My Daughter the Addict-A Suburban Mom’s Nightmare

I was the PTO mom, the carpool mom, the Brownie leader. We ate family dinners at the table, taught our children manners and took family vacations. My husband and I were blessed to have very good jobs. My daughter, Brittany, the beautiful girl in the photo, was the honor roll student, the volunteer at the city parks and recreation department and loved playing sports.

THEN OUR ENTIRE LIVES CHANGED

Growing up, I had skewed images of what a heroin addict looked like. I envisioned them sitting in an ally, or a gangster or a criminal. The stereotypical hippie from the 60’s and 70’s that grew up in a bad home. I had preconceived notions that you had to stay away from them…that they were BAD PEOPLE.

NEVER ONCE DID I ENVISION MY DAUGHTER.

I am very ashamed of my thoughts now. I never really had a “real” exposure to addiction. What I saw was what was pictured in the movies, or on TV. We lived in the suburbs where “that just didn’t happen around here”.

BOY WAS I WRONG

Now, addiction has a multitude of faces. It’s the high school quarterback who became injured in a game, was prescribed Vicodin and became addicted.

It’s the mom down the street from you, driving her minivan to CVS to pick up more pills, even though she just finished a 30-day supply in 10 days.

It’s the babysitter who went to a party and didn’t drink, as mom and dad properly told her the dangers of it. So she took a few pills instead.

It’s the heroic marine who fought in the Gulf War, who is now fighting PTSD.

It’s the corporate executive who was prescribed Xanax for stress.

It’s the senior citizen who had hip surgery and within weeks, unknowingly was now dependent on prescription narcotics.

IT’S MY DAUGHTER

This is happening in our homes, our communities, our schools!! No one is immune. It affects all classes, races, ages and professions.

GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF THE SAND

If you feel like “it would never happen to you or anyone in your circle”, take a look around. It’s happening. You may not even know it. Most become isolated in fear and lost in their addiction, finding it hard to reach out.

ITS TIME TO SHOW SOME COMPASSION

Recently, as I was walking to my car, I noticed a homeless man hunched over. Instead of walking by him, I stopped and asked him if I could sit down next to him. We talked for a good hour. Turns out he was a marine, who was injured, became addicted to Vicodin and didn’t know how to stop, but wanted to so bad. Swore, he would NEVER do heroin…that’s what junkies do. But then his pills got too expensive and now his body was physically getting sick. He ended up turning to heroin, just to feel normal again. My heart broke for him. I gave him my card and said to call me if he was ever ready for help. He called 2 days later. He is currently at a 6-month treatment facility, fighting for recovery and has renewed hope in life.
As a community, it’s time to come together. These are not “junkies in the corner” …these are our friends, our neighbors, your grandfather, men who fought for our country.

THESE ARE OUR CHILDREN

Please, don’t’ make assumptions on people. The next time you are walking and see someone homeless, don’t walk past and avert your eyes. Stop and reach out your hand. It was my daughter sitting there once, lost in her addiction, ashamed and feeling hopeless.

YOU MAY JUST SAVE A LIFE

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, I have resources that can help you.  Please don’t hesitate to reach out for a confidential heart to heart.

katie@amothersaddictionjourney.com

2017-03-11T18:22:54+00:00

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287 Comments

  1. craigdickinson April 25, 2016 at 9:31 am - Reply

    ? ??❤️? HEROIN has KILLED someone you know ! ??❤️??

    We have watched HEROIN KILL the unknown through the change of the millennium & onto the destruction of Our children today …

    In reality , the only things that have changed, is the names , faces & young ages of those Heroin is now taking !

    “Our culture emphasizes self-determination and willpower… We want to be masters of our own destiny, but sometimes we aren’t.”
    A parents powerlessness over a child’s addiction, is the most difficult experience a parent goes through upon first encountering the disease , on such an intimate level ?

    Society must Today, start educating Every baby, in Our history of addiction.
    Tell the truth of the way heroin has destroyed generations and will TAKE YOUR LIFE. This is the only way to preserve their future and save them from themselves , self destructing …

    THE YOUNGEST OF STUDENTS, CAN HANDLE THE TRUTH, ABOUT ADDICTION,,,
    EASIER THAN WE PARENTS CAN HANDLE LOOSING THEM TO IT !
    Spread ??❤️?? ADDICTION AWARENESS??❤️?? in Elementary Schools Today … ??❤️?? Sincerely, Craig/Dad-2

    ????❤️DAAD❤️????
    PLEASE ! If we start today, teaching our babies the truth about addiction along with their ABCs / 123s & HISTORY (of addiction), in 20 yrs we could have a graduating class with out 1 overdose .

    DAAD-Drug-Addicts-Against-DRUGS https://www.facebook.com/pages/DAAD-Drug-Addicts-Against-DRUGS/827943680551991

    JOIN US PLEASE
    We could REALY use public figure support as we grow around the world …
    … 59 countries and counting !

    • Michael April 26, 2016 at 4:21 pm - Reply

      My daughter is almost 11 months clean, and every day I know how lucky I am that she’s still in my life. She woke to CPR 3 times before she was able to see the help offered for what it was. She had a traumatic childhood, sexual abuse, followed by more sexual abuse as a young adult. To escape the feelings of shame and guilt, she turned to harder and harder drugs to mask them, eventually landing at heroin, which she said she would never do. Open your hearts to your children, believe what they tell you and provide all the support you can. My daughter was doubted when she came forward about her abuse as a child, and rather than stand her ground, she was bullied into recanting. That started her on this road to self destruction that we fight every minute of every day to keep her off of. She’s currently working on becoming a licensed substance abuse counselor, and is still the most amazing woman I know.

      • Joni Barr April 27, 2016 at 11:55 am - Reply

        Sounds so familiar.

        • Amanda April 28, 2016 at 9:22 pm - Reply

          Great story… Definitely an eye opener, especially for those who are so quick to label addicts and want to pass judgment

          • Susan Fleck April 29, 2016 at 11:34 am

            So very true….Went through it with my daughter, I was giving her CPR it was terrifying, She did it again and the hospital had 2 minutes to save her. This is the most awful drug around. It is everywhere. So what you said is right on point…..

          • Phyllis April 29, 2016 at 2:19 pm

            Yes, I wish I had a penny for every time some parent said to me “my kids know better than to ever try drugs – they know I wouldn’t stand for it!” I didn’t stand for it either and wound up with not one but both of my daughters addicted to crack. One of them is now in her second year of studying social work and is a registered substance abuse counselor-she has been clean for 6 1/2 years. My other daughter moved away from everyone she knew to start a new life and has been clean for a little over a year. One is 39 and the other is 31. The hell that I went through for 20+ years is something I wouldn’t wish on anyone.

          • Laura B Fedele April 30, 2016 at 4:54 am

            I LOOOOOOVE THIS STORY>>>>> I struggled from heroin addiction for at least 10 years of my life and now I am clean for good this story for me is an inspiration and a testiment that there are really good genuine educated people still in the world that are willing to make a change it gives me great hope that evntually everyone will realize that we did not choose to be addicted to heroin i grew up in the suburbs as well mainly sheltered till I got older and never imagined myself ever becoming a heroin addict shooting up and doing anything to get that drug and the ugly truth associated with it ….. I lost my kids my car basically everything and almost my life and it is now that I can stand up and say thank you by the grace of god I am still alive ….I got into a car accident on valentines day and dental pain when my wisdom teeth were coming in I got addicted to loritabs NEVER KNOWING that those pills that helped me sleep at night would change my life and my brain forever I was so lucky to get diagnosed with ADHD that I have had my whole life and many many prayers and gods love and mercy to stop I have wonderful memories of having a stay at home mother in a great middle class family and it all went to shit all because I lived for 36 years of my life undiagnosed and thinking there was something wrong with me…and one day I walked into a dentist office and he asked me what I was drinking it was a sugarfree redbull that yes I am STILL addicted to Itold him that I drank it because it helps me concentrate he told me you have add…I came home went online and realized I had every single textbook associated with add and adhd so I went to a pychiatrist got diagnosed and treated for that and I have never gone back mental heath and treatment is and was the most important for me however there is not 1 box that addicts fit in what worked for me is not gonna work for …..the addict next to me everyone is different and different treatment plans etc work for different people thank you for this story and awarness that it will hopefully bring

      • Tina April 27, 2016 at 1:06 pm - Reply

        Thank you I’ve also went through something similar in my teens and I was also bullied in to recanting my story and her story are very simiLar .. I’ve been struggling for 13 years now with clean time here and there when all I really want is true hAppiness and to let go of the demons I fight on a daily basis .. Heroin is so prevalent now that I hope to someday grasp on to sobriety again not only for me but for my child so he has a chance at life

        • Brooks April 27, 2016 at 6:29 pm - Reply

          The fact that you keep trying is proof positive that you will one day succeed! Don’t ever give up on yourself.
          You can do it. I did. I was an addict, not with heroin, but, with another substance. I struggled daily with wanting and trying to get clean. Finally, one day, when I least expected it…I was able to do it.
          Sending love and prayers your way.
          Hang in there, happiness is just around the corner.

        • Tiffany Naegele April 28, 2016 at 2:15 am - Reply

          God bless and I will keep u in my prayers… I pray u get clean and someday look back on all this and think I can’t believe that was me BC ur life had changed and ur demons have been conquered.. Someday I hope u realize ur worth happiness and love and u realize ur self worth to be clean.. Ur a survivor not a victim! I pray God removes all demons from you..
          Take it 1 day at a time for recovery! It don’t happen over night.. Learn to love yourself and know ur worth love and happiness!!

        • Mike April 30, 2016 at 8:02 am - Reply

          All of our addictions — mine too — come from an emptiness that we are seeking to fill. The reality I’ve discovered is that there is nothing that will fill that void except Jesus. Ever since I gave Him control, nothing has been the same! I almost lost my wife and kids to my addiction. Now my marriage is more deep and more joyful than I could have ever imagined! Search it out for yourself! You won’t be disappointed!

        • michele August 26, 2016 at 3:33 pm - Reply

          Tina, I know you probably don’t want to hear this but you are loved by God. He is the only one who will never leave you nor forsake you. You can talk to Him day or night and He care about you. He won’t make you stop but He will go through it with you.If you seek Him like the drugs He will give you the biggest high like no other. He will show you a love like no other.I was there it is real, He is real. I can tell you story after story about people who were so deep that it was unbearable.Until Christ set them free from the demons. I am the mother of a former heroin addict. I use to think she could quit if she really wanted to. I was so unsympathetic to her when she was going through withdrawal because she didn’t have the money. She ate out of trashcans and lived in abandoned buildings. One day I got an infection and had to be hospitalized. I was in so much pain that they gave me my own pain med button. The pain remained for almost 2 weeks and it was a mystery as to why I had so much pain. Then it stopped and so did the round the clock,every 4 hr Demerol. I was laying in bed and had this overwhelming feeling that something was crawling in me and I couldn’t lay still. I rang for the nurse freaking out as to what this was. Her reply withdrawal! I couldn’t believe it.She said it will subside in a day or two. I felt there was NO WAY I could live a minute more like that let alone a day or two. At that moment I started thinking of what I had to do to stop this feeling I’m embarrassed to tell you this next part but I want to show you how God has our best interest even when it makes NO sense to us or others. Here goes… I felt like throwing up so I rang for the nurse. She gave me a shot and I felt high from it and the crawling went away. I didn’t dare tell her . just to not have that withdraw I lied and said I continually felt nauseous just so I could get that shot and get rid of that unbearable feeling. Here I am professing to love God but despising my own child for the choices she is” Freely Making” lying just to get high so that feeling would leave and contemplating how I was going to continue once they took out the IV. At that moment I realized that what I was going through was actually a gift from God. Not that it felt like it AT All. I saw my daughters actions and hopelessness in a completely different light. I now had understanding of the shame,pain,desperation and loss of her very soul and spirit to the control of a drug. It was so humbling that I just broke Dow and cried out to God to forgive me for my lack of compassion. I left the hospital the next day completely off all medication and with a new appreciation of loving someone unconditionally.Loving her for WHO she is not what she does. Trying to see what I can do to help her without aiding her in the behavior. That hospital stay as painful as it was changed the course of my life and our relationship. Little did I know that it was Gods unconditional love through me over the next 1 1/2 years, that would penetrate her heart to want to cry out to Him for help to change. Today she is12 yrs off heroine a wife and the best mom to 2 beautiful children. She will tell you it is through the prayers of many and the unconditional love of God that she is alive today. Don’t give up sweetie.Call out to God who sent his only son to die on the cross so you and I can be free from the grasp of the devil. If he can destroy you he will then have access to your son. I’m not telling you to be religious and go to church. I am asking you to have a relationship with Jesus through reading and learning about Him and how He loves you. Get a New American Standard Bible and start reading the psalms or Acts or whatever you want. Just a chapter at a time. Seek to understand what you are reading. If someone tells you what they think a scripture means don’t take their word. Read it for yourself. Soon you will be falling in love with your creator and having the life He has planned for you and your son. A life you will living for God and not satin.
          I know this was way long but I truly would like to help you and your son. Be strong. There is a song by Matthew West ” called Strong Enough if you get a chance listen to it

        • Jenn Dunlap September 10, 2016 at 9:12 pm - Reply

          Tina, you have the want, that’s the 1st & hardest part! Good for you! If you want help.I have had a life just like what you described. We are similar in many ways, but the reason Im reaching out is Im sure I could get you into a program! Im also a Grateful Recovering Addict of 5 years this past July 19th! I felt connected to your message and had to reply. I’ve never done this before, Lol I just felt i needed to reach out and show u there is a bright wonderful light, after all the darkness and black nothingness that comes w addictions esp heroin, that is my drug of choice, and benzos, but that’s all behind me and if you need someone to talk to, just email me if you would want someone who can understand and not judge and that can get ya some help 🙂 God bless you and anyone on earth who is suffering

      • Beth Borger April 27, 2016 at 1:22 pm - Reply

        So glad for the end of your story. You are very blessed to have your daughter
        God bless her as she tries to help others.

        • La Juan Roberts September 8, 2016 at 7:21 pm - Reply

          Touched by your faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

      • Cindy Falcigno April 27, 2016 at 3:41 pm - Reply

        I believe with all my heart that their is a soul afflicted with some kind of drama. Getting down to the root of this will set your soul free and then can handle anything in their lives.. Group therapy is not what I believe is needed but more one on one to really get to the soul then a group would be great, now they will also help someone else along with themselves…I was a child of sexual abuse, now 55 yrs old, many many years of therapy. This very sad time in our lives with so many lost souls who need confidence of their self worth, not judgement. I have never seen so much sorrow in so many people..I just want to help…

      • Dawna Baldridge April 27, 2016 at 11:06 pm - Reply

        That is great to hear she has been clean for 11 months. I wasn’t that lucky. My Daughter passed away June 29th 2013. She was 38, 2 children. Then this year March 1st my oldest daughter had a heart attack. That was from long term meth use. Her heart was so bad from year’s of using. She was 42. 4 Children and 4 granddaughters. She was clean 6 week’s when this happened. Drug’s have no mercy on anyone. Thank God your daughter is doing well and continue’s the great job. And hope the guy you helped stays clean. That was a fantastic thing to do.

      • Renee April 27, 2016 at 11:44 pm - Reply

        What do you do when you’ve tried everything, I. Raising my grandson I’ve watched a daughter/mother walk away from the one thing she says she loves to the moon, she’s had tons of chances, the first day of her meeting a guy who’s not the father of her son she started smoking meth, and left her son with me, weeks would go by nothing from her then when I found out about the drugs, I told her I would go to jail before she took this baby in that environment, tons of text telling me how much she hated me wishing I’d die, this went on for a year, Feb we went to Court she gave me custody of her son and promised she never go back to this man I’ve offered her a place to live free all she had to do was get clean, and be with her son, her father had found out she was even doing drugs while pregnant, and stopped her last Month to keep from being caught, then went back to more drugs worse drugs, she has only seen her son 20 times in a year and by her choice and was never told she couldn’t see him but only she couldn’t take him, the day of court she left pretending to visit a friend and get a job but was working her way back to this man, nothing didn’t see nor hear from her in over 35 days, then she text and said well mom I love you but your going to have to get the fu%& over my boyfriend he’s a great guy but in a little trouble now, and yes he was in jail on non drug related, bit says your going to except him he’s a great guy and that’s my f……. Son not yours, and for the first time in a year I chose to say I told you your family was done if you went back to that man and his lifestyle, and you are no longer going to come around, of corse I’m the bi…. And she can’t wait for me to die my daughter has punched me when all I was trying to protect my grandchild, I’ve watched myself turn into someone who weighs 89 pounds from stress and can’t take it anymore, I have to walk away, you can’t help someone who don’t think they have a problem or has done anything wrong, her son will soon be two and he doesn’t even know her as a mother so what do you do, when you’ve had enough?.

        • D April 28, 2016 at 11:32 am - Reply

          I would highly suggest that you attend al.anon. this is a support group for people who have a loved that is an alcoholic or addict. I went through something very similar with my own mother. I acted and said the same things as your daughter has. The addiction is controlling her. She needs help but help will only work when she decides she has had enough of that life. You are only responsible for yourself and that innocent grandson. You are doing the best you can for your grandson. As an addict myself with 2 1/2 years clean and sober the best thing that ever happened to me was receiving “tough love” from my mother. It helped me to reach out and get help. Good luck and I will be praying for you!

          • Debra April 28, 2016 at 11:18 pm

            I agree with you, D about the Al-Anon and other support groups! In my case, Nar-Anon was what helped me deal and release myself to be free from the guilt that drove me to enable. I no longer enable, my child is clean 11 months. http://www.nar-anon.org/ No one points blame, no one judges, all offer comfort and hope. And yes, I pray for all involved in this horrific flash fire called addiction.

        • Lori Anne April 28, 2016 at 1:34 pm - Reply

          I wish I had an answer for you. We all suffer so much from those we love who are addicts. I pray for your peace and her recovery.

        • Sharidean Flint April 28, 2016 at 1:37 pm - Reply

          You detach. I know it is difficult but that is the only option. You still love her and are there for her if she ever wants to get clean, but you don’t let her hurt you or her son. Strong boundaries and the recognition that she is an adult and has the right to live her own life, but not the right to hurt others. Turn her over to God and let her go and live her choices. You are a great mother and grandmother! I went through the this with my son so I know how hard it is. Take care of yourself and your grandson, let go of the guilt. You taught her better but she is making her own decisions now and you can’t stop her. When she gets low enough to want to change you can be there for her with love and encouragement, but not now. Take care of yourself! Your grandson needs you! With love and prayers for you.

          • Kathy April 29, 2016 at 6:46 am

            Beautifully Said 🙂

          • jen April 29, 2016 at 1:02 pm

            Perfect advice!

        • Janet April 28, 2016 at 1:37 pm - Reply

          You have to turn them away and remove them from your life. I’ve been walking in your shoes for 16 years now. During that time my daughter has OD’d, been in and out of 7 and 28 day treatment facilities, jail, given a home to live in (with her daughter) 2 vehicles and all destroyed. Her daughter is 10 years old now. I’ve had custody most of her life but sole custody for past 2 years. I’ve battled 2 cancers and still am not well. It’s a struggle everyday but I look at her face and it keeps me going. My granddaughter had not seen her mother since Christmas…did not want to. Her mother just got out of jail yesterday. My granddaughter wants to see her now, for a visit only. Like you I’ve been threatened with all the above and more. I’m the perpetual “B” and everything is always “my fault”. Keeping your grandson away from his mother until she straightens up is the best thing you can do for both. Unfortunately because I “tried” to keep the mother/child relationship together while at he same time protecting my granddaughter, allowed my granddaughter to see too much, and now she is becoming like her mother “verbally”. get verbally assaulted almost daily and everything is my fault. She swears she will never be like her mother when it comes to drugs, wants nothing to do with that life but her emotional stability is a great concern to me as I try to endure her verbal abuse and assaults knowing she is angry at her mother (her father took his life when she was 3), but I’m at a crossroads now as to just how much more I will be “able” to endure. Yes she is in counseling! Just know you are not alone! If you can get a copy of the book “Boundaries” at your library I found it a great help in dealing with my daughter and making the decision to basically “estrange” myself from her. God Bless you and your little one!

        • Marie April 28, 2016 at 1:40 pm - Reply

          Pray ! Keep on praying even if you don’t think our Heavenly Father is listening , still pray . He will send the Holy Ghost to help you and guide you and show you how to handle your daughter . I believe showing love even at the hardest times is the best way to help them fight this battle but becareful and don’t enable them .

          • La Juan Roberts September 8, 2016 at 7:32 pm

            I totally agree with you, “Show them live.”

        • karen April 28, 2016 at 2:03 pm - Reply

          I have a person in my family just like that and I too am at my wit’s end! I love her dearly and have tried to be there for years. I’ve cried tears of hurt, tears of frustation, tears of anger and now I am crying thru tears of forgiveness!! I have to forgive the things she has done because my Heavenly Father forgives me. I have placed her in his hands and pray for her every day. I have faith that He will turn her life around!! In the meanwhile, I don’t have to be a part of her destructive behavior but I do love her and will be there for healthy help!!

        • Carol c April 28, 2016 at 2:06 pm - Reply

          I’m so sorry for you but thank god your grandkid has you in his life . Go on with your life don’t stress over her any more.

        • Leah Jurnett April 28, 2016 at 7:08 pm - Reply

          Omg that sounds like my daughter!!! She just turned 2a in January, and have birth to her and her “boyfriends” 4TH CHILD!!! Found out she’s been prostituting, and the hospital gave her and the newborn a drug test…. That was Jan 26th, and lets just say she hasn’t been allowed to see them since…. As a grandmother, Im heartbroken

        • Me April 29, 2016 at 6:09 am - Reply

          I am so proud of you. My daughter is in a program. I think back and all the behaviors you describe, they were there. Going through her program with her she has now, after a year and a half…and yea, still in the program…been able to tell me a little bit about IT. Even though you are going to feel hurt and are going to be angry, know that the drug is in control right now, not your daughter. When my daughter finally decided to get help I was so happy, I said “Lord get her sober and I will deal with anything else.” Well as months went by and she did everything the program required, he thought processes, things she declared right and wrong…where she thought she should be, or be doing was still a mess…I thought I would never get her back or her reasoning. I tell you this just so you can see how much it changes them, your daughter cannot think rationally, she cannot think about responsibility. My daughter states she never was trying to hurt us, she was just doing what she had to do to not hurt, to not go through withdrawal. I don’t know how you turn them around, we just stayed strong about rules in our home and waited…as she ran around, did IT. Finally she had enough, I pray this happens for you. It’s not all roses at that point and you have ups and downs but it’s a beginning. Stay strong, Alanon is good, don’t feel selfish about getting help for you…you need to stay healthy to keep going. Remember, there are others all over going through this. Love and prayers to you and your family.

        • Kathy April 29, 2016 at 6:43 am - Reply

          OMG you are so right. I so sympathize with you ! I do have a daughter that is a addict . Shes done a bit of everything . We have been going through this crap for almost 6 years . I have a grand daughter that I am trying to raise . My daughter was just arrested and spent 7 days this time in jail . I blame our system partly . All she is going to get is diversion. Shes been through that 3 times already. Everyone says put her in a long term facility . Well I would but that is expensive and unless she truly wants to quit she wont and I don’t think she is ready yet. This is the last time for me ! I need to think about my beautiful grand daughter . I love my daughter with all my heart but I cant make her do anything 🙁 I am so sorry you are going through this 🙁

        • Debbie April 29, 2016 at 11:17 am - Reply

          We went to Kinship program at Lilliput- they helped us get guardianship of our grandson. Similar story. Some days are harder than others > There are 400 families and 350 children in the similar situation that you find yourself in. Do not feel alone there are those of us who have had the same problem. We get up every day and do our best. Go to bed and start again. My daughter has supervised visits and does not like us either. I could save him but not both of them. It was a difficult decision but the right one at the time.

        • lauren April 29, 2016 at 6:29 pm - Reply

          I am so sorry for your suffering. An addict will only get help when they are ready. You are doing the best thing by protecting your grand baby, never forget that. Stay strong and have faith, you will become a stronger person from this and you will learn things from this horrible experience that you never thought you would have too.. Remember, what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.
          I will pray for you

        • Judy Neuman May 4, 2016 at 2:39 pm - Reply

          Tough Love. My daughter was clean and sober for close to 10 years when the doctors gave her Lyrica for pain. Not supposed to be used by addicts or alcoholics. That got her back on crack. She has been in and out of Rehab countless times. We have stopped helping her at all and will not even let her in our house. She has stolen everything she can get her hands on from us. Her children won’t talk to her. Her grandchildren are afraid of her. She says we hate her, but we don’t we love her just don’t like what she does. She has been told this many times but has no effect on her. She tries to blame me but I don’t let that bother me, because I know I did the best I could.

        • Kate May 5, 2016 at 2:58 pm - Reply

          You are doing everything you can. Just focus on your grandson and try not to let your daughter into her crazy life. Whatever you surround yourself with seems normal. So she is blind to the hurt she is causing a nd probably too numb to care. I speak from experience. My mom took mydaughter when she was 9. I was spiralling down fast. My mom attended alanon and found alot of help there. Ahe never stopped loving me or spoke ill of me to my daughter but refused to help me kill myself. It took alot of time but today my mom amd i are extremely close and have a great relationship. My daughter is finishing her freshman year in college and is a smart beautiful sensitive woman i am so proud of. And i once again am a healthy contributing member of society. These next few years will not be easy but please remember you are giving your grandson a chance at a happy life. Also the only person that can get your daughter sober is your daughter. That life she is choosing is not an easy road and am hoping she sees that before she ends up in jail or dead. If she asks for help direct her to rehab and be supportive but in a way that doesnt jeapordize your or your grandsons well being. And i also recommend not letting her move home. She is an adult. She should go 100% recovery and do detox, then rehab then halfway house then sober house. Baby steps. Im sure it took a while to get to rhis point so it will probably take just as long to recover. I say this just from my own experience and maybe her situation is different but its not likely. And if yo \suspect shes using she probably is and insist on a drug test. If shes clean she will happily oblige. Best of luck. You are very brave and i wish u the very best

      • Jennifer April 28, 2016 at 12:05 am - Reply

        Congratulations to your daughter on her sobriety for these past 11 months. She sounds so incredibly amazing. You would have to be a pretty spectacular person to have endured and overcome everything she has. She is going to help an enormous amount of people in her new profession.. Praying for her and you. God Bless

      • Tiffany Naegele April 28, 2016 at 2:09 am - Reply

        Congrats on her sobriety.. We all deal with things differently but most importantly we need to love our children and help them and fight for them thru the bad.. I’ve not experienced drug addiction with any of my kids but I know many that have and it could be any of us.. It’s a cry for help and we need to listen.. God bless and continue to work her steps and supporting her.. It’s 1 day at a time.. Best wishes.. Tiffany Naegele

      • Crystal April 28, 2016 at 3:39 am - Reply

        That was me a addict but I had a perfect childhood, honor roll student scholarship to college and my senior year my bf introduced heroin to me …I didn’t really know what it was but I tried it and not long after was a full blown addict and remained that way for years things I never thought I would do I did ..I stole from ppl I loved ..I been clean for 10 years now but I lost my 31 year old brother to addiction Oct 12 …my mom blames herself…even though we know it’s not her fault she feels like maybe she didn’t do enough to save him but you can’t help someone till they want the help I know that from my own experiences they have to be ready…since my brother dies 6 months ago we have buried 6 more friends all under age of 30 ..something needs to be done ..they are good ppl caught up in addiction and it has taken over their life

      • Debbiy Shaw , Tulsa ok April 28, 2016 at 2:34 pm - Reply

        What a father’s love can do ! Your amazing

      • Natalya April 28, 2016 at 8:12 pm - Reply

        I’m 22 and a little over a year sober, I went through exactly what your daughter went through, I’m pound and happy she found it within herself to get clean . For me, im still dealing with all the trama but no matter what drug numbs me from it, i know I will never truely heal unless I actually face it and work on it.

      • Lisa April 28, 2016 at 8:34 pm - Reply

        I was an active addict for 22 years i was a cheerleader and gymnast then lost all of me i was homeless and had no morals just didnt care i was robbing people i loved and burglarized homes to feed my addiction…i ended up in jail numerous times and was looking at prison time, i overdosed time n time again..kept on using all i wanted was more..i finally decided in my 40’s that this wasnt for me and today i can say that im in recovery and still have bad days it passes and i am a grateful recovering addict..

      • Nicole Franco April 29, 2016 at 1:22 am - Reply

        Congratulations to your daughter!!! Just a little advise I’d tell her to hold off on being a licensed Drug couscail til atleast until her 5yr sober mark. Your 1st yr sober is the most challenging cause it’s completely about rebuilding yourself!!! Have her focus on Her then she can start focusing on others!! I come from the the north side of Philadelphia and I was a IV herion addict for 8 yrs and it took me 2 1/2 yrs to get completely sober cause I relapsed 6times been in detox 28 times and been to 6 different short-term and and 3 long-term inpatient rehabs. And before my long battle of addition (witch also left me with a criminal background ) And I was abused sexually by my stepfather 9yrs as a child(5)to pre-teen(14) because my father was a bad drug addict who also used needles to get high. And I know am a proud sponsor of 13 sponse’es and I’m a councilor @Brandywine Counsil..!! But if that’s what she really wants to go to school for and to help others is such an amazing gift and I’m so thankful that she over powered that ugly horrible disease and that she’s her own Hero every single day that she’s sober!!!! God bless her every step of the way!!🙏🏻
        *Nicole M . Franco

      • Joy April 29, 2016 at 6:39 pm - Reply

        Thank you for sharing your story. My 22 year old daughter will be celebrating the her completion of a 3 year recovery program in a couple of weeks. I am grateful everyday that we found this program for her and that she is still with us….happy and healthy!!

        • janet May 1, 2016 at 7:07 pm - Reply

          Can you share the program name? My daughter is in 3rd rehab…she wanted this time…and says she plans to stay long term…it’s different – still 12 step but a Ranch and teaching her how to cope and live a sober life. I worry – she has always relapsed…. sounds like you found a good resource?

          God Bless
          Janet

        • Sally August 1, 2017 at 4:51 am - Reply

          Can you please share this program? So scared for my daughter and don’t know where to turn.

      • Felicia C. Devos April 29, 2016 at 8:40 pm - Reply

        There needs to be more education as to why individuals turn to such a life altering substance. Generally, there’s always an underlying issue/reason this happens. But you also have people who just push the limits, for no reason other than enjoying the high. I’m so glad to hear, from a mother, the amount of support and content watching over her to make sure you don’t miss anything that could possibly lead her down that or any other life changing track. My mother, on the other hand, was made aware of my feelings and iaauea over my addiction to pills and played like she had no idea why I turned out doing this in excesses that would have killed most people. Once I started working for a psychiatric hospital as a Marketing Rep, I put it together on my own. Checked myself into outpatient suboxone treatment and weekly one-on-one therapy with a psychologist. This is where it occurred to me why I chose that debilitating path. My mother lied to me for over 15 years, telling me I chose it because I could, there we’re no reasons at all for me doing it. NOT THE CASE! BRUTALLY BEATEN BY OUR LIVE-IN BABYSITTER FOR 4+ YEARS AS A CHILD, FAMILY HISTORY OF DEPRESSION, ANXIETY AND SUICIDE, ALL FROM HER SIDE. MY AUNT FINALLY TOLD HER AT MY AGE OF 24, IT WAS TIME TO FILL ME IN ON WHY I GREW UP USING DRUGS RECREATION ALLY, BUT GOING HARDCORE WITH NARCOTIC PAIN KILLERS. I RESENTED HER FOR MONTHS. I WAS ALSO DIAGNOSED BIPOLAR AND ADHA. ONCE PUT ON THE CORRECT MEDS, GETTING HIGH WAS THE LAST THING, IF AT ALL, I THOUGHT ABOUT. THERE NEEDS TO BE MORE PARENTS AWARE OF SIGNS, BEHAVIOR, ETC. YOU ARE THE BEAT MOM IN THE WORLD TO HAVE HELPED YOUR DAUGHTER AS YOU HAVE! HIGH FIVE, YOU’RE GOLDEN!!!

        • Judy Neuman May 4, 2016 at 2:45 pm - Reply

          At what point do you just give up???

      • Teddi mcnally April 30, 2016 at 3:57 pm - Reply

        Where do u go to help these people.What organizations do you join to help ?????? People don’t know this information. Including myself.

      • Mary May 3, 2016 at 10:15 pm - Reply

        Hi. I read your story on Katie’s blog. I have to tell you that I’m sitting here with tears streaming down my face as I read these stories of moms with children on heroin. My son was addicted to cocaine. He was 21 and had gone to school to become a sound engineer. He got an internship in New York City. Long story short, he was working on the set w musicians that had plenty of money and plenty of drugs to share! He came home after literally becoming homeless. I knew nothing about it until he came home, and I felt like I talked to him pretty often.
        After searching in vain for a place to send him without health ins, we ended up at the Salvation Army. I was devastated to leave him there. My fears were unfounded. Not only did he get clean, he has been clean for 23 years! He now councils others addicted to drugs, and is co owner in a detox facility. I couldn’t be more proud of him.
        I believe God has used that horrible time in my sons life to make a difference in others lives. He has been involved in meetings and leadership and has flown all over the country as a speaker for narcotics anonymous. He is who is is today because of struggles he had wit the drugs several years ago. I pray for your daughter. I hope that she will stay clean and use this experience to make a difference in the lives of other addicts. God Bless you!

        • Katie May 4, 2016 at 11:49 am - Reply

          what an amazing journey!!!

      • Stacy May 14, 2016 at 2:47 pm - Reply

        I just lost My 25 year old daughter to a bacterial infection, started in her heart, we had 2 days notice upon her arrival at the hospital, her friend got ahold of us, by the time we got ther, (2 days after she was ambulanced) she was already in a induced coma, so we never got to speak to her again, however I know she heard me, her brain was active but, the next day, getting ready to go, she had passed away. This has been the worst time in my life, but most of all, is how I feel like I need revenge on these drug dealers who took MY CHILD.

        • Kristi Rumpf November 5, 2016 at 7:45 am - Reply

          I’m so sorry for your loss!
          You are placing blame in the wrong direction. The drug dealers did not force your daughter to do drugs. Unfortunately, it was her choice. I understand you are hurt/angry/devastated & you don’t want to believe your child would make those choices; but is it really fair to keep blaming others for ones drug addiction?
          I feel an addict must be able to admit their addiction was their own choice in order to succeed in recovery.

      • Sheri Hastings August 29, 2016 at 1:09 am - Reply

        That is awesome and recovery is amazing, unfortunately some addicts die from this disease never knowing there was a way out … Grateful God had mercy on me (lil over 7 months clean) & ur daughter and I also wanna be an addictions counselor 😀

      • Genia September 7, 2016 at 6:42 pm - Reply

        I could have written your response. Same thing happened to my daughter and I didn’t believe her. Her drug of choice was meth. She almost died. I still live with the guild of not believing her and I feel she wouldn’t be in the situation she is in had I gotten her help after it happened. She is now in prison serving a 4 year sentence on charges of manufacturing meth. My heart breaks every day. But thank God she is doing so much better today. She’s been clean almost a year. I love her and will support her no matter what.

      • Darla buron October 29, 2016 at 5:58 pm - Reply

        My nephew was 32he of grl. Heroin in may this year my heart breaks everyday when I wake up and he’s not here

      • Hollie November 3, 2016 at 12:10 pm - Reply

        I am in recovery and have a little over 9 mother clean. I also have survived sexual abuse by multiple people as a child. It happend to my sibilings as well so the person was caught and put in prison. I wouldnt admit to anyone harming me. I had blocked out most of it. As an adult I became involved in drugs and at the same time an abusive relationship. Im now at this time just coming to terms with the trama in my life. Your daughter is an inspiration. God bless her on her journey.

      • cash November 6, 2016 at 4:10 am - Reply

        Your a beautiful human, and an amazing mother. you made you that way you should be proud of yourself for who you are. I don’t even know you and I am. 🙂

    • Laurie April 26, 2016 at 5:05 pm - Reply

      I lost my only child to addiction March 28th. There is NOTHING worse than losing your child! She was a nurse and it all started with alcohol. Although I knew where she was headed, there was nothing I could do. No matter what I did it was never enough. We always watch “”Intervention” to realize we are not alone. My thoughts and prayers are with you. How do we stop this astounding epidemic?!!!

      • Melanie April 27, 2016 at 9:45 am - Reply

        So sorry… For your loss…. It IS in epidemic proportions! We need to awaken to this and stop it

      • Ginny April 27, 2016 at 11:53 am - Reply

        so sorry for your loss Laurie, can’t even imagine that. Your last sentence “how do we stop this epidemic” is the 10 million dollar question. We have treatment centers, we have church family’s, now we that drug Narcon (I think it is called) that brings an addict back to life, only to do it again ! I’m 64 years old and know so many people who have teens and adult kids hooked on heroin from all walks of life. Wish there was an answer this has been going on since I was aware of it in my teens and I’m sure before that.! God help us all.

        • Lee Redman April 27, 2016 at 5:15 pm - Reply

          Hi I’m Lee
          Lost my wife April 1st she had a 21 yr battle with herion.for last 6 months she had me convinced she was clean put on weight was alway doing stuff in house telling everyone how happy she was with the house me as a husband found her in my bathroom after work passed from fetinal.lassed.herion. talked to last person she saw that day and she told her ask Lee for help and she said her answer was I can’t break his heart again put him through so much that I can’t do this to him again. He’s such a great man and always made me feel loved and a home to come to. If she would have just asked me I’d still be a whole man now

          • Jean April 27, 2016 at 8:21 pm

            I’m so sorry. I can hear your heartbreak. I hope you slowly find some peace and heal your own heart.

          • Mia April 28, 2016 at 9:55 am

            I am so sorry for your loss. I too have a husband with a substance abuse illness. You reality is my biggest fear. I dread the thought of finding him in our bathroom every single day. I will pray for your heart to heal, but please don’t ever second guess or blame yourself. We are all casualties in this war and judging from her own words, you did what you could and were a great man to her.

          • Jen April 29, 2016 at 2:28 am

            I’m so sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine your heartbreak. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

        • Susan April 27, 2016 at 9:33 pm - Reply

          Yes, we have all sorts of treatment centers, but only for those who can pay thousands of dollars per month. Yes, we have Narcon or whatever, but not for the poor. Yes, there is a pill to keep the addict from being horribly sick while in recovery, but it costs 35.00 per pill, and you need to see a doctor who will prescribe it…… At 380.00 first visit….
          It isn’t easy for an addict to get clean, and our “health” providers make sure there’s more deaths than recoveries.
          I would love to have my daughter back, but the hard truth is that I’ll probably bury her before help is widely available.

          • mary Taylor April 28, 2016 at 1:18 pm

            In our area Salvation Army has treatment centers for free. I found this out by a friend who worked at a Counseling Center. . I called her for help with my own daughter who refuses to go to rehab. She is addicted to opiates!!! She’s been using steady now for alittle over 2yrs. Her boyfriend supplies her. She lives with us and I’d throw her out so she’ll hit rock bottom but there’s a 2yr old boy involved. I don’t know what to do anymore!!!

          • Lori Anne April 28, 2016 at 2:07 pm

            All is so true Susan, but even access to those things does not guarantee sobriety. Heroine is the devil himself, casting a glimpse of hell here on earth. My son has been suffering from addiction for 8 years. He is a beautiful wonderful soul, kind and caring. I cry often and when the phone rings at odd hours I hold my breath and pray this is not the one. I have images of planning his funeral and I am so fed up with life, I find it very hard to wake up in the morning. But I keep praying and I try not to loose hope that one day he will rid himself of this affliction/disease.

            This needs to stop

      • Peggy April 27, 2016 at 1:33 pm - Reply

        I am so very sorry for your loss.

      • DeAnn Scabilloni April 27, 2016 at 9:32 pm - Reply

        I also lost my son on March 28, I’m sorry for yours, mine and everyone’s losses!

      • Sally April 27, 2016 at 9:51 pm - Reply

        I’m truly sorry for the loss of your daughter. I have been thru the struggle with my daughter as I watched her fall into the heroin addiction. It is a nightmare for every parent and I myself will not blame myself for her downfall. She is now almost 2 years clean and I’m so proud of her but here is what I want to shout out to everyone. When it comes to rehab maybe now people won’t deny that it does have to happen in your neighborhoods. Rehab must not just be left to the delapatating neighborhoods where drug deals happen on every corner. Let’s get the rehabs out in the good neighborhoods so these addicts can see there is hope.

      • Kathylee Forrester April 28, 2016 at 12:05 am - Reply

        I’m so very sorry Laurie.

      • Virginia April 28, 2016 at 12:58 am - Reply

        I’m so sorry for your loss. I just can’t imagine the pain. My nephew died from overdose 3 days before Christmas 2015. So many unanswered questions?
        And it just hurts. I pray for his mom and 3 brothers constantly. I pray for peace for you.

      • Sylvia April 28, 2016 at 8:44 am - Reply

        I’m so sorry for your loss. My daughter is still out there, homeless and every day I pray for her to come around and will change her life. She tried 3 times, was clean for almost 2 years and then the ex boyfriend showed up. I haven’t seen her in 3 years almost. I know where she is but can’t do anything. I was an enabler, but I learned…. It breaks my heart every time I see a homeless person. I give them water and food, and pray for them.

      • Moni April 28, 2016 at 5:10 pm - Reply

        We lost our 22 year old son on March 26 to drugs and alcohol abuse. We too are a middle class family ,we were always close knit (family vacations, dinner, the whole package) and 4 years ago he would have told he would never use drugs or abuse alcohol. He got with the wrong “friend” and even though the “friend” went away the demons didn’t. We tried everything we knew to do to help him, to keep him away from the other users/abusers and the dealers/pushers, to get him in counseling, to send him to rehab (which he refused, ‘that’s for people who have a problem”).
        He was beautiful inside and out, charming, charismatic, smart, outgoing, a daredevil and not afraid of anything, had everything going for him! And a family and extended family and lifelong friends who dearly loved him! His younger cousins adored him, he was like a big brother to all of them, his older sister was his biggest fan, as was he her biggest fan! He attended church and was an active volunteer. He hid his problems from most everyone and wouldn’t reach out for help, when anyone asked he was “doing great”, although the demons were there, I think he was to proud to face them or ask for help! We know he was saved and knew Jesus and is in heaven with Him, that is our only peace! We will see him again!
        He will be so greatly missed, and you are right, THERE IS NOTHING WORSE THAN LOSING YOUR CHILD! Especially to this horrible epidemic!

      • Nancy April 29, 2016 at 2:19 am - Reply

        I am so sorry for your loss, Laurie. I lost my son to addiction as well. My heart goes out to you. I want to do more to help stop this from taking over our children and loved ones.

      • Chrissy April 29, 2016 at 3:19 pm - Reply

        I too was a nurse and struggled with an addiction to pills, which cost me my career and very nearly, my life. I understand the place your daughter was in and I can assure you, there was nothing you could have done. I was a closet addict because I knew what I was doing was wrong. All I would have done, if I were to have been confronted, is DENY, DENY, DENY. I know as a parent, you will always feel responsible for the things you think you should have done but please try to let that go and know that she made the choices she wanted to make at the time. I have a son currently fighting his own demons and it absolutely breaks my heart and actually feels much worse than when I went through it so I understand, to an extent, how you feel and how she felt. I’m so sorry that your daughter lost this awful battle. I hope you are one day able to find peace and happiness again. God Bless you!

    • Jeffrey bridges April 26, 2016 at 7:17 pm - Reply

      First off I’m going to say all drug addicts aren’t bad people I got caught up just like everyone else started out with pain pills the doc gave me on them for about 6 months bad back I thought went back to the doc he said no more pain pills I was hooked couldn’t work without them couldn’t function without them so I started buying off the street got to exspencive 300.00 dollars a week good thing I had a good job bring home 800.00 dollars a week but then the habit got up 500.00 hundred dollars a week I couldn’t afford that anymore I had a cousin who was a drug addict he said I don’t know why your spending all that money I’ve got something that will kill all your pain for 15 dollars a day well that was also a lie it was herion I took a shot man it was like I was superman to make this story short I ended up shooting 3 bags a day 7 days a week for about a year my daughter knew I was doing something I lived with her and her husband and two grand kids but I never did any dope there not did I bring any there but I did carry my needle there kept it on me at all times one nite I came home didn’t know my needle fell on the front porch out of my secret compartment in my coat the next morning my daughter was leaving for work and found it she came to me and told me she knew what I was doing she said if you don’t let me take you the hospital to go on the 7th floor to get off that shit if I don’t do not come back to my house and your not to see your grand kids no more well that was 5 years ago and I haven’t taken so much as a Tylenol the hold that the devil put in my vains was way more than expected I eat breath and dreamed about when I was going to get my next shot in that year I met so many good people and beautiful girls that would do anything for a shot so next time you know somebody is on that shit don’t judge them help them help themselves

      • Clark April 27, 2016 at 9:58 am - Reply

        Your story is amazing!! Keep up all your good work!!

      • kathy johnson April 28, 2016 at 1:42 am - Reply

        My mom died when I was 8 .I started weed coke at13.my husband turned me on to pain pills at 20 at 30 I found heroin at 40 I found God at 49 I finally realized after 8 years incarceration 16 yrs probation.I DON’T HAVE TO DIE A JUNKIE 17 MONTHS OF METHADONE.90 DAYS OFF METHADONE NOW….I FELL NORMAL NO ANXIETY NO MORE USING I’M FREE I’M ALIVE AND I’M ……SO LOVED…I DESERVE BETTER…HERE I AM

        • pat bryant April 29, 2016 at 8:03 am - Reply

          Omg…Kathy…God bless you and all who have struggled or currently struggling with this powerful DEVIL addition. Stay strong..

      • Debbiy Shaw , Tulsa ok April 28, 2016 at 2:44 pm - Reply

        Very real thank you for sharing

    • Jill April 26, 2016 at 11:33 pm - Reply

      As a survivor of SEVERE Abuse…I disagree..I am an abuse Victim. Of a Heroin addict…What he did to me I will never forget. And yes..I did go to counseling myself..
      I will leave it at that..I understand it is an illness, but the actions at times are knowing and understood ….so I do not forgive what was done to me by this person..I am sorry.. Responsibility!!! THAT IS WHAT THEY NEED!!

      • Julie April 27, 2016 at 10:11 am - Reply

        Maybe, u.need to forgive this person bc he, obviously, still has a huge hold on your life. Forgiveness is not for the other person, it is so you can live without hate and bitterness in your heart!!!

        • Tiffany Naegele April 28, 2016 at 2:26 am - Reply

          Agree with ur comment.. Forgiveness is so we don’t become bitter and carry hate in our hearts it’s not for the person causing us harm.. I have been thru a lot in my 44 yrs and I carry no hate, grudges or bitterness I have forgiven all I choose not to associate with them but I have forgiven for me to be happy!!

      • Brenda April 27, 2016 at 1:05 pm - Reply

        Not every addict abuses people. It is very situational. I am a survivor of molestation and have not used in over 10 years. I have forgiven my abuser so I don’t carry that anger around with me. I’m not a Doctor, but it sounds like you could use more help.

      • Ernie Silvers April 28, 2016 at 2:27 am - Reply

        It is a disease with a choice component; however I agree with everyone’s feedback… Every person that I have encountered on my journey through my addiction, I have never, ever met a person or affiliated with a person that victimized, abused, raped, molested, or in any way intentionally hurt a child- male or female- or a woman- or anyone vulnerable. The group of addicts that I have dealt with are the new faces of addiction. I have had a successful career for 15+ years despite not receiving a traditional education- high school/GED or college. Statistically, women (and a small percentage of men) that are incarcerated or in some type of residential or outpatient treatment program or active in NA/AA communities and group, over 80% have a victim of some type of abuse or assault at some point in their life. Most of these women develop co-occurring disorders such as PTSD with addiction. Self-medication. Yes, you were abused by someone who was using substances and was an addict. Does that mean he should not take responsibility? Absolutely not. What happened to you is something that should never happen to any person. You need to come to terms with the fact that you had no responsibility or fault or caused your abuse in any way. That being said, you cannot not forgive your abuser… the forgiveness is not for him. You owe him nothing. It’s for you. Forgiveness is permission to heal and process and find closure to the situation. By not forgiving your abuser, you have handed power back to him- and he doesn’t even know it! My fiance was brutally assaulted in high school by a school board member’s son… This was about 8 years ago- she developed severe PTSD which she has sought treatment for and continues everyday to work on it. In the past eight years, she has been able to forgive everyone involved in her assault, which was extremely public. The peace I was able to see in her through the process was inspiring. But she still battles with her addiction every day… In a way, she is relinquishing some of that peace and power back. As much as the desire and want to be clean and move on from all the negative experiences, her addiction- her “addict” she calls it- keeps her there. It is a disease, with a choice component. Should it be illegal to be an addict? No. Should we hold individuals accountable for horrendous acts they’ve committed against another person, usually an innocent and vulnerable person? Absolutely. I have never not owned up to my actions, especially when I’ve been using. I have always followed a “code”; no kids, you don’t steal, you be sick before you rip someone off, you take care of each other because we’re all either feeling alone or are truly alone in this world. I don’t wish heroin addiction (with co-occurring disorders or trauma) upon my worst enemy. However, someone who does not follow a similar “code” is the type of person to give all addicts, as a whole, a bad name or drive the societal stereotype. I’m truly sorry to hear about your experience and wish you the best of luck; but, ONE person abused you- not every addict in America not receiving the proper level of care, resources or support. To quote you,” ….so I do not forgive what was done to me by this person..I am sorry.. Responsibility!!! THAT IS WHAT THEY NEED!!”- Responsibilty…That is what THEY need. No, that’s what your abuser needs. Even though addiction, just in its nature, tries to get us to not hold ourselves accountable, but some of us fight through that thinking distortion and hold ourselves to a higher standard than the terrible man who abused you. Addiction shouldn’t even come into play… it wasn’t his “äddict” that abused you, it was the wicked evil fucked up part of a human being who is like that. Those people should all be put on an island where they can go after each other and the problem takes care of itself. I hope you find the closure and peace that you seek and need. Everyone providing feedback and stories of addiction and road to recovery, keep it up! Recovery is a way better high than using. NA has been a great resource for me. I’m grateful that there is a “program”out there that is ran by addicts for addicts in any stage of their addiction/recovery. Age, sex, religion, occupation, race, sexual preference, socio-economic status… None of those things come into play when finding help and acceptable in NA. (side note: 99% of addicts, using and in recovery, {that I’ve met} have zero tolerance for any type of sexual abuse, trauma, or assault- or any type of child victimization).

        • Debbiy Shaw , Tulsa ok April 28, 2016 at 2:53 pm - Reply

          VERY WELL SAID …MY HATS OFF TO YOU !!!!!

      • Tiffany Naegele April 28, 2016 at 2:32 am - Reply

        Forgiveness is for u not them., it helps u to move on and be happy in Life.. If u don’t forgive u carry around hate, bitterness, and grudges.. I know u may think it’s unforgivable but forgiveness is for ur healing not there’s… It’s so u can move forward in Life and be happy! I pray u find forgiveness for u so that u can find true happiness!! And trust me all addicts are responsible and held accountable for what they have done and the trouble and hurt they have caused… God bless and I pray for find forgiveness for ur well being!!

      • J.J. May 1, 2016 at 9:00 am - Reply

        In my experience forgiveness will come to you when it comes to you. Pray to God to show you what you need to see and understand, and look out for the signs He shows you. Don’t be surprised if it’s confusing. It will be! For so so many years people would tell me I need to forgive and it was such a confusing statement to me. I thought they just didn’t understand or didn’t really care. In my mind forgiving the person was kind of like letting the person get totally away with it. I became frustrated with people if they said to me in all earnesty “to forgive, it’s for you not them”, I would say okay I want to so tell me how! I would tell myself I forgive , and then any thought or triggered reminder of the past would make me physically angry or upset. Sp then I would think wellI guess I don’t forgive yet after all, and that made me feel bad about myself! That I was capable enough to be enlightened enough-as to forgive and move on in life. It has taken its toll in a lot of ways on me. After so many years of anger, depression, soul searching and prayer it finally started to come to me. Little pieces at a time. Forgiveness. I began to include the people who hurt me in my sadness. Not all the time, but when I really started giving it over to God and accepting that I just didn’t get it and that that was okay. I was okay, I realized that by giving it to God I was giving myself and them over to Him and I stared to feel forgiveness and it’s true! It is more for you than them. They need never even know! I still have days where I wallow in grief from the past-and and I still have indignation and some deep rooted inability to understand why some people do the things they do, but honestly I just have more peace more often and that is what it’s all about. Prayers to you. Wait for it while you search for it.

    • Karen April 27, 2016 at 12:10 am - Reply

      So can relate , and that’s my discription, The Walking Dead!! Has been a nightmare for past 4 years and yet I see God working!! My child now is a mother and they both are living with me, I have been a single mom for 18 yrs, now concerned about one of my other children after his best friend/brother passed away for the same thing he at one time tried to save his own sibling from. It’s heart wrenching, it is Satan on earth, in our face and trying to take our loved ones souls! THAT, is the TRUTH!! That is was needs to be prayed about and also communities acting on, it’s not just a phase or return of an old era, it’s also the pharmaceutical industry and the lack of research or knowledge given to physicians. Well, I think now they have the knowledge but a bit too late!!
      It’s time everyone opens their eyes and their minds, this has NO boundaries or stereotype, look at each of the candidates running for President , each one has had this touch their family or close friend, it has touched their lives too but who is going to do anything about it!!?? It’s up to us, the ones in the trenches!!

    • Ariel April 27, 2016 at 6:19 am - Reply

      Addiction doesn’t always start from prescribed meds which this article makes it sound like. I’ve met & know a few addicts that just started because not because of pull addiction. This epidemic will not stop till users get help & people stop experimenting thinking they won’t get addicted after one try. This drug ruins lives, the addict & their families.

      • Jill Nodonly April 29, 2016 at 1:04 pm - Reply

        You don’t have the pull of addiction until you are addicted. A lot of people who are prescribed these pills save one or two for the test to prove you are taking them. They then sell them on the street for $1 a milligram. People think, what is it going to hurt taking some, after all they are prescribed by Drs. Then they need more and more pills to keep from being sick, eventually turning to heroin when they can no longer afford the pills. Heroin is cheap at first, but then you need more and more. You are no longer getting high, it just keeps you from being terribly sick. The next step is usually prison or death. There have been even more deaths now that the dealers are putting Fentanyl in the heroin. I have a 25 yr old son in rehab right now, he worked full time and was a loving son. It was the hardest thing I ever did, but I kicked him out. After a few weeks out in the cold without money, he came to his senses and agreed to go to rehab. The relapse rate is very high with opiate addiction, I know I will have to watch him like a hawk when he gets out and he can no longer associate with the people he used with. I just hope it works, addiction takes a toll on the whole family not just the addict.

    • Robin Lee April 27, 2016 at 11:53 am - Reply

      I lost my battle to save my daughter’s life to drugs and I say my battle because it affects the whole family . My daughter was amazing, beautiful and smart and believe me I tried everything to help her I never gave up no matter what . I was there for her. I always feared that one-day she would go off and do drugs and I wouldn’t be able to save her well my fear happen and I lost my daughter July 5th will be two years and it feels like yesterday a part of me died with her . Now I suffer everyday and don’t know how to get past this . I feel like if I could just help one person. I think we all need to talk about drugs we just might save someone’s life.

      • dotty April 27, 2016 at 8:41 pm - Reply

        Robin,
        April27, 2016

        I am a mother of an addict son, my husband and I did everthing possable to help him. I can’t tell you how many rehabs he was in and always played the game until he would get out, we would be so happy for him and then with in a week he was at it again. I am so tired of people saying this is a disease, no it is not you do not choose to have a disease you choose to do drugs even with all the information and the lose of friends my son still wanted to get high, 4 children and still he wanted the drugs. After many many years we finally said enough, we would not enable him any longer to get high and run home to mom and dad to fix it. He now lives in a tent in California with his girlfriend, still doing drugs and all I pray for is that phone call telling me he has passed, because then his pain and ours would be over. I think of him every day but know that the boy I knew and loved died a long time ago. For u your daughter is in piece and her pain is over, its time for u to let go and know that no matter what u did for her this was her decision not your.

        • alk April 28, 2016 at 12:44 am - Reply

          I’ve often wondered would it not be some sort of relief if death was the outcome. In so many ways everyone involved has died a thousand deaths. I’m sorry for what you’re going through.

        • Angie April 28, 2016 at 3:30 pm - Reply

          I’ve been a single parent for 18 years. My oldest started experimenting with drugs when was 15. She stole money from me, ran away, said no one cared, joined an occult and I walked in on her one day trying to slice her wrists. I immediately took her to a hospital. She was in and out of rehab several times as a teenager. Not only was she an honor student but also a gifted student where she was way ahead of others in her class. She would straigten out for a while and then start again. She had three girls between the ages of 16-19 and lost custody of each of them which broke my heart. I tried everything I could to help her get help and get the girls but because she lived with me the other grandmother was given custody of the two youngest ones and my sister adopted the oldest, as she had a different dad than the other two. Once my daughter became an adult she was clean for about four years. She had gotten married had a son and then his family created problems and said she was on drugs again but I think they were slipping something in her food because she kept getting sick but doctors could find nothing wrong and when she stopped eating at home (as they were living with his parents out of state) she started feeling better and her mother in law got mad. They convinced a rehab place that she was on drugs, even threathened to kill her son if she didn’t go or sign papers saying her husband could have custody. To save her son she signed those papers and they sent her away. She didn’t return my calls and he would always have an excuse why she wasn’t home. So I had the police search for her at their home because her last words i heard her say on the phone was :leave me alone, dont hurt him’ and then the phone went dead. I was frantic. Finally she was able to call me and let me know where she was and that she was fine. While she was away her husband filed for divorce and because she failed the drug test she lost custody of her son. She did everything the courts told her to do and he still wouldnt let her see him. By this time she had moved back home, gotten a job and eventually her own apt. She was doing really well. It had taken a toll on her not being able to see any of her kids so she got back on drugs. Lost her job and everything. She ended up spending time in jail because I refused to bail her out. This was due to driving on a suspended license which she said she didn’t know about. Their dad eventually bailed her out and I told her she couldn’t live at home any more because I was not going to put up with it any more and didn’t want to put her sisters through it any more. She could visit but I had to think about the safety and well being of my other girls. I knew she was back on drugs even though she denied it. She met a guy through a old drug buddy of hers and I just knew what was going on. I asked her to get away from him but she said he treated her so well and loved her and all of that. Well on Wednesday, August 7, 2013 state troopers showed up at my door at 7am. They didn’t have to say a word, i just knew. Of course I fell apart and they wouldn’t leave my home until someone else got there. I thought back to her words “he loves me and takes really good care of me”. so much so that they were both killed in a car accident ( she was only 29 with 4 kdis). I have felt many things since that day. Guilt for not allowing her to move back home, anger at the both of them for whatever it was that they were doing, and so much pain I screamed a lot. I prayed a lot to help me get through it. I know she was happy the last time I talked to her on that Monday because she was starting a new job and getting their own apt on that Thurday but they didn’t make it to that day. So yes, addiction hurts everyone, not just the one with the addiction. She started out with pain meds and then escalated. I did evertyhing I could think of to help her. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about her and what a sweet, wonderful and caring person she was. You can’t live with what if’. They chose to do that and all you can do is try to be there and help them but they have to be willing to get the help or ask for it. I have friends who have children who commited suicide, one jsut three months after my daughters car accident and another one about four months after that one. So please parents dont blame yourselves, as I did, It’s not your fault , you can only raise your kids to be best of your ability but it’s up to them to follow our words, leadership and advice. My heart brakes for all of those who have lost kids due to addiction. May God give each of you a calmness and support and bles each of you.

      • DeAnn Scabilloni April 27, 2016 at 9:36 pm - Reply

        I understand your pain, lost my son to it last March. Look me up on Facebook if you ever want to talk!!

      • Megan April 27, 2016 at 9:49 pm - Reply

        I know how you feel I struggled with addiction for many years I have 5 years clean from heroin now and watchmy children getting older and am constantly worried they’re going to end up in the same boat as I did. You never know who it will happen to there’s no huge flashing sign that says this person is going to grow up an addict. My children just suffered the sudden death of their father 3 days after this last Christmas. He was an avid user for years but had just hit 1 year clean when he suddenly died of a heart attack in his sleep. He was only 28 but had an enlarged heart no one knew about that was caused by husyears of abuse. Addiction takes a huge toll on your mental spiritual emotional and physical health. It shows that the damage you do can always come back to haunt you later. I’m so sorry for your loss. Nothing can change what happened but telling her story may just save someone elses life before it’s to late.

      • alk April 28, 2016 at 1:00 am - Reply

        Your heart literally hurts. Iam so sorry for the loss of your beautiful girl. I truly believe those who pass can see us, I felt such relief from reading books & stories on afterlife, mediums etc. Somehow someway she is trying to tell you she is ok now.

    • Lisa dougherty April 27, 2016 at 12:18 pm - Reply

      My brother died from a addiction i lost my bf, god i miss him!!!

      • DAB April 27, 2016 at 2:06 pm - Reply

        So sorry for your loss. Thoughts and prayers sent your way.

      • alk April 28, 2016 at 12:45 am - Reply

        So sorry ❤

    • DAB April 27, 2016 at 2:05 pm - Reply

      My brother is addicted to heroin and has spent many years in and out of jail. He was the star athlete, went to college and had his whole life ahead of him,. Then it happened – he hurt his back at work and was prescribed pain pills and I don’t need to tell you what came next. Years later my son became addicted to heroin – him as well was the star athlete, popular with his peers and ended up trying pills at a party and then it was all down hill from there. Both have come from good families. Like you stated – “it can happen to anyone. It has been a rocky road. Now all we wish is for them to make it through each day clean. It’s a hard process. No one should ever think they are exempt, because no one is. I wish your daughter and your family the best!

      • Cindy mccarty April 27, 2016 at 10:11 pm - Reply

        I can relate to this, with my son. At 26, got hurt on the job. Had a dirty Dr. And a Dirty pharmacist. They all eventually went down. Not soon enough thou. My son is 6 months clean. In rehab. I’m so very grateful he’s still alive. After 6 yrs of pills, then meth, then herion. He struggles. It’s a day to day struggle for him. All these years I’ve felt like I’ve mourned the death of him, becouse I felt in my heart I had lost him forever. I just hope he can recover and survive back to a normal life again.

      • JLB April 28, 2016 at 12:16 am - Reply

        My 24 year old son is a recovering herion addict
        Sober 3 years
        He came from a privileged family and was not sexually abused
        Extremely popular, athletic, handsome with an amazing sense of humor
        He said it started with the girlfriend who was into bills and when they got too expensive and hard to get they turned to herion
        They used for 8 months
        we stepped in and got him to a detox center / hospital
        He detoxed it was violent and touch and go for a day or so
        We have been through 15 months of rehab through the years and I’m tired of them saying it’s the parents fault
        He was given a strong foundation and I believe life is a series of choices good or bad but you must learn and grow from them
        Even sober to this day my son is a lost soul and I hope he finds his way
        You can bring a horse to a lake but that doesn’t mean he’ll drink the water
        I guess my son isn’t thirsty enough
        My heart goes out to all the family’s who have loved ones affected by herion
        Stay strong but be happy and don’t let it rule your life

    • kathleen April 27, 2016 at 2:30 pm - Reply

      it brought tears to my eyes with all the overdoses in johnstown pa i been trying to find a way to tell my 5 year old about drugs i tell her some things but not sure what she understands love how you put it all so true she dose know not to take pills or meds unless i give it to her and not to copy or try things someone tells her but so scared for the future thank you

    • Fran M April 27, 2016 at 7:16 pm - Reply

      Know it all too well.

    • Julie April 27, 2016 at 8:03 pm - Reply

      I lost my 27 year old son just over three years ago. He did not overdose, he had a massive, sudden heart attack. The autopsy revealed he had congestive heart failure due to his years of drug addictions and alcohol abuse. Most recently he was addicted to heroin. It was cheaper and easier to get than any other substance. The dealers are getting rich ruining the lives of our loved ones. He was clean when he died. There is nothing worse than losing a child. It didn’t hurt any less because he was fighting addiction. He was my son, he was a beautiful, kind, but troubled soul. I will miss him till my dying day. I hate the word “junkie”… these are sons, daughters, mothers,, fathers, brothers and sisters. They are loved but they have a disease; addiction. Heroin is the most difficult drug to get off and stay off. It has become an epidemic in our communities and it does not discriminate. My son was raised in a loving home, given all the opportunities my other children received. He lived in an upper middle class home with lots of friends and many loved ones.

    • Cathylee April 27, 2016 at 8:09 pm - Reply

      Where do you find help for a 30 year old with no insurance. And a Parent who is tapped out.
      Confused but holds hope yet!

    • Cindy April 29, 2016 at 10:17 am - Reply

      Omg…thank you… thank you!!! I cut hair and talk about this with my clients all the time. People are so quick to judge and there is no compassion. Look at everyone we are all the same we are living loving human beings!! Everyone has a story to tell and some have struggles with no support system. We all need to come together and love one another. Honestly saying one word or just a touch can do so much for another person! If you can reach out and help someone because that someone could be you one day!

    • Sharon April 29, 2016 at 11:46 am - Reply

      My sister Robbin died of a heroin overdose. She was 45 years old , a Mom , a sister, an aunt. I was stupid and uneducated.
      we grew up in that suburban place where this didn’t happen. We tried everything, bribery, promises, money, food, Then our last hope.
      Tough love. All the professionals said we were doing the right thing. Your family or the drugs. we will support you. Go with you. Pay for it. Of course the drugs won.

      We lost track of her and sadly found out 10 years later she was dead. She had been dead for 2 years. There is no amount of punishment I haven’t given myself for
      our decision. I miss her everyday of my life. I pray for her forgiveness. I know don’t deserve it. I would never make that choice again. Don’t be me.
      Stay with it.

    • Gary Chamberland April 30, 2016 at 8:01 am - Reply

      This story so touched my Heart it’s so true that we see addicts with a heart that this person’s a junky or an alcoholic get over yourself and clean yourself up. I admit that I was that person who thought that, I am ashamed of even thinking that. In 2008 I hurt my back real bad and was prescription pain meds oxies, Vicodin, perks. During treatment going up to my surgery in 2009 and after my surgery I became addicted to them. At first it was for the pain and all the right reasons but it took care of other pains that I had. It was the best escape for me and how to deal with life at that moment in time. So Yes I am ashamed of even thinking that in the past because I am that junky that was stuck and had nowhere to go. I was directed by family and friends to a Celebrate Recovery Program at Bethel Church on Stevens Str. in Bristol Ct. Coming to realize that My Higher Power is My Lord and Savor Jesus Christ. There is no other Higher Power. I have been four years clean now and plan on staying clean only through God’s Grace can I work this in my life. I am currently working on establishing a Celebrate Recovery at Hillside Community Church in Bristol Broad Str. It wont be officially opened program till fall but we are working on it. Addiction has many ugly faces Gambling, Internet, Porn, Drugs, Alcohol, Workaholic, I can go on and on but the beauty of Celebrate Recovery is that it deals with all these addictions and more. It deals with Hurts something bad that people did to you such as Divorce, Abandonment, Abuse. Habits Your addictions and Your Hang ups Unforgiveness, Anger, Depression and I could go on and on. This story hit me so hard and we need to see through the eyes of this woman. Everyone has a story what’s Yours? My name is Gary Chamberland and I am a Recovered Addict of multipul Addictions.

    • Nanci Heath April 30, 2016 at 11:07 am - Reply

      I have a friend who just checked herself out of a faith based program that our church grout got her accepted into. She had been clean for 6 months….already gone thru detox with us supporting her…got saved and was looking forward to getting her new life started. She needed a structured environment to learn how to deal with life without escaping into the drugs and alcohol. Counseling started opening up old wounds…she could not face it and after 4 days called her Mom ( another user) who went and got her……I pray for her….I know God has her in His palm but I cannot watch the spiral again. …not after everything that was done for her.

    • kim legault May 1, 2016 at 11:54 am - Reply

      anyone anywhere could have the disease of addiction.

    • Sandy Purey August 23, 2016 at 7:27 am - Reply

      I am a 61 year old woman who has been fighting addiction my whole life. I just completed another rehab (my 4th) and due to heroin addiction and pills. I have had a number of years clean and sober yet fell right back into my addiction after the deaths of a good friend in February and then my baby brothers death in May. I was with my brother and we both did heroin yet he died and I lived. But for the grace of God go I…. You are so correct in your statement that the face of addiction has no face. People in my IOP group don’t believe that I’m an heroin addict. The stereotypic picture is so embedded in society that we who are the new face have to get out there and share our experience, strength and hope to those still in denial!!!!! Thank you so much for sharing your story has I am sure others will be encouraged to face their own demons.

      Sandy P.

    • Stephanie Glandon August 25, 2016 at 11:34 pm - Reply

      My second time around in the program. I had 17 years once. Son joined the Army, husband cheated and started using again for the umpteenth time. I gave up, gave in and lost everything. I am coming up on 17 months again. On my son’s 24 birthday. It’s never too late to start over. Getting my own place soon. Not much to put in it, but I am alive and that’s all I need…and my cat.

    • Geri August 29, 2016 at 10:19 pm - Reply

      Dad, Hard to read as it is formatted, but I got thru it and it’s powerful.

    • Geri September 9, 2016 at 10:38 am - Reply

      Your post is very difficult to read. Creative maybe – hard to make out definitely. However I did find your website. Perhaps that was your point.

    • Geno Silvia September 9, 2016 at 4:59 pm - Reply

      Certainly can identify. Lost a beautiful 23 yr. old Grandaughter several years ago to heroin addiction….now my beautiful 27 yr. old daughter, sits in jail, awaiting her fate, due to her heroin addiction….time after time. We brought them up as best we could. ADDICTION DOES NOT DISCRIMINATE!!!
      Thought I was the perfect roll model with 31 years sober…

    • Kymmorales September 13, 2016 at 11:01 am - Reply

      It is almost 7 months Brandon lost his battle w drugs your story is almost like mine he passed over dose of heroin he still lived at home we didn’t care we didn’t want him to leave he needed us yes there were days of nite mares years of tears he was a great kid loved by lots of people went back to collage then drug court put him herizons and at the meeting he found it oh may I day he was on methedon for over a year got clean but he got caught speeding found out he had a warrant from three yrs ago for not showing up went to jail of course they didn’t give him any meth he went three withdrawal ok he comes home happy mom I can beat this well he did went back to school great UNTILL they put him right back the system killed my son I don’t care they did now more years or tear 4 ever 23 my baby my life GONE

    • Joanne October 29, 2016 at 4:43 pm - Reply

      My son is 30 years old and has spent the last 5 years in prison. His drug addiction took him there. He was homeless prior to prison. He lived on the streets in Boston for 2 years. Almost had to have his feet amputated from frostbite. He is being released from prison Nov. 2nd. And I am terrified for him. It’s in God’s hands…I am powerless. Please pray for my son..Thank you

    • Heather Dilal November 4, 2016 at 8:06 pm - Reply

      Herion is what I was on I have of more times than I can count. I have lost lots of friends to this disease and finally I found a wonderful man to help me with this addiction trust me it was hard and still is hard. I will fight this for the rest of my life but there is good after active addiction I have my youngest son back he has a lot of problems and sometimes it gets the worst of me but I think of everyone that is and will be addicted the ones who didn’t make it even if I don’t know them before bed every night I pray for that and them good luck to all

  2. Erika April 25, 2016 at 1:01 pm - Reply

    Your story sums things up rather well when it comes to, addiction – however, it’s not just people who were prescribed pain medications (at some point in their lives) who are turning to heroin.
    It’s also people who have a mental illness, they feel lost and alone in their mind, people who have been through tragic events, and they haven’t had the strength to deal with it, people who lost their best friend, without closure, because they don’t know how to grieve. A lot of people turn to heroin to make their mental/emotional pain lessen because it never truly goes away.

    #ihateheroin #fuckheroin #notonemore # #heroinkills

    • Suez April 26, 2016 at 11:11 am - Reply

      I agree. So many have mental illness and find numbing their brains the best way to deal with aniexty and any other issues.

    • Lauren Clune April 26, 2016 at 12:40 pm - Reply

      Your comments are on the money

    • Tom H. April 26, 2016 at 5:09 pm - Reply

      I was in the same situation. I came from a well to do family. It didnt matter. I was sexually abused as a child. Went to the finest boarding schools, lived that life but had back surgery and became addicted. It was terrible. Not what my life was meant to turn into. I was loved. I didnt know how to tell anyone. I was scared but as so many are I was addicted. My family noticed I wasn’t the same. All the money I had saved was gone. Gone in 6 months if that. I went to treatment for 6 months total. It was pure hell but now the only real person that knows me and loves me is my mother. She knows me all too well to know that I have been clean for 6 years. Yes it doesn’t matter where you live or how you grew up. Sometime your going to fall victim if your not careful. I have helped countless people to tell them my story which is the same as everybody elses. Nobody has a different story. We are all the same. I was addicted to vicodin. Never anything else. Needles scare me. It doesnt matter. Pills or needles if your addicted its all the same. If you need help please get some dont be afraid to seek help please. Who cares if it’s embarrassing. Its life or death. The people that truly love you will understand. Those are your real loved ones. The other people dont matter as you will see. I wish you could call me and let me help you but I cant leave my number. Please get help. Life is so much better drug free after being addicted to pills. Its way better than the life before pills. You’ll be very much better off. I promise you. Take that step and see your new life before you dont have the choice. Life is a beautiful beautiful thing. Please please seek help.

    • JT April 26, 2016 at 10:41 pm - Reply

      So how can we help them? My daughter has been on that stuff for 6 years lost everything even custody of her daughter and continues to still use. I have fussed forgiven hugged cried been silent didn’t speak to her lost trust in her . So now I just watch her life being destroyed by that awful drug.

      • kf April 27, 2016 at 9:39 am - Reply

        dont give up! u cant give up

        • Jill Nodonly April 29, 2016 at 1:14 pm - Reply

          They are never going to quit until they are ready. They may say they are ready and even go to rehab, but they will say anything they think you will believe. Most addicts are very skilled at lying, sometimes I think they even believe their own lies.

      • JC April 27, 2016 at 11:03 am - Reply

        I am not one to post on a thread like this, but i feel like i must get this off of my chest. My sister has been the same way she will never stop. She doesn’t care, she goes away for a while and comes running right back to it. She doesn’t care that she no longer has her children or anything anymore. She burned her own house down with her inside of it passed out. Lucky a friend lived next door that was home and saved her. When she is sober she gets mad because her kids want nothing to do with her, but that is her own fault. She yells, calls us names, breaks things, steal from us, and it just kills my parents. Watching her kill herself and we have tried everything. I can say I have given up on her, but they never will. We have tried everything, not once but many times. I was a young teenager when she started using and i hardly remember her being normal like she used to be. It traumatized me, we were so close. We came from a wonderful home with great parents I never thought that this would happen to us. Never thought it would, but sure enough it did. I went threw two years of depression, moved away from it all just to be able to breath. I came back home and its like i never left its all just the same as it was. She will never change. So, to those of you that have had a family member or yourself over come this terrible addiction it truly is a blessing. May God be with you all.

      • katehawea April 27, 2016 at 1:26 pm - Reply

        pray, go to AlAnon, accept her 100% as she is. deeply we are all seeking unconditional love. boundaries are good, but just rejoice that she is alive. the change will come.

    • Karen April 27, 2016 at 12:26 am - Reply

      Very true, and many times because of mental illness that is untreated they like anyone of us, self medicate, may start with alcohol then weed then piles or whatever, and that is why it is imperative that the government improves healthcare , so these individuals get the help they and their families meed, and Quality care not Syaye mandated care!!!
      My heart and soul are in this 100%, and we have lost at least 5 friends to this, many tried the heroin one time and it took them, others off and on but they thought they could do it themselves and did not want to cause financial hardship on their families, I personally was told to sell every vehicle I had for take out a 2nd mortgage and then by the Grace of God, my parents helped, not my exhusband who had the insurance on the children, but me and my retired parents. Was the most hard thing to tell them and turn to them for help that I personally could not afford but was willing to let my home foreclose if that’s what it took, mind you my child had come to me finally asking for help. I had almost given up when a private facility called me back and with paying a certain amount they had grants to assist those who needed it, it was December 2013, just a couple of weeks after my father passed.
      Communities or families need to know how to get financial help and need to check the qualifications and be aware of them to make sure they or their loved ones are getting the care, dual diagnosis etc, that they need!!

    • Brenda McCoy April 27, 2016 at 11:19 am - Reply

      So true, my son didn’t start from pills. He had special needs. When I found out what he was doing, after many tries to get him to stop, I got him clean for 7-1/2 months. I lost him to an overdose 3/16/14.

  3. alison April 25, 2016 at 2:18 pm - Reply

    great post. Thank you for sharing. What you write is VERY true.

  4. Maggie Parris April 25, 2016 at 2:29 pm - Reply

    Thank you so much! SO MANY of us “suburban moms” are going thru this and its PAST TIME to end the stigma. so anyone who speaks oit honestly is not onlly courageous, but helps to end this stigma, or the idea that its their choice! Scientists now agree that it IS A BRAIN DISORDER, like any other disease and mist be treated that way if we’re to have ant hope for the future bc tjw drug itself is never going to just go away! So thanks again and wishing you and yours peace healing and comfort.✌?

  5. Deborah Steffey April 25, 2016 at 5:44 pm - Reply

    Wow I still have chills reading this!!! Happy he is in a rehab. I hate this disease.

  6. Amanda N Cromwell April 25, 2016 at 7:21 pm - Reply

    I was prescribed pain pills after my accident and accidentally became addicted at a very young age….19. I wasn’t warned about risk of addiction or anything. I now know I had a wreck less dr prescribing me obscene amounts of vicodin, soma, and xanax. I was so lost in it before I even realized what was going on. My Dr was arrested and I could no longer get my prescriptions and because of fear of asking for help I turned to heroin. I lost 7 years of my life. I am now 4 years sober. And I thank God every day for my sobriety. I moved more times than I can remember and was home less for a long time. I finally woke up when I jumped out a 3rd story window in a drug fueled suicide attempt. I thank God everyday. It wasn’t easy, and some days it’s still hard. But I stay sober

    • Sheri April 26, 2016 at 5:28 pm - Reply

      I want to say that I am proud of you!!! Being a mother with a son addicted to heroin it is hard to deal with his illness. People around him have died and he still doesn’t see the reality. He always tells me “it isn’t like that mom”. I am scared that he will be the next one of his friends to die from it. Reading your post gives me hope that he can kick it.

    • Ms sharon April 26, 2016 at 10:22 pm - Reply

      My 46 yr old son has been on drugs for at least 35 years..tried everything when he was younger to help him quit..NOTHING stuck with him..There is nothing I know to do now..he’s been to jail , in rehabs, should be divorced by now, has a 14 yr old daughter..I’m 69 and know not what to do . There is nothing I can do and our family has NO peace..what more can I do?.
      His marriage is toxic.
      My grandaughter s life is nothing but turmoil. God’s grace is all that gets me thru each day.
      Do you have anything to share with me? Thank you for sharing your recovery..

    • Michelle Samsel April 27, 2016 at 5:51 am - Reply

      You are amazing!!!!! My family has been through this, only he wasn’t as successful as you!
      Congratulations‼️‼️‼️
      I hope you witness to everyone you come in contact with.
      God bless you 🙌

    • Nicole April 27, 2016 at 7:18 am - Reply

      Your story is touching and glad your sober keep up the work it’s not easy

    • Laing McCullough April 27, 2016 at 8:43 am - Reply

      Keep it up Amanda!! Sobriety = Life, you are worth it!!!!

    • Terri April 27, 2016 at 8:45 am - Reply

      I am so thankful you are sober and what a strong willed person you are, Congratulations !

  7. Jocelyn April 26, 2016 at 1:15 am - Reply

    My son became an addict and turned our world upside down. Yes…it is everywhere, across all demographics. He was fine in high school but then the world, the big world where we can’t monitor or protect them anymore. I gave the lectures to all three boys about drugs and people that push drugs…they knew it all already but still they think they are invincible. You know all their friends right? Not really. It’s what they don’t tell you, who you don’t know. I learned very quickly not to be ashamed…my son’s life was more important. I learned that 1 time in rehab is not enough. I learned you never let go and keep loving UNCONDITIONALLY until one day…after many tears and prayers…it finally sinks in. It’s never over but it can get better…much better.

  8. Jonny April 26, 2016 at 1:59 am - Reply

    Ms. Donovan,
    First off I would like to say thank you… I’ve been friends with Britt for a long time and she is an amazing strong woman and I can see now where she has gotten those attributes from, you are an amazing mother and extremely brave for sharing your story. I also have been battling with my addition for a long time, and I never quite understood how my parents viewed things until I started reading your blog.. Britts story and mine are extremely similar and it has opened my eyes even more so than before… I look forward for the day when I am able to meet you in person to thank you personally. I love Britt very much she’s one of my closest friends and has helped me along my way and hopefully she will say the same. But until then I will continue to follow your posts and read them religiously as they help me out so much.

    Thank tou
    -Jonny-

  9. Ken Sylvester April 26, 2016 at 2:33 am - Reply

    I’ve lost several friends to HERION, it makes me cry, and wonder who’s next, wanting to save they from death. Your so right there everyday people that are our children, friend, and loved ones.

  10. Alicia Sullivan April 26, 2016 at 4:16 am - Reply

    That was a fabulous story.. Ty so much!

  11. Beth April 26, 2016 at 8:40 am - Reply

    God bless you. You are so right.

  12. Mary Lou Yund April 26, 2016 at 10:53 am - Reply

    We have to put a face on heroin addiction. As this articles says, people think of addicts as the “OTHERS”. They are not. They are literally, my niece, my son , my best friend. I think in a way 12 step programs encourage this. It is a disease. There is not a caner anonymous.

    • Krista April 26, 2016 at 2:10 pm - Reply

      Yes! Awareness is so important. No one wants to be an addict. It’s truly something that happens by accident so many times. By the time you realize it’s too late. Ppl have to be educated. Most just want to dismiss it as if they’re ‘junkies’ nobody wakes up and says, ‘ I’m gonna try some heroin today’ it’s a tolerance build. If someone were to do heroin without having an opiate tolerance, they would probably puke and likely overdose.

  13. Teresa McAfee April 26, 2016 at 11:00 am - Reply

    Please go to Bulletproof Radio and listen to Episode #289 ( The Ibogaine Experience – Treating Addiction with Alternative Medicine: #289). This is a treatment at a clinic in Mexico, by American doctors, including one who lost a sister to addiction. Things start small, and this is one that needs to spread to help all those who need help. Need to force FDA to recognize alternative medicines that are very effective in treating addictions. Please listen and share!! May you find inspiration and hope in this podcast!

    • Johanna Figueroa April 27, 2016 at 8:46 am - Reply

      I agree. sadly to say, these are all toxic Desease’s that need mental healing, physical and Spiritual. A injuring is painful, a trama is painful, a low self esteem is painful, drug addiction is painful, food attiction is painful, medication just worsen the Equilibrium. I believe we should have more spiritual mental doctors, counselor, mentors who truly practice holistic alternative medicine who practices, meditation, prayers, aromatherapy, reiki excersize going deep within for healing these Desease’s.

  14. bbrumaire April 26, 2016 at 11:58 am - Reply

    My whole family has struggled with addiction except maybe 2-4 people. My brother who is more like a father to me…I have a few stories on my blog if you want another perspective. Mental illness is at the root of so much drug addiction…I had a best friend who had everything. I was the poor kid, she was the one with everything a young woman could want, and a loving supportive family. However I believe more than anything her mental illness caused her to turn to heroin. I am so very sorry you and your family is going through this. It is incredibly heartbreaking.

  15. Karen Thompson April 26, 2016 at 12:01 pm - Reply

    My beautiful daughter too…it’s a sad world we’re in..ppl need to reach out to those in need. My daughters in prison now because help was hard for us to find because we couldn’t “afford” to get to the right places..

  16. Kmf April 26, 2016 at 12:02 pm - Reply

    I agree with the intent behind this article; but I disagree with calling a person who takes Xanax for a panic disorder an addict.

    • Elise April 26, 2016 at 1:08 pm - Reply

      I think they are referring to people who end up abusing prescription drugs, not people who take them as prescribed.

      • Joanne Conti April 27, 2016 at 12:42 am - Reply

        Many people take their meds as prescribed and become addicts!

    • Norma April 26, 2016 at 1:27 pm - Reply

      She is referring to someone who is dependent on Xanax to get them through a day. Otherwise, if taken only occasionally, agreed.

    • Amanda April 26, 2016 at 1:48 pm - Reply

      I believe the point she was getting at the person who takes Xanax for panic disorder could become an addict when the prescribed dose is being abused. The same for senior citizen who had hip surgery and within weeks, unknowingly was now dependent on prescription narcotics. Anyone that abuses a substance is an addict including myself. I have been sober for 3 years but I am a addict. I was in a accident and became addicted to narcotics including Xanax. Once my body was used to the amount of medication I was taking the pain started coming back so I had my Dr increase my medication. The brain can never go back to its original physiological state. That’s why addicts are continuously in recovery. I do know people that are on Xanax and have no problem taking them as prescribed and they are not addicts. So yes I agree not all people on Xanax are addicts but I believe she was stating that is all it can take a stressful situation and Xanax can lead to the start of a addiction.

    • Susanh April 26, 2016 at 1:58 pm - Reply

      I think she was saying they started out taking Xanax and then ended up needing more, stronger drugs and got hooked on other things.

    • vicky Lyons April 26, 2016 at 2:07 pm - Reply

      I agree. I have to take Xanax….when my Mom Was diagnosed with cancer I began to fall apart. Panic attacks and anxiety became daily life for me as my Mom’s disease progressed. I would, however, NEVER consider heroin as an out. I am doing much better now. I had to learn that I couldn’t hold on to all control over all things and couldn’t control or slow the process of my Mom’s passing. God bless each of you out there who must rely on drugs to make it thru the day,…may God be with you and protect you. ????

    • vicky Lyons April 26, 2016 at 2:07 pm - Reply

      I agree. I have to take Xanax….when my Mom Was diagnosed with cancer I began to fall apart. Panic attacks and anxiety became daily life for me as my Mom’s disease progressed. I would, however, NEVER consider heroin as an out. I am doing much better now. I had to learn that I couldn’t hold on to all control over all things and couldn’t control or slow the process of my Mom’s passing. God bless each of you out there who must rely on drugs to make it thru the day,…may God be with you and protect you. ????

  17. Ashley April 26, 2016 at 12:42 pm - Reply

    This actually really got to me. It’s nice to see the words of someone on the other side of addiction. I myself, am an addict. I have been living with, and fighting my addiction for 9 long, tiring years. I started young. I was 19 years old when introduced to heroin by the older guy i was dating at the time. I was a party girl. I liked my drugs, and i liked to have fun. But, i hid it very well. A straight ! student, top 13% of my class, hard worker, always had an after school job, a car, nice clothes and a great attitude. Never would you have EVER thought “that girl…is a huge heroin addict.” And for years, i actually prided myself in how well i kept my secret. When i first got into this scene, not many other kids my age were doing it. it was still taboo. still a “ewww heroins gross” thing. Now, its everywhere. And it truly saddens and hurt me to see so many people living in and dying in what used to be…my life. It was only a few short years ago that i decided ‘this. is not where im supposed to be in life. this is not what was intended for me. Im SO MUCH better then this!’ with the help of my family, close friends and boyfriend, i changed my entire life around. I’m not the best that i could be, but i’m sure as hell better then I used to be! I’ve learned so much about myself through my experiences and everything i’ve gone through. I’ve actually learned more compassion through addiction then i think could have ever been taught to me any other way. When asked “If you had the chance. What would you change about your life?” my response is always the same. Nothing. I would change nothing. My life went exactly the way it was supposed to. What i went through made me the person that i am today, and I wouldnt change that for even the best experiences life could offer. I survived. And for that, I am proud.

    • Bailey April 26, 2016 at 8:29 pm - Reply

      Wow, good for u girl, so glad UR OK… Stay Strong…? How did u hide it all that time?

    • Laing McCullough April 27, 2016 at 8:49 am - Reply

      Wishing you a long life of growing into the best you can be. At this very moment, you are perfect exactly as you are!

  18. Cait April 26, 2016 at 12:49 pm - Reply

    My parents just found out that I snort pain killers. They sat me down and told me how much they care about me and how they just want me to get better. They didn’t kick me out or yell at me. I am so grateful they did that. I have been wanting to reach out for so long now and I just didn’t know how. Just like you said I felt isolated and I thought they would kill me if they knew. I’m 26, I have a job in retail management, I was in a sorority in college, I play 4 varsity sports in high school (among being involved with other school activities) I’m not much of a drinker and I don’t smoke cigarettes or weed…. So no one thought I would ever do anything like this…

    • Jessie April 26, 2016 at 1:06 pm - Reply

      Cait thank you for sharing❤️

    • vicky Lyons April 26, 2016 at 2:08 pm - Reply

      I agree. I have to take Xanax….when my Mom Was diagnosed with cancer I began to fall apart. Panic attacks and anxiety became daily life for me as my Mom’s disease progressed. I would, however, NEVER consider heroin as an out. I am doing much better now. I had to learn that I couldn’t hold on to all control over all things and couldn’t control or slow the process of my Mom’s passing. God bless each of you out there who must rely on drugs to make it thru the day,…may God be with you and protect you. ????

    • Krista April 26, 2016 at 2:37 pm - Reply

      I sympathize with you. My beautiful daughter has been an addict for 3years. I was shocked bcuz she seen what me and her father went through. She hated drugs. Then she started dating a guy who did perc 30’s. She thought she could handle it. I’ve helped her get clean 3 times and got her in an amazing program. She left the program and is back with her dope dealing boyfriend living in hotels and has a warrent. She’s looking at a year. She started doing backpage and has 5 soliciting charges. It breaks my heart. I’m petrified for her everyday

    • Brittany May 1, 2016 at 5:43 pm - Reply

      Cait you probably yourself never thought u would be an addict. When I started taking pills I didn’t know you withdraw if you take them on a regular basis. I was naive. If I knew back then what I know now I would have never even touched it. You are so lucky to have supportive parents that didn’t make judgemental comments and reminded you that your loved and it’s ok that you messed up we all do. We’re human. My parents were the opposite and that’s why I no longer have a relationship with my mom and dad because for me to be positive and not relapse I had to change my number and not listen to what they were saying because it wld push me back the mind set of i might as well be the person I’m accused of being even when I’m trying to get better I get no credit. I was venting to a friend about my family and how it hurt that they would accuse me of getting high and had no faith yet they didnt know because they were never around me to even know if I was better or not. I relasped and got depressed all over again every time they would text me and accuse me of getting high bc it hurt me. My own parents the people that are supposed to remind you of who u are are the ones that put me down. For me to recover i had to cut them out completely. My friend that i just met was the one who reminded me of who i was and i was doing so good. I needed to hear that. I needed someone for once tell me im not just a piece of shit and have faith in me. I had to learn to be selfish and put me first. You have good parents wish my mom and dad would have been there when I needed them the most like yours were. I honestly don’t know if we will ever talk again but I’m not worried about that today I’m just focusing on me and on my recovery.

  19. Amanda April 26, 2016 at 1:00 pm - Reply

    I don’t think that’s what she was saying but xanax is very addictive and ppl get addicted to it all the time. It’s also harder and more dangerous to come off of benzos than opiates. There is higher risk for seizure and heart failure.

  20. Rhonda April 26, 2016 at 1:23 pm - Reply

    The depth of pain and heartache Addiction causes is truly unbelievable.
    The Drugs kidnapped our loved ones And WILL kill them.
    Pray for them, AND their families. Pray that God can and will help
    All of us.

  21. Barbara Cofer Stoefen April 26, 2016 at 1:40 pm - Reply

    Hi Katie. Great blog you’ve started. I’ve been where you are, and my daughter now has 10 years free and sober. I also write about addiction… let’s follow one another!

  22. June April 26, 2016 at 1:42 pm - Reply

    All valid points. Sadly, I see nothing that focuses on another reason people get involved in drugs: because they need to stimulate the pleasure centers of the brain. Our fast paced society tends to focus on the moment, immediate gratification, the agreeable and attractive facets of living. The media, music, marketing, schools, just about everything, gives us the impression that people should never have to feel physical or mental or emotional pain. People should never have their feelings hurt. Life is all about having fun and enjoying the moment. When a person is bombarded with feel-good messages, they never really get a chance to experience real life, which includes some not so happy events. No one can hide from the bad parts of life that jabs us in our hearts, makes us feel lonely and unsafe. I don’t think our society, the Moms and Dads, our schools, our media or our communities are teaching our young about how to manage grief and unhappiness in the real world. So, young (and old) people will turn to drugs, or alcohol, or gambling, or social media, or alternative life-styles, or cutting, or gangs, or bullying, or selfishness, or gaming, or….you name it. We need more mental health education, for our young and old alike, based on the realities of life, not the fairy tale. Sadly, our schools are cutting back on health education classes. Our adults are too easily swayed into ignoring the root causes because they also fear the joyless feeling that all humans must suffer. WE NEED MORE MENTAL HEALTH EDUCATION/FACILITIES AND WE NEED TO START NOW so that we do not raise another generation of people who cannot cope.

    • Marion April 26, 2016 at 5:44 pm - Reply

      You are so right on, everyone is looking for happiness in all the wrong places. Go to the cross!!

    • lynne April 26, 2016 at 11:27 pm - Reply

      I agree with you, it starts with teaching at a young age, coping skills, should be part of the education system, we have to start somewhere.

    • Lisa April 27, 2016 at 10:27 am - Reply

      So true!!

  23. Krista April 26, 2016 at 1:46 pm - Reply

    Thank you for writing this. I have been clean for almost 5yrs now. I was one of the first wave of this epidemic. Starting back in 2004. My husband and I had a beautiful home four children and we’re happy. Then bcuz of back surgery he was prescribed OxyContin. He never did pills and they made him sick. He had several pills in a bottle on the kitchen counter. My cousin was visiting and seen them. He told us he would give us 50$ for each pill. Amazed we took him up on his offer. So bcuz we could make so much money from his script he started doing a little bit a cpl days before his appt. so the medication would be in his system. Not to long after he starting doing a pill a day. Out of curiosity I tryed some. It wasn’t like it messed me up, I just felt really good. I had no idea what was happening to us. My cousin had came to the house and asked if we could help him out..said he was “sick” and needed to get “well”. I said it’s all in your mind. Two months later I found out I was pregnant. So I stopped taking anything. No alcohol no pills nothing. I became deathly ill. I figured it was pregnancy sickness. I froze but had a fever, my body hurt so bad a I vomited to the point that I was puking bile. This went on for a week. My husband came to the bedroom and had a line on a CD and said you need to do this. I was like are you crazy? He said you’re dope sick. Again I didn’t believe that. He sat the CD on the night stand and left. I stuggled with myself for hours. Then very shameful I did the line. With in 10mins I felt perfect…normal. That’s when I realized I was addicted. After my daughter was born(and she’s perfect thank God) we continued to do more and more to just not be sick within two years our life started to crumble. We were doing about 10 pills a day each. There fore selling drugs was a must. I watch ppl I’ve known my whole life fall apart. It sickened me. We had heard heroin was around. I never would have imagined me doing such a thing. We had no idea how to do it. We made a phone call and poof….life changed again. One balloon and we were good. We were able to sell more pills and the heroin worked well. We hid this though. For a year nobody knew. It was a ‘dirty’ drug. Then all of a sudden it was everywhere. So our ppl started wanting the heroine. God the guilt I have. Showing ppl for the first time how to shoot it. Ppl I’ve known my whole life. I watched them lose their jobs, homes, kids. The girls turned to prostitution and the men thieves. Then the big boom…we got busted. Swat….we had guns stollen property they took my kids(my family was able to pick them up) while I was in jail the withdrawals began. This is before the epidemic. I layed in my own vomit and on day 3 I had a stroke. I still suffer with seizures. I was in the hospital for weeks. I did the methadone clinic….and again was hospitalized bcuz the withdrawals were worse than the pills or heroin. I struggled for years. I was no longer with my husband. I turned to the streets. I broke my parole and went back to prison. I had nobody. My family would not help me, not take my phone calls. Again this is before “normal” ppl knew anything about this epidemic. So they were ashamed and hid it. That’s why I’m so glad you posted this. Family’s need to be aware. It’s not like you wake up and say, “I think I’ll try heroin today” by the time you realize you are addicted to opiates….its to late. And the process begins. We need to talk about it. Stop hiding it. Speak up. Awareness is the first step. I want ppl to be scared to death of opiates. And getting clean is hard. You want to be clean as much as you wanted that next fix. And just quitting the drug isn’t enough. You need to learn how to live life again. I had to cut off anybody that used. I was alone. But I’m a success. I met my night in white at shining armor. He is retired from law enforcement. I never thought a good man would ever want anything to do with me. I felt I had a scarlet letter on me. But he seen the real me. The last five years has been amazing. Though it saddens me to watch my nieces and nephews getting envolved with pills. They call me crying and want advice. I do the best I can for them. But we have to stop hiding this. Our kids are dying. Everyday there’s at least one death from overdose. And I’m scared to death one of my loved ones will be there in the paper. Hard love is a must. Do not enable. Addicts are the best manipulators and cons. So this is a little bit of my story. And I hope it helps at least one person. We need to eradicate this epidemic.

    • Ms sharon April 26, 2016 at 10:53 pm - Reply

      I have hardly any energy left to even cry out..for 36 years my son has been addicted..he’s just come off a 7 day binge..He’s 46 yrs old now..TY for reminding me it’s ok to stop enabling him but I am alone in this battle. What can I do? I am so tired. ? His wife just stays in rage..his 14 yr old daughter lives in a nightmare. I am his only support system..the manipulating and lying makes me just weak….TY for your story.

    • Peggy April 27, 2016 at 1:25 pm - Reply

      Krista,

      I’m proud of you…. My daughter is an addict, she is 22 and today as we speak she is going to jail. I had to take emergency legal custody of her daughter last November.
      (Hard love is a must. Do not enable) I love this term. I learned this earlier part of this year. My ex-husband not so much. I found out recently that instead of trying to help her; his way of helping her was getting her a bag a day “to help her”. I call BS to this. I tried to tell him he is just an enabler, but since I’m such a bad mom I don’t know what I’m talking about. REALLY…. He called about an hour ago and stated that just as soon as they walked in the court room they took her and sat her in a “protected” part of the court room. He called and stated that she does not deserve this and he would be at the court room everyday until she is released. I wanted to say I’ll have them leave the lights on for you, but I try to keep the peace since we have 2 other children together ( 16, 13). Again I’m proud of you…..

  24. Anna April 26, 2016 at 2:50 pm - Reply

    I’d like to know who paid for his rehab., not that they work anyway. They do nothing to help the person deal with their demons. People get addicted for many reasons and not helping with their emotional well being is #1 as far as I’m concerned. It’s awful for any family to go through this. You feel so helpless. I pray every day I don’t find out my son has died. It’s torture for the addict and the family.

  25. BILL O'BRIEN April 26, 2016 at 3:28 pm - Reply

    I DON’T KNOW YOU OR YOUR NAME, SO I WILL CALL YA MY FRIEND. I GREW UP IN DELCO PA. I CONCIDER MYSELF A GOOD PERSON. I HAVE NEVER HURT ANY ONE. PEOPLE ARE IN THIS WAR TOGETHER. WE MUST MUST RID OUR THOUGHTS ON AN ADDICTION AS A CHOICE. YES THERE MAY BE PEOPLE WHO WILLINGLEY CHOSE THAT LIFE, BUT I BET THERE ARE UNDERLYING ISSUES THAT LIT THAT FIRE. PLEASE DON’T THINK I’M SAYING ONES FAMILY LIFE IS THE ROOT TO THIS ILLNESS. THE PEER PRESSURE TODAY IS OFF THE CHARTS. WHEN I STARTED JUNIOR HIGH I HAD NEVER USED, THEN FOUND WHAT I THOUGHT MADE ME FEEL A PART OF WHAT WAS EXPECTED AT THHE TIME.
    MY LIFE CHANGED ON JUNE 16-17 1986. I LIVED WITH 2 ALCOHOLICS WHO HAPPENED TO BE MY PARENTS. MY FATHERS MOM PAST JUNE 15 AND WE WENT OUT TO BUY NEW CLOTHES FOR THE FUNERAL. I MADE THE BIGGEST MISTAKE OFF MY LIFE, I OFFERED TO TAKE MOM AND dad TO THE BAR FOR LUNCH. WELL THAT LUNCH LASTED FROM ABOUT 2PM TILL 11PM. WE TOOK MY MOM HOME TO PUT HER TO BED,SHE WAS BLASTED. WE MADE IT TO THE SOFA AND TUCKED HER IN. MY dad AND I DECIDED TO WALK BACK TO THE BAR BECAUSE WE KNEW WE WERE TO DRUNK TO DIVE. LONG STOREY SHORT WHEN WE RETURNED HOME MY dad DECIEDED TO ATTACK MY MOM AND I HAD TO STOP IT. I DID AND CALLED HIM SOME NAMES AND TOLD HIM TO GO TO BED. WITH IN AN HOUR THIS PRICK ARMED HIMSELF WITH 2 KNIVES AND A HAND GUN. I WAS SHOT ONCE IN THE CHEST AND STABED 5 TIMES. I DIED 2 TIMES THAT NIGHT. MY MOTHER WAS ALSO ATTACKED THAT KNIGHT AND BY THE GRACE OF GOD WE LIVED. AFTER I HEALD I PUT MYSELF IN REHAB. I PUT TOGETHER MANY YEARS OF SUBRIETY. FOR YEARS I WORKED AT DEMOLITION AND SLOWLY DESTROYED MY BACK. I HAVE HAD 10 BACK SURGERIES AND HAVE BEEN IN PAIN YOU JUST CAN’T EXPLAIN TO SOMEONE. TO SEE ME YOU WOULD THINK HE LOOKS FINE. IF YOU ONLY KNEW THE PAIN I SUFFER EVERY DAY. I HAVE DONE EVERY THING OUT THERE AND NO RELIEF. 2 YEARS AGO I WAS BACK IN REHAB, WENT TO A HALFWAY HOUSE IN FL. I KNEW I COULD NOT BE WITH MY WIFE AND SON.MY BACK HAS BECOME UN-MANAGABLE.. I HAVE A WONDERFUL WIFE AND A 7 YEAR OLD SON. IN ORDER TO BE A PART OF THERE LIVES I HAD TO GO BACK TO PAIN MANAGEMENT JUST SO I COULD GET OUT OF BED IN THE MORN. MY SURGEN JUST PUT ME ON MEDICAL MARIJAUANA AND THE NEXT STEP IS TO PUT A MORPHIEN PUMP IN MY SPINE. I AM SO SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS. IN THE PAST TWO YEARS SINCE I WENT TO REHAB IM SURE 6 OF MY FRIENDS HAVE DIED FROM OD’S. MY NIGHTMARE NOW IS DO I FOLLOW MY DOCS ADVISE AND THERE ARE MORE THAN ONE TO CONTINUE ON THE MEDS WICH INCLUDE PERCS, MORPHINE, SOMA, XANAX, AND NOW SMOKE SOME WEED, WICH I HAVE A GOV ISSUED LICENCE. I AM SO COMMITED TO THIS WAR ON THIS EPPIDEMIC I DON,T KNOW WHAT IS THE RIGHT ANSEWER. WHAT ARE PEOPLE WHO TRULY ARE IN SO MUCH PAIN BUT ARE FRIENDS OF BILL W TO DO. I FELL SO CONFUSED. AT TIMES I FELL THAT DEATH JUUST MAY BE THE ANSWER. WHY PUT MY LOVED ONES THRU THIS. I DON’T WANT TO NEED THESE DRUGS TO JUST GET OUT OF BED. ANY TOUGHTS WOULD HELP. DO YOU TAKE THE MEDS OR GIVE MY LOVES A BRAKE AND NOT HAVE TO GO THRU THIS? I LOST ONE FAMILY TO THIS, BUT THIS ONE IS MY LIFE. WHAT THE HELL DO I DO?

    • Nikki April 27, 2016 at 5:52 pm - Reply

      Death is definitely not the answer! I’m 24 years old ive watched my mother battle with addiction my whole life. She has had the worst type of arthritis since she was 8 years old plus mental illness as well such as bi polar! She has been to many different pain managements and she has small children 8 10 and 4! I’m her oldest plus I have an 18 year old sisiter. My sister is addicted to meth. Spending 5 years in prison right now due to meth. But death is not your ticket out of this. That will hurt your family and tear their world apart more than you could ever imagine. U may feel like it’s what’s best but it’s not. Tell your doctor that you do need the pain meds just don’t over do them. If u have had addiction problems then u know what is over doing. U know when you have gone to far. Continue to go to meetings for addicts even if you are still on pain meds because those meetings can keep you in line. I don’t know your religion but pray and pray some more the close u get with God the less pain u will have. But plz taking your life isn’t the answer.

  26. Donna Morawski April 26, 2016 at 4:04 pm - Reply

    I would also like to add the elderly to this list..they r medicated w opiates for ps5in in hospitals and nursing homes. Their confusion and regressions are blamed on dementia..and ultimately their demise. .please do not allow ur loved ones the choice of opiates for pain. No matter how,”small” a dose. .most r very frail and undernourished to begin with ..there r alternatives..massage works wonders, warm packs, kindness..i am not looking thru rose colored glasses..i have lived this w my mom!

  27. Donna Morawski April 26, 2016 at 4:04 pm - Reply

    I would also like to add the elderly to this list..they r medicated w opiates for ps5in in hospitals and nursing homes. Their confusion and regressions are blamed on dementia..and ultimately their demise. .please do not allow ur loved ones the choice of opiates for pain. No matter how,”small” a dose. .most r very frail and undernourished to begin with ..there r alternatives..massage works wonders, warm packs, kindness..i am not looking thru rose colored glasses..i have lived this w my mom!

  28. Michael Cavallo April 26, 2016 at 5:06 pm - Reply

    I’m a recovering heroin addict who’s father found me dead on the bathroom floor at logan airport and had to give his own son mouth to mouth until the EMTs and firefighters got there. That was January 22nd. I haven’t used since. My mother sent me this article and it brought tears to my eyes.
    I write this song recently about my experience and it relates to this story really well https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10156842478970381&id=880775380

  29. Michael Cavallo April 26, 2016 at 5:22 pm - Reply

    I love you Mom. This article brought tears to my eyes. I cant quite grasp the pain Ive put you and our family through bc i dont have children of my own but i know jow much i love my niece and nephews and I would literally do anything for them to not have them ever be in pain so I can only imagine what it was like for you and Dad to not know if ur middle child was going to live or die.
    Keeping these fears that we all have in whatever is going on in our lives are poison to us all. Fear is the direct opposite of faith and having faith is not making a wish, it’s doing things you don’t believe in or want to do until you get results you can’t deny that will insure you won’t stop “doing”…then the clock resets at the end of 24 hours.
    I actually sat with a homeless man for about a half hour today and just talked. He’s 15 years sober and didn’t even care that I couldn’t hive him money but he did receive the clean socks, water and cliff bars that I give out to my brothers on the street. Lord knows where I would be if I didn’t have such an amazing family and friends that have literally help to save my life.

  30. Hopeful April 26, 2016 at 6:33 pm - Reply

    I too am a Mother of an addict ……… I have been watching my Son commit suicide slowly for 9 years now……. he has gone to countless classes and been through treatment several times and has looked death in the face several times he also had a stay in the Mental ward for awhile …….. the bottom line is that MOST people can’t afford treatment or counseling or the proper medication to get help for their addictions because it is a money making disease for the insurance companies…..and if you have no insurance forget it THERE IS NO HELP FOR YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! People just FLAT don’t care …..unless you have money then they care…..you can go to a beautiful facility by a beach or you can go to a drab building down town with a single mattress thrown on the floor that has been vomited on by others countless times…….they treat homeless animals better then they treat a homeless addict………….My Son is doing better for now but everyday is a struggle for him …..I pray for his life every night ………PLEASE GOD HELP MY SON TO NOT TRIP

    • Melissa April 28, 2016 at 2:55 am - Reply

      I know what your going through.My son is also an addict.He left home at 19 and I heard from him 3 years later.I drove 16 hours to the hospital only to find him out of his mind.It took 2 years of mental hospitals to finally get him grounded.I spent my entire retirement trying to get him straight.When I had spent all I had it was hard to watch.I was so grateful that Tn. had programs and hospitals.He is currently on disabilty and lives in a group home setting.He has his own apartment and a counselor lives on property.He has attempted suicide several times and has been on life support.It is going on four years and has changed the whole dynamics of our family structure.I have 2 other children and We all have dealt with him.One thing I have learned through out everything is,it is not my fault.And I can’t fix him.Only God can.I gave my son to God cause I was almost at the end of my rope.I lived in fear of the knock at the door in the middle of the night or getting the phone call.I have seen him look me straight in the eyes and say Momma I have been clean for six months and all to well knowing by his living habits is reflecting something entirely different.I also made a clear choice even if my son chose not to admit he had an addiction that I did not have to live the same lie.I joined a support group held once a month free of charge.It took me two years before I could talk about it with out crying. I finally owned it and once I said it out loud only did my healing start.I have been through everything under the sun with him the last four years.There are programs out there free of charge,just get on the phone and start calling.Call doctors offices and go into detail they have list.Explain your situation to any and everyone who will listen in these offices.Leave your pride outside when you make these calls.Call them all!Don’t give up.God Bless you Mam and your Son.

  31. Deb Green April 26, 2016 at 6:33 pm - Reply

    I commend you and have nothing but the most respect a person could possible receive. My son too died of an heroin overdose and yes I too looked at ‘THOSE PEOPLE’ with disgust when they would be on the street corners or walking around aimlessly, for that I hope for forgiveness. We had a nice home three children fenced in yard two dogs and life was great, or so I thought. Never would I have ever thought that my son would be a statistic, but he was. Started with pills and eventually heroin.We indeed need to find a way to get through to our future generations how very dangerous this is, they are all dying. My son was 33 and left behind a wife and three lovely children. My life has changed so much I do not even know myself anymore. Thanks to everyone who is in this with us to help at least make a dent in this terrible epidemic we are in with our youth, the ones that will be the leaders of our country soon!! I am sorry for all the pain and heartache that this is causing all of us that have lost the most important part of us, our precious child/children. All the dreams that we had for them. I am open to talk with anyone anytime, just friend request me and I will accept. I know there are many times that we just need to vent and have nowhere to turn or they just do not understand us. Lets keep up this fight to save the ones we can. HUGS AND RESPECT TO ALL!!!! /Deb

  32. Pam April 26, 2016 at 6:47 pm - Reply

    Don’t give up hope. I was the suburban girl with good grades and everything going for her. I have a great family and was involved in church etc and the story goes on like so many others. Addiction doesn’t discriminate. We are powerless over it. At 23 years old I got sober and I’m 9.5 years sober now. I’ve lost a lot of friends who didn’t make it. Dead and not by choice but because they just didn’t have what it takes to stop. Not all of us can make it but so many of us do with the right support and deep desperation. Some are dying but some are getting sober and when someone gets sober a person is born with a second chance at life and the ability to help others get sober. Don’t give up. Stay strong and believe. Stay strong. Lot’s of love.

  33. Lynne April 26, 2016 at 6:54 pm - Reply

    I am a suburban Mom who was in Livingrin rehab for alcohol abuse with these opiate addicted children.I was under the impression that only the lowest of low abused heroin….it was heart breaking..eye opening..devastating..some of these kids were the products of the streets…some were the kids next store…my one roommate was a teen mom ..a rehab celebrity who had been in and out of this facility numerous times ..she stole all my stuff..the other a little lost girl from the main line..her parents were frantic..the next a teen who got caught up with the wrong guy…what they all had in common was this..they were children…and they were dying and their families were being destroyed by drug addiction..I am bi polar..a product of a dysfunctional life but I have been sober for 7 years because i have two boys who need me …People are shocked when they find out my truth…but..but..they stammer and try to reconcile it…you’re so insert adjectives that connote I am not an addict….I know its amazing isn’t it Im in recovery I say and will be for the rest of my life…thanks to support from the people who love me..ime in a rehab that actually helped and my refusal to let addiction claim my life as it had my Father’s …his brothers and Father and many others in my family for generations…

  34. Stefanie April 26, 2016 at 7:02 pm - Reply

    Being someone personally fighting this disease, horrible horrible things have happened tp me. But the worst was when my mother turned her back on me. This is when I need her more than anytime in my life. But people put a stigma with druggies and walk away. I never stole or lied to her. I just got addicted. I know it is painful for her. But dont give up on your loved ones in this situation. It makes everything even more impossible to handle.

  35. KG April 26, 2016 at 8:06 pm - Reply

    For family members of an addicted member it is very helpful in not feeling isolated to get to Families Anonymous they are an amazing and awesome organization that does GREAT work in supporting the family of addicts! Look them up and GO!!! No judging, just being encircled with love and support!

  36. Sabrena April 26, 2016 at 8:41 pm - Reply

    How can I follow your blog?

  37. James April 26, 2016 at 8:49 pm - Reply

    My name is James I grew up with two loving parents dad worked and mom stayed home to take care of me and my brother . I smoked pot from an early age and there was not much wrong with that , by the age of 16 I started selling cocaine but never did it when I was 21 years old I was sent to prison for selling drugs during that time I was introduced to heroine got released from prison a full blown addict I struggled of and on for 22 years I am now clean no substances at all no methadone no saboxone I have a 9 year old son who I would never want to see go through what my parents seen me go through I buried many of my friends to this addiction and many more youn people are rising every minute due to this it is sad and not much that can be done to stop it now it is so so so sad

  38. James April 26, 2016 at 8:49 pm - Reply

    My name is James I grew up with two loving parents dad worked and mom stayed home to take care of me and my brother . I smoked pot from an early age and there was not much wrong with that , by the age of 16 I started selling cocaine but never did it when I was 21 years old I was sent to prison for selling drugs during that time I was introduced to heroine got released from prison a full blown addict I struggled of and on for 22 years I am now clean no substances at all no methadone no saboxone I have a 9 year old son who I would never want to see go through what my parents seen me go through I buried many of my friends to this addiction and many more youn people are rising every minute due to this it is sad and not much that can be done to stop it now it is so so so sad

  39. Creative addict April 26, 2016 at 9:58 pm - Reply

    Thanks for writing this. I just got of detox yesterday fighting my battle with addiction ever day. To people I grew up with I would likely be seen as one of the least likely to become a drug addiction. Straight A student artist have volunteered around the world worked in a daycare have a university degree. Yet I’m an addict. Grateful I’m still alive I should be dead more then once. I wouldn’t wish addiction on my worst enemy but I am grateful to be alive and for the supports I’ve meet and the fact that hitting bottom brought me to my high efficiency power and people in AA.

  40. Joann April 26, 2016 at 10:13 pm - Reply

    My 33 year marriage is ending in divorce over the fact that I caught my husband using cocaine on Christmas day. I encountered this same issue with him 14 years ago and he promised that he quit then. When caught this time, he is saying all of the same things that he said then.He said he started using it again about 2 years ago. He says he “only used it or did a bump to get “energy” and never “got high” like most do. He has been drug tested routinely since Christmas day and has been clean. I am incredibly naive as I have never done drugs a day in my life. He refuses to seek counseling and again says he has stopped “for good”. He says “this time is different” and the reason being is that after I caught him on Christmas day, he almost took his life “accidentally” by holding a gun to his head not realizing that there was a bullet in the chamber. Christmas day will never quite be the same for me.
    Our divorce will be final in three weeks. My trust and respect for him is gone however I know that I love him and always will. I am simply devastated as we had “it all”. A beautiful family and a beautiful home. Our grandchildren adore him and are clueless as to what the last 4 months have been like. We have been blessed beyond measure. Our daughters are pleading for me to delay the divorce as they believe that their Dad is being truthful “this time”. I am more confused than ever before and certainly my decision would be easy if indeed I did not love him. No idea where to turn or what the answer is.

  41. Brandi April 26, 2016 at 11:18 pm - Reply

    As a recovered addict, I can tell you that addiction does not discriminate, it knows no boundaries, and comes to “steal, kill, and destroy” but there is life beyond it, one that is fulfilling in ways that only someone at there once lowest point can truly respect. Addicts…. If any of you are reading this, my message to you… You can beat this thing but you have to take drastic steps in changing your life! Beat your addiction before it beats you! God bless, I know what your going through but you can live, truly live, if you fight this battle until your battle becomes memories of stepping stones to your future!!

  42. candy April 26, 2016 at 11:25 pm - Reply

    This was enjoyable to read I wish my family could only be as educated In addition as you. I am a 23 year old female who is addicted to heroin, meth, xanax and liquor.
    My life has been like this since I was 16 I started taking pain pills from my step mom and after she overdosed it only got worse seeing as my father then started drinking alot and was never around I tell the day he got in a car crash he was hospitalized for 9months and almost died, but this only led him to a pain pill addiction witch then I was already gone. Years have passed now and my father is sober but he never really even speaks to me now he has a new gf and a new life, this hurts having no support he sees me as the problem child 🙁 I am more addicted to drugs then ever before I have tried many times to kick but I get out to nothing and nobody so I go back to my ” drug friends” who are nothing more then ppl to get high with so I don’t feel alone. If I can say anything I would say make sure you support your loved ones cause this is a dark lonely road to be on and heroin is not a old people drug, because it kills most people before they ever truly get a chance to live. Thanks for reading.

  43. Paula Ramsey April 26, 2016 at 11:45 pm - Reply

    Too bad there isn’t help for those that want it but can’t afford it. I’m watching my son die, he wants help, but no insurance and no money for treatment. It’s pitiful.

    • Julie April 27, 2016 at 8:37 pm - Reply

      Same here. My son just got out of jail, Monday. Nothing but his clothes.Called us from a store . Clerk let him use his phone. Too long a story, but he told us he was trying to find a place to sleep and eat that night. No money, no car, no job, no insurance. We leave several states away. The only thing we can give him at this time is love, prayer, encouragement. We’ve been doing this with him about 11 years. So much more between the lines than time to write. The main thing my son says that helps is our love, encouragement, support, not giving up on him. They are so lonely.

  44. Cathy Carico April 26, 2016 at 11:50 pm - Reply

    My 25 yr old son waked into prison last week. He got 5-7 yrs for trafficing opiets/heroin. He was also an addict. His 3 small children will grow up without their daddy as he will miss out on watching them grow. My son is not “prison material!” The guilt and shame and pain is eatting him up. I agree that we need to show compassion. Our kids doesn’t wake up one day deciding to be a heroin addict. They need intense therapy and the tools to recover. Not prison!

  45. Spenser April 27, 2016 at 12:03 am - Reply

    You’re very right in everything you say. I myself have been sober from heroin for a little over three years, I took suboxone, id shoot up the same day, I was on the streets, prostituting doing stealing lying doing whatever I could to not be sick and get my fix. I grew up in a wonderful family, in Dallas & then just north of dallas. They never saw it coming but have never left my side since they realized. I was addicted to shooting up heroin for 7 almost 8 years just like your daughter and I take a medication now..methadone that I know some people say is legal dope..I understand what they mean..but I’m not sleeping under bridges and in apartment complex pool areas on lawn chairs or in alley ways with a needle in my arm anymore. It’s monitored by several doctors phycyotrists and counselors..that’s much better than where I was. I am still so depressed and still lose it and want to go back because the pressures of the world are so heavy..but I take it one day one hour one minute at a time..and haven’t gone back yet..one thing I will say is if you haven’t shot up heroin and experienced that for yourself.. then you have NO say so or valid opinion UNLESS like Katie this loving mother who refuses to give up just like my parents, have gone through this addiction with a family member..you have no idea NONE WHATSOEVER what it’s like. I commend you for standing by your daughter and encourage you to continue to do so..because this is something that cannot be cured, we will have to live with this DISEASE of ADDICT IN for the rest of our lives..but with our families support..we CAN manage it, and live a decent functioning life. Prayers for you Katie aND you’re beautiful daughter who can’t be a year in age difference from me…I love you and will be praying for you..we have to stick together..

    -signed, another addict IN RECOVERY

  46. Blair April 27, 2016 at 12:08 am - Reply

    While I understand and agree with you to a point, my question for you is….what would you have people do that are in chronic pain (like myself) and have NO choice but to take pain meds? I hate that I have a chronic disease that could end my life, while I’m not an addict and very rarely take pain meds, when I do take them it’s because I have no choice the pain is so debilitating that I can’t function that I would do anything to have some pain relief. Pain meds don’t even work on me that I have to take extra just to get some relief and there are doctors that won’t help because of people that abuse prescription meds. I’m truly sorry to your family for what you’ve had to go through but what other alternatives are out there for people in pain. Yes there are people that abuse prescription meds (I’m a nurse and have seen what is done), but there are people in such severe pain and take the meds as prescribed but are still labeled as an addict. I have never tried illegal drugs and never will but what alternatives are out there for people that are suffering and it has nothing to do with mental illness?

  47. KATIE April 27, 2016 at 1:20 am - Reply

    IN THE HOSPITAL, I WAS GIVEN THE STRONGEST DRUG, THEY COULD GIVE ME FOR MY LUNGS, WHEN I WAS IN A COMA. IMMEDIATELY AFTER I WAS FINALLY HOME, MY SON, WHO IS A DOCTOR, PUT ME ON SHAKLEE B PLUS, AND BEGGED ME NOT TO TAKE A DRUG. IT HELPED ME SO MUCH FOR MY NERVES AND DEPRESSION. I BUY THEM FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY, AND WE NEVER TAKE DRUGS, EXCEPT AN ASPRIN, HER OR THERE. I AM SO THANKFUL FOR SHAKLEE, AND MY SON, WHO SAVED ME FROM GETTING ADDICTED TO DRUGS. IF I GO TO A NEW DOCTOR, THE FIRST THING I TELL THEM IS I DON’T TAKE DRUGS. SO MANY DOCTORS PRESCRIBE DRUGS TOO MUCH. DONALD TRUMP PLANS BUILD A WALL BETWEEN U.S.A. AND MEXICO TO KEEP THE DRUGS OUT, AND HELP PEOPLE WHO ARE ADDICTED TO HERION, ESPECIALLY;

  48. Tess Sweet April 27, 2016 at 1:33 am - Reply

    Thanks for this beautiful letter, My mom would probably relate with you a lot! I have fifteen years clean now. And I am writing a web series about teens in rehab. We are also growing a YouTube channel called LOUD&CLEAN which celebrates coming out of the shadows and talking about addiction. I would love it if you would read your blog on camera and submit it to our channel!!!! You can read about my series at http://www.cleanerdaze.com. And find our Youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0s4kUvtsnsbc6oZ1aKjo9A

  49. John A. April 27, 2016 at 5:00 am - Reply

    I’ve been saying this for years. No one listens. The only genuine support I got was from my fellow addicts in recovery. It’s a battle that she and all of us must fight alone. Sad but true. Thank you for your trying.

  50. Kim April 27, 2016 at 7:41 am - Reply

    I too have walked in your heavy shoes…our wonderful son at 19 told us he was addicted to heroin…..and we also were the all American family….church on Sunday’s, family dinners& vacations, coached his t-ball and baseball teams, we had it all. He was never a problem, always the happy, funny kid everyone loved. He did not drink but all it took was a few parties and some experimenting he was hooked. I have told people….when you are expecting this new bundle of joy you prepare for every event in their lives….car seat for safety, baby proof the house, first day of school and so on…BUT you never prepare on how or what to do when you find out your child is an addict! I blame myself for years, we went to treatment with him, he was in rehab & jail at a young age….he even overdosed and was found dead in a bookstore bathroom…but by the grace of God he was brought back to us …..he is 28 now and doing very well, I still worry that he will relapse and when the phone rings and it is him my heart skips a beat.. I stood with my son and always let him know that my love for him will never cease and that hopefully someday he can help someone else get through the world of addiction.

  51. Self controlled. April 27, 2016 at 7:45 am - Reply

    Both sides are addiction, the heroin, pothead, crackhead on the street asking me for money to get gas for his car and his wife who was pregnant, only to offer to take him to the gas station fill up with my tanks and I would take him back to the car… NO..he just wanted the cash. And the patient who unwittlingly took strong narcotics, and continued to take them long after the initial pain was gone. Shame on the doctors at this point for continued perscribing.

    AS a registered nurse I can attest that there are always several sides to people and their addictions. the problems are not simple and neither are the answers.

    As the daughter of a drug and alcohol abuser, who spent most of his time in an altered state in the 70’s, and NOW has NO recollection of all the grief he caused, I see the very real self centered side of addicts as well, and the hell they take their family through with NO thought about any one or anything other than themselves and their next fix.
    THIS is what makes me have very little empathy and compassion for the addict.
    When I broke my humerus bone in half, needing a surgery 10 days after the initial injury, I was on significant doses of both pergosets, dilauded and Zofran ( nothing more painful and nauseous than bone fragments that continue to grind against each other before surgery can be done. As a nurse I knew that if I did not suck up the pain and wean myself off I would be a potential chronic user of a heavy group of narcotics to control the pain. Sometimes the only person in control of the addiction is the user. NO one else can start it, control it or stop it except the user. It can be done, my parent has been off everything for several years,

  52. ev April 27, 2016 at 8:34 am - Reply

    3 out of 4 of my children are addicted to pills and or pills and drinking, it all started with 1 of them being on pain pills and now all 3 have drug/drinking problems, I never dreamed this for my kids and I’ve felt like I did something wrong in raising them. we moved a lot, I worked a lot or maybe I didn’t love enough it all runs through my head and breaks my heart. I went to college while raising them to show them you finish what you start, they were and are out of my home when it started and it just seems like its this generations thing, but I just have a hard time with it, I still try to encourage the quitting, I let them know I love them and there’s not much more I can do, I’ve told them ill got to meetings with them then I don’t hear from them for weeks, its scary to think about how much of this is going on in our society today thanks for writing this it just confirms what I know about it

    • Kelly April 27, 2016 at 9:40 am - Reply

      Thanks for being brave and sharing you stories. A lot of people have a preconceived notion of what a “junkie” looks like, but it’s just not the case. All of these people have the disease of substance abuse. It knows no boundaries wether it be age or social class. We need to get rid of this stigma so that people have this disease are not ashamed to get help. I am a mother of a recovering addict and I am ashamed of the ignorance of some people. I pray that their lives are never touched by this disease and they never have to walk in my shoes. Massachusett is trying to become a state without stigma and I’m proud to be among the supporters.

  53. Karen April 27, 2016 at 8:49 am - Reply

    My 24 year old daughter is in active addiction right now. February 22, 2016 I took her to a Christian rehab facility because she thought she was “ready”. Less than two weeks later she checked her self out. The story is long with a lot of details, but she did not come back to live with me. She has been with so called friends here and there. As of this morning though, she is in a gas station parking lot with all of her belongings. She wants me to take her to a hotel where a “good” friend is staying. I don’t believe that. She has no money, no vehicle and nowhere to go. I told her I could take her to get some help, but not to a hotel. I haven’t heard from her since I sent that. I don’t really know what to do any more. I have a nar anon meeting tonight so hopefully that will help me come to terms with what I need to do because I’ve given everything I can, and nothing helps.

  54. Kelly Mullen April 27, 2016 at 9:56 am - Reply

    Thank you for being brave and sharing your stories. It’s necessary for people to know that “junkies” are not your stereotypical people that you see on TV. Addiction is a disease and it knows no boundaries. It doesn’t matter where you’re from, your age, social class, or race. Addiction is disease. We need to get rid of the stigma behind this disease. It makes me so angry when ignorant people say awful needless things. I pray that they never have to walk a day in my shoes. I have a son who is in recovery and I cannot even begin to tell you the hellish nightmare I have been through with him for the past 10 years. WAs mothers we all ask the same questions, was it my fault? What could I have done differently? Did I love them enough? Was I there for them enough? The answer is simply yes. This is not our fault. This is a disease and the stigma needs to be erased. I am happy that in the state of Massachusetts a movement has been started ” State Without Stigma” and I am proud to be part of this movement. For all the loved ones lost , Sons, Daughters, Mothers,Fathers and all of those who are missed by anyone I am truly sorry. This is a huge crisis in this country and hopefully with everyone joining together we will be able to help those who need it.

  55. Buffie April 27, 2016 at 11:20 am - Reply

    My daughter is an addict. She’s 5’1 and weighs 110 lbs. She lives with me off and on now when she has nowhere else to go. She had a great childhood with loving parents and lots of friends. But he she was 14 yrs old her life changed….. Our lives changed forever. Her father died at the age of 35. That was the day I lost my daughter to a world I didn’t understand. She’s now 24 and I have brought her back from deaths door 6 times. Being a nurse has really paid off. Ems has brought her back 3 times. She was pawned off for heroin by her girlfriend when She was 18 but She didn’t know She was the payment so when She tried to leave She was raped by 3 grown men and beat severely while her girlfriend walked outside. I later found out from the girlfriend that my daughter called out for her mommy. I wasn’t there but just so happened I had been out that night looking for her in Winston Salem nc where She was last seen. She had a stroke at the age of 21. Found out her heart has a small leakage in it at the age of 22 and broke her neck when she flipped a car 7 times on the interstate running 80+ miles per hour at the age of 23. She’s committed crimes and gone to prison. I refuse to pay her out, not because I don’t have the money but because I know she is clean and safe while she’s locked up. I dream almost nightly that I am standing over her in a casket and as I lean over to kiss her one last time she opens her eyes and whispers I love you mommy and I’m not in pain anymore this life wasn’t for me just let me go you are free now mommy. She’s been to rehab 8 times and nothing works. She’s ask me to stop saving her but I can’t. I GPS track her phone now so I can find her. I’ve tattooed my birth name on her forearm so if she does die the police can find who she belongs to and I can bring her home one last time. I love my love but I know in my heart that one day I will be that mommy who has to bury her one daughter. Sometimes I think that I got the wrong life that there was a mix up and this life was meant for a woman stronger than a superhero. That isn’t me! I feel the pain I shed the tears and I carry the fears that I know will one day come to my door.

    • A mom with hope April 27, 2016 at 5:24 pm - Reply

      Your message brought tears to my eyes. I’ve lived a similar life. My daughterr has been in jail, overdosed, rehab, homeless and every other horrible thing you can imagine. She is 33 and this has been addicted for over 6 years. Nothing gave me hope until now…we learned about Vivitrol. Please look it up. It is a monthly injection that she receives. She has no cravings for a month. She can think clearly. She has been on it 5 months. This is the first time I’ve “seen” my beautiful daughter in 6 years. She says she has no desire to do drugs and her anxiety is gone. Vivitrol is not like suboxone or methadone. It is not a narcotic and is not habit forming. She plans to be on this for at least a year to help her brain heal. It is expensive but she qualified for charity care from the hospital until she gets insurance. Her laughing is the best sound in the world right now! Sending you hugs and hope!

  56. Anne April 27, 2016 at 11:31 am - Reply

    Thank you so much for this article. It’s not new, but well worth repeating. Two of my five sons are addicted to heroin. One is currently serving a 6-1/2 year prison sentence for robbery, and the other is currently in jail. Heroin destroyed my family. It is in tatters. After my husband’s death twelve years ago, I was in despair worrying how would I raise five children alone. I had no help from anyone. Of course, I had to work to support the family, and didn’t see the signs (which were quite obvious as I look back). Anyway, when my youngest graduated college, I moved 3000 miles away from the town in which I was born and raised. The stress of watching my two beloved sons spiral into heroin addiction and the resultant destruction of my family was too much for me to bear. I tried for years to help these boys, but I was only enabling them to continue in their addiction. My three other sons were bitter and resentful, and still are. My two oldest sons don’t even acknowledge their brothers. I guess my point is that addiction destroys families, not just the addict. And I don’t know anyone whose family has not been impacted to some degree by addiction.

  57. Devon Wallace April 27, 2016 at 11:55 am - Reply

    4 out of 5 heroin users begin with prescription opioids [Lankenau et al. 2012]. The reason is very simple, heroin and opioids such as hydrocodone (Vicodin), oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet), are very similar drugs. When prescriptions run out, people turn to far less expensive, more available, more potent heroin from the street to support their habit.

    Removing cannabis from our pharmacopeia 7 decades ago may have resulted in thousands of opioid deaths:

    “From a pharmacological perspective, cannabinoids are considerably safer than opioids and have broad applicability in palliative care. Had cannabis not been removed from our pharmacopeia 7 decades ago and remained available to treat chronic pain, potentially thousands of lives that have been lost to opioid toxicity could have been prevented.”
    “The medicinal cannabis user should not be considered a criminal in any state and the DEA and our legal system should be using science and logic as the basis of policy making rather than political or societal bias.” [Carter et al. 2011]

    Legal medical cannabis has been shown to significantly reduce deaths from prescription opioid painkillers by reducing opioid use:

    “States with medical cannabis laws had a 24.8% lower mean annual opioid overdose mortality rate compared with states without medical cannabis laws.” [Bachhuber et al. 2014]

    Two of the main reasons people switch to cannabis: less side-effects and less withdrawal:

    “Over 41% state that they use cannabis as a substitute for alcohol, 36.1% use cannabis as a substitute for illicit substances, and 67.8% use cannabis as a substitute for prescription drugs. The three main reasons cited for cannabis-related substitution are ‘less withdrawal’ (67.7%), ‘fewer side-effects’ (60.4%), and ‘better symptom management’ suggesting that many patients may have already identified cannabis as an effective and potentially safer adjunct or alternative to their prescription drug regimen.” [Lucas et al. 2013]

    Denying people medicine like this should be a criminal act, instead using it is. What a bizarre situation politicians have created.

    SOURCES:
    -Bachhuber et al. Medical Cannabis Laws and Opioid Analgesic Overdose Mortality in the United States, 1999-2010. JAMA Intern Med. 2014
    -Carter et al. Cannabis in palliative medicine: improving care and reducing opioid-related morbidity. Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 2011
    -Lankenau et al. Initiation into prescription opioid misuse amongst young injection drug users. Int J Drug Policy. 2012
    -Lucas et al. Cannabis as a substitute for alcohol and other drugs: A dispensary-based survey of substitution effect in Canadian medical cannabis patients. Addiction Research & Theory. 2013

  58. Cathie April 27, 2016 at 12:17 pm - Reply

    Thank you for having the courage to share your story and help draw awareness to the need for compassion in our world. You touched me deeply and I will carry your practice forward.
    I hope your daughter finds peace & joy in her life.

  59. Brandon April 27, 2016 at 12:28 pm - Reply

    I know what it’s like to be addicted to Crystal Meth and homeless with nothing, but what’s on my back, sleeping on trains, buses, sidewalks and benches. Living everyday with no hope, not knowing if I will live to see tomorrow. Being trapped in that lifestyle teaches you a lot of life lessons, but bring trapped doesn’t mean that you can’t fight for you’re future. I went from being a addict and homeless to owning two businesses and currently, working on opening another two businesses. If I can do it, then anyone can do it, as long as they use their heart and mind to think about the future.

  60. Dottie April 27, 2016 at 12:57 pm - Reply

    If you are one of the lucky ones, not to have a child or grandchild on drugs. Get on your knees and thank GOD or your higher power everyday. Praise each one of you for sharing your story. We need more awareness and more educations on drugs, and let all our children know how it destroys family, friends and will take life’s

  61. Lisa April 27, 2016 at 1:17 pm - Reply

    I would like to ask the author of this article how her daughter is doing? Please respond if you are able. I hope she is on the road to recovery. I have several family members and close friends children who are battling a herorin addiction.
    All are from the New Hapshire area. You would never expect it here. Two of them died…age 20 and 24. Truly a heart ache.
    All these are young (between 21-32) who have been addicted for years and have lost and given up everything they own to get the drugs.
    They all came from good homes. Brought up in the church. All have moms and dads who love them and were involved in their lives.most played sports, got good grades, lived in nice homes. They would have never believed that they would be living this nightmare. It can happen to anyone!!!

  62. Keith Whitmer April 27, 2016 at 2:22 pm - Reply

    Thank you for writing this. You are my hero.
    I lost my brother in law to bipolar, due to a hip injury, then put on narcotics, that made him eventually take his life.
    I have the same family you do, 2 great kids, we talk openly about everything, we have dinner at the table every night.
    They both are honor roll students, I just pray that nothing takes them down a wrong path.
    I had a back injury 2 years ago, I’m on oxycodone, I only take it as prescribed, and less even, but I’m always worried about getting addicted.
    I’ve had 2 surgeries last year, and having a 3rd next month. I just hope none of us go down a wrong path.
    Thank you for writing the blog, it has touched my heart. Prayers for You and your Family.

  63. Just a sinner saved by GRACE April 27, 2016 at 2:35 pm - Reply

    I was addicted to Heroin for 2 years and in 2 years it took my life. Everything I once cared about was stripped from me. However , I had and have a wonderful family. They sent me to Rockford , IL where I went to the RU Ladie’s school of discipleship. I met Christ there! He has changed my life and given me victory over my addiction. There is a cure and His name is Jesus Christ! He is my savior and redeemer and has restored the years I lost in my sin of addiction. He has given me a purpose and reason to live. “And ye shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free.” -John 8:32

  64. Ann April 27, 2016 at 2:41 pm - Reply
    • Ann April 27, 2016 at 2:45 pm - Reply

      The second (story)

  65. Defcon_5 April 27, 2016 at 3:43 pm - Reply

    Please consider posting this as a column on both The Huffington Post and Medium.

  66. Lynn April 27, 2016 at 4:02 pm - Reply

    My son is an addict and is currently serving time in prison for probation violation related to drug and thief charges. I have actually thanked God for his time in prison, because I’m not sure he would be alive today if hadn’t have gone to jail. Living with an active drug addict is so difficult! My son was so desperate for his next high, to just feel normal again’ that he would steal from me, other family members and anyone who he could steal from. I used to try and fix him, tried to control where he went, what he did, who he spoke with, but that didnt do anything but drive me crazy. I finally got desperate and reached out for help on what to say to him to get him to stop the drugs and change his life. With the help of the Al Anon Program I realized that the only thing I could control was myself. It is up to my son to change his life. I know that there is a difference between support and enabling, but sometimes as a parent it’s hard to keep that separate. I feel like the best thing I can do for him is to let him work his butt off to make a better life for himself. He’s tells me over and over, that prison is not where he belongs and he never wants to go back in there, once he gets out. I hope this experience is going to change his life for the better and that he will stay off the drugs once he is out. Only time will tell though.

  67. Joan MacMullen April 27, 2016 at 4:05 pm - Reply

    My story is your story – but Steven lost his life at 18 to a heroin overdose. He was addicted before he knew what he was getting into, and like you, I had NO idea it could happen to “our good family” Boy, was I wrong. Let’s show compassion for those parents who are suffering from the effects of addiction and never used a drug themselves. The pain, after twenty two years becomes a part of your life, but it never goes away. I will miss my son until I die. Let’s educate ourselves, our children and all of society about the terrible dangers of drugs.

  68. Karen April 27, 2016 at 4:26 pm - Reply

    Change the word “daughter” to “husband” and that’s my story. Narcotics Anonymous works for him. He just celebrated 3 years clean. Nar-Anon (for family & friends of addicts) works for me. Our lives are getting better ONE DAY AT A TIME.

  69. Debbie April 27, 2016 at 4:28 pm - Reply

    I lost two of my children to drugs and it kills me each and every day life is to short and do not think things can not hit home cause they do God bless you all

  70. non-judgemental witness April 27, 2016 at 5:33 pm - Reply

    Its time that big pharma, dentists and doctors be held accountable. I think it will take legislation because too much money is involved.
    Does my child really need 30 vicodin when she has her wisdom teeth removed? Is it possible that Vivance and adderall is being perscribed too freely? Does a high school athlete need a HUGE amount of percoset to recover? I could go on and on. First, health professionals should perscribe small amounts. There should be dialogue with patient- evaluation, accountability between patient and Dr.
    But, people dont make money off that…

  71. Rally To Face Addiction April 27, 2016 at 6:44 pm - Reply

    This is SO true! If you have lost a loved one or know someone still struggling – join us please. We will be rallying to the State House May 25th to the Massachusetts State House. To learn more, check us out on “Rally To Face Addiction: A March on the Massachusetts State House”. We will be bringing a black balloon to signify a loved one lost, holding a vigil and reading names of our loved ones and finally bringing a 5 X 7 photo to hang in the Art Exhibition Hall outside the House Chambers of our legislators. We need action, were there to show our faces and be heard! Thanks everyone, stay well, help wherever you can – none of us can do this on our own…

  72. Carolyn April 27, 2016 at 7:47 pm - Reply

    I have 2 children that are addicts, Its tearing our family apart I just dont know where to turn I want to help them so bad. It breaks my heart to see them like this. Im so scared Im going to lose them or one of them. Nothing I say or do gets through to them. I just need help all I can do is pray that everything will be ok. I cant lose them, I dont know what I would do.

    • Keith Whitmer April 28, 2016 at 8:17 am - Reply

      Carolyn, I’m praying for you and your family, that you don’t lose your children to addiction.

  73. Sparrow April 27, 2016 at 10:40 pm - Reply

    My son has been struggling with addiction of pain pills for a couple years now. At his lowest he lost everything, his wife, his home and his child.. He has done really well in recovery over the past several months, but im afraid he may be relapsing. He gets angry when we try and talk to him about where all his money goes. He works full time and has control of his paycheck so we cant tell. What should we do? He lives with us and im terrified to have to face an active addiction again. How do we approach this? Any suggestions will be most appreciated.

    • Suzanne April 28, 2016 at 2:13 pm - Reply

      I am the wife of an active addict. My husband has been addicted to pain pills for 8 years. Everyday has gotten worse. Recently he lost his job due to being absent from work too much because of dealing with his addiction. I am a stay at home mother with 3 children, so when his job was gone, there was absolutely no money coming in. When we actually had to choose between buying food for just our children and pills for him, he chose the pills. I have had to get a small part time job making $200 per week to try and keep us afloat, and every pay day he demands half the money to get medication. He even get violent when I confront him about the addiction. He is under a doctor’s care and receives 120 roxy 30’s per month and still has to buy more. Before the loss of his job, he was spending around $2000 per month to keep up the habit. He claims that it is because of the pain he is in, but in reality the addiction far out weighs the pain. Our marriage is falling apart and he can’t even see it. I have quit enabling him. I don’t give him any money, nor will I let him use the car to go get anything, but his mother lives with us and she cannot tell him no. I am trying to look for a better job so that I can leave and take my children with me. It breaks my heart to know that what has the potential to be a very strong family will no longer exist because he cannot admit there is a problem. But, I also realize that I cannot “fix” him. I am working on ME for a change in order to be better for my children. That is my advice to you. Concentrate the same effort on yourselves as you have on his addiction. Making yourselves stronger and SHOWING him that you have a zero tolerance policy may actually save your son. As I am sure you already know, you cannot help them unless they are willing to help themselves. I love my husband, but at some point I have to quit living in misery, wondering if today is the day that the addiction kills him or causes him to kill me. Stay vigilant, and know that you are not alone. Maybe one day we can see a world where addiction is eradicated and families like ours don’t have to wonder if it’s all happening again!

      • Sparrow April 28, 2016 at 3:12 pm - Reply

        Thank you Suzanne. I will be praying for you and your family. God is Faithful and I know he will give us both strenght and guidance.

    • Brittany May 1, 2016 at 7:03 pm - Reply

      Sparrow.. he gets angry because you are treating him like he’s going to go back. You have to trust him again. It’s frustrating doing better but always being treated like you were when you were at your worst. Have faith that he’s doing what he needs to do. What he went through isn’t who he is. Trust him again he deserves it.

      • Sparrow May 2, 2016 at 8:02 pm - Reply

        Thank you Brittany.

  74. Michael Anthony Boccio April 27, 2016 at 11:09 pm - Reply

    Thanks for writing this and shedding light on what was otherwise a very dark and unknown topic, I am an ex Alcoholic with nearly 25 years clean and sober
    and I know what losing control is all about, thankfully I have not ever killed anyone and for that I thank God daily!

  75. Ken Cubiotti April 27, 2016 at 11:13 pm - Reply

    Speaking as an addict in recovery for many years I am so sorry for your loss. I myself have struggled with my demons and I have been blessed to be sober and clean for over 27 years. Being a volunteer fire fighter and seeing the young people today getting caught up in the cycle of opiates and other pain killers being prescribed by doctors who were told that these drugs weren’t addicting is such a deadly lie. These drugs have made billions upon billions of dollars for big pharma companies using the medical community as there unknowing dealers. On top of that I as an addict understand that the mindset of an addict is to feed the habit at all costs. That being said we are blind to the consequences that the abuse brings to ourselves and all the people that we affect.
    For me I had to hit several bottoms in order to right myself and get the help I needed.
    I went to 2 rehabs and in AA( my way of getting sober and clean) I found a way to live a life that I dreamed of but never thought I could achieve. You see we lie to ourselves in order to keep using and not dealing with life on life’s terms.
    We crave the drugs and alcohol and go to any lengths to use.
    Even when I was not using I was thinking of it, craving it, scheming how I could acquire it and it nearly killed me.
    I am a lucky man to be where I am today.
    Please if you see someone that needs help don’t turn a blind eye to them or their disease!
    If they had cancer you would be by their side, if they had diabetes, you would be by their side..
    They have a disease that needs to treatment and love, compassion and commitment.
    Don’t give up, give in and fight for them until they can someday fight for themselves.

  76. Donna April 28, 2016 at 12:19 pm - Reply

    I lost my 23 year old son in 2008 when he snorted a combo of heroin and cocaine. He was not an addict. My daughter is 32 years old and has progressed from pills to meth and now to heroin. She hasn’t seen or spoken to her children in a year. She lives 10 minutes from us. Her 3 year old cries for her all the time. She was beautiful, smart and an honor student. She now has two “boyfriends”. One works on a boat and supplies the house. car and money. The other lives nearby and is also sponging off this other guy without him knowing. I don’t know what t do. I am thinking about an involuntary commitment. It will probably mean she is locked in jail for a period of time and detox there will be horrible and it scares me. But, it is better than getting that dreaded phone call. I am at a loss.

  77. Stacy April 28, 2016 at 2:05 pm - Reply

    So glad to hear your story ended with a triumph instead of a tradgedy. There are addicts on the street you live on, the job you go to every day, the stores you enter to buy the things you need. I am an addict and hid it from my family the entire time. They had no idea what was going on. For ten years it was hidden. Glad to say, that I have been clean for 7 years, but this is right in our backyards, our schools, our work places, our neighborhood. We have to create awareness. Awareness is the first step to a solution. You can’t find a solution to a problem people aren’t willing to accept. AWARENESS….it all starts there! Open up the lines of communication to your children at a very young age, open up the discussion on your community. If you’re a recovering addict, let it be known! When people are faced with the truth, it’s easier to comprehend and start looking for a solution!

    • Keith Whitmer April 29, 2016 at 8:27 am - Reply

      Stacy, I’m glad you have stayed clean. Prayer works!!! Awareness and open communication w/ our children is the only way.
      I have had 2 back surgeries, my 3rd one is next month. I have been taking Oxycodone since my injury, and I’m always worried that
      I’m going to get addicted.
      Prayers for you.

  78. Cloy McWilliams April 28, 2016 at 3:25 pm - Reply

    You are so right. My son was on drugs for 40 years and my son-in-law he was was voting most popular smartest best dressed best basketball player started college was a leader in church a Declan. Got a job making 120 thousand year him and my daughter had two daughter then they had another girl she had a heart problem and died at 6 months then everything went down hill from there he got on drugs and died @ 34 leaving my daughter with 3 children they had a son after the baby girl died. He had it all I was so angry with him and never had the chance to ask his forgiveness. I have regretted this for the pass 10 years. I prayed for my son for years that he would stay out of prison but one day I started praying for God to have his way my son went prison for 18 months he been out 8 years and has done great no more drugs
    I got in ladies jail and prison minstey 20 years ago still doing my devotional there my heart has really changed over the years they don’t just wake up one day and say I’m going become a drug addict today
    Love your post

  79. sharon April 28, 2016 at 3:30 pm - Reply

    So glad you were able to pay it forward for the marine..My daughter was also addicted to pills.. 4 long years of lying stealing and doing whatever she thought she had to to get her pills.. Every time I think about the amount of pain she was in and didn’t know how to stop it..I am proud to say she is 18 months clean with as far as I know 1 set back..I don’t wish this on anyone.It wasn’t easy and I know she’s still struggling and takes it day by day but she has our support and with time it will get easier. We were one of the lucky ones and I am so heartfelt sorry for your loss. but thank you for sharing your story..

  80. Marc Michelin April 28, 2016 at 8:13 pm - Reply

    As a recovering Addict/Alcoholic ( I have been clean off hard drugs for almost 6 years now and off the booze for almost a year) everyday is a challenge.
    Is today going to be the day that I relapse ? Is today the day that life’s stress just makes me snap and have a few too many beers which leads to phone calls for harder
    drugs ? I have been to rehab three times. The third one stuck but only after I relapsed less than 12 hours after I got home after being in rehab for almost 6 months.
    I have learned that falling off the wagon is part of the recovery process but so too is learning from your mistakes. you cannot make someone stop doig drugs unless they themselves want to stop. It is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life and am so grateful that everyday is another day to be sober and be me. As soon as I relapsed after I got home I realized that I had to do more if I wanted to stay sober/clean. I thought that my friends, most of whom I have had since I was a little kid, were not the people that I needed in my life, as they were all still doing the same old same old; drink to excess, make the call for the snow man to come visit and party party party.
    I still see some of the old crowd but not in the same context anymore. I dont put myself into the comprimising situations or even bother to go out. People stopped calling after I stopped using because I would no longer spend all of my savings to buy more dope. I can say for certain that I WILL NEVER GO BACK TO USING as it would probably be the death of me.

  81. Loretta April 28, 2016 at 9:07 pm - Reply

    Thank you for sharing your story. We need more real stories like this out there if we ever want to have any hope of truly making change in our society. Life isn’t a bad movie scene or a poorly done documentary, people need to realize this is happening and engage in an open honest conversation like this about it.

  82. Jane April 28, 2016 at 10:11 pm - Reply

    My daughter is 38 years old and an addict. She was a beautiful, athletic, homecoming queen and then she went on to college. She quit after one semester, got pregnant at age 20 and thought she could raise this child with or without the father. First she started with drinking, then pills. She was in lots of rehabs and her son has lived with us and his other grandparents. He is going to be 18, smart and on his way to college. However, my daughter was clean for quite a few years when she relapsed and is still living with the guy that came into her life when she was clean and he had a problem. He was not just using, he was selling also. She ended up in and out of lots of rehabs. Every time she would get clean he would show up and she would leave treatment. She left so many rehabs because he didn’t want to be alone on his birthday or for some other very bad reason always going back to him. He was arrested for selling drugs and I was hoping he would go to jail. He didn’t. I started to go to al-anon a few years ago. It was very helpful. My daughter looks like hell and is still with this scumbag. We always know that when she is using she won’t come around her family. Last summer she convinced us that she was done with this guy, moving to a new apartment, needed money. We never give her money but decided to help her if she was getting away from him. Well he moved in with his mother and is now back living with my daughter. I have been in counseling to deal with the tough love thing and last year one of my best friends lost her daughter to drugs. I fear that phone call. I know if she stays with this guy she most likely won’t survive. I love my grandson and know how that would be devastating to him. Even though she hasn’t been the best mom, he still loves her. We still love her, just not the addiction and how she can’t conquer this disease. My heart aches and I fear for her life every day. I just pray and hope she will stop using someday. We have 5 kids and she never sees her brothers or sisters. It is a sad, terrible disease. God Bless anyone living with this disease or with a family member using. It is so difficult.

  83. Ernie Brodersen April 29, 2016 at 12:10 am - Reply

    You’re a good woman Jane.

  84. Ariana Williams April 29, 2016 at 12:27 am - Reply

    I have a person in my family just like that and I too am at my wit’s end! I love her dearly and have tried to be there for years. I’ve cried tears of hurt, tears of frustation, tears of anger and now I am crying thru tears of forgiveness!! I have to forgive the things she has done because my Heavenly Father forgives me. I have placed her in his hands and pray for her every day. I have faith that He will turn her life around!! In the meanwhile, I don’t have to be a part of her destructive behavior but I do love her and will be there for healthy help!!

  85. Jenn April 29, 2016 at 2:15 am - Reply

    I used to be the mom in the mini van in your article. I still struggle with it sometimes but I try to pray instead of giving in

  86. Tawana April 29, 2016 at 10:08 am - Reply

    I just read your article…you just told the story of my daughter, her name is Brittany too. She’s currently looking at another prison sentence. She was in prison by 18. I fear I will bury her. A parents worst nightmare. I don’t like talking about to anyone, too many emotions to go with it. I pray for your daughter and all the addicts in crisis today and for a brighter tomorrow.

  87. Porfirio April 29, 2016 at 10:12 am - Reply

    Can I just say what a relief to locate somebody who in fact knows what theyre talking about on the net. You undoubtedly know ways to bring an concern to light and make it important. Far more folks have to read this and have an understanding of this side of the story. I cant think youre not extra preferred because you definitely have the gift.

  88. Kandace April 29, 2016 at 11:20 am - Reply

    I have been an addict now for 10 years, I been drug free for 2 years now. It was an addiction my husband and I struggled with together for our first 2 years ago. I became pregnant, I was four months when I found out. At first I said ok, just get clean til he’s born, but it will take me another two months before I stopped using. It took my baby sister catching me coming down from a almost four day high, seeing her disappointment in me made me believe I’m so much more than someone being disappointed in me, my baby sister no less. My son was clean when he was born and so was I. Where most people will find it a threat with CPS involvement, I found it a blessing in disguise, even though I’ve had two other cases at which I had no success and lost a total of 5 kids. My husband had struggle getting sober, and that’s OK. He started using spice which was almost a herein high. But I never left him. I knew what it was like to be left alone and couldn’t do that to him. But I did tell on him to our case worker. Took us 18 months to get him back in our custody where as if I was on my own I could of had our son in my custody without him in 3 months. Family is everything.

    Now my little sister is the one who is suffering. She’s so bad on herein. Next month she’s losing custody of her son, and even though I’m the one who made the call, it’s still her choice to do the right thing. But when she leaves her son with me for a month with no call and her where abouts unknown. When I’m running out of food for her son and have no clothes for him, that I had to go get donations for him, I was at lost of what to do. That’s when I realized I don’t want my son to go through that, not like what my other children went through. Yes my kids were with my mom and loved and taken care of, but it was my responsibility and it took 6 kids for me to get that. Because of my sister I got clean because of my pride I stayed clean. My sister is facing criminal charges and they are offering her probation and she’s homeless right how. She’s saying now she wants to get in a treatment center. I’m all excited and happy. But is she doing it for the right reasons? This my mom concerns and she won’t talk to her unless she is in a treatment center. This makes it kinda hard to try to help my sister because I don’t have a vehicle. But I won’t give up.

    Addiction is an evil disease. No one is safe. Not even children when they are left with a sober person, they need parents who are sober and alert. I love my son so much that when I look at him I promise him never again will I go back to my old ways. My passion is with the addicts, I want to work with them get them help. But my God needs me more now than ever. I am a receptionist for a powerful church and I love the people there. They understand the people who are corrupt with drugs and crimes. May God keep me on this path and may he help those who are still on the battlefield because there is a way out. God bless to all of you. Thank you for letting me share.

  89. Jenni April 29, 2016 at 11:38 am - Reply

    I lost my father 23 years ago. He was 41 years old and had a lot of knee and back problems starting as a teenager. He had many surgeries to correct the problems and was given strong narcotics to deal with the pain. Eventually the doctors cut him off. One evening he was out drinking with a friend who offered him a couple of pills to ease his pain. He came home and went to bed and never woke up. He left a wife and six children behind. I think about him every day. I am 41 years old myself this year and I cannot imagine how we made it through that horrible time. I have watched as my sisters have battled some form of addiction for years and have seen so many people around us succumb to this disease. It is heart breaking. I pray everyday for those who are suffering.

  90. Ashley Winters April 29, 2016 at 6:20 pm - Reply

    My brother is in rehab for heroine as I write. it took a few pills to get him hooked and when he couldn’t get pills he could always get heroin. it’s been a battle but people need to realize it’s happening everywhere and to know the signs. There is 90% fail rate when they come back home and my brother fell in that 90%. luckily we knew the signs to get him back in a bed before it was too late!

  91. Amanda April 30, 2016 at 4:37 am - Reply

    Hi, I’m Amanda, and I used to be an addict for 6, almost 7 years. I started using Opiates at 18, right out of high school, and was immediately addicted to them. One day, Then they just weren’t enough….
    2 years later…
    Hi, I’m Heroin, and I used to control Amanda’s entire existence… From the time she woke up, to the time she would pass out.
    I started using Heroin at 20. Lost friends, family, and my life. I can’t even recall a time when I was sober, no matter what the drug was!! One night I decided to get high, (I used to “shoot” Heroin in my veins, with my now ex)) it had changed my life forever! I ended up overdosing and my heart and body completely shut down.
    Thank goodness there were sober people in my home that night, otherwise, I wouldn’t be writing this.
    They called the ambulance, and as they waited, they started CPR. Once the ambulance got there (by this time, I’d stopped breathing for 4 minutes or so) they started CPR. My lifeless body was lying on the cold tile floor, As I watched them work on me. I didn’t realize what was really happening, everything seemed so surreal, until I saw a light. The Good Lord touched my shoulder, whispered something in my ear(I’ll never forget), and all of a sudden, my eyes open and I’m staring into the face of the man who saved my life! The Medics who saved my life, said I was SO LUCKY to be alive! I’m forever grateful!
    Unfortunately, it took that experience to snap me back to reality. I never had someone to “fight” for me to do better. 😞
    I am now 27. Since then, I’ve been sober for 3 years, 5 month’s, and 20 days, And I’m damn proud of it!! I made myself a fresh, new, clean life. I have beautiful friends, and a beautiful family that supports me, at all costs.
    I look at life A LOT differently now. I appreciate the littlest of things, things I would have never stopped to appreciate before. The sunrise, the smell of fresh air, hearing my heart beat ❤ I never take anything for granted, for I have learned that life can be taken from you at any time! This is my second chance to a new life, and I’m not going to screw this one up! This Life was given to me, I shall always cherish it. Most people never get a second chance. I’m one of the lucky few. BLESSED 🙏☝👼
    If there were more people out here in the world who would fight for the addicts who have no one, the world would be a better place. THANK YOU FOR FIGHTING!!! Thank you for sharing your story. Thank you for not giving up on the weak. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!

  92. anonymous April 30, 2016 at 7:13 am - Reply

    I try to feel compassion for these souls, but also had an addict break into my home this week. He stole jewelry and the meds my husband needs for his kidney stone attacks. Now my husband is vulnerable until that script is refilled, and we may end up in the emergency room. The guy was caught, which is a miracle, and my jewelry returned, but the damage to our property, my husband’s psyche (as he found the guy in the house!) and the fact that in a few days he’ll be back out on the street, trying to feed that habit… what an evil cycle.

    I don’t know the man’s story, but right at the moment, I don’t have the compassion I normally have. There are victims of what these addicts do.

  93. trippn April 30, 2016 at 3:54 pm - Reply

    How many of you are aware of the fact that 90% of the worlds opium & Heroin is manufactured in Afghanistan; and before the US invasion; it was almost ENTIRELY wiped out? Our own government is well aware where/how/why these drugs are brought here; and are profiting off the deaths of our children. That is the harsher reality…

  94. Lucia April 30, 2016 at 9:52 pm - Reply

    My name is Lucia and I’m 60 years-old. I was a heroin addict for 16 years. My bottom came in Fedral Prison, 7 months pregnant with my third child and 21 days’ withdrawals. Fedral prison system do not provide detox treatment. I was taken to ER by Marshall because I had seizures. That was 1991. I used or was on methadone during my two previous pregnancy. I led a double life; legal secretary during the day, looking for a fix the rest of the time. My husband and I lived in the streets with our little girls when I lost my job ( which happened about once a year). After prison, I got my kids back from foster care. My son was born while I was in prison. I spent 2 hours with him before I was returned to prison through one door, and he was picked up by foster parents through the other door. After I got out, I went to a 12 month outpatient program, got involved in NA and began to live a productive life. Ten years ago, I was diagnosed with chronic pancreatitis. I was in and out of hospitals and given massive amounts of pain killer. There is no surgery for pancreatitis , only pain management and strict diet. I lost 95 pounds in one year. When the doctors gave opiate pain killers I wanted to die. After all my struggles to get and stay clean, I was faced with the monkey I carried on my back. I went to my NA group and shared my story. I was told that “we didn’t get clean to live in pain or be miserable’. They told me if I was diligent and strictly followed the doctors directions, I could still consider myself “in recovery” but had to give up my “clean time.” It’s been a struggle to argue with doctors and bring down the prescriptions on my own from morphine to fentanyl, from 60 mg of methadone to 2.5 (yeah 10 mg pill cut in 4). I live in Miami and last year, when I tried to find a detox program I was turned away from the only one covered by Medicare because methadone IS a detox drug. I’m trying to detox myself by skipping dosages about once a week. I still suffer from pain from pancreatitis and the struggle continues. We need treatment availability. Too many people suffer with very few options. Addiction is a symptom, not an illness. To deal with the underlying problem, an addict needs treatment and “the therapeutic value of one addict helping another is with parallel”.

  95. Mann Spitler III., DPM May 2, 2016 at 10:43 pm - Reply

    After my wife and I lost our Manda to her heroin addiction, I discovered the best countermeasure to drug addiction. Its called PREVENTION. Yet few parents have any sort of prevention plan in place to protect their children from themselves. I have two prevention efforts I pursue aggressively: 1. I narrate Manda’s Story at schools, parent groups, and any organization that will listen to me for an hour. It is an allegory of the risk factors of and the countermeasures to drug addiction and it resonates with the youth I address. Go to mandasstory.com for the details. 2. Our small but dedicated Community Action Drug Coalition of Porter County here in Indiana is in the pre-production phase of a Parent Drug Prevention Training film that should be complete by late summer or early fall of 2016. It will be released on you tube and hopefully on social media as well. I believe that if there is to be a war on drugs then it should start at home with mom and dad or whoever is responsible for the well being of a child.

  96. Brittany May 5, 2016 at 11:54 pm - Reply

    If someone out therr could possibly help me just someone to talk too anything would be greatly appreciated, I’m struggling with addiction and need the help I want to quit soo bad,just struggling every day please help.

    • Katie May 6, 2016 at 7:54 am - Reply

      Hang in there honey, I’m so glad you reached out. I’m emailing you right now.

  97. Pamela Peters May 6, 2016 at 4:27 pm - Reply

    I lost my son November 5, 2015.

    • Kathy November 2, 2016 at 7:29 pm - Reply

      I’m so sorry

  98. physical health May 12, 2016 at 5:08 am - Reply

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  100. Sandy Purey August 23, 2016 at 7:43 am - Reply

    I am 61yr. old woman who has been fighting addicition my whole life. I took my first pill at 13, and have ended with an addiction to heroin. I have been to 4 rehabs. and in thelast 25yrs. have as much clean time as I have using. My last relapse was due to the death of a good friend in February of this year and then my baby brothers death in MayI was with my brother and we had both used heroin yet he died and I lived. But for the Grace of God go I… did not use the tools I have learned in my recovery years, stop going to meetings so of course I used. But have just completed 60days of being clean and sober AGAIN!!! Yet I have no shame or guilt for we all have to go through what we do to get to where were going. So the statement that addiction has no face is very true for most people cannot grasp that me a nurse for 30yrs. and well kept person is a heroin addict!!
    Thank you very much for sharing your story so publicly and my prayers are for your continued sobriety as well as my own.

    • Nancy Barnes September 6, 2016 at 2:58 pm - Reply

      Congrats on your recent clean stretch. It does not surprise me at all that a nurse would be among the addicted. I worked at a rehab for women and came to realize that addiction has no boundaries, but crosses all religions, socioeconomic status, cultures and gender.

  101. Nancy Barnes September 6, 2016 at 2:40 pm - Reply

    I was amazed at the amount of people responding to this article. That’s awesome! I am studying to be a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Couselor. I read the obituaries yesterday and saw something very unusual. A family buried their 18 year-old son because he died of an overdose. I thought, “How brave of that family to admit their son died from a heroin overdose.”

  102. irene cordio September 7, 2016 at 6:42 pm - Reply

    I truly loved your story my daughter also is an addic due to car accident that almost claimed her life from pills to alcohol she had finally reached rock bottom she checked herself into a rehab clinic four months ago and is doing really well she has been four months alcohol and drug free I thank god every day for her life and recovery I was just like you and thought it could never happen to my family I know god has bigger and better plans for her thank u so much for your story and my god bless u

  103. Susy Hall September 10, 2016 at 2:09 pm - Reply

    Reading all of your comments has gotten me through the last few hours. I am a mother, a nurse, owner of a very successful business. I wish for nothing except my for my daughter’s sobriety and well being. I have been raising her 3 children for the past 6 years. (6 y/o, 5 y/o and 1 y/o). I adopted a child of one of her past boyfriends and the father of two of her children (9 y/o). I just left my daughter in a residential treatment center 1000 miles away from home. We won’t see her for 12 months. We won’t have any communication for at least 4 weeks. Willing to do anything if it means she will be alive and well. I write this post as I sit in an airport weeping……Like all of you, she has been in and out of many facilities over the past 10 years. Suffered from many childhood traumas, followed by self loathing, addictions, and the terrible cycle of drug abuse. She is a beautiful young woman who has tried to reach out for help. She has knocked on so many wrong doors over the years. I cannot begin to describe her maltreatment she has experienced at hospitals. Nurses and physicians making fun of her as she physically withdrew from drugs…..making fun of her pink hair, her tattoos…I have been astounded by the lack of empathy. But equally astounded by your comments and replies here. There is hope. There is no shame in drug addiction. I think we may have found it with this treatment center. I pray we have found it. Going forward, I will continue to pray for all of you, all of your loved ones and for our culture to change. Be brave! Peace and love to all. Please pray for my daughter.

    • Paulie September 13, 2016 at 10:06 am - Reply

      I’ll pray for Susy. The good thing you can say is for the last 10 years she’s trying. Like they say at a local recovery meeting here, “No Shame, keep coming” Sad how some Dr’s and nurses make sport of your daughter, they should look at themselves and realize they themselves could be 1 step away from addiction. I just started going every day about a half hour up and back for opiate treatment. I did this to myself and my family but I know if I want to get better this is what needs to be done. It’ll be a hard road but with faith and support, and hopefully self-determination I’ll get there. And I’m very thankful that the centers exist for treatment.

  104. Becky September 16, 2016 at 9:33 am - Reply

    Everyone needs to hear this. Check out http://www.missionteens.com if you know someone in need of help, hope and a new life!

  105. […] This article originally appeared A Mother’s Addiction Journey. […]

  106. viola richard November 1, 2016 at 11:52 pm - Reply

    This is also my granddaughter which her name is also Brittany,we have been trying to get her to get help for 5 years now, its very heart breaking to watch her do this to herself she is not the person we knew but she refuses to go get help.

  107. Kathy November 2, 2016 at 1:12 pm - Reply

    This article really hits home. I experienced the same thing with my son. He was high school athlete, Prom King, very popular and such a good kid. Little did I know he had back pain and started taking pills, before he knew it he was addicted to Heroin. I will never forget the day he came to me and told me that he was a Heroin Addict. He begged me to help him, He said he had been trying to quit on his own for some time and couldn’t because he got so sick. We sent him to rehab and he has been clean for almost a year (atleast we think so). He has moved on with his life and started fresh, yet every day I worry he will slip. All I can do is pray that God pulls him to his light and he stays clean. Does the guilt and worry ever diminish?

  108. Helen November 2, 2016 at 7:04 pm - Reply

    I would like people to know that not everyone that takes prescription drugs become addicts. I have severe pain daily and take my vicodin as prescribed with out them I can not do every day things like wash dishes, make dinner, or even wash my self. However because of new laws they are stopping pain meds for people with cronic pain. this has a detrimental effect because these people just want to feel some what normal. “Just like your marine” that they go to illegal drugs. I think that there needs to be some awareness of addiction and that it affects all socials of life. But government also needs to understand cronic pain. Just so you know that there are days that I wished I was dead because the pain is so severe. God Bless this women for sharing her story. Thank you.

  109. Timothy P.McNamara Sr. November 3, 2016 at 7:37 am - Reply

    Thank you for this touching story. I myself know the pain of losing a child to addiction, My son Timothy whom would of been 29 11/1. Timothy Jr. lost his battle with Heroin 6/12/15 still today the loss doesn’t get better though we accept the results he wont be back. If I could hug him one more time I say to myself many times though know this wont happen. Two beautiful children and a wife left behind from addiction, they are my inspiration and memory of a wonderful son with a huge heart who just wanted to love and be loved we tried it all. A shoulder injury from a car accident and a surgery which he was prescribed Vicoden he never got off these well he did though Heroin became his master. That being said my family was devastated and still today we feel this pain, I will never look at a person with the disease of addiction with a cross eye I now am know longer ignorant to the long lasting effects. Who am I we advocate for recovery today we try to be there for the neighbor, co-worker, family member or anyone who’s life is being ravaged by the epidemic of addiction. I speak in prisons at meetings stay involved help others who ask for help. Most of all if I hear of a family that loses a loved one I try to reach out to them that is my healing process and most of all BUT FOR THE GRACE OF GOD!!! I am a recovering addict and Alcoholic also I get it!!!!!!! Don’t Judge.

  110. Becky November 3, 2016 at 3:38 pm - Reply

    I was the PTO mom, the carpool mom, the Brownie leader. We ate family dinners at the table, taught our children manners and took family vacations. My husband and I were blessed to have very good jobs. My daughter, Brittany, the beautiful girl in the photo, was the honor roll student, the volunteer at the city parks and recreation department and loved playing sports.
    THEN OUR ENTIRE LIVES CHANGED

    This explains our family to a T, the only difference is my daughter actually finished college with a bachelors before she started using heroin. I was also the enabler and fixer of everything! This all came to a halt when she actually put her sister at risk. I had been hiding and covering with her with family but had to come clean with them once I had to remove her from our home. I made them all aware of how manipulative she was and no matter how hard it was they needed to turn her away when she came to them for money.

    Within a week of her being on the streets she went to a detox center but only was there 3 days before leaving. Come to find out she actually was able to score in the detox center and then tested dirty and they threatened to lock her up. I got a call from her yesterday saying she just can’t be on the streets any longer and is ready for treatment. I dropped her and 49 articles of clothing at a treatment center this morning at 7am. Every part of me is praying and hoping she will stay this time and figure out why she would do this to herself. This is truly the hardest thing I have ever had to go through. Watching your daughter slowly kill herself and not be able to do anything is absolutely horrible.

  111. Madyson December 5, 2016 at 6:45 pm - Reply

    I am a mom who has made a serious blunder. I under estimated the devastation that addiction would bring to my life. I work hard to keep my perspective realistic. I still mourn the loss of what my bright beautiful boy could have been. I am grateful that he is still a part of my life but sometimes I feel like addiction is a little like death with no closure. It is just a constant cycle of recovery & relapse with hope and crashing disappointment. My blog is called “A Mom’s Serious Blunder” and I have made more than a few.

  112. Olevia Poissonnier December 18, 2016 at 3:06 pm - Reply

    Its fantastic as your other articles : D, regards for putting up. “As experience widens, one begins to see how much upon a level all human things are.” by Joseph Farrell.

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