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Opioid (and maybe other) Abuse

Discussion in 'Share Your Story Here' started by RichardCoady, Jun 11, 2019.

  1. RichardCoady

    RichardCoady Member

    I am the father of a 57 year old divorced mother of a teenager daughter who lives with me, my wife and other family members. Until 7 or 8 years ago she was a reasonable responsible and stable mother, except she did have significant problems managing money. Then she broke a bone and was prescribed opiod drugs by her physician. After a while it became obvious she was addicted and was abusing drugs, although she denied it. She said her doctor told her she might be “dependent”, but was not “addicted”.

    The addiction and abuse is manifested by very obvious aberrant behavior such as loss of motor control, slurred speech and unconsciousness. She was once taken to the hospital by ambulance when she lost consciousness and we feared she had stopped breathing. We found out she was getting drugs from multiple doctors and sources other than doctors. I and other family members visited the doctors we knew about and told them of the problem. We contacted her friends we knew about who were giving her prescription drugs and notified them of the illegality of their actions and that we would pursue it if they continued. I think we persuaded everyone except he primary care physician to stop supplying her with opiods. But she still finds ways to get them and she continues to abuse them. Lately she has turned to petty and not-so-petty crimes, presumably to finance her addiction.

    We have strong indications she has incurred debts and is being pursued by private collection agencies and government tax collectors. She will not talk to us about it and has taken a post office mail box so we can’t tell from whom she is getting mail. She will not discuss her finances with me and has become angry and defensive if I broach the subjects. We notified her primary care physician in writing multiple times of our concerns and implored him to try to convince her she has a problem and to seek treatment. We sometimes think he does not consider this problem to be as serious as we do but, of course, he won’t give us any feedback because of confidentiality issues. To complicate matters last year she was diagnosed with cancer which required surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and extensive follow up care. Now we don’t even know who her doctors are, how many she has and what drugs they are prescribing.

    Our grand child is being affected and has come to us in tears because her mother is "acting weird" again, but once the crisis is over she doesn't talk to us or to her mother about her concerns. We are desperate to get her treatment of some kind, but we understand we can’t force her and that she will not seek help until she admits she has a problem.

    My wife and I are elderly and we don’t what else we can do or where else to turn. Is this something properly discussed on this forum?
  2. Joshstillclean

    Joshstillclean Community Champion

    Yes sir. You can discuss anything on here and come here and just vent or seek advice and we all will do our very best to support you anyway we can.

    I can tell you that I am 31 and was prescribed opiods for something minor. It turned into a full blown decade long addiction ending in heroin and if not for modern medicine it would have ended badly for me.
    However I came here and now I am a little over a year, well going on a year and a half clean. My parents (also on up in age) raised my son until I regained full custody. My son is now 9.
    I am employed. My parents no longer worry.
    But I did seek help. I did have to admit I had a problem. That is the first step. Have you mentioned a methadone clinic to her?
    Belive it or not these pills are now so much stronger than heroin your daughter could very well be screaming inside to let me out she wants to stop.

    But that other voice no I need more is just a little louder. How about letting us know some of the things that you have tried and mabey we can go from there. Ill pray for your family right now. God bless you and your wife, daughter and granddaughter.

    Keep coming back please. We have all been where you are in some way. This is a very supportive community.
    deanokat and Dominica like this.
  3. DoxyMom

    DoxyMom Community Champion

    @RichardCoady hello and welcome to the community. I'm so sorry you are going through this and that your daughter is too. I'm 57 and abused opoids for ten years and it ended in me snorting Heroin. I am currently going to a methadone clinic. I had to decide to get help. I used to say I was dependent too. She is the only one who can get herself clean. Now with the cancer she is probably getting lots more pills. You can keep coming here and hope she finally decides she's tired of living like that. We care.
    Joshstillclean, deanokat and Dominica like this.
  4. Dominica

    Dominica Author, Writer, Recovery Advocate Community Listener

    @RichardCoady hello and welcome. so sorry you're having to go through this. addiction affects everyone... as you know.

    not a whole lot you can do, unfortunately. seeking support for yourself is a good step... also, there is ala-teen hat your granddaughter can attend for support.

    al-anon for ya'll if you think that might be the kind of support you need.

    i hope your daughter will want to get help soon.... please know we will be here for you.
    Joshstillclean and deanokat like this.
  5. deanokat

    deanokat DrugAbuse.com Community Organizer Community Listener

    Welcome to the community, @RichardCoady. I'm sorry for what you're going through with your daughter, but I'm glad you found us and reached out. We will be happy to help and support you any way we can. And we are terrific listeners, too. So feel free to come and post as often as you'd like.

    You've gotten good advice already from the others. I will echo the suggestion to get support for yourself, your wife, and your granddaughter. Al-Anon and Nar-Anon teach us this about a loved one's addiction:

    You didn't cause it, you can't control it, and you can't cure it.

    Those words are the truth. The only person who can decide to help your daughter is your daughter herself.

    I highly recommend seeking out Al-Anon meetings in your area for you and your wife. And Alateen meetings for your daughter. They are fabulous groups and their meetings provide a lot of help and comfort to people who are in situations just like yours. It can be very cathartic to spend time amongst others who know exactly what you're going through and feeling. Here are links to both groups' websites, where you can find information about what they do and where their meetings take place:

    Al-Anon: https://al-anon.org

    Alateen: https://al-anon.org/for-members/group-resources/alateen/

    I also suggest that you do some reading on the subject of addiction. Knowledge is power. There's a terrific book out there called Beyond Addiction: How Science and Kindness Help People Change. It's written specifically for parents and partners of people struggling with addiction and it's full of incredibly helpful information. I think you would get a lot out of it. You can access a PDF copy of the book online for free. Here's the link:

    https://motivationandchange.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Beyond-Addiction-Book-PDF.pdf

    I know that the first thing you think about when in your situation isn't to take care of YOU, but that's the best thing you could possibly do. It's like the emergency instructions they give you before you take off on an airplane: "In case of an emergency, put your OWN oxygen mask on first, then help others." Because if you don't take care of yourself first, you won't be able to help or support anybody else, and everyone will end up suffering.

    I'm the father of a 29-year-old son who has battled addiction on and off since he was 15, so I have a bit of experience in the whole "parent of an adult addict" thing. I know it's a club none of us wanted to be in, but it is what it is. And we just have to practice self-care and survival.

    I'm sending you, your wife, and your granddaughter tons of love, light, and hope. Please take good care of yourselves. I will also pray for your daughter. And for all of you. Addiction is a family disease and it affects so many more than just the person with "the problem."

    Please keep coming back here. We will be your support network. You are NOT alone!
    Joshstillclean likes this.
  6. RichardCoady

    RichardCoady Member

    Thank you all for your compassionate, insightful and informative replies. Following your advice, I have found a couple of Al-Anon meeting places my wife and I can attend and we plan to do so. Have not had such luck with Alateen but will continue looking.

    Joshstillclean, you asked if I had talked to her about methadone. No. She will not allow us to speak to her about such things. You also suggested I mention other things we have tried. We - my wife and I, another daughter and her husband who live with us and our son who doesn't live with us - have brainstormed this and tried everything we can think. We have tried to talk to her about it, have made personal visits to her doctors, written letters to them, made phone calls and written letter to persons who supplied her, held her hand when she was "acting weird", hospitalized her when she was unconscious, consulted a psychiatrist, all to no avail. I have considered visiting a treatment facility to see if they can give us advice, but have not done so.

    One other thing: Our daughter is sole custodian of our grand child. They love each other. Her ex-husband lives in the area and I think we should tell him about her. My wife is adamantly against it because she thinks he would try to get custody of the girl and take her to his original home in a state far away. We are very attached to our grand daughter, she is attached to us and even more so to her two cousins who live with us, and to her friends. She is not so much attached to her father, although she does spend a little time with him. My wife and I agree that it would be traumatic for her if she were removed from us. Her dad is not a bad guy but he is not equipped to raise a teen age daughter by himself. I sometimes feel she may be better off in the long run with a not-so-capable father than with a drug addicted mother. But it breaks our hearts to think about her moving away from us.

    We are torn about discussing this in depth with our grand daughter. She is 13 and some think she will not understand, or she might view discussion as critical or taking sides.

    I respect the wisdom of you all who have experience in these matters and seek your additional advice.
    DoxyMom, Dominica and Joshstillclean like this.
  7. Joshstillclean

    Joshstillclean Community Champion


    I CANT STRESS THIS ENOUGH...TALK TO HER! Mabey not about living with her dad honestly that does sound like a bad idea to me (just my opinion) but i started using when I was 15. It was a little bit before then I think ideas probably 14. But it really was a daily thing at 15. So you need to talk to her even if its to tell her this is what happens when you use drugs. And please don't tell her they don't feel good either. My grandparents did that and when I tried pot and it felt great I was like well I guess the other stuff they told me was just so i wouldnt use.
    No, they only lied about it not being fun. Of it didn't feel good why would people,do this to themselves?

    Talk,talk,talk, and be honest. And I don't know but if under a you I would run the methadone clinic ideas down her throat. I would be relentless. My family told me if I wanted to stay in their house then I had to listen to them,on occasion. And I didn't listen then I was put for the night.
    That's just my experience but I would try talking to the rehab like you said you hadn't done yet. It was a suboxone clinic that finally got me sober.
    And I believe it was my 13th trip also. As bad as that sounds all I'm saying is there is always hope. And your daughter is still in there. And I can tell you from a an addicts point of view I wanted the word help to come out of my mouth and a swear when I tried to say it what came out was hell!
    I felt trapped in my own body. My addiction-this really is the truth was controlling me...not the other way around.
    Stay in touch im still praying.
    DoxyMom, deanokat and Dominica like this.
  8. deanokat

    deanokat DrugAbuse.com Community Organizer Community Listener

    @RichardCoady... So glad you found some Al-Anon meetings to attend. And I hope you’ll find an Alateen meeting, too. As far as talking to your granddaughter goes...I have to say I totally agree with @Joshstillclean. Having an honest discussion with her is the best thing you could do. She is old enough to know the truth. And it will help educate her about the perils of addiction. Also, the more we talk openly about addiction, especially in our own families, the more we help chip away at the stigma associated with it. Addiction isn’t some kind of moral failing; it’s a disease. And the people who struggle with it aren’t bad people; they’re sick people. That’s my take.
    Joshstillclean and Dominica like this.
  9. Dominica

    Dominica Author, Writer, Recovery Advocate Community Listener

    @RichardCoady i do agree with the others that honesty can be a wonderful thing. not easy...for sure. i do think we should be able to talk openly about addiction... but again, it's your choice... do what you're comfortable with.
    deanokat and Joshstillclean like this.
  10. RichardCoady

    RichardCoady Member

    Joshstillclean, deanokat, Dominica and DoxyMom,

    My most sincere thanks for your interest, your time and your sage counsel. Will let you know how things progress.

    Richard
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  11. deanokat

    deanokat DrugAbuse.com Community Organizer Community Listener

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  12. Joshstillclean

    Joshstillclean Community Champion

    I'm sure you've been quite the busy man this week. I just wanted you to know that you had crossed my mind and i hope that things are going well. or at least coming along...
    Sometimes it helps just to know someone was thinking of you, does for me anyway, so I wish you the best and hope to hear good stuff soon.
    deanokat likes this.