A Personal Note – When Your Kid Goes on a Relapse Binge


This week, for a personal note, I wanted to talk about when your kid goes on a relapse binge. Mostly, because it looks like my daughter has gone on a relapse binge, and so here we are, back to working to protect my granddaughter and shelter her from the worst of it. I’m sure you know that it’s the understatement of the century to say that this is one of the toughest times you’ll ever really have to go through with your addicted grown child.

The thing is, if you’re like me, you’re bogged down by so many questions and feelings. If you’re like me, this isn’t your first rodeo, and you know each stage of what’s happening like the back of your hand. Maybe you’re keeping up with the same things that you have done before, or maybe, you’re trying something new.

Frankly, I’m at a genuine loss right now. So, let’s talk about what it looks like in my world for a second because it’s really the only thing I have to go off of.

What My Grown Addicted Daughter’s Relapse Cycle Looks Like

Now, if you’ve been following these personal notes, you know that I’ve suspected that my daughter has been using for a while now. You know that she’s been kind of keeping it under control, but that it’s not been going really well. I’ve been trying to stay optimistic and not say anything about it to her, because I know it’s tough. I guess I’ve been thinking that maybe by keeping her engaged and giving her some things that matter, she can work her way out of her controlled drug use.

I’ll mention now that her DOC is heroin. And she shoots it, so it’s really hard not to see the signs with my daughter and son in law.

So, anyway, she’s been trying to keep it together for a while. Probably telling herself that a little is okay and that she can handle it. All the while, her body screams for more and more, and it’s an epic battle of willpower. It appears over the last week that she has seriously failed, and that, for now, she’s losing the battle.

It’s times like these that I feel like she’s going to lose this war she’s in, too. But maybe she won’t.

One thing about my daughter that I can say is that she’s been really good at keeping in contact lately. It’s been a really big deal to show that she and her husband are changing, and becoming more responsible. So, she would make it a point to text me or call me almost daily. We chatted about little stuff, and she made it a point to be involved in the lives of her loved ones.

That stopped not quite a week ago. When she didn’t text me, I shot her a text to check in, and she returned with cryptic responses saying that she has something wrong but would rather talk about it face to face. She said she would call and she didn’t. She told me that she could take care of and handle her self but that I should worry about her “on a mommy level.”

Needless to say, this got my radar up, and I kind of hit a low panic mode. When you’re a mom and your kid has an addiction, you learn to trust your feelings. So, I’ve been operating on an anxiety buzz for a few days now. But, you know, this isn’t about me.

So, her cycle looks something like this every time. They get out of control and seem to vanish. They are impossible to get a hold of, and they tend not to answer their texts and calls. When they do answer, they sound like they might be sleeping, or they make absolutely no sense.

Yesterday, my son in law had to go to court. My granddaughter was with his grandmother, so his mom went to pick them up to get them to court on time. After sitting in their driveway for an hour, she called me. I don’t know if we would be friends in any other life, but on this, we communicate a lot.

She said she didn’t know what she should do, her son looked like a mess, and my daughter was no better. In fact, she didn’t even remember that my granddaughter was with her husband’s grandmother. They wound up going to court anyway.

To hear it told by my daughter, his mom was horrible to them. I didn’t tell my daughter that I totally understood. It’s pointless to tell her while she’s high that she’s being terrible and that she and her husband are hurting more than themselves.

Anyway, for now, they are on this spiral. They’re probably pretty close to the bottom. Last time, they wound up getting arrested and sitting in jail. She for about 10 days, he for a couple of months. The last spiral earned my daughter a drug charge. I can’t help but wonder what will come of this time.

When Does It End?

Now, you might know by now that there are certain things you can do that seem to help snap your grown addicted child out of their frantic pace to get – and stay – as high as possible. For us, it usually has something to do with my granddaughter. My husband and I always intervene as soon as we can when we see these things happening, and we have taken our granddaughter for more than one extended period of time.

In this case, as seems to be the norm, it seems that having the chance for my daughter to see me, and for me to see her pulls her back to reality a bit. I’m always gentle about my reasons for taking her daughter for a while, usually, I just tell her that I know she’s overwhelmed and needs a break and that I miss the girl. This works without fail, and it helps my daughter to start getting it back together.

Most of the time, five days to a week does the trick, and when we see her again after this, her head is on straight and she’s back under control.

This is where I note that you probably know that your grown addicted child has a pattern. What is it? Do you do like I do and work with it? At what stage do you just pull back and let your child do what he does?

Sadly, I Don’t Know the Answers

I don’t know the answers. I don’t know what’s right. Like I know what I do. I know what we and our family do to help us get through. I know what’s been shown to work for us, but I don’t know what is going to work without question. Each time is different, which I’m sure you can understand.

I want to repeat. I don’t know the answers. I also don’t have the heart to let it keep getting broken, so I have gotten to the point where I just ride it out the best I can and pray a lot. Praying, it seems, has helped me let go of some of the worst stress of each situation. You might have your way, I hope you do because the truth is you need to cope, too.

The one thing I can say is that I always have a plan. So, if my daughter ever says she needs help, the first call I will make is to Elite Rehab Placement. Now, of course, I work for them, so I have some loyalty, but I also know these guys personally, and I know that they believe every single person who struggles with an addiction and wants help should get it. They feel that way about me, and they feel that way about you, too. So, when – if – your addicted grown child tells you that he needs help, call them. They have knowledge that makes the process so much easier than if you were to try to find a rehab alone.

If you’re where I am right now, and your grown addicted child is going through a relapse binge, try to connect. It might help a little, and then hang on. Don’t accuse, I’ve found it doesn’t work. Don’t argue, it will be a losing battle. Just connect. Do what you do. Don’t go broke, and don’t put yourself or your family in the line of fire when it comes to disrupting your life. It’s not worth it because it can take way too long to recover. Instead, just hang tight and do what you can, but not what you aren’t comfortable with.

Most of all, take care of you. Remember that it’s a cycle. You may always have to deal with it because this is addiction, but the good times will get longer and longer, and you will probably find that the tough times get a little better each time. At least I’m hoping that’s how this will work.

Until next time, be well.