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Need advice Please

Community Member
Don't know how to tackle this without sounding like an ogre of a mother. Early last year my then 19 yo daughter apbruptly left home due to to our arguing. Daughter moved in with her friend and her mother for around 10 months. (This mother and daughter duo are known for their drug taking and supply) During the time she was away we had limited contact until she was asked to leave the house where she was staying. I supported her move back home and bought her a car so she could keep going to Uni, work, socialise - basically maintain her independence....and this is where my real problems start. The conditions I placed on her moving back home are: A) NO drugs or drug paraphenalia in the house OR in the car and B) No driving the vehicle whilst under influence of drugs unless ok'd by doctor. Well BIG fail on both parts and not just once but NUMEROUS times. Even to the extent where our German Shepherd found the drug that was stashed in her room! (mind you she will still deny that it's hers) So here I am asking for help. What do i do? She will go out every night at around 9pm and not get home some nights till 4:30am and i worry for her! My work life is suffering because I'm always stressed and tired. Also it affects my 17 yo daughter currently doing VCE. Infact 17 yo stays in her room because she doesn't want to interact with her sister (20yo) So now I need for her to make a choice - dugs or the car. I've pointed out the repercussions and legalities of being in an incident on the road whilst on drugs and she tells me to stop nagging and she knows all of this. So now how do i get her to prove she is not driving while inpaired - a drug test? Previously I've taken her at her word but not any more. Or maybe just sell the car? She is also on prescribed medication for mental issues and I feel the illegal drugs (and what other non prescribed stuff she's taking) is doing her more harm. Is asking her to take a home drug test if she want to drive the car pushing it? I'm just really worried for her. Thanks
4 Replies 4

Hi Worried Parent, 
Thank you for posting on the forums today. It sounds like you are facing some really big challenges at the moment - we are really sorry to hear that. We know that parenting can be very difficult and we can hear that care that you have for your daughter. 

We want to suggest some ways to look after your own mental health while you are caring for your family. 

We think that a call to our phoneline would be a good place to start - you can call us anytime on 1300 22 4636. 

You can also call the Parents Helpline and ask them for some advice - they are experts at supporting parents to look after their children. The numbers vary by state but you can find them here 

We hope there is something there for you and that you are finding supports elsewhere as well. 

Kind regards, 
Sophie M

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

You have done nothing to reflect inappropriate parenting - in your home, your daughter is now considered a 'guest' as she made her choice to leave and it is only through the goodness of your heart that you allowed her to return for her safety and shelter as any decent person/parent would do.

Boundaries and conditions were set as terms for accommodation (did you get this in writing?) and your daughter has disrespected such provision, and further abused the privilege of using a car you purchased (is the car registered/insured in your name?). This last point is where you may find yourself conflicted and possibly implicated in any harm that comes her way. It is not just in her interest that access to a vehicle be denied; you should not have to live with the guilt of enabling her behaviour, personal injury to herself or other innocent road users, aside from the financial ramifications of denied claims in any accident due to drug impairment.

Your daughter is an adult and making poor choices. You may not be able to change her behaviour but you should certainly remove her incentives - particularly while under your roof. Demand evidential (medical) proof of her cessation of drugs before you acquiesce to any provision and by all means get help if she requests it.

This will be a trial for you but stand firm if you can for the sake of your daughter and hope she comes to her senses in time.

Hi Thanks for your reply yes the car is registered and insured in my name and absolutely i am worried that she hurts herself and others whilst under the influence.

Since your daughter is at greatest risk from 9 pm, you may be within your rights to enforce a curfew as further condition to her tenure. Another suggestion would be insisting on attending a rehab program as condition for accommodation. Naturally this might be received unfavourably, but it returns control to you - your house/car, your rules, and you do need to consider the rest of the family's rights to safety and quiet enjoyment.

Although unlikely to prevent her nighttime activities, you can adopt a lockout policy before/after a certain time where she takes full responsibility for the choices made; thus alleviating your condoning the behaviour and offering support should she wish to accept it.