Syringe and spoon found in 16 year old stepdaughters drawer.

(62 Posts)
LittleWhile Wed 26-Mar-14 16:25:38

Yesterday I found a tea spoon and a narrow syringe tucked away in a cosmetic bag in my stepdaughters drawer, when I was tidying the carnage of her bedroom, while she is at her mothers house. I was immediately alarmed and suspect drug use or at least intention of drug use, so I mention it to her Father. He hardly reacts, and then today says there is probably some rational reason for it, and says he will ask her. He doesn't seem at all bothered, and laughs when I mention possible drug use. She has (non) eating issues, anxiety and depression, which lead me to suspect drug use may be a possibility. He sees no reason to be concerned. Today he suggests that she be allowed to "study" at our house while we are away on holiday, next week, which I strongly object to, as I don't feel comfortable letting her have unsupervised access to the house, while we are not there. She says there is too much distraction at her Mothers house caused by her Mum and her brother. I feel she should ask her mum and brother to be quieter, so can study or maybe go to a library! or use earplugs! Her father and I have now had an almighty row because I feel he doesn't listen to me. He says she should be allowed to, and if she messes up, he will deal with it. I'm imagining all sorts going on in my home, while we are away, if she has a key! He doesn't believe she shouldn't be trusted. I feel undermined and as if I'm catastrophising. Am I being unreasonable or over-reacting? I've been a 16 year old girl and I've also had a 16 year old daughter, so I'm basing my reasoning from experience, but I now doubt my own judgement. Help!

Beastofburden Wed 26-Mar-14 17:18:20

If it's the wrong sort of syringe can she even be using it for drugs?

LittleWhile Wed 26-Mar-14 17:21:14

That's what I was thinking Kudz. That sounds like the sort of thing she would do. She is quite needy.
I don't think she is vaping, but I have found receipts for tobacco, lighters and papers in her room. She has had diet pills delivered to our house for a friend, so I know that she covers for her friends in that way which is worrying.
Her Mother will totally flip if I tell her about this and I can predict major fall out.

NigellasDealer Wed 26-Mar-14 17:21:45

these are the syringes that are used for intravenous drug use initially.
if it is a 'dropper' type thing with no needle then you have fewer worries. nonetheless....

MrsDeVere Wed 26-Mar-14 17:23:46

You can use any syringe to inject drugs in theory but she hasn't hidden a functioning syringe of the type usually used for drugs use.
She could be acting out. Testing to see if anyone is paying attention.

It needs addressing. Calmly. It would be a good opportunity for her dad to talk about drug use with her. He shouldn't ignore it.

MrsDeVere Wed 26-Mar-14 17:25:31

It sounds like she and her friends are involved in some level of drug use already (going by your last post).

A bit of weed and pills at least. Kids do drugs, there is no getting away from it.

It needs to be talked about.

LittleWhile Wed 26-Mar-14 17:28:47

It's an 8ml syringe with a plunger. It says "For oral use only" I don't think she has used it, but I think the intention may be there, even if just for a cry for help. This is why I am concerned.

BettyBotter Wed 26-Mar-14 17:28:59

And her father needs to pay some bloody attention. sad

MrsDeVere Wed 26-Mar-14 17:32:14

If its an oral only syringe you won't be able to attach a needle to it (someone can correct me if that is not so).

But she may be smoking weed if she is buying papers and tobacco and those diet pills for a friend sound dodgy.

Dad needs to talk to her.

LittleWhile Wed 26-Mar-14 17:35:48

Thank you Nigellas for link. I'm grateful for all your comments. You have voiced all my concerns and helped me get some perspective. I will report back when DH gets home and we talk some more.

HerrenaHarridan Wed 26-Mar-14 17:37:45

Sorry but what the hell were you doing going through your 16yo STEP daughters make up bag?

You say you were sorting out the carnage of her bedroom but this was tucked away in a drawer?

I have a spoon in my make up bag, I'm not sure how it ended up there but it's been there for years, you bought the syringe and it's a dropper only. You are being ridiculous!

Ihavemyownname Wed 26-Mar-14 17:41:33

If she had problem with food. Speed could be very likely. It could also be a cry for attention/help.
You need to sit and talk to her about or just let her know you've seen it and she can talk to you about it

trambampoline Wed 26-Mar-14 17:42:16

shes probably trying to do some dramatic instagram photo.

Branleuse Wed 26-Mar-14 17:43:25

from what youve since added, it doesmt sound at all suspicious, and youre overreacting

NatashaBee Wed 26-Mar-14 17:52:41

Regardless of the syringe/spoon, I wouldn't be letting her stay alone in the house knowing that she has been complicit in deceiving her friend's parents.

LordPalmerston Wed 26-Mar-14 17:55:43

you know wrt snooping i have done a HUGE volte face on this.
parents SHOULD snoop

LittleWhile Wed 26-Mar-14 18:04:34

Well there is that I suppose, Herrena, and that is what she will say, but while she lives in my home I am responsible for her welfare. I wasn't looking for anything in her room. I do her washing and I tidy up after her. I posted my concerns on here for constructive advice. I don't think I am being ridiculous to be worried about an impressionable teenager getting mixed up in something harmful, but thank you for your comment.

thecatfromjapan Wed 26-Mar-14 18:05:13

I'm a leetle surprised by this.

Injecting drugs is a big step. Long before injecting, you should have seen many warning signs of drug use: erratic behaviour; a change in the circle of friends; a change in socialising; things like money going missing - unless she has access to a trust fund, right now, she is unlikely to be able to afford regular access to hard drugs.

People don't just wake up and decide to buy some cocaine/smack/very pure amphetamine on their way to Tesco, and then inject it. You need a circle to buy it from, use it with, and teach you how to inject safely.

You would see abcesses from bad shots. And they would be pretty visible , because, apart from anything esle, it takes practice to inject neatly.

Basically, you would have had cause for concern for a while now. If this is the first time you have noticed something amiss ...

Also, where is she getting the needles from? They are not easy to come by.

So, if all of the above has been going on - the erratic behaviour; the troubling friends; the theft; the noticeable decline in school attendance and attitude; the changed social life - then, yes, your dh sounds a complete fuck-up.

HerrenaHarridan Wed 26-Mar-14 19:00:16

You tidy up the inside of her make up bag?

It's not even a syringe that's usable for drugs why are you making such a big deal out of it when her father doesn't think it it's an issue?

NigellasDealer Wed 26-Mar-14 19:08:57

i must say if my stepmother had been going through my stuff at the age of 16 i would have been pretty pissed off, alienated even.
not the way to any kind of trusting relationship tbh

eatmydust Wed 26-Mar-14 20:39:13

Just back to the possibility of vaping - wouldn't discount it if you are aware she has bought tobacco and papers in the past. Like others have said if it is hard drugs she would display other behaviours and would need the cash to purchase them. Smoking or vaping as a much cheaper option does seem more likely.

Just asked DS and his friend tells me he uses a syringe and spoon to fill his cartomiser, as without a needle to fill it he drops some of the liquid into the spoon, picks it up with the syringe and then puts it in the ecig. He says it is a common way of filling some types of ecig and not sinister (DSs friend is a police officer!!) Just google filling ecigs with syringes and there are lots of videos and instructions.

Quite agree with you that this needs to be addressed, but please don't jump to the worst case scenario if there is no evidence, she will feel strongly that she has a right to her privacy and you could destroy her trust in you. Sure you don't want her smoking or vaping either, but it's a lower key conversation. Can't say I'm happy about DS vaping in my house, but he is legally old enough to buy cigarettes and smoke and the vaping is much more preferable than the roll ups he smoked before.

Kudzugirl Wed 26-Mar-14 20:42:35

Needles are very easy to come by. Most chemists offer free supplies and will hand them to anybody who asks for them sixteen and over, no questions. That is the whole point of a needle exchange. They have prominent signs too and teenagers would be aware of them.

There are plenty of users who do go straight onto injecting.

There are plenty of users who don't get abscesses for quite some time. If ever. Clean needles have eliminated some of this risk. Info on how to inject is easily available and it is not hard to learn. Pretty easy in fact.

Most early users don't need to spend much and it doesn't cost a lot. A small amount of a drug will last.

Not all initial and early drug use is accompanied by dramatic behavioural changes. Many of the most 'usual' behavioural changes can masquerade normal adolescence or mimic it. That is why so many cases go undiscovered for quite some time and then their is a physiological dependence alongside the psychological one.

An 8ml syringe is too large for a beginner. They are very very hard to depress the plunger upon whilst maintaining steady hold on a vein- they can collapse it because the suction is too great when you pull back on a plunger to check it is in the vein. One handed it'd be very hard. Also when a barrel gets older, the rubber bung on the depressor becomes stiffer and makes it even harder to depress and pull back on. So highly unlikely she'd use this as a newbie to it. I hope that reassures.

MikeTheShite Wed 26-Mar-14 20:49:53

As shes 16 I have heard recently about buying and injecting or eating of tanning substances. possible long shot

The fact that this syringe is actually a dropper that you bought to feed a bird completely changed the tone of this question and I'm not sure why you didn't state that in your original post if not to be dramatic? Highly unlikely to have anything to do with drugs given the update. I think you shouldn't snoop in future.

BlueStringPudding Wed 26-Mar-14 21:32:53

DD(16) used to take calpol when she had a headache or period pain, as she didn't like swallowing pills, and would either use a teaspoon or syringe type thing that comes with nurofen. could that be an explanation?

It was v annoying as usually meant there wasn't enough for DS when he needed it, and also probably wasn't that effective for her. she has now overcome that, and takes normal pills, but teenagers. can be funny about things like that.

MexicanSpringtime Thu 27-Mar-14 01:25:29

Then again some people use a spoon to curl their eyelashes.

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