I have my best friend and daughter back.

Debbie and her daughter, Samantha.

Debbie and her daughter, Samantha.

My daughter Samantha is the last of three beautiful daughters. She has the most beautiful blue eyes. Samantha grew up in a very loving and caring family. She was very active in dance and rockettes. It became a passion for her. Samantha was very popular, always surrounded by friends. Out of all my children she was the last one I ever thought would develop an addiction to drugs. Samantha was always looking for love in all the wrong places. In some ways she reminded me of myself growing up.

We were very close as she became an adult. We would talk about everything and anything. Then one day she met someone, very destructive. She put all of her time and emotion into this person. It became an obsession. She wanted to be loved. That’s when it all began. She thought if she did drugs this would keep the relationship going. This was the beginning of what I call the roller coaster ride.

Samantha started to withdraw, never calling me anymore. She was always being nasty and bitchy. Numerous car accidents happened, She received ticket upon ticket along with suspended licenses and arrests. Her dad and I knew something was wrong. She started taking our car and disappearing for days on end, never answering her phone. She worked but never had any money. She lied all the time.

We used to sit on our deck night after night wondering if we were going to get that phone call that she overdosed. We were destroyed. We could barely function and fought with my other kids because they didn’t agree with the way we handled it. Someone with an addiction doesn’t only destroy themselves they destroy their family as well. I often wished I could just punish her and put her in her room, but she was an adult. The array of emotions was intense. We hated who she had become. I called her an alien. We went from hate, disgust, to anger, to love, to fear. The strain her dad and I were under was very severe. We knew we couldn't give up on her. She was our child.

We never discussed her addiction with anyone. I think in some ways we were blaming ourselves. What did we do wrong? Were we terrible parents? We felt it was somehow our fault, even though we knew that wasn’t true. She was in a loving family with working parents and regular family dinners. There were rules and regulations.

You have to keep the lines of communication open, and stand by their side. Giving up was never an option for us.

There was virtually nothing we could do but wait for her to come to us. Well one night I got a phone call. She said she needed help. I said okay what do you need? The next morning I drove her to her first rehab, unfortunately this wouldn’t be the last. One night Samantha disappeared for days. I knew she was the only one who could help her, when and if she was finally ready. She called a couple of days later, and she was in rehab for real this time. Samantha decided to go to CK Post, where she lived for months with a curfew. She ended the deadly relationship, and she truly started working on herself.

The journey has not been an easy one, I don't know if the scars will ever go away. Samantha has had to work hard to regain our trust and forgiveness. What our family has learned is drug addiction can happen to anyone. The availability of drugs is terrifying to me. You have to keep the lines of communication open, and stand by their side. Giving up was never an option for us. 

I have my best friend and daughter back. Samantha has worked so hard to come back from this disease. I am so proud of her accomplishments in her recovery. I just hate that she ever went down that path. I consider this a success story. I am grateful everyday that she survived this, because a lot of people don't.

What her dad and I have learned is there is no right or wrong way to handle a child who is addicted to drugs; we just knew we had to stand by her side. You can’t give up on them; they need you now more then ever. You have to try and be a united front no matter how hopeless you feel.

Samantha now is going to school to be a drug counselor, and goes to various schools to talk about addiction. She is in a healthy relationship. We wish she hadn’t taken the path she did, but she is the strongest, bravest person I know. I am proud to be her mom.

To read Samantha's story, click here.