General Question

joybells34's avatar

If you knew someone who was addicted to drugs and just found out she is pregnant what would you do?

Asked by joybells34 (359 points ) May 21st, 2009

I happen to know someone that is addicted to drugs, thrives on abusive relationships, is bulimic and lies about everything. Oh….and now she is pregnant. I’m worried about this child she is carrying. Why do I know someone like this you ask? She is my cousin. I’m afraid for her future and the hell she is putting her mother through as well. My cousin has been given every opportunity in life to succeed and has refused to take advantage of them. As her cousin what is my place? What do I do or say? Help….!

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55 Answers

westy81585's avatar

Honestly, I might suggest an abortion in this case (if that fits your views on that topic). It doesn’t sound like she’s in any position to be carrying or raising a kid.

IF thats out of the question, you and or someone who holds significant sway over her (parents, close friends, what have you) needs to sit her down and tell her to get help for all these problems.

If no one else will do it, you might as well, but try and get help from people who may be closer to her than you.

Grisaille's avatar

Get her help, pronto.

I understand that some might refute and say it isn’t any of your business, but I think this situation calls for action. Maybe get in contact with your local officials, community centers, anything that can help her realize the importance of such a matter.

Raising a kid ain’t no joke, man. Especially if she has no self-worth.

But hey, I might be wrong. Bringing life into the world might just change her life for the better, giving her a sense of purpose. Regardless, I think it’s important to take preemptive action now. Hope that helps.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

Does her doctor know about all of this? If not, I’d make sure he/she was told. She definately needs some intervention, yes.

RedPowerLady's avatar

In all honesty sometimes you cannot help. You might try an intervention with the help of a counselor. You might try offering her counseling for free. You could try numerous things. But there is a point where you cannot force someone to change until the law is involved (i.e. mandated change) or until they realize they need to change. And with people this far gone it usually takes a lot to prompt that realization.

I agree with @Grisaille . It is definitely your business.

But moreso you can only offer what you can offer. Call Child Protective Services. Inform her Doctor as @jbfletcherfan says. Offer your cousin what you can. And if it doesn’t work then focus on taking care of yourself. Know you did what you can to help and that’s all you can do. You need to take care of yourself in this process and not let it bring you down. (believe me I understand how hard that can be).

I will tell you that in the counseling field this type of situation is a huge issue. There is just a point when you have to realize you can’t help (until the person realizes they need it or until the law is involved). And after you try there comes a point when you realize you can’t help anymore. It is OK. You are good for thinking of her. And you know what? It is even OK to remove yourself from the situation entirely. Sometimes silent support is thought of as the individual as acceptance of their behaviors, creating co-dependence.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

You don’t have to suggest anything without being asked, you can love and support while not lying about your feelings for the negative things she does. No one can make her suddenly care for herself any differently just because she’s now pregnant and she might even become defensive in anticipation of friends and family reaction. Just be there, tell her the truth if she asks for your opinion or counsel.

joybells34's avatar

@jbfletcherfan I’m not sure if her doctor knows. Like I said…she says one thing and does another. I feel as though I have talked and talked and talked until I’m blue in the face. Its frustrating.

joybells34's avatar

@westy81585 Eventhough I am not for abortion I do agree in this case it should be considered. One day she wants one and the next she doesn’t.

cletrans2col's avatar

Abortion is not the answer. It’s not the kid’s fault his/her mom is going through some mess right now.

I second what many say here: Talk to her and get her some help an any way possible.

loser's avatar

I’d call those Intervention people!

RareDenver's avatar

First of all, what do you mean by addicted to drugs? Not being funny but some people look at recreational drug users and call them addicts…. I’m just saying.

Secondly does she have a support structure around her, obviously you are one as her cousin who could be arsed to ask the question. Are there others?

Third, is her current domestic situation a definite no no for children? Lives with a rapist, drug dealer, priest?

Finally does she actually want to be a mother, maybe this should have been number 1, but I have known loads of girls who most people (including me) would have said no chance of any life for that child and as soon as they get home from hospital they have turned their life around and realised what is important and become fantastic parents and perfectly normal contributers to community and society in general.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@joybells34 do you know who her doctor is? I know this HEPPA thing makes things harder, but I’d try to contact her doctor if at all possible. Surely he/she wouldn’t stand by & lets this mess play out without some kind of intervention for that poor baby.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

You sound pretty judgmental
I don’t want to be mean
but you don’t sound objective
and I don’t think you can help her if you think so negatively of her multiple conditions – many of which are hard to get out of

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Should we think positively of who abuse drugs while pregnant then?

I think the girl needs help and treatment but she can’t be allowed to put a child at risk so blatantly.

joybells34's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I am a single mother. I’ve been through everything she has been through except bulimia. Judgmental? No! I am very supportive just frustrated. She has been to counseling, rehab ect ect. I agree that having a baby can change a person for the good…it did for me. I want the baby to get to be born healthy and come home from the hospital. Pregnany hasn’t changed her for the better…yet.

joybells34's avatar

@RareDenver Yes addicted to drugs. Recreational use No! She has a wonderful support structure. What are we supposed to do when she does nothing but resist her support? It doesn’t mean we are giving up. It just makes it harder to help when there is resistance. She wasa living under a bridge until recently.

filmfann's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir The girl in question is my niece. I don’t think anyone is objective that knows this girl. We love her very much, but can’t bear the things she does. She has had every chance, and has thrown it in her families face.
This isn’t recreational drug use. This girl is completely out of control. I am praying that, should she have this child, it turns her life around. I honestly don’t believe it will.

joybells34's avatar

@filmfann Sad but true UA. I am very worried for her.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

Well, you know what they say. You have to hit rock bottom before you can climb. But the sad thing about this is…there’s an innocent baby involved. What about the father? Can’t he do anything with her? Or is he out of the picture?

Loried2008's avatar

My parents taught me that I have to face consequences for my actions. Abortion is not the answer. One of my little sisters was born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome She’s adopted We love her even though she has problems.
Sounds like this girl needs to own up to her responsibilities (doesn’t mean she will, or will even if you DO say something)
All you can do is try to steer her in a positive direction Rehab and maybe not only you’ll save her baby’s life, but her’s as well. This could be a good thing, there’s no going back now… Only forward.

filmfann's avatar

@jbfletcherfan She hit rock bottom, dynamited, brought in a crew, tunnelled further, and is currently riding an earthmover further down.
The father is a drug using, physically abusive, scumbag. He is not in the picture, and has threatened to get full custody of the child. This is also not an acceptable solution.

Loried2008's avatar

I know one thing’s for sure, having children DOES NOT change people.

filmfann's avatar

@Loried2008 I disagree. I know several people who changed for the better when they had children. I also know a few who changed for the worse.

Loried2008's avatar

I know people who had failing marriages and tried to fix it by having children.
I’m not saying it’s not possible to change.. but you can’t RELY on having a child to change things. It’s not a good nor dependable solution.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@filmfann Oh, my. I’m so sorry. That poor baby. I’m sure this is tearing your whole family up.

ccbatx's avatar

Get them in therapy and tell them to stop. Like, now.

RedPowerLady's avatar

@Loried2008 I know one thing’s for sure, having children DOES NOT change people.

I agree.

jonsblond's avatar

Just be there for her. She won’t change unless she has support. My brother went through this with his step-daughter. Luckily she found a really nice man to help her and they are both living with my brother now, and baby on the way.

I would like to add that having children changed me. I was 20 when I became pregnant for the first time. Nowhere near ready for children. I just dropped out of college, I was using drugs and living with my parents. Luckily my husband (boyfriend at the time) was supportive. We took responsibilty for our actions and now are very happy.

fedupwitcaddys's avatar

well first, id reveal my concern about the situation to her and how it could affect her unborn child, and how its not fair because the baby hasnt even been given a choice.
next, I’d do some reasearch and give her some resources that she can look into and use to recieve the proper help needed.
And last, but not least if she doesnt act like she wants the help and keeps rejecting it, oh well! I’d be soo done with it. you shouldnt have to hold a grown persons hand across the street. ESPECIALLY when she knows better.
those that want help will accept it, those that dont, WONT. and i know it sounds a bit on the cruel side, but im pretty sure you got your own problems you gotta deal with.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I realize I didn’t actually answer the question as to what I would do (for that I apologize)
If I had a friend like that, I’d be overwhelmed and I’d probably be dealing/intervening if necessary in these conditions long before her pregnancy…I would be worried about the child, yes, as I am always worried about children but I’d know that it’s not my child…and it’s not my life and it’s not (as people suggest above) that I’d say it’s NONE of your business but it’s also not ALL of your business

justwannaknow's avatar

If she has not listened to any one else just save your breath and hope she gets help on her own NOW or she gets arrested and “forced rehab at least till the baby is born. Sounds hasrsh but it is a harsh world.

wundayatta's avatar

Is she a substance abuser because she’s been abused, or are there other psychological issues that might be causing her to self-medicate?

I don’t know if she can deal with her abuse issues without the help of a therapist, but it seems like it’ll be hard to get her to go to one. It’s hard to tough it out on your own, and that’s often why people turn to substance abuse. Sometimes, as others point out, being responsible for a new life can make you change your ways. How old is she? How much education?

I guess I’m not sure there’s much you can do, except watch, and be ready to help her, or the child, if things get dangerous enough.

filmfann's avatar

@daloon She has no abuse history, with the exception of the guys she goes with. Exactly the opposite. You will never know someone as caring as her mother.
The girl is 20, and has a GED she got while in rehab.

oratio's avatar

@filmfann @Loried2008 @RedPowerLady
I know one thing’s for sure, having children DOES NOT change people.

I agree also, it doesn’t change people automatically. It didn’t change me. But it can give them a reason to do things different. But that is a choice of conscience. There are so many neglected children in the world. It feels it’s just as likely she would just pass on the torch given her by her father. I guess it all depends on her active choices.
But I can’t get a fair picture of a person you don’t know anything about.

RareDenver's avatar

@joybells34 She wasa living under a bridge until recently.

Is she a troll?

oratio's avatar

Oh. “But I can’t get a fair picture of a person I don’t know anything about”.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

Why is she having this baby?

mattbrowne's avatar

Convince her she needs medical help fast. Otherwise there’s too much harm for the unborn baby.

CMaz's avatar

You have to tell her family. If you don’t, the outcome will partially be your fault.

BoyWonder's avatar

How is the outcome her fault? I say tell someone and just keep it moving. From personal experience, people like that think they know everything, so I would just say something and leave it alone. Last thing u want is to put your 2 cents where it belongs and then get blamed for everything.

CMaz's avatar

We do have a right to decide to get involved or not. I guess. As a rescue diver, I find it hard not to help where help is needed. Of course, if you do not want my help then fine. But, if, in this case, their pregnant friend is not only endangering themselves but the “child” within them. Do you just sit by and let it happen? If someone is bleeding out on the side of the road and by you coming over and applying pressure save them but, you don’t help.
Is the question, are you at fault for their death? I will take into consideration that it is just too gruesome or conflicting to go near.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

This is a really interesting topic. Can you “force” a mother into a healthy lifestyle because of pregnancy? The greatest damage to the fetus is done within the first 12 weeks of conception. What happens if a woman conceives a child only to leverage the unborn child for money and support from her family? Is an infant born to drug addicted parents adoptable? For some women (and men as well) a pregnancy is a wake-up call to straighten their life up, but for many, it’s not.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@PandoraBoxx many infants like that are given up for adoption
i’ve looked into NYC adoption and the majority are kids with drug addictions

PandoraBoxx's avatar

But are they adopted? Putting a child up for adoption is one thing, having a family take them is another.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@PandoraBoxx sometimes of course they are
butyou gotta be rich

Jeruba's avatar

It’s up to her to do something.

joybells34's avatar

Thank you everyone for your answers. I appreciate all of your words or wisdom and suggestions.

Sarcasm's avatar

I won’t say the A-word, but it rhymes with shmashmortion. shmashmortion isn’t a good thing, but it’s a lesser evil in my book.

Drug abuse and bulimia? Just one of those two can be horrible for a baby’s development. Both? I don’t want to think of it (I don’t think I will. Engage brain shutdown)

It’s unfair to the baby to make it live a life, if it does have nasty birth defects. It’s unfair to the mother, who can’t even take care of herself, to have to take care of a baby. It’s unfair to her mother, her siblings, her aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, etc. to have to watch the trainwreck occur.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

This is exactly why I think people should need a license to have babies.

CMaz's avatar

They should need a licenes to unzip their pants.

asmonet's avatar

So… update?

If she’s still being selfish, a call to CPS is in order.

filmfann's avatar

Hi to everyone who contributed here.
Often times on Fluther, we get asked questions about situations, and we are not told what the outcome was. That drives me bonkers.
The girl in question here is my neice. Her cousin asked this question.
Last week, my neice was induced to deliver the baby. It was a little early, but the doctors determined that the placenta had fouled early, due to the mothers cigarette and drug use (she continued both throughout her pregnancy, and got a few tattoos, which is a big no-no for pregnant women).
The baby’s head and torso were at an expected 36 weeks developed, but the baby’s legs seem to be at the 32 week point. The doctors aren’t sure what this will mean, but have made guesses that the baby will be shorter than he should have been, and might have some trouble walking.
The family was surprised that the County did not take the baby immediately, and the baby is now with his Mom at Grandma’s house. No one knows how long the Mom will stay there.
The father is still not in the picture, but his mother has visited her grandchild.
Of course, this is not the end of the story. It is the beginning, but I wanted to let anyone interested to know how things have progressed.

filmfann's avatar

Hello again.
Today, the court took away my neice’s control of the child, and gave complete control to my sister, the child’s grandmother.
My neice has spent several recent weekends in jail for drinking and fighting. She rarely has a sober moment, and has been using copious amounts of drugs. She has shown almost no interest in the child, and rarely sees him. She is enjoying being homeless, and checks in with my sister once a week, to get a shower and a change of clothes.
Anyway, the drama seems over as to what will happen to the child. I just wanted to update you all.
Thanks.

Drewseph's avatar

Call 911.

Rock2's avatar

Turn her in to the police or social services, whatever will act fast.

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