Parents doing drugs? What would you do in this situation?

@astromama (1226)
United States
March 21, 2007 3:07pm CST
Ok. I have a friend, a very good one, who has been clean ever since her children were born, around ten years ago. Within the last year, she began dating a guy who is heavily into coke, pills, and drinking. She started partying with him, and this once great mother slowly but surely started staying out really late, sleeping in hungover while her kids made their own breakfast, and spending some of their very limited income on drugs. I tried talking to her, but she's in love with this man and is clouded by her feelings for him and the drugs. (she also started drinking during the day). She's a single mother who gets no child support, she has three kids, and she is never abusive to them. I worry for her children, but don't know what to do.
9 people like this
16 responses
@seamonkey (1981)
• Ireland
21 Mar 07
That is such a shame to see that happen. Is there a dad or another relative in the picture you can confide in? hope she doesn't have to hit rock bottom and possibly loose her kids to wake up. It seems like an awful lot of people do.
2 people like this
• United States
22 Mar 07
Maybe you could try to talk with your friend again and remind her of the way things were before, the fact that she was a good mom. Maybe you should also remind her that if her state child welfare agency gets involved, it will not be good, she could lose her kid's and foster care is not a fun place for any child. Have you considered talking with someone in her family like her parents or siblings? Maybe its time to tell your friend that if she don't seek treatment, you will be forced to call the authorties yourself. Someone needs to stand up for the children, will it be you? If you don't and something hobbible happens, you will feel guilty for the rest of your life. Mary
• United States
22 Mar 07
i have been clean 13 years now. you are never cured though. since she has no one for you to go to for help your best thing is to sit down with her and try to talk to her. whatever you do dont try to tell her what to do though she will back away from you. you have to think of the kids. and if she pushes you away it will be hard to be there for them. i am not sure how old they are but i am sure if they are taking care of them selves then they know somethings up. kids are smarter then we all think. let the kids know that if they need you you are there that will help them for right now. as far as she goes the one thing you can do is tell her you care for her and your worried. tell her that you see her slipping back and that she may not see it but her kids are needing her. i personally wouldnt call cps unless the kids are going without food, clothes, water, electric , or are being hit etc. now if you think the kids are in danger call or go talk to one of the kids counslors at school. cps gets involved and they take the kids it will hurt them plus she may get worse cause she lost her babies. try talking to the boyfriend if that is an option. video her being dumb and not paying attention to the kids and when she is sober show her. it may give her a kick in the butt. best thing you can do is be there. if she relizes now or in a year etc she will fall and need you to help pick her up.
2 people like this
@dfinster (3535)
• United States
22 Mar 07
I feel for you having to be in this position. I have a friend that has a problem with this. I was planning on posting a discussion about another situation in this theater. Have you sat her down and really talked to her? I mean talking when she's not under the influence if at all possible? Once someone is an addict they're always an addict. Even if they're clean they have to wrestle with staying that way the rest of they're life. It's not safe for them to ever use anything again as far as I'm concerned. If you can't get through to her I would try and talk to her family about it. If she doesn't want her family to know I think you should anyhow. This is a situation that's gonna get out of control really fast. I think you should involve her family so you hae all the hellp you can get and try to get her into treatment right away. Good luck.
@Ravenladyj (22937)
• United States
21 Mar 07
Well being a mom and a addict myself I have to tell ya that I'm sorry but that IS abusive behaviour and the more she parties the worse it WILL get....ppl dont see it as such but it is and I think that if you truly care and are concerned about not just her but also her kids you should seriously consider how far you are willing to go
1 person likes this
21 Mar 07
I have to agree with ravenlady, It IS abusive behaviour, neglect, is abusive behaviour and when it starts with partying late and making them get their own breakfast, where will it stop? This friend of yours will, in my opinion, either hit rock bottom, lose the kids, possibly her life. Or a good friend/relative will have to help her, and they way she will have to be helped will have to be heavy handed (be cruel to be kind sort of thing). In UK we have Social Services who will come and assess the situation and offer her help. they will ensure that the Children are okay, and if they are they will stay with mum.
@Marie2473 (8519)
• Sweden
22 Mar 07
I would start by talking to her, sitting her down and explaining to her that u are worried and that u only want what is good for her. If she is at all "here" she will get that. She might get angry - but at the same time u are telling her what u feel and in the longrun she will appreciate it
1 person likes this
@stephcjh (32327)
• United States
22 Mar 07
I'm not really sure what I would do right now in this case either than pay close attention to what is happening with the children. If the children continue to be taken care of, then I would not push any issue with the friend and her boyfriend. However, if you should see things turning for the worse for the kids, then i would definitely step in and do or say something about it. Maybe your friends love is truly blinding her to life as she once knew it.
1 person likes this
• United States
22 Mar 07
WOW. I really don't know what to tell you on how to get her to see what's she's doing. I believe she'll probably have to come to that realization on her own. I would just hope it's sooner rather than later. If her kids teachers find about her habits, she might lose them to the foster care system. Does she know that her behavior might result in her children being taken from her? I really feel for those poor babies :(
1 person likes this
@cute125 (101)
• Australia
22 Mar 07
This is a very difficult topic. Loe blinds us all at times. Ultimately all you can do is be there and give advice and help. in the end if she doesnt want the advice there isnt much you can do. you cant control someone elses behaviour.
@catcai (1057)
• Philippines
22 Mar 07
That sounds really bad, but maybe as your friend you can talk her into seeking professional help- lets not wait until she reaches the point where she abuses her kids. Ask her who does she loves more? Her kids or the guy… make her choose before it’s too late. I know that there are lots on instances that these kinds of things happen, but like they say, prevention is indeed better than cure. You have to try to make her realize what is more important to her before things get out of hand. I know this may sound as if you're being invasive on her life and that she might get mad at you for being nosy, but you’re just doing what you think friends should do at a time like this. I hope she listens to you and heeds your advice. I wish you the best of luck in this and I do hope your friend realizes what to do before It's too late.
@ladyluna (7004)
• United States
21 Mar 07
Hi Astromama, I have been in a similar situation, and let me second the sentiment that it stinks in so many ways. However, the children's welfare must be first and foremost. Sadly, this generally means risking the friendship. I cannot tell you what you should do. But, will share with you what I ultimately decided to do. I sat down with my friend, in the early afternoon. After the hangover had worn off, but before the new high was underway. I said in no uncertain terms ... "Get rid of him, get yourself clean again, or I will personally call Child Protective Services and support them taking your children away." Yes, it did hit the fan. But, she knew I wouldn't offer an ultimatum if I wasn't sincere in my threat to carry through. I gave her 24 hours to make her decision. And, told her that there would be no quarter given. Meaning, that if she thought that she could play games like: 'Well, I'll take him back after a week', that she would live to regret it. Good news is: Her children were more important to her than her latest tryste. She dumped him and got her act together. She's really embraced the Twelve Steps and is doing great!!! Tough love is what's called for here. A drunk/junkie will not be reasoned with unless the stakes are that high. Even then, some will choose the high over the kids. If your friend lived that many years clean & sober, then her kids are valuable -- and your friend may yet be reached. Best of luck to all.
@ladyluna (7004)
• United States
21 Mar 07
My heart really goes out to you, your friend and her kids! I completely understand your wanting to give her a chance to get it together on her own. I also 'hear' in your response that you fear that she will be less inclined to be honest with you henceforth. The sad fact is that the spiral into deception to 'hide' the using will most likely escalate. Now that she realizes someone is 'on to her', she will probably do what most addicts do: which is to begin hiding it, and other things from everyone near and dear to her. This downward spiral is quite typical of addicts. This is the reason why I only gave her 24 hours to make up her mind. The fear of everything falling to pieces is often rationalized by addicts. They think that they can keep it all together. But, unless they do hit bottom the spiral continues ... and the kids suffer the consequences. Again, I'm not telling you what to do. You are the only one who can make this determination. I just wanted to let you know that in my friend's experience ... tough love scared her straight. Whatever you decide ... I'll continue to hope for the very best outcome for all involved.
1 person likes this
@astromama (1226)
• United States
21 Mar 07
I'll keep all this in mind. I still hope it doesn't come down to having to threaten her, but I have no other experience with addicts and maybe that's truly the only thing that will make her realize the gravity of her actions. Thanks so much! In theory I think it's a great idea, I just don't know how I'm going to be strong enough to give her an ultimatum.. I've always had a really hard time confronting friends, but if it comes to that, and it's the only way, I'll have to.
1 person likes this
@Ravenladyj (22937)
• United States
22 Mar 07
"I sat down with my friend, in the early afternoon. After the hangover had worn off, but before the new high was underway. I said in no uncertain terms ... "Get rid of him, get yourself clean again, or I will personally call Child Protective Services and support them taking your children away."" Kudos to you! and that is an excellent first step...and if the other person doesnt gt it together then following through is important....I was lucky enough to have certain ppl in my life (like my now husband) who did what was necessary to help me before it got to that drastic point...mind you one of the key factors in my getting clean was moving me away from the city and region I grew up in.....I can honestly say that if I'd stayed, I'd still be getting high, partying and carrying on to this day... "A drunk/junkie will not be reasoned with unless the stakes are that high. Even then, some will choose the high over the kids" Also very true and I've seen it happen more than once in the ppl I partied with over a 20 yr span... One other thng I have to mention...never trust a junkie!! They may tell you one thing but if they are STILL hangin wiht the same crowd, they ARE most likely blowing smoke up your a$$....Its not just about quitting the habit its about quitting the lifestyle which means no association with the same ppl, no goin to the same bars and hangouts etc etc...
1 person likes this
@eden32 (3976)
• United States
22 Mar 07
How long has it been going on? How old are the kids? Did she get clean the last time with a program? If it's only been a couple of weeks, I might say just watch it for another minute before doing anything. Although it's very serious, very upsetting & of course possibly very unsafe- maybe she will see that on her own & seek out help. If she stopped using before through NA (or similar program) maybe just encouraging her to get back to going to meetings, calling her old contacts & doing the steps again will make her see that sobriety is valuable to her. If it's been going on for awhile already & she's not trying to get help, I think you have no choice but to either contact her family or contact child services. You can contact child services without giving your name.
@wepay2 (347)
• Australia
22 Mar 07
stay out of others relationships do not interfear with others life styles! how would you like me to tell you how to run your life? if you realy want to inter fear and ruin you friendship then report your friend to the police and child welfare workers
@astromama (1226)
• United States
22 Mar 07
So you think I shouldn't interfere with someone's lifestyle when they have three kids to raise and they are coked up and drunk all the time? Wow... that would be really responsible of me to just turn and walk away, wouldn't it? Have you ever heard of the saying 'It takes a village to raise a child'? I believe this saying to be valuable and true. If the parents cannot take care of the children, the village must step up and make sure our next generation is loved and cared for. I have said repeatedly that I am not her keeper, and I cannot tell her what to do. But I AM her best friend and I have a strong bond and committment to her and her children. What you said is terrible advice.
• United States
22 Mar 07
Be there for her. I think that you have done all you can by talking to her. She has to realize her destructive behavior and stop. You may want to let the children know that if they need you, they can contact you ( if they are old enough). Her behavior can have serious consequences for her children up to and including the possibility of her children coming into foster care if she fails to properly care for them and the authorities are notified. She may not be abusive toward her children but she certainly sounds as if she may be somewhat neglectful of them.
@jack914 (66)
• China
22 Mar 07
ou .ou that's terrible.if i am you ,i will adjust to him.because he is my friend ,i don't want him be crazy,just be normal.that'enough.
@mtvicks (310)
• India
22 Mar 07
theres no SOLUTION FOR this problem