“Scary situation:” Father locks up 16-year-old daughter in effort to keep her off drugs — something that’s illegal

OTTAWA, ONTARIO, Canada — A Canadian father says his addict daughter’s drug use has been out of control, to the point where he recently had no choice but to break the law in an effort to keep his daughter from going out to score more drugs.

Paige O’Leary likes getting ready to go out with friends. She’s 16 years old, and in many respects, she’s a typical teenager. But her typical life has been interrupted by her addiction to dangerous drugs.

“Xanax and cocaine mostly — nothing else,” O’Leary said.

When asked whether she has any concerns that there might be something in the drugs, she said:

“Yes, there quite possibly could be fentanyl in it because there’s fentanyl in basically everything right now,” O’Leary said.

That terrifies her parents, and is why her father recently took a desperate measure, forcing his daughter to stay home, and off drugs — something that’s illegal.

“By holding them in your house and not letting them out to do drugs, you’re breaking the law. Any options as a family you’re left with requires us to break the law in order to help our 16-year-old kid, who is, in my opinion as her father, at times close to death,” Sean O’Leary, Paige’s father said.

But Paige O’Leary knows her rights. When she was recently held at home against her will, she managed to find a phone, and called 911. The police came to her house and picked her up.

“I ask them to drive me to Kanata…just so I can go do drugs,” Paige O’Leary said.

“They just proceeded to drive her to Tim Horton’s in Kanata, so in the end, she got her free Uber ride she wanted in the first place, and there was Dad sitting back at home going, what the heck happened?” Sean O’Leary said.

An officer who works with young people said he’s not surprised by this situation.

“If they’re over 16, there’s nothing we can do to make that youth stay. They have that freedom to go at any point in time if they wish,” Constable Cory McAree, Ottawa Police Service said.

It’s left Sean O’Leary feeling powerless.

“It’s a scary situation for families and for everybody,” Sean O’Leary said.

Sean O’Leary went public with his campaign to help teenagers who are addicted to drugs earlier this year — founding a support group called “We The Parents.”