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My 20 yr Old Daughter is Addicted to Heroin. I Want to Help Her But She Has to Also Want to Help Herself. Where Do I Start?

by Angela
(Albuquerque, NM USA)

I have had problems with her "Bad" choices since high school. Not just drugs, the friends she chooses to hang out with, she is lazy, not stable, has no respect for people (especially the ones who care) etc.

I live in a different state due to my husbands job and my job. She lives with my Mom & Dad back home and the ONLY reason they allow her to stay is because she has my grandson, who just turned a year in April. He is so beautiful and I feel guilty because my Mom is the main one who takes care of him. She is old and she is tired but my daughter is not responsible enough, so my Mom is not going to let him suffer.

I asked my daughter if he could stay with my husband (which is not her father)& I until she got her life together but she said no. That puts my Mom in a bad situation and my daughter does not care. I want to help but she is so disrespectful, I cannot deal with her verbal abuse.

Her real father was abusive to me, and she reminds me of him in a way. I cannot afford a lawyer and even if we went to court, she would probably tell the judge just to spite me, to let her dad or someone else take care of him. I was only asking as a temporary thing but she does not listen to anything I, my mom, my dad, or my husband have to say.

For some reason, she listens to her real father but that's no help for me ... I do not know what to do!!! If my mom and dad were to pass, where would she go?? I would be afraid for my grandson's life! Answer

Hi Angela

If your daughter is beyond reason, has no desire to do anything about her drug addiction, and is in no fit state to be a mother ... your last resort is to get Social Services involved. Because you're absolutely right - it's not fair your mother gets burdened with the responsibility of looking after your grandson, and if something happened to her, what then?

So if your daughter has no desire to start taking responsibility for her life, and the needs of her child are secondary to her addiction, you owe it to your grandson to involve Social Services, and try and take over legal custody. You have to do some research and look into the details, but I'm sure one can put clauses in place that if your daughter does ever prove she has turned her life around and dealt with her addiction, she can them reclaim custody.

Of course it's not ideal to be taking that course of action, but you have to think of your grandson here, and your mother can't keep looking after him indefinitely. So do some research and contact Social Services to see how they would handle it. Hopefully in time your daughter does turn her life around, but right now the long-term well-being of your grandson needs to be the priority.

Best of Luck

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