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What Can We Do to Help Our Adult, Drug-Addicted Daughter?

Dear GoodTherapy.org,

We have a 30-year-old daughter addicted to drugs and alcohol. She recently lost custody and is supposed to have supervised visits with her son, who is 7. He lives with his dad who lets him go over there and spend the night even though the courts have said NO. We no longer have a relationship with our daughter, we dont help with anything. She lives in a rent free apartment with her drugie boyfriend, gets food stamps and doesnt keep a job for more than 2 months at a time if she works at all. We are not enabling her, but the system is. Why doesnt she have to be drug tested to receive these programs?? I have to, to keep my job, no wonder she doesnt change. What can we do? she wont go to rehab or get any help ... we are lost. - Frustrated Father


Dear Frustrated Father,

Thank you for your question. I’m sorry to hear about your painful situation. It’s so difficult to see someone we love self-destructing in their addiction. However, it sounds like you have done all you can in not supporting her financially and refusing to enable her in any way. I know you have been through a lot already, but I have two suggestions that might help relieve some of the stress you are currently experiencing. First, I highly recommend that your entire family and circle of friends get some support. Addiction has a traumatic effect on everyone in the family, even those family members who are not living in the same house with the person struggling with the addiction. Just being able to “vent” with other people who can relate to your situation will provide a great deal of relief for you. Look for a counselor who is familiar with addiction and/or consider attending al-anon meetings. You will be able to get some practical suggestions, and you will be able to find emotional support as well, to address that “lost” feeling you refer to. Also with the help of a counselor, you can begin to address any anger, remorse, anxiety or other emotional feelings you are experiencing. This type of support will also help regulate your own physical and mental health, which is at greater risk of dysfunction because of the stress you are under. To find a counselor or therapist, begin by contacting the nearest drug/alcohol treatment center, or hospital that offers such a program; these facilities should have social workers who can offer suggestions. Or perhaps you can search for a therapist on this very website.

Secondly, I want to address the issue regarding your grandson. I’m concerned that even though the courts have said he can’t visit his mother, his father is disregarding that decision and providing visitation. Someone needs to make sure the boy is not being exposed to any risky or shady situations when staying with mom, especially considering that both mom and her boyfriend are actively using. Hopefully mom remains fully cognizant during his visits, and I don’t mean to suggest she isn’t — but addiction is a wild card, and if the youngster is being exposed to any hazardous circumstances (i.e., mom and boyfriend are too “high” to watch after him while he’s there), then those visits should stop immediately. If you have reasonable suspicion the boy isn’t safe, and your son in law refuses to take appropriate action, then you might need to contact your local child protective services or the courts and inquire about your options – you can do so anonymously in most cases, if only for advisement.

You might also, if you wish, occasionally let your daughter know that it’s her addiction you dislike, not the good person underneath, as a reminder that you’re willing to reconnect if she seeks help facing her problem. That is if you feel comfortable doing so; and it is perfectly understandable if you do not. It’s just that, stressful as these situations are, coming from a position of love while holding proper boundaries can sometimes break the ice – if, of course, the struggling person truly wants help. I hope your daughter does get help, sooner rather than later. Thanks again for writing.


  • Betsy Quail July 2nd, 2012 at 6:22 PM #1

    My prayers and thoughts go out to you and your daughter, having a child with an addiction is a tough situation to be in for the friends and especially the parents. We lost a daughter as she could never conquer her demons. Through church and through our relationship with god we have come to grips with the whole situation.

    My suggestion would be to discuss the situation with a support group and to get help for yourself and those remainign in the family . It is impossible for a person to make another person happy.

  • Elsa Criger February 6th, 2014 at 2:26 PM #2

    What do I do. My daughter is 30 years old, takes drugs, currently she is homeless in Seattle. I have brought her home twice to live with us and for short periods of times she does well, but my husband and her do not get along. She is very strong willed and refuses to stop smoking and using. She associates with people who use and will bring them to our house when we are not around. At times she gets violent and I finally had to send her away, she will even get violent with her other brother who lives with us as well, he has Autism. I use to send her money, not very much, and lately I have cut her off completely. I don’t understand how people go on with life, because I find it very difficult. Everyday is a struggle, my mind is on her, I think about her, where is she sleeping, is she safe, is she eating, does she have warm clothes? I worry, I find it so difficult to function. I cannot share my thoughts with anyone, since when I do try with family members, they want to write her off. I cannot write my daughter off, I love her, she is part of me. I pray for her on a daily basis. I want to hear from her and at the same time I dread to hear from her. My job suffers, my faith is what holds me together. How do people survive. When she calls me and tells me the things she does and who she associates with, I just want to scream. There have been times I have thought of leaving this earth, but I have another son, I just care for, and I it would not be fair. Any suggestions.

  • admin2 February 7th, 2014 at 1:33 PM #3

    Hi Elsa,
    Thank you for your comment! Your comment caught our eye, and we want to make sure you have the resources you need.

    If you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, in danger of hurting yourself or others, feeling suicidal, overwhelmed, or in crisis, it’s very important that you get immediate help! You can do one of the following immediately:

      Call your local law enforcement agency (911);
      Go to the nearest hospital emergency room;
      Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TTY:1-800-799-4TTY)

    You can find further resources on this page: http://www.goodtherapy.org/in-crisis.html
    In addition, you can look for a therapist on GoodTherapy.org here: http://www.goodtherapy.org/advanced-search.html

    We wish you the best!
    The GoodTherapy.org Team

  • dee April 27th, 2014 at 12:26 PM #4

    I really think a parent Shoukd give Al Anon at least a try. Other people going thru same situation will be supportive. Also family therapy to address your grief and turmoil and how to stage a family intervention with firm boundaries. My fiance daughter is addict with mental illness and has just smashed into a tree and has head Injury. At least the hospital has been detoxing her for 2 weeks while dealing with brain injury.

    Ca. Read families apart badly. Our compassion can blind us and make us open to manipulation!

  • Eileen C May 14th, 2014 at 8:36 AM #5

    I feel the ‘elephant in the room’ is not being addressed. When we as parents of addicted daughters and sons ask for help it is not about us.! We are asking for help for our kids. As I stood next to police officers last night trying explain how my daughter who was such a lovely wonderful, thoughtful caring child can run out of a restaurant without paying the $65. Tab and leave her boyfriend there I realized that the police are not there to help. They might want to because they see the situation but unless it deals w law what can they do. My husband has excellent health insurance and our daughter is only 23 years old so is still on our policy, but the co-pay for in care at a mental hospital is $450 per day and there is no guarantee that they can help her. These young adults need our help and yes I’ve gone to alanon but will not give up on my daughter.

  • Nikki May 31st, 2014 at 3:20 AM #6

    Hi, I know your pain. I’m sure there is not much we can do. I think that there comes a time where we have to except no responsibility and allow our children to learn but it hurts so so much. . I’m so sad to say but my 20 yr old daughter uses and I’m angry and embarrassed. I also am at a loss. I would love it to just magically get better but it isn’t :-(

  • cindy June 7th, 2014 at 9:58 PM #7

    My daughter is an addict she is 22. I discovered it this past Christmas day. She smokes opiates and now I think it is “H” because it is cheaper. We put her in out patient because she was going to college and didn’t want to miss school..(this is the only positive in her life right now). I caught her in her room smoking about two months ago and just turned around and walked out…started crying..didn’t know what to do. She came in my office and said she needed help to go to detox. we put her in detox they only kept her for 3 days…said she was good to go. Well she isn’t. She got fired from her job (I think from stealing) and now she steals from me. last week she stole my debit card, all my DVDs are gone…and now tonight I just noticed my yard power tools are gone as I went to work in the yard.

    I am beyond knowing what to do. She keeps saying she is clean and I know she isn’t. I find a hoot here…a little zippy there…not searching they just fall out of things when I clean house.

    Still denies that she is using. Her dad thinks she is clean, her best friend, and her brother…she is hiding it well – she lives with me…all my valuables are locked up…I keep a key on me as I go running or leave the house…now I am thinking of putting dead bolts on my office door and my bedroom door…This is killing me. I am all alone. I don’t know how to help her anymore…I don’t think I can.

  • arlene June 15th, 2014 at 5:58 AM #8

    We have been struggling with our adult daughter for the past 8 months.
    In and out of rehab and halfway houses.
    She is good for awhile, but relapses. (this has happened twice)
    We have things locked up as well. Seeing them totally out of it, and ending up in emergency room, they look so sad and helpless…but the truth of the matter is WE are the ones who are helpless.
    WE are helpless as WE can’t change the situation.
    THEY are the only ones.
    Until they do, they go thru hell along with everyone else around them.
    Sooner or later you have to get tough and learn the word NO.
    Have you ever gone to Naranon meetings?
    They are a support group. They not only are a safe ground for you to vent your feelings for all that you are going thru…but may even offer some good sound advice.
    I URGE you to seek them out and/or a therapist for yourself.
    I have finally done this after our long 8 months that seems to be getting only worse.

  • Darren Haber June 15th, 2014 at 9:34 AM #9

    Thanks to all those who have commented. I can’t agree enough with those who have found their own support in 12-step meetings and/or their own counseling. It is VITAL that this happen given that addiction is a family illness. Moreover it is excellent role modeling for the addicted person to see family members doing what he/she could be doing. Do not be alone with this. It happens more often than you realize. Thanks to all those who read and comment on this blog. Kindest good wishes to all.

  • Margaret July 9th, 2014 at 10:00 PM #10

    Hi we too have a 32 year old drug addicted daughter who has put us to hell and back for the last 7 years , she has been arrested and been sentenced for drug issues also lost her driving licence , stolen things for our home to sell , her only sibling and her have no relationship , she lives with the latest loser boyfriend who has just been sent to prison , this is a smart girl with a university degree and then went back to study law but couldn’t finish because of her addiction. We have tried everything even tough love , nothing has worked so far we just get accused of not being supportive …it just goes on and on with no end in sight … Last resort open to us is cutting off all contact .

  • Darren Haber MFT July 11th, 2014 at 8:23 AM #11

    Hi Margaret…so sorry to hear about your trials with your daughter’s addiction. This is what we mean by family disease. Do you have any resources in your area to get some support? For instance al-anon meetings can be a very effective way of coping with the stress of a loved one’s addiction. You might even want to seek out counseling, either with a professional or even via a sliding-scale clinic at an institute or university, depending on where you live. Don’t do this alone, it’s impossible and helping yourself is the same as helping your daughter. You’d be amazed how many people go through this; it’s virtually a silent epidemic in our society. Thank you for writing. And I hope and pray for your daughter’s recovery.

  • nicola July 25th, 2014 at 4:59 AM #12

    I have a daughter who has been addicted to drugs for the past 6 years, she is 25 now. she put her self through rehab for 4 months and we supported her,she begged to come back home and said she will stay on the 12 step program. we soon realised that letting her back was a mistake as she quickly went back to her old habit’s of staying in bed all day, being miserable and moody. Hanging around with people on drugs. She said all the right things, manipulated us so much.
    She has never hit rock bottom as I have always been there.
    She is adamant she is not on drugs but then she always has been even when we find her with them.some day’s I can’t function properly ,and the nights are really bad as I can’t stop worrying about her.I have not found anyone I can talk to about this and feel all alone. Nicola

  • Darren Haber July 25th, 2014 at 8:56 AM #13

    Hi Nicola. Thanks to you and others for your feedback. Sounds like a very painful ordeal you and your family are enduring. I highly suggest participating individual or family counseling, as well as al anon meetings at the least, for some support. Addiction is brutal and affects the whole family. Don’t do this alone; it’s practically impossible. I do hope you and your daughter find the help needed sooner rather than later.

  • christine July 29th, 2014 at 9:15 AM #14

    @ Elsa Criger… OMG I cried my eyes out reading your post.I feel exactly the same way as you. My daughter is Asking for me to help her & begging me to talk to her & help her find treatment. She swares she doesn’t want to be like she is anymore. I don’t know where to start. Crisis care has a very long waiting list for any help. I too at times feel like it would be easier for me to not be here anymore & go through this pain, however I do have 3 other children & 11 grandkids & 1 Great Grandchild. I have custody of 3. I cant talk to anyone in the family because they Judge. I actually came across this website because I am searching on what I can do.

  • Christine H. July 29th, 2014 at 9:23 AM #15

    My daughter is asking me to sit & talk to her, help her get into rehab & swares she doesn’t want to “feel like this anymore”. The only place I know of is Crisis Care & their is a 2 month waiting period & that’s for suboxin as well. She’s agreed to do what ever I ask IF I will Help her. She is 38 years old & has been using for 10 years But not all 10 have been heroin most has been methadone. Heroin as far as I know has been just the past few months especially after my son in law lost his Life to it. If anyone knows WHO I can contact in the Dayton Ohio area PLEASE let me know. I don’t think she has insurance but she may still have it. Thanks

  • Christine H. July 29th, 2014 at 9:46 AM #16

    How do you know what type of therapist & or Counselor to look for ? For instance my daughter needs drug addiction, depression, mental etc.. HOW do I search for someone for all?? Dayton Ohio area. Thanks

  • The GoodTherapy.org Team July 29th, 2014 at 10:02 AM #17

    If you would like to consult with mental health professional, please feel free to return to our homepage, http://www.goodtherapy.org/, and enter your zip code into the search field to find therapists in your area. If you’re looking for a counselor that practices a specific type of therapy, or who deals with specific concerns, you can make an advanced search by clicking here: http://www.goodtherapy.org/advanced-search.html

    Once you enter your information, you’ll be directed to a list of therapists and counselors who meet your criteria. From this list you can click to view our members’ full profiles and contact the therapists themselves for more information. You are also welcome to call us for assistance finding a therapist. We are in the office Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Pacific Time; our phone number is 888-563-2112 ext. 1.

  • Dawn August 16th, 2014 at 3:25 PM #18

    My daughter will be 23 tomorrow and she is a drug addict. She had been clean and 2 months. Away from getting her son back.The father has him.9 weeks ago she started using again. Her father and I are woried sick about her she says she is in the parc unit. I know for a fact she is not there. I Have night mares of finding her with a niddle in her arm . I guess my point Is I have been to meetings I stop giving her money and bailing her out of everything…..Now we dont no were she is What is worse not knowing or watching her do this to her self.Top things off the father is a jerk and wont let me see my grandson ……I want answers and there aren’t any.

  • Cynthia Ramirez August 17th, 2014 at 10:53 AM #19

    Our daughter has been on every drug imaginable since she was 18, she’s now 25. We’ve done the rehabs, the therapy for her and us, she’s been in jail. ODd several times and has POS boyfriends who mooch off her and beat her . We get calls about her constantly and the last OD last week she almost died. I feel like my beautiful daughter died years ago and I’m left with a monster . I sat in the ER while they did CPR praying for God to take her now, to end the suffering. I don’t know what else to do for or with her . She doesn’t want help. She was high 30 min after discharge. I’m a nurse I know all about how addiction works and the treatments and the consequences . She is near end stage liver failure, has endocarditis and valve deterioration so we are going to lose her soon . I’ve just given up. I can’t do it any more. I had a major breakdown and dealing with chronic major depression. It sounds mean but my prayers are always for God to take her now before it’s worse. I’ve seen the horrific deaths of liver and kidney failure not to mention heart damage. I just feel sick.

  • michelle August 17th, 2014 at 5:42 PM #20

    I totally understand what you are giong thru.my daughter is an addict.i wish i could not worry anymore.she addicted to meth uses needles.she has son 5yrs.age.she leaves .wont answer her phone,or respond to my txxs.i cant stand it.im terrified ima get call police found her dead.constantly sick at my stomach,alot sleepless nights.god plz help her

  • Makenzie August 21st, 2014 at 12:27 PM #21

    My daughter has abused Soma, Vicodin, Xanax and pot.
    She quit the drugs ‘cold turkey’ in 2010 and came to stay with us at that time & wanted to go to rehab. We exhausted every avenue possible trying to find a place for her. Finally MHMR visited with her (they would not tell us anything that was said….HIPPA laws). We took her home, her telling us they were going to call her for rehab that day. She sat on the bed with bags packed for 5 days and no phone call. She went back to her house and when the MHMR called she told them she didn’t need rehab anymore. She has been in and out of jail, arrested again yesterday for DUI (Xanax) and let out of jail again last night. I have searched everywhere for help and it costs a fortune….we now live from paycheck to paycheck because of all we have been through with this. I just found out she is doctor-shopping and has been taking Xanax and Soma (Soma was filled Aug. 1 2014 and the bottle was empty by the 17th of August. Soma was filled on July 23 and was also empty by the 17th of August, plus she is smoking pot. My daughter is displaying extreme anger, confusion, irritability, paranoia, nervousness, forgetfulness, dilated pupils, forgets to eat, drinks nothing but soda pop and coffee and is constantly holding her stomach. I just found a place that can take her in that will cost from $15k to $45k for up to 90 days. We can’t afford that! Are there any alternatives for treatment that the government or state will cover? The laws need to be changed so that those suffering from drug addiction and mental illness can get the help they need.

  • Maureen August 28th, 2014 at 7:05 PM #22

    Hi Mackenzie, I’m feeling your pain, it’s so hard with drug addicted children, I have two adults children who have children. I learnt through attending 12step program’s, That the truth of the matter is, that othere is nothing I or anyone can do to fix this problem, until they the drug abuser identifies that they have a problem and really want helps there is nothing anyone can do to help, and you can waste your hard earned money and put them through rehab and other places that try drug a users, but unless they really want this help, and don’t listen to all their lies, because they lie and manipulate everyone to get what they want. Anyway there is a lot of free help out there like NA, narcotics anonymous and AA which all run free support groups everywhere in the world. There is also Al-Anon for people like myself and you, where you are able to vent your concerns, it’s makes you feel real again without people judging you, as all the people that attend these groups are trying to cope with the same issues as you, on some level. The main thing I want to tell you is to take care you and your health, we are the most important person in our lives. Only then can you make sense of the whole mess. Remember some cares, and my heart goes out to every person suffering from alcohol and substance abuse.

  • Debbie. Jones August 30th, 2014 at 4:47 PM #23

    Hello, I would suggest a faith-based program. Many are no cost and they often have a higher effective rate than others. Teen Challenge and Salvation Army are two organizations that offer residential treatment. There is also an excellent book for you that has helped me (on Amazon). Setting Boundaries with your Adult Children by Allison Bottke. There is also The Bridge Recovery Program in Pacific Grove, Ca. (Where I live). They often have a waiting list but it isn’t a long wait. Don’t forget: You didn’t cause it, you can’t control it, you can’t cure it and you don’t have to contribute to it. Praying for you, Debbie

  • Darren Haber MFT August 30th, 2014 at 8:22 PM #24

    Hi again, I’m just so impressed with the honesty and openness on these comments, means a lot to me that people are reading and responding on such a painful but (sadly) relatively common occurrence. Thanks all of you for your input. I would agree you may have to try different approaches, or a few different meetings in al-anon if al-anon is one of those approaches. Nothing is one size fits all and sometimes it takes time to acclimate. If you do try a support group or 12-step program, give it a few tries before deciding. Many are a little put off at first, because it’s new and different, but it ends up making a very positive impact in the long run.

  • allie September 2nd, 2014 at 8:20 AM #25

    My daughter is 30 and she just kicked out of rehab. She has lied, stolen, and begged us for money. She just called and asked me for cash to purchase someone else’s methodone. I said no. Im afraid she will do heroine again.im sick all the time about this. She cries she is in pain. I look at myself and wonder where did we go wrong with this girl of ours. I feel like a failure as a mother.

  • Isa September 8th, 2014 at 5:51 PM #26

    I have a 31 year old daughter that had everything going in her life. She had a good job, house and great kids…she started using drugs. I think it is meth she uses. This has been going on for 3 years. Her kids are with their dad. They come over every other weekend. I hurt everytime i see my kids. They miss their mom, they need their mom. I have tried everything…she picked up a charge or two she was has been in the county jail off/on. She is now running from the police.I lay at night thinking, how did this happen? I don’t understand…i’m angry, upset and wish that i could have my little girl back. She does not realize that time is running out, her kids are getting bigger and she is missing out on everything. i am afraid she will never get out of this mess…i pray she gets picked up by the police…just so i know she is ok and alive.

  • Darren Haber September 9th, 2014 at 11:36 AM #27

    Hi Isa. Gosh what an ordeal. How awful to see your child get mangled by addiction this way. But if she’s breathing there’s hope. I honestly believe that. I urge you to try getting some practical and emotional support via alanon meetings and counseling with a therapist who understands the impact of addiction on families. There may be some on this site. And you can find a local meeting via alanon.org. Let’s hope your daughter finds help soon. Thanks for writing.

  • Shelly September 16th, 2014 at 5:20 PM #28

    my daughter is 19 and has been struggling with meth for the last year straight! I literally can’t sleep worrying About her yet she could careless! my husband her dad is convinced that she needs to be kicked out! how do I send her to the people who give her this crap for free??? I can’t do it! but my husband has informed me that he doesn’t want to hear about her and the druggie friends! so I will have nobody to talk to I’m so ashamed she needs rehab but won’t go does anyone know of any other options? wish I had the answer or that I could wave my magic wand and make it all go away!!! sure would love to have my daughter back :(

  • Mari September 20th, 2014 at 9:56 PM #29

    I have very similar circumstances except I watch my daughters four children. It’s very hard. I pray God gets us all through this nightmare.

  • Mari September 20th, 2014 at 10:06 PM #30

    Omg. What a way to live. Horrible how a person can ruin another’s life. Sad and so unfair. My daughter too.

  • helpless September 21st, 2014 at 8:01 AM #31

    I pray for you all. I can’t imagine the pain and suffering you endure as you fight in this war that has been thrust upon you. My boyfriend is in the same situation with his 21 year old daughter. It is destroying their lives. The stealing has plunged them into poverty. I want to help but feel helpless and its killing me (and our relationship) to watch. I have researched and offered suggestions and resources. Tried to put then when in touch with others that have gone through it (unfortunately I know other families that have been there). I try hard not to judge but feel he is enabling. He says he is trying everything he can yet he won’t go to counselling and things are getting much worse. I am starting to lose respect for him and hate her. Anxiety is beginning to take its tole..to the point where I avoid going to their house. What advise can you give to others to best help you? What have your friends and family done that has helped? How do I protect myself in the process?

  • Lorie September 21st, 2014 at 3:27 PM #32

    Help, I’m over everything, my oldest is a druggie, she has bankrupt us, stole everything of value to me. She’s been arested, in n out of jail, been in rehab,lost her 3 kids, n has torn my husband/her stepdaughter apart. She is staying with us n steels all are medicine. We lock hide it, it don’t matter, now her boyfriend moved in without our permission, she lied about everything, won’t do anything she says,I’m over it,brings her boyfriends kids over to stay n never axks us for nothing, boyfriend just got a job, so I said they have to pay 100.bucks a week n she gets good stamps but only pays us last if at all, lies about her foodstamps,I want her out of my house,but she won’t leave, n says I have to evict her, I’m 52 n I’m ready for my time, I’ve raised my kids n helped with hers, I’m done

  • darla p. September 22nd, 2014 at 1:07 PM #33

    Unlike alot of you all I just found the proof my 32 yr old is on drugs. This friday after she was taking a very very long shower I was almost 100% sure she was doing drugs but had no proof until this past friday. After her shower I went into her room and in a little black makeup bag in a gray soft bag I picked it up and there was a pipe in it not a weed pipe but a pipe that is used for something else and then a baggie fell out! So if she isnt using why did she take it into the shower and why does she evenhave the pipe? Like most of yall what so I do now where so I turn now. She has our 2 grand kids. I have never been so at a loss like I am in a different world. Like this all isnt real.

  • Pam September 23rd, 2014 at 9:35 PM #34

    Our daughter is 24 and been using drugs for past 7 years. Started with drinking and pot in high school and moved on to Oxycontin and now for the past 2 years Heroin. We have sent her to rehab twice – both times her asking to go but both times she came back home and went back to the same losers she hung out with before. We sent her out of state to a halfway house to get her awaay from all the druggies she knew here and within 3 days one of the losers had driven 8 hours and brought her drugs and she was arrested with them. We made her stay in jail for a week before bonding her out and made her use a public defender. Told her it was her consequences to deal with. The halfway house let her come back after her week in jail and all was fine for 3 months and then we got a call in the middle of the night from hospital that she had OD’d. She survived and went to counseling for a couple of months and then was right back with the same crowd and using again. I feel like we are drowning and can’t find anyway out. It is so stressful and embarassing having her live with us because when she is clean we see glimpses of the daughter we love so much but then she goes on a binge and we see a monster- she is so verbally abusive and out of control. In the past she has stolen from us so many times – thousands on our credit cards and forged so many checked and then started stealing our tv’s, power tools, anything she could pawn. Life is just miserable having her with us and yet it is so stressful when she disappears for days at a time because I can’t sleep – just feel like any minute the phone will ring and this time she will be dead. Our other 3 children have cut ties with her completely. They had to live through too much stress and chaos because of her and want no part of it anymore. They ignore her when they come visit and it breaks my heart for them all. I feel like I am constantly either so angry at her for constantly lying and manipulating us or so sad and worried that I can’t stop crying. It feels so hopeless – like she will never be the daughter we knew or live the life she was meant to. I have completely isolated myself from friends and family because I am so embarassed and ashamed. It literally feels like her addiction is killing me and destroying my family and I have no control over it and can’t make it any better.

  • Sha September 27th, 2014 at 5:57 PM #35

    I feel your pain and pray as u do for God to takemher so she has peace. Guilty for that yes..but no this is better then prison and hurt on the streets..

  • sheryl September 28th, 2014 at 4:47 PM #36

    Allie you are not a failure and you did nothing wrong. Once you realize this you can begin your own recovery. Drug users are master manipulators and will bring you down at all costs. Stay strong my friend. I myself am dealing with the same thing. Stay strong. Praying for all families who are suffering thru this.

  • Brian October 1st, 2014 at 5:19 AM #37

    I am an addict. I need help, but reading how terrible it is for you people, I am to afraid to ask for help from my family. I have lied, but, I have not robbed my family, or anyone else for my habit. So I don’t think I am like your kids. What I am going to say now, is not for you parents out there whos children have robbed them and destroyed their familys……This is for the rest, for the mother who found the pipe…… I understand that it is distressing….but do you really believe that helps? It does the exact opposite, I know I have a problem, but I can’t ask for help from my family…..because when I do, I “distress” them, its a vicious cycle. I hurt myself with drugs, and I can’t tell anyone….because if I do, I will hurt them…….. I am sorry that you feel bad, parents…. being an addict sucks too….trust me

  • GoodTherapyAdmin GoodTherapyAdmin October 1st, 2014 at 9:52 AM #38

    Thank you for your comment, Brian. If you would like to consult with mental health professional, please feel free to return to our homepage, http://www.goodtherapy.org/, and enter your zip code into the search field to find therapists in your area. If you’re looking for a counselor that practices a specific type of therapy, or who deals with specific concerns, you can make an advanced search by clicking here: http://www.goodtherapy.org/advanced-search.html

    Once you enter your information, you’ll be directed to a list of therapists and counselors who meet your criteria. From this list you can click to view our members’ full profiles and contact the therapists themselves for more information. You are also welcome to call us for assistance finding a therapist. We are in the office Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Pacific Time; our phone number is 888-563-2112 ext. 1.

    Warm Regards,

    The GoodTherapy.org Team

  • alex October 1st, 2014 at 10:26 PM #39

    My son is 26 yrs and addicted to …..
    I love him very much and i did everything i could do for him, i have a bad feeling about the whole things.
    I do not want to be in this world anymore to see this situation.
    sorry to say these things but …

  • GoodTherapyAdmin GoodTherapyAdmin October 2nd, 2014 at 9:53 AM #40

    Thank you for your comment, Alex. We wanted to provide links to some resources that may be relevant to you here. We have more information about what to do in a crisis at http://www.goodtherapy.org/in-crisis.html

    Warm regards,
    The GoodTherapy.org Team

  • Zee Zee October 10th, 2014 at 10:29 AM #41

    I am so happy to have found this site. Our 16 year old son is an addict and last January we had him removed from our home. We love him very much, but I’ve had enough Al-Anon to know that we can’t fix this. We have a younger son who is important too, and we can’t have a negative role model in the house hurting him and hurting us. We pray for our son every day. We will always love him. I will keep you all in my prayers, too. Find an Al-Anon meeting. It will save you.

  • Elly October 11th, 2014 at 5:24 PM #42

    My heart breaks for you as it does for me. We have a 40 y.o. Son who is hopelessly addicted. This year he came to us at the beginning of the year, homeless, thin, broke and greatly distressed and said he wanted to turn his life around. We set up accommodation for him, went to court to make sure he didn’t lose his children, helped him enormously and now discover he’s been lying all along and using all the time. This has been a continual pattern of his but this time I really thought it would be different, but it’s not. I’ve been to hours and hours of counseling over the years and believe there’s nothing I can do to help him. I won’t give him money and I won’t buy him food because he uses his money to buy drugs. He can get food from the welfare agencies as he does regularly. He had a lovely partner and was starting to make a life for himself with her and that all blew apart because of his lying and her distrust of him. Now he’s using that as an excuse for this latest blowout where he’s stolen and hocked some valuable pieces of equipment from his brother. He’s lost his accommodation and will be homeless again unless he hooks up with his criminal cronies and risked going back to jail. I can’t allow myself to get caught up in the emotion of his circumstances because then I drift back to years gone by and wish I could turn the clock back and change things. With the benefit of hindsight, I would change things but I did the best I could with the knowledge I had back then and if I allow myself to wallow in pain and suffering, I’m losing my life too. If he wanted to, he could access lots of help from lots of different professional agencies but he doesn’t want to. He wants to be allowed to do what he wants and wants society, his family, his children to accept him without question. And if that means destroying lives, he refuses to see that because the addict only sees his own needs. I do feel sorry for him, but I also see how selfish he is. And I get angry when his actions hurt my loved ones. If he was an addict who minded his own business, who got on with living and not doing harm to others, I could accept that. But when his behavior harms his family and particularly his children, I refuse to accept that. Unfortunately, it’s a situation that just is and I can’t stop him self destructing. But I can stop his actions harming his children and I can stop his actions destroying my life.

  • Darren Haber October 12th, 2014 at 8:40 AM #43

    Thanks Elly for your heartbreaking but courageous post. I know I’m not alone in relating to your story. Addiction is a merciless scourge that destroys hearts and lives. But I’m glad you were able to find help for yourself and a little forgiveness for the things you cannot change.

  • Scott October 14th, 2014 at 5:07 PM #44

    Have a 28 year old stepdaughter doing the same. Your story sounds so similar its scary. Its like a bad dream that goes on and on. Just wanted you to know your family is not alone.

  • Denise October 15th, 2014 at 12:14 PM #45

    My 19 year old daughter is an addict. She started smoking pot at 16, then doing ecstasy, oxi, vicodin, molly and heroine. I was so distraught and felt completely helpless as a parent. I have researched addiction and it scares me to death. I worry that I will someday bury my daughter. My daughter willingly agreed to go to outpatient however, she has already relapsed twice. My heart aches because I blame myself and question where did I go wrong. I start alonon this week. I pray for all the children and adults who are addicts.

  • Gail October 16th, 2014 at 3:20 AM #46

    Our 28-year- daughter is a drug addict. We have been allowing her to live with us because we have legal guardianship of her 4-year-old daughter. Our daughter’s behavior has become so extreme that we no longer feel safe with her in the house.

    How do we explain to our granddaughter that she will be staying with us but her mother can’t live with us anymore?

  • Sandy October 18th, 2014 at 11:00 PM #47

    I just came upon this site by googling “My daughter steals from me for drugs”. I cant believe how many stories from you all, that sound exactly like mine. My 23 yr old daughter, who is a beautiful, kind, smart, fun loving person at her core, is also a theif, liar, and a master at deceit, because of her herion addiction. It started 8yrs ago with pills that she smoked, then it became too expensive, and she switched to H. We have done everythings within our means to get help for her, sent her to about a dozen rehabs, most of which she signed herself out of before completing the program, Shes had theripists,suboxon, anxiety meds, sleeping meds,and she stays sober no more than a couple weeks after. We are drained financially, and mentally. We have decided to file the Marchment Act against her because she just stole my credit card AGAIN, for the 5th or 6th time, and put over 2000. on it,by trading purchases for drugs. I dont want her to have to go to jail, but she just cant stay here anymore, I think something about being here in her comfort zone, keeps her thinking there are no consequencs for her actions. Is there anyone out there that think I am doing the wrong thing? Im hoping the court, will force her to go somewhere for an extended time, so she can learn how to function in the world without the drugs. It is a HORRIBLE desease!

  • helpless October 23rd, 2014 at 6:26 PM #48

    I am replying to my own post. I am disappointed that nobody has responded. I guess everyone here needs to vent…and that is fine! Was hoping for advise.

  • Darren Haber October 24th, 2014 at 9:55 AM #49

    Hi Helpless. Please see my response to Isa on September 8, and see if that helps at all. Thanks for posting.

  • BROKEN October 28th, 2014 at 3:28 AM #50

    I just found this website, and although it breaks my heart to read of so many other parents dealing with this, it also calms my heart to know that I’m not alone, and that maybe it really isn’t my fault. I have a 27 yr old daughter who has been addicted to heroin for 5 years now. Through my own inability to say NO to her, my husband (innocent victim) and I have lost our business, our home, our sanity, our health, and our current financial situation is not improving because I STILL can’t say no. I know I am enabling her, but she is so convincing that I believe her most days…that she is clean and just has the worst luck on the face of the earth. But I’m not a stupid person, even though I know I must sound like one. After I finally give in after her HOUNDING me for money for her emergency situation, I feel relief. She goes away and I don’t have to deal with the phone calls and texts for a little while. There are empty promises that she has money coming to her from a boyfriend, or a job, and she’ll pay me back.But of course that never happens. I know I sound like an idiot, but how can I stop falling for her lies? Do I need to change my phone numbers and disown her? I cry every time I am alone. My husband was diagnosed with MS and he suffers daily with pain, so I don’t involve him in my stress, but I know I’m hurting him by not fixing our financial situation. I have borrowed from friends so they’re not really around anymore. My other children won’t talk to her because of the lifestyle she chose, and are busy with their own busy lives so I feel all alone. I just have a problem turning my back on her, knowing she will be cold and hungry and crying on the streets. I am 58 and working myself to death to try and fix our situation, instead of the life we had planned on. But I wind up working for her instead…and she just doesn’t care how much she is hurting us. I have a real problem with this, and I know everyone says that is enabling…but how do I stop??? That is my addiction.

  • TC November 17th, 2014 at 9:37 AM #51

    Hello I am a 44 yr old addict in recovery which started about 10 years ago from an accident I was in. I was prescribed painkillers then it went from there. I have been clean now almost 3 years, After putting my kids through hell. Never in 1 million years what I think my kids would ever go to that route, but unfortunately my oldest daughter who has seen me at my worst, and said I’ll never be like my mom, well needless to say she met up with a Man (Who has a three-year-old son, in which he does not see) who is a heroin addict that she tried to help I am at my wits end because now she is using and has overdosed while in his presence. After trying to get her help (in which she denied, because she doesn’t have a problem) (so she says) she ends up pregnant and still using drugs unfortunately I can’t get help from anybody as far as the police goes (I tried) I have numerous text messages from her phone (which I have now) where her boyfriend is selling his prescription (Subs) to buy dope but when I call the doctor to let him know he still gives him a prescription. WTF? What do I do? When it seems like no one will help me.

  • Lisa November 18th, 2014 at 11:52 PM #52

    I Sit here at 3 am in The morning worried sick.. My Daughter 21 is Using meth.. Shooting it up.. She is currently being Looked for by the police.. Cause she skipped out on parole among other things.. When Is It Time As A Parent To Make that call that may give them help or be worse when they get out of Jail.. I am at the end.. This Is Too Stress full for just me. her dad died year ago
    I AM SICK OF HER KILLING HERSELF..not only its destroying me with worry everything Imaginable. Please Help Me make that call.

  • MH November 19th, 2014 at 8:04 AM #53

    I am encouraged that I am not alone. I hurt so deeply and this burden is with me day and night. I know Al-anon well. I know I must let go, yet it has taken 10 years to do so. Even after you let go, the pain stays. Letting go does give you financial relief, it does leave time to focus on your other family members and relationships, but waiting for the next shoe to drop is always in the back of your mind.

    I have watched my 35 year old daughter change from a beautiful talented, caring teacher into a beligerent, hateful, disheveled, selfish, and unbelievably irresponsible woman who dresses like trash. She has pawned and hocked what few things of value she could find, and has stolen presciption meds, and bankrupted me. I have allowed this to go on, and I look back wanted to kick myself for ever helping her. Getting her out of jail and back into the work world did nothing but give her just enough money to keep her drugs going. When her car breaks down, or my granddaughter is sick, of course she has no funds.

    In Texas, a mother can be a drug addict, it can be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, and she still is in no danger of losing custody of her child unless neglect can be proven. Not just unfit living quarters, or no health insurance, but the child must miss school, or have belt marks, or something. Even though my daughter has wrecked the car seven times in the last 12 months, she is not considered an unfit mother or endangering her child. Even if arrested, unless she is incarcerated, I cannot get even temporary custody. As the lawyer told me “a drug addict can still be a good parent”. Really?

    I keep waiting for her to hit bottom. Where is the bottom? Will she be homeless? My husband, her stepfather will not allow her to ever stay with us. She is destructive and hateful, stays out all night, and messes up the house leaving a trail of mess behind her that takes us days to clean up.

    It will be the hardest thing ever to say no to her when she calls me from the streets. How will I say no, you can’t come here to sleep. You can bring the child, but you cannot stay. I know I will never see my granddaughter again if I do that.

    As the rest of you, I wonder.. where did I go wrong? Maybe we loved her too much. Maybe I should have raised her like a drill sargent and given her nothing. Maybe if we hadn’t gone to church she wouldn’t have spitefully become an atheist. Mother guilt is so hard.

    Even though I live in a metropolis, I feel alone as a parent. Every drug program or 12 step program is filled with young adults on probation, and parents like myself are nowhere to be found.

    I lost my best friend when I lost her to drugs 10 years ago. Cocaine, chrystal meth, gigantic doses of xanax for years, 15 Vicodin a day some years, always on something.

    The tragedy of my life. I feel isolated and a failure at life, questioning my own sanity.


  • MH November 19th, 2014 at 9:25 AM #54

    Dear Broken,
    I just joined the website a few minutes ago, but your recent letter stands out to me from all the rest.

    I completely identify with you.

    When my daughter was born and I saw her for the first time, the love was so intense and the bond so strong that I can’t even describe it. I still feel she is part of my soul and being and always will be. I have come a long way in gradually distancing myself, however. Because her addictions have taken over who she is, I cannot be attached to that. Her authentic self is lost and buried deep inside her where I cannot go. I cannot reach her anymore. It is as though she has died and some monster has assumed her body. That monster is who I have to let go of, and pray daily that the soul of my child that belongs to me and to God, who gave her to me, will some how survive and find me. Someday we will smile and approve of each other, and we will look each other in the eyes and see honesty. Someday I have faith the daughter I once knew will bloom again.
    You said it well– trying to control her life and take her out of this horrible place is OUR addiction. I have become every bit as sick as she. How can we free ourselves from the addiction of worrying about her addiction?

    We have to compartmentalize our life. We pray for her, and then tuck her away in God’s care. Then, we have to take the giant step of turning around and seeing the neglected family around us. We have to focus on our own comfort and good times with them. What good is it to suffer and worry about a monster we cannot control? Has money and worry changed one thing for the better?
    EVERY PENNY I have given her has only helped to delay her recovery one more day. Any help is the enemy of recovery. She will never see the point of getting well if she can get even the most basic needs met by someone else. I have to surrender to the fact I cannot help her.
    I can help myself, I can give my husband the love and companionship and a smile on my face that he deserves.
    I will starve the monster of drug addiction by not enabling it to thrive in my own life.

  • The GoodTherapy.org Team The GoodTherapy.org Team November 19th, 2014 at 10:38 AM #55

    Hi MH,

    Thank you for your comment. If you would like to consult with a mental health professional, please feel free to return to our homepage, http://www.goodtherapy.org/, and enter your zip code into the search field to find therapists in your area. If you’re looking for a counselor that practices a specific type of therapy, or who deals with specific concerns, you can make an advanced search by clicking here: http://www.goodtherapy.org/advanced-search.html

    Once you enter your information, you’ll be directed to a list of therapists and counselors who meet your criteria. From this list you can click to view our members’ full profiles and contact the therapists themselves for more information. You are also welcome to call us for assistance finding a therapist. We are in the office Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Pacific Time; our phone number is 888-563-2112 ext. 1.

    Warm Regards,

    The GoodTherapy.org Team

  • Jill November 23rd, 2014 at 7:01 PM #56

    I just read your story. I have a very similar experience. I have an exceptionally beautiful 35 year old daughter who is our oldest child and a drug addict. She has been into pills, methadone and alcohol. Today, we finally kicked her out of our lives. After all the numerous times we’ve helped her she is just back to doing drugs. She’s been through rehab. Jail numerous times, has been married and divorced and can’t hold a job longer than a couple months. When sober she is the sweetest most caring girl. When drugged out she is mean, out of control, and a horrible person to be around. Yes everything is a mess when she is around including her nightmare life. I have been married for 37 years and she is destroying our lives including my marriage. Her younger siblings want nothing to do with her and have written her off. She has a warrant and is driving with a suspended license we in s drug charge tonight. She got kicked out of her rehab facility for doping drugs. She grew up in an upper middle class home and was given a good life. We both volunteered at the school and lived and cared about her. Neither one of us have ever been in trouble a day in our lives. We don’t know where we went wrong. Yes we bailed her outbid jail, out her in rehab, had her visit doctors, and tried to get her help more times then I can count. Your letter hit home with me because I can relate. Thank god she doesn’t have kids. They would of been the ultimate. Tonight I pray and cry that she doesn’t kill herself Or anyone else while driving or a drug overdose. I hope she finds enough strength to overcome this. We both feel so much guilt and stress even though we can’t control the situation.

  • Jill November 23rd, 2014 at 7:10 PM #57

    I understand everything you are saying. You are addicted to helping her, the guilt you are living with is too much for you and so you help her because this helps you feel better about it even though you know it’s not the right thing to do. It’s very complicated and anyone who has a daughter who is addicted to drugs can relate. I’m there with you. You are not alone. I understand you and know how you are feeling. You cannot help your daughter by doing this and you know this is in your heart. You are just fixing her money to buy more drugs.

    You are not ready to quit fixing her money because you haven’t hit rock bottom yet with this. You are 58 years old and don’t have a lot of years left to work. You need to worry about your husband and yourself financially. You will have nothing and your daughter will use all your money and she’s not going to be helping you. Yes block her phone so she can’t call you. Do what it takes. Go to a Alanon meeting so you can find ways to handle this.
    I wish you both good luck.

  • Cindy November 23rd, 2014 at 8:25 PM #58

    I am thankful I found this website. I have so much pain inside because I am so embarrassed and feel so responsible for what my daughter is doing and has done. She is 35 years old and her husband OD and died two years ago. They.brought two beautiful children in this world who she does not care one thing about. I have sent her to rehab which I will be paying on for the next 25 years. I went in debt a trailer right next to my home because I thought at least I could make sure the children were safe. I cannot believe where my life is now. I raised my children both the exact same way and I’m trying to get over the guilt that I feel because she blames me for everything. She pays no rent, doesn’t work, doesn’t feed her children, and I am at my at the end of my robe. She has financially ruined us but has no remorse whatsoever. I am struggling so hard to just feed and clothe her children and she never has any money and acts like I should take care if her too. Like I read from others, she wears me down until u can’t take it anymore and give in to just get her to stop. I then got to my bathroom and cry my heart out. Her children will not even go over to her home because they know she does not love them. AA, counseling, rehab….. on and on. I think she is doing good and then I find out she is lying and back it all starts. My husband is disabled , her step-father since she was three is sick. She hates him because she can’t work him like she does me. I have ran people off with shot guns. I finally have the people stopped from coming over here unless she is flipping them at night, which she has done. I feel like she has all the control because of the kids. It is so hard to get custody of the kids. I don’t want to be a patient again but what do I do? It is not their fault. I lost a lot of my relationship with my son because I am having to do so much for her children. My heart is breaking. I have always been known as a strong person but now I am falling apart. I can’t afford to get help for myself–we are barely eating. I live in a very small community and I have tried to keep all thus to myself as much as possible but I thought being able to just write the truth might help. Her addiction has ruined my life, my marriage, my dreams…. I am retired and was hoping for a time in my life with some peace but I only see that coming when God finally decides to take me home…..well I wrote it down and am sharing it….I have no one to ask for help so anything you have to offer me would kindly be appreciated.

  • Cindy November 23rd, 2014 at 8:29 PM #59

    Sorry for grammar mistakes…crying so hard while writing this post..

  • The GoodTherapy.org Team The GoodTherapy.org Team November 24th, 2014 at 11:24 AM #60

    Hi Cindy,

    We received the comment that you submitted on our blog earlier today. Thank you so much for visiting GoodTherapy.org. If you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, in danger of hurting yourself or others, feeling suicidal, overwhelmed, or in crisis, it’s very important that you get immediate help! You can do one of the following immediately:

    • Call your local law enforcement agency (911);
    • Go to the nearest hospital emergency room;
    • Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TTY:1-800-799-4TTY)

    The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is equipped to take a wide range of calls, from immediate suicidal crisis to providing information about mental health. Some of the reasons to call are listed below: • Call to speak with someone who cares;
    • Call if you feel you might be in danger of hurting yourself;
    • Call to find referrals to mental health services in your area;
    • Call to speak to a crisis worker about someone you’re concerned about.

    If you are a victim of domestic violence, you can call your local hotline and/or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−SAFE (7233) (TTY 1−800−787−3224)

    RAINN provides support for sexual assault victims and their loved ones through two hotlines at 800.656.HOPE and Online.RAINN.org. Whether you are more comfortable on the telephone or online, RAINN has services that can guide you in your recovery.
    • The National Sexual Assault Hotline: If you need support, call 800.656.HOPE, and you will be directed to a rape crisis center near your area.
    • The National Sexual Assault Online Hotline: is the first secure web-based crisis hotline providing live and anonymous support through an interface as intuitive as instant messaging.
    • For more information visit http://rainn.org/get-help/national-sexual-assault-online-hotline.

    Warm regards,

  • The GoodTherapy.org Team The GoodTherapy.org Team November 24th, 2014 at 12:07 PM #61

    Hi Jill,

    Thank you for your comment. If you would like to consult with a mental health professional, please feel free to return to our homepage, http://www.goodtherapy.org/, and enter your zip code into the search field to find therapists in your area. If you’re looking for a counselor that practices a specific type of therapy, or who deals with specific concerns, you can make an advanced search by clicking here: http://www.goodtherapy.org/advanced-search.html

    Once you enter your information, you’ll be directed to a list of therapists and counselors who meet your criteria. From this list you can click to view our members’ full profiles and contact the therapists themselves for more information. You are also welcome to call us for assistance finding a therapist. We are in the office Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Pacific Time; our phone number is 888-563-2112 ext. 1.

    Warm Regards,

    The GoodTherapy.org Team

  • Robert December 1st, 2014 at 7:00 PM #62

    Hello I been there 25 year addiction to meth I. V. Drug user been clean over seven years God sent someone to me and I went to a celebration recovery meeting and everyone there just loved on me and didn’t judge me for being high and I keep coming and went to treatment ect….. Now Iam a drug and alcohol counselor but Love and motivation and other people taught me how to live and I love life today. Never give up God is good

  • D.b.D. December 4th, 2014 at 4:00 AM #63

    I hear the things all of you are saying and I understand the feelings everyone feels. I was a very strong, independent, respected and hard-working woman known for my integrity, my honesty and sensitivity to others. I overcame a lot in my life and went on to live very happily and comfortably in my skin as an adult until addiction took over. Now I am a shadow of myself. I am alone and unclean and can barely wake up in the morning and I have lost all friends and family as well as my reputation. I would do anything to have the ability to go to rehab and knock this thing out for good but you see my sister is the addict and my parents as well as everyone in her life does the opposite of what you all describe. When she had children and I witnessed her endanger them by using drugs I refused to allow it to go on like nothing was happening and instead of doing what was right, my family and friends surrounded her with protection and comfort and I am the one who has been exiled and abandoned. I am lost and scared and I’m sick too on disability at a young age which is absolutely devastating to me and I just don’t have the energy to get myself out of this mess. I can’t reason with anyone and after eight years of doing things their way my sister has escalated from pills to heroin and calling child services to them was the equivalent of my murdering someone and was the nail in my coffin. I never knew just how totally somebody else’s addiction could destroy my life and that id be absolutely helpless to stop it. I don’t know what else to say. I feel I’m waiting just to die which could be 50 or 60 miserable years away while I live each day wishing they would be a home invasion and someone would shoot me or I don’t know what. I’m not suicidal but I do wonder how much longer I can take this and I have called the hotline and they were very rude. In fact I have been turned away by multiple mental health professionals all whom my parents managed to convince I was not worth the effort or the acknowledgement.

  • D.b.D. December 4th, 2014 at 4:21 AM #64

    Yes it is very unhelpful to turn to loved ones for help and have them respond with distress and worry- that just burdens you even more. If someone asks you for help I think the best thing you can do is respond calmly and nonjudgmentaly and with total support and positive attitude and just get down to business and take care of them and get them into treatment with love and support and care but with a firm hand as well. If your loved one comes to you for help he or she already knows that you are burdened and hurt and that is not the time to express that feeling to the addict. I wish you could ask for help. I had my own issue once that was not really an addiction but regardless when I went to my parents for help they responded in distress and it was very upsetting but if you need help you need help so i say suck it up and do it for yourself. Try to understand that they can’t help feeling worried or upset either so all any of us can do is to keep walking forward and do all the right things that will lead you out to the other side to where none of this is going to touch you anymore. Good luck. Sincerely.

  • D.b.D. December 4th, 2014 at 4:30 AM #65

    While I am not a professional, I do have quite a bit of experience in this area and some advice I would give you is first to really educate yourself about the nature of addiction and if you can prevent it, try really hard to stay away from living in denial because it is just not going to help you or her in anyway. I would find an addiction therapist or someone similar and get advice about how best to help her and then work from there. When in doubt I always refer to a mental health professional for advice so that I know I am handling things to the best of my ability and can never look back and say if only I had not tried to wing it, maybe…. All you can do is your best, and if you’re following advice from experienced professionals and trying to be loving yet not enabling or promoting her lifestyle that’s all you can do. Just remember that no one can force an addict to get help but the addict. Not love for children or family, not the threat of homelessness or the possibility of prostitution, nothing can heal an addict but his or her own steel will and determination to get better. That said, one does not have to be willing to except help to be inspired to enter treatment and still eventually come around to accepting the help on their own so you don’t have to wait around until they have a lightbulb moment. Laws withstanding! Keep a level head and good luck.

  • The GoodTherapy.org Team The GoodTherapy.org Team December 4th, 2014 at 11:53 AM #66

    Thank you for your comment, D.b.D. We wanted to provide links to some resources that may be relevant to you here. We have more information about what to do in a crisis at http://www.goodtherapy.org/in-crisis.html

    Warm regards,
    The GoodTherapy.org Team

  • Tania December 10th, 2014 at 9:13 PM #67

    I work as a mental health and addiction counselor in MD. If you have a family member who needs treatment, I recommend you have them screened at the Behavioral Health Division of your local Health Department. The Health Department will often pay all the costs of inpatient treatment, and will also subsidize outpatient treatment. Pregnant women and women with children can also receive funding through ADAA-Behavioral Health Administration. I had a recent client, using crack cocaine for decades, who said she never sought treatment because she never thought she could afford it. This little known fact could save families from bankruptcy and remove barriers to treatment.

  • Sheila December 14th, 2014 at 7:18 PM #68

    hi Cindy,
    I also have a daughter who is 34 and has been an addict for almost 10 years now. She had a baby that was born at 24 weeks and only lived for a month. My husband ( her stepdad) has tried to help her many times but he has given up in her. She is also very sick with a blood disorder and can’t go to rehab and I am also completely broke trying to pay for her medical needs. I finally had to let her go. Detach with love is a very hard thing to do but now it it either her life or mine. I know the only possible way for her to get help is for me to get out of the way and let her experience the consequences of her behavior …and be prepared if she dies. At least I’m not crying every night and sneaking around trying to bail her out of all her drama. Try naranon or alanon , your are not alone. Keep praying for your daughter , God hears us and He will answer your prayers. Hang in there

  • leslie December 24th, 2014 at 8:57 AM #69

    I feel like we r leading the same life. I cant do it anymore. I had to give her back to God and hope he sees fit to change her life. I love her so much but this has been the most terrible 10 years ever…

  • amber December 25th, 2014 at 9:45 AM #70

    Well said. I will use your words and say them to my mom. Who is also going through my sisters drug addiction. She needs to “starve the monster” thank you.

  • amber December 25th, 2014 at 9:50 AM #71

    I pray for you. As the daughter of a mother who is going through the same thing. My sister is lost destroying everything her path. My mother is always whobsje blames yet she was raised no different than me. Given a good healthy upbringing never needed anything. But now has ruined my mothers home, things, bankruptcy. Looking on from the outside you can say my sister truly hates my mom based on her behavior alone. And she has 4 kids my parents are currently having to raise. And they deal withy husbands drug addicted husband too. Its hard but one thing for sure is that my mom is not to blame and neither are you.

  • sk January 2nd, 2015 at 8:14 AM #72

    I just stumbled on this website and these comments and I find comfort in knowing I’m not alone. My almost 25 year old daughter is an addict. She is on heroin and I’m being told meth and crack as well. I have battled a long time with her addiction. I only realized she was into the “hard stuff” a couple of years ago when she tried to tell me she got bit by a spider and it turned out it was an infection from shooting up. The doctor came to me and said she would lose her arm if she didn’t stop shooting up. That is when I found out she had been into drugs way worse than I knew. It has went downhill since. We had to throw her out of our house from all the theft and lies. She had been living on the streets as she has caused everyone who has tried to help her turn their backs on her from the pain she has caused. I had to take custody of her two boys whom I am raising and the oldest doesn’t want much to do with her. On rare occasions when she calls he doesn’t want to talk to her and I don’t either due to the stress it causes me. It’s always some crazy lie to get money. She has cornered me to the point I gave her the money so I could leave the parking lot of a McDonald’s. Her and her druggie friends physically broke into my house in broad daylight and robbed me blind while I was at work. It breaks my heart but the only way I am going to survive is to cut her off completely. It is a horrible life to live not only for the addict but for the family left behind. I can only pray that God can bring her back but I am preparing for the worst. Stay strong everyone. A friend told me something she learned while in counceling for her own family addiction issue which has helped me. How do you know when an addict is lying? When they open their mouth. I struggled with my daughter’s convincing stories and was unsure if she was lying or being truthful and that little phrase helps be keep strong when I tell her NO!
    There is no easy way through it. I just have to let go now and move on with my life and the lives of her children. God Bless you all.

  • Cristina January 5th, 2015 at 10:25 AM #73

    Happy New Year?!?
    Thank you to all who have shared their difficult and heartbreaking experiences on this site. My 18 yr old daughter is also an addict and recently stole my debit card and drained the family funds to get high with her friends over the Christmas holiday season. We are seeking help for her, but my husband and I constantly argue about what she needs. My marriage is nearing the point of no return. I believe that my daughter manipulates my husband and says whatever he wants to hear like (yes, daddy, I need help… I’m so sad…. pls take me back in). We have been doing this for 3 years now. She lies, she steals, she is not the same person and doesn’t follow through with any promises and has no regard for anyone in her family. She is selling drugs, using drugs, hustling for drugs and God only knows what else. I know in my heart that she is a good person down deep, but the monster that lives within is taking over. And not just taking her over…. now it’s got a hold on my entire family. I’m ready to give up as I am powerless as the only parent that recognizes this. Husband enables this to continue, makes excuses, avoids difficult conversations and chooses to surround himself with work/distractions to avoid things. I am ready to give up… too many demons to fight in my house… no light at the end of this tunnel. I’m so tired.

  • LHW January 5th, 2015 at 11:09 AM #74

    Wow, I am not alone here. My daughter is 27 and currently in jail. She has been using Heroin, Meth, Crack and God only knows what else. She is a shell of what she once was. She is homeless and has lost everything including her young daughter. We have had custody for years now. I am thankful she is now in jail but I know that wont last. At least I can sleep a few days without worry. I can relate to every story about all the daughters and sons here. We are a good family and have several other daughters who are great productive smart girls. I just want my nightmare to end. My daughters health is also in poor shape. She has collapsed veins, infections etc. Nobody could ever know the pain we feel as parents. It seems as if her death would be a relief. Such a pathetic thing to even say.

  • Darren H. January 5th, 2015 at 9:05 PM #75

    Thanks everyone for your honest, heartbreaking stories. It continues to amaze me how powerfully destructive addiction is, just tragic on every level. I encourage you to get help for yourselves — al-anon, counseling, spiritual or religious support — because this obviously wreaks havoc on families and is traumatizing indeed.

  • Louie January 12th, 2015 at 1:38 PM #76

    Wow …. God does work through people. Stumbling upon this site is no coincidence.
    Today I found myself thinking a lot about my daughters addiction to drugs and how powerless I am to stop her. A couple of times I even got teary-eyed behind the hurt inside.
    Out of 5 of my children, one has fallen victim and I believe I have a lot to do with it.
    I too used drugs and alcohol for over 35 years before surrendering. NO ONE could help me because I simply choose to keep living the nightmare. However,
    I happen to be lucky or blessed to survive that long. Many of my friends died along the way and thats what scares me most about my daughters use. My experience living that lifestyle is whats killing me inside because she doesn’t have a clue whats ahead for her if she doesn’t quit now. I try talking to her but she changes the subject. She knows she cannot pull one over me. And though I feel a lot to blame, I will not enable her. I try to use my knowledge of this disease to steer her in the right direction. But the bottom line is this … No matter how bad we want our kid/kids to stop, only they can stop. We are powerless on making their decisions. A lot of prayers, love and support is what I am doing. Today I realize how much pain I caused my parents. God knows how bad I feel for doing such things.
    Addiction is selfish! It robs us and everyone in our lives.
    Best of luck, and thanks for your time.

  • Danielle January 12th, 2015 at 4:55 PM #77

    I am writing as a person who was an addict. My situation may present as unique because I always knew I had a problem (drinking) and I tried to stop myself starting when I was 17 years old. I tried AA, counseling, outpatients…I sent myself to rehab at 26 and had countless nightmarish scenarios play out involving police, getting fired from jobs, volunteer work drunk, horrible relationships, crashing cars etc etc. The driving force behind my addiction was an enormous amount of pain I had to be willing to finally feel. This was an atrocious experience but the fear of it is what continued my incredibly destructive behavior no matter how much I hurt myself or anyone I cared about. Addiction is about avoiding pain that is constantly threatening to come fully into consciousness. At least in my experience. I dont know if that helps anyone understand how their child could treat them the way addicts treat, but it is the truth from my experience. Perhaps it can help to not take their behavior personally…

  • Darren Haber January 12th, 2015 at 5:08 PM #78

    Dear readers, thank you again for your comments. I have been so amazed by the responses here that I plan in the coming months to put together an e-book about dealing with family members struggling with addiction: reasons, resources and (I hope) some consolation that you are not alone. There’s no sugar-coating the brutality of addiction, but it has such a wider impact than is realized. Addiction is an equal opportunity destroyer. Anyway thank you again and I am very moved by the honesty in these posts. I hope and pray you and your loved ones find relief.

  • Louie January 14th, 2015 at 6:08 PM #79

    *An Addicts Confession, The Life I Once Lived*
    Though writing this is a bit personal and humiliating, I can only hope someone can identify … Or see what drugs have to offer.
    For 35 years I played the game of “Russian Roulette”. Every time I consumed my drug I took a chance of it being my last. The insanity behind using is unreal. It took me on a journey like no other. Countless trips to the hospital, the jails and finally came the prison. Only through the grace of God I didn’t end up in the morgue. I did however come close many times. Yet the insanity had me continue this cycle for 35 plus years. This living nightmare all began with a harmless beer, so I thought. It is real easy to develop a tolerance. Once the beer stopped doing for me, I graduated to weed. Within a year I was a walking drug store. I experimented with just about every drug out there until coming across my love, “HEROIN”! To those of you new to this .. drug addiction will rob and destroy your life in a matter of time. And thats if your lucky and not die first. I lost count of how many friends died throughout my addiction. An active addict will do just about anything to get their next fix. I did a lot of things I once swore I’d never do. Some things I’m too ashamed to say. Things I could only turn over to God. Drug addiction is a disease.
    There is a lot pain and suffering involved. The longer you wait to seek help, the harder it will be to stop. There is no such thing as finding a cure. All it takes is a simple slip to return back to active addiction. Though I take it a day at a time, sometimes I have to fight with my disease and take it a minute at a time till I get through the temptation.
    To be cont ..
    Thank You And God Bless.
    Louie Jr.

  • melissa January 16th, 2015 at 5:09 PM #80

    What if your adult child refuses treatment? Do you kick them out of the house? Refuse any assistance until they have hit their bottom and are willing to accept treatment? Desperately seeking advice

  • D.b.D. January 17th, 2015 at 1:33 AM #81

    I appreciate your offer of resources however like I said I’m not suicidal. I am desperate to help my family for two reasons. First and most importantly is the well being of my niece and nephew, both under 10, who deserve better then to live in the unpredictable environment of an addict who mentally abuses them to meet her own unhealthy needs. This has had long-lasting damaging on the children & has been witnessed by only me with open eyes while the “stable” adults in their lives choose (whether aware or not) to believe whatever they can in order to not have to face the frightening reality or the impossible battle ahead. Reason #2 is if I cannot help my family, I will lose my family and everyone I’ve ever loved. The biggest factor that keeps help from my sister is that somehow she manages to hold things together well enough (function- on HEROIN!) that bottom is never an imminent danger. The people around her can’t tell she’s on drugs (I thought she had been doing pretty well right during the time she had been using so much heroin her dealer refused to sell anymore because she was a mother), though her behavior is erratic and perplexing just like her explanations for everything which are riddled with lies with no reason and leave you confused- people can’t place what Is wrong with her but drugs is unlikely enough to give anyone with a tendency towards denial enough evidence of any other explanation to come up one and sleep at night no matter how aware of the truth they truly are deep down. My parents in full denial, standing guard to protect her from help as if it’s a punishment, not a savior. They help her w/$ everytime though she is married to a man who makes plenty + she could work. She never needs money for the usual things like bail or things typical heroin addicts need ??. This week is sewage in their basement, costing 1000s!! Instead of insisting she get help or no $, or even that they grow up and deal themselves my ps are paying with no conditions at all! They don’t see that my sister will make poor $ decisions (drugs over necessities), until they stop enabling. They don’t get that paying for this doesn’t mean they are buying her drugs! I know the Life those kids lead is frightening, unpredictable and inconsistent. Knowing that other parents send their kids over to play, ignorant of the danger while my parents just stand by and attack or dessert me if I do a single thing to help anyone, it is truly frightening and I feel helpless. I just don’t know what to do and it’s like watching a train wreck while reasonable smart people stand there and help ignoring their moral responsibility to those kids!! I need resources to help me with this.

  • D.b.D. January 17th, 2015 at 1:45 AM #82

    I forgot to ask has anyone ever heard of someone using so much heroin (not intravenously I don’t think) that their dealer won’t sell to them anymore but remaining able to keep up appearances enough that they look like a relatively normal middle-class family? You read all of these horror stories about people who have fallen into darkness and chosen very typical and destructive not to mention criminal behaviors as a result of the drug so how the hell is she doing this? True she’s been using drugs one way or another since she was a teenager and she’s almost 40 but still!! Why is she able to carry-on raising her children and functioning enough to get through each day without any truly major catastrophes while using heroin? Unless something terrible happens my parents will never wake up, and without their influence/ultimatums she will never feel forced into help whether you believe a person can be helped that way or not (I happen to know you can). Alone and against everyone I love I simply cannot fight this fight by myself! I have taken further drastic but perfectly reasonable and appropriate action which I’m afraid to share because my parents would believe it a terrible betrayal deserving of exile from the children forever (me who is the only person on this earth who has a risked anything significant to protect them) which shows you how delusional they are. They truly regard any form of help that my sister does not choose on her own as some kind of a violent attack and betrayal worthy of shocked gasps and punishments of the coldest, long lasting variety! We are actually getting along some now, my parents and I, so any advice now that I’m in the position to possibly get through to them, would be so appreciated.

  • Judy January 19th, 2015 at 2:25 PM #83

    My 30 year old daughter is a heroin addict. You stated everything on my mind. My once beautiful daughter is now a monster. She looks horrible her face is not the same and everyday I practice my reaction to the news that she is dead. It’s strange. It’s like she already died and I’m just waiting to find out how and when. I cry inside everyday. I don’t know how to live. A mothers instinct is to run into a fire to save her child and with heroin I have to stand by and watch her burn. It’s not natural. My pain is so great.

  • LaDonna January 20th, 2015 at 9:44 AM #84

    After googling “family of adult addicts”, I stumbled across this site. I sat here and read the comments only to realize the similarities that each and everyone one of us face. My 30 yr old daughter has been addicted to pills for the last 10 yrs. Her choice of drugs are Somas, Xanax and Vicodin. The pain and hurt that she has caused is beyond sleepless nights. She has overdosed twice, been on life support, wrecked cars, stolen from her family, lied, twice has had CPS involved (I have two Grand-Children, 10 and 6) and countless other incidences. I live in Florida, she lives in Texas with my Ex-Mother In Law. My Son, her Uncles and Aunts have to clean up her mess constantly. I have gone back home only to chase drug dealers away, tackle her to the ground with my Grand-Daughter to get the pills out of her pocket. It is a re-occurring situation. After I thought that I had heard it all, last night she was found passed out in her bedroom naked from the waste down, a man sitting in the living room, while my Grand-Daughter was on the computer. Her Uncle took the kids out immediately. This is what I deal with on a constant basis. My hurt turned into anger, my anger has now turned into numbness. From a previous post I read, I am too just waiting to get a phone call that she has passed. I know this sounds horrible, but I feel that I would have a tremendous sense of relief. Thank you for letting me vent and allowing me to put my feelings down.

  • jon January 21st, 2015 at 6:54 PM #85

    When I was young me and this girl were best friends. My mom lost me in court and I was separated from this girl for 14 years. Now that I found my way back home I have fallen in love with this girl and want nothing more then to care for her and give her the life she deserves. But there is a problem. She is addicted to drugs and wants to change.she knows how I feal about her and deals the same about me. She is in a adusive relationship with a guy who basicly feeds her drugs so he can have his way with her. She hates him but gives in for the drugs. I’m in desperate need of help what should I do.

  • joe January 23rd, 2015 at 4:37 PM #86

    I have a 27 year old boy .he not wanna work does not clean his room he have very bad attide he talk very bad with me I don’t know what to do please help

  • B.Davis January 24th, 2015 at 11:33 AM #87

    To witness someone you love dearly that is an alcoholic
    distroy their health, and everything they come into contact with, is heartbreaking. Is there anything I could possibly do to help her? Her illness is killing me too.
    Nina’s Mom

  • Louie Jr. January 24th, 2015 at 3:23 PM #88

    Hi Joe,
    Sorry to hear whats going on with you and your son. It is so painful dealing with child who is caught-up in drugs. I am also a recovering addict dealing with a daughter who is in active addiction now. One advantage I have is … 35 plus years experience. Experienced in lying, justifying, manipulation, conning and all the other tricks when it comes to drugs. Proud I’m not, blessed to be alive, yes!
    What I suggest to you is “tough love”. If your son is totally disrespecting you and your home … and you’ve tried talking to him with no change, then you may have to give him an ultimatum. It sounds mean, but if you don’t take action now, things will only escalate. My daughter knows how far she can get with me. She knows I’d do anything possible to help her so-long as I see her doing the right thing. My parents enabled me for years until they got educated in the disease of addiction. Slowly but surely the tough love started. When I realized I was about to lose their total support, the fear kicked in and through the Grace Of God I surrendered.
    So once again, Tough Love I suggest to you. Best of luck,
    Louie Jr.

  • Louie Jr. January 26th, 2015 at 12:57 PM #89

    Sad, but unless your religious, there is not much you can do. Love and support is needed. But be sure you DO NOT enable her. The decision has to be hers to quit. Prayers help me get by. Best of luck … God bless.
    Louie Jr.

  • mona m February 2nd, 2015 at 5:12 AM #90

    I hear my 24 year old daughter is doing (G) when i comfront her she says she is not. By let weight loss and the look on her face, i know she is. The thing is she has a 6 year old son and I feel like I need to take him. First I do not know how, also I cant prove she is on drugs never have seen her do it, my grandsons father is in rehab and has been for the last year. My daughter insists she is not on drugs. I just lost my 21 year old son to a drive by shooting 5 years ago and dont think I can lose another child. I pray everyday and I am sooooo scared.

  • nina February 2nd, 2015 at 5:32 AM #91

    The only way to help them is to force them to have no other alternative than to help themselves. This means cutting them off from you completely. No visiting, no phone calls, nothing for as long as it takes. You have to let them hot rock bottom before they will have no other alternative than to start helping themselves and when that day comes u will b there for them

  • sharon February 4th, 2015 at 10:58 PM #92

    Thank you for a ray of hope. My daughter goes to celebrate recovery, but sometimes relapses. Please pray that God will intervene. Thank you.

  • Melody February 5th, 2015 at 8:00 AM #93

    Please seek God , for He is stronger and greater than the demon’s that are trying to destroy our families ! God is our only hope ! I promise when you seek Him and His will , He will give you the strength and peace you need to get through these trials !

  • RT February 9th, 2015 at 9:10 AM #94

    Dear MH, you have put my thoughts on paper. My daughter is 21 and was diagnosed one year ago with depression and anxiety. I believe a personality disorder not yet diagnosed. She is medicated with a number of prescribed medications and self medicates with weed and hallucinogenics regularly. She came to live at home six months ago after living with a fella. She quit university because of anxiety, can’t keep a job and since she has been home sleeps most days but goes out on the weekends. We pay for her meds and have been giving her spending money for the weekends. I know that her drug use has increased of late and we have reduced her spending money knowing where it goes. I’m not naïve as to how she might be getting her drugs now and I know my husband and I are enabling her. We are both afraid that sending her out of the house would mean six monthsof ‘stabilization ‘ will be for not. The pain you describe in being a parent in this situation is so accurate.

  • Begie. February 9th, 2015 at 8:27 PM #95

    My daughter has been addicted to heroin for over 10 years. She was raised in church, took dancing lessons, was in Girl Scouts, played violin and cello, auditioned for and accepted into the city wide children’s choir, she was in musicals in high school and college. She graduated with a BA in art and architectural history, even making the Dean’s list. When she became addicted she had a great job, a new car and a bright future. She has lost EVERYTHING. First she started seeing an addict who was “trying to get clean.” The spiral down happened so fast we were in shock. We tried different rehabs, medications, sending her out of the country for a while in an effort to break the pattern. We have been lied to, stolen from, defrauded…Finally I had her arrested in an effort to keep her alive.
    There have been many days at a time when we didn’t know if she were dead or alive. We have found her overdosed at least three to four times and she would have died if we hadn’t called 911. She will be 36 soon and she is doing a little better because she cannot have a bank account or control of any money. She has pawned items I thought she would never part with. She lives in SSDI due to mental illness, which the heroin has made much worse. She gets food stamps, has Medicare and Medicaid. After we pay her living expenses from her SSDI she has about $100.00 left for toiletries, soaps and non-edibles. She lives in poverty. We had a long talk this evening and I am in shock. She REALLY doesn’t get it – all the tears, all the therapy, all the rehabs, all the nights driving around looking for her, all the times I’ve called hospitals looking for her, tracking down her dealer and threatening that dealer, putting blocks on her cell phone, all the nights sitting up with her while she was nodding out, the multiple times we’ve gone through detox at home with her (sleeping for hours, throwing up for hours, toxic bright yellow diarrhea that burned as it came out, then the insomnia) almost losing my job to babysit an adult woman, hours spent in court, money spent for commissary and phone cards and could go on and on but she STILL doesn’t get it.
    My wonderful Mama who was my most loyal friend, wise couselor, mentor, follower of Jesus and tough talker when I needed it died in November. I still can’t think of her without crying. I was so blessed to be with her the last nine days of her life, spending most of that time snuggling and holding her in my arms. But I feel like someone took a knife and cut out part of my heart and placed a concrete block on it the hold me together. Knowing this, she spent 30 minutes on the phone this evening telling me everything I did wrong and made life harder for her!
    Finally, through my tears I told her I couldn’t talk anymore and hung up. I always have been slow on the uptake. I don’t know what a mental breakdown feels like but I think that’s what’s happening. All I can do is ask Jesus to please take me home. I’m worn out and I just can’t do this anymore. All I want is to be in heaven with Jesus, Mama, Grandma and my best little boy (cat) Stuey. This earth has NOTHING I want.

  • tracy February 17th, 2015 at 7:05 PM #96

    What I feel you just said perfectly. My daughter is 24 and I have not seen her in about 4 years. She is a shell. I am hopeless

  • Rebecca February 21st, 2015 at 9:45 PM #97

    I wish I could give you some encouraging advise, but I find myself in the same boat as you are with your daughter. The only thing I have learned is to keep trying something else. Or a different councellor or pshycolgist. One may just click where she feels they understand her.pleasestay strong. If you have no hope, how can the rest of us?

  • karrine February 23rd, 2015 at 1:27 AM #98

    I wish knew what to tell you but i also have a 26 year old son who has sucked everybit of life out of me all i have has been stolen or pawned getting ready to lose my apartment maybe job all because of heroine lies constantly goes to rehab comes back home every time in a couple of days i am so aggrevated,despondent ,ready to end it all if not for my faith but how much can one take i give up can’t even get them to lock him down in jail or rehab unless you have a crap load of money what does talking do it doesnt solve the finicial burden or the fact that it has taken you so low you dont even want your son any more

  • karrine February 23rd, 2015 at 1:30 AM #99

    If they don,t want help no matter what you do it does’nt work and most of the time they lie to you and tell you they do when all they really want is to get high no matter who it effects they do not care

  • karrine February 23rd, 2015 at 1:34 AM #100

    I feel the same way that if they would od it would be relief no one knows how you feel until you live with an addict

  • karrine February 23rd, 2015 at 1:41 AM #101

    It is not pathetic we all feel this way even though others may deny their true feelings my son was in jail for 9 months in 2012 i found myself actually glad stress free

  • Julianna February 23rd, 2015 at 8:46 AM #102

    @Judy, I too feel your pain for my beautiful 23 year old daughter has become someone I don’t know. She was the most beautiful person inside & out. The drugs have taken the worse tole on her and myself as well. I personally have never done drugs so I just don’t understand the addiction. My heart breaks daily and please forgive for saying that it would be easier to hear she was dead than slowly killing herself in front on me. Prayers for us all….

  • mbrunesr February 26th, 2015 at 5:03 AM #103

    What happens when there are grandchildren involved how do you cut them off.daughter is 27 has two children from two different losers.now she’s pregnant with another from another all over xanax wtf dealing with work comp hurting every day mske sure my granddaughter gets to schooligans every day while she sleeds in wherever only can pray for my grandson

  • mbrunesr February 26th, 2015 at 5:11 AM #104

    No how you feel daughter is 27 been going thru this for 10 yrs first oxys then heroine now xanax 2 children from 2 losers.now and on in the oven from a third granddaughter stays with me and can only pray for my grandson hurting every day but still love and care for my granddaughter and what did it come down to she told me “I F’n hate you” been thrown under the bus and stabbed in the back so many times how much does the Lord think I can take

  • kim February 26th, 2015 at 7:14 PM #105

    It’s not our children we deal with but the drugs. It is so hard to seperate the two sometimes. My son 29 was high again this morning. I was angry and made the decision to pack all of his things. At somev point there has to be a line drawn. It is painful. Praying and meditating is what I do.

  • kim February 26th, 2015 at 7:36 PM #106

    It is helpful to realize I’m not alone and sad that any parent goes through this. The lies, stealing, guilt they put on us. Having them come home during my sleep time high. Getting calls at untold hours to hear “what are you doing”. Well I was sleeping you obviously up at 3 4 5 am due to getting high. Unfortunately putting my 29 yr old son out is the only option I feel left. My life has been so devastated. I thank God for him daily and plead the bloodvof Jesus

  • kim February 26th, 2015 at 7:37 PM #107

    Jesus over him. it is the ONLY thing I can do.

  • kim February 26th, 2015 at 8:39 PM #108

    Dear broken,
    You are not alone. I’ve been enabling my 29 year old son for 12 years. Today I said I’m done. It hurt do bad to pack all his stuff put it outside and not let him inside. It was necessary. I have tried to feed love house and care for him. Yet for the 4th time in several days it’s all my fault you’re a f ing b a gd whore. Enough is enough. I had to accept the fact it is the drugs and not my precious son. Although he is responsible. Every time I let him in our relationship becomes more volitile. I deserve some peace. By giving them a refuge we are saying its ok you can do all the drugs you want and still come home. Its not okay. It is also NOT easy. And it’s not our fault. None of us are perfect but when you give and give and only get disrespected it is time for a change. God is the option and the only one we have. Many prayers to you and yours.

  • Denise February 28th, 2015 at 8:55 AM #109

    Hi B,
    Did you get any answers? We too have a 26 year old who will not get help. He says we are crazy and we are ruining his life. He said he likes the way he is. We got him to get help 6 months ago, the Dr inserted a pill into his abdomen, it made his body and brain refuse the urge to do most everything. After a week he started to have color in his face, his eyes brightened up, he was doing things physically. The pill was going to slowly dissolve in 2 months and your are supposed to continue with therapy. Well, the minute that pill was dissolved and out of his system, he disappeared for 3 days. He has been a wreck ever since! Even worse actually! He said that Dr ruined him and so did we. We ruined his reputation with life long friends he says now. He has never hit rock bottom and I read that as parents we should do that! The problem is that he has an Italian grandmother who is naive and will do ANYTHING for him. She has paid his rent, washed his clothes, he is now moving out of his luxury apartment in SF to live with her. He has a high paying job and manages to do well without them noticing, but he doesn’t have a dime in the bank! He spends every paycheck on his supply. When your child is an adult, has a great job, and an overprotective grandmother, what else can we do? We have 4 other kids who are younger and they Recently started asking what was wrong with their brother.”why does he act that way mommy?!” It kills me inside!

  • so March 1st, 2015 at 7:33 PM #110

    I have a 27 year old daughter addicted to heroin, she went to nursing school and was an LPN at age 20. She lost her nursing license,her car,her daughter,everything. We went to meetings. Convinced her to commit herself to the psych ward 2 times to save her life and it did.. We are still fighting this disease. We have been throught it all. The last resort was to put a warrant out for her arrest. She has been in and out of rehabs, 1/2 way houses, 3/4 houses for the last 5 years. She has a 5 year old daughter.Nothing ever changes no matter what we do. I can’t do this anymore, I can’t take it. It is so hard.

  • Marie March 2nd, 2015 at 2:39 AM #111

    I just got told yesterday by my 22 year old daughter that the police stopped her and her boyfriend in the car and that not only has she lost custody of her 10 month old son but that they are both drug addicts, they are on a drug called Opana, she moved to America about 3 years ago from the UK and when I visited them in November last year I had no idea what was going on considering I have never had any dealings with drugs, she is a well educated girl and both me and my husband can’t understand why she would do this, we are devastated and having researched this only feel more despair as it seems to be a hard thing to stop. I have been funding her life for years now thinking that I was helping her, they say that they have only been doing it for about 4 months but I don’t know what to believe, I gave them money to pay bills and set them up for the future when I visited and now she tells me its more or less all gone, I love her so much and can’t bear the thought of all this, it was hard enough when she moved to America and now the only contact I have is through facebook or skype when she comes on, I find myself sat in front of the computer waiting for some news hoping I suppose for something good but dreading something bad. Its never easy being a parent and making the right choices but this is the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with, I will never disown my daughter no matter what she does, I am not sure what help they will get over there as I don’t know the system. I wish she would come back here but having read some of the stories that doesn’t guarantee a good outcome I am glad I found this site because I don’t feel so alone as I did earlier there are lots of us out there struggling to come to terms with the mistakes of our children and hoping that they end up doing the right thing. My husband always says the one thing they can’t take away from you is hope but today I find that hard to believe

  • Tired March 3rd, 2015 at 11:34 AM #112

    We have a 31 year old daughter who has been using drugs (heroin) and alcohol since she was 15. She has two grade school age children, who are now living with their dad. We do have a relationship with them. We have not seen our daughter since May 2014. She phoned us to tell us she is pregnant. She has no relationship with her children, yet has decided to have a baby. We are struggling with what to do. We have no interest in supporting her decision to have another child. She has been in and out of rehab and has talked about hitting bottom, yet continued to use. She is now saying she is clean, and again ha hit bottom, and wants our support. We are so afraid to embrace her decision for fear she will start using again once the baby is born. We are not in position to raise a child. We feel stuck.

  • kim March 8th, 2015 at 10:32 AM #113

    Dear Tired, I too am tired. I’m certain you’ve been through the same junk unfortunately ALL parents have dealing with adult children who use. Most definitely the worst feeling is hopelessness. As parents we always try to protect and fix things when there’s a problem, if it were that easy.. Only God can fix this and only then if our children want to change. My sister has told me you’re not helping him (my son 29) by letting him live with you, you’re just ENABLING. That hurts heaven knows I certainly do not want to help him use. I’ve put him out but it was 20 degrees here the other night and he had no where to go. So what did I do well I came home and let him in. A huge part of me believes if they could realize what they put their mom’s and dad’s and families through during the times they are using they would quit. My prayers are with you.

  • Lia March 8th, 2015 at 7:44 PM #114

    It makes me feel better seeing all of these posts. My daughter is 27. She has a degree and a 9 year old of which we have raised most of her life. My granddaughter is an A student at a private school. My daughter started out trying to go to rehab and working. She swore she would never lose her daughter her car her stuff. Guess what. She is homeless. No car no kid no stuff no job. I cry all the time. Her daughter asks for her and loves her. There is no greater bond! It is horrific. The war on drugs has created addicts. The big drug companies created this. They gave them OxyContin and now we have this to live with. I don’t hate my daughter at all. I am scared for her and want to help. I want her better. It’s impossible for us to have her here. This is a no drug or drama zone. We have 2 children that are high honor students living here. I cry at the drop of a hat. I love her but the system is set up to fail our children. We need to band together to make the laws change so that it is mandatory to put them in a safe environment to help them. I know my daughter and she tries sooooooo hard to stop. She just can’t stop using heroin. I know who she is and she is so much better than that. She is a prostitute and she is hep C positive. God I pray every day that my nightmare will end. My nightmare is nothing compared to her daughter that loves her like ever.

  • Debbie March 12th, 2015 at 12:49 PM #115

    I am a grandmother of a wonderful 15 year old grandson who I have had custody of since 2008 because his mother was a meth user. After being in jail several times and several years later (2011) she had nowhere else to go. I allowed her to move into my home. For 2 years everything went very well. only because she did not have a job no money no friends and did not want to go back to jail. Well she did get a job. For 1 year she did good. Then she met a guy through her job. Now its the drugs again and losing her job again. When you have someone with an addictive personality it is like being on a merry go round. It the same thing over and over. All of this actually started way back when she was a teenager around the age of 15. I took her to counseling which did not work. My problem now is trying to get her out of my house without upset my grandson so much. If she moves out on her own he is ok with it. But he does not want me to make her move. He has told her he will not move with her. And she uses him as leverage. It literally breaks my heart for him. I pray daily things will change because she will be losing her job soon and I have told her this. All she does is deny. She claims she is doing nothing wrong. She does not know I have found Fentanyl, muscle relaxers, and an assortment of pain killers hidden in her room. I try not to stress to much over it because I know God works in his own time. We can only pray for each other.

  • Meghan S March 13th, 2015 at 1:15 PM #116

    I am a stepmother to what was a lovely 25 year old girl that even after starting her family at 16, still graduated, got her AA in business and had a great job with a loving husband and two beautiful children. She was one of those that thought drugs were so beneath her. Then about 8 months ago, she up and left her husband, left her kids, got a boyfriend that was a “former addict” to meth and lost her job and was living in a boarding house in a bad neighborhood. We brought her and the boyfriend up north to where we live to see if we could help but I am afraid it just made it worse by being able to get more contacts for drugs. She denied using but when I finally had enough and became the face of the bad guy and kicked them out, we found all the evidence in their room. I was disgusted to find out that she was even possibly selling her body for drugs. It’s comforting to know that there are others out there that took similar steps that we did. There is just no helping them when they are that destructive and my husband was too emotional to make the decision to kick her out even though he knew it was the right choice. I worry every day about her and she refuses to talk to me but at least still communicates with her father, but it’s obvious she’s no where near ready to deal with the damage she’s done to herself and her family. I just keep praying for her and hope that one day, I can have a good relationship with her again.

  • Concerned step mom March 15th, 2015 at 9:17 AM #117

    My step daughter is back on heroin again and I don’t know what advice to give to my husband. She is 25 and last June she went into rehab for 30 days and seemed to be over coming her addiction. After $40k and 9 months later we found out that she is back on this horrible drug. Her dad kicked her out of the house last night because of it. He asked me what I would do in this situation and I had no answers. What do I tell him? How to help him cope? She is his only child and believes that she will eventually die from this drug. What do we do when rehab didn’t work?

  • Darren H. March 15th, 2015 at 10:27 PM #118

    Hi thank you for writing and so sorry. What an awful predicament for everyone. I highly suggest attending al anon meetings for support and/or family counseling with someone who really knows about addiction. I also suggest that you convey to your addicted loved one that you love her even while you have to set boundaries against addictive behaviors. But I think talking to folks with real experience and knowledge will give you options that are hard to see when you’re so close to the chaos. Thanks again for your post. Wishing you the safest outcome for your family.

  • Darren H. March 15th, 2015 at 10:30 PM #119

    Ps. There are monitoring programs that ask clients to stay accountable after rehab via drug testing and other actions.

  • Tinksmom March 19th, 2015 at 4:57 AM #120

    I have come to the conclusion that If a person is going to become addicted to drugs or alcohol then there is Nothing a parent can do to stop them from abusing. I have a 27 year old daughter that I did Everything to keep her from abusing her body with drugs. I told her that there was addiction issues on both sides of her parents and she saw first hand the ravages of alcohol with her father. It did not deter her from drinking and doing illegal drugs. She has tried to commit suicide twice and is now on the run from the law.
    We as parents have got to stop beating ourselves up for the path our adult children have chosen. My husband and I are devasted by my daughters actions.
    I belong to a group of concerned parents who have all dealt with addicted adult children. It helps to talk with other people who know the heartache that this disease brings. I would encourage anyone out there that is dealing with this horror to please get into a support group for your own peace of mind.

  • mitch March 19th, 2015 at 1:35 PM #121

    my daughters 24 she’s been on drugs for about 3 years she was real bad she OD’d we almost lost her he’s been in rehab for a while now and is doing really well but he had charges that I had bonded her out on they sent to the grand jury Henry and I did her again on charges that I had done bonded her out on added a couple more they have her bond had a hundred and twenty-five thousand so I would have to have 12,500over the past 3 years I have been out every damn I have helping her now that she is on track and doing well and has her goals set store she wants to go now they are going to yank her out of rehab and put her back in jail I’m so afraid I am going to lose her I’m afraid that this is going to cause her to relapse by not finishing her program that she is In I am so lost I am disabled on a fixed income have dunn finance my house more money on my truck all the things I had paid off and now I am afraid I’m going to lose my daughter and everything I have over this if each person that reads this would at least say one prayer from my daughter somehow my part I will figurewith God’s help I need prayers too please pray for her she needs help and I am her daddy and I have done all I can do I have nothing else to do with thanks for listening

  • Sam March 21st, 2015 at 7:47 PM #122

    MH: out of all the sites Google could bring up , I find goodtherapy.org and out of all the threads , I see I’m not alone though I feel very alone. My 22 yr old daughter is gone , I don’t recognize her , her laugh has even changed. I’d I didn’t have other younger children I would follow her intot her hell in hopes that if she saw me in pain she would stop poisoning herself so to be able to bring us both out. But I know addiction is selfish and more than likely would not allow the happy ending its something I would have to try. Addiction has taken the breath out of our lives. It’s taken our smiles and laughs joy and peace. I’ve seen her on life support Bc of her addiction. That was just a prelude of addiction winning. How did we get here? I’m so consumed with her that I lost friends, career, marriage, family and myself. How can this be happening? Thank you for sharing i wish you positive energy and strength and peace.

  • Josh March 22nd, 2015 at 5:37 PM #123

    I have also been troubled with this. My first wife, who I have a son with (I have custody) is in jail for child abuse/neglect after narrowly missing going to jail over drugs (she has had other kids since my son). Each time since I found a woman, she turned out to be a drug addict. I finally found one that isn’t..but her adult daughter is. And she keeps letting her in the home, for one reason or another, and she keeps stealing from us to support her drug habit. I don’t know what to do, there may be nothing that I can do…and it will eventually be solved one way or another, I am sure. My point here is to exhibit sympathy by showing that I know what you are going through. I’m afraid that I don’t have any answers for anyone else either, but I am empathetic. Good luck, and I will be interested to read any answers that actually come to fruition. I will post mine as well, if it ever comes ti pass.

  • Lesa March 23rd, 2015 at 6:42 AM #124

    I have a 27 year old daughter who is a drug addict, she contacted me wanting to know if she moved to Missouri where I am from West Virginia if I would have room for her at my house and after talking it over with my fiance’ we decided we would let her come stay with us. She left West Virginia after a couple of hours on the road she calls me claiming she discovered a hole in her gas tank , she had made it to Nashville, TN at this time. She had a friend there so she called him. She had seemed to sober before she reached Nashville, I’m sure she was exhausted, but after she got with this so called friend of hers she called me and was totally spun out of her head and tried to lie to me about it I knew though. Her conversation was irrational, not making ANY sense, Couldn’t understand most of what she was saying.She had a very bad attitude. she has had a struggle with pills since she was a teenager. It went from pills ( painkillers) to heroin from heroin to meth. As I was trying to attempt to carry on a conversation with her the other morning, I asked her what her plans were for the rest of her trip were? She said which one? It got to the point where she was being so irrational and not making any sense that I had to hang up on her and can’t bring myself to answer her phone calls because it hurts my heart every time I talk to her and she’s high. She’s not making any attempts to make the rest of her trip to Missouri and I’m having to distance myself from her for the time being because this whole situation is beginning to affect my health. I have to force myself to eat and I don’t sleep very well, I have nightmares of her sitting there with a needle hanging out of her arm not knowing where she’s at or any sense of what’s going on. It’s totally heartbreaking for me as a mother to be exposed to as I have finally obtained a balance in my life with a very wonderful man who has been supportive through all of this, we live a peaceful, quiet life and knowing now that we have been lied to from her it’s hard for both of us and is upsetting the balance in our lives as a couple. There are days when I am totally where I can’t function because my emotions are so animate that I can’t concentrate long enough to complete my household tasks in order to maintain my own home. I’m at the end of my rope so I have just quit accepting her phone calls so I can get myself straighten and back on even keel. She has not asked any of the family for help to get home. She has a sister who was ready to go get her until she heard the irrational conversation of the other morning as she was present at my home when the callcame in from her. We are 8 hrs from where she’s at but none of us feel comfortable going to get her as long as she’s spun out. I don’t know what else to do so I’m using tough love. I refuse to send her any money because I don’t know if she would use it to get home or for her next fix. There are no therapists in our area that I’m aware of. What should I do?

  • The GoodTherapy.org Team The GoodTherapy.org Team March 23rd, 2015 at 11:27 AM #125

    Thank you for your comment, Lesa. We wanted to provide links to some resources that may be relevant to you here. We have more information about what to do in a crisis at http://www.goodtherapy.org/in-crisis.html

    Warm regards,
    The GoodTherapy.org Team

  • liana March 23rd, 2015 at 1:39 PM #126

    It’s good that you realize she is most likely lying to get more money out of you etc. I have gone through the lies, feeling guilty , sorry for my daughter, wanting to be a saviour, crying, stress, you name it!
    My daughter is also 27 and very smart etc. The thing I have finally found peace with is that I know she is smart, resourceful and a very good manipulater. She has seemed to always find a willing victim she can manipulate for money, a place to stay etc.
    I decided a few months ago that when I start to worry , cry, wish I could help – now I just pray. Amazing! I feel like a new person. I refuse to let her selfish drug addict behaviour ruin 1 more of my days. I always take her call when she calls to know I guess that she is alive and not in a hospital dying. I am kind to her, I do not lecture etc
    I am sure that all the parents on this site have let their GROWN children manipulate them. Don’t , just stop! Your money will go to drug dealers. There are many resources out there if they want to change. Until then they will figure it out. It’s not and never has been your fault! I can say I am finally sleeping like a baby at night with no stress. I hope all that read this can get to the same point.

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