The Day I Saw My Daughter Shoot Up Heroin

The Day I Saw My Daughter Shoot Up Heroin.Nodding out, shooting up, going on a run, trap house…these were terms all too familiar to me now, in this world of addiction, which my daughter Brittany struggled with. Words that were so unknown to me prior, but yet, now, were a part of my everyday language. She was so deep into her addiction and I was so deep into saving her.

I had a business trip a few years ago to Florida. At this point, Brittany had been in treatment in Florida and had about 60 days clean. I was suspicious she had relapsed, as she began to isolate herself and grow distant. The trip couldn’t have come at a more perfect time, so I extended my stay a few days so I could spend some time with her.

As soon as I arrived, I knew.

Although she greeted me with a huge hug and tears of joy, she looked pale. tired and hadn’t showered for several days. She had moved out of her sober living house and into a room she was renting with another girl.

I questioned her…” Mom, I’m FINE, don’t worry.”. But 2 hours later, we were driving to have lunch, when all of a sudden she said she had to meet her sponsor. “What are you talking about? We have plans for lunch?”. “Mom, I HAVE to meet her”. I knew she was lying. I knew too many hours had passed since using and she was needing her fix.

Next thing I know, we were at a red light and without warning, she jumped out of the car and took off. This confirmed it. I couldn’t find her, she wasn’t answering her phone. I walked and searched for hours for her. I had no choice but to go back to my hotel.

I didn’t hear from her again until 8 hours later.

This turned into the weekend from hell.

She was on the balcony of the hotel, this beautiful room with a gorgeous view of the ocean. A view which was now blurred with her body nodding out. She was standing, but eyes closed and her body swaying back and forth, knees buckling, like a limp rag doll. I was petrified she would fall over the balcony. My heart was racing with fear, trying to save her from going over. But every time I tried to guide her inside, she would push me away, screaming obscenities. I had to proceed with caution…so I basically sat right on the balcony to keep her safe, until the heroin wore off.

This went on for HOURS…

Come sunrise I had finally convinced her to go back into treatment. And there was NO POSSIBLE way I could leave Florida knowing she was in that state of mind. I knew in my heart, if she didn’t go into treatment, I may never see her alive again.

We went to her apartment and began packing her things. We were almost done and ready to roll…I was so relieved!!!

And then she dropped the bomb.

“Mom, please don’t be mad at me. I have to get high again. I feel so sick”. I begged, pleaded…”Brittany please no! You will be in detox in an hour!”. But she couldn’t wait. “I’ll be back soon mom, and then I’ll go. I promise.”.

And she took off walking down the street.

I felt so defeated. I couldn’t breathe. But I knew I couldn’t stop her. Heroin was in complete control of her…mind, body and soul.

So I sat. And waited. And waited. And waited. Gripped in fear and panic. Thoughts racing through my head. Hours went by and I didn’t hear from her…I was so scared to leave to find her, yet so scared NOT to.  What if I wasn’t here and she came back?  Would I lose this window of opportunity to get her help?

My fear got the best of me and I started walking down the street, in hopes that I could find her. When all of a sudden, I saw a black car and her blonde hair in the backseat.

I slowly walked up to the car, like a robot, on automatic pilot.

I then saw her shooting up heroin.

She quickly spotted me, put her hand out the window and said “Mom, please don’t come any closer. I’ll be there in a minute”.

I didn’t know what to do!!! I was so scared, tears streaming down my face. I wanted to run up to that car, grab that dealer and tell him to stay the hell away from my daughter! I was frozen though. My body felt like cement.  I slowly backed away.

A few minutes later she came back home….and we were on our way to detox.

12 hours later, I was on my flight back home to Michigan. Knowing in my heart, I would never be the same again.


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  1. Shanna June 9, 2016 at 10:02 am - Reply

    This just kills me. My daughter is in a sober living community now and has been for 4 months. She is doing great but am so worried what will happen when its time to leave there.

  2. JHF June 9, 2016 at 10:09 am - Reply

    This an amazing story and an amazing journey. The life you see in Brittany’s eyes now its hard to believe she is the same person who sat in front of me 3 years ago at her worst and her addiction at its best. I am lucky to have been a very small part of Brittany’s journey to her true self. She is very lucky to have a strong support group headed by a mother who is devoted to her and to others who struggle… both addicts and families. Thank you for your courage to tell your story.

  3. Bob Norris June 9, 2016 at 10:40 am - Reply

    Katie, my heart aches for you and your family. I have been reading your blog primarily because I have friends who have similar stories. I thank God every day I never had to experience the heartache you have gone through. Coming to grips with something like this has to be incredible and so hard. Heroin is killing our children and it sure seems like an epidemic. I grew up in Maumee Ohio and like I said, I have friends who have had to go through the pain of a child addicted to drugs and I thank you for being so incredibly brave to share your story! I will continue to say a prayer every day for you and your family.

  4. Lillian June 9, 2016 at 10:45 am - Reply

    Wow I don’t know what I would do in a situation like this.

  5. Dawn OReilly June 9, 2016 at 12:50 pm - Reply

    I know and feel your pain! I got physically sick. She was so high that day 4 years ago she was out of control.?

  6. Pam June 9, 2016 at 1:38 pm - Reply

    ? sorry you seen what you did. My heart breaks for you and your daughter. Thank you for sharing your story.
    That evil drug has its grip on my sister for many years also.

  7. Deb June 9, 2016 at 7:34 pm - Reply

    Thank you for sharing your story. Both of my sons are heroin addicts and the pain is unbearable. I know I will never be the same again either.

    • Katie June 13, 2016 at 6:31 pm - Reply

      Deb, I’m so sorry. I can feel your pain in your words. Please, don’t ever hesitate to reach out. I would love to connect

  8. Heather Miller June 9, 2016 at 9:02 pm - Reply

    I am an addict. My struggle has been a lot like what you are enduring with your daughter. It was only a year ago that I was homeless, sleeping on park benches of Atlanta, pregnant. By Gods grace I was arrested and no one could bond me out. I spent a month and a half in jail, then the next ten months in residential treatment where my beautiful baby boy was born healthy. I just got out of treatment at the end of May. What I had to come to grips with was I couldn’t do it for anyone… Not my parents, not my children, I had to want it for myself and do it for my self. I got tired and until I reached that point, nothing worked!! I truly wish you and your daughter the best… I know first hand how deadly and horrifying this disease is!! God bless you and her!!

    • Katie June 13, 2016 at 6:30 pm - Reply

      Heather, I am so incredibly proud of you!! Blessings to you and your baby boy honey.

      • Heather July 12, 2016 at 10:17 pm - Reply

        Thank you so much! How is your daughter? I hope all is well and y’all are in my prayers! God bless.

    • Gwen July 7, 2016 at 12:39 am - Reply

      My son gets out of what they call drug court Its boot camp, jail then treatment center. In all about 1 yr. he seems so much more grown up. We have been going through this for about 6 yrs. all other treatment centers were approximately two weeks which does nothing. When he get sent to jail it would be for about a month that’s nothing But this time he seems different but he hasn’t been in the real world for almost a year. That’s what scares me during all this time I thought I could fix I’m his mother I can fix anything but heroine won! I have finally realized I can’t do anything except be there Any advice

      • Heather July 12, 2016 at 10:23 pm - Reply

        My parents always tried to”fix” me. It wasn’t that I didn’t love my family or my son. I, no matter how much I wanted to, could not stop using! For me I have now learned that I had issues in my past that I really had to face head on and not numb with mind altering substances! I am proud to say that I finally got to see my other son who is now 11, for the first time in two and a half years. The things I put him though we’re awful. But we are working on rebuilding our relationship, something I at times never thought possible! I know if I can do it, anyone including your children can too!!

  9. Maggie Parris June 10, 2016 at 8:46 am - Reply

    So sorry you also had to go thru that. But yoy give the rest of US real HOPE FOR OUR DAUGHTERS! Me and many others are still IN this and you and particularly Brittanys blog five us so much hope we can have an happy ending too. Thank you for that!!??

    • Katie June 13, 2016 at 6:30 pm - Reply

      OH Maggie, my heart breaks for you. I’m so glad the blog has helped. Please, don’t ever hesitate to reach out. I would love to connect. I’m always here to talk, vent, or provide resources. Big hugs-Katie

  10. Joanne Witwer June 10, 2016 at 12:51 pm - Reply

    Ten years of it for me w/my daughter. I can’t watch anymore. My soul is tired. It’s hard to support someone who doesn’t even realize it. It may be time to back away and let the chips fall where they may. I know it is a disease, but I don’t know the cure.

    • Katie June 13, 2016 at 6:28 pm - Reply

      Yes Joanne, you are so right. It was when I finally let go, backed off, and loved from a distance, that I felt more at peace. It was very hard, but ironically, that is when she started to take responsibility for her own recovery. I am blessed to say she is now 17 months clean!

    • Joanne Cudney June 25, 2016 at 12:42 pm - Reply

      I’m so with you:( it’s been over 10 years for me as well:( My daughter started using at 19 and she will be 33 in a couple of months. I am sooooo tired:( I don’t know if I can do this anymore longer.

  11. Akg June 10, 2016 at 1:22 pm - Reply

    Prayers for you to stay strong. I know it feels like an endless battle. We need to stay strong. Just keep trying. Prayers to you and your family. ??

  12. Judy June 11, 2016 at 11:45 pm - Reply

    Katie, how is Brittany now, have you heard from her since you left Florida? Mom to Mom I feel your pain, been there!
    Even though my daughter isnt running the streets or living out on them I am little relieved. The time will come when your baby, my baby and other Moms babies finally hit the point that they have had enough and I pray that it isnt ever too late. My daughter still uses daily and has had a boyfriend last ten months and lives with him, but it does not alliveate my stress! Hold on tight because better days are coming…….

  13. Kim June 17, 2016 at 1:01 pm - Reply

    Although I have found the paraphenalia, I have not witnessed my daughter shootin up, I dont want to. There are some things in this world you cannot ‘unsee’ and this is one of them.
    I am going through the same thing and have been for the past 2 years. Dealing with disappearances, chasing her down, fighting, extensive drug use , detoxes, treatment centres etc. I am resolved to believe that there will be no change until my daughter is committed 100% to being clean and as teenagers whose brains do not function at full capacity, it is difficult for them to make that choice.

  14. shari June 20, 2016 at 12:42 pm - Reply

    Reading your journey helps me feel hope. My daughter is currently in jail and will be for at least a total of 90 days. And, sadly it is a blessing!!! I see change in her and she seems positive that she is done with the drugs and street life. I pray this is it. So much of your journey has been exactly what I have been through. So….here’s to praying that Brittany’s recovery is soon going to be my Lexi’s recovery. Wow, writing that put a huge smile on my face.

  15. Stacey Dilorenzo June 21, 2016 at 11:54 am - Reply

    I remember the first time I found needles….I couldn’t stand the grief. I was in shock. Both my son and my daughter were using together. 16 And 18 at first. It has been and long and terrifying journey. I felt so alone. I reached out to a therapist who has helped me and my family survive. They are now 24 and 26. My son is 3 years clean and my daughter is 1 year but I worry more about her at this point.

  16. Casey June 21, 2016 at 7:18 pm - Reply

    I have not seen my son shooting up but have seen him passed out with the needle in his arm or OD’d with the needle in his arm. I have narcan’d him twice myself (ten days apart – Easter morning at 5 am and on my wedding anniversary before we were supposed to go out). Only by the grace of God did he hit things and make noise that alerted us. It was traumatic for me, Narcanning him, almost like PTSD, even though EMTs had done it once before on him in front of me, but I didn’t know exactly what it was. He’s in treatment now in Florida, but struggling. There is just something about giving a beautiful child miraculous life at birth and then in the throes of this disease saving his life 22 years later. As young parents we worry about SIDS and don’t think we have to worry again until they start driving cars. How wrong we are when this disease gets a stronghold on them. I too, have sat up in his room (or laid on the floor) or sat on our basement pool table through nodding so I could know if he OD’d – all night long, then gone to work in the morning. He didn’t OD those times, just the nodding and the snoring (death rattle breathing but not to overdose). But the frustration and anxiety with the nods and their attitude when you try to get them to a safe position. I look back and shake my head – why did I do that. I tell him now I can’t do his recovery anymore. It hasn’t been working anyways. He has to take control of it, whichever way it goes.

  17. Linda June 25, 2016 at 11:44 am - Reply

    I felt every centimeter of this I KNOW what u are talking about. I want to give up as I battle cancer but my mother instinct won’t let me. I suffer in a hell few speak about. I PRAY that God delivers your daughter from this demonic stronghold and that my daughter be set free.

  18. Pam mosley June 25, 2016 at 3:12 pm - Reply

    I am so sorry for anyone who has a son or daughter that is an addict. I am a parent of an addict. It started when he was 16 I had a feeling he was using pot. I did a random drug test it came back positive. It has had a hold on him since he is now 28 . He has been in and out if jail. When he was in jail i would go to see him and each time he would tell me Mom i am done with this. Each time he said that i really think he meant it but his addiction was to strong. At first I would bail him out,once I bailed him out within 24 hours he was back. I would give him money which he would say was for food. I did not know anything about addiction. I stopped bailing him out. As a parent that was so hard for me to do but I knew I had to. If he was hungry I no longer gave him money I took food to him. He decided to live on the streets he had several places he could stay (or should I say is addiction decided for him) I would go looking for him if I hadn’t heard from him scared out if my mind what I would find. Checking the homeless facilities looking in neighborhoods houses I don’t care about me.I wanted my son back.He overdosed many times. He has lied stole did whatever he had to do for that addiction to meth. No child says when I grow up I want to be a drug addict. No parent says I want my son I want my daughter to be a drug addict. No parent says I want my son my daughter to be in prison. That is where my son has been for the last 41/2 yrs he has 1 1/2 yrs to go. At 1st he blaming the cops . He now says this is where I needed to be at the time. He says he put himself there. He says he has a problem. Every time I write him at the end of every letter I say Steven don’t forget no matter what u will always love you.

  19. Anonymous June 25, 2016 at 5:11 pm - Reply

    I am so sorry for you the evil drug has had its grip on my daughter for many years, after all the lies I don’t even know how long I just know she loves Heroin. I have tried, pleaded, begged, bought expensive things for her nothing works, detox 3 times. Total fail. She will not get clean. I am dying inside, I am a registered nurse and I can not save my daughter.

  20. dorathea wilson June 26, 2016 at 7:29 pm - Reply

    O my gosh my heart goes out to you and Brittany both. My son is very heavy in his addiction, I don’t even know where he is at this point he has changed his appearance and is in a very bad part of Los Angeles CA. I will pray for your family as I known the pain you feel. God bless you and your family

  21. Stephanie July 7, 2016 at 8:08 pm - Reply

    This really hits home for me. My fiancé has been addicted to this for 2 years now. It’s was pills before. Altogether about 5 years. The part about you trying to get her inside away from the balcony is my life every night. I have panic disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder and I worry about my fiancé falling and hurting himself or worse when he gets like that. :'( I’m not new to living with an addict. But I am new at trying to learn how to live for myself. This worry I have inside my heart for him has complete control of me. I’ve lost 3 jobs because I had to leave work because he wouldn’t answer his phone and I come home to find him passed out on the floor. I really hate that anyone has to live like this. 🙁

  22. donna d July 9, 2016 at 9:55 pm - Reply

    Las Vegas Nevada. ..Please help me to get my AS Into a treatment center hete. He is in bad shape. The ones I contacted have a waiting list and are pretty awefull. We need the whole program detox/rehab aftercare long-term. Can’t find decent place he will go to. AmeriGroup is his insurance. If he does not get help he will not survive this
    He’s lost so much weight and nods off all the time. I’m scared for his life. Please help me help him help himself. Ty his mom

    • Ariele August 14, 2016 at 12:50 am - Reply

      Have you been able too find a treatment center for him??

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