Become a member of Allies in Recovery and we’ll teach you how to intervene, communicate and guide your loved one toward treatment.Become a member of Allies in Recovery today.

She Went to Court for a DUI


Kate44 wonders if she should pay her Loved One’s rent. She just got a DUI and is very low on money, but doesn’t want to keep working in bars any more…

© Bill Oxford on Unsplash

need advice my daughter 37 has dui in virgin island lives there has a lawyer court scheduled for friday she has no car no job very low on money has a guy friend there with her now i don't know how much money he has she needs money for rent for this money she has always worked bars but says she doesn’t want to do that kind of work any more. she has problem with anxiety and panic and uses alcohol. should i pay rent?

Your daughter is living in the Caribbean and is having significant problems with alcohol. Friday has passed. What happened in court?

Is there talk of treatment? Did the court suggest treatment? It’s hard to say whether you should pay her rent without knowing more information. Is she likely to hole up and avoid everything if she keeps her place for another month? If she can’t pay the rent and you don’t cover it, what would her situation be? Would losing her place make it easier to convince her to go into treatment somewhere? Can you help her see the options for treatment down there or if she were willing to come back stateside?

Your daughter is at an age where she has likely been using alcohol for a long time. The DUI suggests the problem is serious. She must be getting tired of herself and of the patterns involving her drinking. The man friend is probably a drinking buddy.

Would the lack of financial support, and the possible loss of her home, make her any more willing to get into treatment? It unfortunately lands on you to find that treatment, but this is something that family members can do. Your willingness to do this work, while she is not yet motivated to do it herself, can make a huge difference.

Maybe you pay the rent for the month simply in order to give yourself one more month to work on treatment solutions. Your paying that month’s rent does not imply that she is covered beyond that month. It’s a temporary fix. The whole situation is on hold for the month: no worse, no better. The answer in part depends on what happened in court. Please update us and we can help fine-tune your approach.

If treatment is on the table and she is taking steps in that direction, you may be able to justify assistance with rent… but even still, since rent is a tricky reward to manage (hard to remove), it would be important to take things month-by-month. This way you can continue to assess her efforts and progress, and respond accordingly, in line with CRAFT principles. If treatment is not being discussed right now, and it didn’t come up in court, this needs to become a priority, starting with your researching options to present to her at the right moment. Make sure to re-watch and study Learning Module 8 to help frame your conversations about treatment. Either way, you’d continue to use CRAFT in the day-to-day while things unfold. We look forward to learning more about the details of your situation so that we can help shine a light on options that will be most relevant for you and your family.

You can also read about the different ways in which families on this site have navigated similar decisions about the housing question here or by clicking the “Home/ Homeless” topics tab to the right.

Thank you for reaching out, and we wish you patience and strength as you view your situation with CRAFT lenses. Remember that whatever your financial involvement may be, you can always strive to build and strengthen the bridge of communication with your daughter. Practice reflective listening and try to wipe the slate clean before each interaction. Aim to keep your responses grounded in the present, focusing on what you see each day. And do make sure to take good care of yourself so that you can be centered and present when you see opportunities to be there for your daughter in meaningful ways. Thanks again for writing in. Please let us know how it went in court.



In your comments, please show respect for each other and do not give advice. Please consider that your choice of words has the power to reduce stigma and change opinions (ie, "person struggling with substance use" vs. "addict", "use" vs. "abuse"...)

  1. My daughter has been talking to me on phone. Has a little job cleaning tables and hosting at a restaurant. She has some money but not enough for rent, phone, propane,electric.
    the court was postponed until february 28. Nothing has been talked about court ordered treatment. it is very lack on the island with rules. I know she is still drinking but not like she was when she would black out and get nasty. still no car getting rides. she say her nervous and emotions are all over the place. there is not much treatment on island just some therapist. she has a guy who was with her came home to get stuff settled talk about going back. got a job in alittle breakfast place. he has been trying to keep her from drinking. because of her childhood trauma issues has a very hard time with relationships. this guy left at one point said he left for his safety cause of claw marks and bites but now he is talking about going back. he will be back here in Mass. for a week jan, 22 thur 28. I don’t think he has much money if I pull back money will she get by between the two of them? I don’t know. Is she talking to me cause she is hoping I will give money? I don’t know? She is a good game player.
    Can I suggest I give money if she will go for counseling? If she goes down there how will I know. I know I am going to go back to some of the slides on here and listen to the convesations.

    1. My daughter will probably not trust me to any suggestions that I would make about treatments because in past I have tried a surprise intervention and a section 35 which was denied. My daughter has alot of trust issues.

        1. I will check it out.

          Right not my daughter is not talking to me and very little texting.

          She said I dont have a clue what I am doing…reading some books…only bring harm into my life.
          It was easy for you when I was drinking but now that I am sober I can see it. Dont try to bring more harm into my life.

        2. You continue to care and worry for your daughter. Addiction is a dis-ease state. When struggling with addiction there are moments of deep frustration and sadness….it is human nature to look up and want to blame those around you. Try not to let your daughter’s words wound you. For now, she is thrashing around wanting to point the finger at you. Tomorrow may be a whole different story. It’s hard not to take it personally. It is also important that you hold your stance. This means depersonalizing her hurtful comments and staying steady with a plan to provide her help. It’s a rough road. You are doing what you can.

    2. Your love for your daughter flows throughout your post. She is fortunate to have you on her side. Having such a long distance between you means some pretty unique communication.
      We are strongly discouraged from giving advice on how you should act and that makes sense. Everyone is different and every situation is different. I encourage you to use the modules in the Learning Center here and practice them. I also suggest you read lots of the forum posts here as there are some brilliant gems of experience that will also give you some guidance in ways that work for you. What I would do may not work for the person you are. So find your answer through reading and guided practice. You don’t want to extend your loved ones SUD but rather you want to provide the healthy support that in the end makes the biggest difference.
      You can find the answers you seek, here at AIR.

    3. Thank you for taking the time to write us with the details of your situation. At 37 this must be getting old for both you and your daughter. She says she doesn’t want to work in a bar. Good. The tourist culture on these islands tends to normalize heavier drinking. It was so apparent to me as a sober person years back. So not a great environment for your daughter. Self-help is solid, I understand, so perhaps you can google alcoholics anonymous, smart recovery, and other self-help type of meetings (reference supplement).

      The goal is to get your daughter help. Self-help is easy and free, and probably right outside her door. Look for a diversity of types of meetings and write a few down that are near her on a piece of paper. What are the options on the island for detoxifying from alcohol? You’ll need to google and maybe call to find this out and what is entailed in getting a Loved One admitted.

      What I am suggesting is that even before you consider whether or not to pay the rent, try and come up with the options for help on the island. Where would a homeless woman go for shelter?

      At least then you are informed and can guide your daughter to help in a moment of despair over the phone.
      If your daughter is drinking, she is spending wages and potential rent on alcohol. If you decide on helping with the rent, see if you can pay the landlord directly.

      You spend little time with your daughter and she is far away. So the phone is probably it. If this first lower level suggestion of a strategy doesn’t unlock things, we will need to come up with a plan stateside for her. Any insurance? Is she a resident of any state?

      Perhaps you do agree to pay 15 days of the rent. Regardless of the amount, keep it low and short term. It’s a reward and will be easier to take away if you need to. Prepare your list of options, such as they are for where she lives. The conversation can go something like this….

      “I see you making a real effort to drink less. There is a lot going on for you. I feel like this DUI is a crossroads for you. You know you have a drinking problem and you are going to need help with it; the other road is to ignore the drinking and risk another DUI.

      If you make some effort to get help now, the court will see this, and it could make a difference in the outcome of the case.

      I see the future if you keep drinking and I am scared for you and for me. I love you dearly. I am worried a lot of the time. Please consider this list as possible options for help with the drinking. It is what I came up with. I will do all I can to get you this help. I will pay part of your rent for the next two weeks. Please take some time to think about calling one of the places on this list. This gives us both the opportunity to talk again in a couple weeks. Thank you for listening.”

      This holds things in place more or less as the court case gets closer and closer. You have provided her with some ideas, perhaps not all new to her, but a good reminder with the list. The lack of rent into the future and the court case may just nudge her to detox and detox to self-help. Detoxification from alcohol is not to be taken lightly. It can be deadly. I would err on the side of caution with your daughter, even if she says she doesn’t need it. She has been drinking for a long time and it has kept her down; it’s likely serious.