Abuse Symptom Question
Concerned Mom
Posted: March 24, 2019, 5:43 PM







uggh, I just wrote a pretty long post re: my adult daughter and my hand slipped off the keyboard and hit a random key and it disappeared. So more briefly this time, I have a daughter who is 42 and who has had on and off over the years problems with abuse - Xanax, amphetamines, cocaine, pain pills...for a long time now, she has been doing well (or making me THINK she has been doing well, I am not sure). So one of the results of her drug use was the teeth grinding/jaw sliding bruxism thing. Now, whenever there is a gathering at a holiday or party, whenever she has a couple glasses of wine, she starts doing that again. The question I have is, is that something someone else here knows about? Is she telling me that this happens from a couple glasses of wine but actually she is using or abusing something and just figures I will accept that explanation? It has worked because I just thought, well that sounds reasonable, I guess. There have been a few things recently that have made me wonder if she really IS OK or if she is up to her old tricks of self-medicating. Does anyone know the answer to this? I know I can ask a doctor, but it is Sunday and it isn't an emergency and I thought maybe someone here might know. Thank you.
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Posted: March 25, 2019, 12:54 PM


Posts: 187
Joined: December 21, 2018



If she is still drinking wine she's probably doing some of the other substances you mentioned. Rehab preaches sobriety period no matter the substance.

Teeth grinding happens for numerous reasons but if substances trigger it there's a good chance she's using. Middle aged adults are tricky/slick because they have enough experience in life to know they had better put on a good show to stay in someone's good graces(that's actually a good sign that they still include family in their life) but a show or act doesn't bring about sincere effort. They've also picked up or observed enough to see what people want to see because they use that same skill for manipulation and favors.

Long story short adults are better actors than a child so be leary.
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Posted: March 25, 2019, 1:01 PM


Posts: 1588
Joined: June 27, 2016



Hello - I am not familiar with that symptom.

my son 28 has had an addiction to the same meds, more or less, for 6 years. sum up - when he is in early stages of relapse it is hard to identify or notice the symptoms, when he is not using much. when he is in a relapse and using more, it is hard to distinguish between 'did he take something or is he coming down or withdrawal'. at this point we are trying to get off the roller coaster. no matter how much we know, it does not change his behavior, no matter how much we help, it does not change. I used to look at his phone activity. all it told me was what I already knew. lots of activity, he has relapsed. once he relapsed it is just back to miserable same old stuff for us and him.

relapse often starts with alcohol. as much as they and we want to think a glass of beer or wine is OK, it really isn't. if that symptom happens when she is not drinking wine, then you have more data. If it only happens when she has a few drinks, then she might be correct. I could see the body reacting the same way to different drugs. think of addiction as an allergy or sensitivity to alcohol and medications. and the teeth clenching as a symptom of the allergen. maybe some people can have alcohol without going back to their usual drugs... it depends on the person.

As most of us would say - if your gut is saying something is going on, it probably is. unless it isn't.... it is usually in hein sight that I say - yeah maybe something was going on a month ago. ask your daughter to go to a doctor about the teeth clenching, or massage, or physical therapy. If she is sober and wants help, she will go, or be interested in helping alleviate her symptoms. if she is using she probably will not go. depends on her usual behavior, everyone is different.

I can see that you don't want to accuse her, yet you don't want her to fool you. that is why we have to find a way to make them responsible for themselves. we are not responsible for their actions.

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Posted: March 25, 2019, 2:09 PM


Posts: 192
Joined: July 6, 2018



My daughter tried to tell me that when she drank her delusions and voices came back. Truth was when she drank she also did some Meth too.
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Posted: March 25, 2019, 7:40 PM


Posts: 209
Joined: December 23, 2018



My son's meth addiction causes him to clench his jaw. He doesn't even realize he's doing it.

He's gone to rehab several times because he HAD to or was order to, not ever because he wanted help. Afterwards he never once followed post care plan - no sponsor, no meetings, no continued counseling. He relapsed last year & his behavior is so random & weird. He's staying away & not communicating with anyone because everyone (parents & siblings) won't entertain his crisis alerts anymore. We've all told him that he needs to seek what ever treatment he needs to feel better about himself before we can consider "helping" him. He doesn't want treatment so we don't "help" because help is money (in his mind)
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Posted: March 25, 2019, 9:54 PM


Posts: 1
Joined: March 25, 2019



Hi Everyone -- this is Concerned Mom (had to change everything becuz I couldn't remember my password and then it wouldn't let me be Concerned Mom anymore) I wanted to thank you guys for replying and offering insight. You are right that it is so tricky with an adult "child" as I have no real say over her -- it's not like I can ground her or take away her Xbox. This has been going on for so long off and on. She has terrible anxiety and depression and, rather than get help for THAT, she just chooses to self-medicate. It is such a bad cycle -- depression and anxiety, manages to get a job and starts going forward, but then she will medicate and oversleep and call in sick and, before you know it, she has been fired. She never tells me the truth about anything becuz she is embarrassed and doesn't want me to know about ANYTHING and so she will tell me half-truths and spin it so that it sounds like she had a terrible supervisor who hated her or they cut her hours and there was no point going or...and I am just stymied because I don't THINK that is the full truth, but who is going to tell me the truth? No one knows the truth except her and her boss and they won't tell the mother of a 42 y.o. what happened. I am really worried and talked to her today and basically INSISTED that she come over tomorrow nite and told her I KNOW something's wrong and she needs help with it all. Of course, her dad just thinks she needs to pull herself up by her bootstraps. I don't HAVE anxiety and I think people maybe don't understand how bad it can be, but it is waaaay past time for her to deal with it before something really terrible happens. She told her dad that every day is a struggle to stay on this earth and so I DID confront her today to make sure she has no plan figured out for that. God, I am soooo tired. Thanks for listening everyone. I really appreciate it.
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Posted: March 25, 2019, 10:12 PM


Posts: 478
Joined: November 9, 2018



Hi fudge my life (aka concerned mom). I wish you all the best with your daughter. You sound very supportive and understanding. I hope your daughter will let you know what is going on.
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Posted: March 26, 2019, 2:54 PM


Posts: 335
Joined: November 16, 2017



I am not sure you can pinpoint drug abuse from teeth grinding.

The bigger issue is what others have shared and I have experienced. The complete inability to ever really know and the insanity that can lead to for us.

I chased after my son's "symptoms" of mental illness. He left out that he was doing acid. I was alarmed when certain symptoms did not go away after an overdose suicide attempt, even consulting with a specialist. He left out that he was abusing prescription drugs.

I finally came to the conclusion that he had to drive his own recovery and health. Because I was just driving myself crazy and wasting my time. I know try to focus only on what behavior I accept and what behavior is acceptable to ME and MY WORTH as a person. When I put it in this arena, I don't have to know if he is using. I only try to focus on what I will allow.

While not perfect, this is working better for me. I wanted to offer you support as you navigate this. We are all in the same boat dealing with this hell.
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Posted: March 26, 2019, 5:46 PM


Posts: 187
Joined: December 21, 2018



Parenting 2

...He left out he was doing acid...

And that's the thing. It's not just one chemical or variable, stressor, trigger etc it's a combination of things.

Thd alkie took/takes on psychotic personality when he does most uppers, speed etc. It gives him "I'm gonna cut you" attitude ". He frequently parties with cocaine as he did in the 80s and 90s then eased up a little(part-time sniffer head) then started doing adderall several years ago. We'd pick him up after work and he would be in a nasty mood and looked like he was drinking all day long. Yet the call to pick up him an hour earlier I'm just about done he sounded much more normal.

And yes the ultimate decision falls on the addict/alcoholic to want to change. They must want it for themselves and not to appease someone else.

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