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by Abigail Van Buren

Family Blames Ex-Girlfriend for Son's Fatal Overdose

DEAR ABBY: I dated a longtime friend, "Austin," for about four months. He had a history of drug use, but had been sober for about four years before he stopped attending meetings.

I have two children from my previous marriage. He knew when we started dating that if he relapsed, the relationship was over. He did, so I ended it then and there. Austin begged me for a second chance and for my help.

I have known his family for as long as I've known him, which is 20 years. He swore up and down to me that he wouldn't relapse again, but he did and died from an overdose. Austin's family blames me for his death because I didn't answer his calls or messages. How can I explain to them there was nothing I could do? -- FAULT ISN'T MINE

DEAR FAULT: You were under no ethical or moral obligation to answer Austin's texts or messages after his relapses. Save yourself the frustration of trying to point out the truth to his family. Austin's relatives are in pain right now, and in denial as well. They are blaming you rather than their son because the truth -- that Austin was responsible for his own actions and his own death -- may be too hard for them to face.

Read more in: Love & Dating | Addiction | Death