Homeless, addicted 22 yo daughter

by Rose

(Orange City, FL)

My daughter has hit the bottom of the bottom. She has nothing. She is addicted to painkillers, she shoots them up, she is homeless, jobless, penniless, she has nothing. She also has untreated bi-polarism and is asthmatic, with no health insurance.

She has basically nowhere to go now, she was bouncing around from one friends house to another but they all got tired of her lies, stealing and her addiction.

Is there any help for her? We (her family) are desperate. She was once a beautiful, smart girl and has lost everything. Please help us!!!

Double Problem

by: Ned Wicker

Dear Rose,
Your story hit home with me because I have a young acquaintance, who is also 22, who struggles addiction and is bi-polar. When he is off his meds, he will experience a psychotic episode and loses all contact with reality. His parents were at their wits ends when they decided that the only way they could get him off the streets and into treatment was to have him committed. It has been a terrible roller-coaster ride for them.
The problem you have is complicated. On the one hand you want to be a good mom and take care of your child. On the other hand, she is an adult with full rights and privileges to make all her own decisions. The law protects her rights and that includes not receiving medical treatment, or treatment for her addiction. To help her you have to convince a detached third party that she is in danger of hurting herself or others. That third party may be a police officer, who comes in and makes an assessment based on a ten-minute visit. She puts on an act and the officer can’t see how much trouble she is in.

Maybe they arrest her for illegal possession, but that is no assurance that she will receive any help. You can make an attempt to talk to her, but no matter how gentle and loving you are, no matter how logical and prepared you are, she probably has little to no ability to reason and will be convinced that you are wrong.
Give Al-anon a call and talk to other parents. You need to come up with a plan that gets her back on her meds, gets her into drug treatment and gets her into a solid recovery program. The medical piece to this is important, but do not eliminate treatment for her spirit, her soul.

The addiction robs us of our humanity, and takes an otherwise beautiful and engaging girl and turns her into a street dweller that alienates her friends. You have to make her body healthy, but not neglect her spiritual side.

You have to be in charge. She isn’t going to cooperate with you, but look past that and follow an orderly approach. You can talk to your doctor, or a local treatment center. Many churches have good drug recovery programs, such as “Celebrate Recovery.” I think as long as you take a body, mind and spirit approach, you can help your daughter. Just remember that when you are at the end of your rope, that’s where God’s rope begins.

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