Can someone help me on this one?
We suspect that our daughter might be using cocaine. Every couple weeks (after she's been at her mothers house), she comes back to our house with what appears to be cold symptoms...i.e. swollen neck glands, sore throat, runny nose, intense sneezing, etc. She's usually sick for an entire week, only to have the process repeat itself in another couple weeks.
My question is this...do you get cold symptoms that last this long from using cocaine? She admitted to using it once, long ago, but her sickness frequency is on the rise.
It's hard to tell by a post if it's cocaine or not. When I was using coke, the next day I had a lot of those symptoms, runny nose, sore throat, sneezing and my eyes would water and would just tell people I had a cold. I rarely stayed clean long enough for it to go away, but most times it would last a few days.
Have you noticed any other signs such as an attitude change, sleeping patterns, weight loss etc? If she is using, I am sure she will deny it, but have you talked to her about this?
We talked to her about it when we caught her the first time we suspected usage. (also had cold symptoms but not as severe as this time). She said that her experience was so horrible that she'd never do it again. However, she out of the blue gets these symptoms. We think that if it was an actual cold, people around her would also get it and that doesn't happen. She also says none of her friends have been sick so this leaves us to believe (since these 'colds' are becoming a regular pattern), that she is in fact doing coke.
She never sleeps at night. In fact, she gets up several times a night and is either pacing around her room, or comes downstairs into the dark and says she was "spacing out" and didn't know what she was doing. There hasn't been any weight loss as she is also borderling bulimic.
At the beginning of the week when she got here from her mom's house (her mom lets her run free and wild and she's never home on weekends over there), her attitude was horrible. She was mean, saying mean things, and pretty much exhausted and completely out of it.
With this 'cold' this time around, her sore throat lasted one day and the rest of the week she's been sneezing alot, been stuffy and coughing. The glands in her neck are always swollen with these symptoms too. Did you get swollen glands with these symptoms? We've taken her to the doctor numerous times when she's had this to see if she needed antibiotics and each time the doctor was puzzled because due to her symptoms the blood tests should have revealed something. I'm thinking we need to have a drug test done.
I don't remember having swollen glands, but everything else you describe I remember having. The not sleeping and being up all night was common during my use and coming down off coke I felt angry, aggitated and also exausted like you say she is. Since you have caught her already, I am sure your instincts with this is right.
I agree with you, I think you should have the drug test done, something is not right here. Normally cocaine only stays in the bloodstream for a few days tho. May I ask how old your daughter is?
Wow, it sounds like our suscpicions could be true. I've researched how long it stays in your body and different websites say different things. We have considered the hair test though which would show anything and everything she's injested drug wise for the past few months.
Your input is great and so very helpful.
She's 16 and has friends that use on a regular basis to control their weight. She compares herself to these girls all the time. (Both of them are models and are tall, extremely gorgeous and thin. Sad that they're hooked on coke though to maintain their weight).
I've noticed too that she'll go rummaging through the cupboards looking for caffeine "or something that will wake her up". She'll drink several cups of green tea, only to get too wired, then end up on the floor with severe stomach pain and headaches, saying the only thing that gets rid of her headaches is caffiene or 'something like it'.
She tells me more than she tellls her parents, but when it comes time to discuss her health, etc., she'll lie to her parents, say I'm overreacting, etc. Then when it's just she and I again, she'll renig her comments she made to me and tell me she didn't want her parents to freak out.
Yes, a hair test will show up much much longer than the urine test. It's too bad she is socializing with friends that are using, they will take her down with them. She is so young with her whole future ahead. Let us know if you find anything else out. This is a great support group for addicts and also family members of addicts.
Yes, it's sad that she's chosen these friends, and it's sad because she's so gullible and does so many things to 'fit in'. We've set an appointment with a place that deals with both eating disorders and drug addiction so hopefully the combo will do some good.
BTW....her "cold" was almost gone and yesterday both her father and I noticed that she seemed a bit wired. This morning her nose was back to really stuffy and again she was sneezing her head off. She hasn't been around any friends so we're thinking that maybe she has/had a stash somewhere in her room.
Hi there. As someone who suffered from severe anorexia/bulimia when I was your daughter's age and then found cocaine as a substitute to deal with my issues and helping to control my weight later, I think it's really great that you are trying to help her by setting up the appointment for her. My family refused to see that anything was wrong, even when I asked for help and it sent me on a downward spiral that may have possibly been avoided. Getting her the help she needs now could make a huge difference for the rest of her life.
It seems like she's more willing to open up to you than her father or mother as she doesn't want to hurt them. You may be able to get her to trust you and be honest with you. Have you approached the subject with her of taking a drug test?
I also need to ask, have you gotten her an allergy blood test? Even before I ever started using cocaine I had the same types of symptoms and was always "sick" or "had a cold" and an allergy blood test revealed that I was deathly allergic to several things in my home and outdoors where I lived. When dealing with severe stressors, the allergies would flare up. Perhaps the back and forth between homes and/or the other things she is dealing with are causing the flare up.
Also, while in the throws of bulimia (ie, after forcing myself to vomit, or even after a night of binging) I would have swollen neck glands for days (from throwing up) and runny eyes and stuffy nose. It was from the pressure of throwing up and/or my body shutting down because of the binging.
It is possible, that her symptoms are due to the bulimia, or something else like the allergies. I just want to throw that out there. Regardless of whether or not she is snorting cocaine, she needs help. She needs it as soon as possible because it will lead to worse things, if it hasn't already. For someone in her state of mind, it's all about trying to escape herself. Therapy and outside help are definitely needed.
I am really glad that she has people in her life who care for her and are open to seeing what is going on. I hope you keep us posted.
Thank you so much for your response. It's very helpful and informative.
I'm glad you're on the road to recovery and feeling much better!
The regular stuffy nose has stopped but the bathroom trips have increased. As has her laying on the floor in pain after each bathroom trip (she downplays all of this btw). She doesn''t want to go to the treatment center anymore and is telling us she'll handle this 'her way', whatever that is.
The latest with her too is that she is refusing to sleep at night. At her mom's she's more defiant about going to bed and wont without putting up a fight. At our house, she'll go to bed but we hear her walking around her room at night, or she'll come out of her room again and roam around the house. (we've put big restraints on her regarding this now as it disrupts the entire household) She's so tired during the day that she can barely function and do her school work. (we had to pull her out of the public school system and put her into online high school because she flunked out of 10th grade since she wasn't focused at all, was doing drugs at school, etc).
The lies have increased too. She's lying about everything ..... ugh
Definetly a cocaine habit, or a drug habit. Either that or she realy have something deep medicaly speaking going on.
Talk to her. 1 on 1. Best way to get out of these habits is to get help, and people with those habits won't seek help by themself usually.
Tell her nthat you won't judge her no matter what. tell her that the only thing you want is to help her. This is very important. But she mostly gotta do the first step by herself. No one can ''force'' her to go to therapy or talk about it. Just try to be open minded and take it easy. If she got nice people around her she'll get better. Or if she is strong as hell.
Best of luck, takes a lot of balls to get out of a drug habit, and a steel mind.
You'll get to her somehow. But stay neutral, and never be judgemental, especially with a teenage girl.
You seem like a realy nice person. Help is all drug addicts need.
I found this post very interesting too as i'm currently feeling just like this with a bad coke and blue habit. All users want is help but not until they're ready to seek it. Guess im not ready yet. But sick of the sore throats and feeling amazing or like **** all the time. not worth the up and downs. went from having a decent amount of money to broke in months. never expected to be here but who does things happen in peoples lives and as a teen experimenting doesn't always end well. hope to read this one day while happy sober with a great family and say even though i had a problem I won, the drugs didn't. I think that is any true addicts dream. Or any addict who remembers who they once were.
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