Clutching her bank statement, Laura closed the front door on her way out. Left us reeling. She left Husband and me to mop up her debt. ‘Drugs!’ Husband said. ‘I’m telling you it’s drugs. You don’t go through that sort of money spending it on wine.’

‘It’s not drugs.’ I was adamant. I knew nothing about the epidemic of drugs in today’s society. Sure, I knew people took drugs – hardened people who lurked in alleyways at the dark of night – people whose bed was a cardboard box. I read the newspapers: reckless individuals took drugs, young people tragically died taking their first ecstasy tablet. People dabbled with drugs, smoked weed, tried cocaine. They dabbled with their mental health. But, my daughter abused alcohol which Husband and I did not like, but drugs? No, not my daughter. She did not take drugs. Laura was not one of those people. My ignorant vision of an addict.

This I understood: alcohol consumption. Many of her peers shared the habit of binge drinking, partying all night, this is what I accepted. Not our way of life, unhappy Laura lived this way, but as Husband kept telling me, ‘It’s a different generation, different to ours.’

I did not know how prevalent drug taking was in a town like ours. I had watched television, seen the characters that did drugs, they lived in underprivileged areas. I thought drug abuse was confined to these people, with no jobs, nothing much to do. Nothing much to look forward to. Laura dressed well, took pride in her appearance, went to work, drove a car, had a good family, came from a good home.

No – my daughter did not ‘do’ drugs. How naive was I.

Addict Child by Lesley Sefton buy on amazon

I am the mother of two adult daughters, both much loved and cared for. The eldest thought she could handle social drinking and party drugs, she could not. There is a journey addicts relate to - their journey. As a mother I have healed through the written word. This is my journey.

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