Q: My 25 year old daughter was always a good girl, at school and home. She got married at 20 and had two lovely children. She was always very houseproud. The last few years have been hell. Her husband left after the second baby was born for another woman. He doesn’t want anything to do with the kids. She seemed to be coping well but got in with a lad who was a heroin addict. She felt sorry for him first, then he moved in. She worked hard with him to come off drugs but then she wanted to try it to see what he was up against. He got clean but she became addicted. Social Services got involved and my grandchildren now live with us. Her boyfriend moved out as he knew he’d ruined it for her but she cant seem to get straight. She drinks as well and has been in trouble with the police for shoplifting. She has even stolen from us, things she knows can’t be replaced and then lied to our faces. I have tried to get her to stay with us but each time she sneaks off, lies about wheres she’s going and turns up days later. She doesn’t seem to want to help herself. I’m so sickened and sad by it all. How can I make her see she has to clean up for herself as well as the kids?
A::For 25, she has already come through a lot. Marrying young, having kids and then being betrayed when she needed her husband most. Then when she’s at her lowest her new boyfriend leaves. There are plenty of support systems available on the NHS, but she can only start the road to recovery when she herself is ready. It must be very painful to see her going through this as well as putting you all through the mire. Luckily the kids are too young to understand at the moment. Please remember it is not her betraying you but the consequences of taking drugs. When she stays with you, she may be trying to ‘do-over’ her previously omitted teenage rebellion. If she is ready to admit that she has a problem,, there are many paths to follow. Firstly, she could talk to her GP as they have great access and referral systems. If she can’t face that, try FRANK online as they have honest information about substances treatment in every area. There is Livechat, SMS help, email and phone support. FRANK also has information and support for the families of addicts. Dealing with the psychological reasoning behind an addiction is essential. Having been ‘good’ all her life then receiving maltreatment and betrayal in return could be enough to have sent her spiralling out of character. This needs to be addressed once she has become ‘clean’.