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Like many parents I had grown a little hopeless that my daughter would forever be a substance abuser. Her recreational drug use had developed into a heroin addiction, and now doctors were telling me that the only effective solution available for a heroin abuser was methadone treatment. I grabbed hold of this as a form of treatment because I thought, “Anything will be better than her sticking a needle in her arm.” We started on the methadone and months went by. I thought everything was fixed. We had our daughter back. Everything was great, until a family vacation when we were out too long one day. Heather had forgotten her methadone and began a full-on and violent withdrawal from methadone in the back seat. We took her to the hospital where they continued the methadone treatment and she seemed “fine” again.

This was a reality check for me, as I realized that the “monster” was not gone–he was only temporarily kept at bay. I needed it gone permanently. I also realized that we had replaced Heather’s heroin addiction with a more manageable and legal addiction to methadone.

This is where my plug in favor of long term and inpatient drug rehab begins. I say both long term and inpatient because we tried everything outside of this, and failed miserably. Heroin addiction is such a poignant and overwhelming enemy that you need to attack it from all angles. The 30 Day programs and the outpatient programs were just to pass the time for Heather. Any many of these programs supported her continued use of methadone, despite our stark disapproval. We eventually found a holistic program that specialized in heroin addiction and treated her for a little over 5 months–with no more drugs. Might seem like a long time, but when you’re taking the long road, sometimes slow and steady wins the race. This is what it took for us to fully defeat the heroin addiction.

I write this now with a sense of ease in my soul at the fact that Heather is no longer a drug addict. Not dependent on ANY substance–illicit or not.

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