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medical form - recreational drugs

55 replies

unusednickname · 18/10/2013 18:53


I spent most of my teenage years off my face. Mostly hash, acid, ecstacy and coke Blush

I haven't touched anything for about 20 years. I've had a responsible career working with people in a senior management position, I'm a mum etc etc. I don't smoke, don't drink, don't even go out...

I just can't help thinking that the word 'cocaine' on a form is going to scupper my chances. Is it?

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Pancakeflipper · 18/10/2013 18:54

What is the wording of the question on the form?

unusednickname · 18/10/2013 18:57

It's a table - 'do you or did you ever...' and then there's a list - 'smoke tobacco...Use street/recreational drugs' and you have to fill in boxes marked 'Quantity' and 'duration/details'

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aroomofherown · 18/10/2013 18:59

I'm not sure I'd admit it. Are they likely to interview people who knew you then who would mention it?

unusednickname · 18/10/2013 19:01

No...but lying seems wrong and worse to lie and get caught out?

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Pancakeflipper · 18/10/2013 19:05

could you not 'compromise and put in the hash/acid and explain it was teenage/youth stupidity and not touched it for 20 yrs ( and forget the cocaine bit)

unusednickname · 18/10/2013 19:06

Is the cocaine bit a dealbreaker do we think? Does anyone have any experience with this?

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Hels20 · 18/10/2013 19:14

Hmm- this is difficulty. There was something relating to my sister (who has died) that totally destroyed me when it happened but I didn't mention it - but I am not sure I would have lied if they had asked me a direct question about it. Just because talking about what had happened to my sister was extremely painful (more so, even than her dying of cancer).

But I am hopeless at lying. I wonder if you say that you experimented with these drugs in your past and leave it at that - you were never an addict, haven't touched them since you were a teen/early 20s. Sometimes these things can be a positive - as in, you will have experience of helping any child of yours with drug issues.

They are not looking for white as white characters. One person who was on my course with me had been a chronic alcoholic as had his parents but he hadn't touched a drink in 20 years. He still got approved. And it was probably a bonus (you can maybe understand how birth parents might succumb to drug/alcohol addiction and not be judgmental of the birth parents). I think you should say something that you had experimented with hash/ecstasy and had tried Coke - a lot of people have...they should respect your honesty.

They are looking for what you are like NOW. And I was always told "be honest" because if something comes up later about an issue you had when you were younger, the fact you weren't truthful will scupper your chances more than the issue itself (which is v historic.)

What is your SW like? If youngish, I am sure she wouldn't hold this against you and you would get brownie points for honesty.

What would your attitude be like to drugs? Would you allow your friends to smoke hash around your children? Would you give money to your children to buy drugs? Or would you explain the dangers and risks involved in taking drugs and educate them? If the latter - I would have thought that was more important.

Finally - have you ever admitted to any of this to your GP? If so - definitely admit because it will come up on your medical forms.

FannyFifer · 18/10/2013 19:16

I would assume they didn't mean 20+ years ago.

clabsyqueen · 18/10/2013 19:21

Do not even think about admitting it. It is not relevant. At all. Very few people didnt experiment in their youth but it would not be seen in this way. I think it would work against you tremendously.

My friend admitted to having had an ecstasy tablet in her twenties at one of her ante natal appointments (god knows why?!) and her unborn child was assigned a social worker! She was visited after the birth to check she was a suitable mum. She was stupid and the system is silly.

clabsyqueen · 18/10/2013 19:22

She was almost 40 when she had her first baby!

unusednickname · 18/10/2013 19:23

Thanks for the responses. I haven't ever talked to a professional about it because it was never a problem iyswim? I did a lot of clubbing so it was entirely recreational and it stopped pretty sharpish when I started living as an adult.

And no I would never even let someone who had been drinking beyond a beer or so be around my children and certainly not any drug exposure. I just don't live that kind of life anymore in any way. These days I feel pretty reckless if I have a Mars Bar Smile.

And yes I think it would make me perhaps more able to understand the complexities of the birth parents' life (because maybe 'there but for the grace of God'?) and better able to talk to my child about drugs. I've certainly seen a lot of shit reactions to drugs I can talk about.

And I suppose they'd want to talk to me about all this? I'm just worried that it might be a dealbreaker Sad

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PenguinBear · 18/10/2013 22:33

Do not under any circumstances mention it. If there is nothing in your medical records or anything which I'm assuming there isn't, you won't be caught out.

Mentionting it will scupper your chances sadly :(.

My mum had been assessing adopters for years and things like that really count against you!

Kewcumber · 18/10/2013 22:48

You are off your rocker if you are even fleetingly considering admitting really recreational drug use. Particularly given the rolr that drug use frequently plays in adoption.

Home studies are a job interview for the position of parent. Would you think it a good idea to discuss in a job interview?

Magslee · 19/10/2013 10:07

I was also a bit concerned about this question but believe in honesty and so put down that I had used hash and pills - the last time being about 10 years ago. The social workers talked to me about it to gauge my attitude to drugs now and how I would deal with issues that might come up for a child both regarding their background and their own potential future drug use. They did seem a little surprised I'd put it on the form and did laugh knowingly when I asked if everyone else just lied!

I don't think having used drugs is necessarily a bad thing - I have a good understanding of the realities, the risks and the problems and can have an honest discussion with a child from a point of experience. I was also very clear that I haven't used drugs in the recent past and wouldn't use them in future. There were no problems at all with my approval as an adopter.

And, when the foster carer made up various potentially very damaging allegations about me, I think the fact that I had been so completely honest throughout the assessment meant that the social workers dealing with the allegations were much more inclined to believe me.

The problem with dishonesty is not necessarily the actual thing you lied about, it is the fact you then show you are prepared to lie which casts doubt on everything you have said up to that point.

Having said all that, I was being assessed by a council in a big city and with very sensible and savvy social workers so that might have made a difference to how they approached things.

Best of luck with whatever you decide.

ps I can't see why cocaine would be viewed as worse than acid - they are both class As I think?

Kewcumber · 19/10/2013 14:14

"I don't think having used drugs is necessarily a bad thing"

I don't either but I think you massively expose yourself to your social workers views on it.

I have done plenty of stupid things over the years and wouldn't have dreamed of volunteering it to my social worker. I didn't lie about anything that was current (or even recent).

Magslee · 19/10/2013 17:46

absolutely agree social workers' views are a massive unknown variable and I was very lucky - was just sharing my experience of what happened in my case

Magslee · 19/10/2013 17:56

sorry - posted too soon - meant to say ...and wouldn't want anyone to disclose just because I did! It's a big and very personal decision.

unusednickname · 19/10/2013 18:53

Thanks all. And thanks Magslee for your story.

TBH I think if I lied I'd just be waiting for it to come back and bite me throughout the whole process which it could do quite easily.

Lots to think about. I am in a big rough tough city with social workers to match so... We'll have to see I guess.

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Kewcumber · 19/10/2013 19:00

which it could do quite easily why do you think that?

It certainly wasn't a risk I was prepared to take (drugs not an issue but other things) but I guess you feel strongly about it.

I would count London as a big rough tough city! And most social worker all over the country have seen all sorts - I don't think you can guarantee that they will be relaxed about drug taking.

I think as long as you think it through and accept that its possible it may scupper the adoption process or string it out for longer, then you have to do what you feel comfortable with.

Branleuse · 19/10/2013 19:13

dont say anything

wafflingworrier · 19/10/2013 19:19

be honest. best of luck. I think they'll respect you for it

Kewcumber · 19/10/2013 19:25

I think they'll respect you for it - thats a BIG assumption.

Social workers I have known would have taken a variety of approaches. Not all of them positive or respectful. I have known social workers who have concerns to scupper the adoption process before it gets to panel and if you don't get to panel (even to be turned down) then it is extremely difficult to challenge as there is no legal process to appeal something which didn't happen only the right of appeal against a panel decision.

Libertine73 · 19/10/2013 19:31

I wouldn't mention it, wouldn't even consider it personally, unless you had treatment which you didn't then where there's no record there's no proof. I fail to see any way it could bite you on the arse.

Moomoomie · 19/10/2013 21:07

I wouldn't mention it at all. Itis so far behind you, as you say, you have changed so much since then.
As Kew says, you wouldn't talk about it at an interview!

unusednickname · 21/10/2013 19:05

Once again thanks for replies (and sorry to do a runner on the thread for a few days).

I think it could bite me because they'll possibly be interviewing at least one person who knew me then. Not to mention my family...

Also it's not that I'm bringing it up, it's that I've been asked a question and then asked to sign what amounts to a legal document to say that I have told the truth. And that's a different proposition.

And if I were in the same position with a medical for a job interview? Hmmmm...well possibly not, but if they were going to be interviewing everyone I've ever known in order to ask them just this kind of question? Well then I'd have to think very carefully indeed before I lied...

And Kew I do appreciate your input. I would certainly consider London to be a big city. I live about six miles away from you Grin

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