Saturday, December 8, 2007

Too Young to Be a Heroin Addict

This is my first post...hopefully someone will read this and comment...I need help....This blog is dedicated to all those suffering and struggling with addictions….God bless all of you. When I learned that my 17 year old daughter was using heroin…I did what any other Mother would do…I maintained calm …and went into the bathroom and cried…the silent cry…you know so no one can hear you….I didn’t think I was ever going to quit…The pain I felt was similar to learning that someone you loved just died…I know about heroin addiction…Some of my closest friends died in high school from the drug and some of my friends battled the addiction their entire life until only to die from consequences associated with use of the drug…aids. I knew first hand how it could ruin a life, take a soul and dangle it around like a puppet. I talked to my kids about drugs. I told them stories about my friends and the devastating effects of heroin, crack, methadone, prescription pain killers and other various demons.

My daughter didn’t listen…she thought she could do heroin every once in a while and not become addicted. She had tried it on several occasions and really like the way it made her feel.
She used off and on for a couple of months and then stopped. She was dope sick and she told herself that if she could get through the horrible pain that she would never do it again. Finally, the sickness subsided and she found that zanac helped eased her cravings. So for a couple of months she was using valium, zanac, and colatapins. Whatever, she could buy on the street is what she would take. She was always happy and I thought she was fine. After awhile she would use again. Somehow she thought she could just use once and it would make her feel good and she would stop. That’s not the case. She would use once…then use again…then again until she was again living for heroin. Her life is focused on heroin…you work around the need until you can get a bag or two and then your fine. She told me she actually started using January 2006. That was almost a year ago today. I didn’t know she was on heroin. I knew she had tried it a couple of times but when I talked to her about it she said she would never use it again. Heroin addicts lie. They turn into the best actors and actresses. They live in another life-heroin’s life. It is a horrible existence. Heroin is like a friend, a best friend. It never leaves your side…its always their waiting for you to finish work, waiting for you to wake up, waiting for you to finish watching a movie or visiting with friends. Its always there and you know its there. Its an attachment of your soul.

One of her friends called me last Friday (November 30, 2007) and told me that she was bad and that she needed help. To be quite honest, I was surprised. I had no idea. I immediately called her psychiatrist to get an appointment to talk to him about putting her on suboxone. Luckily, the counselor we had been seeing in December of last year worked for a psychiatrist who specializes in addiction medicine. (The appointment was scheduled for Tuesday (December 4, 2007). Her psychiatrist gave her ½ -4mg tablet in his office to make sure she didn’t have any type of reaction. It made her high. She went to bed and stayed in bed all day Wednesday. One Thursday (December 6, 2007) she decided she would only take a ¼ of a tablet instead of ½ tablet. This dosage seems to be better. She is less drowsy and is able to drive. We had an appointment with her psychiatrist on Friday (December 7, 2007)…She seems to be feeling pretty good being on the medicine. Her Doctor agreed that the lower dosage would probably work, if not to increase it back to ½ tablet. We have an appointment in a week to see how things are going. This is a relatively new drug that counteracts the effects of using heroin if you decide to use it. It turns off the receptors in the brain that cause the urge to use. She’s been on it for 7 days. She said the drug makes her look like she’s using heroin. I can now tell what you look like when you’re using heroin. When they first use I understand that they are very dopey and can’t really do anything except nod off. After awhile, they are usually very happy and have pinpoint pupils.

I’ve been looking around for information about heroin and the effects of it…I really didn’t find anything that might help me pinpoint what was going on with her. I tried to drug test her several times….She would use the test and throw it away so I wouldn’t see the results. She told me that she tested herself and that the tests really work. So, that ‘s why she wouldn’t take the test when I asked her too. …Because she knew I would find out. She said opiates, such as heroin will stay in your system 3-4 days.

So if anyone is wondering about those drugs tests you see in CVS. Well they obviously do work…and they work instantly you don’t have to wait a week for the results. So if you have any concerns at all…try to drug test your kids. Does this sound horrible? Maybe to some parents it does….but to me I think if you can at least let them know you think they are doing something their not supposed to do…maybe they will stop. If you suspect something is going on purchase a drug test and sit it on the kitchen counter. Then when they ask to use the car…tell them they need to take a drug test….If they refuse then something’s wrong. Talking to your kids doesn’t always work.


Issy said...

I don't have a child that uses drugs but I do have a child who will be 17 soon and can't imagine what you are going through.

I do however have a spouse who I've been with for 8 years and I found him when he was in the full blown stages of using meth. Meth is a nasty drug that causes beligerent outbursts of rage with no rationale behind it. Not being a meth user, I had a very hard time understanding what was going on. I do know that lying seems to be a common factor in all drug addicts. I had to be a detective most of the time and just ride it out so to speak.

It took a good 3 years for him to understand how much it hurt to watch someone you love so much killing themselves. I think a lot of addicts think of that as the preverbial cliche but for those that don't use, it's beyond true.

Good luck to you as a new friend and also as a mother.

Issy said...

I also forgot to add that he has been drug free for the past 5 years and that it has been hard. . .on both of us. It's not something I regret as far as sticking by his side and seeing him through all of this. I just kept reminding myself that under all of the drugs, lies and deception is a person that I see who has the most remarkable qualities that I fell in love with before I found out that he used drugs.

Anonymous said...

So sorry to read about your daughter. My 24 yr. old daughter is hooked on heroin. For awhile she was smoking it, now she is shooting up. She's been through detox three times, but can't seem to walk away. I wish I had good news for you, but I don't. The hardest thing for me to learn was that there is nothing I can do. Those are not words devoid of hope - those are words of harsh reality. It has to be her choice to get help. When she comes to me and says she wants me to drive her to a rehab center, or to hold her hair out of the way while she is vomiting in the throes of detox, I will do it. But until then, there is nothing I can do. She has to be completely disgusted by herself and her life before she feels miserable enough to change. In the meantime, I have to find a way to go about my business, or I will go down the tubes with her. I wish you the best of luck - this is a horrible, heartbreaking nightmare. The only bit of advice I can offer is for you to practice Extreme Self Care. Eat well, get plenty of rest, try to find something to enjoy about each day, ask God for His mercy in the life of your daughter, let her bear the consequences of her choices, and most importantly (this one took me about a year to get) - let go of the guilt. It's not your fault. Best Regards, Trish

Anonymous said...

I have been in a relationship with a heroin addict for the past 8 years, I am 24. He started using 3 1/2 years ago. There is nothing you can do. All the help and things you do to help are enabling. I have seen my boyfriend start out using, go to rehab, get into legal trouble, go to jail, go to rehab, go back to jail, not be able to get through probation. Has it made a difference - our relationship - yes it has helped him remain unable to take care of his problems. I have supported him in the wrong ways. As hard as it is you should let the addict make the decision to get the help for themself. Don't make it easy for them, don't call their counselor for them - let them do it. Don't support the addict financially - they must learn to take care of themself. In "helping" you are hurting. You need to let them go, and let them take their path. The sooner the better, because the longer you keep "helping" the longer their pattern of addictio continues.
I once believed you could stay and get through it, and support along the way. In my situation it is not the case. I am in the process of letting go, because after 3 1/2 years of being supportive I realize I have contributed to making it easier for him to use. I still am deeply in love with this person - the person I know is still in there, somewhere hiding behind the addiction. But through these years the glimpses of what once was are not enough, that person is not fighting enough to stay clean - you end up cushioning their addiction with the simplest acts.
I still dream of a future with this man. I hope in leaving him I have really helped, because he may learn to live his life the way non-addicts do - with the convictoin that there are consequences and reasons for why the day to day (work, school,etc) is important and necessary. If it is meant to be he will come back to me. -Marsha

Yulanda said...

Im currently seeing somebody who shall I say he says that he is off. But now he uses some type of pain killers. When does it stop. I told him the other day I wish I could detox him. Yeah he isnt nodding off or nothing of that kind but there is still something that makes me stare at him. Makes me want to get into his head and just fix the problem. He gets depress EASLY just start staring into space. Its like I feel sorry for him, but I love him. Not in love with him, i cant i cant even put myself threw that. But Im online now just seeing what is out there so maybe he can get some help. Its hear not trusting that person, I actually time him when he goes to the bathroom. Cant live like that at all. But yet he is the most niecest person i have met. beautiful complexion love love love the way he talks but he has that nasty spell hanging over him. I wish Damion Ricks all the luck in the world and I will be with him and help him as much as he would allow me too...LOve you Damion-Yulanda

Meg said...

I was engaged to someone for 2 years who was a heroin addict. The worst part was that he quit the drug cold turkey when he fell in love with me, and 3 years later he tried it that one more time, and was lost forever. I left him and moved away to start a new life, but I'm still feeling the pain. When I read your blog it made me very sad because I can remember how much it hurts to watch someone you love go through something like that and not be able to get them to stop no matter what you say or what you do. I am sorry that you are going through this and I pray for you and your daughter that she can fight the addiction and become stronger to stay away.

My ex is clean now, he's been clean since I left. He prays and has a full time job and goes to meetings daily. It's sad that it took me leaving for him to get better, but I pray for him everyday and tell him all the time how proud I am. I hope he sticks with it, and I hope your daughter does too.

He is on suboxon as well and it does make their eyes look like they are on heroin. This used to be a problem for me because I couldn't trust that it was the medicine and not the drug.

sKILLz said...

It sucks all around in my opinion. You get hurt, shes hurt, the family gets hurt.
Yes heroin addicts lie, Not all of them but most. During my addiction I tried to maintain some sort of morals.
Im going to keep read and hope things are getting better as time goes on.
Just DONT GIVE UP! Believe me if you give upon her and she has no one, thats when things can get very ugly very quickly.
Stay Up!

LaDonaQuixote said...

I just dropped my son off at a 12-month recovery program. The heroin has been lying to all of us for over six months, perhaps longer. With heroin, I guess you never really know. He certainly put on a good act for a long long time. I am completely broke financially and emotionally and am praying that he will find strength to overcome this terrible dependency.

My Daughter's Addiction said...

Yeah, drained physcially, emotionally, mentally and financially...It's a crazy up and down ride. Living and loving a heroin addict is simply the hardest thing anyone can do. I just refuse to give up on my daughter...ever.

Anonymous said...

I had a father once...and I say once because he is now gone because of heroin. A 20 some odd year addiction. I found myself being with an addict with the same addiction with the thought that maybe i can help, its now been 6 yrs and im finally fed up. You can't help anyone, you can't hold their hand..they need to do this themselves. Only they can do this.

Anonymous said...

i understand completly what u r going through, my partner is a heroin addict who is currently on methadone, aiming to then go on2 subutex and then receve the naltrexone implant. It is difficult 2 know 4 definite but i know him well enough 2 know when he has been having a sneaky smoke!! the lies are what get to me also, the constant mistrust... and i will never trust him properly until he gets the implant... as thats the only sure fire way to know that he hasnt! before i met him, my perception of "smackheads" was very vague... now i feel like i know to much and it has corrupted me in a way also.
one of the hardest thing is 4 him 2 break away form his heroin addicts friends, i time how long hes been in there and check his fone 2 c if hes scored!!! it destroys not only the addict but their friends and family. My advice is to help as much as possible, and i know u hurt, but ur daughter has the whole world judging her right now so she needs support from u.... but also i would recommend a family and friends heroin addicts group.... u need help as well... ppl underetimate how terrible the situation is for some1 who loves an addict!!!!

Anonymous said...

I just read everything in your blog, and I guess you could say I'm allot like your daughter.
I'v recently quit all my drug addictions two months (on subutex now) and I have to say, it really inspired me to stay strong.

like you, my mother didnt know anything either, untill one day when she told me her new boyfriend was moving in, and I told her I was using heroin, and that as long as she did what she wanted, I would too.
I felt so bad that day, I told her just to hurt her, to put the blame on someone else.

I'v done allot of things that might seem worse to society, but I still remember that as the worst thing I'v ever done.

one of my biggest fears is that its too late to rebuild the bridges I'v burned in the past, but things like your blog remind me to stay strong and tell myself that its going to be okay.

thank you =)

Tara said...

I find your blog truly inspirational. I am now dating a 26 year old who, I believe, has had this addiction for 11 months. It all came out in April of this year and supposedly he has been clean since May. I say supposedly because one of his friends recently told me that he had told her he had only been clean for 2 weeks, that was 2 weeks ago. Much different then 4 months clean.

I ask him occasionally or remind him occasionally how many weeks he has been clean. For an addict that is clean, isn't the days, weeks, months they have been clean supposed to be ingrained in their memory? I asked him a few days ago how many weeks it has been and he said is supposed to be 17 as of Wednesday this past week. I don't know whether I should believe him or not. I am leaning more towards not.

I have a 13 year old son that I do not want to have to be witness to all of this craziness. I stress that fact to him when we do discuss it. I understand he doesn't want to talk about it all of the time, and I do not struggle with addiction myself, so I cannot feel or understand what he is going through.

I have tried to stress the importance of counseling to him. I feel he needs someone who can better understand the feeling of addiction, other than myself. I want him to want to be clean for himself, not just me or my son.

It's so hard. I don't want to abandon him. I love him unconditionally and I want to be able to be with him through all of the ups and downs in our lives, but sometimes I feel I just can't. I hate the lying. It makes me feel the love between us is wrong and dirty.

I look every day for signs of him using, and so far have seen none. He has no unexplained bruising. His eyes are generally normal appearing unless he is extremely tired. He does have mood swings, but I also think he is bipolar (this could be just me making an excuse for him). He showers daily, and the only time he wears the same clothes are his jeans...which he wears to work.

He has lost 70 pounds since April...he is working a very physical job and while I think drugs are a little bit contributed to his weight loss, I think some of it is also contributed to the change in jobs. But!!! recently he complains of being cold all the time. He told me a key to him using was being warm or sweaty, but now I am questioning whether this sudden change in body temperature is because he is using.

I have seen no needle marks or bruises... I know he was shooting as recently as May. His track mark is gone now, and I have seen no other marks in strange places. How else could he be doing it? I know when he started using he was snorting it. Then he moved on to injection. Is there any other way besides smoking it in a joint??

I am so confused. I hope your daughter is doing well in her recovery. I wish I knew a way for him to get the help he needs.. but also understand he needs to want to do it.

Thanks for reading my long spiel! I hope this finds you well, and thank you again for posting all of this information for me to read.