Video: A breakthrough

updated 7/31/2005 10:21:25 PM ET 2005-08-01T02:21:25

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.

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.


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