Help Me Prepare
Posted: June 16, 2018, 4:42 PM

Posts: 32
Joined: March 11, 2018

I am a father of an eighteen year old. My daughter started with alcohol at age fourteen and all hell broke loose- honor student to gang member. She wants nuts after the first drink. Her mother and I have addiction in our family, so she got the gene. After three months of my daughter turning into a totally different person and nearly killing herself by hanging out in gang infested apartment complexes, getting raped, guns to her head, etc..., we sent her to a therapeutic boarding school. She stayed there without incident for two and a half years. She had intense therapy from all the trauma she experienced while drinking as an adolescent. She made great grades. Was president of the school.

Fast foward two weeks before high school graduation, and stole some benadryl from Walmart and ingested thirty tablets a day for three days. She was admitted to the hospital and I brought her home when she was discharged. She unravelled immediately, going right back to the same crowd she was hanging out with before she went away. We got her into an IOP program which did nothing for her. She ended up meeting some addicts in that group who supplied her with Xanax. That was like blood on the tongue to a wolf. She went really down hill then.

We sent her to a great program out west after she could not function at home. She asked us to send her there, so it was all voluntary. She got seventy-nine days sober, and she was telling me she was the happiest she's ever been. Everything was going great. The recovery community out there was incredible. Then, a man showed up for an NA meeting high as hell. She knew it and gravitated toward him. She gave him his number, and he called later that evening. She left the sober living house, met him, and smoked heroin for five days straight at his apartment before calling me to help her get back to treatment.

She is dope sick and is currently in detox. I have a question to the Heroin addicts. It appears Heroin is a lifetime battle. It seems once you do it, you're pretty much going to be struggling for a long time. Is there anyone here that used Heroin for a short time and recovered quickly? What makes it so different to quit than other drugs? Is it because the withdrawals last so long? I'm just trying to prepare myself. My daughter had all the education about Heroin and still had to try it. She knew damn well it was terribly addictive. I've tried to be supportive of my daughter, but after two wrecked cars, a therapeutic boarding school, two detoxes and two rehabs, I am starting to see this is going to be a long slog.
Posted: July 1, 2018, 4:27 AM

Sadly the choice is up to her. If she wants to quit she will if she doesn't want to quit it will be a battle. I used for a few years straight. Went to rehab once. That didnt Last. Then decided I wanted to quit. With the help of AA/NA and my sponsor. I quit and it hasnt been much of a battle at all.. its been 2years that i've been clean. I pray she finds recovery
Posted: July 3, 2018, 12:05 AM

For me, heroin was the one thing in my life that brought me comfort. It wasn't a matter of physical withdrawal being unbearable because it's really not. It's the warm embrace you feel when you do it.. it takes away every emotion that I never wanted to feel, even the "good" ones because for me, feelings are too intense. I used to treat symptoms of ptsd and an eating disorder . Heroin was there for me and I always knew what to expect from it..that it wasn't going to abandon me, that I could find solace with it. I used because I was in the most indescribable mental and emotional pain. However, I wasn't just a heroin addict..i was addicted to benzodiazepines, alcohol, cocaine, and lyrics. The drugs did for me what I could not do for myself and they made me feel at ease in my own skin. The pain has to be great enough to stop but unfortunately most drug users ha e a high pain tolerance and will keep using til their demise. I would suggest a gender specific program that has multiple modalities of treatment, for your daughters case a trauma informed care. The book In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts by Gabor Mate gives an honest approach at figuring out why people ise. I will pray for not only your daughter but you as well. I know how painful it is to love a heroin addict and feel completely helpless..and I know the suffering my addiction caused my family. If I had to pick a side to be on the receiving end it would bethe least they can numb their pain. But watching a family member slip away is much more profound..
Posted: July 5, 2018, 6:58 AM

Posts: 32
Joined: March 11, 2018

Thanks for the replies. I just downloaded the book you recommended. Since my last post, my daughter abruptly moved out of her sober living house and moved in with a drug user. She has been using heroin nonstop for three days. She will text me, but she refuses to leave the drug dealer because she knows she'll have to go to detox. I am worried she's selling herself for the drug because she has no money. I understand the lure of heroin, but it is so deadly. She sent me a text in the wee hours this morning telling me she's sorry I have a daughter like her, that I did not deserve "anything close to this." I'm heartbroken, and this appears to be the very beginning of the process. Any recommendations on how I can break through this drug trance and get her to leave the drug dealer would be much appreciated. I take it from what you've written, that she's going to have to hit rock bottom before she changes.
Posted: July 5, 2018, 12:30 PM

Posts: 368
Joined: November 16, 2017

Join the Club,

I am sorry you are going through this long-term grief process. I am, as well. It is interesting how similar our stories are. My child took a bunch of benadryl, as well. He also said he felt better than ever in treatment, but it did not last.

Your story is different, in that, your daughter keeps saying she wants help. I am a little baffled that she has had so much success, yet continues to have these really bad episodes. I guess I always believed that if my son got some serious help and clean time, he could stay away for longer periods of time.

One thing I noted is that her relapses seem to be related to relationships, seeking out men. Not sure what to do with this, as I am sure they have discussed this with her in her many counseling/therapy sessions.

In the end, so very sadly, there is not enough love in the world to stop an addict. Love does not help or change the situation. She has to want to stop and only she can make the decision and do the work.

I feel for you. It is so heartbreaking to watch our kids go through this. Horrifying. And, what a sense of helplessness. Takes my breath away still, some times. Please take care of yourself and make sure to seek out support for yourself. Keep posting here, as well. This is a very long, confusing and grief-laden road we have to take. I keep learning healthier ways to navigate it.
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