Lighter Fluid-possible misuse? Please help.

(6 Posts)
stickyj Tue 19-Mar-13 18:28:57

14 yr old ds, youngest of four. Oldest ds not around, into drugs (very long story). Found a can of lighter fluid in ds's "man bag" under his bed. He smokes, I know he does, he knows I know he does and he keeps his rollies whatever under his bed. I have talked till I'm blue about cigs etc but that's not the issue really, although I'm struggling with it.

DS received a package through the post, he does buy game stuff, cards etc on line all the time and sells stuff too. He got hand wraps the other day so when this parcel came through, I handed it to him and asked what it was. We have a good relationship normally and he told me it was computer cleaner, I believed him but then I checked.

There was a name/address sticker on the packaging so am going to check that out. Why would anyone sell a can of lighter fluid to someone when they can buy it at the local shop if they are over 18?? THe lighter he had in his bag is non-refillable, just a cheapie plastic one. I checked out signs on the internet and the first one was sores around the mouth. DS has always had a problem with a red "moustache" around his mouth from young, cold winds and constant licking made it worse and we found a miracle cream which he asked me for the other day. Because it's been cold and cold and wet, I found it and gave it him without question. He has just started to get teenage spots too, over the last six months, mostly onhis chin area.

How do I know if he's"huffing?" I haven't really spoken to him for two days, he must have realised that the can has gone from his stash under his bed and he was really, really quiet yesterday. A friend of mine has said that her son hasn't been keen for the last two weeks to hang around with mine.

So, co-incidence that he has a sore mouth and one less friend or not? Should I talk to him?? He must know he's in trouble for lying...shall I do the disappointed silent treatment until he cracks, he must be wondering where his can has gone and why I haven't said anything??

Anyone with any experience in this please help. I have already lost one child to cocaine, I'm not losing this one sad

stickyj Wed 20-Mar-13 07:37:19

Bump please

WishIdbeenatigermum Wed 20-Mar-13 07:40:46

It sounds as if it was bought for sniffing.
Can you get some advice on how to talk to him? Look at the ask frank sight for drug facts and get some advice about how to talk to him. Camhs? Samaritans, young minds?
Good luck.

50BalesOfHay Wed 20-Mar-13 15:18:20

There are a lot of risks associated with lighter fluid, so it's important to talk to him. Arm yourself with the facts about the risks (try Frank) and trying to get him to look at it with you might be a good way in.

I had this with my DS at about the same age, about 20 years ago. I said to him that iif he had been doing it he didn't have to own up or anything, I wasn't interested in telling him off, but he did need to stop because of the danger. We were able to have a really open conversation about it. Either my approach worked or he was about to grow out of it anyway, but either way it stopped, and I was very relieved.

Concentrate on what's important (his wellbeing) and try to let the lying go on this occaision would be my approach.

Good luck. Most teens experiment, most grow out of it. It must be extra hard given your experience, but try not to be too anxious.

50BalesOfHay Wed 20-Mar-13 15:19:34

Sorry, didn't mean most teens expeiment with substances, but most experiment with things we wouldn't want them doing, and then stop.

flow4 Fri 22-Mar-13 23:55:04

You asked how you would know, sticky. There are symptoms listed here:www.talktofrank.com/faq/how-can-i-tell-if-friendchild-using-volatile-substances . There's other info about aerosol abuse there too, so it might be worth searching...

Receiving lighter fluid in the post is really odd though. For a start, unless you live somewhere really isolated, he won't have any trouble at all buying it or getting someone to buy it for him. (It's shocking how many adult smokers will buy stuff for kids angry ). But also, it is actually illegal to send it in the post (- check the Post Office's list of prohibited items ). I think anyone who sells it would know that. Could it be something else?

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