Concerned my son is doing cocaine

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I have no experience with cocaine abuse. I know he has been smoking marijuana for several years now. He is 26. I heard a rumor a couple of months ago that he was doing cocaine, but my other son assured me it wasn't true. Today I found a small blue baggy that looks like something that would be for drugs. He has been making a snorting sound A LOT. It is annoying. Last night me was still awake at 2 am. I saw him coming in from the back porch with a beer. He has to be up by 7 for work. Which he does do. As a parent what are some of the first symptoms you noticed?

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  • Posted

    Dear 2chr,

    I am a former clinician from CAMH (cociane services) Canada's largest addiction and mental health facility.

    First of all let me express how sorry I am that you are experiencing this.

    I can only speak generally as I do not know your son so be careful not to jump to any conclusions. Your son may not be taking this point we simply do not know.

    But good for you and your parental vigilence.

    Quote ". As a parent what are some of the first symptoms you noticed?"

    I am afraid to say that all of the things you mentioned from late nights and early starts to sniffling or snorting sounds seem to point to insufflation of some form of stimulant or opiate.

    If your son is using it is natural for him to deny it..even in the face of pretty damning evidence.

    Here are some more clues....

    You must look at the aggregate and not any specific behaviour.

    Has he lost interest in things that were previously important to him?

    Has he changed peer groups?

    Is he secretive and easily irritated.?

    has his hygene deteriorated?

    If you cannot talk to him (he is obviously of drinking age but living under your roof so that gives you some leverage.

    Are there wild swings in his mood?

    Is money or valuables missing?

    Has his apetite changed or is there a significant weight change?

    Does he have less disposable income?

    Does he sleep for a long time every few days?

    Things you can do.......

    Accompany him to his family doctor to provide a urine sample for testing...ensure the sample provided is supervised!

    You can also get home urine tests for cocaine at pharmacies..but REMEMBER these tests are not foolproof. They have a failure rate from 3-7% and should not be incriminating ....if it is positive then he needs to be tested by a doctor with a GC/MS to confirm.

    Take the blue bag or any other paraphenalia to any police station (in Canada anyway) and they should test it for residue without incriminating anyone as long as you are smart about it. If you are in the U.S maybe talk with a lawyer first.

    I am now fifty and grew up with only  pot , coke, lsd, mushrooms and opiates.

    todays younger generation is facing literaly thousands of illicit compounds manufactued in China that may be an analogue or a completely new compound. The new compounds is a tiny sample.. WILL NOT BE DETECTED BY A DIPSTICK DRUG TEST and they may even be undetectable by GC/MS as many are so new.

    Cocaine may be the lesser evil although it carries significant risks.

    Here are only a few of the novel research chemicals flooding North America.

    Many have a duration that lasts days instead of hours. I mean to inform..not frighten.

    3,4-CTMP (6)

    4-Fluoroethylphenidate - NEW! (5)

    4-Fluoromethylphenidate (6)

    4-Methylmethylphenidate (5)

    Allylescaline (1)

    Escaline (4)

    Proscaline (3)

    Bromantane (5)

    Homomazindol (6)

    Armodafinil (5)

    Modafinil (6)

    CRL-40,941 (5)

    URB597 (4)

    Mebroqualone (5)

    Methylmethaqualone (5)

    Acetildenafil (6)

    Etizolam (1)

    GTS-21 | DMXB-A (5)

    Baclofen (6)

    Phenylpiracetam (7)

    Ethylnaphthidate | HDEP-28 (5)

    Ethylphenidate (5)

    Isopropylphenidate (6)

    methylnaphthidate (5)

    Propylphenidate (5)

    Bupivacaine (5)

    3,6-DMPM (5)

    3-MePhenmetrazine (4)

    G-130 (4)

    Isophenmetrazine (6)

    Mephenmetrazine (4)

    Methylmorphenate (6)

    N-Ethylphenmetrazol (3)

    PDM-35 (5)

    Phenmetetrazine (3)

    (+)-isophenmetrazine (3)

    3F-Phenmetrazine (1)

    Phenetrazine (4)

    3F-Phenetrazine (3)

    Viloxazine (4)

    He may also be insufflating prescription ADHD or pain meds but they should be detectable.

    So test his baggies and/or his urine as a condition of living with you.

    If you have any questions please PM me.

    Good luck and remember as many as 15-30% of all NAmerican adults have experimented with cocaine and not everyone gets addicted. But it is a concern.

    There is no relationship between his pot use and potential cocaine use.

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    • Posted

      Wow is that ever a long list. I have never heard of any of those! What a brave new world that kids (and parents) are living in these days. Glad to be neither at this point : )
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  • Posted

    ps , sorry for the "cocaine" typo redface

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    • Posted

      Thank you for the information. I took the baggie to the PD to have it tested. They tried, but didn't think there was enough residue there. I really could see much of any on the baggie anyhow. He said in his experience it did look like cocaine. So now I am stuck with what to do. Besides the snorting, I noticed that recently he has been locking his bedroom door. I haven't noticed any weight changes yet, but I don't see him eating as much. Yes his hygiene is terrible and yes irritable. I did speak with my younger son who said yes he had a couple of friends tell him that they were concerned. I have no proof right now. So not sure where to go from here. He is 26. Just graduated from college and has a good job. I don't think it has been going on long, but I want to help him if I can. Oh and he doesn't pay the bills that he has coming in and doesn't care...except his car

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    • Posted

      I am also surprised by the rebuff you got from the PD. If they were serious about helping you they would have sent the baggie to the lab and if the plastic bag had ever been in contact wih cocaine it would register..regardless of whether or not any residue was visible.
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    • Posted

      I suggest you get him in the passenger seat of your car for some unspecified errand. (You have arranged an appt with his GP in advance without your son's knowledge)

      Pull over 2 minutes from the house on a quiet street and turn off the car.

      you might try a variation of this script

      Do this 1 on 1-mom to son

      Honey I need you to listen very carefully to what I am about to say.

      You will not rebut, refute or deny will simply listen.

      I love you

      This is NOT an intervention.

      But I am very concerned about your wellbeing.

      If you are to continue to reside in my house then I simply demand 1 thing from you.


      Perhaps you are being 100% honest with me in which case I am sorry to have doubted you.

      But here is the thing.

      There are simply too many indications of drug use for me to ignore.

      (Do  not let him interrupt or ask questions.....he must be quiet..if he talks do not engage or answer..just proceed)

      I need you to come with me now to see (insert family dr) and he is waiting in his office to take a urine and blood sample to prove that my suspicions are incorrect.

      This is not an option. It is a condition of residency.

      I don't really care what they find.

      All that is important is that you tell the truth in the drs office about what we will find out from the tests before you give your samples

      We can deal with whatever it is after and together but for now i need the truth

      this is an opportunity for you to either prove that you have been honest or to begin to repair any broken trust.

      if your test is clear i will be quick to apologize but i will also feel relief.

      Start up car and go see DR.

      i dont know your son or your relationship...this might not be appropriate..but it is what I would do.

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  • Posted

    As an addict all I can say is the addiction disease is VERY sneaky. It can effect anyone, any race, male or female and at any age. I hope and pray that your child is not using. But the sniffing a lot, staying up all hours and the baggy caught my attention. This does NOT confirm that he's doing cocaine. My only recommendation is a drug test. On the spot! Do not wait as cocaine does not stay in your system for long periods of time. I wish you all the very best and I pray for you all to not experience the hell I've lived chasing this dragon and its effects. Please message me if you want or need any assistance and I'll do my very best.

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    • Posted

      How often does he 'use'? Cocaine is not as addictive as other drugs; some people just refer to it as "more". As you come down you want more (and will sometimes go to extreme lengths to find 'more'wink; but once you stop, go to sleep and eat something, you are generally fine.

      Some people are different, but compared to the list of other chemical drugs posted by reg15391, cocaine is much less of a worry than these other things that we do not even understand the harms of and can stay in your body a much longer time. Cocaine has been used for 1000s of years, and we at least understand it (unlike all the others). That being said, cocaine is now often very unpure (20% or less) and cut with those other chemicals to make it seem more 'pure' or 'strong'. 

      Did you do the take him in the car, park and talk and then take him to a doctor? The problem is he is an adult and can 'choose his poisons' so to speak, but as long as he is under your roof, you can and should make the rules. 

      I wish you both the best, and hope it is actually cocaine he is taking and not something he is told is cocaine, etc. You never seem to know what you are getting these days. 

      I am glad you had the heart-to-heart. But honestly, cocaine (despite potential problems) is better than other stimulants such as crystal meth or all those other listed drugs (but is more expensive). Young people experiment, and cocaine makes you feel good (neurogically, biologically, etc). Are there other problems in his life that may have made him use? A break-up? Loss of a good/better job? Does he go out dancing? Problems at home, etc? It chemically makes you feel good and full of energy, and also increases oxygen to the brain (why the leaves are chewed while travelling in the Andes), which allows for increased function (until it wears off, rather quickly—within an hour or so—hence the "more"wink.

      Anyway, I do hope you and your son can resolve this issue. Otherwise, let him try to afford a home on his own with a cocaine habit (it's expensive). The trouble with that, is he may switch to cheaper and more affordable drugs that have many more negative side effects and a much higher addiction potential (see reg's list above). Many other drugs can give you the same or better feeling with a greater 'bang for the buck'. So, please consider this in your decision. 

      Wishing you both the best.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your info about cocaine.  He has since moved.  I am not sure if he is still using or not.  He has a great job and makes plenty of money, but never has any.  He did recently get a dui and is on probation now.  This is something I never wanted for my child.  He has a history of marijuana since high school.  He is depressed, but won't go to the doctor.  His father recently passed at a young age which I am sure does not help.  I wish he would go to the doctor, but he is an adult.  I haven't seen him in a couple of months since he moved out of town.  I know he has used since moving through friends.  

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