Jo tells her story of her struggle with her daughters addiction.

“When we were aware of Lysette using it became apparent very fast. With Lysette she fell hard and she fell fast, she lost her home, she was in debt, social services were involved and we had to have supervised access for her child. She plummeted in a space of a year and she lost everything. I feared that there would be a knock at the door from the Police to say she was in a gutter somewhere.

The biggest thing for me was it felt like living with Jekyl & Hyde, you never knew from one day to the next the person who you were going to be faced with. One day it would be my daughter and the next she would be high and bouncing off the ceilings, that was awful. It was like living with an irritating insect, always walking on eggshells and comments taken in the wrong way.

I kept telling myself that I did not choose this, Lysette did. I always knew who she was and where she had came from, I knew the values I had instilled in her and this person I was dealing with was not my daughter. However, after attending groups which supported families through GDAS I was able to see to that it goes both ways and that I was enabling her. If I was helping to pay for gas and electric and she was using, was I actually helping? I was enabling through ignorance and you are made aware in services that someone who is using thinks and speaks differently to a rational person.

You want to try and fix things and make it better but sometimes you have to accept that you can’t. At times it was to much, I asked myself “How many times do we need to go through this before things change?”

Lysette tried to take an overdose, we came close to losing her. I wanted to shake her, I just didn’t know what to do. I was angry at her, as she tried to take MY baby (Mum referring to Lysette as her baby).

Through the support Lysette received we were introduced to DAFFS. At first Lysette was worried about engaging with services and was anxious about standing outside relevant buildings and that people may see her and pass judgement. But I am so glad that she did.

Its been a journey for both of us and I don’t want to glamourise it but it has brought us closer together, it has given us the tools to communicate. Lysette was offered rehab and has come to terms with her defensiveness and anger and knows how to deal with it.

The support of friends and family (service though GDAS) showed me I can be supportive but how its manageable to me. Yes, I can lend £20 but I learnt that I had to stand my ground and not be guilted into something which was their choice.

I would highly recommend engaging with services as it made me feel not isolated because I knew there were other people out there dealing with it.”