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Family member of someone with a lived experience of addiction


I think my now 33-year-old daughter started using cannabis around age 11. I didn't know, it was many years before I knew and by then she had progressed to methamphetamine use. This was much more difficult to hide. She was in 3 relationships that revolved around substance use and family violence. Things progressively got worse, until 2 years ago she sought assistance and went to a rehab. All went well for around 9 months. The past year has been terrible with a significant relapse affecting every area of her life and subsequently mine as she lives with me.

It has been both helpful and frightening to receive some education around the cyclic nature of relapse. Knowing this impacts on hope, it also gives an unwanted but necessary dose of reality understanding what both you and your loved one are up against in terms of the potential for recovery. It has divided our family and caused enormous sorrow and fear. Throughout the last year through attending Al-anon and a family workshop on Addiction and some counselling together whilst she was in rehab I have a greater understanding of what I can do as a family member and what I should not do in terms of co-dependent and enabling behaviours.

Getting help has been very problematic and in many ways this year has made the problems worse in terms of my daughter’s sense of despair, self-esteem and increased sense of hopelessness that her life will ever be okay. I often share her sense of despair and hopelessness, I hope Rethink Addiction can change societal attitudes and getting help in some positive way.

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