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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.

 
Comments
  • 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!
    Darlene

  • 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 October 1st, 2014 at 9:52 AM #38

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  • 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 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.

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