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Advice for Daughters of Addicts



A daughter holds a special place in the hearts of mothers and fathers; a special place that brings the hope of a joyful wedding, grandchildren, and so on. But sometimes those hopes are shattered when a parent becomes addicted to drugs, alcohol, or some type of compulsive behaviour.

You may be reading this page because this is your life. Perhaps your father or mother is suffering from some sort of addiction that has all but destroyed your family. As their daughter, your heart aches for them; you are desperate to find a solution that will bring your family healing and peace.

The staff at Addiction Helpline understands completely where you’re coming from. We have helped countless daughters just like you navigate the stormy waters of addiction. Whether you are an adult, a teenager, or a younger child, we know what a difficult position you find yourself in. We are here to help.

Dealing with Your Emotions

Most daughters view their parents as heroes – as people always able to overcome life’s challenges and fix any problems that might come a family’s way. When addiction enters the picture, a daughter may feel anger or resentment because that hero image has been shattered. In your case, you may feel as though your childhood was destroyed by a mother or father who seemed to care more about getting high than caring for you.

If you are like most daughters, you are probably also very confused as to how all of this happened. Please know that there is no point in trying to understand how your parent got to the place they are today. You will never be able to comprehend it. Instead, it is more important to find a way to encourage your mother or father to get help.

Another thing to remember is that the addiction of your mother or father is not your fault. Feelings of guilt are something daughters face all the time in these situations. Nevertheless, you did nothing to cause the addiction, so at least take comfort in that much. Remember that your addicted mother or father is acting based on personal, free-will decisions. Only the addict can make those decisions for him or herself.

In the meantime, Addiction Helpline wants to offer our assistance. One of the things we do is help daughters like you connect with support systems that can make a real difference in your life. We have connections with all sorts of clinics and programs, including Family Anonymous and Alateen.

How You Can Help

Being the daughter of a drug or alcohol addict puts you in a unique position. On the one hand, you feel as though you owe it to your parents to somehow get them to stop. On the other hand, you do not want to cross that line of authority that naturally belongs to your parents. You may feel like you are in a no-win situation.

The reality is that you can do very little for your parents until they are ready to start making the right choices. You can call us to get all of the information – and you should do that – but you still have to wait for your addicted parent to make the decision to come clean. Until that decision is made, nothing will help anyway.

You might be able to encourage the decision by getting friends and other family members together to conduct an intervention. An intervention is a very powerful motivational tool because it shows the addict how his or her actions are harming the lives of their children, spouse, and others. However, please bear in mind that there is both a right and wrong way to conduct an intervention.

Addiction Helpline can advise you about conducting an intervention. We can also get you in touch with professional help if necessary. In the meantime, you will also want to assemble all the information you can about treatment options. You will need to be ready to act quickly when the intervention brings your parent to the point of decision.

When your parent is finally ready to take action, Addiction Helpline is here to assist you in making all the arrangements. We will recommend a clinic and program suitable for your circumstances; we will help you make arrangements, if necessary; we will even provide transportation to the facility if you request it.

Our professional and compassionate staffs are here to assist addicts and their families in any way we can. We want to help you as well. Please call us right away or send an e-mail message. The sooner you do, the sooner you and your parent can get the help you need.

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