Carrick Forbes

 

Carrick Forbes is a recovering heroin addict, she started her addition at the age of 19. She was featured on Datelines MSNBC News 11/12/05.

She claims that when she learned she had a 'Learning disability', she lost hope that she will ever be smart and turned to numb her pains with drugs and alcohol . Instead of graduation from High School she graduated to Heroin. Carrick Forbes: "I had felt stupid since I was five. Because to me, learning disabled meant nothing different than being mentally retarded. ...I think that I just sort of tried to accept the fact that I was not smart. And I would never be very smart. And so that school was not my forte. And I should go try to find other outlets."

Not everyone turns to drugs, frustration spills out in so many ways for these students and is different for everyone. One young teen skipped school and stole her mother's car. The same girl asked me why 'they call it a disability?.

Fortunately for Carrick after a huge struggle with her family, and many years she came clean. She is now in College. There are video clips where she talks about her story. To me she seams very well spoken, and now want to become a Journalist. It makes me wonder who embedded in her this 'Learning disability'? As far as I'm concerned 'they' (authority figures) should be arrested for saying it to a child.  Who can make that kind of determination? And furthermore, who is going to want to fight for their education, when you (the authority figure) told them you've already lost? No matter what you do... you have a disability. Fortunately for me, in 7th grade, I ignored their labels and focused on Einstein was like me, he too had struggle in school. And I wanted to focus on accomplish great things. And I did accomplish a lot great things. I joke and say finding errs in my work i.e. 'spelling mistakes' is like finding Waldo in "Where's Waldo". Oh well, I will tell you this, my errors do not deem a label of 'disabled'. I have a good sense when it comes to me.

This is why my crusade is so important, because such a label can be so damaging. Carrick is the worst case scenario as to dealing with her lack of self esteem. The 'will' of someone determined, is far more powerful that human kind can understand. Thankfully she has pulled through. I hope our fallow up story will be that she graduates. Please educators choose your words wisely. - By Stacy Poulos / Dyslexia.tv

Below is part of an interview By Ann Curry.

 

By Ann Curry

Dateline NBC See origional story + Videos

 

Carrick on the roots of her addiction

In an interview with Ann Curry, Carrick Forbes explains what led to her heroin addiction- and why she now hopes to live a life of sobriety. Read the story on Dateline.

 

Ann Curry
------------------------------------------------------------------------

NEW YORK- Last June, 10 months after "Dateline" since Carrick was filmed shooting heroin, she sat down and explained the roots of her addiction... her feelings of failure. Below is Ann Curry's conversation with Carrick Forbes:

Carrick Forbes: I had felt stupid since I was five. Because to me, learning disabled meant nothing different than being mentally retarted.

Ann Curry, "Dateline" host: Did you wish you were smarter?

Forbes: I think that I just sort of tried to accept the fact that I was not smart. And I would never be very smart. And so that school was not my forte. And I should go try to find other outlets.

Curry: Was there anything your parents could have done to stop you from becoming a heroin addict?

Forbes: No. Absolutely.

Curry: Nothing?

Forbes: Absolutely nothing.

Curry: Had they loved you enough?

Forbes: Of course. They were the best. I've know about addiction since I was five. I went to meetings with her [mom] when I was a kid. I knew all about it. But at a very young age, I had decided what I was going to do, where I was going to do it. I kind of wanted to come out with a big tough story. I think I was like, "I got to live through hell so I can have a better story than everyone else." That was part of it. The glamour and everything else.

Curry: You know if you're my daughter, I'd be thinking to myself, "What could I have done?" Take you out of the environment, take you away from your friends? Cut you off? Put you in a cage?

Forbes: Don't believe a word your child is telling you ever. The biggest thing and I can't believe I am saying this, but you really can't enable your child. Don't trust them 'til you know you can trust them. And then you'll know it in your gut.

Curry: You've tried before. You've run away. Why this time are you in a methadone treatment? What sparked it?

Forbes:  For me I just happened to be, I guess, tired of spending all my money and just going through the crap that you eventually go through. And it gets very boring after a while.
Curry:

You want this to end?

Forbes: I've been wanting it to end for months. And years probably and continued to get high. I certainly want it to end and I hope this is it. I can't say that this is it because I've said that so many other times and messed up. I truly hope so. And I think that I am doing well. I know am not going to get high today.

It is impossible to say whether Forbes will stay clean and live a life of sobriety but when she turned 20 in August, it was clear that things were moving in the right direction.

In September, a little more than a year after we started this story, the family went camping - together again after so many years apart.

This fall, Carrick Forbes registered for English classes at a New York college.

But perhaps the biggest step in her recovery was her willingness to join her mother and speak to other addicts, parents, and families, about her own  drug addiction.

Forbes: I haven't felt this satisfied and happy and proud of myself possibly ever, and really at peace with who I am as a person ever so this is like a whole new life for me.


Updated: 8:02 p.m. ET July 28, 2005

Ann Curry
------------------------------------------------------------------------
· Profile
For years, Thom and Dierdre Forbes have been consumed by a desperate struggle to save their daughter's life: 19-year-old Carrick got started with drug addiction after she dropped out of high school.

Two summers ago, Carrick was living in a downtown New York apartment with her boyfriend,  40 minutes by train but a world away from her parents home in Hastings-on-Hudson, an affluent suburb of New York.

Her father, Thom Forbes and her mother, Deirdre, both 52, knew where their daughter was living. They knew she was an addict, but what they didn't know was how to stop her.
Story continues below Å´
------------------------------------------------------------------------
advertisement
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Over the next year, they would confront the ugly truth that their precious little girl had turned into a hardened junkie.

And in the year to come, they would grapple with a heart-wrenching dilemma: To save Carrick, they might have to turn their backs on her at her most vulnerable moment, even if it meant she might die in the process.

There was much at stake for this family. Besides Carrick, the Forbes have a teenage boy named Duncan, and they were worried he might go the same route as his sister.

Carrick visits home
It was a hot summer afternoon in  2003 when "Dateline" first met Carrick Forbes. She had recently come up with a way to make some money- she needed to get a job. But in order to get one, Carrick needed an ID card and she needed her mother to vouch for her identity at the Department of Motor Vehicles.

In mid-August, Carrick took the train from Manhattan to her parents home in Hastings.

Before Carrick arrived, Thom, who works at home as a freelance writer, took precautions and hid his money. He even urged his wife and son to do the same. It might seem shocking, but that had become routine for Thom. Carrick had repeatedly stolen money from her parents to buy drugs and he knew that she might try again when she stopped at home before her mother drove her to the DMV.

On that day, August 14th, the entire Northeast region plunged into a blackout.

The depths of her drug addiction were that day: Panic set in as she tried to figure out a way to get back to New York City where she knew she could buy heroin.

After a visit to the DMV, Deirdre drove Carrick back to their home in Hastings. Once there, she and Thom gently tried to explain to 14-year-old Duncan why his sister seemed so agitated.

"She'll be away from her fix," Thom explained.

By 6 p.m., Carrick had started to sweat and her breathing quickened - signaling the beginning of her body's withdrawal from heroin. The effects of the drug last just a few hours, so addicts have to take the drug several times a day. Otherwise, they get sick.

While Carrick paced around the house, Thom, Deirdre, and Duncan appeared calm. They had been through this so many times before. By the time "Dateline" met them, Carrick had been in a dozen detox clinics and rehabilitation centers.

  Click for related story
Producer: How "Dateline" met the Forbes

 

In the months to come, their strategy would change. But on that day, her parents simply let her go, not knowing how dangerous the lifestyle she was returning to really was.

With the power out and no lights, Deirdre recorded her thoughts for the camera that night:

 

"Today was a typical day that we have with Carrick very often. Emotions get out of hand. Impulsiveness. Does this have anything to do with being dope-sick? She said "yes." I just wish she could see that she deserves a lot more."

The Forbes' past with alcohol, and how Carrick slowly became a junkie
Thom and Deirdre Forbes were both journalists when they met 30 years ago at the Daily News, a New York tabloid, where she became a photographer, he an editor. They shared a passion for news and for booze.

Deirdre and Thom continued to drink heavily when they got married in 1977, and Dierdre only scaled back only when she was pregnant with Carrick.

Carrick Forbes was born six weeks early in August 1984.

Deirdre continued to drink after Carrick was born. And so did Thom, but Thom remembers a pivotal day when baby Carrick was about a year old and she forced him to take stock of his own drinking. "Carrick was crying and she wanted my attention. And I felt I had to go out and get a bottle of vodka," recalls Thom. "And I remember her holding on to my leg and I'm saying, 'I'll be right back. I'll be right back, and we'll play.'"

He bought the vodka that time, but he stopped drinking that very week - a development Deirdre didn't like.

"It was real scary because he was my drinking buddy," says Deirdre. "But my real buddy was the booze."

About a year and a half later, with Thom's support, Deirdre gave up alcohol as well.

When the two of them did give up drinking, through sober eyes, they finally saw little girl Carrick.

"Oh, she was beautiful, happy, entertaining, ingenious, creative, funny and a joy," says her mom. "She was always dancing and singing and getting on top of tables."

But when Carrick turned 5 years old and started school, her parents said all that life and energy seemed to drain out of her. School was crushing for Carrick as early as kindergarten.

The school suggested she had a learning disability, a condition that often contributes to feelings of low self-esteem. Experts say this can make children more at risk for trying drugs when they get older.

"She didn't quite fit in. She had problems cutting paper," says Thom.

Throughout elementary school and middle school, Carrick struggled to keep up. Her parents tried to get her help, enlisting special education tutors and psychologists  - even changing schools, but nothing they did could keep Carrick interested in school. She felt like a failure.

"I think she struggled with trying to be part of the mainstream, yet feeling she couldn't be," says Deirdre. "And then eventually, she thought, 'Well, I can't be, so I'm not even going to try anymore.'"

By 7th grade, Carrick was cutting classes. Carrick began lying to her parents, piercing her body, and shoplifting- out of control behavior that her parents could not stop.

Deirdre started to feel helpless, and those feelings grew into a full scale depression. Deirdre was hospitalized for three weeks. Thom split his time between caring for his wife who became suicidal, and trying to help a daughter who was spiraling down.

By the time Carrick was 13, the Forbes were convinced she was smoking marijuana, and to prove it, they took her to a doctor for a drug test.

"On the way to have the test done, she breaks down and says, 'Yes I did. I'm was smoking.'"

But that confession didn't stop Carrick from continuing to sneak drugs and alcohol into their house, the extent of which, the Forbes only pieced together later. Under their nose, Carrick and her friends were smoking pot, and drinking beer and wine.

  SOBERING STATISTICS
Statistics on teen drug and alcohol use
- More than one-fifth of eighth grade students report that they use alcohol,
- The figure rises steadily through high school to nearly 50 of twelve graders.
- 54 percent of students have tried an illicit substance by the time they finish high school;
- 29 percent of twelve graders have tried an illegal drug other than marijuana
- The number of adolescents from twelve to seventeen admitted to substance-abuse treatment programs increased 65 percent between 1992 and 2002
- 32 percent of people who try tobacco become dependent, as do 23 percent of those who try heroin, 17 percent who try cocaine, 15 percent who try alcohol, and 9 percent who try marijuana
Sources: The National Institute on Drug Abuse's "Monitoring the Future" survey; Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; and the National Academy of Science In high school, Carrick continued to perform poorly and her drug use escalated to more and more potent drugs, a pattern experts say is typical.

Deirdre even remembers getting stuck with a needle one day. "I went into her room one day to just talk to her. And she was sitting there and she shoved something under the bed, and I said, 'What'd did you just put under there?' 'Nothing,' she said. And somehow I just put my hand down on something and I got stuck. And that's when my heart kind of flipped."

Looking back, there were other clues that their daughter had a serious drug habit: Money was gone all the time. Carrick would take $20 at a time from her parents' wallets and they wouldn't even know it.

But the hundreds they lost to Carrick's stealing was nothing compared to the tens of thousands of dollars they have spent sending her to rehabilitation programs.

When she goes in, the Forbes' hopes are raised - and then dashed again when she doesn't stay clean.

"But I'll tell you one thing about a rehab," says Thom. "You know she's safe. You know she's not getting high."

But after the programs, Carrick always turned back to drugs, causing her parents to long for more drastic measures.

"As a parent, you start praying the kid will get busted for something not too severe but enough that maybe they will be ordered to treatment or ordered to treatment in jail," says Deirdre. "It's about keeping them alive. And sometimes that's the best you can do for a while until they can reach the point where they want recovery for themselves."

But would Carrick ever want recovery for herself? It was her parent's greatest hope. But a month after we met her, Carrick showed no interest in getting help for her addiction to heroin. Her only interest was getting a job to pay for her habit.

 

 

July 29: Why will Carrick get better this time? Carrick Forbes speaks candidly about what led to her addiction-and why she hopes this time, recovery is for real.

Dateline NBC

Meet Carrick Forbes: How does a 19-year-old turn into a junkie? And how does her family cope? Warning: Some of the images you'll see are graphic: This is a raw and real ordeal, just as her family lived it.·

Is addiction hereditary? A rollercoaster of emotions·

Turning their backs on their daughter·

A breakthrough

 A family's struggle to save Carrick

Carrick on the roots of her addiction

Thom Forbes' online memoir

Resources on addiction

How "Dateline" met the Forbes

Profile


 

Carrick on the roots of her addiction

In an interview with Ann Curry, Carrick Forbes explains what led to her heroin addiction- and why she now hopes to live a life of sobriety
FREE VIDEO
· A breakthrough
July 29: Why will Carrick get better this time? Carrick Forbes speaks candidly about what led to her addiction-and why she hopes this time, recovery is for real.

Dateline NBC
  WATCH THE VIDEOS
NBC

· Meet Carrick Forbes: How does a 19-year-old turn into a junkie? And how does her family cope? Warning: Some of the images you'll see are graphic: This is a raw and real ordeal, just as her family lived it.

©2003 Playback.netdyslexia.tv logo