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Are these signs my step daughter is using Meth?

Are these signs my step daughter is using Meth?

My Step daughter 18 - may be on meth, at least that's what I think. I am going to make a list of what I see that points to it, and what I see that points away from it. Help me out with what you think, ok?

1. As i posted a while back, I found a tiny bit of crystal meth in her room. About 1/4 teaspoon or so, in a little cellophane, folded up and placed in a little box. Said she was "holding it" for someone. My husband confronted her when she was obviously high and she looked him straight in the eye with her story, and he "gave her the benefit of the doubt." I was thinking, "WHAT doubt? It was in her room...?" a day or two later, when I confronted her she may have been coming down or something, but she was the picture of guilt - walked off, no looking in the eye, and went ballistic on me and was extremely verbally abusive.

2. That day she had been racing all over the place, up at 5:00 a.m., vacuming like crazy, extremely talkative, etc.

3. Tons of phone calls on her cell phone bill. They are mostly about a minute long. Not numbers we recognize, either. For example, there will be one from 555-1234 for a minute, then one to 555-6789 for a minute, then another one back to the first number, for another minute. Then a few minutes later, an incoming from, say 555-3456, another one to 555-6789 and another one back to 555-3456. All of these calls are close together, within minutes of each other. This often goes on for an entire day and into the night. My fear is, what if she is dealing or passing the drugs to someone...

4. Leaving every evening as soon as she puts her baby in bed, to go hang out at "friends." Calling late and saying she'll be home "as soon as i finish my game." And then going back over there for the whole next day, pretty much every waking hour (when shes supposed to be in school for her GED and isn't.) Coming home for an hour and a half, from the time I bring the baby home from daycare until he goes to sleep... then leaving again to "go hang out."

5. Admitting she had lied when she first moved in about her drug use, and that she'd been using meth right before she came to our house. As IF coming here was some kind of a "cure" and now if anyone even SUGGESTS they suspect she might be using, she goes ballistic.

6. Saying she hates meth for what it did to her Mom, but yet hanging out with active meth addicts continually. AND her Mom. Saying her baby's grandma #2 is slamming meth, and "He can't be anywhere around her, EVER!" and then two weeks later, leaving the child with tweaker grandma #2 (poor little child - BOTH bio grandmas are tweakers...) for 4 days, so she can go stay with her boyfriend....

7. Lies. Continual lies. About everything. Seems to actually believe her own lies.

And you know, my husband doesn't seem to see any of the above. What he says if I speak of my concerns, is true as well......

1) She doesn't have any sores.

2) oftentimes she doesn't appear to be high OR tweaking. But I say, how do we know what "high" is for her, most of the time? Are there variances in how high then get, I mean can they binge on this stuff at times, where it's noticeable, and then just sort of "maintain" at other times? I fear it may be like her Mom, where the times she appears "normal" or reasonble, or positive, just might be the times she is actually high... I don't know! I read the other day that a huge number of young people are using this, and in most cases the parents are clueless. To quote the article, "You can't tell who is using, anymore." Is this true?

3) We have never found anything was ever missing from our home. Ever. She appears to not steal things, at least not from us. My husband says if she was using, there would be stuff missing here. I don't know what to believe, and often have thought she has a "cover" that might be blown if she stole here at home.

I would appreciate your thoughts, because without a drug test, I really don't know whether to believe or not, side with my husband (who I fear is in denial) or keep watching. This is very stressful and hard on both of us, as he thinks I am "picking on" her if I say anything about it at all. So it is like this big elephant in the middle of the living room now, that we are not allowed to discuss. Somehow I don't think that helps.......

Loraura Re: Are these signs my step daughter is using Meth?
I'm sorry you are faced with this tragedy.

I can't think of a single ex-addict who holds meth for their friends, and hangs out with them all day and night, and isn't using.

Tolerance for meth builds quickly, and soon meth is needed just to feel normal.

Here is what meth is doing inside her brain which may explain some of her behavior.
Re: Are these signs my step daughter is using Meth?
It sounds like she's still using to me. From everything you said about her behavior.

I'm an ex-user.

Tell your husband she is stealing from you, she is stealing all the money she doesn't have to pay in rent, utilities, baby-sitting, food, anything else she'd have to pay for if she wasn't living with you. I know it sounds extreme, but it's part of what I did on my step #1 at rehab. Basically, it's how she's able to use money she would have had to pay for all those things and use it to buy drugs. She doesn't need to steal objects, she has all those expensive things like a roof over her head provided for her.

She doesn't need to have sores or look high. Some of her other behaviors seem to be signs, though. All the stuff you mentioned. It is a contradiction though, because she doesn't probably seem high every time she is. If she's been using for a while, part of the time she's probably just "maintaining" or just getting "normal" off her using, and not really super high.

It's really normal, I think, for a parent or parents (or other family/loved ones) to be in denial. My mom was. She kicked me out of her house for how I was behaving, and never even knew that behavior came from my drug use until much later when I told her. She was shocked to find out I'd done crystal meth.

I don't know really what else to say. I guess I would try to find some way to help her father understand that this is serious, and other, hopefully objective and believable, people who have been there seem to think these things you have mentioned add up to a problem.

I want to say something about her baby, but I have no idea what to say. Some of the other people here know a lot more about that than I do. Your step-daughter isn't breastfeeding that baby, is she?

I'm so sorry to hear about all this. I am glad that you came here and posted. There are so many good people here, with so much experience, strength and hope. I hope you will find some help, and continue to post as well.
Re: Are these signs my step daughter is using Meth?
I too am sorry you are going through this.
It does sound like she is using, no doubt.
Doesn't matter what "signs" you haven't seen...the ones you have seen are proof-positive, so go with those.

AND....to me,
THIS is one of the biggest causes for concern:

555-1234 for a minute, then one to 555-6789 for a minute, then another one back to the first number, for another minute. Then a few minutes later, an incoming from, say 555-3456, another one to 555-6789 and another one back to 555-3456
I think those sorts of calling patterns, especially if made periodically every few days to the same numbers, might be a "hookup" going on. Not as in "people arranging to get together", but, as in "people arranging to BUY METH from a dealer."
IF that's what's going on, then that means your step daughter is at least partly involved in the process of selling meth, if not THE dealer.
And if it's going on under your roof, then you are at great risk of being in serious danger with the law.

If I were you, I would skip the speculations, and take an aggressive stance now. Offer her the option of "going to rehab or going out the front the door."
And, change the locks.

Just my two cents.
Re: Are these signs my step daughter is using Meth?
I'm a recovering addict. I didn't steal or deal drugs to support my habit. I didn't have sores or act all wired all the time. I was strung out on the stuff, not using occassionally. When you are strung out you don't get high anymore really unless you really binge. For the most part you just get "normal". As a recovering addict I would never hold dope for someone, hang with active users and NOT get high. There is no way. Maybe for awhile but the addict will break down when it's constantly in their face. Especially when she is seeking out using environments. Sad that so many in the family are addicted to meth. Probably makes it really hard without treatment to stay clean, hell I wouldn't be able to. It's hard enough for me and I'm in treatment. Don't second guess yourself, she's using and you know it.
Re: Are these signs my step daughter is using Meth?
Well, yeah.....

To the breastfeeding question, no. She quit that when he was about 3 months old. I figured she quit so she could drink alcohol or something. Now I figure other stuff. He's almost 2, now.

As for the phone calls, no she isn't doing it "under our roof" as none of these people come over to the house. She leaves (with her cell phone) but this is what I have wondered a lot, what is with all those short calls. It just doesn't seem right.

As for the "stealing" because she is getting all this for free, meanwhile she spends her state assistance money (which she signed up for VERY against our wishes and advice) on drugs, no doubt, "steals" the daycare subsidy which is supposed to be hers because she is trying for her GED.... all this is, in my opinion, supporting her addiction. And you are right - it IS stealing, and just because she's not directly pawning things around here, doesn't mean jack, does it?

She won't even have her "friends" come inside if they stop to pick her up. I dont' think she wants her Dad to see them. My guess - she's ashamed...... I mean, I suppose there must be some shame left in there somewhere........

I hate that she goes on and on with phony outrage about all these "bad moms" who do drugs and have children... just a bs coverup, I think. Her dentist even asked her if she did drugs, after he looked at her teeth. She told me about it, saying "I said 'NO WAY!' I can't BELIEVE he thought I did drugs!!" Well.... the dentist sees mouths every single day, I think he knows what he's seeing when he sees it.
Re: Are these signs my step daughter is using Meth?
My daughter is very low keyed naturally and when she was using she seemed like she was just making more of an effort...no signs of 'speeding' at all. As far as skin goes, she had a bit of acne anyway so we couldn't tell by that.

I believe there are a lot of folks we see on a daily basis that ue and we'd never know.
pcejp Re: Are these signs my step daughter is using Meth?
I am the mom of a 17 year old recovering addict.

I am sorry you are going through this hell. Sometimes the signs can be so subtle. I could always tell my daughter was using by looking at her enlarged pupils. She was a great liar so I learned not to believe anything she said.

I think with parents it is so natural to be in denial even though the signs of their use are slapping us in the face.

Follow your gut instincts--they are usually right.
Re: Are these signs my step daughter is using Meth?
vacuuming like crazy
Red flag! Red flag!

(I used to be obsessed with vacuuming when I was using.)

You can tell I am "clean" today simply by looking at my carpets...
Re: Are these signs my step daughter is using Meth?
She's totally taking advantage of you. Does she pay rent? Does she buy food? Does the state know she's not attending GED classes but still using the daycare they've provided for her?

I usually work, I've worked since I was a teen. When I got pregnant I got morning sickness really really bad. I had to go on state aid to pay for my drug treatment mainly, after a couple months I found out I was eligiable for food and some cash assistance. I pay my Mother $150 rent, $100 for gas/cig's, the remaining $150 goes to stuff for my son that soon to be born. I use my food assistance to pay for the food I eat so I'm not a burden to my Mother. I HATE being on state aid but I had to get on it for the time being.

Since I've been on state aid the last few months I went back to school during the summer quarter. I took GED prep classes and completed them. I took all my tests except for math and passed them all. I want to take another math prep class before attempting to take the math part of the test. Math is the hardest subject for me. So I have to wait until January to enroll in the math class because my son is due 11/05 and I don't want to sign up for fall quarter and have to drop out mid way through when I have my son. My the way summer quarter is only two and half months long, I started late so I only attended class for about a month and a half and I passed the tests.

My point is this girl is taking advantage of you and the state. I'm embarassed as all hell being on state aid while pregnant. BUT.............I have used the time off work to go back to school and better myself. I've also used the medical coverage to get the proper prenatal care for myself so my son is born healthy. I use the dental coverage to get my teeth repaired so I can be a healthy Mom. I use the food assistance to feed myself and the growing baby inside me. I use the cash assistance to give my Mother rent and buy my son items he will need once he's born. I use the cash assistance to put gas in my car so I can get to medical and dental appts and to get to outpatient treatment and counseling. I don't buy drugs.

Once my son is born I plan on staying home with him for two months before returning to work. I will not stay on state aid when I'm willing and able to work. State aid isn't much and I miss working and having my own money. I miss the sense of pride and responsiability that comes with earning your own money.

My life was really crazy when I first got pregnant. I had just got into outpatient treatment and moved in with my Mom after moving out of my apartment because I couldn't pay the rent anymore I was so strung out. I had always been able to maintain my habit and my responsabilites up until that point. My addiction got so out of control and I wasn't working as much because I was high or in withdrawal so much that I got behind. I was addicted to heroin and tweak at the time. I got on a medication called Subutex my heroin addiction, I used it to detox. Then I got into outpatient treatment to get help I desperately needed. I stopped using and got on state aid. I had hit rock bottom, the low of the low. Living with Mom and being on welfare is rock bottom to me. I didn't let it get me down though I've just tried to use the resources the state has given me to take care of myself and better my situation which I have by staying clean and returning to school.

This girl needs some responsiabiliy. She needs to pay rent if she's living with you. She needs to get off welfare if she's able to work, her son's old enough for her to return to work. She needs to not take advantage of the state like she is. She needs to either go to school or take care of her son, he doesn't need to be going to daycare so she can go party.

She needs to get into treatment. She needs professional help. You or her father cannot help her like she needs to be helped. Some treatment centers let you take your child with you, other don't. If things don't change and she doesn't have to be accountable to anyone or anywhere she will continue to use. She needs a intervention.
Re: Are these signs my step daughter is using Meth?
Why are you babysitting the baby for free??
Who is signing that child care form for hours in order to get the daycare subsidy??

What she's doing is called fraud and effects mothers who REALLY do need daycare, assistant grants and food stamps. Is she getting WIC too??

Free rent???
Who pays the grocery bill??

Man, I wish I could have had it that easy in my using days!!!
What a nice little 'set-up' she's got for herself there.

are you kidding me, your husband is going to wait until he sees sores??? Okay, I never had not one sore or even visible poke mark. Sores are commonly in LATE stage use... she may not live to get sores. I used for a total of about 18 years. I've been clean now for 13+.

Have you and your husband read up on co-dependency issues.
You know, sometimes love is confused with proper support of NOT allowing the addict to 'nest' down and take 'advantage' of people's good intentions and state programs.

I never qualified for daycare assistance, even during illnesses. It made me mad to see women use state programs while they took naps or got high while their kids were in daycares or latchkey programs intended for those working or those seeking work.

People who 'abuse' our state programs supported by tax dollars only HURTS those who really are trying to move ahead in life. Those who help those funds go into the wrong hands or stand by and not act on those acts are just as wrong.

Honestly, if it was my daughter and my daughter was just wasting time and getting money from programs.
I'd charge her rent, groceries, and ask her to buy her own toilettries.
I would charge her for babysitting AND I would NOT babysit so she could hang out with a bunch of crackheads.

I'd make my daughter take responsibility for her actions. If it became a heated arguement, I'd ask her to move out. If I KNEW she was running dirty, I'd take/keep the baby.

I'd encourage her to seek treatment, provide her with ANY information I could dig up.

If she got out of hand and starting dealing, I'd turn her in. Yes, I would, I'd make her face a first offense rather than wait to see her hit bottom.

That's would I would do if it was my daughter and my grandchild.

Much peace with your situation,
Re: Are these signs my step daughter is using Meth?
and being a step mom doesn't mean you 'step' aside because she's not your biological daughter...

it means 'stepping up to the plate' because mom or dad won't, can't, didn't.

Re: Are these signs my step daughter is using Meth?
Reality is, her Dad and I are parenting the grandson. We have often remarked that the reason he is in daycare is because WE both work. That being the case, we are the ones who could and should legitimately receive help with daycare. But right now, it's not set up that way.... the daycare help is so she can go to school. And that's what makes it wrong.

Sad fact also, she is mostly illiterate, has extreme reading difficulties, etc. Now how much of this was caused by neglectful actions of her own mother, and how much was caused by her very young use of many kinds of drugs, is hard to say. But the problem is, it (plus all her other problems) makes her virtually unable to get a job, let along keep one.

I don't see any good outcome, nor any way that she ever could become fully independent, and with her current use of meth it is only going to get worse. So I keep my eye open for anything I should find, again... and if I do find it, I will go directly to the police, and not to my husband as I did before. I think he didn't make her get a drug test because he didn't think he could deal with the results and prefers to put his head in the sand and pretend it ain't so........ and I know it would be extremely painful to face, but that's not doing her any good.

I personally have too much to lose, if this goes on too long. Not to mention the negativity of living under the stress of it, as I have been very clear all along that I will not live with an active drug addict. And having to compromise my own values is so bad for me...... I think I have to be true to what I know is right and what I believe in.

As for why we babysit for free.... this is for the grandson, not for her. We are the only people in that little guy's life who aren't addicts, and my heart goes out to him.

The daycare thing, I can't and won't sign on that line anymore. I've spent my life as a civil servant, and I got as far as I did by having integrity and conscienciously looking out for the taxpayer's money. It is part of my beliefs and values, and I think people who rip off the system are selfish un-American pigs.

I admire you for using the system to better yourself, that is what it is intended for. Congratulations on how well you are doing. The programs work, if used for that purpose and I think they are a great thing. I, too, was a single mom for many years, and did not take state or any other assistance... even though I was very poor. I WORKED. ANd I got ahead and advanced in my job, and I succeeded because I was honest and worked my way up from the bottom, raised 3 wonderful, independent, honest kids.... and didn't do drugs or any of that other junk. If any of my own kids would have brought that into the house, I would have given them the choice of going to inpatient treatment or showing them the curb. Period. Either way, they would have been out - much as I loved them, that is how it would have had to be.

See also:

Daughter is Using Meth

Signs of Users on Crystal Meth

Back to Crystal Meth & Methamphetamine Questions, Answers & Advice

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