Recover 16 year old's deleted texts? Drugs, deception & lies...

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-09-2014
Recover 16 year old's deleted texts? Drugs, deception & lies...
9
Mon, 07-14-2014 - 12:19pm

The background: When doing laundry I found a small tin containing two tiny bags of marijuana and an Adderall tablet. My daughter came clean about it all eventually, after trying to deny they were hers. This is the second time I have found marijuana in her possession. The first time she was grounded for two weeks, which in our house includes no phone/iPod/computer. This time I said she was grounded for a month and I was going to read her texts. She already was aware that I had access to her Facebook account and read her messages occasionally, which was what led to the first weed discovery, and at that time I said I wouldn't read her texts but if I ever had reason to in the future, I would. I said she could text her friends the news and that if they wanted to get ahold of her during this time, they could call our home phone. I sat in front of her as she did this, and she took that opportunity to delete all of the texts from her phone. 

I was beyond furious and still am when I think about it!!! The next morning, I went online to see about recovering the deleted texts. I found and ordered a device that claims to do this. But now I am having second thoughts on whether I should go ahead with recovering and reading the texts she deleted. Should I give her another chance, and just tell her that I will take her phone at random and read the texts whenever I feel like it? Or do you think it's important to find out whatever it was she felt the need to get rid of?

What would you do? Who can I talk to about this?

By the way, my daughter is an honor student and an all-around good kid. She has a job, is active in sports, and is generally great to be around. She is working hard to make it up to us right now, though I have to say I'm not convinced she won't do the drug thing again. She is very sorry for deleting the texts and says she truly regrets it. Any thoughts/advice is appreciated! I am so worried about her but I want to handle this right. I feel like in most areas of life we have a really good relationship and dialogues and I don't want to mess that up, but of course at the same time her safety, well-being and future are of the utmost importance.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2000

Hi and welcome to the board. That's a tough call. My first instinct is that no matter how 'bad' she feels she deleted them to hide something and you DID tell you you'd read her texts the second time something happened. She didn't seem to learn her lesson about pot the first time so part of me would be inclined to retrieve the texts and check to make sure there isn't any other illegal activity going on. Another part of me thinks that since she is a basically good kid and you have a decent relationship that at 16 she deserves to have a bit of privacy. How's that for some wishy washy advice? I know pot is illegal in most states and is illegal for your dd at her age period but IMO it's no worse than sneaking a beer. (no flaming here - yes, I know having a beer is illegal for a 16 year old too). Had you found meth, cocaine, etc. I'd be much more concerned. Let us know what you decide!

Pam
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2009

Contrary to Pam's post, use of an amphetamine (Adderall) and pot is serious. Adderall is addictive and pot DOES cause serious  brain changes.This is much more serious than an occassional beer.

Call your doctor and make an appointment. She needs to be assessed for addiction and he/she can give you some advice on drug testing.   Your doctor may also know of a drug rehabiltation program she can be enrolled in. Your community might have a resource center for drug use; I would contact her school to find out if there is one at the school.

I would not let this slide. This is serious. You want to stop this before she goes away for college. And, yes, read her texts.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2009

Gentle hugs and welcome to our corner of the village. 

I have SUBZERO knowledge on this subject, so I will leave it to others to help you.

However, I believe all is fair in love, war and parenting—and sometimes parenting feels a lot like war.  I think snooping is OK but you want to be careful about how you do it and how you use the information.  You want to correct the problem, not crush the kid.

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999

I am a dental hygienist, and some time ago I was taking a continuing education course on teen substance abuse, given by the Chicago Drug Task Force.  Besides enlightening us with the various lengths kids will go to, to get high (paint and glue sniffing, crush and inhale dry erase markers, inhale nitrous from whipped cream containers, inhale spray computer cleaner), and detailing the EXPLODING heroin use among teens--ESPECIALLY upper middle class teens--the officer said something  I never forgot.  He said, "Not every kid who uses pot will go on to hard drugs.  HOWEVER, ALL kids who go on to hard drugs, begin with pot.  Since there is no way to tell which way "your" kid will go, all drug use should be considered serious, and handled accordingly."

That truth of that whole class was brought home forcefully, when one of my dds' friends <<<... an honor student and an all-around good kid (with) a job ... active in sports, and ... generally great to be around..>>>  showed up with a huge staph infection between her toes, from where she'd been shooting up.  She revealed she had another beside her labia. 

That girl's parents ended up divorcing over the daughter's drug use.  The father was a vice president of a bank, and the mother did not believe that  "people like us"  had kids with drug abuse problems.   The girl began pot in HS, moved on to ecstacy, coke and finally heroin during and after college.   She graduated with a degree in K-8 education, and became a history teacher.  She lost her first job because she was hospitalized for weeks for the staph infections, during her probationary period.  She got another teaching job the next fall in a lower income district.  She lost that job when when she asked a student if they knew where to buy drugs.  She got a job at a Kindercare, and lost THAT when she got into a fight with her pusher in the parking lot.

She told my dd that she'd cleaned up, and begged to come attend a party my dd was having, because "none of her other friends wanted her around anymore".  She came to my dd's condo, went into the ONE bathroom, shot up, and passed out, blocking the door from the inside.  My dd's husband forced the door open, and my dd ended up with the paramedics and the police crawling all over her home.

The last we heard, she was tending bar in another state.  She is 30 and looks 70.

Follow I-Tea's advice.  This is NOT something that can be handled by grounding. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2009

What struck me was the adderall and the pot. It is getting to be a very serious problem in colleges and with high school kids.

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999

The Adderall IS a red flag.  Adderall is Dextroamphetamine--those infamous dexies of *our* youth.  It breaks down to amphetamine--i.e. speed.   As you may know, both my dds are ADHD.  16 years ago, my dds' Pdoc refused to put them on Adderall, saying it was too easily abused, interacted unfavorably with both other Rx's AND OTC meds like cough and cold meds, and had caused heart incidents. Adderall XR is banned in Canada because of the heart incidents.  Pdoc said Ritalin (methylphenidate) and particularly the long-acting form, Concerta, did not break down the same way, were heart-safe, and were NOT abusable.  Most psychiatrists and psychopharmacologists realize this.  Most pediatricians do not.    This kid is playing with fire.  Not to mention the stupid ADDer who sold her his medicine probably has parents sitting there going, "Kid is taking the meds and NOTHING IS CHANGING.  He's NOT ADHD!!"

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2009

interesting.. didn't know it is baned here.

That's explains why I had to look it up. It "sounded" familar but not that familar. In any case... dangerous stuff.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2009

NNeli, having had time to think about what Sabrtooth and Mom_Iteadrinker said above I would offer these observations/thoughts:

As Sabrtooth pointed out, Marijuana is often described as a “gateway” to other harder drugs like meth, crack, cocaine, heroin, etcetera, with your neighborhood or school “recreational drug sales representative” (drug dealer) having access to providing those to your child.  The sales pitch is something like, “Hey sexy, if you like this, you’ll really love this.  Here’s a free sample. Let me know when you want more.”  

In the extended family we have several sets of parents with a kid who ruined his or her life with drugs.  A couple of those kids have severe brain impairment (from the harder drugs). They all started with marijuana. 

Once hooked, those “free samples” stop and unless your child has the financial resources of an actor, rock star, or Kennedy, they have to find ways to fund that addiction.  Girl’s often become whores.  Guy’s become thieves, and drug dealers—the prisons are crowded with them.  Many of those Playboy Centerfolds have gone down the path to be found dead in a ditch after a life that ended as a low end hooker feeding an addiction.  With no disrespect to the Kennedy’s, several of them have had serious drug addictions issues, with one of Robert’s sons dying of an overdose.

Legions of rock stars and actors and their children are on the roll call of those who died premature deaths due to drug usage that they either overdosed or damaged their hearts (blood pumps).  People generally don’t die of heart issues in their twenties, thirties, forties, and fifties.    

You have been fortunate to get clued in early and this is the second time you’ve been clued in.

We don’t know your daughter and we can’t say if she is sincerely sorry or just saying that to get the heat off?  Is she really sorry she used the pot and deleted the texts or sorry that she GOT CAUGHT?  Those two possibilities are entirely different.  As I said I don’t know the answers to these questions.

I work in an office with flexibility on when lunches are taken. Over the years we have had several parents who dropped their high schooler at school, picked them up when school let out, brought them to the lunch room where they sat until the parent got off work and then the parent kept them under watch ALL THE TIME.  The school teachers were put on notice to report an absence immediately to the office, etcetera. No phones, no computer access, no ipod because it has internet access, NO FUN FOR MOM OR KID.   

I have known of one mother who took leave from teaching, home schooled her son, and went to college classes with him at the community college after high school to make sure he did not relapse--more than a helicopter parent.

As I said in an earlier post, other than the badness of the situation, I have SUBZERO knowledge on the subject but I would not just cross my fingers and hope the problem goes away. 

Because kids using pot seem to hang with other pot users, I would be looking over her friends and their parents. 

One thing I would be thinking real serious about is NOT sending a child with pot issues off to a university dorm. I would be thinking about community college and local state university. 

I don’t know what you do, but you try to avoid the kid walking down this path. 

Hopefully, some of the other posters may be able to give you better ideas on how to proceed with putting the brakes on this situation. 

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006

I scanned the thread, and will try to be brief.

First, I wouldn't go digging up deleted texts.  But I do think you need to come to an understanding with your DD regarding her FB and texting.   I think at 16 they deserve some privacy, but not going to get into all those details here.

I don't intend to make light of smoking pot or the pill you found.  I do find it concerning, but here is the deal:  You can only do so much.  Nature versus nurture.  

I am an alcoholic in recovery and if it is in her genes, there is little you can do.  I don't say that to be discouraging, I am just saying that to lift some of the "gotta' do something, gotta' do something" syndrone us parent get into.  No grounding is going to stop a true alcoholic or addict.  

With that said, if it is NOT in her genetics, you do have a chance right now to hopefully limit her experimentation.  I did drugs, but there were still a few things that were taboo, even to me.  

Point being, don't stop guiding, educating, and detering her from these things that have the potential to be harmful.  We want to guide and teach, not control and manage.  

Good luck and let us know how things go.  

Serenity

Serenity