it's very difficult to set boundaries with "emerging adults" who still live under your roof. She is making some adult choices - very bad choices - but they are hers.

The other good thing about your situation is that she seems to be still "early" in the process. Some addicts experience a "high bottom" when they realize what's happening in their life, either on their own or through an intervention, and decide they want to escape the chaos of addiction. Unfortunately, for many, this doesn't happen until they have lost everything. I pray that your daughter comes to her senses soon, but you need to prepare yourself for the fact that she will make some really horrible choices, and that there is not a lot you can do about them...they are her choices.

What you should do:
  1. Drugs are expensive, and she will not be able to support her lifestyle very long with her paychecks. She will begin asking you for money (for food - or seemingly "reasonable" requests) - don't give her any. Be careful about giving her access to your home - as most addicts start stealing by stealing from their family.
  1. Read the stickies at the top of the forum- they have lots of good information about addiction and the effects of the disease on the family.
  1. Go to an AlAnon or NarAnon meeting. You may need to try a few before you find one you "click" with, but the people who meet at these meetings will become your primary source of support as you begin your journey.

The rest of the "mama posse" on SR will be by soon with more experience, strength, and hope.
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Old 09-04-2012, 05:34 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Hi Madkarma: Welcome to SR. I wanted to answer your new post and assure you that others (including lots of mothers/fathers) will be along to post their ESH (experience, strength, hope).

I also am the mother of a 27 YO AS (addicted son). The story you told above about your daughter is very similar to his behavior when he was graduating from high school. I had many red flags but really did not know the truth of the situation for months and months afterward.

My suggestion is to start reading - there are sticky posts above to read. There are posts that mention good books to read. My suggestion on a book I found helpful is "Addict in the Family" by Beverly Conyers (I think available through Hazelden). The book spends a lot of time focusing on the behaviors that we see in our loved one and our natural responses to those behaviors. And of course the author then moves us to changing our responses so that our loved one can feel the full psychological, physical, mental, financial strain of their choices which gives them the best chance to make that inner decision to change. But all of this takes time - probably longer than you had hoped.

You are going to get a lot of advice to go to Alanon or Naranon, and I am encouraging you in that also. These meetings are places where you can verbalize your fears, experiences, whatever. There is no judgement at these meetings. When it is your turn to talk (should you choose to), you will not be interrupted. These meetings are confidential and anonymous. No one outside the meetings will know that you attended, much less what you said.

Life is a journey. Your daughter's choices will impact you and the rest of her family big-time. Even if you are the only one who chooses to educate yourself and go to Alanon/Naranon, all your family will benefit by osmosis.

Keep coming back!!
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Old 09-04-2012, 05:38 AM   #4 (permalink)
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My AD has an opiate addiction and the first big sign was being overdrawn at the bank and then subsequent desperate acts to get money. If your D is already losing all her cash to drugs, then things will get worse when she runs out. Expect lies/manipulation/theft to follow.

I pray that your suspicions are wrong but it would not hurt you to educate yourself about addicition- there's a lot of good info on this forum and the web and you might want to look into recovery resources in your area (eg detox/rehab options, support groups for you and your family such as NA/AA/FA).

Please take care of yourself because codependence can be terribly destuctive when an addict is involved.
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Old 09-04-2012, 06:38 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Is she employed?
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Old 09-04-2012, 06:51 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Hello, Madkarma. Welcome to SR.

From what you are describing, yes, I would be very suspicious about drug use. She could have been using much longer than you realize and I say this because it's pretty hard to detect at first because it really is just a mood elevator -- you won't see too many alarming signs until they go into withdrawals. At that point you will definitely see frantic efforts to get money and it is always an 'emergency'! They need it right now because "the store is gonna close" or "they're gonna turn off my electricity in the next hour" or "my tire is flat and I have to get to work right now!"

My son is now an IV heroin addict (progressed from pills) so I've been down this path for a while -- 6 years. It will be hard -- very hard -- but the only thing you can really do is NOT give her money (or gas, or rent, or food, or fix her car, or bail her out of jail, etc) and NOT allow her to live in your home. So, for now, just do that. As we say often here, "More will be revealed."... and it will be.

We're here 24/7.
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Old 09-04-2012, 01:37 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Hi, Madkarma. Welcome to SR. So sorry we are all here for the reasons we are.

I am the mother of a 22 YO AS. Your story of your daughter's graduation money disappearing and of bounced checks sounds sadly familiar to me. That's the progression my son's addiction followed as well. His DOC (drug of choice) was opiates. He has attended 2 out patient treatments and our insurance will now cover in-patient treatment.

I would highly recommend attending Nar-Anon or Al-Anon meetings. I found an Al-Anon group of parents finally about 5 months ago and wish I had followed the advice to start going 5 years ago! It helps.

We moved our AS into an apartment with his girlfriend and another roomate Saturday to begin his 5th year of college. Claims to be clean over 6 months but this will be the real test. He paid 6 months worth of rent and we have made it clear this time we will not pay rent, food, bills, etc.

Please keep us posted. You will find many on this form who have long-term experience and solid advice. It's a wonderful, caring group.
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Old 09-04-2012, 02:39 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Hello, I am another member of the Mama Posse. My AS is 22 years old and currently in jail. He has battled with heroin since January of 2010 but confessed recently to me that he has been doing drugs since 18 and has been extremely unhappy. He had a job when he was 18 but also never had any money. We didn't experience him stealing from us until around March of 2010. We forgave him and got him into IOP after he detoxed. He relapsed within 3 weeks. It is a battle so my advice is immediately seek help for dealing with an adult child addict.
Pinprick eyes and change of behavior sound like opiates, which is so expensive, most of the opiate users change to heroin, snorting or smoking first but moving into using needles for the greater rush they get.

This is the LAST thing you want to experience so please learn as much as you can about opiate abuse, and do not give your daughter money. Hopefully she hits a bottom much sooner than my son has.
Keep reading, keep asking, we are a strong bunch of Mama's
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Old 09-04-2012, 03:29 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thank you for all of the posts already. I posted that and went to work and just was able to get back on to check. I really wasn't sure if that is what it was, but reading your posts is haunting.

Yes, she is employed. And, she is supposedly going to classes at the local community college, but I question that. She works a few days a week for very little, so she doesn't have a lot of money coming in.

She is living with her boyfriend and his family. They are providing her with a car to drive to school and to work. My husband just talked to the father and I think that arrangement will not last long, so I don't know if she will want to come home then or not. I want her home. I guess I still feel like I can fix her if I can get her to talk to me. I know that is naive.

I'm going to go read the stickies now and check into getting that book. Thank you again for all of your great responses.
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Old 09-04-2012, 03:44 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I am so sorry =(

You can't fix her. She may be young but she is technically an adult. I'm several years older than her and I often still feel like a child.

I've never had a problem with drugs but I have problems with alcohol. The summer my alcoholic tendencies were at their worst I put my family through hell. I made me Mom cry, my Dad feel helpless to help her...my brother and sister not want to be around me... then I decided I had enough of them trying to "control me" (when really they were just trying to HELP me) and I moved into one of the worst neighborhoods in Boston with my coke addict boyfriend whose now in jail.

My parents TRIED to stop me. They really did but they couldn't. They can't control my drinking, no one can. No one besides me. No one can "save me" or "fix me" they tried setting limits and telling and begging and none of it worked.

I still found ways to drink. I was employed at a minimum wage job and didn't have much money. I have probably blown hundreds and hundreds of dollars on booze since I've turned 21.

I guess I'm just sharing my story to say that I have parents that tried to stop it and they couldn't. She is going to have to face the consequences of her actions someday.

If you confront your daughter she'll lie. I found myself lying all the time and I didn't even want to I just didn't really know what else to do. Lying just becomes second nature, sometimes I'd forget I was lying.

I lied about how much or how often I drank so many times that I often forgot what was really truly.

I would suggest a program for her but she's 18 so you can't force her to go. And it won't be any good unless she's willing to go.

I'd say when/if she comes home you do your best not to enable her. If she wants to go out and waste her money and leave home then those are her choices and she has to live with the consequence of her actions.

Sometimes that's what a person needs.

What do you know about this boyfriend? His family? Her friends? Are they using? Are there a lot of drugs in your neighborhood? Where I'm from I know kids who started using when they were 14. So I don't think there is any such thing as "too young"
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Old 09-04-2012, 04:26 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Count me in on the Welcome Wagon, though I too am sorry for the reasons. You are so smart to be thinking about this and asking for signs. I am the mother of an 18yo (recently)RAD who used heroin for two years before we ever knew. You are smart to watch her eyes, behavior, and use of resources. Take the advice you will get here very seriously. I am new to SR and have found much support & advice from seasoned parents and loved ones here. Priceless.
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Old 09-04-2012, 04:40 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madkarma View Post
She is living with her boyfriend and his family. They are providing her with a car to drive to school and to work. My husband just talked to the father and I think that arrangement will not last long, so I don't know if she will want to come home then or not. I want her home. I guess I still feel like I can fix her if I can get her to talk to me. I know that is naive.
The hardest thing I ever did was telling my son he couldn't come home. We did an intervention and he agreed to go to treatment. The interventionist advised that we send a letter to him two weeks into the program that let him know he could come home after he was clean for a year. I wept when writing it, and then cried for the two weeks while he decided whether he would go live with friends or take our offer of an extended care program. Shortly before the end of his extended care program, when he discharge date had been agreed, he called and asked if he could come home. We said that it wouldn't be a good idea. This was a very good move on our part, as he relapsed a few weeks later (a week before his one year clean date). Through the grace of his HP he pulled himself out of his death spiral after 5 weeks (he refers to that time as "malignant May"), and has been actively working a program of recovery ever since.

He has a key, and spends the occasional night at our house(the same as our other adult children do) but does not live here...and never will again.

It is natural for a mother to want to keep her children close. When your daughter asks if she can come home, you don't need to say "no" - just say "you can come home after you complete a program of recovery." You don't need to discuss the duration...just let her know that you will support her if she chooses recovery, but that she will probably lose her family if she continues to use drugs.

There is an interesting postscript to my son's story. Over the past few months, my son and his roommate started suspecting that their third roommate had started using again. (All three young men were in recovery when they started rooming together.) It was interesting watching them go through all the crazy-making behavior-- snooping in his room, calling around to see where he was, deciding whether or not to demand a pee test. They finally decided to let him know that he had a choice- he could stop using or leave. He decided to move out. Unfortunately his parents let him move home with them.

Be strong - do not let her back in your house. It will not help her, and it will destroy you.
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Old 09-04-2012, 05:49 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I would wait until she ASKS to come home. Tell her you will meet with her to discuss it and then drive her straight to the lab for a hair follicle test. If she is using drugs a hair follicle test will tell you what she has been using for the last 90 days. Do not give her warning that this will take place -- there are methods they can use to cheat the test. If she refuses the test, you will also have the information you need.

She has to want recovery to have any kind of chance whatsoever. So, when will she want it? When the pain (consequences) of continued drug use is worse than the pain of quitting -- only then.
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Old 09-04-2012, 07:25 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Ugh. It is a lot to take in and I feel powerless. I'm not even sure if she is using or not. I guess if she wants to come home then she can be tested. If she is positive then a recovery program will have to happen. How long do Opiates stay in your system to be detected by a drug test?

Her boyfriend I have met a few times. She only met him a few months ago. My husband has talked to his father and he seems very nice. Her friends? The ones who are around now she has only known for a short time. Most of her friends that she grew up with have gone off to college.

Is there much hope that this is something else and not drug use or am I just holding out hope where there is none?
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Old 09-04-2012, 07:43 PM   #15 (permalink)
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madkarma, my heart goes out to you. From what you describe, I would suspect drug or alcohol issues.

Have you suspected drug use before? Alcohol use? Of course, I have been so fooled in the past that that may be a moot point. How dumb I was

Could you take her to your family doctor to rule out other physical reasons why her eyes may be dilated? While there, request a COMPLETE drug screen without her knowing ahead of time.

I don't read anything you wrote that would indicate not letting her return home or live at your home. Was there a reason she wrecked the car? Could she simply have poor money management skills?

However, I absolutely would explore your concerns about drug/alcohol issues. But, if the drug screen comes back positive, you would have to explore how you feel about her living at home. In my experience, it's a living hell.

The fact that you sought to post here seems that in your Mama heart you suspect something is quite amiss.

I was so fooled. You seem to be willing to tackle this issue head on!

With compassion,

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Old 09-04-2012, 07:47 PM   #16 (permalink)
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As parents we always hope! And as parents we always over think and over react. Just my opinion.

It seems to me from your posts that this is early days for you in understanding where your daughter is and what she may be doing. My first recommendation based on my experience would be to create a very very open environment for her to share and talk. I did this and learned a lot from my AS about what he was doing and where he was in his addiction. Not all of it was true and I didn't get the complete story and details but what I got from it was the information that he recognized he was out of control and needed help. If I hadn't just left an open space for him to talk without my wanting to control or drive a conclusion I never would have been given the gift of understanding when he truly wanted help.

Certainly....my situation is different than others. But I truly believe if we are quiet and leave space for "our addicts" to speak then we may see places where they are asking for something healthy. Of course there are many times when they are asking us to support their addiction....these are times we need to set our boundries and set limits. But I really believe that there are moments we can grab hold of and dip into that can help.

Key to learning the difference between helping and enabling comes from reading A Lot about addiction...going to Alanon...Alanar meetings and reading a lot on SR! The healthier we are the healthier they have the ability to become.....
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Old 09-05-2012, 04:22 AM   #17 (permalink)
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According to her boyfriend's father, he talked to her and says that she is coming home tonight after work. I was skeptical as to whether she was really working (the information that I had received was that she only works on weekends since she is in school now) so I had my sister speak with her manager at work (they are friends) to find out that yes she is scheduled to work tonight. Her bf's father is letting her take his car to work and then here and her and my husband will drop it off in the morning before he takes her to school, assuming that she has been going to school. He said he wants that time with her to really talk to her. I'll be at work at that time. I hope that he will be on board with me about a drug test. He said he is just concerned about getting her home and then evaluating the situation from there. Wish us luck. I'm reading everything I can get my hands on and I'm still not sure. I do believe that it is early in the addiction if she is in fact using. Thank you again for all of your help.
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Old 09-05-2012, 04:36 AM   #18 (permalink)
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We hope and pray that we are all dead wrong about this, of course!! We'll be thinking about you!
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Old 09-05-2012, 07:30 AM   #19 (permalink)
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madkarma, you have my prayers and support that your daughter sees this as a good opportunity.
Hugs,
Teresa
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Old 09-06-2012, 09:03 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Well, she came home last night as planned. It was late because she came after working, so she didn't get there until 10:20 or so. She offered to submit to a drug test when I asked her if she had been using. She admitted to smoking cigarettes, which she had never done before and drinking one time while she had been gone but adamantly denies drug use. I am planning on having her tested since she is willing. I have an appointment with a counselor for myself this afternoon and told my daughter I would like for her to see someone too. She didn't say anything, so I'm not sure whether she is willing to go that route or not. Her eyes and demeanor seemed fine last night. I'm not sure if I was barking up the wrong tree or not. Any insight from you wonderful people???
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