The Case of Faith
Steven Patrick EdD.
Faith is a 26 year-old female preparing for her release from the prison system. She was incarcerated this time as a result of heavy opiate usage while pregnant. A binge occurring in her third trimester (seven months) sent her into premature labor. The individuals that she was using with were not certain with what to do given the circumstances and called 911. The hospital performed extreme medical services in an attempt to save both her life and the life of her unborn child. Fortunately both survived. However, given the nature of the circumstances, she was tried and convicted of child endangerment, fetal assault, and numerous counts of drug use. This was not her first encounter with the criminal justice system. While incarcerated she frequently presented random urinalysis showing that she was continuing to use illicit mood-altering substances in the prison system. Most frequently occurring was her use of opiates. In addition to the Opioids, other drugs (Benzodiazepines and Stimulants) were also found in her system. She completed the full term of her prison sentence in an attempt to avoid probation or parole services. However, given her conduct while incarcerated, the judge ordered her to judicial review and she agreed to community control services. A condition of her community control was that she would successfully complete an intensive outpatient drug program upon release. She’s been referred to your agency.
Faith had minimal contact with her father, who died in an alcohol-related driving accident on his way home from work when she was four years old. He was coming from a work-related social function in which drinking was involved. This was not his first experience with alcohol, as her mother frequently described him as a “functioning alcoholic.” He was an attorney. Growing up, Faith often had numerous conflicts with her mother, Serenity. Early on, Faith was diagnosed with a mood disorder NOS, which was later changed to a diagnosis of Bipolar I Disorder. At the age of 18, she was also diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. Her drug and alcohol use begin at the age of 11, at which time she began smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, and using marijuana with her cousin Robert. She looked up to Robert, identifying him as an important factor in her life. At the age of 11 Robert also began sexually molesting Faith. She reports initially it was fondling, to which she consented due to her fondness of him. At the age of 12 he penetrated her with his penis and they began having intercourse on a regular basis. Again, she reported consenting to this in an attempt to preserve their relationship and fostered fantasies of growing up and marrying Robert. At the age of 14, Robert, who by then was 18, left to go to the military. She took this very hard as he told her that he would need to separate his relationship from her because he didn’t feel it was right anymore. At that time she began engaging in numerous promiscuous behaviors as well as experimenting with newer drugs. At the age of 15 she was first introduced to Heroin.
Faith would frequently attempt to sabotage her mother’s relationships with other men as a way to prove that she could control her mother. To do this, she would act in flirtatious and promiscuous ways with any boyfriend that her mother engaged with or brought to the home. Many of these attempts resulted in her reporting that she had intercourse with these men while a minor. In her current relationship with her mother, she continues to be very estranged; largely in part due to past experiences, but also due to the fact that her mother, Serenity, has custody of her daughter, Hope. Faith has strongly asserted a desire to be reconnected with her daughter and ultimately to get custody. Serenity has been resistant to this, asserting that Faith is only doing this for the money!
Hope was born diagnosed with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS). The level of toxicity in her system was severe and several times required extreme measures of medical services in order to preserve her life. She spent four months in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Upon discharge from the hospital her grandmother, Serenity, was given full custody of her. In addition to the severe initial withdrawal from the Opiates, she experienced numerous troubles in the first several years of her life, including agitation, sensitivity to loud noises, hyperactivity, and trouble focusing attention. Hope currently has respiratory difficulties related to the NAS. Her father is unknown, as Faith was prostituting at the time of her conception. Hope is unaware of the fact that she is going to be a big sister: Two months prior to her release from prison it was discovered that Faith was one month pregnant. The father was not disclosed, however is believed to be a prison guard.