Hoping to connect with other parents of heroin addicts.
Here I go. Where to begin?
A couple of months ago, I discovered that my beautiful, 30 year old college-educated daughter, Hayley, is a heroin addict. The shock of this news and my incomprehension as to how this could have happened, has turned my life upside down. The purpose of this blog, I guess, is to vent, dialogue with other parents experiencing a similar situation, get help, gather information, and share what knowledge I’ve acquired over the last few months.
The 3 “Cs” of AlAnon maintain that we didn’t cause it, can’t control it, can’t cure it. The first one is bullshit. How didn’t I, we, her parents, set the stage for this tragedy to unfold? I am angry, frustrated, afraid, overwhelmed, desperate – for answers, help, support, and an exchange of personal stories. I get opposing advice from everyone I talk to – friends, family, professionals. I’ve attended AlAnon regularly for 7 years, and find comfort and support there in sharing our stories. Yet, I still don’t completely buy in to their program of detachment with love. How can you let your child hit rock bottom when that may very mean the death of your child?
Hayley is living in our hometown, but I don’t know where. She is paranoid that I will call the police to have her arrested. Who could have predicted that I would eventually arrive at the point where getting my daughter arrested, would be one of the few options available to save her?
Three weeks ago, Hayley got herself out of the drug house where she was living and called me for help. She wanted a medical detox, which was not available in our small, eastern Washington city. Over the course of the next 72 hours, I worked 24/7 to make arrangements for her to enter a medical detox facility in Seattle. There were many barriers and complications to this process. Hayley was covered in abscesses at her injection sites, which posed an MRSA risk to any medical facility. Her father, a doctor now living in southern California, prescribed an antibiotic for her to start on prior to entering detox. I am the only family member in town to be physically present in dealing with Hayley directly. And because a bed at the detox facility was not immediately available, it was an intense, harrowing window of opportunity, trying to help her withdraw from the heroin while waiting for acceptance into detox. During this “purgatory”, Hayley was staying at a “friend’s”. The logistics of communication, keeping her “going” and functioning during the waiting period prior to detox, was a nightmare. At one point, I even scored some hydrocodone to keep her off heroin, I thought, until a bed was available at the detox hospital, 31/2 hours away. The short of the story is that I delivered my daughter to the community hospital detox facility, 31/2 hours away, only to have her walk out 4 days later. She got in to a cab to take her back to our home town, 165 miles away – a $250 price tag. How she paid for this, I don’t know. The “drug house”, where she had previously lived, didn’t want her back. Can you imagine – the drug house wouldn’t’ take her back – a testimonial to her manipulation, carelessness, and parasitic lifestyle.
I am desperate, obsessed, and feel helpless. More, later.