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She’s Pregnant and Still Using – And I Don’t Know Where She Is

Alone at Bus Stop

Hoopmann1 is desperate to find her daughter and get her help. 6 months pregnant, she has been seen using meth and may be living with a drug dealer. She’s left home and won’t tell anyone where she is. They’ve called her doctor and the police, but without knowing where she is, the whole family feels helpless. 

© Edwin Andrade on Unsplash

My daughter is almost 6 months pregnant and has been seen using meth. She left our house 5 weeks ago and is living with a friend. She won’t tell me where her friend lives. I believe her friend is a drug dealer, has been charged with armed robbery and has had her children taken away. I believe my daughter is also selling drugs. This is dangerous for her and her baby. I’ve called the police to tell them what I know. I’ve called her doctor to report drug use. She has not been arrested. It’s hard to sit back and watch this happen. The baby’s father is very upset and worried about the health of his unborn child. We all feel helpless.

Hi Hoopmann1,

Your family is in a very difficult position and I can really feel the worry and angst about both your daughter and her baby.

I see that you live in VA. I do a lot of work in RI and we have a program here for Substance Exposed Newborns and Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome. It is a way for moms to get the help they need with their Substance Use Disorder and keep the baby safe while in utero and after birth. It is not what I would call a great program but I would say it is a lot better than the alternatives. I wonder if there is a program like that in VA? It may be a way to get your daughter to come forward. Right now she may fear incarceration and having her baby taken away once born. Participation in a program like the one in RI might alleviate some of those fears. In the program, mom is matched up with a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist who has had personal experience and been in a similar situation. They will walk mom through the program. There is still the chance the baby will placed somewhere after birth, but there are steps mom can fulfill to help with reunification. Most times visitation rights are not taken away.

I am just thinking maybe if mom knew that she could come back and enter a program similar to this she might be more likely to come out of hiding?

I went online and this is what I found:

https://henricodoctors.com/specialties/neonatal-abstinence-syndrome/

Something to read:

https://mchb.hrsa.gov/sites/default/files/mchb/MaternalChildHealthInitiatives/HomeVisiting/pdf/programbrief.pdf

I hope some of this helps and I hope you are able to reach your daughter. Sending caring thoughts that things will change for the positive.

—Laurie

Laurie is a former math teacher, residing​ in Dartmouth, MA, and extremely active in the recovery community. She currently devotes most of her energy to REST, a non-traditional support group that offers land and online video meetings, access to training in the CRAFT method, and a crisis toolkit helping families create their own individualized crisis plan. ​Her work is guided by a desire to improve the community’s response and end the​ stigma associated with Substance Use Disorder. Laurie loves skiing and ice hockey, and is at her happiest when spending time with her husband and three children. Read her articles on our blog or tune in to the podcast she co-hosts for Allies in Recovery: Coming Up for Air.

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LEAVE A COMMENT / ASK A QUESTION

In your comments, please show respect for each other and do not give advice. Please consider that your choice of words has the power to reduce stigma and change opinions (ie, "person struggling with substance use" vs. "addict", "use" vs. "abuse"...)

  1. Update: My daughter got arrested on a drug charge and was being held without bond. After 2 weeks in jail she asked me for help getting treatment.

    She has been sober for over 3 weeks now and in a court ordered treatment facility. She will then go to a sober living house while undergoing intensive outpatient treatment. I feel relieved and thankful that the courts were willing to work with me on this. It took alot of work though. About an hour a day during my work hours for over a week then 2 days off to finalize things and be on call to pick her up and take her to treatment.

    I want to mention that I did not pay for a lawyer and her treatment will be at no cost to me. Most of it is paid by insurance and the rest she received financial aid due to her low income. She is now 7 months pregnant and will be facing about a year in jail. Her lawyer is working on options for her to serve time while being with her baby.

    Inmates in jail really need advocates on the outside to make arrangements for these things. I did a lot of work to make it happen in a fairly timely manner. My daughter is lucky. A lot of people who are incarcerated don’t have family to help.

    If anyone has questions about the process, I would be happy to provide more detail about my experience. It was a learning curve.

    1. Yes, having family to help with advocacy is critical. This is an unfortunate reality. Even with discharge plans from a treatment program, a release plan from jail, or a case management team situated at the exit door, a family member micro-managing the treatment engagement can be critical.

      This is why Learning Module 8 provides all kinds of detail about treatment and teaches the family how to do a treatment intervention. We talk so much about making a treatment list early – this is a big reason why. The family has more information and knows their Loved One best.

      Read Dominique Simon-Levine’s full comment here: https://alliesinrecovery.net/discussion_blog-she-reached-out-for-help-from-jail

  2. Hopeless is certainly a probable emotion here. I am sorry for everyone involved. You did some hard things: you called the police and the doctor. Can you civilly commit her?

    There are good services in Mass for mothers and mothers to be with drug issues. Let’s see if we can get her somewhere safe and then work on the services post discharge.

    1. Thank you Dominique. We are checking on getting her committed. We’ll have to find her, but can ask the police for help with that. I will let you know what we are able to do in our state.

        1. Here’s what I know: My daughter needs to be in eminent danger, of self harm, suicidal or homicidal and we need to know where she is at that time. I can then go to the police department to petition a magistrate for an emergency custody order. It is up to the magistrate to decide whether she is in danger or not. It will then be up to a hospital in Virginia to admit her against her will.