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Nodding out, shooting up, going on a run, trap house; these were terms all too familiar to me in this world of addiction, which my daughter Brittany struggled with. Words that were so unknown to me prior, but yet, now, were a part of my everyday language. She was so deep into her addiction and I was so deep into saving her.


I had a business trip a few years ago to Florida. At this point, Brittany had been in treatment in Florida and had about 60 days clean. I was suspicious she had relapsed, as she began to isolate herself and grow distant. The trip couldn’t have come at a more perfect time, so I extended my stay a few days so I could spend some time with her.

As soon as I arrived, I knew.

Although she greeted me with a huge hug and tears of joy, she looked pale, tired and hadn’t showered for several days. She had moved out of her sober living house and into a room she was renting with another girl.

I questioned her…” Mom, I’m fine, don’t worry.” But 2 hours later, we were driving to have lunch, when all of a sudden she said she had to meet her sponsor.  “What are you talking about?  We have plans for lunch?”  “Mom, I have to meet her.” I knew she was lying. I knew too many hours had passed since using and she was needing her fix.

Next thing I know, we were at a red light and without warning, she jumped out of the car and took off. This confirmed it. I couldn’t find her, she wasn’t answering her phone. I walked and searched for hours for her. I had no choice but to go back to my hotel. I didn’t hear from her again until 8 hours later.

The weekend from hell

She was on the balcony of the hotel, this beautiful room with a gorgeous view of the ocean. A view that was now blurred with her body nodding out. She was standing, but eyes closed and her body swaying back and forth, knees buckling, like a limp rag doll. I was petrified she would fall over the balcony. My heart was racing with fear, trying to save her from going over. But every time I tried to guide her inside, she would push me away, screaming obscenities. I had to proceed with caution, so I basically sat right on the balcony to keep her safe, until the heroin wore off. This went on for hours!

Come sunrise I had finally convinced her to go back into treatment. And there was no possible way I could leave Florida knowing she was in that state of mind. I knew in my heart if she didn’t go into treatment, I might never see her alive again.

We went to her apartment and began packing her things. We were almost done and ready to roll. I was so relieved!

And then she dropped the bomb

“Mom, please don’t be mad at me. I have to get high again.  I feel so sick.” I begged, pleaded…”Brittany please no! You will be in detox in an hour!” But she couldn’t wait.  “I’ll be back soon mom, and then I’ll go. I promise.”

And she took off walking down the street.

I felt so defeated. I couldn’t breathe. But I knew I couldn’t stop her. Heroin was in complete control of her mind, body and soul.

So I sat. And waited. And waited. And waited. Gripped in fear and panic. Thoughts racing through my head. Hours went by and I didn’t hear from her. I was so scared to leave to find her, yet so scared not to!

My fear got the best of me and I started walking down the street, in hopes that I could find her.  All of a sudden, I saw a black car and her blonde hair in the backseat.

I slowly walked up to the car, like a robot, on automatic pilot.

I then saw her shooting up heroin.

She quickly spotted me, put her hand out the window and said “Mom, please don’t come any closer.  I’ll be there in a minute”.

I didn’t know what to do! I was so scared, tears streaming down my face. I wanted to run up to that car, grab that dealer and tell him to stay the hell away from my daughter! I was frozen though. My body felt like cement.

A few minutes later she came back home and we were on our way to detox.

12 hours later, I was on my flight back home to Michigan. Knowing in my heart, I would never be the same again.




  1. Sherry Buskirk - Henritzy Reply

    My son has been on herrion the last 10 years. Everything ibwent through thinking he would die. He lived in california i lived in pa. I get a call he followed a girl to Virginia and he was detoxing off Fetenal. Fetinal I said.. well i rescued him with his sisters hel we brought him home for the holidays. He was home with us for 2 1/2 months sober. Flew back too Ft. BRAGG FOR this same girl. Her and her ex boyfriend murderd him within 6 days with somekind of pill set up. All over jealousy. They robbed his jewlry and clothes off his body. He died 6 days back in california. I had too fly out bring him home and bury my only Son. I hope this us the place where i can talk too someone. The cops dont even care. They say
    Were waiting for toxicolgy report. Thats it. Meanwhile these 3 people involved are walking the streets and my boy is gone. Joshua Carl Foever 31. Sincerlely Yours, Saddest Mom..

    • I’m so sorry for your loss!! I lost someone I was with for 6 years and had known for 33 years to Fentanyl. This was last March. She was sick and needed some money to be okay until she could get to detox the next day. She had major health issues so detoxing cold turkey was dangerous. But so is heroin. I gave her the money to buy the drugs that killed her. So I sometimes struggle with the part I played. I told the police where she got the drugs and even gave them the rest of the baggie. They did not even investigate.

  2. Very touching story, this is common to opiate addiction and so difficult for families. Patients of addicts are often in a free fall and those of us that love addicts sadly can’t reach them. We tell families sometimes you have to love them from a distance and be available but not necessarily be present physically. Make sure all have access to peer support, Support for the affected persons , all of us who care about the addict!

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