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  • Mar

    Taking In A Meth Addict

    Taking In A Meth Addict

    Hello, I'm Beth a 42-year-old Mom, Grandmother, Wife & anything else that follows under those categories. My family has always taken in all sorts of strays... kids, cats, dogs, goats, raccoons and now a meth addict! It has been an eye opening and learning experience for me. One that has and will make me a stronger and better person. Would I have chosen to help a young 21 year old young lady detox from meth at my home? Well NO! Would I do it again if the need were there? You bet I would.

    We just began this rodeo so let me tell you neither I, nor my family is an expert in any way about this. Angel is in her 2nd week of treatment so this has really just begun for us. I am writing this in the hopes of even one person reading this and being able to help someone they know out of this horrible addiction. This is a "report" in progress and probably the beginning of my next book!

    Having Entertained Angel Completely Unaware

    On Sunday June 22, 2003 my husband Andy got a call from his brother in another state. He asked if his daughter Angel could come stay with us. She needed to get out of town, away from the people she was hanging out with, and get her head on straight. He told my husband that she wouldn't have any money until she found a job so we knew right away this would be a longer stay than what we had anticipated.

    Andy (my husband) told his brother that Angel was welcome to bring her little boy with her and that's when we found out that she had lost custody of him. She had no choice but to sign him over to her mother because of some trouble. Andy's brother also told him at this time that she may have used meth since she was living with someone that cooked it but he didn't think she was using now. We were very naive in this. Why would his brother lie to him or mislead him about Angel... after all she was coming to our home.

    On June 24, 2003 we (my husband, daughter and I) drove the 5 hours to pick Angel up. When they met us Andy's brother drove up on his motorcycle, Angel was on the back... OMG what we encountered from that point on was like nothing I have ever encountered in my life. She was wired to the max and talking like Kermit the Frog. Andy & I knew right away she had smoked and recently. She was talking 100 miles an hour and not making too much sense about it at all.

    When we confronted Andy's brother he said she was just nervous and talking fast. I had to laugh at him and told him she was defiantly using meth and if he couldn’t see that he was crazy! At that point we could have decided to leave, drive back to Mississippi and forget the whole thing... did we? NOPE!

    We left Angel with her car, with her promising to call the next morning so we could drive back with her. She could come home with us, rest and try to get her head on straight. The next morning about 8 AM she came busting into her sister's house. She was ready to go to Mississippi and we had to leave that minute. She was talking all kinds of nonsense and we knew she had done some meth before she got there. One more for the road I guess. We left... it took us about 7 hours of driving to get home. She didn’t shut up but for about an hour of that. Andy was ready to smother her with a pillow before we got home. At this point she had not slept or eaten in 3 days. That’s why it took so long to get home... we had to stop and feed the "beast"!

    That night she started having nightmares. My daughter slept with her and she said it was bad. I am not going to go into details as to what and whom Angel talks about and the starting of her addiction... that’s a story for her to tell hopefully one day but it’s not nice.

    I knew this was way bigger than anything I had ever encountered so the next morning I got up, called a counselor friend of mine at the mental health clinic and she pointed me in the direction of a treatment place not far from us. One of the best in the state, but it is not a lock down facility. Angel & I talked about this and she was willing to go. She just wanted the drugs out of her so she could get her baby back. We went to see the place, talked to a counselor there and he agreed she could come but she would have to wait until Monday. This meant we would have to tough out the weekend at the house. The cost of this upon intake would be $425.00 and we didn’t have it nor did we feel it was our place to pay it.

    Andy called his brother and told him she needed this money by Monday. He and I also let his brother "have it" about Angel. We were misled and of course the Mother in me went ballistic about how they could ignore this. He just kept saying she was 21 and he couldn’t do anything with her.

    It was somewhere in this time frame that I found the web page. I was trying to find out any information I could about this terrible addiction and what we were in for as far as her coming off this drug. Mind you during this time she never shut up except for a few minutes at a time, what she talked about seemed crazy until you listened to her. She wasn’t talking crazy at all; its just she talked about 5-6 different things in one sentence and made everything rhyme. She & I were together 24/7 for the next 6 days I learned her very well. The help I got from the web page and message board helped me so much in knowing what was coming next. One of my daughter’s friends also informed us as to what to expect. LOL Of course he’s also the one that said we should duct tape her to the bed since that’s what he did to get clean!

    There was only one point where I wanted to scream “GET THE TAPE” and that’s when I was holding this 5’2, 100 pound child down that turned into the incredible HULK! I was just trying to keep my arms out of the way of her mouth. I didn’t want to get bitten! I have to laugh about all this and look at it as another chapter in my book of life. If I didn’t it would depress me so badly I wouldn’t be able to move.

    On Monday I called the counselor and tried to tell him we didn’t have the money to bring her. You guessed it, her Dad didn’t send it to us for her. It was almost like out of sight out of mind. As long as she wasn’t there they didn’t have to deal with it. Well, before I got to the money thing the counselor told me that unless we had her committed he would not accept her. That she would check herself out before time or she wouldn’t follow the rules. He told me to call the counselor friend of mine back and she could tell me what to do. BTW did I mention he was not nice about it either? LOL

    I guess I wanted sympathy at this point. It had been 6 days since I had slept and this Polly parrot wouldn’t shut up! He told me when I got the commitment to call him back. It was at this point I called her dad and told him to COME GET HER or western union the money. I had a big family wedding over the weekend and we could not take her in public much less leave her here alone. He just kept telling me what he couldn’t do. I don’t know why I expected any different so I told him what a low life, blah, blah, blah. I thought he was and hung up! All Angel asked when I got off the phone was “Am I ever gonna get to go to rehab?”

    I then called my friend, she informed me what we had to do and yes we did it. Went to the courthouse, signed the papers, they called the Dr. that does the assessments for things like this and the judge. We took Angel to the Dr. at 1PM and then met with the judge at 4PM. In 6 hours we had committed someone and we were not immediate family. I came home called the counselor back and he told me OK bring her in the morning. I was praying the entire time because we didn't have the money and I didn't know what I was going to do if she couldn't go. He told me to bring her the next morning money or no money. Whew relief was in sight.

    You know through all this Angel just kept saying I want to go… I need the help… she begged the judge to sign the papers, and she never one time asked for more meth. She said she didn’t want any more she just wanted what was in her to leave and for the itching to stop! I asked the counselor when we arrived why didn’t he tell me what a ride the weekend would be… he just smiled and said, “If I had told you would you have done it?” He also told me that if God didn’t know we could handle the situation he would have never sent Angel to us. I had not looked at it that way since it was us that went and picked her up! The counselor also wanted to see how committed we were to helping her. I do believe God has a warped sense of humor at times. It also makes me proud to know that God chose my family to do this for Angel. He had a confidence in me that I didn’t know was there. This has made me a stronger person.

    As I write this Angel has been there 11 days. I talked with her counselor on day 7 and they still had not been able to do an intake on her due to the ramblings of her talking. They think somewhere down the line she got a hold of a bad batch of meth and it crossed all the circuits up in her brain. As of this date, she is making some improvements and we will go see her tonight for the first time. It’s going to be a long road for her but I know she can do this.

    Some have asked me if it was hard to sign commitment papers. I tell them no. It was what we had to do to save our Angel. She also signed her own papers. She had enough sense about herself to know she needed the help and this was the only way she was going to get it. When you have no money, no insurance and no other way out and you want help bad enough you will do whatever it takes to get help. I only pray we do our part to see this to the point where Angel knows she’s won the battle and the war.

    Part II

    OMG our visit was incredible. Talking to Angel was like talking to an entirely different person. She made sense, completed sentences and seems to have made some progress. Our visit with her lasted for an hour and Andy couldn't believe the time was up. Before 5 minutes seemed like an eternity and here we had been there an hour and it seemed like only 5 minutes!

    We took her the things she had asked for and she was so happy about that. She had even changed shirts to put on one of the new ones I bought before she came out to meet us. I don't know how other places work, but where she is there is a 30 minute "Family" program before you get to see whoever it was you went to see. Andy said it was an infomercial since all they did was play a video about of all things compulsive gambling! He said it was a recruitment tool they use. I had to laugh but he did make sense. He wasn't happy about that, and I really wanted more info on what we could do to "help" Angel once she got out, not try to figure out if I was a compulsive gambler. (Where we live is in the middle of casinos). BTW, I did learn I was not a compulsive gambler. When Angel came out she asked if we liked the video she laughed and said they made them watch it too; and she told them she was a drug addict and hated casinos!

    She did discuss her use of meth a little, but that's not why we were there. She laughed and said she was one of the lucky ones since she never got arrested (not because she had not done anything to get arrested she just didn't get caught!) and she was not a skeleton. We laughed because it looks as if she is gaining some weight; weight she didn't want to gain, but that was OK too!

    In our conversation with Angel, she said she had made some decisions about her future with the main one being SHE WAS NOT GOING BACK where she came from. The only reason she would go back would be to "REPO" Levi! Andy & I laughed. She was serious about that. She was clearer and that was only 12 days in treatment. At this point, I cannot imagine the Angel that will come out in 4 more weeks; if she can leave then. It will be decided later on in her treatment; if she needs to stay through the 12 weeks or not. Andy & I need the extra time to get the house she will live in ready for her to come home. BUT if they decide she can leave Angel can help "fix it up". We had just bought 2 small houses here in town before Angel came to us. Her Uncle Andy told her she could stay in one of them after she got out if that was something she wanted to do. He told her once again that she would always have a home with us after this if it were what she wanted. He has really surprised me through all this, since I am usually the one that opens those doors.

    Andy's brother keeps calling, wanting info but Angel was quite adamant about us not telling him where she is staying. She said she wasn't ready to deal with the family she left behind just yet. I haven't talked to him, only Andy and he didn't tell him anything so far. Just that I had the info and he would have to talk to me. I knew what he would say would be something like "I am her father and I deserve to know" my reply to that would be "BUT you told us she was over 21 and YOU couldn't do anything with her!" Make him eat those words so to speak.

    We received a letter from Angel today. She is even clearer than when we were there on Friday. She asked me to call her Mom and check on Levi and sent me the number. Before calling her Mom, I called her counselor to ask a few questions. I had to know from Angel what she wanted to do as far as them visiting. I knew that would be one of the questions asked and since her dad had informed Andy he would be here on Sunday July 20th to see her, I had to know something. Of course that's not visiting day and if it was he was not on her list of visitors; but he makes up his own rules as he goes along.

    The counselor informed me that Angel said she was not ready to add any of them to her list; but if he would send her a phone card she would call him. The counselor was impressed as to the calmness in which she said that and at this point she didn't need to see Levi either. She was afraid it would set her back in her progress somehow. OK, I will call her Mom and let her know how things are going and check on Levi; but I was calling with my "ducks in a row" so to speak.

    It exasperates me when dealing with Angel's family. They are like fair weather fans of a baseball team. They get on the bandwagon once the team is winning and going to the World Series, but are not there during the losing times. Funny how people operate. Well, Mom cried, laughed and informed me that Levi was doing well. He would be out of his cast on the 28th and then physical therapy to learn to walk again for 3 weeks after that.

    I had failed to mention earlier that Levi has had medical problems since birth. He has had numerous operations since he was born with his intestines on the outside of his body. This birth defect was not due to drug use in any way. It was just one of those things that happens. He was 4 months old before they could bring him home from the hospital. It was during this time we think Angel started using meth as a way to stay up with him. He has liver disease, a blood disorder and his spleen is enlarged. At this time he is in a body cast due to a broken femur. This break happened while DHS was at her mother's house watching him. All they said was "accidents happen". He has had 2 operations concerning this. Please pray for him also; the little fella could use it.

    She said Levi asked about his momma daily, and she would tell him how much his momma loved him and she would be back soon to get him. She also informed me that she had received a letter from Angel and had sent her one the day before. I was pleased to know that Angel had gotten that far in her recovery and was at least writing to her. She had told her about visitation times but nothing else. I told her Mom that at this point she was not on her visitation list, to just give it some time. This was about Angel not anyone else.

    I also found out during this conversation with her Mom; that Angel had not lost custody of Levi. She only had signed papers that her Mom could seek medical attention for him. All she has to do to have him back in her custody is talk to DHS there and have a clean urine test. What a relief to me that was, especially for Angel. That's one fight she won't have to go through when she gets out. I won't tell Angel this part right now because she will want us to go get him ASAP but due to the medical conditions at this point it is best he stay right where he is. I will let her counselor know this info.

    Later that evening Angel's sister called. She was calling for her Dad to find out about visitation and all that. I told her sister what Angel said, and I don't think she was too happy about that. She had also gotten a letter from Angel and in that letter she told her that Andy & I were the only ones on her visitation list at this time. Oh well, like I was told, I just deliver the info it's up to the person on how they take it. I told her that when Angel got ready to see any of them she would let them know either by calling them or by a letter; but if they wanted to talk to her they needed to send her a phone card.

    I went to my first AA/Al-Anon meeting in years last night. At this time with Angel in treatment and coming back to our home when it is over, and my sister who entered treatment for the 3rd or 4th time this past week, I need to find some sanity for myself at this point. I need a refresher so to speak and encouragement from others in my boat. The web page is great and posting board but it's not like having a real life hug, when I allow myself to get so exasperated. LOL I told them I was addicted to addicts! I know all the things I need to do I just felt like I was trying to take control of things I have no control over. If that happens I would be sick and that's not an option for me. There is too much to do for me to give in now.

    If you are reading this and are affected by someone in your life that is an addict or alcoholic PLEASE EDUCATE YOURSELF. If this person is in treatment use that time to work on yourself because weather you want to believe it or not you have probably been more affected than you care to admit. If they are not in treatment the tools provided would help you to cope better and possibly have a better understanding of what is going on.

    If you are reading this and are an addict/alcoholic there are so many groups available and help out there. Help is there for the asking. If you have no money or insurance there are still ways to get help. I am sure your family and friends are concerned and mean well, they will help you find the help you need, it's all in the asking for it. I am sure to the parent's ears of an addict there would be no greater joy than to hear "Please help me, I cannot do this by myself". I know it would be for me as a parent and I would do everything in my power to direct my child to the help they needed.

    We will visit with our Angel this evening. We know she is recovering and working hard at this, for her future as well as her son's depends on this. She is getting clean mentally, physically and spiritually and that's what it is all about in my opinion.

6 Responses to Taking In A Meth Addict

  • Isabelle

    April 12th, 2011

    Just want to say that it is too bad there are not enough people like you and Andy out there. Most do not understand or have the ability to help because they are trapped in their own "crap". Can't really blame them but I do blame society and the way they judge and proclaime knowing it all... Too much abuse, too little self-esteem, these are the real issues, to name a few... Well done!
    Isabelle from Vancouver, Canada

  • Crystal M.

    October 28th, 2011

    My experience is sort of like sorts. I've always brought in strays. Stray cats, dogs and even kids had a home with me. All of my kids' friends knew that they could come over whenever they needed or wanted to. I had no idea what I had opened myself up to until one evening there was a knock at the door from one of my son's friends. He asked me if he could spend the night. I was sort of befuddled since he lived about 20 miles away in the next town over, but invited him in. He just didn't look right. He was talking really fast, was incredibly skinny and was chowing down at the dinner table like he hadn't eaten in a week. I had no idea what was going on. The last time I had seen him was about two years ago and he didn't look like this.
    Long story short, he was on meth and came over to my place because he was hoping that a night away from the people, places and things that made him use he'd be able to get clean. The next morning I explained that a night away from his problems wouldn't solve them and suggested he go to rehab. He didn't fight me or put up any resistance to going to rehab like I expected. Instead he seemed excited for it and couldn't wait to go. It was clear that he wanted his life back. Now he's been clean almost four months.

  • Megan L.

    October 28th, 2011

    I had an experience a lot like yours. It changed my life ' in a good way ' forever. My son dated lots of girls in high school but he had a special relationship with one girl in particular. I also happened to like her. I'm the mother to three wonderful boys, but I always wanted a daughter and was so happy that my son was dating this girl because she was like the daughter I never had. She and my son broke up because my son had an affair, but she and I still remained close. She always sent me a card on Mother's Day and I'd send her something on her birthday.
    One day she called me and asked if we could meet at a coffee shop and talk. Of course I said that was fine and we met later that day. She told me that she needed my help. She told me that she became addicted to meth and asked her mom for help getting into rehab, but her mom denied that she had a problem and refused to help, so she came to me. Of course I helped her get into rehab. She came home with me and stayed with me for two days while I found a rehab that would take her. That was almost eight months ago. Now she's clean and is a happy girl again. Having someone detoxing at home was horrible, but I'd do it again in an instant to help someone get clean.

  • Nancy P.

    October 28th, 2011

    I know what you mean about not thinking that you'd ever let a stranger into your home to detox. I had a similar experience with my father. Although he's my father, I didn't meet him until I was in my 20s and even then I had only met him a couple of times. I wanted a relationship with him, but we were still working on learning about each other and building trust.
    My father had been in and out of jail his entire life. He was on parole and was determined to stay out of jail this time by not violating his parole. He called me up and asked if he could stay with me because he wanted to get away from his old surroundings. I thought about it for a couple and days and then said that he could as long as he followed some basic ground rules. I didn't know until he got to my house that he was detoxing from meth. That was a shocker and I wasn't really sure what to do.
    I asked why he didn't go to rehab and he said that he couldn't afford it. Even though I wasn't close with my father, I did care about him and wanted to help in the best way possible, so I called around and found a rehab that would help him get on Medicaid and start treatment. Thankfully I only had him detoxing at my house for four days, but I would've let him stay longer if it was necessary. He's been in rehab now for almost a month.

  • Cari Cuskaden

    November 12th, 2011

    After reading your story and me personally going through my own battle with getting sober and staying sober this story gives me strength and hope. I know that you need a positive sober support system and a lot of times people do not do their homework when it comes to dealing with an addict. You two are very awesome people to open your home and hearts to someone that you hardly knew at all. If only there were more people like you. What you did for Angel and for her son just makes me smile and say "God is good".

  • Cheryl

    March 31st, 2012

    As I sit and read your story it brought tears to my eyes. I am currently facing these issues with my husband of 19 years; I have stood by him, supported him, and loved him no matter what. He recently got out of jail and promised to change the way he was living. We had been separated for about 9 months before he was arrested. I know that being an addict has got to be hard and I don't completely understand and I do know that his addiction has affected me and our 2 sons very much. I want to believe he wants to change but am seeing no change at all. I am still being supportive going to NA meetings with him but deep down believe he needs more than NA meeting to attend but is not ready for rehab. He has 3 years state probation and he feared it at first but now is taking small steps to be the person he was before and it scares me to death. Thank you for your story I am trying to find any information out so that I can help him and understand him.

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