Mom's Lockdown Helps Daughter Kick Habit
March 30 — In Novemebr 1998, Desirée Danner was passed out in her expensive Houston home when her mom, dad and brother, converged on her house like a SWAT team.
She opened the door and they burst in and grabbed her. Her mother pinned her down, and her father dragged her outside to the car. After the "kidnapping," they sped away to her parents' home, 35 miles away. Once there, Danner, a 28-year-old woman who had a six-figure salaried job and a beautiful home, was basically in lockdown.
Her family tapped the phones and bolted the windows so that she couldn't call anyone or escape to buy cocaine, a habit that she had been spending $800 a day on.
Danner told ABCNEWS' Good Morning America that her cocaine addiction was so bad at one point that her nostrils gave out on her. Once she couldn't snort the cocaine anymore she turned to crack, until her mom stepped in.
For two weeks, Brenda Romero, watched her daughter's every move with the scrutiny of a prison guard. Romero had cleared the house of anything that contained the least bit of alcohol: mouthwash, vanilla extract, Italian dressing with wine in it, and cough syrup were all gone, because alcohol could trigger a craving for drugs.
"It was either let her do what she was doing, let her die or save her," said Romero on ABCNEWS' Good Morning America.
Her mother fed Danner vitamins, herbs, fresh fruits and vegetables, watching as she chewed and swallowed. She had read that detox took 7 days, but she decided to keep watch over her daughter for 21 days " and really get it out of her system," Romero said.
Sweating it Out
That intervention was what it took for Danner to finally get control of herself. She then went to Narconon, a rehab facility in Newkirk [see http://narconon-exposed.org for info --- drice], Okla., for 100 days. There she shook off the addiction, sweated out the drug toxins [bullshit! --- drice] in a sauna, exercised, and attended classes on addiction.
Danner is part of an upward trend of powder cocaine use among young people. A University of Michigan study shows that powder cocaine use by those between the ages of 19 and 28 jumped 33 percent between 1993 and 1999. Americans spend $39 billion per year on cocaine, with 5.2 million users of cocaine and its derivatives, and 3.3 million addicts, the President's Office of National Drug Control Policy estimates.
By the time her parents intervened, Danner had lost 30 pounds, much of her hair had fallen out from malnutrition, and powder coke had eaten a hole in the cartilage of her sinus cavity.
Her addiction caused Danner to lose her job as the top sales executive at a country music station in Houston. There, she considered cocaine use with clients as "just part of the job," and over four years, she rose to the top of the sales staff. But as her addiction grew, her boss got suspicious about her unhealthy appearance and slipping sales figures and figured out that she was on drugs. Danner and her then-boyfriend were each spending $800 a day to get high.
A Troubled Youth
In high school, Danner had been a cheerleader and overachiever, but she had some secrets. As a girl she had been molested. And at 15, she had cancer and had to have both ovaries removed. The operation made her look pregnant, and rumors spread around school. To fit in, she hung out with a more accepting crowd, and started using pot and cocaine.
Romero never suspected her daughter's drug use, though she was concerned about Danner's sales job, because it required her to do so much entertaining, and drinking.
The first time Romero tried to get her daughter into an addiction program, the doctor diagnosed Danner with bipolar disorder and gave her antidepressants. Four days later, he discharged her as cured, and within days she was back on drugs. That was when her mother executed the kidnapping.
And that's what put her on track for recovery, Danner said. She is now a counselor at Narcanon, and has been clean for two years. She is married to another counselor, and they live in Oklahoma.