View Full Version : My 13 year old is hiding his meds


Codykins
09-17-14, 08:45 AM
Uggh! My son has been successfully on meds since he was 7. When he was younger it helped him not only academically but also socially. For the past 3 years we have no taken meds during the summer months and restarted for school. Cody use to agree that his medication was necessary and was aware of how it helped him, he hated however, the lack of appetite.

Fast forward to 13 years old and 8th grade. Cody has been negative about meds. He tells me he doesn't like how he feels on it and HATES not having an appetite although he is hungry. But.. every morning when I give him his medication I watch him take it, or so I thought. I just found a cup in his room with the 8 pills in it. The funny thing is that I noticed he wasn't responding to the meds and was thinking he needed a higher dose - wrong! He isn't taking it.

I have to address with him today and find out why he is doing this. My fear is his academic's in school. Socially he is fine, lot of friends, lots of team sports, etc but he really needs it for school studies.

Has anyone had a child refuse to take their meds and been successful without it?

sarahsweets
09-17-14, 10:23 AM
Its hard when kids get older and don't want meds. My son was medicated from age 4 to age 15 when he decided he didn't want meds anymore. As much as I disagreed I couldn't force him to take them. I have a feeling that once he's older he will have more clarity on how much they helped him but until then I have to allow for natural consequences.

Flory
09-17-14, 10:36 AM
I used to do this in my teen years... I didn't hide them
Though I just outright refused Maybe you could go to see his doctor and he can discuss it with both of you a bit of back up as to why it's important from somebody other than mum can work.

moresugarplease
09-17-14, 03:55 PM
Hello, I'm a 26 year old adult who's taken various prescriptions for ADHD on and off for the past 20 years. When I was of a similar age I want went off as well. You have to realize that teenage years are a time of self discovery and experimentation. Your son probably just wants to see what kind of person he is without his meds. If he notices that things become much worse he will probably want to go back on them, and if not you have a much easier time convincing him its the right thing to do. You also have to realize the single most important aspect about growing up is being able to make decisions and learning from the outcomes of said decisions.

You have to realize that humans go through a GIGA**** of social maturity between the ages of 5 and 13. What was once routine behavior when you are 5, 6 or 7 is suddenly the most embarrassing thing you remember about your childhood when you reach your teenage years.

I hope this helped!

silivrentoliel
09-18-14, 07:52 AM
I did the same thing as a kid... I ended up coming off them altogether until I was an adult... maybe not the greatest idea I've had, but at the time, it was what I wanted.

Codykins
09-19-14, 10:37 PM
Thank you everyone. I wasn't surprised actually because I knew he was starting to dislike taking them. I am nervous about his school work and he is harder to deal with at home, he can be very argumentative. However, he is a good kid and never gets in trouble in school, has good friends and he makes good decisions generally. The biggest issue is me, I have to stop pointing out the things he does because I THINK he wouldn't do if taking his meds. I am becoming very negative and i know it not good to do. thank again for sharing your stories it actually does make me feel better that maybe he will choose to take them if he does struggle to much without them.

InvitroCanibal
09-20-14, 11:30 AM
Just be careful of giving the appearance of conditional love. A lot of parents raise their kids on a "I love you if you succeed" perspective. Most don't realize they are communicating that. I got that a lot from my parents, it wasn't that they outright said it but they acted different towards me when I was successful.

Maybe he wanted you to believe he was still taking the meds so that you could see his actions as his own and not as part of his disorder.

dvdnvwls
09-20-14, 06:39 PM
I don't want to sound gloomy in an otherwise pretty positive thread, but have one thing to add to the end of each positive post:

...as long as he wasn't saving them for someone else.

pooka
09-20-14, 08:02 PM
^i was going to add this too. When I got my wisdom teeth out I ended up barely using any of my prescribed painkillers because they made me nauseous. My younger brother however, found a good use for them - took them right out of the medicine cabinet, kept some for himself, and sold the rest to his friends. At the time we never would have believed he would do something like that, in fact we didn't find out about it until a year later. If your son's not taking the meds, stop giving them to him - he shouldn't have pills in his possession if he's not taking them as prescribed. I'm sure he's a good kid but even good kids (especially ADHD kids) don't always make the best decisions.

InvitroCanibal
09-20-14, 10:42 PM
I don't want to sound gloomy in an otherwise pretty positive thread, but have one thing to add to the end of each positive post:

...as long as he wasn't saving them for someone else.

If he was saving them to sell them, he wouldn't keep them in some other container like a cup hidden around his bed. They'd be in his backpack.
Also, 13 is a little young to be slingin drugs at school.

Just seems unlikely to me

dvdnvwls
09-21-14, 02:39 PM
If he was saving them to sell them, he wouldn't keep them in some other container like a cup hidden around his bed. They'd be in his backpack.
Also, 13 is a little young to be slingin drugs at school.

Just seems unlikely to me

You're right, it's unlikely. I would not be immediately worried. But a kid with ADHD doesn't always think through how he's going to accomplish something either. :)

InvitroCanibal
09-22-14, 04:00 PM
You're right, it's unlikely. I would not be immediately worried. But a kid with ADHD doesn't always think through how he's going to accomplish something either. :)


To clarify, unlikely, as in that is the hardest thing to do, to keep the meds in a cup and then remember to bring them to school the next day.:lol:

ADHD people are actually very thoughtful individuals, we're just horrible executors.

dvdnvwls
09-22-14, 06:40 PM
IvC:

- You're right.

- I've tried to accomplish various schemes in what turned out to be the dumbest possible way, too many times to count. :o

Codykins
12-06-14, 12:11 PM
No no no! He wasn't even really hiding them and he wasn't selling them! That's no a worry.

He is just going through his own identity thing, Like someone else said, he is finding his own.

Codykins
12-06-14, 12:16 PM
So as an update. At this point months later he has agreed to trial other meds but he refuses two things; what he was on (Vyvanse) and anything short acting where he has to go to the nurse for another. I too don't like short acting for him. Today we are beginning Daytrana. Although he is maintaining a C/B average in school his teachers are struggling with his spaciness and he is struggling with basketball, having difficulties following his plays. So wish us luck! I am hopeful the new med will alleviate some of the side effects he dislikes. I know he might still have the appetite suppressing, but the flatness is another issue he was dealing with. Fingers crossed! Thanks everyone for your stories.

CrazyLazyGal
01-26-15, 05:21 PM
So as an update. At this point months later he has agreed to trial other meds but he refuses two things; what he was on (Vyvanse) and anything short acting where he has to go to the nurse for another. I too don't like short acting for him. Today we are beginning Daytrana. Although he is maintaining a C/B average in school his teachers are struggling with his spaciness and he is struggling with basketball, having difficulties following his plays. So wish us luck! I am hopeful the new med will alleviate some of the side effects he dislikes. I know he might still have the appetite suppressing, but the flatness is another issue he was dealing with. Fingers crossed! Thanks everyone for your stories.Your comment about "flatness" was interesting. Is this a new side effect? Do you and his teachers see it as much as he does? If so, it's possible he needs a lower dose now. Biology at that age is so tricky!

Codykins
03-08-15, 10:46 PM
We had a good month on Daytrana and now he doesn't like this medication either. Again, its the flatness! I only notice he is more agreeable and less argumentative. He describes it as he feels like he isn't as funny, he has to force himself to laugh with his friends. He also says he "doesn't know what to do with his hands"? I can't him to explain this to me so I can understand. I think I am going to ask if we can try another non-stimulant maybe "Strattera", he did try Intuniv unsuccessfully last year. I feel so bad for him because without meds he really struggles. He is so forgetful, can't remember things from one minute to the next. An example of that is today he went to the mall with his friends and before he went I told him to be aware of his packages, don't you know he bought a $40 shirt and forgot it in the food court. He was so upset with himself, I felt so sorry for him. He need something to help him, his friend love him but tease him about being a space cadet. He is very flighty. I feel helpless, the stimulant help but makes him feel in a way he doesn't like. No meds, allow him to feel "normal" but he struggles so much with forgetfulness, losing things, etc. My husband and I try to be patient but it is very difficult he always forgetting to do things that frustrate us or he forgets important things or does do things mindlessly. He gets yelled at more than I like. We'll keep on trying new meds I guess and pray we find one he can live with.

rickymooston
03-12-15, 10:40 PM
We had a good month on Daytrana and now he doesn't like this medication either. Again, its the flatness! I only notice he is more agreeable and less argumentative. He describes it as he feels like he isn't as funny, he has to force himself to laugh with his friends. He also says he "doesn't know what to do with his hands"

Um, I wonder if you should consider taking him off meds but getting him counseling?

I'm saying this because it sounds like his attitude towards them could be worse than his ADHD symptoms. He is used to his ADHD self. That is why the flatness feels so weird to him. You have something that sounds to me, like he is depressed about it Hiding medication isn't good; especially if the medication is a controlled substance. Consider stepping back.

Losing things? O.K. My perspective is I've finally stopped losing things. I'm almost 50. ;) My suggestion is, let him lose things. I mean, he can try what I do. I keep my wallet, my wedding ring and my keys a) I need to keep them in the same place, together, I need to physically feel them.

Note: I am not saying permantly staying off meds. However, I'm wondering if, stepping back is what is needed in his case. I'm no doctor and I don't think I was ever "

What to do with his hands? My honest answer is, fidget when he can get away with it. (Depending on who is around him.) However, if he stays on the medication (whatever one your doctor chooses), ask him to see what other people do with their hands.

As for losing things? The yelling sounds useless. Sorry. You know he has ADHD.

Codykins
03-12-15, 11:24 PM
Ricky. "He is used to his ADHD self" I wonder this myself because he seems good to me.

But he says he is "boring", "no fun" and he has to "force himself to laugh". Ugh.. I don't want him feeling like that but I also wonder. He does also agrees the meds help him and would like to find something that works for him.

He has been on meds since 7 and he is now 14, he always had some anxiety and started to complaina little bit around 10 about feeling like he was "boring". But at 13 he just refused. He was on Vyvanse from 7-12, since we have tried non-stimulants unsuccessful (not strattera) and Daytrona. The Dr. now wants him to try Adderall XR. I did want to try Strattera but the Dr. wasn't keen on it. I just think Adderall being a stimulant will give him he same feeling. Were going to give it a try.

Fingers crossed, please!!

rickymooston
03-12-15, 11:36 PM
Well, I almost tried strattera because it is not a stimulant and not addictive. More recently, I've read some of the side effects and ... I'd pass, based on this for now.

Why are you keen on strattera and not rhytalin XP? Why does the doctor prefer the other drug?

Again, you are talking to the guy that is currently trying moderate amounts of caffeine; some days, a can of red bull (high dose for a kid, I'm sure), gives me a clearer mind. Mostly, i'm sticking to coffee (Somewhat scary because I seem to have a reaction of some sort in my arms when I have too much.) :D

Maybe my life would have been better with the right medication. :confused: I definitely have struggled with lots of things: chronic disorganizing, under-achieving, figeting (honestly, I like figetting, when no one is around, try it, focuses my mind, but shhh don't tell that the many NTs), and losing things.

Tisha
03-13-15, 01:38 PM
I don't visit this site often, but I'm glad I came today and read this thread. My son is 18 and was tested ADHD-inattentive at 13. He's also one to not like being on his meds or talking about his ADHD, which I understood and still do.

He started by taking Vyvance and he hated it. We got the prescription from the psychiatrist that diagnosed his ADHd. My normal, very cheerful boy became so quiet and emotionless (flat). He told me he felt nothing inside and I think he was trying to explain "flat", but couldn't find the words, he was zombie-ish and didn't like the way it made him feel. We certainly saw the difference immediately and didn't like it either. So, we took him off of them for a few weeks and he came back!

We went to his pediatrician and he prescribed Focalin XR (extended release) as he said it has the least amount of side effects. He started on 20 mgs. What a difference. First, his grades shot up and a he was still our cheerful boy. He maintained his appetite. He did say they made him feel quieter inside, but I think that was his being able to focus in school and pay attention, rather than his mind wandering. Outwardly, he was the was same..laughing, lots of friends, talkative.

In the 6 years he's been on them, he's tritrated once to 30 mgs, I think about a year ago. He's a Senior in H.S. and at the point now where I notice he's not taking them every day. I know he's just wanting to see what he's like without them, as another poster mentioned above.

I have to talk to him about college, and that he can't afford to not be on them when he goes. I do notice lately he's not as attentive to things I say and I know why.

Anyway, just to let you know about the Focalin XR and that my son (at your son's age) had the exact same experience with Vyvanse.

Codykins
03-17-15, 06:33 PM
Thank Tish. He was Vyvanse for a very long time, 5 years and once 7th grade hit he didn't like it anymore. I wouldn't say my son is Zombie like, but he is much calmer, less argumentative. But he is also much more organized, better in school, etc and he admits it - doesn't like the meds but takes them during sports because he is a better player. This is our 3rd med but I see the pharmacy gave me the generic amphetamine salt ER, I heard that it is harsher than regular Adderall. I hope not, but we will see. I am now interested in Focaline XR, the appetite part is another negative for my son. Wish him luck tomorrow. Fingers crossed!!

rickymooston
03-17-15, 10:43 PM
I have to talk to him about college, and that he can't afford to not be on them when he goes.


I'm inattentive. University took me longer but i'm still not medicated. This
doesnt mean he can survive this way but I'm saying its possible he can. I
may "regret" not being diagnosed and meducated earlier though , hard to say.
Thing is, lots of us don't always know what he can/can't do. Especially when you
are talking ADHD, sometimes, "can't" really means "has a more difficult time doing".
I'm not him; I don't know what he can/can't do but I'm suggesting in some cases,
he can do more than one thinks. THis doesn't mean meds won't help make it easier;
they might.

Before you talk college (by which you mean "university"),
talk career goals? TOo many people "go to college" and spend
tons of money without a solid career focus.

What does he want to do? What is he good at. "College" can be
useless. Other options exist; e.g., community college, ...
de[ending on what he can or wants to do.

Now, I know, he may have all mapped out. However, given he is inattentive,
I'd not be shocked if he didn't have a clear career focus. I certainly didn't till the
last moment.

spunkysmum
03-18-15, 03:03 AM
I don't want to sound gloomy in an otherwise pretty positive thread, but have one thing to add to the end of each positive post:

...as long as he wasn't saving them for someone else.

I suppose that's possible, but if he were giving or selling them to somebody else, you wouldn't think he'd be expressing a desire to go off meds. If he succeeded in getting his parents to agree to let him stop taking them, it would dry up his inventory pretty quick.

sarahsweets
03-18-15, 04:37 AM
Myson decided the summer of his freshman year that he didnt like the way he felt on meds and didnt want to take them anymore. As much as I disagreed, I let him make the decision. I hope one day he will come back to meds but I dont believe you can force a teen to take meds. My daughter just recently came to this decision as well. I have to let my kids take charge of their own body despite the fact that I think they need meds. I feel like when they get older they will change their minds.

Tisha
03-18-15, 01:51 PM
Sarahsweets...freshman year in H.S. or in college? I had a discussion with my DS, 18, yesterday about his reasons for going off his med this last month. His grades are tanking. He seems more inattentive, and will say things that just don't make sense sometimes. He has issues explaining things in detail clearly..it's like that on meds, too...but worse without.

He said that he think that the 30 mg is not as good as the 20mg..he thinks. Well, I asked him about that several times when he changed and he said it was the same. Thanks....now I have $700 worth of 30 mg in the medicine cabinet stocked up. yes, I'm a little ticked.

Anyway, he said it's always given him dry mouth, no appetite at lunch. He eats but doesn't enjoy it. He feels quiet and doesn't really socialize. He said he's just tired of feeling like that. I reminded him that he only takes it during school days...no weekends, holidays or summer. That he's going to feel REAL BAD when he has bad grades in college and is on probation or flunks out, or whatever. He can see the result already from just 4 weeks not on the meds.

He HATES to hear this. I know it makes him feel inferior and stupid. I hurt for him. I told him that maybe he needs to just get thru college and academics. He agrees. I have about 1/2 bottle of the 20 mgs and told him to start taking those and see how he feels compared to the 30mg. As a parent you just feel so bad for them.

sarahsweets
03-19-15, 04:56 AM
This happened in the summer of his freshman year of high school. he graduated and is now taking classes at community college. I responded in more detail to your other post.


Sarahsweets...freshman year in H.S. or in college? I had a discussion with my DS, 18, yesterday about his reasons for going off his med this last month. His grades are tanking. He seems more inattentive, and will say things that just don't make sense sometimes. He has issues explaining things in detail clearly..it's like that on meds, too...but worse without.

He said that he think that the 30 mg is not as good as the 20mg..he thinks. Well, I asked him about that several times when he changed and he said it was the same. Thanks....now I have $700 worth of 30 mg in the medicine cabinet stocked up. yes, I'm a little ticked.

Anyway, he said it's always given him dry mouth, no appetite at lunch. He eats but doesn't enjoy it. He feels quiet and doesn't really socialize. He said he's just tired of feeling like that. I reminded him that he only takes it during school days...no weekends, holidays or summer. That he's going to feel REAL BAD when he has bad grades in college and is on probation or flunks out, or whatever. He can see the result already from just 4 weeks not on the meds.

He HATES to hear this. I know it makes him feel inferior and stupid. I hurt for him. I told him that maybe he needs to just get thru college and academics. He agrees. I have about 1/2 bottle of the 20 mgs and told him to start taking those and see how he feels compared to the 30mg. As a parent you just feel so bad for them.

Codykins
04-24-15, 03:53 PM
**Update** Cody has been on meds for a continuous 2 weeks now (Adderral XR), this week I received emails from 3 teachers telling me his improvement in class, grades, completion of work, class participation and handwriting has improved remarkably. They all pulled him aside to let him know how noticeable his work improvement has been. At home he is perfect, no arguing when asked to do something or told he can't do something. As I drove him to a friend today he said something to me that made me happy and very sad all at once. "when I don't take my medicine I try so hard and can't do anything right" "when I take my medicine I do things things right without trying, like my handwriting is good and I am not even trying to write nicer". My heart hurts that he has ADHD and struggles so hard but I am so happy that there is something (meds) that is helping him.. I ask him if the side effects on this medication was something he could live with? He said he thinks so. I explained that as he matures he will recognize the benefits and hopefully they will outweigh the side effects (that's my prayer). On another note Tisha; your son has explained exactly how my son feels "Anyway, he said it's always given him dry mouth, no appetite at lunch. He eats but doesn't enjoy it. He feels quiet and doesn't really socialize." My son says that he is the funny one in his crowd and when he takes his meds he is not funny anymore. :)