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Question:

From Iowa, USA:

My 18 year old son was diagnosed at age 11, and of course he feels he is invincible and is experimenting with drugs and alcohol. He got his endocrinologist to prescribe an anti-anxiety medication (with 8 refills at that). I called the doctor and asked him to please stop the refills,but was told tha, since my son is 18, I really could not request that. I got the same answer from the pharmacist.

I realize that drugs, alcohol, and smoking are very bad for anyone, but could you please tell me the added risks for someone with diabetes? Whenever he smokes marijuana, I can always tell because his blood sugars are extremely high (300-400 mg/dl [16.7-22.2 mmol/L]) which he attributes that to eating extra. I don't think sending him to treatment is the answer at this point because he does not want to stop, and therefore it would be a waste of time and money. We are going to a counselor, and my son tells him the same thing -- He does not intend to stop. Must I sit back and allow him to self-destruct?

Answer:

There are no easy answers to your sons' difficulties. It may be very helpful for you to talk with your counselor about strategies you can use to encourage your son to change his behavior. For example, if he is living in your home, what are the house rules? What are the consequences to him for breaking those rules? (Of course, then you must also be willing to follow-through on those consequences). Also, where does he get the money to buy the marijuana and alcohol? If your son is still in school, his school social worker might be able to be helpful. If he's working, does his drug and alcohol use affect his job performance? Finally, talk with your diabetes team. They should know about his drug and alcohol use. Since the medication you mention is an anti-anxiety medication, if your son is suffering from an anxiety disorder, he needs to be treated by a psychiatrist with expertise in this area. Also, some programs have peer mentors, and your son might respond well to a peer with diabetes.

JWB

DTQ-20010331081014
Original posting 9 Apr 2001
Posted to Behavior

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:20
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