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by Abigail Van Buren

Mom's Promises to Kick Drug Habit Are Only Empty Words

DEAR ABBY: I am a 15-year-old girl and a caring person. I'm worried about my mother. She has been an addict for nine years. She always says she wants help, but she never follows through with getting the help she needs. I have asked her many times to go and get help, and have told her how bad her using makes me feel.

What do you think I can do to encourage her to follow through with treatment? I miss my mother. Any advice would be appreciated. -- IN NEED OF HELP IN OLYMPIA, WASH.

DEAR IN NEED OF HELP: You are not only a caring young woman, you are also mature for your age and intelligent. If your mother has been an addict since you were 6, your entire childhood has been spent taking care of her and raising yourself. I am truly sorry for that.

Because nothing you say gets through to her, consider moving in with another relative if that's possible. You should also join a Narateen support group. It's a 12-step program for teenage friends and family members of addicts. There is one in your city called "Hope for Today." To find the location, check the Nar-Anon website, www.nar-anon.org.

Read more in: Addiction | Family & Parenting | Health & Safety | Mental Health | Teens