LONDONDERRY >> With the report of another deadly heroin overdose of a young person from the community, Families Anonymous (FA) wants to remind all that there is help for families whose lives have become affected by the use of drugs. Below is a genuine, Open Letter to My Family from a drug user – supplied by Family If this letter hits home with you, you can benefit from attending a Families Anonymous meeting. A confidential FA meeting is held weekly on Tuesday evenings from 5:30-6:30 at Neighborhood Connections, located in Londonderry's Mountain Marketplace next to the Londonderry Post Office.

An Open Letter to My Family

I am a drug user. I need help. Don't solve my problems for me. This only makes me lose respect for you – and for myself.

Don't lecture, moralize, scold, blame, or argue with me, whether I'm stoned or sober. This may make you feel better but will only make the situation worse. Don't accept my promises. The nature of my illness prevents my keeping promises, even though I mean them at the time. Promises are my way of postponing pain.

Don't keep adjusting our agreements. If we make an agreement, stick to it.

Don't lose your temper with me. You'll destroy yourself and any possibility of helping me. Don't let your anxiety for me make you do what I should do for myself.


Don't believe everything I tell you. Often I don't even know the truth – let alone tell the truth.

Don't cover up or try to spare me the consequences of my using. Your efforts may reduce the immediate crisis but will make my illness worse.

Above all, don't run away from reality as I do. Drug dependence – my illness – gets worse as my using continues.

Start now to learn, to understand, and to plan for recovery – yours and maybe mine. Find Families Anonymous, whose groups exist to help families in just your situation.

I need help: from a doctor, a psychologist, a counselor; from people in self-help programs who are recovering from their own drug problems; and from a Power greater than myself.

Your "User"