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In denial about my daughter's use of drugs

In denial about my daughter's drug use
I'm new here too, and have been in denial about my daughter's use of drugs.  I have to admit that I'm fairly illiterate about drugs. My husband died 2 years ago, at a time when my daughter was going through her rough teen years. Since then, she has spiraled downhill. Because I've had to deal with so much in the aftermath of my husband's death, I've been oblivious to what has been happening to her. I thought the problem was that she was just a "lost puppy" trying to find her way. This morning I discovered a very small zip lock bag with tiny 8 balls on it. After doing a web search, this is where I landed. To be honest, I was very shocked that my search took me here (more evidence to my denial). I am now scared as to what I'll be facing with her. As I have read here, users are excellent liars ... and she is a pro at it. How do I approach her? How do I help her? Where do I go from here? Thanks for any help you can give.
Penel0pe Re: In denial about my daughter's drug use
Welcome to KCI.
Show her the bag and ask her what it is, and don't be too surprised if she isn't honest about it.. was there white residue in the baggie?
Just so you know, an eight ball is an eighth of an ounce of meth.

Talk to your daughter. I also recommend you talk to our own "Jacksmom" who has a minor daughter that has done well with her Mom's help - that is, of course, if your daughter really is using. Does she sleep? Does she eat regularly? Are there things about her behavior that make you suspect drug use? You said she is spiraling downhill - what is she doing?

IF she is using meth, you are in the right place. Hopefully she is not - show her the bag and ask her, don't accuse her.

And definitely come back here and let us know how you are doing - we are all here for you!
Re: In denial about my daughter's drug use
How old is your daughter, Mom? that will determine what we can advise.

Welcome to KCI- sorry for the loss of your husband.
And even more sorry for the reason you are here- but mighty glad you found us.
Re: In denial about my daughter's drug use
Thank you both (Penel0pe & imlostinky) for responding so quickly. When I looked in the bag (and smelled it), I thought it might be pot. There is a small green leaf in it. I have no idea what meth looks like. I only know what the bag looks like (clear zip-lock bag with small 8 balls on it). Even if this particular bag didn't contain meth, just the fact that this bag was used sends out a warning sign to me that she may be using.

In answer to your questions:
How old is your daughter? She's 19.
Does she sleep? She often complains that she can't sleep. Then stays up all night, and sleeps all day. She recently moved back in with me (after sleeping in her car for a week), and I've demanded that she be in bed by 11 pm and up by 9 am. She's already begun to push my buttons on this issue.
Does she eat regularly? No, her eating habits are poor.
Are there things about her behavior that make you suspect drug use? She used to care about her appearance, but now goes out looking like she just got out of bed. She drifts from job to job, and lies constantly. She's stolen money from my wallet, and I've had jewelry missing.

If I ask her about the bag, and she lies, what then? If I know she's going to lie, what purpose does asking serve? I'm just trying to get all my ducks in a row before I tackle the issue with her. Since I'm so illiterate about this issue, I want to be prepared.

Thanks for your help !
pcejp Re: In denial about my daughter's drug use
So sorry you are going through this hell. I am the mother of a 17 year old recovering meth addict. She now has over one year meth free. But the years of her drug use are still painful to think about.

First remember, this is not your fault at all. You DID NOT cause this, can't control this, and you can't cure it. Secondly, read everything and anything you can get your hands on to understand drug addiction. It helps greatly to get a handle on what your daughter's state of mind is.

My husband and I were "lucky". Our daughter was a minor so we were able to get her into treatment even though she did not want to go. We learned that we could not follow our hearts regarding this addiction. We had to trust the advice of the professionals, as hard as it was at times--this was our daughter.

Remember to take some time for yourself and try not to let her addiction ruin your life.
Loraura Re: In denial about my daughter's drug use
Green leaf suggests pot.
However, the other things you describe suggest pot is not the only thing she may be using.
She's 19. You can "demand" whatever you want all day long and it doesn't mean a thing. She is an adult and she has free-will. Don't be fooled by giving ultimatums, you have very little power here.

You DO have the power to accept her behavior, or ask her to take her behavior somewhere else.
You can ask her if she thinks that she might have a drug problem, and IF she says yes, you can offer to help her find recovery by helping her find phone numbers that SHE can call, or meetings that SHE can attend.

If she doesn't think she has a drug problem, I'm sorry to say, that the only options you have are to accept that you have a drug addict living in your home, and all the behaviors that come with that, or force her to leave your home, and take all the addict behaviors with her.
Penel0pe Re: In denial about my daughter's drug use
If I ask her about the bag, and she lies, what then?

Then there isn't much YOU can do - and since she is an adult, what you should do is take care of yourself.

I suggested you ask about the bag because there ARE addicts out there who are capable of being honest, some may want help and not know how or where to find it, and there are mom's and daughters who can communicate honestly.

If she lies, well, it sounds like you found some pot, but the not sleeping, not eating, and decline in self care suggests she might be using something else too.

There is always the chance she will be honest with you, if you ask her; there is always the chance she will lie too. If she IS honest, then perhaps you can direct her HERE if she wants to stop... and if she is DISHONEST... you need to take care of yourself.

Re: In denial about my daughter's drug use
Yep! You've described classic meth addict behavior.
Make some ultimatums for YOU, your daughter is incapable of keeping any promises or adhering to any rules you make.
Someone has to keep their cool and it won't likely be her.
Addicts NEED enablers....and cash!
NO cash for the addict! It WILL be spent on meth, regardless of what she says!  A meth addict can sell an air conditioner to an Eskimo if that's what it takes to get MORE METH!
Conversation rather than confrontation or condemnation, your daughter is mentally ill...not a bad girl, she's a sick girl, she has fallen into a deadly trap and will need some tangible outside help before any significant changes occur. Until she does get help, any changes will be for the worse.
Family heirlooms, available cash [your cash] and material resources become trading stock for meth [as you've seen].
Keep your credit cards safe along with anything else she can barter for dope.
No resources and a meth habit spell three things...
1. Lie
2. Cheat
3. Steal

As for YOU...make this forum a habit, the support and understanding here is awesome.
You'll need it in the days to come.
Re: In denial about my daughter's drug use
If it is just pot she's using then HOORAY!!! I wish that's all it was when my daughter used!!!
BUT.. I guess meth users will sometimes use pot to 'bring themselves down'. My daughter didn't. Pot wasn't in the game.

Pot won't cause her to have sleep problems, but if she sleeps too late in the morning she may just not be able to sleep at night. And truthfully...an 11:00 'bedtime' for an adult is odd. Maybe she's a night person. I, and my daughter (17), keep VERY late hours and always have; there's no way we'd be in bed by 11...it's just the way we are.

In any case eating issues and stealing AREN'T normal behaviors. I'd investigate. She's in YOUR house. I'd go through her stuff and see if I can find anything suspicious. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT!!! And don't let yourself get all insulted and hurt by any terrible things meth users will say to loved ones - water off a duck's back. It's hard but their minds are just screwed up and MEAN!!!

But being that she's an adult you have no control over her actions except to make her leave your home, or call the cops IF NECESSARY, (and believe me, 'necessary' happens!!!). She's stealing from you, this is something that should NOT be tolerated !!! If this continues in little bits, it'll just get worse. You could try and talk with her, but if she's denying it you can only OFFER getting her help.

My daughter was arrested and it's one of the best things that ever happened. First non-violent offense, she was sent to teen court, (drug court for adults...depends I guess), and HAD to complete a 7-8 month extensive outpatient rehab. This would have cost me a whole lot of money if she'd not been arrested. She also had anger management and community service. This all took long enough to keep her clean and lucky for us she's not wanting to go there (meth) again.

Sorry to hear about the loss of your husband and her father...but using meth is NO excuse for that! And this is what she may tell you...that she's depressed and you make her depressed and dad dying depressed...ALWAYS someone else's fault when the cat is out of the bag! She needs help soon or it's just going to get worse.

And DON'T deny. What's happening isn't going away until something is done. Don't let her DRAG YOU DOWN with her. Keep coming on this board and you will meet those who have been dragged into it. Results come A LOT quicker if you just stand your ground.

God I feel for you. It's horrible. BUT there are ways to get through it, and there are a lot of great people on this board that have used longer than your daughter is old. They know how the other side works and can give you a lot of answers and emotional support.
Loraura Re: In denial about my daughter's drug use
Good point, Jacksmom.

You have the right to search her room because her room is on YOUR PROPERTY which you are legally responsible for. Her "right to privacy" is an illusion when she is living in semen else's home. She can have all the privacy she wants when she has her own place. Until then -- You have the right to search and seize. I would absolutely do it.
In Denial
All of your responses are so wonderful, and I appreciate all the input. There are so many things I want to address, but for now I have a quick question. As a condition of my daughter returning to our house, she has agreed to undergo drug testing. I threw this out as a condition of her return; but the truth is, I don't know how to go about it. Does she have to see a doctor, or are there places to go, or over-the-counter tests that she can take? I don't want her to think that I was bluffing. I want to follow through with this. Thanks again for your input!
Loraura Re: In denial about my daughter's drug use
You can order home drug testing kits in many places on line, like this one:

For more options, go to www.google.com and enter "order drug tests" and searc.


 pcejp Re: In denial about my daughter's drug use
One of the conditions in my daughter's contract when she came home from treatment was in order to remain in our home, she needs to remain drug free. I will not hesitate to test her if I ever felt the need--trust, but verify.

When my daughter was using, I randomly tested her. But after a bit, I found stored "clean" urine in her room. I would recommend watching her when being tested.
Re: In denial about my daughter's drug use
You do need to realize that THEY KNOW when they'll test clean; my daughter did and I never got a dirty test. She'll be GLAD to take one when she knows the time is right. Really, the ONLY way is to maybe fork out some cash and keep a few around and test OFTEN.

A blood test can reveal traces IF she's been using a whole lot. My friend's daughter detected in blood, but mine did not.

I always tested at home when she was acting like an A$$ho7e which when she 'crashed'...no drugs to detect in the system at THAT time.

This drug is tricky...!
Re: In denial about my daughter's drug use
Urine tests are not always able to detect meth use.
Meth is in and out too quickly.
Timing is everything.

The time to test is when she is happy- somewhat normal- not necessarily overly energetic but just not being angry and irritable.

If she has been a real pain mood wise and that changes quickly to a reasonable human, then test.
In the beginning meth will give you a wired for sound appearance- but after continued use, it just barely brings you to a normal state.
Especially if you follow meth with a little pot.

Meth is usually a clear rock- but can be cloudy looking.
Always a hard substance though- rocks.
Even when it has been cut, there will be rocks.

Paraphernalia-   Empty pen casings.  Those were biggies with hubby.
Now he always smoked it on foil but a good many users will have a pipe- glass of some sort.

If she has been snorting, then you will see cut lines on mirrors - handheld kind.
Razor blades.  Again an empty pen casing or some sort of straw.

I agree with many of the posters here, it does sound to me to be more than just pot.  You do for sure need to search and destroy.
And yes, for sure SfJ, Danimal,Jacksmom- just to name a few- for sure hear what they say.
Right on target.
Re: In denial about my daughter's drug use
Mom, besides all of the other excellent advice you have been given above, perhaps a way to reach your daughter outside of the urgent and very serious issue of possible (probable meth or coke use) is to sit down with her and talk about your husband, her daddy. Reach down to the pain with love and share with her. I understand your grief and how it can cripple you as it can also cripple a child who has lost a parent. Un-shared grief can be so painful and please know that meth use for many shuts out those painful feelings and would be very attractive to your daughter. Grief could be the core reason for her possible drug use and behaviors that go along with it. If you haven't done any grief counseling with your daughter, this would be a very good time. Meth takes a hold of people-even the most loving wonderful people very quickly and I believe that you may be able to reach your daughter best with a caring and experienced professional counselor who has experience with addictions-meth experience hopefully. Perhaps a counselor could start with the grief and open up the the doors to the pain and reach your daughter a little easier than you at this first stage of hopeful recovery for her. I'm sure you are already so tired of the grief and pain and meth addiction is powerful and mean! Also, even if progress is slow, think about Al-Anon or Nar-Anon meetings. Find the groups in your area-they are for loved ones of alcoholics and drug addicts and very wonderful healing places for grieving people especially.

You are not alone
Re: In denial about my daughter's drug use
This is all such great information. I appreciate any & all advice you can give. I told her I found the 8 ball baggie, and she laughed and said, "do you even know what an 8 ball is?" Thanks to you guys, I was armed with a proper response. Her mouth dropped. Then she said, "that was for a dime of pot, Mom". I have no doubt that it was because it smelled of pot, and contained a tiny leaf. But, I told her that I'm suspicious that she may be using meth because of the bag the pot was in. As I expected, she denied it. I told her I expect her to be drug free, and that if she isn't, she can move back into her car. I also told her that I would be doing random drug tests as soon as I did some more research. She said she's fine with that. Since I now know that she may possibly be sneaky about hiding urine, and that I should test when she's alert rather than down, I will be cautious about how and when I test. My final word to her was that if she had any drugs in the house, she had better get rid of them now, or they're going in the toilet if I find them. I then ran an errand, and when I came home, the hall rug had traces of a white crystal type powder on it (I didn't notice it before). So I scraped up as much of it as I could into a baggie (which wasn't much). Now what? Can I have it tested?
Loraura Re: In denial about my daughter's drug use
You can order test kits for that, too. Goggle is your new best friend!

Or you can take it to a police station for testing.
Re: In denial about my daughter's drug use
You said a tiny baggie with 8-balls on it, right? Someone responded by saying a 8-ball is an eighth of an ounce. Let me tell you this--a 8-ball couldn't fit in one of those bags! The bags you described are often used for many different drugs from small amount of pot, meth, coke, X pills, various prescription pills like pain pills or benzo's. It's funny how people that aren't in the know think that because a bag has a certain pic on it that it means that's what's inside. Those bags are sold in "head shops" meaning shops that sell various smoking devices and papers. Some have pic's of anything from cows to clowns to pot leaves to 8-balls. It's just a bag with a pic on it, what was in the bag is anyone's guess. If it has white residue it could be coke, meth, or maybe dust from pills? When I used heroin, speed, coke I was the type that bought at least an 8-ball at a time and from experience I know a 8-ball cannot fit into one of those bags. Usually they come wrapped in plastic from a grocery store bag or maybe the corner of a Ziploc bag. I wouldn't assume your daughter is on meth because of that baggie, actually I would assume pot more than anything else. I always got those bags from pot dealers when I would by a $20. I didn't like weed much so I never bought in quantity. Don't stress out, don't jump to conclusions.

After reading jacksmom's post I realized a few things--She could be keeping odd hours because she's used to staying up late and sleeping in. That's not that uncommon for a young person that doesn't have much direction in life meaning no regular job or school she has to get up for. After rereading the posts I've come to the conclusion that the bag was a pot baggie-- a small amount at that. The bag it came in means NOTHING. Like I said before, these bags are mainly used for pot. The pictures on the bags mean nothing. My old next door neighbor is a pot dealer and a college student, he sells large and small amount of pot. He always has bags like that around the house to package $10-20 bags. I've seen bags with pictures of guns, pigs, dollar signs, 8-balls, all kinds of silly things. Pot stays in your system the longest by the way. About the sleeping pattern, give her some time to get back on a regular schedule. If she's been living life on her own terms for awhile she probably hasn't been keeping a regular schedule and it will take a week or so to get back on track. My brother is 21 and all the young people he hangs with keep weird hours and they aren't on drugs. They might smoke a bit of pot on the weekend when hanging with friends but that's it. I remember when I was young and I wasn't using hard drugs but I kept weird hours. I think I did because after all those years of being a child and having to go to sleep at a certain time I felt like I had the freedom to go to bed when I wanted to. The main problem I can think of when talking about her sleeping pattern is if she's sleeping all day she can't look for work or enroll in school. Instead of focusing on her sticking to a strict sleep schedule I would allow her to go to bed when she wants to but I would require she get a job or enroll in school if she wants to live in your house. Controlling when she goes to sleep is weird to me, sorry but it is. Asking her to be productive while living with you is not.
Re: In denial about my daughter's drug use
Thanks for the info about the bags. Knowing they are used for various things is a help. She said it contained pot, and I believe her because of the small green leaf that was in it. My concerns are more with her behavior at this point (and signs they may be related to more serious drug use). Although you may think it strange that I control her bedtime, I think it's reasonable. She has lived with me on and off since she turned 18. When at home, she would stay up all night, run up & down the stairs, slam doors, talk on the phone, etc. All this while I was trying to get a good night's sleep for work the next day. She would also take off in her car (that I own and pay insurance on), going who knows where and doing who knows what. She hasn't shown any interest in going to college (nor can I afford to send her). She has held numerous minimum wage jobs; however, she can't seem to keep them because she's continually late, doesn't produce, or doesn't show up at all. She has recently been living in her car, and came to me the other day begging me to let her come home. Under those circumstances, I don't think it's unreasonable to demand that she follow my rules. I want to help her to develop normal sleeping patterns so she can function in a world where she has to work during the day.

See also:

Need Info My Daughter's An Addict

Mother / enabler needs advice for meth using daughte

What do I do to help my Daughter strung out on Meth?

Daughter is Using Meth

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