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03/22/2010 05:47 PM

20 year old Heroin addict

Posts: 4
New Member

I have a beautiful 20 year daughter who I once knew but don't know anymore like I use too because she became addicted to oxy's/ zanax/ followed by heroin for over 2 years along with alcohol addiction. The problem has only became worse as time went on. It all began in high school when she would rebel against my husband and myself. Even though she was a good student and an excellent athlete....there was something missing. I noticed it and would point it out to my husband, but as usual he would think I was over analyzing the situation. Well it turned out my gut feeling was right with friends or if she was up to "no good". By 17/18 she received numerous tickets followed by a DWI. I thought from the family helping her get her life back on track she would learn through her mistakes!! Wrong!!! Soon after she moved out drug busts followed to a major accident that nearly ended her life because of heroin. Did she hit "rock bottom after the accident and see the light"? Even with family support she went on and became worse and got into more trouble with drugs again and again with the law. We tried again with number of rehabs and even a phychiatric ward-no hope-failed or quit. I thought throwing her out would work- it only made her worse! She did beg to come home and stated she would be clean, but that only lasted a week and I would find heroin along with her syringes. i even changed her cell # at least 3 times- didn't work! I kept on saying to myself especially when she went to court why was she always just slapped on the wrist with a fine and not forced to some type of extensive rehab, therapy or even jail time (terrible to say but how else do they learn). I am happy she was given a second chance to walk out alive from her accident (I still cherish her but hate what heroin is doing to her) but why doesn't she see it it that way -that she is a "Walking Miracle". A person with a broken neck in two places that is able to be repaired and walk (esp. my daughter) makes me cry. She was so close to being parapalegic or even dead (and to even think of heroin afterwards is a sin). Now she is in jail for violating probation and for once my husband and I are in agreement- will not bail her out. We have helped her to much before and my husband still feels sorry for her (enables her- I tell him needs to stop pointing fingers/ esp. blaming me for her mistakes). I keep stating to him to stop feeling guilty ...we all love her but she needs to learn through her mistakes.She's an adult and needs to face the reprecussions. As a family we need to take care of ourself,our health and especially our other 2 children.Please pray for our family especially for my daughter that she will find the road to sobriety! Thank you.




03/22/2010 06:36 PM

Brokenhearted mom,

I too am a broken hearted mom. My 20 year old daughter is also a heroin addict. She started about 2 1/2 years ago, at least I think so. Over time, it has gotten worse and worse. She had been arrested too. Then, in August of last summer, after being clean for 3 months, she overdosed. My husband and I found her when we got up for work. We went into her room because she left her bedroom light on. Had she not left her light on, she would be dead because one of us would not have opened her bedroom door that morning. She was completely unresponsive and 911 told me I had to do cpr on her until ems got here. A mother should not have to keep her daughter alive because of drugs. She spent 5 days in cardiac ICU. She had a heart attack (from the loss of bloodflow), pnemonia (from aspirating) and for a while her kidney and liver functioning was impaired. Once she became alert, she cried and couldn't believe what happened. She swore she would never use again. But, guess what. She did. Like your daughter after the accident. And, it was worse than ever. Prior to her overdose, her "best friend", the girl she started using with, died from an overdose. We went to her funeral. A dead 20 year old. What a waste. I have become paralized in fear that it will be my daughter.

I don't know why, other than by the grace of God, but one night she came home, high again, right after another family intervention. That night, while high, she cried and cried and said, Mom, I can't stop, and I need help. We got her in a rehab program. She went through a medical detox for about 10 days. The doctor said there was really no way she could have quit on her own because of the physical addiction. That was in December. She is now in intensive outpatient, and on Soboxone. She attends NA too. So, there is hope. Please know I'm thinking of you. I do know how you feel. Like you, I would never ever ever imagine my daughter would even think to do this drug. I hate the word heroin. I will never be able to say, my daughter's a heroin addict without my heart and sould breaking.

When she was using, she was absolutely crazy. I had to have the police remove her from my house. She was aggressive and mean. Right now, today, I have my daughter back. But you and I know that 20 is so young and that this is a struggle they will deal with for the rest of their lives. I don't know why she realized one night that she couldn't control it anymore, but I pray your daughter gets there. I'm sorry for what your going through. Please keep in touch. Get some help for you. I learned a lot at the family programs that were offered at the rehab center she was in and I now go to naranon and counseling. It helps alot to know that others are in our position. The one thing that sticks with me that I learned, from the parent meetings and from my daughter, that I have no control over it. The more loss of control of our kids, the more we as moms try to control it and as you know, it can make us crazy.

Thinking of you,


03/23/2010 05:52 AM
Posts: 41

It is so incredibly sad but we all have the same story. I have a 20 year old daughter who is a heroin addict. She is now serving her second jail sentence for probation violation. I am so thankful she is in jail, safe behind four walls from her own poor choices. It is beyond comprehension even to myself that I am "thankful" she's in jail. How did I get here? Mothers of addicted children understand. There is a parents of addicts forum also. Take some time to read the posts and diaries of mothers exactly like us.

03/23/2010 05:58 AM
themmerlePosts: 383

It sounds like you are doing all the right things. We will all pray for your daughter. Who knows why some have to have a bottom which is so VERY low. Sometimes you just have to love them in spite of themselves and stand up to the disease when they aren't strong enough to do it themselves. Explain it to your husband that way...."We are standing up to this disease for her, when she isn't strong enough to do it herself". Doing the right thing is typically HARD. I don't know why it is alway that way...but it is. While enabling makes you feel good for the moment (it feels more loving to always bail someone out, set things straight, etc.), your husbands desire to nurture her is feeding the disease of addiction. My son is now in recovery. I do get to see glimpses of the boy that I love and raised. But, there are moments that I see the addiction IN THERE and it terrifies me. I try to feed his sobriety and starve the addiction. But, ultimately is HIS recovery and HIS decision to stay clean. this is the hardest thing that I've had to accept. But, when you finally stop feeling responsible for their recovery and for their will will feel ok about your role in this. That is what I asked myself constantly, "What is my role in this? What does the GOOD mother of an addict do?" And the answer to that is "hate the disease and don't feed it...and still find a way to love the person". Tracy

03/23/2010 08:42 AM
Posts: 4
New Member


I am so glad you have your daughter back in your life. I have been praying every day that it will happen to us with my daughter. It's not easy (and my husband does not see it clearly) that he is not helping out the situation by working against me and not with me. Our marriage has been greatly affected because of her. I try to explain to him that we all love her but we need to be strong and he needs to stop enabling her and blaming me every time she gets into trouble or hammered by the law. Besides the accident my daughter encountered, I too witnessed close calls at home (wondering if she was alive) along with an overdose of pills and heroin where she ended up in ER and remained in the hospital for 1 week afterwards due to stomach complications. It was nasty! Honestly did not know who she was at the time- sad to say. Even though she's in jail now for violation of prob. and could face more time...because of fraud (stealing funds from us again-not first time)-I keep saying to myself when will she learn?? Stating she's sorry to my husband or in letters after 1 week in jail I cannot beleive anymore. I need to see her change. I have heard her say she would quit over and over or she was sorry but she would just continue on and do Heroin. I try to explain this to my husband but I think he just wants everything to be back to when the family was well and she was drug free. I tell him it hurts me too to see our daughter this way...but you need to let go and let her make the final decision because we can't force her to get off heroin.

04/03/2010 09:35 PM
Posts: 203

Dear BrokenHeartedMom (and others with heroin affected family),

I was in the same place, a few years ago, that your daughter is in now. I was a user for over 4 years, I have been clean for just under 3 and a half. I'm 24 so I was the same age that your daughter is when I was using. I am also studying to be a drug and alcohol counsellor.

First off let me say my thoughts are with you, it is very hard I imagine to have a loved one addicted to heroin, I can't say I know how it feels because as the user I had no sense of perspective. but I know exactly how your daughter may feel and what she may be going through.

when it comes to drug use there can be many underlying factors, I am also type 1 bipolar, and I used drugs as an escape from my bipolar. part of helping a drug user is working out why they started in the first place, if you can work that out and remove that factor or do something to change how it affects the drug user then you can remove some of the reason drug users relapse.

you mentioned changing her cell number, things like that are useful things to do, there are a range of other things you can do as far as breaking her user habits, who she hangs out with can be a factor, so can where she lives or works (sometimes this means moving to break that connection, I know it's a big choice, but it's your daughters life)

at the moment it sounds like your daughter may benifit from Harm Minimisation (HM). it focuses on things like needle exchange programs, and while HM doesn't condone drug use, it does recognise that people will have trouble giving up straight away.

here is a link to a 4 page pamflet on practical HM suggestions that you can go over with your daughter.

I don't know how relavent the phone numbers will be, it's an Australian document (I'm Australian) but should help on a whole.

something that a lot of people find successful is going on a methadone treatment, I haven't had any personal experience with this so I can't tell you how well it works, but it is something you can google and ask your GP about. here is a link to some information on Methadone methadone.html

you mentioned in a reply to Stacey that

"I tell him it hurts me too to see our daughter this way...but you need to let go and let her make the final decision because we can't force her to get off heroin."

some of this is true, you can't force her to get off Heroin. but don't, whatever you do, let go. she honestly sounds like she wants to quit, but that is the problem with addiction, it's the little voice in your head that says "once more and then I'll quit for good." I'll try and put it in perspective, have you ever had a packet of tim tams or a block of chocolate (we all know how addictive they can be) and thought, I'll just have one, and then you have one and 5 minutes later you are going "oh one more can't hurt" and then 10 minutes later you have finished off the whole packet or block. that same impulse keeps heroin addicts going back, just like a person on a diet who cant stay away from the tim tams.

I hope that my words have helped you, even if it's only in some small way, your daughter can beat this, and you may feel like giving up, and will lose all faith in her, if not already then several more times before she quits, but stick with it, she is your daughter and you and your husband love her.

All my thoughts are with you, please feel free to contact me with any questions you have.

take care, Mathew

04/04/2010 06:20 PM

Thanks for your reply Mathew. I'm always curious how the addict thinks and feels. It helps me understand my daughter.


I get tripped up on the enabling part. I think this is especially difficult as a mom. It's in our nature to protect and rescue our kids. My daughter's drug use has literally paralized me with fear. I am scared to death that she will die. Yes, she has been clean for almost 4 months now, but the fear and anxiety is still there. You and I know it only takes one time. One time to die or one time to do something awful that can change our lives forever. It is a sad, sad thing isn't it? How did we get to this place were we are relieved that our girls are in jail? My daughter went to jail, only for a few days, and my first thought was that I didn't have to worry about her for that time. That is just so off, so wrong. I hate living like this.

My husband and I don't see things the same way either. The truth is, he has addiction problems too. His thing is alcohol. He's not stumbling around drunk and he is able to work everyday, but the effect has been very negative to our family. Before, I've let it go, and now I realize how wrong that is as my daughter is now an addict. I guess I'm just a pro at being an enabler. And now I feel like a failure as a mom. I know (I've been told at naranon and counseling) that I'm not responsible for my daugher or my husbands use, but it still wears on me. Looking back I would have done a lot of things differently.

I don't know sadmom, I'm sorry that we are in this place. It is a dark place to be. I pray for us and for our kids and let's not give up hope.

04/04/2010 10:25 PM
Posts: 203

Stacey, One of the things that a lot of people don't realise or think about is that someone who's parents (either one or both) have an addiction to alcohol or any other type of drug are more likely to become users and have a harder time quiting, It pleases me that your daughter has been clean for 4 months, we have been told that it can take anywhere between 3 to 6 months to form or break a habit, so I hope she stays strong. ANY questions that you have please feel free to pm me, I will be as open with you as I can.

take care


Post edited by: Chainer, at: 04/04/2010 10:47 PM

02/24/2012 06:28 PM
Posts: 4
New Member

I will pray for you and your family. Thank You for sharing your heatache.I too feel so overwhelmed by heroin in our lives, its always there right next to us, so its often hard to keep the faith. You sound soo strong, I am just now realizing how the devil came to live here, and even when she is not home, he stays. Never in a million years did I think my precious, beautiful daughter would fall in like she did.

I wish you strength, and peace and a healthy girl.

02/25/2012 11:55 AM
Posts: 6

As much as I hate saying this, I, myself, am a 20 year old heroin addict. It's the most painful thing i've ever experienced and it has ruined my life. I need help and I need support. I am so low right now. I wish your daughter the best. I am telling my Mom today or tomorrow about this. My advice to you, as a girl telling her Mother and wanting all the support in the world, is to give her as much love as possible. That's what I need and I almost know for a fact that that's what she needs too. Addiction is so brutal but i know it will be okay if I get help and love and support from my parents. I wish you all the best. Wish me luck, as i'm taking a huge and scary step in the process of getting sober. I will be praying for you.

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