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Mother of Woman with Addiction Battled to Save Child

Stacey (left) and Natalie Burke. Photo courtesy of the St. Louis Post Dispatch.

Stacey Burke did all she could to save her 22-year-old daughter Natalie from heroine addiction, according to this article in the St. Louis Post Dispatch.

For instance Stacy forbade drug use in her home and threw Natalie out when she found she was abusing heroine. And she called people who took Natalie in to tell them to stop enabling her.

Still Natalie continued to do drugs and shot herself to death in a casino parking lot when a policeman approached her car. Natalie had just injected herself with heroin and was apparently afraid of getting arrested.

Social worker Rebecca Mowen leads a discussion group with parents of heroine abusers. Photo courtesy of the St. Louis Post Dispatch.

National Association of Social Workers member Rebecca Mowen, MSW, said Stacy did more than many parents who have children with addiction problems. Mowen offered advice such as not being a child’s friend and letting them suffer legal and other consequences from drug use, which may in fact help them stop.

However, parents must also realize that ultimately things are beyond their control.

“There’s always a chance it’s not going to work,” Mowen said, “because it’s ultimately the addict’s decision.”

To learn more about how social workers help clients overcome alcohol and drug problems visit the National Association of Social Workers’ “Help Starts Here” Addictions web site by clicking here.

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