Posted by: Bokkie | 2004/11/11

Heroin Addiction

I need some advice pls. My friend's daughter (28 with a 8 year old daughter) is in jail after being caught for stealing a DVD from PnP for her heroin addiction. She is awaiting trial. How can you help somebody get off the habit. Where do I start? People have told the mother to forget about her daughter, there is nothing you can do??? To me this is wrong. There must be something somebody can do to help.

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Our expert says:
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"You", in the sense of most of us, can't do a lot to help someone stop such habits -- expert and specialist help is needed. Check what is being done within the prison. Generally a heroin addict will go into withdrawal problems within a relatively short time unless getting steady doses of the drug, which is unlikely to be provided in prison. She should probably have been kept in the hospital wing of the jail, where she could be helped to get through the unpleasant withdrawal phase as safely as posible. If so, her time in jail may turn out to have been useful in this respect, and it would be very important for her not to waste this opportunity, and to remain off heroin or similar drugs once she is released from prison. She would need to see a psychiatrist to complete the necessary treatment, to help her stay off the drug. And I guess she could have problems to face with child welfare, who are unlikely to consider a heroin addict a fit mother ; but again this could provide a motivation for her to say clean and continue to work on her addiction problems. There are clinics and individual shrinks who specialize in this work, and people CAN get over such an addiction --- but they really need to want to get clean and stay clean, because it isn't easy.
Suan's advice about SANCA, etc., is excellent, and she could ask to start contact with them while in jail, in preparation for her release, and this might usefully impress the court.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Bokkie | 2004/11/15

My friends daugther were suppose to appear in court today. She told her mother to be there at 07h45.... What happened, somebody bailed her out on Saturday. She didnt even tell her mother that she is out...... I battle with the whole story, but somehow I think she doesnt want to be helped ... I need to try and switch off .....

Reply to Bokkie
Posted by: Bokkie | 2004/11/11

Thanks for your answer. It's not her first offence, she has been to rehabs before, but escaped out of it. Her daugter does stay with the grandmother (so she is OK). Apparently she also has 4 "Contempt of Court" things on her name.

Reply to Bokkie
Posted by: Shaun | 2004/11/11

Hi B,

If it's a first offence there might be hope as she can seek counselling from SANCA & work on a rehab program. If she is really sincere about it she might be able to get the support of the counsellors at the trial, but she must not waste time.


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