Cocaine Addiction Parents
It’s a parent’s worst nightmare. You did your best to help your child grow, learn and prosper, but for some reason they fell victim to the allure of drugs and got involved with cocaine.
These are difficult times in America. When I was a teenager, beer parties were in vogue, but today it’s a completely different world, a different society. It’s not about beer and it’s not necessarily limited to marijuana.
Cocaine is everywhere and parents cannot take the position that their child would never try this highly addictive, potentially deadly drug. The denial of the possibility that little Johnny or little Jane could access to coke is just like saying you won’t freeze if you walk out the door naked on a below zero day.
The fact is, kids can get cocaine, heroin, marijuana and just about anything else without really having to try very hard. Parents need to be aware that drug dealers are in the schools, at the mall and all over town. It isn’t just in the “bad areas” but in suburban settings, where well-to-do kids, with plenty of spending cash, are looking for entertainment. “No, no, my kid is level-headed and would never to that, never!” The truth might shock you.
Half have tried drugs by high school
By the time they get out of high school, about half of the kids will have tried drugs. Half! That includes children that are in middle school and believe it or not, some even younger. Parents today need to be smart, vigilant, and know what they are dealing with. For starters, assume nothing. Children can make bad choices.
According to Dr. Allen I. Leshner, director, National Institute of Cocaine Abuse, the first thing parents need to understand is WHY their kids would consider taking drugs. He offers that researchers have identified more than 50 factors, which are found at several different levels—individual, family, peer group and broader community.
Idle teens start the problem
Parents need to understand that idle teenagers with money are a prime target for dealers. They don’t necessarily have a part time job, because mommy and daddy have lots of money. Both mom and dad might be professional people and have important careers, but that might leave the teenager alone at home.
The parents may even feel a little guilty about this, so they slip him/her an extra $20 bill. Teens are susceptible to peer pressure and don’t think it isn’t enormous. Kids want to fit in, be a part of the crowd and be accepted. The thought of a teen doing drugs and succumbing to peer pressure is not a stretch, it is not a myth and it happens.
Parent must keep their eyes open
Parents need to keep their eyes open, which does not mean an interrogation of the child, but it does mean knowing your child. The fastest way to turn off a teenager is to get in their face, but watch for the signs of trouble. They might avoid you, or perhaps they aren’t seeing their old friends as much.
You’ve heard the old saying “He/she got in with the wrong crowd,” and that’s just what happens. They might5 lose interest in their hobbies and activities. One observant mother once told me that she knew her daughter was in trouble when she no longer played on the basketball team. Their grades might slip, or they might be keeping irregular hours. Teens tend to stay up late and want to sleep in late, but look for a change in their sleeping pattern. They might lose weight.
Know the risk factors
Parents need to understand the risk factors. Keep your eyes open. There are a couple of reasons why children will take drugs. The first group is just looking for fun and excitement. They want to be a part of the crowd, so they do what their friends do, or what they THINK their friends do. They want to be cool. Even in elementary or intermediate school, kids want to be cool.
The second group is the kids who want to feel better. They might have emotional or mental issues, or they come from an abusive home, or something else is not right, regardless of how loving and supportive their parents are. They want to feel better, or just feel “normal.” They are self-medicating to feel better.
Often snorted or smoked
Cocaine is most often snorted or smoked. The smoked version, called crack cocaine is less expensive and readily available. The powdered cocaine has been glorified in movies and television, a sort of status symbol of the young professionals who have “made it.” Both are highly addictive.
Again be vigilant. Your child may experience mood swings, especially when they haven’t had the drug in a while. Their brain chemistry has been altered and they “think” they need it to feel formal. They may lose appetite, leading to weight loss. Cocaine addiction produces intense cravings for the drug. Addicts will steal, rob and do just about anything for the drug, so obviously the major change in personality is a huge sign.
Must talk to your kid, you can influence them
Believe it or not, the signs and vigilance and the smartening up of parents is actually the easy part. The hard part is talking to your kid. The key here is spending quality time with your child and having meaningful conversations. A conversation is two people talking to each other, not a diatribe or monologue. Listen to your kid! Hear what he/she is saying and listen carefully for clues. Don’t judge, don’t lecture and don’t pressure your child into a confession. Allow them to freely and openly express their feelings and allow you in their life. If you suspect your child is using, do not assume that his/her drug use is a passing phase. Addiction doesn’t go away until it kills its host. That is not overly dramatic.
Get help if you see a problem developing
Parents who suspect something is happening need to consult with a trained, professional person to get answers, but more importantly to begin the plan for treatment. Whether fully in the throws of addiction, or just “using,” a teenager can get into serious trouble in a hurry without intervention from the parents. Don’t be their “buddy,” be their parent and get help. Compromise is not in the equation.
When you compromise you lose perspective and you need to be the guiding light, a never-changing direction. It’s not about you failing as a parent. It’s not about the mistakes you made raising your child. It’s about getting them on the right path after the bad decisions they have made.
Mom and dad are two important influences and in the case of cocaine addiction parents, mom and dad can be life savers.
Recovering cocaine and heroin addict mother.
I am a mother of 3 kids. 2 boys-one is 9 and one is 2 1/2 and a little girl who is 11 months old.
I started using cocaine when my oldest son was about 1 1/2. I did it for almost 2 years until I started going to a doctor who prescribed me Vicodin and Valium at the age of 19. This is how my addiction of opiates began.
I was also working and going to school when my addiction first began. My prescription never lasted me a whole month. I would swap with my mom, my best friend and even my son's Grandpa. If I had no one to swap with I would buy them off the street. And I would trade my Valium for Oxycontin.
I didn't realize then just how addicted to pain pills I actually was. At the age of 20 I had a good job working in an office. I worked there for 2 1/2 years until my son's step mother called the We Tip hot-line on me at my job and I had to resign because I had marijuana in my system on top of my prescription drugs.
This happened on December 7, 2007. Two weeks later on Christmas morning while my son was opening his presents I went into a seizure and had to go to the hospital. I had taken 8 Ultram that morning.
So, after they did a drug screen on me, they sent it to my doctor and I got cut off of all my prescriptions because of the marijuana. At this point I have no job, no money, no prescriptions and I go through physical withdrawals for the first time ever.
I would literally be shaking in my bed, sweating profusely until I would get a couple pain pills in me. I got my income taxes in February, 2008..spent $3,500 in one week on oxycontins! I couldn't believe my money was gone and I didn't pay one dime to rent so I got evicted.
I found out I was pregnant and actually weened myself down with vicodin and was doing much better. Then, found out I had a miscarriage. I had to have surgery and I got prescribed Vicodin and Xanax.
So right back on the drugs. Eventually I start snorting heroin. That July I find out I'm pregnant again. So this time I decide I have to do something about this seriously. I checked myself into a rehab in Portsmouth in October, 2008. I only lasted 8 days there.
They weened me down with Percosets. It didn't help me any. I got out of there and went to another doctor's office where I was getting prescribed Vicodin and Xanax. They were gone in 2 days.
I snorted heroin throughout that pregnancy until the 8th month when my husband and I got arrested for shoplifting. I had to do 2 days in jail and he got 17 because he had a warrant out.
So, this time my son's step mother calls Children Services on me. But, I didn't stop using right away. It took me about a week to realize that if I didn't stop I was going to lose my baby and my 6 year old son.
So, I go and stay at my dad's and detoxed cold turkey because I couldn't bare the thought of losing my children. I passed a drug test for C.S in 11 days. So, I have my son and he is perfectly healthy weighing in at 7lb. 7oz..nothing wrong with him at all! Just perfect!
So, eventually I start using heroin when he was about 6 weeks old. I started shooting in when he was just a few months old in July of 2009. My husband and I stole anything we could get our hands on. We junked all kinds of things that weren't even ours. We stole from our parents. We lied..we did anything to get our fix.
In February of 2010 we had had enough. We got evicted once again. I went to a rehab called Talbott Hall in Columbus, OH and he went a week later. It had one floor for everyone getting detoxed on Suboxone.
When I left Talbott Hall they sent me home with a prescription of 6 Suboxone and I didn't take any of them because I didn't feel any withdrawals. I thought I was cured and I was strong enough to stay clean on my own.
I relapsed on Percoset in May 2010. My husband and I were split up at this time but we got high together. It seemed it was the only thing that we had in common. So, after we did Percosets a couple times we couldn't find any and starting shooting heroin again.
I find out I am pregnant just a few weeks after I had relapsed and I still couldn't stop using! I continued to shoot heroin until December 2010 when I drove myself to OSU medical center.
I stayed on a pregnany detox floor where it was nothing but pregnant women getting detoxed with methadone. I was there for 10 days and I was absolutely miserable. I still felt dope sick and I was in so much pain. The methadone didn't help me at all.
I get out of OSU and 2 days later, I use...again. 8 months pregnant, mind you.. I knew that the chance that I would lose my daughter was huge! And, I still couldn't stop!
So, I keep using until the first week of January. My due date just a month away. I started buying Suboxone off the street. I took them for about a week. I went about 5 days with nothing and ended up going into labor on January 15. The day after I had my daughter a social worker had come into my room because during one of my OB check-ups I had tested positive for THC, cocaine and opiates.
I had explained to her that I went to OSU and got detoxed and she asked if I would take a drug test. So I did and I came back clean! My daughter was clean! It was the scariest thing I had ever been through!
To know that drugs could be the cause of me losing my babies was just awful and I couldn't even stop! I told the Social worker my entire story from the beginning and she said I sounded like a pretty smart girl and that made me feel really good.
But, once again after I had my daughter..I relapsed. I had to have an emergency C-section and was in tremendous pain. I had only got 1 1/2 days worth of pain medication. I had to take care of my 2 boys on top of my newborn daughter. So, I'm determined NOT to do heroin!
So, we called an old "friend" to ask if he could get us any percosets. We spent $90 on blood pressure pills! I'm just in the worst pain ever at this point! Call another "friend" and spent $40 on Ambien this time when we were told they were Percosets!
So, what happens next?? We call our old dope dealer because we know it's going to be real dope. Now, I'm breastfeeding and shooting heroin. Everytime I did it I hated myself more and more and I just knew that I had to stop.
God had blessed me with 2 healthy babies even though I had used heroin 8 of 9 months with each baby. I knew I was blessed..how else could I explain it? So, once again I start buying Suboxones off the street. I called my own Suboxone doctor in March 2011. I've been taking the Suboxone since then.
The last time I quit taking Suboxone I had relapsed in 3 months. I don't want that to happen again. I definitely don't plan on being prescribed to Suboxone forever but for right now it's keeping me sober. And that's the most important thing to me!
I have depression and anxiety so I take Prozac and Abilify for that as well and it seems to be helping me a lot. I am the happiest I have ever been. I go to AA meetings, I go to church every Sunday, my husband and I started coaching my 9 year old's basketball team.
We are living with his parents right now but I know I wouldn't be here right now if I were still using. There was a time when my dad wouldn't hand me a $5 bill but now that he knows I am sober I am driving a Dodge Neon that he paid for and it's in his name. That's how much he trusts me now! And it feels awesome to have that trust back.
My dad is also a recovering addict. He's been sober for about 4 years. I want to share my story and help other addicts out there! I would love to travel to tell my story. I would also love to talk to pregnant women who are addicted to drugs who feel hopeless and maybe I could be that little bit of hope they need.
It may have taken me going through 2 pregnancies using cocaine and heroin to realize how much God has blessed me, but it's what I had to go through to get to where I am today. God bless!
by: Ned Wicker
Your story is amazing. The cycle of addiction and the rough path you were on for so long would certainly have been a death sentence for some people, but you survived, you overcame the odds. It’s good that your marriage held and that you are doing well.
Substance use disorder is such a nasty disease, as even when you were at your lowest points, when you knew that you could kill your babies if you continued to use, the cravings were so powerful that you used anyway.
Your life experience also illustrates how easy it is to get drugs on the street, so even if a person is under a doctor’s care, you can circumvent the system just by making a phone call to an old drug dealer you used to know. The disease takes away our ability to make good choices, but you know the truth and you have done well.
You have also discovered a spiritual side to the recovery process, as under our own power, we are more often than not powerless over those cravings.
We know it’s the wrong thing to do, but we do it anyway. That “power greater than ourselves” is such an importance force to help us stay clean. However we understand that power, we need to place or trust in faith in something other than a diseased mind.
I am pleased that you have found a church home and are learning that our relationship with God is key to our living a healthy and productive life.
You are in my prayers. Blessings this New Year’s for you, your husband and your children.