my daughter is a drug addict

anyone who has family that is a drug addict? please write and share stories with me! it helps to talk to someone who understands! thanks, Liz

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Liz,
I have a step-son who is on heroin. It is one heck of a struggle. To watch someone who is smart and has the whole world at their feet throw it away on drugs. They think they know it all.

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Brownheart, Sorry to hear about your step-son. It sure isn't easy to watch. My daughter's art teacher wanted her to go to a special art class because she was that talented, but it never happened. :-( Hang in there!

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I have a daughter who went through 10 years of addiction that I know of. Not sure how much time she spent in it before I became aware. She has been clean for around 4 years now. I still feel like a hostage to her moods and stress. Terrified every day that something could send her back down that road.

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ArleeSue, I am glad for your daughter that she is clean so long, I know the fear of going back, my daughter had been clean as long as a year...on and off....right now she is in a daily program, so she says, but no one has heard from her in a few weeks, it's a constant stress! I feel for you, please, if you need to talk, let me know! Hang in there! liz

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My son is clean now for about one year! He's 20 and doens't live home. He's doing so well. He now calls me everyday, looks great, back at school. Phew...let's hope it continues. The problem seems to be me. I don't know how to move forward! I worry every single day!

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Jan, Don't ever stop worrying or let your guard down! If he stays clean YAHOO!!!!!!!! I am happy he has this long. I don't know how long he has been using but the worry never goes away, if gets less and less but as a mother, it will not go completley. My daughter has been using for almost 14 yrs now. I have to say, I am "comfortably numb" about it now. I take one day at a time, don't look into the future or think of the past, live for the day and be happy!! Hang in there, Liz

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Hello all, I have been married about two years and my husband is addicted to cocaine. Once a month he disappears without a trace and hangs out with his drug friends. In the beginning I had no idea about his drug habit but I thought he was cheating on me. When I found out that he was doing drug, I was very upset and disappointed but wanted to help him to get clean. I went to NA meetings with him and searched some programs he can attend but nothing worked. I can't picture my husband (once I loved at least) is out there hunting for drug. It really hurts me. What hurts the most is all the lies and manipulation. I really want to help him but I am getting tired.

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Hi Scoutlee, I am sorry for your husband using. It's a hard thing to deal with, my significant other used to use cocain also...I would cry all the time till she stopped because she saw it hurting me. That is someone who wanted to stop...unfortunatley, unless they want help or to stop there is nothing YOU can do! My daughter has been using heroin for about 15 yrs now, she always says she can stop on her own, never happens, always relapses. She hasn't gotten to that place yet that SHE wants to stop. All I can say is, I know you love your husband but you don't need to live like that either. I wish you lot's of luck, get YOURSELF help and keep me posted. I care!!! Liz

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Your title fits me perfectly - my daughter is a drug addict, too. Heroin. She's 21 now, and I think she started when she was about 17. I didn't know a thing until some time last year, I was one of those "not my child" parents who keep wondering where all their spoons are going. Her life was a constant search for more and a scramble for money to get it - she stole a lot of money from me, from her younger brother, from friends and ultimately from strangers in bars - stealing pocketbooks. Stupid, in this day of near-constant video surveillance! Needless to say, she was caught on camera, and even though she threw away everything except cash, the credit cards in the purses made these thefts into felonies.

She was sent to an in-house hospital rehab for 30 days, and when she came out she had to report to drug court every morning, and some days they would give her a code that meant she had to go somewhere else and give a urine sample. If she had seen it through, other charges were to be washed away.

Her second weekend home after rehab she blew it. She got drunk and thought it would be fun if she and her boyfriend-of-the-moment broke into the local elementary school and stole computer equipment. The police were waiting for them with guns drawn when they came out. She is currently in jail, the judge and other legal guys will discuss her future next week - I don't hold out much hope but she is complacent, certain she will not get the prison sentence the judge promised her if she screwed up.

I may sound detached...inside I am a wailing, weeping mess. My sweet girl, my baby, my brilliant, beautiful daughter is in jail and may be there for a long time...I miss her so much, I miss her amazing sense of humor and her voracious appetite for books (this is a girl who began reading at 18 months and now is in jail with nothing to read except old women's magazines). I miss her and love her and want to hold her and tell her everything will be alright, because I see the fear behind the nonchalant facade. It will be okay, my sweet, my little one, mommy will fix it. But I can't. And I can't take away her need for heroin.

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OMG staying calm, you hit every emotion I have inside of me. I guess having a heroin addict for a daughter is a connection only us mothers can have! My daughter has been a heroin addict since she is about 16 and next February she will be 30 yrs old!!!!! She just od'ed again about 2 months ago, stole all her fathers possesions including his computer and guns. I don't know what he did about it, we are divorced and don't commuicate at all. She has been in jail , rehabs, hospitals, detox, psych wards...on and on and on. ....I guess we will never know the need they have for that stuff. Like you, I wish I could just hold her and tell her it will all be alright, not that simple, it just breaks our hearts. My daughter was a painter and her art teacher just before this all happened wanted her to go into a special art class because she was that good! What a waste. Plus she has a daughter that is 9 yrs old and she hasn't had custody of her since she is 1 yr old and now hasn't seen her daughter in a yr and a half. Thanks for writing and thanks for listening...it helps!! Take care, Liz

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grandmavad,
You've had 14 years of this? Oh, my poor lady! I can't imagine feeling like this for that long. I feel like a sniveling whiner :(
How on earth do you cope with the hurt and disappointment? I just keep hoping against hope, and like a fool I keep believing her when she says she is clean. I believe her tears and promises because - what if one time she really did mean it and I didn't give her my support?
I'm so sorry you've been through this, grandmavad, I'm sorry anybody ever has to.
Deb

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Hello staying calm, I guess you can say that by now I have become an expert at being comfortably numb to my daughter and her addiction. I have seperated myself from her and her world....I don't call her or try to contact her unless she calls or contacts me first. She just did that 3 weeks ago and her sister, 26, and I met her at the mall....she said she was clean for 7 weeks, like that was a big deal, and we just chatted , she never even asked about her daughter at all! Now it's been 3 weeks and I haven't heard from her,nor has her sister. I figure if the "worst" were to happen, at least I have seen her and talked to her but I don't try to "fix" her anymore. I once heard this...how do you know when a drug addict is lying?, when they open their mouth to speak......it is soooooo true!! Heroin addiction is one of the worst, even saying it is hard knowing it's your own daughter. It's even harder when someone you haven't seen in a long time asks..."how is Jen doing?"......breaks your heart!!!!! It's nice to share these feelings with someone who really understands....I write to another mother who has a drug addict daughter, if you would like to write to me more personally, you are more then welcome to, it sure helps relating!!!! I have been through IT ALL with my daughter....my email address is : mcookieliz1960@earthlink.net..feel free to write if you want. Take care, Liz

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Thank you Liz :) It is good to talk to someone who has been to the same places!

Somehow, my daughter has managed to avoid jail time, but the judge wants to send her upstate to Daytop (residential treatment center) as soon as they have a bed, as part of the Drug Court program. My daughter, unfortunately, is listening to "jailhouse lawyers" who advise her to quit Drug Court and just do jail time because she might have to after the treatment center, anyway. It hurts to hear her mulling over such a stupid decision and be unable to make her do the right thing. Who set the age of adulthood at 21? Our kids are still children at 21 and 30!
Take care, Deb

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The journey is terrifying, there is no doubt about that. My daughter was addicted to (insert every drug) for nearly a decade. Watching her go through this nearly killed me, but somehow we muddled through.
You can never give up on them though because you'll eventually find that one magic thing that will allow them to see there are other choices, other ways to get back their life.

I wrote a book about the collateral damage addiction causes.

"Dancing With The Devil" by Jacqueline Brown

You can buy it on Amazon or order it through your local bookstore. It details how far a mother will go, how we become willing to give up everything in order to save them. The last few chapters I wrote sitting next to her bed in the emergency room. She was returning from 4 months of rehab. They sent her off to the airport alone and guess what...she decided she wanted one last hurrah before returning to her 'normal' life. She was unconscious from a heroine overdose by the time the plane landed and we got THAT call from the stewardess..."Are you the mother of..."

The good news is that day she hit her very bottom. She'd had several other bottoms but I think when she saw my face when they finally revived her, she knew her drug days were over.

She has been sober for just over two years and recently graduated from esthetics school. During that time I penned another book called...

"Recovery's A Bitch".

It looks at what we do to our brains while someone is in recovery. It's witty, serious, and looks at how we must pull our own lives together through faith in something that is beyond us. It should be available on Amazon very shortly.

Girl, you have to tie a knot at the end of the rope and hold on because, if she's young enough (this is the silver lining), you still have time and the authority to help her. Hang tough! Have faith that this too shall pass. Help her search for something that will fill her with passion and you will see her change.

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Hello stayingcalm, I know Daytop, my neice went there and at one point my daughter was to go there, not sure why she didn't. We live only 1/2 an hour north of Poughkeepsie. I hope things are getting better. My daughter is still on her rollercoaster. Two months ago she od'ed and stole her dad's computer and guns and other items to get the drugs, pretty scary stuff, now two months later she is tellling me how much she wants to change and misses everyone, same story over and over and over, hard to have any hope, always some there but getting less and less...sad! She is 29 and you are right, till they are about 30, the still need so much guidance, some of them anyway! Like I said, you can write to me if you want to talk more. hang in there and take care, Liz

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hey jbwritergirl, I wanted to write to you but just plain forgot! I read your book and passed it on to a friend with a daughter who is a drug addict, thank you for writing it!!! It has been a very long struggle and I don't see it ending any time soon. She has been using since she is 15 and is 29 now. I always have hope but it fades as the years go by....thank you for writing, I am hanging in there and keep hoping .....Liz

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"I am hanging in there and keep hoping"

Certainly words to live by. Just remember that miracles do happen. Keep hoping for one and it WILL come. I send my angel to you, listen on the wind. He will keep you strong enough for both of you.
Jacqui

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Thank you so much! It really means alot!! Liz

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Thank you, Liz & Jacqui!

Jacqui, I work in a library and I'm going to ask our Adult Services Librarian to buy your book. There is so little out there for the parents of addicts, although there seem to be plenty of books from recovering addicts.

Deb

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Hey Deb,
That's very generous of you. I feel honored that you would do this.

You're right though, there is very little out there in regards to the collateral damage of being around or raising someone with an addiction.

My next book "Recovery's A Bitch" is a follow up to Dancing. It's about recovering the bits of ourselves that got lost in their addiction. After my daughter got sober, there was this part of me that felt hurt because her needing me on a day to day, moment to moment basis, had been rudely interrupted. She was okay and suddenly I wasn't! What the hell was I supposed to do with the big black hole in my brain that was solely reserved for worrying about her? I know this must sound awfully weird but the fact that we vest so much of ourselves in helping them, well, there's got to be some damage. We mothers put ourselves through some pretty wacky stuff right?

Ånyway, again my thanks for your effort to spread the word about my book.
Stay in touch,
Jacqui

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