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My Daughter and Boyfriend of 6 years Are on Heroin. What Can I Do to Help Them?

by Chris
(washington state)

My daughter and boyfriend do heroin - they have 2 young children. For about 5 years they moved to a place where they were involved in a methadone clinic, they were doing great until it was time to stop. The boyfriend, I guess got scared and when they weinned him off he started doing all kinds of other drugs.

We all thought that if they moved closer to family we could help them better, he would leave my daughter for a day or two without food, diapers, transportation, then she started doing the same drugs with him. They are good parents if you can understand that. My daughter takes very good care of the children.

But its the life they lead, he's always chasing the bag, taking what's not theirs and buying the heroin. He can't hold down a job, works a couple of days and quits, I can't count the jobs he's had.

I let them stay here with me but they clean me out of all my money, change, and I have to buy the diapers while he spends his every cent on the dope. I don't want to turn my back on them I love my daughter and the children with all my heart, please what do I do to help them? Answer

Hi Chris

First thing you need to do is get yourself to a Nar-Anon meeting which is for family and loved one's of drug addicts. Because there you'll really learn how best to help your daughter with her heroin addiction.

The thing is, while your intentions are no doubt good, what you're doing right now isn't helping. In fact, by allowing them to stay with you and taking care of them, all you're doing is further enabling your daughter and her boyfriend's heroin addiction.

Heroin addicts typically only quit using and turn their lives around, once all that comes with a lifestyle of taking drugs becomes unpleasant and painful enough ... i.e. the pain becomes the motivation. It's called hitting rock bottom.

And you're not allowing that to happen. How can they be good parents if they're high on dope half the time? So while they may be good people when they're sober, the fact is they're not a large part of the time, which means it's impossible for them to fulfil their responsibility of taking care of their kids.

The only way they're managing it is because you're there to step in ... and as long as you keep doing that, then realistically nothing is going to change. You need to draw a line in the sand and insist that unless they go through a long-term rehab program, and embrace a life of sobriety/recovery going forward ... they're on their own. And that you're going to take over custody of the kids if they don't.

Your daughter and her boyfriend, like all drug addicts, need to learn that if they keep making poor choices ... there will be undesirable consequences. Because that's how we all learn ... by falling, hurting ourselves ... and so learning to make better, healthier choices going forward from the mistakes we've made.

So you need to stop bailing them out and become firm that things have to change. Because until you do, unfortunately you're just contributing to their addiction.

All the Best

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