Posted by: gtcounseling | April 12, 2010

An Adult Child’s Drug Addiction


I am having a difficult time with my daughter, who is a drug addict, 41 years old and having a baby anyday now. She has two children from her marriage I take care of, like driving them to school and cooking supper because the father works. My daughter will not talk to anyone in her family and I believe she is ill in the head due to her drug usage. She supposidly has not been using lately, but her drug of choice was crack cocaine. I have tried calling her and I am concerned about her and she is angry, resentful and blames me (her mother) for everything. She sees her kids on the weekends and I think she tries to manipulate them to her way of thinking. Sometimes I cry a lot and I get angry and I can’t help it because I still love her. It seems as though she don’t want any part of her loving family anymore and I don’t know what else to do.

Hello Sue,

My heart goes out to you in your struggle to love and relate with your adult daughter in a healthy way and what that all means for you and your family and her daughters as well. It’s by no means an easy situation. The best thing you can do for  her is to continue to treat her as an adult under an umbrella of ‘tough love’ and be there for her when needed, but without enabling her in her disease. As you have probably found, this is a tough balancing act that requires a lot of stamina, energy, boundary setting, some measure of grace and a lot of prayer. The key is to also take care of yourself in the process to avoid become burned out, depressed, overwhelmed and more.

Substance users will generally do and say anything in order to feed their habits unless they are in some type of recovery program. You didn’t mention if your daughter is or not which would certainly be to her benefit if she was.  Maybe her husband can be an influence to get her to consider a treatment program even if its as basic as attending NA or AA. There are also Al-Anon type recovery support groups for family members dealing with substance users that are a valuable source of support to help fasmily members learn to be strong and keep that  balance while setting healthy limits on the relationship. I encourage you to find out all you can about Al-Anon and Codependency issues and these groups availability in your local community. There are also a lot of resources online about it Codependency and more, even online support groups to get you started. There is nothing as helpful and strengthening as walking the path you’re on with other parents struggling with the same issues and their adult children. Through them you can gain a lot of wisdom, understanding, support and hope for your journey. I would also recommend reading books for parents of adult substance users and anything else that would help you remian strong and confident in your stance such as Love Must Be Tough, by Dr. Dobson, Boundaries, by Cloud and Townsend, etc. Your online support friends can share additional good book recommendations as well.

I know you’re in a tough spot and being their for your granddaughters is wonderful Sue. I pray for the best outcome for you, your daughter and the rest of your family going forward and that you all findstrength and trust in God’s guidance in your lives.


Carole L. Miller, LCSW-C



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