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Where do we start?

by Sherri

(E St Louis, IL)

Where do we start? My niece is 25y/o with a heroin addiction. I have never faced something like this, and don’t have a clue where to start.

She of course doesn’t work, so no insurance, no income. I believe if we could get her away from her “friend”, she would be more than willing to clean up….where do we send her?

She has tried the methadone out-patient treatment, but that was an hour drive away, not to mention costly, needless to say it didn’t work out, so she returned to her “friend”.

Now with no car AND no income….we feel she doesn’t have a chance. Any info you can give would be very helpful!!! We are in the St Louis, MO area, in Illinois.

Thanks for any help.

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by: Debbie Wicker

Dear Sherri,

There is always hope for your niece but she does a serious life-threatening problem. Heroin attacks the brain and convinces her that she MUST use it no matter what.

Because she has no money she will need to go into a faith-based program. The fact that she was in treatment before and on Methadone is helpful because it means she was willing to try to quit and hopefully will be willing to try again.

She likely needs a much longer inpatient program to fully recover from her addiction. The two programs that I recommend you call in St. Louis are:

Teen Challenge at (636) 677-1776, they have a wonderful Woman’s program that will take her into for a year at no cost. It is for teen and adults and will hopefully get her the help she needs.

The other program you should try is the your local Salvation Army, they also have a faith-based free drug program that has helped MANY people move from addiction to recovery.

I would also highly recommend that you begin attending Al-anon meetings in your area at least two times a week. They will help find the resources necessary to help your niece and also support you through this very challenging problem.

Good Luck,


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