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December 28, 1999

Behavior

Question from Buffalo, New York, USA:

My 13 year old daughter has type 1. I think she is smoking and drinking. What would happen if she did, and also what about drugs?

Answer:

Please get help for your daughter and family. You could start by talking to a counselor at school and also by talking to your daughter’s doctor. If there is a mental health counselor associated with your daughter’s doctor, that would be great; otherwise ask for a referral. Alcohol and drugs at thirteen are an emergency regardless of diabetes. The substance use can interfere with her ability to care for her diabetes. She can also have problems with hypoglycemia related to drinking alcohol. The alcohol may interfere with the body’s ability to raise up the blood sugar. In addition, some teens have been mistaken for drunk at parties, when they were actually hypoglycemic.

LM