The more I learn about how bad this situation has really gotten, and how quickly, the more it sounds a lot like what we went through with my cousin. Bright girl, good student, had plans, had a future, and had the talent and motivation to go do something to achieve it all. Then Mr. Wrong came into her life either during senior year or first year of college, I don’t recall which. Our little branch of the family wasn’t directly involved, but even we heard through the family grapevine that she was suddenly spending a lot of time with this guy that no one liked. Then over a six month period of time, her life went from “future so bright you gotta wear sunglasses”, to dropped out of school, then unemployed and broke, then homeless, and finally pregnant. Turns out Mr. Wrong had introduced her to heroin. It was a long dive into darkness for her that lasted for 12 years. Six unplanned pregnancies and two prison terms later, she finally got it into her head (while finally off the drug long enough to have thoughts again), that maybe she could do something different with her life. Last I heard, Mr. Wrong, serving his own jail sentence, never did have any ambitions towards becoming a human being. But the divorce went through and finally she was free of his toxic influences in her life.
She has now been clean for almost 10 years, gets to spend time with her kids again, and has gone through at least an Associates’ level if not a Bachelor’s level degree in drug counseling. She is currently helping other young women get out of the rut she was in, faster than the 12 years it took her, and hopefully without serving time in the process.
When her parents were pondering what to do with that whole situation, they couldn’t figure out how their bright, ambitious, talented, outgoing daughter had suddenly turned into a lump with barely a pulse. It was the heroin that did it. Unless you’re absolutely positively sure that drugs aren’t involved, I’d put that out as a distinct possibility. Kids go into their various forms of rebellion, true enough. I certainly did. But a nosedive of this magnitude usually has some kind of cause, something big that might take some digging to uncover. And the kids will do anything to keep that covered. But this goes way beyond being dumb or rebellious. That’s my take on it anyway. I hope that’s not the case, but it would certainly start answering some “how did this happen” questions if it was. Harsh words, I know, but worth checking out.