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WELCOME TO THE ADDICTION: LIVING WITH AN ADDICT COMMUNITY. This patient support community is for family members and loved ones of people who are substance abuse addicts. Discussions cover how to help your loved one, enabling, coping with the emotional impact of addiction, intervention, and when to seek medical help. If you are not a family member of a substance abuse addict and instead need help with your addiction, please visit our Addiction: Substance Abuse Community to get the support you need.

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Hello All, I'm new here. Driven here by watching someone I love. My daughter is 42 and has been on and off drugs and alcohol since she was 14. She has 3 boys, ages 23, 6, and 3. She is on pain pills for injuries to her neck, spine, arms, has neuropathy of hands and feet, and bipolar depression. Her pain doctor is also functioning as her primary physician. She is on a cocktail of pain meds, adjusted periodically, and is constantly ill with sinus infections, colds, flu, allergies, etc. Her doctor is elderly. Even though she takes blood tests, I'm not sure if all the drugs she takes are prescribed. She stays in bed most of the time. She is either asleep or hyper. She split from her husband about a year ago. He didn't work and drank and did drugs. About the time they split up, her 23 year old moved in, and he has been picking up the slack with helping with the kids. He fixes most of their meals and keeps an eye on them while she sleeps. He smokes weed and drinks beer and hasn't been working but is planning to move out in a couple of months. I am really worried about the two little boys. Around Thanksgiving I finally realized that things were in really bad shape at their house and started going over once a week to clean. Cockroaches, filth, unwashed dishes, the kids' room was appalling. Gradually I have gotten it into reasonable shape and my grandson is keeping it semi-clean in between. Their dryer isn't working so currently I am trying to help them catch up on their laundry. I also have driven her to her doctor appts for the past 3 years, which are an hour away. At first she was going twice a week, but now only once a month since the doctor agrees physical therapy hasn't helped her. My daughter really doesn't seem to do anything anymore except cuddle the kids when she is having a good day and read the youngest a story once in awhile. They are trying to live on a very low income and I have gone into debt trying to help them. The 6 year old is repeating kindergarten this year and the counselor has already told my daughter that he has missed so much time this year that he may not go on to first grade again. We live in a small town about an hour away from Nar-Anon meetings. I plan to attend soon. I am feeling a lot of anxiety about my daughter, but would probably leave her pretty much alone to experience her own consequences if it weren't for the two little boys. I don't know what to do. It's like being involved in a slow train wreck. My 23 year old grandson should not be having to act as a parent to his 2 brothers. I am 64 (and feel 90) and my house isn't really set up to take on 2 young children. I will do it, of course, rather than see them go to a foster home. But it is complicated. Anxieties swirl through my head, some probably not even rational, about the necessity and wisdom of blending pets and households and how it could all work. The best outcome, of course (IMHO) would be for her to realize and try to pull herself together. So. I'm saying all that to say: what do you think my next step should be, if any? Talk to her doctor about my concerns? Report to DHS? Do nothing? I have talked to her about my anxieties -- about the state of the house and the care of the boys, etc. She said she thought she was doing a pretty good job. One effect of the drugs seems to be that she has very little reaction to anything. I suggested that she cut back on the anti-depressant. She seems to feel that she is on top of everything but the physical care of her children and is in control and doing fine except for her pain and being sick all the time. The 6 year old missed school again today because she could not wake up (and my 23 year old grandson does not wake up easily in the morning either.) I don't know what else to say -- this has gotten very long. What to do when there are young children involved?
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Avatar_m_tn
Hello and welcome.

You posted: "The best outcome, of course (IMHO) would be for her to realize and try to pull herself together. So. I'm saying all that to say: what do you think my next step should be, if any?" Glad you plan to go to Nar-anon. Thats a great step in the right direction. It's an hour's drive for you but well worth it. I know this first hand. I'm in that program myself in the form of Al-anon. Meanwhile, use this site. Join the groups that pertain to your situation and participate in both giving and receiving help. A problem shared is a problem cut in half. As you move along in helping yourself, gaining some freedom in your mind from the unsolvable problems, what to do with your little grandchildren will soon come to light. Speaking to professionals in that realm might be in your near future.

I'm also in opiate recovery (and a recovering 66 YO hippy lol, so I feel 92 to your 90 lol). I had a long string of over 27 years of pure unbroken sobriety until I blew out my back. The last 4 years have been a struggle for me. So, I know first hand that the doctors, especially pain doctors, shovel meds on pain, along with PT and possibility of surgery. It's about all they can do for the multiple injury you describe that your daughter. And you know controlling a 42 year olds drug usage doesn't happen, or at least until they suffer some dire consequences from using. Most of the time we don't ever need to inflict the consequences on our loved-ones, the drugs do that.  
But needless to say, those little children are the most important part of your story. I'm a grandparent also. The sun rises and sets on my 3-year old granddaughter. Once you start to experience some good help for you,  I hope you speak to a professional in your area about what's going on with the little ones. Peace sister...
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1235186_tn?1339127464
hello and welcome. I know about the fear, worry and pain that you are experiencing. the school counselors haven't notified childrens services because of all the days the kindergartener has missed? I am surprised by that. does the boys father have any contact with them?
I think your daughter might be sick so much with colds, flus and sinus infections because she might be withdrawing when she doesn't have pills. they build up a tolerance and take more than prescribed. therefore many times they run out in between scripts.
even with your 23 yr old grandson there with him also drinking and smoking weed it isn't a safe environment for the children. I am so sorry. I just re-read that the dad also does drugs. this is a tough spot for you. can you take the boys temporarily? the opiates suppress every emotion so that is why she doesn't react to anything. she does need to hit her bottom, hopefully the boys wont go down with her. who pays for the housing, if she doesn't work?
many times the pain actually increases with opiates. it is called hyperalgesia. the longer she is on the pills the more she will need to take. yes it is a slow train wreck. has your daughter had any run ins with the law?
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Avatar_f_tn
I am checking in and 'listening'. I appreciate your comments, both of you.
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