If Your Addict is at Home

I won’t hide it from you – this will be one of the most difficult things you have ever done. But let me reassure you that in time, when you look back at how you put your Plan into action, you will see it was the best thing you ever did.

Hold that thought.

And keep breathing. When we face difficulty, we tense up and our breathing becomes shallow. Remind yourself to breathe. Your brain and body need all the oxygen they can get.

Stage 1

Review your Plan that you drew up when you were following POA For You. What are your goals?

Then the question is – how to give yourself and your daughter the best chance of achieving these goals?

You may well be thinking: “Can’t we just have a Conversation with our daughter about all this? This may be where you decide to start if your daughter is still reasonably receptive. But be warned – addicts are brilliant manipulators and to be honest, the likelihood is your daughter will run rings round you. She will promise to go to meetings, see a counsellor – she may even go a couple of times. But then as soon as you let your guard down, she gets hold of drugs and uses again. This pantomime is what happened to me for a long time.

So my recommendation is that you grasp the nettle now by:

1) Writing a Letter – in which you:

  • Set out the steps that you will now take to encourage her to give up drugs.
  • State your reasons for initiating this change in the status quo of your relationship.
  • Set out the sanctions you will carry out if she doesn’t comply with your requests
  • Offer any ‘carrots’ that may be appropriate (but ONLY if they are appropriate)

2) Drawing up a Contract – in which you clearly state:

  • What you want your daughter to do
  • The sanctions for non-compliance (the ultimate sanction being removal from the family home).
  • Any ‘carrots’ that you are offering for compliance
  • The time-frames for the above.

You can cut out years of pain by cutting to the chase in this way.

The Letter.

See the examples of intervention letters in “Love First” by Jeff and Debra Jay.

Your letter will include:

  • Telling your addict that you love her, but you are not prepared to stand by any longer while she self-destructs through using drugs.
  • You will not be giving her any more money for anything.
  • If she agrees to go to re-hab (or 5 NA or AA meetings per week) you will support her in doing this.
  • You will not allow any more drugs to be used in your house.
  • You will require her to sign a contract covering these points.
  • Non-compliance with the terms of the contract will result in you requiring her to leave the house and you will ensure this happens, with the help of the police if necessary.

The Contract

Dear Daughter

(Include either (1) or (2))

In order to help you move into recovery from your drug addiction, we require you to:

  • 1) Go to re-hab

Or – we require you to:

  • 2) Attend 5 NA or AA meetings a week.

(You will have thought about whether re-hab or 12 step meetings are right for your daughter when you did POA For You).

(The next requirement is optional and you will have thought about this in POA For You).

  • We require you to talk to a drugs counsellor (optional)

Include the following:

We require you to:

  • Undergo random drug testing by us at home.

And then the ultimate sanction:

  • If you don’t comply, we will ask you to leave our home.

That is quite a lot for someone who has been vegetating in her room. Give her time to think.

Stage 2

You will need to review after a week. Call your team together and if the contract has been broken, decide how to implement the “You Have to Leave” clause of the contract.