I’m usually more of a lurker than a poster. I’ll contribute every now and again when another poster that I care about is in pain, is celebrating something, is feeling down… I don’t know how much it helps, but I try. Alternatively, I post when I’m in pain or frustrated about things that I’m not comfortable talking about IRL. How much can I even tell family and co-workers, and in the case of my co-workers, they don’t really care. They smile or nod or arrange their faces into the correct expressions, but who really needs to hear about my problems when they have enough of their own?


Our daughter is back on heroin. I’ve been told how hard core that is, and how difficult it is to stop once you start. I know all of this, but she kicked it for a while. Typical mom, I thought that things were fine now, but nothing is further from the truth. We contacted a local treatment center and are waiting to hear from them. In the meantime, she last used a couple of days ago, and will start to withdraw badly soon. I hope that we can get help soon enough.

I guess that’s it. I don’t have anyone to talk to right now. Right now I need to be strong but am crumbling inside. I just need to keep it together, for her and my husband and our son.

Do you know what? She OD’ed last June. If it wouldn’t have been for her friends taking her to the hospital and the treatment she had in the nick of time, she would be dead.

I have no experience with this, but I wish you and your daughter the best of luck.


I don’t have much of anything informative to say, but I did want to pop in and mention that I read your post and wish you and your daughter the best. Addiction is terrible, but thankfully there are resources out there.

One thing I can say is that I understand the feeling of not having anyone to talk to. I used to feel that way all the time, until I began going to therapy sessions offered by my school’s psychology department. It costs me 8.50/week, but for me it’s money well spent. I get to talk to someone who is trained in counseling and who is completely objective (very important to me). I would encourage you to see if you can get into something similar, because it has helped me greatly.

Best wishes to you.

I am so sorry you are going through this AND feeling so alone about it.

Have you looked into a support group, like Nar-Anon, which is for family members of addicts. Call 1-800-477-6291 (or http://www.nar-anon.org/Nar-Anon/Nar-Anon_Groups.html ) to find a group near you.

If you lack a Nar-Anon meeting in your area, you can also try Al-Anon which is more oriented to Alcoholism. Call 1-888-425-2666 (1-888-4AL-ANON)(or http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/english.html ) to find a group near you.

Purple Haze, is she back living with you?

If so, you have considerable leverage to get her ass into treatment. (though that only will be helpful in the long term if she wants to stay clean)

Best of thoughts from here in Salt Lake—Matthew,

PS----Make sure to give your son plenty of love (as I know it would be natural to focus all your energy on your daughter) so he dosent feel marginalized during this crisis, which he is surely feeling along with the rest of the family.


I hope you can get her involved with a treatment center, get her to do the 12-step support group thing, and get her on a med that makes heroin not work for her if she has a weak moment and uses. I wish I could remember the name of it, but it worked miracles for a close relative, who’d tried and failed to kick the habit for years. It was something that was placed under the skin, and had to be replenished every few months.

I’m sorry you’re going through this. Good luck.

If you don’t mind telling us, what are you doing to help your daughter?

Your situation isn’t hopeless. Heroin addiction seems hopless but it isn’t. I’ve known people who’ve kicked the habit. It’s hard, but very possible.

What’s near impossible is to kick the habit on your own.

I’ve known addicts - in fact, I used to work at a treatment clinic - and staying clean for awhile and then relapsing is an all too common pattern. It’s heartbreaking in many ways, but she become clean and sober again, it’s not hopeless.

This will be a problem she struggles with for the rest of her life, though. She may detox this time and stay that way, or she may be clean for a number of years and relapse again. An addict never entirely kicks the habit, temptation always exists even after years and years of being sober.

I wish all of you the best of luck.

I have no experience to share, but stopped by to offer you supporting thoughts.

She has been living at home since mid summer, and things had been going well for a while (or so I thought). All of the bullshit that we went through in the past was replaced by a more or less normal living arrangement. She went to school for a while (until she dropped out). Was employed until early this week (when the whole not showing up for work thing made her employer grumpy).

My husband and I had been suspecting for a while that something is up, especially over the past few weeks. My daughter approached me last night, crying, and said that we needed to talk. I went into her room and she told me that she started up again and needs help. We contacted a local detox facility and are waiting for a phone call. In the meantime, my husband and I talked, then all four of us had a family meeting. We figured out the insurance part of this and he will talk to his human resources department today about what is covered.

For now she is on ‘house arrest’, but that doesn’t mean a whole lot because my husband and I both work. At any rate it will keep her home at night, and absolutely no one is coming over for now. We don’t know who the bad guys or good guys are right now. She is being cooperative and needs help. So far no hostility.

Thanks for the advice, especially the narc anon information. I will call them today, asap. Also, thank you for pointing out that our son will need more attention. I hadn’t thought about that but it is so true. He knows the complete truth, and is 15 now. He is upset but trying to conceal it. They were very close once upon a time.

I didn’t know that there was a med to give to users that would make them sick if they do drugs. Right now I am scared to death to go to work and leave her alone. I’ll be coming home for lunch. I had nightmares last night about what she told me had happened last June when she OD’ed. Losing my first born… I don’t even like to think about that, but now I have to. More nightmares about her not doing well and having to ask her to leave.

She needs treatment, and we need to figure out a way to get her out of this general area so she doesn’t relapse. Too many people around and she says she will get sucked right back in, even after treatment. I can’t say that I disagree with her.

Oh, shit. I’m so sorry to read this. I recall reading your previous threads and it is just heartbreaking. I had a boyfriend who was a heroin addict (allegedly clean when I met him, then kept relapsing). I know that I understand maybe .000001 % of how you feel, it being your daughter and all, but I still know how much it sucks and how evil a drug it is.

How long was the program she was in before? A friend of mine has been clean for several years but says that the only thing that worked was a year-long resindential program. (And, yes, she acknowledges that by “it worked” she means “it works for as long as I keep doing what I need to do to stay clean”).

I’m encouraged that she apporached you and asked for help. I will be looking for updates and keeping you in my thoughts. PM me if you wish.

Has she ever tried methadone?

Sadly, methadone isn’t a wonder drug for kicking a heroic habit. In fact, it can be addictive in and of its own right. (Albeit much less so than heroic, by several orders of magnitude.) It is, however, a lovely drug for saving someone’s life when they have overdosed and are circling the drain. Methadone is a competitive, incomplete agonist of the same receptors as heroin. Basically that means you don’t completely eliminate the effects of the heroin, but you can reduce them drastically to the maximum efficacy of methadone.

Heroin is one nasty addiction to break. My sympathies and support go out to you. Just remember, repeated cycles of abstinence and relapse are normal for the recovery process. The important thing is that the overall rate of heroin use drops over time.


There is no “can be addictive” with methadone, it IS additive. It is an opiate. I causes physical tolerance. In sufficient amount it causes euphoria. No, it’s not *less *addictive than heroin, much less by “several orders of magnitude”. Where did you get that information?

I’m sorry - this is just wrong, wrong, wrong. You don’t give methadone to someone overdosed, much less “circling the drain”. Maybe you’re thinking about naltrexone? Good lord - I’m sorry, I just can’t let that stand, that paragraph is so full of misinformation. Where did you get this?

I will say that methadone is a tool that helps some people but from from all, and by itself it won’t cure addiction. It has to be combined with other therapy and behavioral changes. It’s not a magic bullet in any way shape or form, it does have side effects, and while it’s an option it shouldn’t be seen as the automatic default.

To settle the issue, here is the National Library of Medicine link to Methadone.

My friend who has been clean for a while used it and was weaned off of it. She feels that, while it can be problematic in and of itself if not monitored and combined with other treatment, it did enable her to manage quitting a 15-year heroin addiction. The other person I know (the ex-boyfriend) tried to game the methadone ayatem and sell it, so yeah, monitoring and treatment needs to be there.

purple haze, I have nothing to offer in the way of advice, just lots of supportive thoughts. Surely it’s a very positive sign that your daughter asked for help this time. Best wishes to your whole family as you deal with this. We’re here for you whenever you need to talk.

I would be careful with NA and wouldn’t rely on them completely. One of my friends did get clean with their help, but I think it worked for him because he’s very religious. For another guy I knew NA did not work because he thought it was BS.

There might be some issues that your daughter needs to work out, that she’s using drugs to deal with. Therapy might help with that. If you force her to get clean, she might relapse again because she doesn’t know how to deal with her problems without drugs. I’ve never been to NA so I wouldn’t know, but I think that therapy would do a better job teaching her how to handle her problems without heroin.

As for moving, it can’t hurt to get away from bad influences, but the real problem is usually within the person. Especially when they keep relapsing over and over again.

To me it looks like you’re doing the best you can. You sound like a great mom, and your daughter is lucky to have you.

Obviously a methadone program needs to be done in conjunction with frequent counseling (my clients in the methadone program do 1 group, 1 individual, and 2 NA sessions per week), but it can be very useful to someone who can’t quit cold turkey. Heroin is one of the toughest drug habits to kick, and the methadone program is one way to conquer a serious narcotic addiction. It’s definitely something to look into.

I’m so sorry to hear about this situation, purple haze. I wish there was something I could do to help. Good thoughts headed out to your whole family.


Methadone maintenance or suboxone maintenance can both be viable opiate addiction treatments, including for heroin, which is really just another very potent opiate. I prefer to see those opiates used as a bridge to eventual complete opiate abstinence, but if that doesn’t happen, at least there’s harm reduction, as both drugs have fewer negative consequences than continued heroin use.

I consider use of a mutual-help group to be essential to recovering from opiate dependency.

QtM, opiate-free since 1990.