Letters from the Public

A Desperate Mother in N.S. Pleads For Help!

HELP!  My 17 year old daughter is addicted to Prescription Drugs.  I have been banging on doors and screaming from the rooftops to get her help but I am being turned away and having doors closed in my face.

My nightmare began when my daughter was in Grade 7.  She was dating an older boy in Grade 9 who introduced her to prescription drugs like Dexedrine, Oxycontin and Clonazepam.  As time progressed she started to take her own prescription for ADHD medication to school to sell in order to buy the drugs she really wanted.  Her life began to spiral down quickly.  Due to her drug use my daughter missed half of Grade 8 with zeros for marks across the board yet the school system pushed her through to Grade 9.  She missed half of Grade 9 with equally horrible marks and yet the school system pushed her through to high school.  I was in to the school more times than I can count and on the phone daily to speak to her Guidance Counselor asking for help but all the school wanted was to be rid of my daughter and her problems.  She is no longer in school.  She dropped out essentially in Grade 8.

Three times in the last year my daughter has tried to commit suicide by overdosing on prescription pills.  She has Oppositional Defiance Disorder, ADHD, and Compulsive Disorder.  She has been cutting and using drugs to numb her pain.  She thinks the drugs help her and are her only true friend but they are slowly killing her.

Since 2009 my daughter has been questioned at least 22 times but only charged 3 times for drugs.  She was caught in January of this year with 7 cell phones, some sort of hallucinogen, hash oil and marijuana and several prescription pill bottles in her backpack.  She was charged with 3 counts of Possession and 1 count of Trafficking yet when she was released the RCMP had to give her prescriptions back to her because they were all in her name.  Why would a 17 year old even have multiple prescriptions in her bag in her name?  Because she is doctor shopping all up and down the Valley, that’s why!  After this arrest she was released to her 49 year old drug dealing “friend” who claims to “love her”.  I only found out by accident she was arrested when I called the Crown Attorney on her case to ask about her charges;  I was then asked “the Theft charge or the Drug charges?”!  I am her Primary Parent yet I was not notified that my underage daughter was even arrested!  I have been to every one of her court appearances with only one exception and at her second last appearance on April 4th of this year I asked to address the court to beg the judge to put her in rehab but waspills kicked out of the courtroom instead!

She travels across the country with her 49 year old drug dealer as his mule but does not see this as a problem.  She even took the drug charges for him!  She has been stealing from her friends houses for years and has even broke in to her father’s house to steal in order to pay off a drug debt.  She has been allowed to do Restorative Justice for stealing from her father for a charge of Theft over $5000.00.   She does not need Restorative Justice she needs to be in jail so at least she can get access to the programs offered to criminals to help with her addiction.  Unfortunately her father does not see this problem the same way I do.  He thinks she is just being a typical teen and tells me to leave her alone.  For her part she thinks there is nothing wrong and even if there were it is her life and I should just let her live it the way she wants.  She desperately needs help but no one is listening to me.

I have been to Choices program at the IWK, the police, the RCMP, the school, Social Services and the Crown all to no avail.  Choices sent a counsellor to my home but my daughter just screamed at them to leave and refused help… so they left.  NO ONE IS LISTENING TO ME!!!!!!!  Help in Nova Scotia is “voluntary” which means she has to agree to participate but since she does not see her behavior as a problem this system won’t work.   As parents we need to have rights in place to be able to get help for our children.  We know what is best for them even when they are too sick and defiant to see it themselves.

I have even staged a one woman protest outside of Family Court for 6 hours until someone took pity on me and agreed to take my information and listen to my story.  We arranged a Court ordered “Locate and Detain” on November 24, 2011.  I finally felt like something was going to be done to help her.  I had everything arranged with the Sackville Department of Community Services for when they found my daughter.  The Court ordered stated the police were to take her to the Sackville location where a bed in a detox facility was waiting.  When they finally located my daughter several days later on Spring Garden Road (she had been living in the Occupy Movement and claimed to be homeless) at 12:30 in the morning the police were forced to take her to the Dartmouth Department of Community Services for After Hours service (apparently the Sackville location was closed at that hour of the morning and they did not have anyone on call).  The Social Worker “On Call” in Dartmouth was not impressed to be woken up and told the police she did not have the manpower or resources to handle the situation and told the police to take her home or to her father’s or the Ray Allen Centre where she would be free to walk out as soon as she was released from police custody.  The police officer even begged on my behalf but still the Department of Community Services refused to help.  I did everything right!  I went to the appropriate authorities, made all the arrangements and still the system failed me.  The only thing it did was get me a visit 58 days later from a social worker wanting to check on my three year old daughter to make sure she was not being harmed by her sister’s drug use!  I was furious, I wanted help for my then 15 year old addicted daughter who is slowly dying in front of me and their only concern was my 3 year old who I made sure was safe!

The system in Nova Scotia is killing my daughter.  I am watching her die a little more every single day and I am powerless to stop her.  I want a judge to order her in to a long-term treatment facility or jail not to have her father write an essay for her on why she needs to apologize for robbing him!  She went back to Court on May 2 at 9:30 am to face the Theft over $5000.00 Charge and again at 1:30 pm to face the Drug charges.  I was there fighting for get her help she so desperately needs.  Instead all charges were dropped due to a deal made with Prosecution that the Crown Attorney was not at liberty to discuss with me, her mother and legal guardian.  I was told it was between the Crown, my daughter and her lawyer.  I once again left the court in tears feeling helpless.  How do I help my daughter now?

My greatest fear is that I am going to be one of the other mothers on this site who come forward to tell the stories of how their children have died from Prescription Drugs.  Can someone please help me save my daughter’s life?  I am begging!


A desperate mom

If you think you can help this mom please contact me at  amygraves@mail.com and I will be able to connect you.

14 thoughts on “A Desperate Mother in N.S. Pleads For Help!

  1. omg……SHE SO IS TELLING THE STORY OF SO MANY HOW NOVA SCOTIA GOVERNMENT fails in helping our addicts and their families. I see so many similarities in her story and mine except age and living. If there is anything i can do please feel free to talk. Amy knows my story, i think it is even on here somewhere….the difference is, mine has a happy ending. I wish everyone could 😦

    1. Send this email to the government, to the news room, to your newspaper, once this is made public, something should happen, just ve to ruffle the feathers

      1. Especially with all the media coverage about this type of thing lately! They need to wake up and smell the roses….this is SERIOUS and youth are dying because there is NO HELP! If a drunk person is not able to consent….what makes it any different for a person on drugs? They are not in their right mind and not capable of making the correct choice to get help. THIS NEEDS TO CHANGE!

    2. Yes you are so right. I have a similar story also with a happy ending. Something needs to change! I wonder if she tried the adult protection act. Anything is worth a shot! I so understand how help is not out there. If it weren’t for a wonderful RCMP officer working so hard, my daughter would probably be dead. Anything I can do to help…I certainly will.

    3. I am living the life of the mother of an addict , who also has custody of her daughters two children who are 4 and 5. Their mother has been an addict for five years and is now 24 years old. She has left a path of destruction along the way. As her mother I have tried absolutely everything to get her clean and able to be a loving mother . I feel that I have failed miserably in this. She has been in all kinds of programs and been clean for a while and then it turns around and she is back to her sneaky drug addict person. My only light is the two little miracles that I have been given to love and hopefully this will be the reason for all the misery that our family is going through.

      You have to remember that this is not your daughter, this is the addiction that has taken her over.Once they start using these powerful drugs it effect their brain function. Your daughter is probably only twelve or thirteen in her brain development. My daughter is probably 17 , the age she started using. I know that we want to just fix it and get on with our daily lives but unfortunately this is rare. I have now left my daughter in the hands of the system,. I can not deal with her and my grandchildren. Unfortunately they come first and then the rest of my family. She has been on the methadone program for the last year and half and if she wants to keep this she has to follow all the rules, she is now monitored by her doctor, addiction worker , child and family… etc. She spends all her time going to appointments but I feel she is just spinning her wheels until something else happens. I wish I could tell you how to help your daughter but I feel like we have been left to sink or swim… the child and family worker has not even visited our home to see how the children are,,, this has taken a great emotional , physical and financial toll on our family , nobody seems to care. My husband and I are very lucky to have great friends that have helped us through this nightmare.

      You have to take care of yourself and the rest of your family first… I know this is difficult but until the addict is ready to be helped you can only be there when she needs you. My advice is to keep the communication lines open, don’t give her any money, feed her when you can and tell her you love her, and I am sure you do. Until she wants to love and respect herself you can not change her . She will one day come to you and say I can not do this anymore… hopefully…and you will be there to help her in any way you can. Never give up… I won’t

      1. wow..all these stories sounds like they are telling my story all over again and i agree with you..if this mother cant keep the lines open between her and her daughter then maybe another family member can..that is what my family Dr told me..so it was my mother..that would be the go between with me and my daughter….

  2. Hi Amy,

    I can say that nothing changes for our children. I have an attachment that I wrote to Premier Hamm in 2005. To no avail, please feel free to share this document with this dear mother. I truly feel her frustration and pain, only Josh at this time didn’t even have a drug problem! Our system for our children sucks!

    If she needs someone to speak with, I can only offer what I had learned through my ongoing battle for help for my son. I am not sure if this would help her.


  3. I have to say, our country, our province, has nothing for drug users. U r lucky in a way, she is still young enough to have the youth programs available to you. I know it is frustrating but keep trying. once u get into the adult world, there is nothing available. I wish they would shape up and realize that the prescription drug epidemic is crippling our country and it is up to the province to help. I sincerely hope you can get help now. my son is 20 and there is no help for him at his age.

  4. I feel to a point like I am reading my own story. I share a lot of this pain and frustration with you as I have gone through similar problems with my son. I feel what you are feeling and my heart breaks for you. There is no help..we are responsible for our children and yet we are not allowed to force them to get help. The last time I checked, no 17 year old child thinks they need help, not until they hit rock bottom. Please know you are not alone in your struggles and thank you for having the courage to speak up. If you need my help for anything please let me know. I will join you in your fight- wjones@eastlink.ca


  5. I myself have tried to go for help. In NS its extreamly hard! I’ve had problems for years an no one would help with my mental health until I tried to commit suicide. I’ve been addicted to cocaine for over a year now and I’ve stoled 4800$ (that’s just what I’ve been caught with) but spent about 18,000$ in the last 18mnths. I seen my mental health worker an she said she can’t help me until I goto addictions which pisses me off cause if I could get help with my borderline personailty an speration anxiety maybe the addiction will go away. I was homless as well for a month on the streets I probally know your daughter, I hope the system smartens the f*ck up I’m scarred I’m going to die on the next binge… What is it going to take for people like your daughter an me to get help. My friend OD’d in december on dilauted.. So many people dying too soon… So so sad.

    1. It takes alot of courage to admit that you have mental health issues as well as addictions. They both need to be treated together. I have been trying to get mental health assessment for my daughter as well. There are definitely underlying causes and they only get worse as the addiction keeps on going. One masked the other. You need to reach out to your mental health worker and also go to an addiction centre and demand help. You sound as if you are well aware of your personal situation and just need to seek more help. Try your family doctor,, this is also a person who may be able to point you in the right direction but the only person who can help you is yourself and then others will be able to help you as well. I will be thinking of you and please take care of yourself.

    2. Oh sweetie addictions don’t just go away I wish with all my heart they did but they don’t.I would have to agree with your mental health worker on this your addictions need to be looked after first before your mental health can be addressed my daughter also has mental health issues but she needs to be detoxed first so she can deal with her other issues with a clear mind and get where she needs to be not where she wants to be the 2 are not the same thing and she has also done alot of other crimes which she has admitted to me but as of yet has not been caught for.My daughter has been on and off the streets for the last 4 years I am sure you would know her infact I think I know who you are and yes the system needs to change so much we as a province are watching our children die and doing nothing about it this should not be happening in 2013 children should not be taking medications meant for other people sweetie if you are scared you need to take yourself to a hospital no one need die over this that is my fear for my daughter that she will overdose and no one will help her and she will die alone. I wish I had the answer you were looking for I truly do and yes so many are dieing children and adults and nothing is being done to stop it or even slow it down yes it is so so sad .I urge you to seek help if you are afraid your life does NOT have to end like this my dear write a new ending its your book …..A mom xoxox

  6. oh my dear….i know just what this woman is going through also i was one of the lucky mothers that our story did have a happy ending..my daughter went bad as well at 13…i took the same steps as this mother…only to have doors shut in my face…until one day my daughter called and said mom i want to come home..i said the only way you will be back into his home of love again is you have to admit you have a problem and get help…she came home…she took it upon herself to start calling rehabs but none would take her cause she was a minor and all the rehabs around our community was for adults..then we heard about the CHOICES program at the IWK…. we did find one rehab up in the Annapolis valley but they wanted 6500.00 for a 30 day program but they could not force her to stay once she got there..so we went to our MLA at the time which was Harold Jr Theriault…i thank that man each and everyday for his help…between him..and my daughter herself…and some others we did manage to get her into the CHOICES PROGRAM at the IWK where she did 3 months…and i am happy to say..that today she is hard drug free..and has two beautiful babies…if there is anyway i can help…please let me know.. don’t stop with the shutting of doors in your face… if you don’t keep fighting for your daughter no one else will….i have had parents ask me..how did you ever do it…my answer was..well…i was sitting at my kitchen table one day and the phone rang..it was my daughter..chatting away with me as if nothing has happened and everything was just peachy..until i started complaining about what she was doing..she said to me..i didn’t call to listen to you complain..my reply was then don’t call and i hung up…i sit at my kitchen table and cried like a baby..for many reason..one this was my baby girl..two my heart was breaking and i felt helpless…i went to until family Dr…he said to me..she will come around..and you can’t let yourself become sick because she is going to need you when she does come around..and you will be no good to her if you are in the hospital….he stated that some have to hit rock bottom before they start climbing upward..i said yes i understand but what is rock bottom??? its not the same for everyone..and i pray that rock bottom for my daughter would not be death…so as i sat at my kitchen table one day i looked up at the ceiling and repeated out loud..”dear lord i have done all i can do i can’t fight for this child anymore..i am putting her into your hand..please keep her safe..and bring my baby back to me the way she use to be….still to this day i get teary eyed when i have to speak about what our family went through…i pray that you will get the help for your daughter that she needs….may god answer all your prayers and bless you and your daughter…

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