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by Abigail Van Buren

Parents Struggle to Do What's Best for Tormented Daughter

DEAR ABBY: My 53-year-old daughter is an addict. First it was alcohol, then hard drugs and opioids. This has been going off and on for 40 years.

She hit bottom recently. She became homeless and ended up in a women's shelter in another state. She says she's been clean about six months. The shelter helped her find a place to live, and she draws a disability check, so she has everything she needs.

She constantly contacts me and her father saying she wants to come home. We have helped her to the point of mental, physical and financial exhaustion, and we just can't go there again. It's the most difficult thing we've ever gone through. We know we shouldn't continue to enable her, but if we don't, we feel like terrible parents. Any advice would be much appreciated. -- TERRIBLE PARENTS IN INDIANA

DEAR PARENTS: You already know what will happen if you cave in to your daughter's begging to "come home." From now on, when she asks, remind her that she already IS home, in the place the people from the shelter helped her to find. Her troubles have nothing to do with you. They are the result of the life she created for herself. You already know that enabling her hasn't worked. The time has come for you and your husband to take better care of yourselves.

Read more in: Family & Parenting | Addiction