"My daughter, 20, has been using meth. I don't know details but I know she hasn't been okay for a year or so. Things have recently spiraled downhill... she lost her job, apartment, car, furniture, etc.
She has a 3 year old who I have had for the last month due to her homelessness, drug use, and her inability to provide safety and basic needs. She finally agreed to come to the town where I live and stay in a hotel for a week so she can see her daughter. My plan was that at the end of the week she either go to rehab or she go back to the city without her daughter. It has been a nightmare since she got here and I just don't know how to handle this. She is screaming at me and knocking things around the motel room one minute and crying that no one loves her and she needs her mom and begging me to hold her the next.
I don't know if it is safe for her to be alone, to have her daughter there alone, and I just don't know what to do. She says she hasn't used since being here... 3 days ago... and wants to quit but she refuses to consider rehab. She is eating high sugar foods and refuses to see she needs nutrition.
Please tell me what I need to do and whether she is safe to detox like this. She told me she is afraid she will "fall back" because she feels so hopeless and lonely and that she can't stay in the motel room alone. I almost called 911 and had the police take her to the hospital for a psych assessment one night because it was so bad and last night I stayed in her room. She has what appear to be muscle spasms in various parts of her body while she is sleeping and her respiration and pulse are much faster than mine. Is she safe? Please help."
Your life doesn’t have to be this difficult or scary. I do support you in calling 911 and having the police take your daughter to the ER for a psychiatric assessment. It would be an act of love. Your daughter is very ill, and you and your grandchild are affected as well. It sounds like you are very concerned about her wellbeing and safety, that of your granddaughter and hopefully even that of yourself.
Meth withdrawal is very uncomfortable, but not fatal (like alcohol or benzodiazepine withdrawal can be). I really encourage you to attend meetings of Naranon (a mutual support group for family members and friends of addicts) and/or Families Anonymous. Got to meetings, get support, get a sponsor and work the steps. It’s the best thing you can do for your daughter, granddaughter and self!
- Dr. Kimberly Dennis
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