View Full Version : Theory of harm reduction and my daughter.


sarahsweets
12-23-16, 06:10 AM
I hope this gets enough traffic.

Long story short. We found out about 2 months or so ago that Becca had been vaping. Her BF at the time used vape to stop smoking and was of age so I guess I should say this wasnt a surprise.
The surprise was how well she thought she hid it- like she was fooling her mom-ha.
Anyway when confronted she said she had started smoking with a girl she used to hang with who was nothing but trouble and so she started vaping to quit that. Not sure I believed that one. When she was in the hospital I found it and took it away. When she got home she realized it was gone and was upset and talking to me about it. Now,she hadnt had any nicotine and the vape juice I found was 3mg- vs something like 26 when she started. She was really good in explaining to me about the psychological reward from using it-the act of it-was what helped her anxiety-not the nictotine.

I can totally identify, cause its never been the nicotine with me, its been the act of smoking that is so hard to stop. She is really fragile at this point.

I took her for her PHP intake and she starts today.
My theory that I discussed with her is harm reduction. She is being considered for MDD and/or bipolar. She has adhd and a strong streak of impulsivity and risk taking behavior.
I know shes tried pot and alcohol before-hopefully nothing else.
If she is anything like me, she could easily go for mood altering substances- even when medicated and being treated for mental health issues. The level of anxiety here after her being home just one day is enormous.

Maybe I am a horrible mom- but I thought that if I allowed her the non-nictotine juice so that the act is what she is getting something out of-until she is more stable- is that so awful?
I talked to my husband about this. In my case he can see how it totally makes sense-but his little girl is a different story.
I told all of this to the new psyche at the PHP.
To my surprise- she said she is comfortable with this. Not like-yea its a great idea- but the theory of harm reduction- will allowing this, prevent something more devastating- is something she educated me on.

I have always believed in it. As an alcoholic- in order to stop the consequences and chaos of addiction- I still smoke/vape- its not as horrible as the alternatives and its something that can be addressed when I have some more time under the belt.
The doctor wasnt rubber stamping the idea as if its the ultimate solution- but that all the bad stuff in cigarettes, substances and alcohol are not in the nic-free vape juice. Its giving her that crutch for now, and hoping that she learns the skills and gets healthy enough to utilize coping skills in the future.

Even if that takes years- from experience- if she vapes- I might not like it-but she will not be abusing other substances.
She has the chemical makeup of her mother- and I can assure you that seeking out the bad stuff was so easy I wouldnt have believed it.
I was surprised and sort of pleased that the doctor said what she said.
Its something I always believed in and I was feeling good that it wasnt all in my head.
So what do you think?
Am I a terrible mom? Am I not being hard enough?
Please dont be mean to me, I am not strong enough for it.

Little Missy
12-23-16, 08:17 AM
You did the right thing. Period. :)

Caco3girl
12-23-16, 09:47 AM
In my totally inexpert opinion...everyone needs a vice. For some people it is 8 cups of coffee/mt dew a day, others it is smoking, running 5 miles, drinking, drugs, alcohol. We all need SOMETHING to take the edge off and everyone's edges are different.

If you can steer her to a less destructive method of taking the edge off, than what she had been doing, I say that is a wonderful thing.

sarahsweets
12-23-16, 10:01 AM
In my totally inexpert opinion...everyone needs a vice. For some people it is 8 cups of coffee/mt dew a day, others it is smoking, running 5 miles, drinking, drugs, alcohol. We all need SOMETHING to take the edge off and everyone's edges are different.

If you can steer her to a less destructive method of taking the edge off, than what she had been doing, I say that is a wonderful thing.

Oh thank you. This literally brought tears to my eyes. I just got her on the transport van to the PHP and was sitting in the car wondering if Ive raised my kids right- if Im doing ok, If Im good enough or to damaged to parent well. Thank you cacogirl for validating this for me. Its so hard. In the old days it was no-means no but now we've got pills sold in school and binge drinking at parties where date rape is everywhere. We have heroin and meth. When I was in school it was the bad boys drinking beer on the weekends and pot and smoking. Now when you say smoking you have to explain what that is- MJ or tobacco. Im working on getting her father on bored. THANKS. Thanks to Lil miss too.

ginniebean
12-23-16, 12:06 PM
Vape with zero nicotine? I guess my thought is what's the big deal? Harm reduction sounds just fine to me.

I loved my kids teen years but now, I hear about the same kinda problems I had with my children and realise what anxiety years those were and then I find myself saying, thank goodness my kids aren't teens anymore.

Fuzzy12
12-23-16, 03:01 PM
Harm reduction sounds like a good idea. So far all the evidence seems to point to the fact that valing is 95% healthier than smoking cigarettes. Most of the criticism against vaping seems to stem from culture (ie the belief that smoking is BAD) rather than from genuine health concerns. There isn't much evidence though I think either way.

I don't think it's a terrible idea. I mean what's the alternative? Would she smoke secretly? Or have a miking tougher time with anxiety? For me too smoking did wonders for anxiety. I still miss it. I csn understand though why you amok ingredients questioning yourself. It's an unconventional approach but maybe it's the right approach especially since there might not be a better approach.

Also you are not a horrible mom. .on the contrary. It's not like you are taking the easiest path right? You are thinking about what's genuinely the best for your daughter and are ready ready to to try something unconventional even if it makes you feel uncomfortable or might make you a target for criticism. You are a great mom!!

ToneTone
12-23-16, 06:08 PM
I totally support harm reduction! ... I'm ten years out in using nicotine gum to stop from cigar smoking. My doctor still loves it and doesn't care that it's been 10 years on nicotine replacement because she thinks smoking is SO MUCH worse.

In fact, I think most people who have compulsions or addictions of various kinds would benefit from finding a less destructive compulsion to replace the negative one. We're human. We don't go from compulsive to non-compulsive overnight. Many of us simply transfer from one addiction or destructive behavior to another.

True story: both of my brothers, who are now deceased and both who had ADHD ... they both quit drinking and quit smoking and became obese. Both. It was clear that they shifted from one addiction to another (eating) ... though I don't think either noticed it at the time. They needed a "harm reduction" transition habit and neither got it!

Your thinking seems fine to me. In fact, I would say the people opposed to harm reduction are the ones who are unrealistic. And your doc, however reluctant, seemed to validate your thinking. If you think vaping is a safe and realistic step--more likely to help your daughter than not vaping--go for it!

You are bringing realism into the equation and realism always helps! The truth is in life we make small steps ... small and important steps ... we don't become miraculously transformed overnight and we need to stop pretending that we do.

Good luck.

Tone

Luvmybully
12-23-16, 09:50 PM
I think you have excellent instincts!

And oh boy am I also glad my kids are all adults now. Teen years are rough times.

bryanrc51
12-27-16, 12:27 PM
I hope this gets enough traffic.

Long story short. We found out about 2 months or so ago that Becca had been vaping. Her BF at the time used vape to stop smoking and was of age so I guess I should say this wasnt a surprise.
The surprise was how well she thought she hid it- like she was fooling her mom-ha.
Anyway when confronted she said she had started smoking with a girl she used to hang with who was nothing but trouble and so she started vaping to quit that. Not sure I believed that one. When she was in the hospital I found it and took it away. When she got home she realized it was gone and was upset and talking to me about it. Now,she hadnt had any nicotine and the vape juice I found was 3mg- vs something like 26 when she started. She was really good in explaining to me about the psychological reward from using it-the act of it-was what helped her anxiety-not the nictotine.

I can totally identify, cause its never been the nicotine with me, its been the act of smoking that is so hard to stop. She is really fragile at this point.

I took her for her PHP intake and she starts today.
My theory that I discussed with her is harm reduction. She is being considered for MDD and/or bipolar. She has adhd and a strong streak of impulsivity and risk taking behavior.
I know shes tried pot and alcohol before-hopefully nothing else.
If she is anything like me, she could easily go for mood altering substances- even when medicated and being treated for mental health issues. The level of anxiety here after her being home just one day is enormous.

Maybe I am a horrible mom- but I thought that if I allowed her the non-nictotine juice so that the act is what she is getting something out of-until she is more stable- is that so awful?
I talked to my husband about this. In my case he can see how it totally makes sense-but his little girl is a different story.
I told all of this to the new psyche at the PHP.
To my surprise- she said she is comfortable with this. Not like-yea its a great idea- but the theory of harm reduction- will allowing this, prevent something more devastating- is something she educated me on.

I have always believed in it. As an alcoholic- in order to stop the consequences and chaos of addiction- I still smoke/vape- its not as horrible as the alternatives and its something that can be addressed when I have some more time under the belt.
The doctor wasnt rubber stamping the idea as if its the ultimate solution- but that all the bad stuff in cigarettes, substances and alcohol are not in the nic-free vape juice. Its giving her that crutch for now, and hoping that she learns the skills and gets healthy enough to utilize coping skills in the future.

Even if that takes years- from experience- if she vapes- I might not like it-but she will not be abusing other substances.
She has the chemical makeup of her mother- and I can assure you that seeking out the bad stuff was so easy I wouldnt have believed it.
I was surprised and sort of pleased that the doctor said what she said.
Its something I always believed in and I was feeling good that it wasnt all in my head.
So what do you think?
Am I a terrible mom? Am I not being hard enough?
Please dont be mean to me, I am not strong enough for it.

I have ADHD combined and suspected ASD, also bear in mind I have never been addicted to anything except maybe video games. So I may not be the best for evaluating matters of addiction but I would allow her the small amounts of nicotine slowly weaning her off until she is on the Nicotine free version. On a side note the term vaping is now so confusing, it used to be vaping solely meant a large expensive device to heat a compound to a very high temperature generally used by weed afficionados :) Now with the advent of electronic cigrarettes it also means something else, wish they could have picked a different term.