No one is ever prepared for addiction. Nonetheless, when a mother discovers that her daughter has a heroin problem, it hits harder than anything she could ever experience herself. Nothing breeds stress like incessant wondering, always jumping at the sound of the phone in the hopes that it’s her, yet terrified that it could be someone asking you to identify her body. Most parents know the feeling of helplessness when a child is seriously ill. Heroin addiction is far, far worse.
However, if you can roll up your sleeves and do something to help her, you will feel less like you’ve lost an appendage and more like you’ve got a job to do. Remember that hundreds of people around the world are fighting heroin addiction–and winning. Your daughter can, too, and you can help her. Here are five steps you can take to do that.
Step One: Understand
One of the most empowering things you can do is help yourself understand heroin and what it is doing to your daughter. Research. Ask questions. Read the stories of others going through the same struggle. Really understand addiction so that you can better understand her and what she is going through.
Heroin is one of the most addictive drugs on this planet. It compels people with such force that they will sell everything they own, leave their family, beg, lie, cheat and steal for it. And no matter how many times they say they’re done, it is nearly impossible to do it on their own. If you truly understand the strength of its grip, you will better understand what it will take to help your daughter out of it.
Step Two: Steel Yourself
It will require a lot of determination to truly help your daughter back to sobriety. There may be moments when she is more than willing to get clean, but it is more likely that she will fight or try to swindle her way out of it. You must prepare yourself with an attitude of firmness and be willing to do whatever it takes to help her get through this.
Another issue to address is that of financial support. Your daughter may come up with all manner of convincing reasons why she needs money, and she may be very believable when she tells you that she’s not buying
drugs. However, you must understand that every time you give her money, you are likely funding her heroin addiction. Don’t be an enabler. Cut off all financial support.
Step Three: Leave the Door Open
If she refuses to quit heroin, or continues to relapse, you must be willing to put your foot down and send her on her way. However, if you do, let her know that you are still here for her if she is willing to change. In that moment when she does decide to turn her life around, she will know that she can turn to you for help.
Step Four: Know Your Options
There are a variety of solutions out there for those struggling with heroin addiction. Some are not very workable or have other side effects, as in the case of methadone treatment. Some are very helpful, such as drug interventions, effective detox centers, and counseling. Research each option thoroughly so that you can find the best treatment for your daughter.
Step Five: Don’t Give Up
Even when it feels like all is lost, don’t lose hope. Your daughter may just show up one day, ready to change and asking for real help. Don’t give up on her. Someday, you may be all she has.