ADHD Teen experimenting with alcohol

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    • #111970

      As if raising a teenager with ADHD isn’t hard enough, I discovered my 17YO has recently begun experimenting with alcohol. I am at a loss. Her school life is hard enough for both of us to work through. I already feel like I am constantly on her. I don’t want her to shut me out completely. Now this. She’s lying about where she is. I have found alcohol in her bag twice now. What do I do?

    • #111978

      I suppose you could tell her how to be safe and responsible while out with her friends and also not to lie about what she’s doing and where she’s going if she wants to keep going out, and that if she ever finds herself in a bad situation, no matter the circumstances or time of night, she can call you and you will come get her (my mom had this arrangement with me and my sisters and it was very wonderful of her to give us this fallback).

      Since she’s presumably bound for college pretty soon, drill into her head all the usual safety rules, like no drinking and driving, don’t accept mixed drinks or pre-opened beers, etc. Also no cocaine. According to an ADHD friend who has tried cocaine, it is like Adderall on crack (heh), and generally, ADHD people should NOT do cocaine.

      All in all, this seems more like a regular old teenager problem rather than an ADHD-specific problem. I mean, I was the goody two shoes in my family, and my non-ADHD sisters were the ones who stole from the liquor cabinet and went to the crazy parties.

    • #112014
      Penny Williams

      She could be self-medicating, for ADHD if she is untreated or if her treatment isn’t working well enough, or for anxiety (social or general).

      Have a chat with her that there’s a better way to help her get through the day or manage social situations, or whatever she’s struggling with. Let her know that you’re offering to help her get that help. Remind her that she could end up arrested and what those consequences look like. I’m not advocating a fear tactic, but rather informing her of all the risks. BUT, you have to offer to help her with alternatives in this conversation too.

      Teens and Alcohol

      ADHD Teens at Risk for Alcohol Abuse

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

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