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DEAR ABBY: My mother has been a prescription drug addict for about 20 years. The problem I'm having is my 2-year-old son loves his "memaw" and wants to go over to her house on a regular basis.

When Mother is off the pills, she's a great parent and a fantastic and loving grandmother. When she's on the pills, she becomes a different person, and I don't want to subject my son to the things I witnessed as a child. She becomes very abusive when she's not sober. She also does things like slur her words and pass out.

Rehab doesn't work for her. She has been at least 20 times.

My son does not understand her actions. He thinks I am being mean when I tell him we can't go over there.

I have threatened my mother that she won't see her grandson if this behavior continues. She doesn't seem to care. In recent months she has been on methadone, trying to kick the habit, but has substituted methadone for the pills. Have you any suggestions? -- "MEAN MOMMY" IN N. CAROLINA

DEAR "MEAN MOMMY": Unless your mother is buying her methadone on the illicit market, she is on a program and under supervision -- which is a good thing. If you see evidence that she is a danger to your child, then it is your duty to cut off the contact. However, my addiction experts advise that you do not "threaten" unless you are prepared to follow through. (And you may need counseling yourself in order to stick by your word.)

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