Seek Help Immediately Child Involved With Drugs

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Dear Joel

  I recently found out by reading my daughter’s email that she has been using heroin and other narcotics. I am heartbroken because as of only a year ago, her third year in high school was uneventful. Her grades did slip and she just seems to be a different person. I can’t say that she is a problem at home. She is actually rather quiet and polite. I am totally confused. I haven’t been able to discuss it with her father who lives elsewhere and we have no relationship.


  I left out your town but can see that you live in Ocean County. There is a heroin epidemic in Ocean County and a very serious one. Last year, over 100 people died of heroin overdoses. That is an alarming statistic. My guess is that your daughter’s email was left opened and that you didn’t access it without her permission. It is possible that she wants for you to find out and it is her way of “telling you.” She probably is feeling very badly about herself. I would do one or all of the following. Call her doctor today and discuss the situation with him or her. If she is still seeing a pediatrician in Ocean County, your daughter isn’t the first case he has heard about. Until you are more comfortable with the situation, I would call her school guidance counselor anonymously and seek their advice. You must do this immediately, as there is much danger in what you are telling me. My hope is that you are directed to a mental health center very quickly. I wish you good luck. The story, although terrible, is not helpless or hopeless.

Joel Markel

Write to His radio show, “Preferred Company” airs Monday through Friday from 8 to 10 a.m. on and 1160 & 1310 WOBM-AM.

If you or anyone else is in need of home health care, call Preferred at 732-840-5566. “Home health care with feeling.