Sunday, April 6, 2008
A Mom's Thoughts on Heroin Addiction
The day I found out my daughter was a heroin addict was the day I thought I was going to lose my mind. I'm pretty stable, I can usually make decisions pretty quickly without much thought or stress. That day, my mind was racing around out of control. I would cry and then I would just stop...and focus on the situation...then I would get anxious....they I would cry...this went on for hours. I had to talk myself out of this emotional roller coaster ride...telling myself that everything would be okay and truly believe myself...It was horrible. I didn't really know how to help her but I knew I couldn't help her until I could straighten myself out. Finally, I started making calls to addiction clinics and mental clinics. She had been seeing a psychiatrist for a couple of months to deal with her mood swings. I had no idea she was an addict I thought she just had problems dealing with life in general. Her psychiatrist was named as someone who could help her. So I immediately called and they immediately told me to bring her in. He prescribed suboxone. She seemed to do very well and I could see a change in her almost immediately. I watched her go through the daily ups and downs...the temptation to go out and use again. The everyday drama was just about to cause me to have a nervous breakdown. If she went out I would stay up. If she was home I would stay up. I was not sleeping well at all. Heroin was taking its tole on me too...I couldn't stop thinking about it. I was obsessed with its hold on my daughter. I found it very helpful to talk with her counselor but I found it the most helpful to read others posts about addiction and the problems and solutions they had found. She's been heroin-free for 4 months now. I'm sleeping now. I feel great. There are several things I learned as a parent of a heroin addict. If they want to use they will use. Just keep talking to them. Tell them the people they thought were there friends were not friends. Tell them to stay away from them because they only want you to get high with them. They want you to fall back into the clutches of heroin so you can be just like them...addicts. The more people that tell them this over and over again the more it starts to sink in and they will begin to believe what you're telling them. My daughter has told me that she knew that using was not good but she didn't care. The seboxone will take them to a place where they begin to care. When they care they have strength. So if you're reading this tell them you love them and care about them and get them into a program that prescribes suboxone and counseling. Learn everything you can about heroin. Learn everything you can about suboxone. Then start asking anyone that knows them and truly cares about them to tell them the same things you're telling them. The more people that tell them, that they care, to stay away from the friends that use, and how proud they are of them, the better. In my daughter's case it took just about 4 months for this to actually sink in. It is a very difficult road. I don't mean to sound like its a cake walk believe me its not. Just talk to them. Expect that they will become very irritated with you. Just walk away. Just keep talking to them. If you tell them, the counselors tell them and their friends tell them at some point they will believe. And one more thing- It's not your fault! You can tell your teens everyday about the dangers of drugs...many times they don't listen because they don't believe it can happen to them.