Monthly Archives: August 2010

Heroin Addiction: Symptoms

I was reading something on a website today about how to know if your child is a heroin addict.  It was asking:  does your child need to do heroin every day?  Do they carry a constant supply?  do you see track marks in their arms?

I get the point but…these aren’t the items I would list.  First off — if they’re doing it, they’re probably addicted.  Period.  Second, you probably aren’t going to know if they have a supply, and tracks, sure, that’s an obvious one.  But what about the less obvious, beginning signs?  Here’s my list (in no particular order) (note:  no one symptom means your child is a heroin addict, but they are strong clues, especially if you can say yes to two or three at a time):

  1. You can’t figure out where all your spoons went.  Didn’t you have eight teaspoons in your set?  Maybe one went missing but five?  “Kids — have you seen our spoons?”
  2. Almost all teens sleep late.  But your teen stays in bed until 3PM and now hangs blankets over his/her bedroom windows to keep out every trace of sunlight.  When you complain they slur, “Jeez mom…it’s nothing…I just need to sleep.  Crap.  Leave me alone, it’s not a big deal.” 
  3. Two hours later they are up, awake, full of energy, happy, chatty, cleaning their room, and asking if they can run errands, (complete mood change).  And if you mention the blanket on the window thing, they’ll say yes, sure, okay … but they won’t actually take them down.
  4. Day one: “Mom, can I have money for cigarettes and gas?  I know you gave me some yesterday, but Joe’s mom needed some groceries so I lent him some money to pick them up for her.”  Day two: “Mom, can I have ten dollars for gas?  I know you gave me some yesterday but …”  Day three:  [you know the drill]
  5. I could swear I threw this belt away last week because it’s way to small for him.  What’s it doing on my son’s floor again?  Oh, and here’s the belt his brother was looking for the other day too.  And yet he never wears a belt when he needs to.  Darn kids.
  6. What’s with the little pieces of tin foil laying around these days?  Kids?  What are you doing??
  7. Their friends are just walking in the house without even knocking or saying hello to me.  When did I lose control of this household?
  8. He comes in at midnight like he said he would.  But then you hear the door open again at 2AM and again at 4AM … always another excuse.
  9. A needle in his bathroom cabinet.  Clearly.
  10. The once intelligent, loving boy is now a rebellious, lazy young man.  Face it.  Time to get help.

Thank God

See that title?  “Thank God” — that’s what I’m doing this morning.  It was good for me to vent out all of my worries here last night.  This morning I did my Bible study and went to church (found a church here in SC that I like lots).  Conveniently, the pastor taught about giving your troubles to God, knowing that pain and suffering are part of life.  Knowing that a life with God doesn’t mean we won’t experience those things – but instead assures us that (a) they are temporary and (b) we will never experience them alone. 

The song I sang this morning with gusto, and with my hands in the air:

I’m trading my sorrows
I’m trading my shame
I’m laying them down for the Joy of the Lord.
I’m trading my sickness
I’m trading my pain
I’m laying them down for the Joy of the Lord.

I tried to attached the video but it’s not working.  If you want to see it, go to  God bless!


One Mom Talking: Update

I’ve been gone awhile.  I moved across the country with my daughter.  Packing up the house was hard.  I didn’t do a good job of it.  And if friends hadn’t shown up and pushed it along, I never would have been out by my target date.  I left stuff there.  I threw away so much.  I have so little.  Materially, I’m pretty darn broke.

I think the move was right.  I think this is the right thing for my daughter and probably even for me.  I walked a mile along the shore of the Atlantic earlier this evening and felt something that I think was PEACE.  But it didn’t last long.

I made the mistake of watching a Lifetime movie tonight.  Why do I do that?  It was about high school kids who were partying too much and one of them ended up killing a man who came in to break up the party.  Of course this brought back vivid memories of when my house was the party house.  Memories and guilt and sadness and that overall feeling of cluelessness.  You know:  HOW DID I NOT COMPREHEND THE DANGER??  WHY DID I NOT STOP THEM??

I’ll tell you … I need a group.   But Al-Anon just doesn’t seem to do it for me.  I should probably go anyway.  I probably should.

Tonight I’m just one mom talking, as I’ve always been.  Now that we’re away from it all and attempting to create a “normal” life, I realize that there is no such thing.  Or that this is it.  It doesn’t go away.  I want to get my daughter into some kind of program but she has put up such a wall.  She’s just starting to relax a little, even around me.  I think I should let her settle in.  Not push.  And then I get back to that doubt about my own ability to have a clue what to do for her.  Tired.

Really, I don’t mean to sound completely down.  I’ve had some very good days these past few weeks.  Including a letter from Dan.  He is back in jail after a relapse at rehab.  He voluntarily put himself back in jail though – which is a good sign.  He didn’t want to risk using again.  So he’s been clean since sometime in may except for that one slip.  His sentencing is scheduled for 9/7.  They will likely let him out on probation.  He will probably stay at his dad’s house again.  I am across the country, but the idea of that still frightens me on several levels:  The possibility of him using again, the effects on Al who has been living with his dad now that I’ve moved, and the effects on their dad who is trying to shoulder a lot by allowing Dan back in the house.  And me and my daughter, who will just always have that wonder in the back of our minds when the phone rings.  Will it be the bad news this time?

It’s 11:30PM and I am going to try to sleep.  I have been sleeping well.  Thank goodness.  But maybe not tonight.  Feeling it a little heavy tonight.  Glad to vent here.  God bless!