I’m not sure what led her to abusing drugs. Substance abuse has been prevalent in our family history for years. My biological mother was an addict as well as her biological father. Honestly, I would love to put all the blame on that but she has to be accountable for the choices she’s made.

She started with Percocet which is widespread in the U.S. Pain killers are most definitely over prescribed and easy to buy on the streets at a price. I think it’s common for people who abuse narcotics to at some point turn to heroin because it’s a cheaper option with the same effects.

I also believe once she was in it- it was beyond her control. What may have started as self-medicating due to lack of coping skills or caused by genetics had turned into a physical addiction which destroyed her and impossible to quit on her own.

Her step-dad and I petitioned her for substance abuse because we feared for her safety. We did it because we felt desperate to save her life. Before being transferred to a treatment facility the judge ordered she be taken to a psychiatric inpatient program who in turn filled a mental health committal with the state. At first she was hateful and resentful towards us but each time we visit her we see progress even if it’s small steps. There’s still a long way to go but we’ll get through it.

As far as what I think should happen to the people who sold her drugs or helped her get them has too many answers. Narcotics need to have tighter restrictions in the medical field and patients should be weened off after using them. It’s inhuman to allow people to suffer in pain but it’s also inhuman to allow people to suffer with addiction. I don’t even have an idea of a solution for what can be done about heroin. As with many crucial issues we have there is no real solution. No matter what’s put in place people are going to do whatever they do.

What I feel can be learned from our experience is that heroin addiction is far more powerful than her or us. My daughter’s actions have been unfathomable. She has treated us horribly even cruelly at times and has left us devastated. She’s lied, cheated, stolen, manipulated. We stood by her and supported her 100% regardless. There’s been times when I’ve been so angry, and heartbroken, and exhausted. In those moments I have wanted to give up, but I never did because it was heroin controlling her actions and not the person she is. It took me a long time to realize that and if I could share any message it would be to have an awareness of that from day one. Don’t give up. An addict will never survive on their own, but don’t be enabling either.

I have written a few other stories and included the links if you’re interested in reading them to get better insight. I think the first link explains a great deal on how she became an addict.

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