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Billie D.'s Story

When a Child Becomes an Addict

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Updated February 25, 2013

When family members become addicted, it affects the people who love them, too. It is especially heartbreaking for parents when their children are caught in the throes of alcoholism or addiction. When that child is of legal age, responsible for her own decisions, it can be particularly frustrating.

When a child is an addict, parents will naturally try to do everything they can to "fix" the problem, and many times worry themselves sick in the process.

Billie D., an About.com user, illustrates this in her story of dealing with a daughter's drug abuse:

A Mother Struggles With Her Child's Addiction

I am a mother of two daughters, and I have been clean for two years now. But I recently discovered [that] my 18-year-old daughter has been snorting Oxycontin for about a year now. I immediately took her for an evaluation to see what the best treatment plan was for her.

Next week she is scheduled to go into inpatient care for detox and rehabilitation. This has been really hard for me. I haven't wanted to use, but I can say that all the stress has me crying inside. I am staying strong because I know its all worth it.

"I Don't Understand"

I'm just so worried about her. I know from my own experience that becoming clean has to come from you, not someone else's need for you to be clean. I don't understand what her detox will be like, but I am learning what I can to help me understand.

However, I feel like [what I'm learning] is allowing me to make excuses for her using. I'm to the point where I just want to chain her down until she goes in. But of course, I can't.

Anger For Her Dealer

I have done enough digging that I know who the dealer is and I want to turn him in and get him caught. I just don't know what the proper steps are to take, other than just worrying about her recovery. I just can't help but feel that unless I take this guy down for dealing the drug, he will be right there when she gets out.

I just don't know what to do. My anger towards him just compounds every day that I see her using. I have thought about filing a civil suit against him. I'm just not sure how my state handles the law regarding civil suits involving drug dealers.

I guess I just need to try to keep a clear head so I can keep myself together for everyone in this family.

The Take-Home Message

It's important for parents and other family members who are dealing with a love one's alcoholism or drug addiction to seek out support. Al-Anon Family Groups can offer such help. In Al-Anon, members find out they are not alone, and they learn how to find "solutions that lead to serenity."

Help for Family Members

Al-Anon Web Site
Find a Meeting
Online Meetings

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