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18 Year Old Daughter Is Doing Cocaine and Left Home

by Katie

My daughter is 18 years old. She has gotten in 3 car accidents with 3 different cars in a matter of 8 days. I asked her if she was doing drugs because of all these accidents and she started crying (she is not an emotional person) - and told me 'I can't believe you would think I was doing drugs, people get in accidents all the time.'

A birdie told me they heard rumours about her so my husband and I got a drug test that test 12 different drugs. Found out on 8/28 she was doing cocaine. We gave her rules that this was not allowed in our house. We have 3 other daughters.

I asked her if she needed outside help for this addiction and she said no. We told her if she test positive in about 20 days she would not be able to live here. On 9/2 she was giving us the run around where she was. We told her to get home, she did.

We sat and talked and told her she needs to follow our rules. We told her that she needs to think about the people she is hanging around with. She said she can't handle this and walked down the driveway. My husband asked her for the keys to the car and she dropped them on the driveway and kept walking.

This is not the first time she has left. It just hasn't gone this long because I would always try to contact her. To make sure she is alive. I haven't called her this time. I shut her phone off to everyone but myself, my husband and her grandmother. She can call anyone of us and 911.

I have every emotion going on in my body right now. I don't know the best answer of what to do. Do I try to find her (I think she is with her new friend she is hanging out with) - or do I take the tough love approach this time? Answer

Hi Katie

You've done the right thing by putting clear boundaries in place, because your daughter has to realise that she can't behave as she pleases, doing drugs, while living at home. By storming off, she's hoping to make you feel sorry for her, and obviously realises that through worry you'll likely to call her and make sure she's alright.

That's not to say you shouldn't call her to make sure she's okay, but if you do get hold of her and have confirmed she's okay, you need to re-iterate your message that as long as she's making poor choices with her life, taking drugs etc. she's not welcome living at home.

She has to begin to understand that she is entirely responsible for the direction her life goes in, and if she continues making poor choices, using drugs etc., then things are going to get unpleasant. Because she made them unpleasant.

Tell her you'll support her 100% once she's ready to get help and committed to making healthier choices with her life. But until she does, she needs to live with the consequences of choosing a life of drugs.

3 accidents in 8 days is extreme, and if she's using drugs while driving, think of the risk that not only places on her, but all the other people on the road. So you should also be removing all car privileges, and if you discover her driving while intoxicated again, call the police and have her arrested.

Once the consequences of her taking drugs become unpleasant enough, hopefully she'll be ready to do something about her drug use, and get help if need be. But if you cover up for her or in any way enable her, why will she ever be sufficiently motivated to start behaving more responsibly?

At that age taking drugs can seem 'sexy' and cool, so the sooner she starts to experience the opposite and the harsh realities that come with taking drugs, the better.

P.S. Katie, while I know this is incredibly hard for you, you need to arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible to effectively deal with your daughter and her cocaine habit. So please take a look at Help! My Child Is An Addict because I really do believe it can help you, help your daughter. Go Here for more ...

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In a Similar Boat
by: Another Parent

I wish I had an an answer. My daughter too is using drugs. She is not using coke but it is still so hard on the family. She is chronically ill so she uses pot to excess and knows that we don't have the heart to throw her out. We did throw her out once and I ended up checking her so much that I might as well left her home. We are at out wits end. We went to couceling and the therapist told me to look the other way. Easier said then done when all she does is smoke pot every hour and sleep and not do anything else. The bottom line is that they have to want to help themselves. It is so hard but we cannot do it for them. We can only educate ourselves and pray for a better outcome.

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