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Childcarer taking drugs? - help!

(23 Posts)
dietpills Mon 22-Sep-03 16:04:06

I posted this on another thread but noone repleid so I thought I would make it sound more dramatic!

A friend of my Nanny's mentioned to me the other day that she (the nanny) had been taking diet pills. I'm a bit worried, don't know whether to mention it or not. I feel it's none of my business in one way, but aren't diet pills just amphetimines?

If so, are you ok to look after a child/drive etc when you are on them? Don't they make you unable to sleep etc? My dd is 18 months old and I'm understandably a bit concerned about this.

What should I do? She is usually very sensible and has a daughter of her own, I do know that she gets upset about her weight and I don't want to make it worse. I also know from her friend that she has stopped taking them and it was for a short time that she was taking them.

I also know she is anti drugs in general so she obviously doesn't think of these pills as drugs.

Do I talk to her about it?

M2T Mon 22-Sep-03 16:14:10

I think some diet pills basically just reduce water retention giving the illusion of losing weight! I don't think they are all amphetamines.

And if I can remember back to my misspent youth... they don't affect your driving.

And I certainly don't think that they will affect your Nanny's ability to care for a child.

I really don't think you should say anything to her at all. After all she isn't taking anything illegal. If she was on Prozac you wouldn't know about it so why should you comment on diet pills?

You would notice if she was high on amphetamines!! Would you talk to her about an addiction to caffeine?? More or less the same effect as a mild amphetamine.

i don't mean to sound harsh, but really its seems a fuss about nothing.

easy Mon 22-Sep-03 16:15:31

Okay, point number one, is this friend a friend, or just a spiteful bitch?

Point number 2, I believe there is some company marketing a range of 'herbal medicines' as slimming pills so they are not necessarily amphetamines.

Point number 3, you are paying her, and trusting her with your daughter. You have a right to find out. Ask her to sit down with you for a coffee, and tell her (nicely) what you have been told. Ask her (nicely) to show you what she is taking (if she's taking anything). If you are concerned about her medication ask her for a Doctors note for them , after all, they may be prescribed.

If she denies it, work out who you trust.


easy Mon 22-Sep-03 16:16:44

Hey, isn't mumsnet great for giving a range of opinions

M2T Mon 22-Sep-03 16:20:56

lol Easy!

I have absolutely no idea what the girls in my ds's Nursery do in their spare time and how many of them are on slimming pills, or drink too much coffee, or smoke, or need to take tablets for depression and I don't think I have a specific right to either!

I mean how long has this woman been your dd's Nanny?? you must know her quite well. If she taking some mindaltering drugs I'm positive you would notice it.

hmb Mon 22-Sep-03 16:27:47

It depends what pills they are. It is very rare for amphetamines to be prescribed by reputable GPs in the UK. They are sometimes used, and they are more often prescribed from dodgy diet clinicas (not all are dodgy I know).

There are two other types of pills that can be used. One prevents the breakdown and absorbtion of fat (xenical)and has to be used with a low fat diet and the other has similar pharmacology to Prozac but is *not* speed (Miridia , aka sibutramine). Neither of these has the side effects of amphetamine. Xenecal doesn't affect the brain at all, and Miridia is more like Prozac

Ask her what she is on if you can and did her doc put her on them etc.


easy Mon 22-Sep-03 16:28:43

But M2T, there are several carers together in your son's nursery, one will notice if another is 'wappy'!!

Whereas a Nanny has sole charge of a child. I don't think dietpills should over-react, but I do think that she should ask Nanny if she is worried, (and she sounds worried to me).

dietpills Mon 22-Sep-03 16:28:56

Yes I thought I was making a fuss about nothing. When she first said it I didn't think much about it but it has been nagging at me ever since, wondering if I am being irresponsible in not doing something about it.

Good points about possible non amphetemine diet pills and about the friend (who I think is a real friend, she didn't mean anything bad, she said she has taken them herself so probably didn't think it was an issue, she only mentioned it in passing).

I do trust her, I just worry that she is getting herself into something that she will end up having a problem with.

M2T Mon 22-Sep-03 16:32:41

Dietpills- if you are worried as a friend then that's different, but as an employer.... hmm, dodgy. It is only diet pills after all!!

If my employer asked me what prescription drugs I was taking I'd be livid!

dietpills Mon 22-Sep-03 16:38:49

But I'm not a normal employer am I? If it was someone I was employing at work I wouldn't care one bit. But this is my daughter we are talking about and I care about her more than anything in the world.

easy Mon 22-Sep-03 16:49:49

Dietpills, I'm with you, nannying is an odd combination of employee, friend and surrogate mother, a really difficult relationship to deal with.

I stress that you should do it very nicely. Try approaching the subject obliquely. Perhaps say you're considering a new diet (unless you're really stick thin ) and ask if she's seen anything new in this area recently, You know what I mean

dietpills Mon 22-Sep-03 16:55:34

HA ha not stick thin! Good idea.

easy Mon 22-Sep-03 16:57:36

do let us Know, this is becoming a soap opera.

aloha Mon 22-Sep-03 19:14:36

Agree that slimming pills could mean anything from various harmless (and ineffective) herbal tablets - which I think is most likely - to things like Xenical which are prescription only but also not at all mood altering etc. If you are genuinely worried sit down and talk to her as otherwise it will eat away at you, but I am as sure as I can be that this is nothing to worry about.

SofiaAmes Mon 22-Sep-03 21:18:58

Before you create what could be an unpleasant situation out of nothing, ask your friend exactly what the pills are (didn't she say she was taking the same ones?) and ask your gp, or look them up online. If they are harmless, and therefore unrelated to the care of your child, then I think that it would make your nanny uncomfortable to feel that your friend is gossipping/telling tales about her private life and an intrusion on her privacy to discuss it. Of course if they are amphetamines (as others have said, I think it would be highly unlikely that she would be taking these without your noticing) then it warrants a serious discussion.

Personally, if your child was older, I would be more concerned about the self-image role model that a constantly dieting (if this is even the case) carer would give.

wiltshire Tue 23-Sep-03 00:59:34

I know that my 'soon to be' childminder smokes dope. She will not smoke fags around my child and has 2 children of her own. She doesn't drink alcohol at all.

I do not have a problem with this, in fact, I would have a bigger prob if she drank a bottle of wine a night (like me).

I personally do not take/smoke any drugs apart from alcohol. Reason being that my company have a drug/alcohol testing policy which is nil per cent.

doormat Tue 23-Sep-03 07:09:20

I totally agree with SofiaAmes point on being more worried about the physchological aspect of the dieting on your dd.

FairyMum Tue 23-Sep-03 07:18:51

I agree with what M2T has written. You can't know everything about your Nanny and you don't have the right to either. You choose a Nanny you trust, but you cannot get too involved in her personal life! Even if you did ask, she might not be truthful about it.....when you employ a Nanny you have to trust them. You don't really know if she drinks during the day and still drives your child to school (unlikely I know, but my point is that you just don't know....)

This is why I choose nursery over childminders/Nannies, but that's another discussion.....,)

FairyMum Tue 23-Sep-03 07:21:33

To SofiaAmes point, I would say that she might pop a few diet pills in private (unlikely to affect the child I think) or she might obsess about her fat bum all day.....You can't fully control these things, just hope she is sensible

Batters Thu 05-Feb-04 11:40:05

Oh wise Mumsnetters, can I ask your advice please?

My dd has been going to her new childminder's several times a week since September. Our childminder picks dd and her friend up and takes them back to her house. I pick my dd up before 5 each evening.

My childminder has been going through a very rough time of it emotionally, for as long she has been looking after dd really. She has relationship problems with her partner and is also stressed at work as she started a new job in September that is very hard work.

For the past few weeks every time I pick dd up the childminder is very miserable. At first I did not think that this affected dd at all, she and her friend play with the childminder's daughter who is about 9. However the childminder's dd who previously was fantastic with them is now being (according to my dd) short tempered and snappy with them. I think she is aware of the problems her Mum is having and that is making her miserable too, which is totally understandable. What isn't nice though is that my dd is now having to suffer.

Anyway I picked dd up yesterday and spoke briefly to my childminder. She had been sent home from work, and gone to the doctor's who has given her a prescription for diazepam. She told me she is not sure whether she will take it or not. Now my concern is do I want someone taking diazapam and looking after my child? I have no experience with this and really don't know whether I should be worried or not. I am also very aware that I found this out because I was told it by the childminder and she could have quite easily just not have told me. I have some really basic questions about diazapam, can people drive when taking them, are they likely to be less vigilent etc. In short are my dd and her friend safe with my childminder if she is taking this drug? My childminder has been given the drug to help her sleep apparantly so does that mean she only has to take it at night and therefore won't be affected during the day?

From what I know about my childminder's problems, they are not likely to be resolved soon so I also have the concern that my dd is going to a miserable house after school, and surely that is going to affect her?

I do feel very sad for my childminder. Although I have not known her long, my friend has and has a very high opinion of her both as a person and a child carer. There is nothing I can do to help the childminder as only she and her partner can sort out their problems.

All thoughts / advice gratefully received.

CountessDracula Thu 05-Feb-04 11:44:01

Diazepam is Valium. I would say that you should not drive on valium - in fact when dh was prescribed it recently for a bad back they told him not to drive or make any major decisions while he was on it.

I have taken it on flights etc to help me sleep and I don't remember having a "hangover" from it when I woke up (took one last week in fact on flight to tobago and I felt fine afterwards)

If she is only taking it at night I wouldn't think there is a problem.

Hope things improve for her soon

Tinker Thu 05-Feb-04 15:01:44

Just checked my packet and it simply warns that you may become drowsy so don't drive. But, as cd say, if she's only taking them at night, wouldn't worry to much. Having said that, my mum was taking about 6 per day at least at one stage and she was teaching!

Batters Fri 06-Feb-04 14:21:13

Thanks for the input Tinker and CD.

I am going to ask my child minder tonight if she is taking the valium, as she has told me the doctor prescribed it to her, I don't think this is too nosy of me to ask. I do feel really bad for her - she is a lovely, attractive kind woman who is I think being taken for a ride by her so-called partner .

My dp asked my dd yesterday if she still liked going to the childminder's, and she said no, not really because XX (the child minder's dd) is really angry at her all the time . Guess that is a different problem for me to look at.....

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